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San Dimas Mt. Rescue Team
SDMRT Uses Dry Run to Refresh on Climbing and High-Angle Rock Rescue

Rescues that require specialized rope systems at high angles can happen any time of the year in the San Gabriel Mountains. A hiker gets stuck, unable to go further, and unable to go back, while trying to find a shortcut up a steep canyon wall. Or someone taking a snapshot gets too close to the edge of a roadside berm and tumbles down into a precarious spot, injuring themselves.

This Fall, the San Dimas Mountain Rescue Team used it's October Dry Run to practice a variety of climbing, ascending, rappelling and belay techniques that are needed to execute rescues in steep, rocky locations.

The team went to Joshua Tree National Park and spent the day going through multiple stations that were designed to be refreshers for Team members and advanced trainees. As they alternated between stations, members employed skills that included rock climbing techniques, use of mechanical ascending gear, and the assembly and operation of a raising and lowering system with a litter component.

The Team uses these Dry Runs to emphasize safety, technique and equipment familiarity as members train for rock rescue situations, sometimes referred to as 'cliffhangers'.

The purpose of such Dry Runs are to be sure that when a search or rescue occurs, our team members will be fully proficient with procedures and equipment and processes they will use during an actual operation.