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- To have a successful experience that increases self-confidence in a new and unique environment.
- To provide increased self-confidence in dealing with height, balance, strength and apprehension.
- To help participants understand their achievement potential.
- To make a commitment to complete difficult tasks and to persevere until the final goal is achieved.
- To encourage self-responsibility, effective coping skills, and a sense of personal safety while under stress.
- To increase understanding and confidence of functioning under stress/fear (not letting fear immobilize or hinder you).
- To work towards feelings of personal responsibility and trust, and a willingness to succeed against the unexpected.
Prior to each course a lead staff person will inspect the course as adjunct materials (i.e. mini-zip) are prepared. Any disparities should be noted. If any problem threatens the safety of staff or participants the Course Coordinator will either fix the problem, if possible, or cancel the course. If, in the judgment of the coordinator, the problem is cosmetic or an inconvenience only, then the course will continue. Problems will be noted and reported to a director. First Aid kit is kept on the ground at the head of the course.
Participants use the High Ropes course under the Full Value Contract, as a result they should always be encouraged to attempt, but never pressured. They have the right to be fully informed about the risks and are allowed to come down to earth at any time they decide.
The following must be discussed in a safety briefing:
- Participants, by the nature of the belay system, have the final responsibility for their own safety. They are, however, advised that staff will check harnesses, knots and carabineers often.
- All personal equipment (Harnesses, helmets, lobster claws, carabineers) and their use are systematically described to each person before moving on to the ground school area.
- Potential injuries are listed and explained to participants who are also advised on how to prevent them. They include:
- Swinging into trees
- Pinches from hardware
- Cuts, scrapes and abrasions from contact with cables, trees, blocks, ladders, hardware and other tools.
- Self-belay system is explained, demonstrated and practiced by each participant at the ground school area before moving into the trees. Squeeze Checks are mandatory at all element changes.
- Participants are advised that if they remove their harness before going up into the trees they must ask to be checked by staff before going into the trees.
- Participants are advised to remove jewelry and all objects from pockets before going on to ground school.
ROPES COURSE RULES AND GUIDELINES
- The high ropes course will only be used by authorized groups with trained leadership.
- The ropes course will not be used in high wind or thunderstorm conditions.
- Instructors will physically check all student knots, helmets, and harnesses.
- Prior to its use by students, the ropes course will be visually inspected by an authorized instructor.
- A first aid kit will be at the High Ropes site during all courses.
- Students will be instructed to wear appropriate footwear, remove objects from pockets and remove jewelry prior to ropes course use.
- Only steel carabineers will come in contact with the cable.
- Students will always lock carabineers and do a squeeze check.
- Helmets will be worn by all persons in the ropes course area when in use.
- Only one person at a time will be on any given element. The only exception is in case of emergency evacuations.
- The ropes course rescue bag will be stationed at the BIG ZIP platform (Grand Central). This bag will be removed at the end of each ropes course use. Rescue bag will contain
- Figure 8
- Two steel carabineers
- Ropes course equipment will be inspected prior to each use.
SUGGESTED TEACHING OUTLINE
- Introduction: Introduction of participants and staff, Explanation of high ropes and emphasis on personal responsibility through the belay system, Safety Briefing.
- Essential equipment (care and use) and knots:
- Helmet, harness, lobster claws, carabineers, sit harness
- Double figure eight, figure eight follow through
- Ground School area:
- Instructor inspects area and cables, explains use of events, falling from and getting back to elements.
- Commands: All Participants are instructed that they cannot move from one element to another without permission of a staff person and reasons for this. Preferably that staff person is in the trees and ahead of the participant on the course.
- Sequence of commands:
- Participant: "Permission to Transfer Carabineer Number 1 (NAME)?"
- Staff: "Watching (NAME)."
- Participant: "Tug Test (NAME)!"
- Staff: "Thank you (NAME)."
- It is important to use the participant's name to avoid confusion.
- Sequence of commands:
- Students do practice run across beams using commands and proper transfer technique. Include a practice fall and climbing back on element.
- On the way to the course:
- Explain the elements and show participants where they are going during the course.
- In the trees and after:
- Instructor does a demonstration run through course (optional).
- Students complete course.
- Have a debrief discussion of the experience. Focus on personal challenge, learning, fear and action in the face of fear, decision making, and expanding limits.
