Why Use Vertically Speaking?

1. Vertically Speaking is not monogamous to any one rope industry.
We pull from mountain rescue, cave rescue, swift water, arborist and aerial rescue, fire-based technical rescue, and tactical rope operations. No single discipline has ALL the answers. One policy, standard, or dogma won’t necessarily fit all situations, even within a single industry.

Many of our solutions are hybrid integrations of several industries. The result is a truly unique skillset that virtually no one else teaching rope work can provide.

2. We teach “Have a reason for everything you do,” versus “Always do it this way.”
Environments and conditions vary widely, and sometimes change mid-operation. Ropes vary according to industry, region, country, and culture, and your anchoring, redundancy, and rope travel techniques will vary accordingly.

There is a difference between dogmatic redundancy and risk-assessment based redundancy. Ironically, the latter is typically just as safe as the former, but often less obvious because it is rigged internally, instead of with 2 of everything.

3. We aim to train technicians, not riggers.
If your team is only choreographed for 2-rope systems, or specific pieces of gear, you are by default limiting your team’s capability... which is fine, as long as you can guarantee your rescue conditions stay within those parameters. But rescues and extreme rope operations tend to be unpredictable and evolving, so we feel a diverse tool box is better than a lean one.

  • A “rigger” memorizes patterns and plays with “customary” gear, harnesses, ropes, and maneuvers. They can rig and perform, but their understanding of the underlying physics – and ability to problem-solve when “rigging bag 1” is not available – is somewhat diminished.
  • A “technician” has internalized the physiology of rope work, is fluent in rope travel, and can do nearly anything with anything. We urge our students to become masters – not just of their specific rope discipline, but in others as well.
  • The best rope lab for these techniques is NOT in a lab. It is in the real world. It comes from decades of experience, from technicians who actually performed these skills in these various industries. Our cadre has this kind of diverse, real-world experience, and are excited to share it.

SRT - Single Rope Technique

  • Single rope techniques are used extensively all over the world for many rope operations. This is a 2 day course designed to teach multiple rope skills using a single rope.
  • These skills can also be applied to all other rope skills, including rope access, tactical operations, and technical rescues.
  • Skills include vertical rope movement, horizontal movement, passing obstacles. navigating re-belays, deviations and edge transitions.

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Small Party Rescue

  • This advanced course is about using SRT techniques to move a patient with extremity injuries (or a restrained subject) with no additional gear other than what the rescuer has already on their harness.
  • It requires SRT proficiency, and an understanding of several rescue topics such as mechanical advantage, closed loop rigging, and counterweight techniques. (3 to 5 days upon request) Consider taking the SRT class.

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Tactical Rope Operations Program

  • Vertically Speaking is proud to offer a comprehensive, reality based program on tactical rope operations.
  • Our tactical instructors have integrated techniques and skills from MANY rope industries into a uniquely capable and diverse program that combines urban, rescue, mountain, cave-SPAR, and tree operations techniques. Each of these industries has techniques and tricks that can be utilized in various tactical situations, so long as the limitations of each technique is understood.
  • Combining techniques from these industries into hybrid solutions give our operators unique capabilities.

What is Tactical ?

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Arborist - Tree Operations

Trees present a unique challenge to workers, rescuers, and officers. They require bottom-up approaches almost by default. Bucket trucks are frequently not available. The skills of remote rigging with a throw line, and managing multiple types of vertical mobility systems in a tree is critical for safe operations or work.

Our courses focus on vertical mobility and intervention with other subjects. We do NOT cover tree care or chainsaw operations. (Contact ISA for more sources on this).

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Lightweight Mountain Rescue

Every technical rescue team and mountain rescue team has its go-to, pre-planned rescue system. But what happens if part of your planned system is missing?

What about remote venues such as high alpine, glacier, canyon, cave, etc.? Many teams will carry heavy systems to these venue out of fear of losing redundancy or safety factors. This course teaches how to utilize different rigging techniques and philosophies to enable a team to do more with less…WITHOUT sacrificing safety.

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Law Enforcment Mountain Operations - Including Tactical Tracking and Back Country Mobility

Most police academy’s do a great job in preparing officers for urban duty. But few teams have routine experience operating in remote wilderness, where the elements take a serious toll on officers, require different kit for duty gear, and present unique mobility challenges, such as water obstacles, vertical surfaces, snow, ice, cold, and just prolonged exposure to grueling mountain environments.

Tactical Tracking is also a major component to this type of operation.

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Next Steps...

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