Let your plans be dark and

impenetrable as night, and when

you move, fall like a thunderbolt.


Sun Tzu - The Art of War

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, mountain, and cave technical rescue; Small Party Assisted Rescue (SPAR), military / law enforcement, 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 to traverse any rope obstacle or edge / opening interface. It also allows deployment of our teams in ways seldom considered as options.

Vertically Speaking Tactical Rope Operations Training Program offers 5 standard courses for all levels of skill and operations. Our comprehensive core program of 3 levels is the most in-depth we offer. Based on agency needs, budget, and time availability, these can be combined or expanded as requested, but the basic recommended layout “full curriculum” is described below and recommended as a complete program. Each level has learning objectives associated with it, some of which are shared with other levels. T2 does have a certification skills assessment at its conclusion and passing this is required prior to work on T3 intervention skills.

For operators new to rope work, the Rappel Master course is a critical foundation building course for aspects of tactical rope operations. The Tactical Rope Operations Integrated Course (TROIC) is a hybrid course that offers reasonably experienced rope operators a chance to hone an array of skills garnered from the entire curriculum.

All levels address use of force considerations and integration with agency policy, as vertical operations put a unique twist on most use of force policies that are often overlooked. All levels except T1 include either an NLTA or live fire portion to help integrate tactical operations with vertical operations. Live fire portions are led by our partner company Six Six Solutions. Our cadre are experienced firearms and use of force instructors as well as rope operators.

TRM: Tactical Rappel Master: (32-40 hours per request)  This is an entry level course for those operators seeking to learn the fundamentals of rope travel, basic rigging, and inspection for safe operations. Basic knots and hitches are taught. Types of harnesses, descent control devices, ropes, connectors, PPE, and edge protection are covered. Rigging safe anchors to a variety of structures (manmade and natural) is covered along with contingency anchors. Conducting safety inspections of personnel and rigs is covered and tested.  Rappel techniques and belay techniques are covered over a variety of edges and include night rappel exercises. Emphasis is on repetitions to establish confidence and smooth, safe technique. Introduction to rope climbing systems, self-rescue, integration with tactical gear, and some bail out techniques are also covered. Course ends with 2 safety inspection exit exams (operator gear and rope anchor set up with undisclosed number of critical fails) which must be passed to achieve certificate.

T1: Vertical Operations Support: (4 days) This is for operators who may or may not be called to leave the ground, but can provide the rigging and ground support needed for a large majority of vertical operations. There is a lot such an operator can do to facilitate vertical operations without ever leaving a flat surface or going “over an edge.” Many military and SWAT schools offer a single Rappel Master course which is primarily about setting up anchors, safety inspections, rappelling programs and techniques for running standard SWAT confidence training, and perhaps a little bit of rope climbing and officer rescue, in terms of contingency anchor operation. Such courses are generally too “diluted” to be effective for true operator efficiency...combing rigging support, vertical mobility and some superficial interventions. The T1 course is something ANY officer can take and be a major support asset to any vertical operation. This should be STEP 1 for a tactical rope operator. You should not be deploying on tactical rope missions if you cannot fully rig, inspect, and trouble shoot the anchor, edge, and redirect challenges. Course test involves anchor rigging and safety inspections.

T2: Vertical Mobility: (4 – 5 days on demand) This is the work horse level, and is simply about making the operator “fluent on rope” while carrying their tools of trade, in all conditions, light or dark, wet or dry, on manmade or natural vertical mediums. That’s it…just rope travel….gaining access to a vertical location to perform work, observe, or make entry unopposed. It is akin to learning how to swim REALLY well before you become a lifeguard and fancy yourself a rescuer. Graduates of T2 should be able to negotiate virtually any rope obstacle, edge, entry point by themselves, and get themselves out of any problem or climbing system malfunction / jammed descender, etc. Course includes tree, structure climbing, cable and webbing ladder climbs, remote rigging, conduit / confined space operation, aide climbing, mask, and NVG / night operations. Arguably, any tactical rope operator going over an edge should be at least at this level. The Vertically Speaking SRT certification test is offered during this course.

T3: Vertical Intervention: (5 days)  This is the capstone level and deals with operators who are already fluent on rope at the T2 level or equivalent, and covers dealing with suspects on rope, conducting officer rescues, hostage / subject extractions via rope, protestor interventions, suicide jumper response, etc…in other words…..interfacing with other people on a rope or vertical medium. You do not dare do this unless you are an accomplished rope traveler or you are asking for disaster, just as a novice swimmer diving in after a drowning subject is asking for disaster. Course will begin with the SRT certification skills entry test to ensure T2 or equivalent skills have been retained. Course involves multiple role player supported exercise as well as a live fire portion.

TROIC: Tactical Rope Operations Integrated Course:  (5 days) Can’t decide? Or only have time / budget for a single course? If your team members already have basic anchor building and rappel master skills, our Tactical Rope Operations Integrated Course may be a good choice to quickly increase your skill sets over a wide spectrum.

This intensive weeklong course combines several learning objectives from all 3 levels of our core program into one integrated course. The emphasis is on developing SRT skills, but will also cover some contingency anchor building and rope deployments, and a few basic rope interventions, such as officer rescue, and basic system interventions with diminishing loops and counterweights. This does not have the same level of detail and depth as our full 3 level program, but covers the most critical and relevant portions of each. You can decide to follow up with more training later. The course can also be customized to your agency needs.

A basic entry skills test is required to show basic knot tying, and that students can perform a basic rappel and rope climb, changeover aloft from one to the other, and have a functional rope climbing system. Passing this entry skills test on day one is mandatory.  (Student must arrive with proper gear, and be able to perform basic rappels and ascents.)

Courses designed with the collaboration of  Six Six Solutions.

Six Six Solutions is a training and investigations firm specializing in new, strategic and impactful firearms training. Six Six Solutions has assembled the most elite military and law enforcement instructors to provide personalized training. The cadre is composed of recently retired federal law enforcement officers and special agents, retired Army Special Missions Unit Operators, Rangers, Special Forces, and SEALs. All cadre are seasoned professionals in a variety of disciplines. This melding of unique skills and backgrounds provides the pinnacle of opportunity for cultivating and enhancing our client’s skill set. Six Six also has instructors with experience in search and rescue and mountain rescue operations.