A fall victim can haul himself out of a crevasse using this method – which makes it suitable for two-man rope teams, for situations where building a solid anchor is impossible or when other members of the rope team do not have the expertise to execute a crevasse rescue using the hauling or pulley techniques. The self-rescue has two phases: In phase 1, you climb little by little towards the lip of the crevasse using the Prusik technique. In phase 2, you switch to a self-pulley system to climb over the lip of the crevasse.
For this self-rescue method you will need two Prusik loops of 180–250cm, one HMS carabiner and two identical snap carabiners.
Self-ascending and setting up a foot loop
To create a system for self-ascending with a Prusik, tie a Prusik loop around the rope with an over hand knot directly beneath the Prusik. The ends of the accessory cords are to be tied into the belay loop on the harness using an over hand knot. Now clip a carabiner into the loop of the over hand knot beneath the Prusik hitch. The sling is the ideal length if it grabs the rope when your arm is outstretched.
A second, longer Prusik sling serves as the foot loop. Tie this to the rope with a Prusik hitch just below the leading Prusik loop, and adjust its length for optimum leverage – you should be able to get your foot in with your knee fully bent.
Pulley at the lip of the crevasse
The lip of the crevasse is where the rope has normally cut deep into the ice and firn and can no longer be climbed over using the conventional Prusik method. For this reason, it is necessary to set up a self-pulley system
First, clip out of the foot loop and prepare the redirect carabiner on the rope, as well as a reverse lock on the harness.
For the reverse lock or Garda hitch, clip two identical snap carabiners in parallel into the belay loop on the harness. Now clip the rope into the two carabiners from above, bring it back up and then clip it a second time into the top carabiner, so that the hauling rope now runs between the two carabiners. The hauling rope is now redirected through the upper carabiner of the leading Prusik. The rope can be pulled through in one direction, but is locked by the Garda hitch in the other direction – this enables you to haul yourself out of the crevasse by the self-pulley method.
Alternative: Micro Traxion
Here, too, a Micro Traxion is preferable as a reverse lock on the harness instead of a Garda hitch. This rope clamp with integrated pulley is used initially as the clamp for the foot loop. Once you reach the lip of the crevasse, take the Micro Traxion off of the rope and clip it into the belay loop on the harness. The hauling rope is then redirected around the leading Prusik above. You’ve now completed the self-pulley system with minimized rope friction.