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COMRU Surface Practice, Moor Side Crags, Glenridding, (20/09/09).

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A number of COMRU members gathered this morning for a much looked forward to through trip in Greenside mine. Just as people were starting to get kitted up, Paul went up to the Lucy Tongue door to check that the lock was working, he came back with a laminated sign stating that the locks had been changed, wonderful that the powers that be let the rescue team know.

" $%**^%£ "£^**&^%^£$%£$* " to put it mildly. In a last ditched attempt to see if a key could be obtained a rather steaming Colin drove down to the parks office - no joy. Up on his return it was decided that the best bet would be to have a surface practice day on the crags opposite the Greenside mine site. There were some anchor points there and 3 or 4 ropes could be put into use.

When we got to the crags, after a rather steep climb, the face was rigged up with 4 ropes. Pros and cons of the various anchor points, deviations and knots were discussed. Once the ropes were in place we did a bit of abseiling and prussiking up and down the face - took me a little while to go over the edge - being underground in the pitch black does cover up a multitude of sins! Afterwards some practice was done on self rescue techniques: a) recovering an unconscious casualty stuck on a rope with the rescuer having to prussik up underneath them on the same rope, b) abseiling down alongside an unconscious casualty and then transferring over to bring them down. Once these funs things were finished with it was lunch time, had outside for a change with sunny autumn weather.

After lunch we started to have a number of sessions on hauling and lowering a casualty along the crag face. Scenarios were: a) hauling up a casualty with an attendant on the same rope (very hard work, ending up in a 9:1 pulley system), b) hauling up a casualty with an attendant on a separate rope, c) lowering a casualty with an attendant on separate ropes, d) lowering of a casualty on their own.