High angle rescue involves working around and on vertical or near vertical faces where rope systems are essential for safety and often needed for travel. In a typical scenario, the rescuers will rappel to access the patient, and use a mechanical advantage system to raise them to a point of safety. These scenarios frequently require more complicated techniques like tyrolean traverses, high lines, or lead climbing for more efficient patient access.
Low Angle (Scree) Technical Rescue
Low angle rescue involves working in situations where travel by foot is possible, but there is still risk of injury if a fall were to occur. Rope safety systems are used to prevent injury, and to aid in moving the patient. Albuquerque Mountain Rescue Council uses specialized equipment such as high strength, lightweight collapsible titanium litters and litter wheels to allow rapid, safe evacuation of ill or injured parties over the rough and varied terrain of the Sandias and other mountains in New Mexico.
Winter Technical Rescue
Technical rescue during winter involves all the complexities of high and low angle rescue, with the added risks and challenges of deep snow, ice and hostile weather conditions. Albuquerque Mountain Rescue Council uses the SKED stretcher and other smooth bottom transport devices to allow rapid and safe evacuation over snow, ice, and varied terrain. We can place ice screws or snow anchors, and will use crampons, ice axes, skis or snowshoes when needed for safe and rapid travel.
While avalanche is not perceived to be a common problem in the mountains of New Mexico, there are many areas in our state where avalanche can and does present a problem. Even the Sandias, Albuquerque Mountain Rescue Council members have documented evidence of small avalanches. We have many members who are AIARE level 1 & 2 certified in Avalanche safety. We are equipped with transceivers and other equipment to safely conduct avalanche rescue/recovery or operate in avalanche-prone terrain.
Our technical and medical skills are not helpful unless we can locate the people who need our assistance. Albuquerque Mountain Rescue Council is used a variety of techniques to locate search subjects day or night. We use two way radios, GPS units, computer-generated maps, and traditional orienteering skills to navigate in the back county and search efficiently.
Wilderness Medical Care
We are one of a small number of wilderness search and rescue teams that is capable of providing advanced life support (ALS) and higher level emergency care. Under the leadership of Dr Daryl Macias, MD, our medical director, we have specialized protocols and equipment to provide great care to our patients, even under challenging circumstances. We have a large number of EMT’s, paramedics, a consulting pharmacist and several physicians active on our team.