The Petzl Crevasse Rescue kit contains everything you need to extract yourself, or your partner should one of you stumble into a crevasse. The kit can be used either to form a z-pulley or as a pair of ascenders. If you're both carrying rescue kits you can also rig more complicated pulley systems for greater mechanical advantage and easier extraction.
Please note: this kit contains only the gear specific to crevasse rescue not items such as anchors, ropes etc. which will be carried anyway. Carrying this kit is no substitute for experience and will be of very little value without practice and ideally training in it's use.
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I am a ski tourer branching out into more general mountaineering and bought this prior to a summer ascent of the Wildspitze (3770m) across glacial terrain in Austria last month in horrendous weather. Prior to ascent we conducted a morning's crevasse rescue training.
Pros: Effective and efficient if time taken to understand its use properly. Allows for different methods of rescue using different mechanical advantages with the addition of some basic extra kit (extra prussiks and 'biners) to cater for different scenarios (victim incapacitated, etc). Provides a one-stop shop for kit. Excellent quality and enables you to assist with hoisting if you are the victim. Ideal for ski touring.
Cons: Extra kit that isn't really useful for much other than crevasse rescue, so not ideal for fast and light mountaineering, especially when other climbing will be involved. Difficult to assemble and use if not properly trained (can be downright dangerous). Not necessarily intuitive. Not essential but a nice to have. Go on a course!
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