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What to do in an alpine emergency

Rescue methods

First aid and rescue methods

A sunny day, compact rock and only a few more pitches to the summit. Everything is going as planned. But the situation turns on its head in seconds: A short moment of carelessness, a wrong step or an unfortunate incident can lead to a serious accident for the rope team. Small errors rarely go unpunished in the mountains. That’s why well-founded first aid expertise is of paramount importance for any mountain climber.

In this chapter, we’ll look at the theoretical foundations for lifesaving emergency techniques. This includes an emergency algorithm that first responders can use as a guide. It encompasses in-depth first aid expertise and improvised mountain search and rescue on the rock face.

It should be noted that first aid begins during preparation. A first aid set, bivi bag, cell phone, helmet and emergency card should be included in every climbing backpack. This ensures the responder has what the injured person needs.

NOTE: The theoretical foundations are by no means a replacement for comprehensive first aid training. All alpine climbers should have learned and practiced practical first aid techniques on a first aid course!