Five staff members are needed to run the course. One is located on the ground at the dynamic belay; another at Grand Central, the third instructor is located at the platform between the MINI-ZIP and the TIRE TRAVERSE, fourth staff member at the TRAVERSE, and the last at the ZIP LADDER. A course coordinator is also always needed on the ground to supervise all that is occurring.
- Sets up INCLINE LOG belay and insures proper spotting.
- Monitors participants from the start until the student clips into the STEP-ACROSS belay cable.
- Monitors and supervises the ZIP landing area (when possible).
- Supervises the removal of the students from the BIG ZIP to the ground (when possible).
Grand Central Instructor:
- Monitors students from the first platform to the STEP-ACROSS to the far side of HEEBIE JEEBIE (When a large group is present in the trees the limits of supervision become flexible.)
- Monitors students from the far side of the beam to the ZIP platform.
- Supervises the BIG ZIP procedure.
- Acts as traffic controller for all persons in trees by deciding which participants may move in order to maintain a smooth flow of people through the course.
- Monitors students from the far side of the HEEBIE JEEBIE to the POSTMAN’S WALK.
- Supervises the proper use of the MINI-ZIP.
- Monitors students from HOUR GLASS to the BURMA BRIDGE.
- Aid participants in transfer of lobster claws between POSTMAN'S WALK and TRAVERSE.
Zip Ladder Instructor:
- Monitor participants on the ground between INCLINED LOG and ZIP LADDER.
- Aid participants getting off the ZIP LADDER.
- Hook rope to ZIP and walk back to GRAND CENTRAL.
STUDENT USE OF ELEMENTS
The step-by-step procedures listed below will be followed by the instructional team guiding a group through the high ropes.
- INCLINE LOG:
- Participant (Climber) ties directly into the top rope belay w/figure 8 follow through. Climber and belayer go on belay using the following commands: Climber--"On belay?" Belayer--"Belay on!" Climber--"Climbing." Belayer--"Climb!" Upon reaching the platform, climber clips both claws into overhead belay cable. Squeeze checks. Climber and belayer end contract: Climber--"Off belay!" Belayer--"Belay off!" Climber unties from figure 8 knot. Sends running end down to belayer.
- WOBBLEY BRIDGE:
- Participants step across the wooden squares to make their way to GRAND CENTRAL to connect to the HEEBIE JEEBIE.
- THE HEEBIE JEEBIE:
- Student clips claws, one at a time, into the HEEBIE JEEBIE belay cable. Instructor monitors to ensure that claws are clipped on the left side of multi-line ropes. This avoids tangling in the multi-lines.
- Participants make their way across by using hands only the ropes and pushing out on them to finish. Participants need to switch ropes half way through to be successful.
- MINI ZIP:
- Participants clips claws one at a time, into the MINI-ZIP belay cable. The MINI-ZIP belay cable is the higher of the two cables. It does not have the MINI-ZIP pulley arrangement on it. The student needs to place claws around the ZIP onto the belay cable.
- Participants then hauls the MINI-ZIP in by using the MINI-ZIP haul line (parachute cord). Student makes sure the haul line is untangled before leaping.
- Participant places both wrists into the wrist loops and grasps the rope just above the loop. Participant pushes off the platform and uses feet to stand on the next platform.
- Participant clips around tree with claws, one at a time to TIRE TRAVERSE belay cable.
- TIRE TRAVERSE:
- Participant walk their way across the tires to make their way to the HOUR GLASS.
- Clips claws, one at a time, to HOUR GLASS belay cable.
- HOUR GLASS:
- Participants make their way through a series of 3 ropes. Student
- Then climbs up the tree using pegs, ropes and cable to stand on foot cable of POSTMAN'S WALK.
- Clip claws, one at a time, to overhead POSTMAN'S WALK belay cable.
- POSTMAN'S WALK:
- Participant holds onto the top cable of the POSTMAN'S WALK, which is also the belay cable and walk along bottom wire to make it to the end.
- Then moves around POSTMAN'S WALK tree to the right using thimble eye bolts as holds.
- Finally they step up onto the TRAVERSE, and clip claws, one at a time, to the belay cable above the TRAVERSE.
- Participant walks across the wire while reaching for hanging ropes to use for balance as they make their way.
