Orientation to Cave Rescue (OCR) and Vertical Training

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Great Basin Resource Center

Great Basin Visitor Center

Baker, NV 89311

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Orientation to Cave Rescue

a technical course presented by the Western Region of the


of the National Speleological Society

April 18-19, 2015

Great Basin National Park - Baker, Nevada

About the Seminar

The NCRC’s Orientation to Cave Rescue (OCR) is an intensive two-day introduction to the science and management of cave rescue operations. Led by a team of highly qualified instructors, the techniques and skills you will learn from this seminar may be directly applied to cave rescue scenarios across the western states. Day 1 will include class sessions and surface exercises designed to teach a wide range of concepts and skills unique to cave rescue. Day 2 will deliver an underground mock rescue and debriefing custom-designed by the instructors to test and challenge your new skills.

Vertical Training

a technical course presented by the Western Region of the


of the National Speleological Society

April 17, 2015

Baker, Nevada

About the Training

This vertical training will focus on two components: Single-rope techniques (SRT) in the morning and basic haul/lower skills in the afternoon. The training is appropriate for all skill levels. NCRC instructors will be available to help students learn or refine their climbing and rappelling skills, including doing changeovers and preparing for Level I weeklong entry skills (http://caves.org/commission/ncrc/national/NCRC_Student_Area/L1_EntryPrepPkg_HO_v140308.pdf.). In addition, a rebelay course will be set up to hone SRT skills.

In the afternoon, students will practice hands-on haul and lower skills on nearby cliffs using belays. These skills will include 2:1, 3:1, and 4:1 raises. First-time students will begin learning these skills, while more experienced students will be able to practice in team leader roles. The curriculum from the NCRC Level I haul and lower class will be used. This is an excellent introduction to these skills as well as a useful reminder for those students interested in the Small Party Assisted Rescue Class (with one to be held June 11-14 in Lund, NV).

The vertical training and OCR can each be taken separately or they can be combined.

About the NCRC

The National Cave Rescue Commission is an internal organization of the National Speleological Society. It serves as the society’s representative on issues of cave rescue training and operations. By design, the NCRC is not an operating cave rescue team. Rather, its mission is to provide training and development opportunities for persons and organizations engaged in cave rescue activities. Thus, while many of the volunteers associated with the NCRC perform rescues, they do this as members of their local rescue squads, civil defense units, or cave rescue groups. The main focus of the NCRC is development and maintenance of a national curriculum in cave rescue operations. It maintains a cadre of qualified instructors, who deliver cave rescue training programs at the national and regional levels.

Each student will need:

1. HELMET. A caving or climbing helmet is preferred. Modified construction type helmets with good chinstraps are acceptable.
NO broad brimmed helmets.

2. LIGHTS. Three dependable, independent sources are required. Each must be capable of getting you out of the cave and must provide ample light to see. Each should be rugged and at least one, preferably all three, must be helmet mounted.


4. GLOVES. Good leather or at least leather palm work gloves are a must.

5. BOOTS. Sturdy, lug soled, lace-up type boots with good support.

6. FOOD. Quick energy, ready to eat like trail mix, candy bars, small can of beans, fruit, etc.

7. WATER. Good water bottle or an army surplus canteen.

8. SMALL PACK. Items 2,6,7,9 and 10 go into this pack as well as extra batteries, bulbs and a note pad with short wooden pencils in Zip Loc bags.

9. GARBAGE BAGS. At least two 30-33 gallon size.

10. PERSONAL FIRST AID KIT and SUPPLIES including knife and whistle.

Some people find 20’ of tubular one-inch nylon webbing and a couple of locking D carabiners handy, but they are not required.

For the vertical training, also bring:


• Sewn seat harness and ascending system that includes:

• at least two gripping points of attachment above the waist

• mechanical ascender attached to the seat harness that can be manipulated with one hand

• a tether attached to the seat harness with a carabiner(non-lock OK) on the free end, independent of an ascender

• approved descent devices include standard rack, 4-bar micro-rack with hyperbar, bobbin with safety carabiner, or Rescue Eight with ears

• at least 4 extra carabiners

Travel Directions

Friday morning vertical training will begin at the Snake Valley Volunteer Fire Department, located in the town of Baker on Etchebarren Avenue and Elko Street. Sessions will start promptly at 8:30 am PDT. Please plan to arrive 15 minutes early for registration.

Saturday OCR seminar will begin at the Great Basin Resource Classroom next to the Great Basin Visitor Center just north of the town of Baker. Class starts promptly at 8 am; please plan to arrive 30 minutes early for registration.

From U.S. Highway 6 & 50, turn south on Nevada State Highway 487 and travel 5 miles to Baker, NV.

Accommodations & Meal Plan

Camping is included in your registration fee for Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights at Great Basin National Park. Local hotel accommodations may be found at your own expense (see www.greatbasinpark.com). Night temperatures are usually cool in April. Freezing conditions and/or snow may be experienced. Meals are not included in your registration, so please plan accordingly. There are a couple small convenience stores located in the town of Baker, Nevada and six miles away at the Border Inn. Local restaurants are available for breakfast and evening meals. For more about local businesses, see: http://greatbasinpark.com.

White Nose Syndrome

Due to concerns about the spread of White Nose Syndrome, Great Basin Nationl Park requires all visitors who enter caves in the park (other than the tourist trail in Lehman Cave) to decontaminate all gear to FWS standards. You will be required to provide a signed certification about the status of your gear. This decontamination policy includes all clothing, footwear, and caving gear entering the park. Decon stations will be provided at the end of the training. For the latest decontamination standards, see: https://www.whitenosesyndrome.org/topics/decontamination

For the complete registration form, see http://caves.org/region/western/Docs/OCR2015_NV_Registration.pdf

Sorry, no refunds.

You can find information about upcoming small party rescue training in Nevada at: https://spar-nevada.eventbrite.com

For questions about registration, contact Deanna Stever at deanna.m.stever@gmail.com or 775-293-2466.

For questions about the seminar, or to register students under 18 years old, contact Gretchen Baker at c_g_baker@yahoo.com or 775-234-7357.

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Great Basin Resource Center

Great Basin Visitor Center

Baker, NV 89311

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