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Devils Tower staff attend rescue training


December 1, 2022

courtesy NPS/Bianchi

Devils Tower National Monument staff during their recent training.

Last month, Devils Tower staff attended a high-angle rope rescue course. This course was instructed within the monument by "Rigging for Rescue" out of Ouray, CO.

The two-week seminar included detailed instruction on high-angle rescue systems and how to use technical equipment for practical use. 

The first week was fundamentals of rope rescue, followed by self-rescue and small teams response during the second week. Throughout the training, they dedicated many hours to rescue scenarios.

These practice sessions culminated with how to rescue an injured person from the top of Devils Tower. In this scenario, they used hundreds of meters of rope and a guiding line aerial ropeway suspension system. This system utilizes pullies and rope friction devices to safely and efficiently move an individual from the danger of cliffs and steep slopes to a more level area suitable for the team to carry them out.  

"With the three to five thousand people climbing the Tower every year, we need to be ready, and this seminar was a big step in the right direction. Keeping up with a training regimen is vital to keep our skills sharp. It's not if but when we will be putting these types of skills to use to save a life" says Will Butler, the Search and Rescue Coordinator and Park Ranger at Devils Tower. 

Most search and rescue incidents at Devils Tower National Monument involve injuries from heat exposure in the summer or slips, trips or falls along our trails. Whether you plan to climb the Tower or stroll along the paved Tower Trail while visiting the park, remember to come prepared with food, water and proper equipment while recreating.


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