Technical rigging and rescue is a blend of science and art. The science can be learned by the memorization and repetitive practice of systems. But the efficient and effective adaptation of those systems to a variety of dynamic scenarios is an art that must be developed through an understanding of core principles and concepts.

Our Rigging & Rescue workshops go beyond memorization of basic systems. The focus is always on the critical thinking, creative problem-solving and systems analysis skills required to accomplish missions efficiently and effectively. Workshop participants become knowledgable in the principles and concepts of rope work, rather than just learning systems by rote. The approach may seem revolutionary, but it is primarily the instilling of knowledge and skills rather than reliance on hardware and technology.

Rigging & Rescue focuses on self rescue and companion rescue, quick access to an injured or stranded patient/group from above or below, providing escape assistance and applying specialized rescue techniques in situations that do not require a litter. Students are challenged by scenarios that test rigging skills and expand problem-solving capabilities. This workshop is ideally suited to recreational climbers and canyoneers, professional guides, backcountry rescue personnel, and the special operations community.


Topics covered include:

  • risk assessment and management
  • selecting and using multi-purpose gear
  • adapting light-weight ropes and gear for technical rescue
  • physics principles in rigging and rescue
  • considerations for focused vs equalized anchor systems
  • specialized single-rope and twin-rope rigging
  • belay techniques for rescue loads
  • simple, compound and complex mechanical advantage pulley systems
  • simple lifts, shifts and lowers
  • converting static rigging to lowering
  • tensioned twin rope systems for lowering and raising
  • converting top rope belay to raise
  • utilizing natural, artificial and improvised high directionals
  • guide ropes and tag lines for rappelling, lowering and raising
  • tensioned twin skate block systems for raising
  • ascending and transitions on fixed ropes
  • tandem rappels and pick-offs
  • balancier pick-off on tensioned rope
  • counter-balance techniques
  • tandem ascending and mid-rope lowers
  • knot passing in lowering and raising systems
  • improvised patient carries
Rigging & Rescue is four full days and runs from 08:00 to approximately 17:00 each day. You may register for back-to-back Rigging & Rescue Workshop (Sunday-Wednesday) and Rappel Master Workshop (Thursday-Saturday). Participants are responsible for their own transportation, accommodations, food and personal equipment.



Canyon Rescue Technician

The Canyon Rescue Technician (CRT) is a multi-skilled rescuer trained in a combination of technical canyoneering, swift water and high angle rescue skills. He is one member of a Rapid Access Team (RAT) of first responders that can quickly access an injured or stranded group of canyoneers, initially assess the scope of the problem, provide escape assistance, give first aid, and be the liaison between the party being rescued and the high angle rescue team on the canyon rim. He also has the skill and training to initially package and transport an injured patient to a place in the canyon more accessible to the high angle rescue team or helicopter.

Canyon Rescue Technician training is offered on a custom contract basis by Canyons & Crags. The program is ideal for professional rescuers, members of Search and Rescue (SAR) teams, backcountry rangers and professional canyon guides, as well as recreational canyoneers who want to be well-prepared for emergency situations.