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.
The SPRAT conference this year was held in conjunction with the Petzl Rope Trip and I am sure Salt Lake City, Utah didn’t know what hit it. Rope Access Technicians from 17 different countries were in attendance at both events.
The SPRAT conference took place on the Thursday and Friday (with other committee meetings and evaluator standardization occurring earlier in the week). Day 1 of the conference had different committee meetings. If you have ever sat on any committees or gone to organizational meetings – well this is pretty much the same. It was great however to see some of the proposed upcoming changes to the way SPRAT operates. There were some very active debates around level 2 and level 3 supervisory roles on site as well as required hours and training to obtain each level (don’t worry nothing has changed….yet). As the society grows more changes will occur as SPRAT works to meet the demands of its membership. It is interesting to note that SPRAT is still a consensus based organization. As such, with the growth there are barriers to speedy changes. Should consensus be maintained among the members however it will create codes of practice that are universally accepted.