The Petzl Rope Trip is everything you would expect from Petzl. Having attended GRIMP Day in the past and seeing the type of event Petzl can put on, we were not disappointed with the Rope Trip.
This event is held every two years and this version on April 1 – 4, 2016 in SLC, Utah was only the third edition (the first event being held in France and the second in Sweden). The Rope Trip is a direct take off from Petzl’s RocTrip however specifically for the pro side of the business. It is interesting to note the strides the pro side (access, rescue, etc) has made in the past 8 or 10 years. For companies such as Petzl who used to depend on the recreation side to help support the pro side of the business, it is now pretty much flipped around – the pro side is the foundation.
The Rope Trip event consists of 31 teams, each with 3 members. This year there were teams from 16 countries competing including the USA, Canada, Germany, Poland, Russia, France, Austria, Columbia, Sweden, UK, Finland, Taiwan, Singapore, Mexico, Spain and Switzerland. In the preliminaries, each member has to complete an individual event and the team completes one team event.
During last year’s GRIMP Day competition I met Jay Chen who had come to Belgium to visit us. He is the owner of a company called AIRAS, providing training for rope access workers and rescue teams in Asia.
Jay had already organized one rescue challenge in Taiwan called Ch’iao (The bridge ). He asked me to join him and his team for the second edition held this month.
This event takes place in the middle of Taiwan, in the mountains. The concept is to use bridges to provide a sense of elevation.
The Ch’iao event is held across two days.
The first day is an 100 m ascend race competition . You have to climb (attached with your buddy ) and pass knots (one on each work rope ). This race is an open race to all ropes access specialists (tree climbers, rope access workers, firefighters and rescue personnel).
I participated in this race along with my partner Damien of Petzl Asia. It was physical! Your equipment has to be prepared and you have to have excellent coordination with your teammate. It was a very good experience ! ! !
The second day was devoted to the rescue. 4 tests were organized.
Test 1 : The same location as the 100 m ascend competition. The teams had to rescue a patient from the bottom of the valley back up to the bridge.
Test 2 : One patient was hanging on the bridge cables. The mission was to access the victim and then have him descend to a secure area.
Test 3 : One patient is laying in the riverbed. Bring him back up to the bridge.
Test 4 : An intervention for a patient hanging on a highline.
In my opinion, Jay and his team have done a wonderful job! This was a fantastic event with excellent organization. 11 teams took part in Ch’iao (10 from Taiwan and 1 from Hong Kong ).
Participants were very interested in engaging other teams to exchange techniques and experience.
Ch’iao has a very nice future and I hope to see teams coming from all over the world for the next edition.
For the past three years 6 firefighters from Metro Vancouver Canada fire departments and a BC Ambulance Paramedic have competed in the GRIMP Day (www.grimpday.com) competition in Namur, Belgium. The team is sponsored by Arc Teryx (www.arcteryx.com), PMI (www.pmirope.com) and Ronin Rescue (www.roninrescue.com). This does influence some of the gear used, however all gear was picked by the team prior to deployment and the providers were sourced out, not the other way around.