Two new crevasse rescue systems, both of them excellent, have recently been introduced. We tried them out at the latest seminar organized by the Slovenian mountain guides association (Dachstein 2016), and they both impressed me.
I prefer the Mammut Rescyou system for hauling a partner out of a crevasse, but in terms of glacier travel in general, the Petzl RAD system is more useful, since some of its components can be used for other purposes as well. It has a significant drawback, though: it is very expensive. Considering that all mountain guides already have ropes we can use for glacier travel, it is more convenient for us to buy the Mammut Rescyou system.
- lightweight (1.054 kg),
- complete package,
- considerable flexibility,
- static Kevlar rope,
- pulley ratio 1:3,
- parts of the system can be used for other purposes.
- small rope diameter (6 mm),
- expensive (295.90 EUR).
- simple to use,
- lightweight (0.400 kg),
- pulley ratio 1:6,
- price (120.00 EUR).
- requires a separate rope (30 m = 1.2-1.4 kg),
- difficult to replace cords after they get worn.
Both systems allow for very fast and efficient crevasse rescue, whereas the classical method of getting a partner out of a crevasse depends on the equipment we’re carrying, which differs from one occasion to the next. The Petzl system is more extensive and includes more pieces, while the Mammut system, having only one carabiner, is more streamlined. In both cases, we always end up using the same pieces of gear in rescue situations, which makes for quicker and more streamlined response. Various different pieces of gear used in classical rescue generally mean that the rescue times will be longer.
If you spend a lot of time traveling on glaciers it would certainly make a lot of sense to invest in one of these systems.