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Mount Helena: Training Ground for Rope Rescue Team


The Lewis and Clark Rescue Association spent this weekend off the cliffs of Mount Helena to train themselves if ever someone met an accident in the mountains or become stranded on a cliff face while climbing.

Commonly known as Rope Team, their mission is to assist Search and Rescue or other agencies if needed. The Rope Team will pick a climber who becomes incapacitated somewhere in a cliff front and lower him to safety. They are also the ones who hike into an area if a person breaks an ankle in an inaccessible area of the wilderness. They will render aid and pack the hiker to safety. Likewise, they render aid and retrieve victims of cars who go over an embankment.

The team consists of about 10 members. They had their drill on Mount Helena this past weekend as part of the ongoing training of the team to help them master the use of a wide variety of equipment, ropes, pulleys, litters and other specialized gear.

Rescuing people stranded on cliff fronts was their focus of practice Saturday. A climber might be injured or be unable to climb up any further or down for various reasons. What the team does is rigs its ropes above the climber and lower one or more team members to the victim. Required aid is given and the victim is removed from the cliff to safety. The victims can either be lowered or raised depending upon the circumstances.

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