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Thread: Risk Assessment/Management

  1. #1
    Bogley BigShot oldno7's Avatar
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    Risk Assessment/Management

    As our conversations turn to alternative anchoring and canyoning techniques, I find the overall excitement of the community contagious and dangerous. The reason these techniques have come around is mostly the pristine nature of the canyons that are being done, they are indeed pristine mostly due to remoteness.

    Therein lies the need for assessment both of the canyon's and what they present in the way of obstacles but maybe more importantly our groups and their ability to problem solve and if problem solving techniques are inadequate, the ability as a group to self-rescue.

    The current map being provided is a great tool. What that tool does is gives us an idea where a particular canyon is located. What it does not do, is give us a real idea of what to expect in those canyons.

    It's hard not to be in one of these canyons and think,"if I slip here, I'm wedged" Then what? Or--"if I slip crossing this silo and fall 30-40-50+ feet and fracture a leg or 2, then what"?

    I think part of the key is to be an accurate evaluator, both of the canyon and maybe more importantly your groups skills as a whole. I have only done a few canyons now with Ram but I would freely state, he may be the best evaluator and team builder in the community. It's important for us all to "accurately" assess our own skills and just as important, the skills of those in a canyon we trust.

    Now--as to the last 2 words of the last paragraph. I personally trust no one in a canyon. My reasoning is not disrespect but rather "I'm responsible for me"!!
    I freely inspect "experts" rigging, at times to their disgust. On the other hand, I "expect" others to check mine. We're ALL capable of a mistake, in a remote location, the cost of just one mistake is very high, whether it's your mistake or one of your groups mistakes.

    I would never discourage anyone from entering these canyons, indeed the rewards are high--equally as high is the risk. Be an evaluator and more importantly an honest and accurate one.

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  3. #2
    Hmmm, wise words, and still being new into canyoneering, I thank you for making me realize this once again. I

  4. #3
    Bottom Tier Superhero Iceaxe's Avatar
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    Just remember... mediocre medical care is at least 6 hours away...

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by oldno7
    I think part of the key is to be an accurate evaluator, ............................................maybe more importantly your groups skills as a whole.
    Great reminder and topic. It is very important to match your skills (individually and collectively) to the canyon you will attempt. This is what keeps me out of many of the canyons I want to visit. There are many canyons where competent leadership is sufficient with inexperienced canyoneers in tow, and others where every person needs to have certain skills.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by oldno7 View Post
    I freely inspect "experts" rigging, at times to their disgust. On the other hand, I "expect" others to check mine. We're ALL capable of a mistake, in a remote location, the cost of just one mistake is very high, whether it's your mistake or one of your groups mistakes.
    This is one of the best things that can possible be done to reduce risk, IMO. I feel it should never disgust anyone. I do it when I canyoneer. I picked up the habit from a climbing partner of mine... He would always ask me to double check everything (both our harnesses, knots, belay device, everything) to make sure it was rigger properly. This guy was trained and certified through a rather prominent organization... But still had a buddy check everything, and expected us do the same. Nothing wrong with double checking, even for experts.

  7. #6
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldno7 View Post
    As our conversations turn to alternative anchoring and canyoning techniques, I find the overall excitement of the community contagious and dangerous. The reason these techniques have come around is mostly the pristine nature of the canyons that are being done, they are indeed pristine mostly due to remoteness.

    ...
    Thanks Kurt. Well said.

    Tom
    ____________________________________

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