Can you imagine the possibilities? 600ft, that’s equal to almost two football fields turned vertically! You could easily climb the to the top of Red Rocks and have rope to spare! Or, you could be like the badass people at the Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue Team and give mother nature some good ole fashioned TLC baby! She ain’t too proud to beg!
Theses wonderful humans were in charge of cleaning up Multnomah Falls in Oregon, mission impossible style. We caught up with Marcel Rodriguez, the Rope Team (RST) lead and shot the breeze a little bit about the job. “The cleanup was at one of Oregon’s most visited and photographed locations. The area has great historical significance, so we were under very tight restrictions around access, technique, and possible damage.” Rodriguez said when we asked him about the gig. “One of our senior rope team members, Ken Snell, took the lead for planning. We spent 6 weeks planning the missions, which included multiple full-scale run throughs at a separate location. Once we had it dialed in, we assigned rotating duties to each member for each of the 8 missions. We arrived before dawn and had the first 6 missions completed by 10:30 AM with no incident and only minor disruption to the flow of foot traffic across the historic bridge. The bridge missions used a monopod setup for ease of access and minimizing any possibility of damage to the bridge. The missions were challenging for the attendants, due to the proximity of the waterfall to the rope.”
Rodriguez told us there were some challenges the RST team had to overcome with the setup. “The guiding line mission was interesting from several perspectives. The primary reason we were asked to come out was to recover a quadcopter drone that someone has flown into the side of the cliff about 75′ up, in plain view to visitors. To recover the drone, we needed to come in from 100′ above its location. That requirement posed several issues:
- There was no reasonable haul field at that location.
- The cliff is covered with moss, and any contact would leave visible scars.
- At the base of the cliff is a 40′ wide rushing river.
We decided to use a long guiding line so that the attendant could be lowered on a mirrored system while the guiding line was tensioned enough to keep him off the wall. Once the drone was recovered, the guiding line was tensioned and the attendant was moved horizontally approximately 200′ over the river and onto the observation platform. We had a load cell on the guiding line during the operation and the highest force we saw was 1.4 kN.”
The Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue team runs 100% off donations and uses those donations to help with its surrounding community. We really couldn’t think of a better home for that rope. Thanks again to Shawne Martinez for entering last years Rope and Rescue contest and spreading the love to his Search and Rescue team. There really is no end to the great things that can be done with 600ft of quality Sterling rope, so what are you waiting for? We have a new contest going down! Enter here by reading our blog post about lanyards during a rescue, comment with your thoughts, and boom, you’ve entered! Post a picture on Instagram tag us and take the #HaveStandardsDontCutLanyards pledge (and get another entry)!!