- Student clips claws, one at a time, to the belay cable of the BURMA BRIDGE.
- BURMA BRIDGE:
- Participant walks along bottom wire while holding onto the 2 side wires as guides.
- Then participants down climb between the foot cable and the right hand cable of the BURMA BRIDGE. Participant utilizes the cables and pegs in down-climbing to the BIG ZIP platform.
- Once on the BIG ZIP platform, staff clips participants claws, one at a time, ito a spot where the participant is out of the way until they can go down the BIG ZIP.
- BIG ZIP:
- Participant sits on end of platform directly underneath the BIG ZIP cable facing the BIG ZIP path.
- Instructor then briefs participant on the BIG ZIP procedure.
- Clip the BIG ZIP pulley tether into the crotch strap carabineer. Make sure both carabineers are locked.
- Briefly explain the BIG ZIP braking system to student.
- Advise student to hold onto tether letting the harness support the weight once the BIG ZIP begins.
- Keep feet together by crossing ankles, knees slightly bent.
- Participant yells "Clear to zip?" Wait until you hear a "Zip clear!" from staff at ladder before proceeding.
- Instructor clips one claw, into the carabineer on the BIG ZIP pulley and clips the second carabineer onto the BIG ZIP cable so that it rests between the BIG ZIP pulley and the BIG ZIP platform tree. Communicate clearly with the student while this is being done.
- NOTE: Only when the path is clear of people and staff are in position to monitor the braking system will the "Clear to zip!" be given and only by staff or someone designated by staff.
- ZIP LADDER
- Ground instructor will place ladder over BIG ZIP wire next to the participant so it is between them and Grand Central.
- Ground instructor will make sure the ladder is weighted and the ladder hooks are on the cable.
- Participant will step onto the ladder unweighting the BIG ZIP pulley tether. They may have to climb up a rung or two.
- Participant will unclip the BIG ZIP pulley tether from harness and then clip the BIG ZIP tag line to the tether.
- Participant will unclip the claws, one at a time, from the BIG ZIP cable and place each claw over her shoulder.
- Participant will descend ladder to ground.
- Ladder will be removed from cable.
- BIG ZIP pulley will be returned to BIG ZIP platform using the tag line.
ROPES COURSE RESCUE PROCEDURES
It is important to realize that rescue situations are not usually highly critical in terms of time. Exceptions to this are lightning evacuation, and a prolonged incident on any element, most commonly, the MINI-ZIP. With hands upraised on the MINI-ZIP students are in danger from constricted breathing. All other situations do not warrant overly hurried rescues. A sense of urgency and physical presence are important. Since students will be in sit-harnesses, there is little imminent danger of constricted breathing or other injury. Take time to be thorough enough to do the rescue right the first time.
IN CASE OF LIGHTNING:
- All persons will move towards Grand Central as quickly as possible.
- Instructors will supervise students at the top of all lowering.
- Instruct students to use belay cables as needed for support and more rapid movement.
- Students can be put back on belay at Grand Central. Students will be lowered to the ground using the rescue bag or asked to proceed to the STEP ACROSS to be lowered there.
STUDENT FALLING OFF ELEMENTS
The following are the sequential rescue procedures:
- Students will try to pull themselves back onto the element using claws and any cables or ropes for support. If this is unsuccessful
- Then the participant will utilize the etrier to assist in regaining the element. If this is unsuccessful,
- Then the nearest instructor will move to the student and physically assist in helping the student to regain the event. If this is unsuccessful,
- Then the instructor will deploy the emergency rescue system using the rescue bag. It involves the following:
- Clip steel carabineer pre-attached to figure-of-eight device to overhead belay cable.
- Uncoil the rope by dropping the bag.
- Take the end with the pre-tied figure 8 knot and carabineer and attach to crotch strap and waist loop of harness on student. Make sure carabineer is locked.
- Stranded student will go on belay. A single ground staff will handle the belay. Use standard belay commands!
- Support crew on ground will tension the rescue line until enough slack is created in student's lobster claws that instructor can unclip them from the belay cable. Have student use etrier if raising the load is impossible for ground staff. Cut claws as last resort.
- Ground crew will slowly lower student.
- NOTE: The course coordinator will coordinate the rescue effort with the help of other staff.
Latest page update: made by fogoroe
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