DGD&D/18/34/64

Army Code No 71617

1996

MOUNTAIN OPERATIONS

PERSONAL SURVIVAL AND SAFETY GUIDE

PRESS HERE TO RETURN TO MAIN CONTENTS PAGE This publication replaces AC 71360 (Revised 1985) Prepared under the direction of the Chief of the General Staff

1996

CONDITIONS OF RELEASE (Applicable to copies supplied with Ministry of Defence approval to Commonwealth and Foreign Governments) 1. This information is released by the United Kingdom Government to the recipient Government for Defence purposes only. This information must be accorded the same degree of security protection as that accorded thereto by the United Kingdom Government. This information may be disclosed only within the Defence Department of the recipient Government, except as otherwise authorized by the Ministry of Defence. AMENDMENTS Amendment No Date of Amendment No Date of

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INDEX Index Introduction Safety Rules for Mountainous Areas Lost Procedure Emergency Bivouac Procedure Cold Weather Injuries Clothing and Equipment Carrying Loads in the Mountains Three Essential Knots for Climbers Avalanche Safety Improvised Stretchers Wind Chill Chart 1 2 3 4 5 6-13 14-15 16-17 18 19-22 23-24 25 1 .

e. This Aide Memoire has been produced as an elementary guide for all ranks involved on operations in mountainous areas. Knowledge. 2 . Everything you read in this Aide Memoire seems simple. Experience. 3. but in adverse conditions the problems are always greater. Practice. Fitness. Motivation. c. To operate efficiently in the mountains you need: a. d. 2. b.INTRODUCTION 1.

c. 2. Seek local advice. j. f. Stay as a group. compass and first aid kit. b. The mnemonic HAVERSACKS should be remembered as a safety guide when operating in the mountains. Conserve energy. Vituals in case of emergency. g. LEARN AND UNDERSTAND THE ABOVE RULES. d. Always wear the correct clothing and carry spares. Remember the international distress signal. a. e. Know your limitations. Ensure you carry the correct equipment and know how to use it.SAFETY RULES FOR MOUNTAIN AREAS 1. i. Have a map. 3 .

a.LOST PROCEDURE 1. the following procedure should be carried out. seek shelter until the weather improves. then select a recognised point on a major linear feature and send out a probing patrol. Check all recorded bearings and distances and recalculate the position. e. f. b. 2. Do not move without a very careful check on direction and mark the route carefully so that you can retrace your steps if necessary. In the event of being lost on a mountainside. Draw a circle around the last known position representing the maximum distance which should have been covered. If the weather is bad and the commander considers a move an unnecessary risk. Check calculations with someone else. 4 . d. c. Retrace your steps to the last known position if possible. Stop and consider the situation calmly.

g. avoid ridges as they are cold and windy. Put on any spare clothing. c. Insulate the body from the ground by sitting on equipment. Descend as far as possible down the mountainside.EMERGENCY BIVOUAC PROCEDURE 1. Find shelter in the lee. Eat emergency rations. b. Above all have a positive attitude. The following procedure should be adopted. Sit inside bivvie bag. Huddle together for warmth. e. a. 5 . 2. f. d.

* any sign of frost nip should be thawed immediately. PREVENTION AND CURES) AILMENT/ INJURY 1 Wind-chapping Wind Burn SYMPTOMS PREVENTATIVE MEASURES * adequate protection from wind and cold. * place fingers under armpits or groin. Frost Nip 6 . Treatment: * men should be paired off to inspect and examine each other. * numbness accompanied by blanching of the skin and tingling. TREATMENT 2 a. * lip salve and skin cream. * patient may return to work once warming complete. boots and head gear. * feet on another man's abdomen. If not treated quickly frost nip can develop. * good gloves.COLD WEATHER INJURIES (SYMPTOMS.

* affected part should not be massaged or rubbed. Superficial Frostbite SYMPTOMS PREVENTATIVE MEASURES TREATMENT * gradual rewarming. * do not attempt to thaw the affected part if there is a likelihood of the part freezing again. mottled after warming and * immediate warming if any will burn. sweet drinks. aching for several weeks. * scabs will fall off in time. * skin is white and frozen on * adequate protection from surface but soft when the cold. *` throbbing. * clothing should be removed from affected area. sting and swell.AILMENT/ INJURY b. * evacuate quickly. * regular inspections of * becomes numb. pressed. 7 . * treat casualty for shock . exposing red tissues. fingers and feet. * blisters may occur within 24-36 hrs and dry up leaving thick black skin.warm. extremity goes white. blue and face.

* affected parts turn black and shrivel. * large blisters in 3-7 days. * Evacuate as quickly as possible. lacking mobility. * swelling. skin blue or mottled grey. The only form of frostbite that can be treated on the spot is frost nip.AILMENT/ INJURY 3 Deep Frostbite SYMPTOMS PREVENTATIVE MEASURES TREATMENT * skin becomes yellowish. 8 . * blisters finally dry up and fall away leaving red tender areas and red sensitive area of new skin itches for many months. * shooting or throbbing pain. blisters and colour change around affected parts.

hot drinks and rest.collapse and coma. * remove wet clothes. * Evacuate as quickly as possible. 5 Carbon Monoxide Poisoning * proper ventilation. * physical resistance to offers of help. * abdominal pains. * do not run engines near.a second man in bag for added heat. * adequate clothing. * vomiting. * in bad cases . * finally . Warmth and Shelter Sequence. * clumsiness. * bursts of energy followed by lethargy. * artificial respiration if breathing and heart has stopped.AILMENT/ INJURY 4 Freezing Cold Injury Hypothermia SYMPTOMS PREVENTATIVE MEASURES TREATMENT * headache. * evacuate quickly. * 2 men with casualty at all times. A man may collapse with no signs. 9 . * dry clothing. * erect shelter. * slow mental reactions. * blurred vision. * regular meals. * irrational behaviour. * place man in sleeping bag.

nostrils and eyelids. * excessive bleeding. * apply dressing. 10 . * Cover both eyes. * shaving lotions with alcohol content should be avoided (they dissolve the skin's natural oils). 8 Battle Wounds * low body temp prevents blood. * lip salve. PREVENTATIVE MEASURES TREATMENT * wearing of tinted glasses. * common areas are lips. * gradual tanning. followed by intense pain and blindness.AILMENT/ INJURY 6 Snow Blindness SYMPTOMS Gritty sensation in the eye. * cover with clothing and padding. * stop the bleeding. * barrier cream. * Apply cold compress and reassure usually of 24 hrs duration with 100% recovery. 7 Sunburn * sun's rays are reflected from snow.

* swallowing difficult.AILMENT/ INJURY SYMPTOMS * bleeding increases chance of hypothermia through rapid loss of body heat. * keep patient warm. 9 Dehydration * headache. tongue and throat become parched. * tiredness. * mouth. * shock. fainting. dizziness. IV fluids if very dry. * urine becomes dark orange colour. * clothing loosened for circulation. PREVENTATIVE MEASURES TREATMENT * anti-shock treatment with fluids at body temperature (not cold fluids). * nausea. * allow plenty of rest. * liquids should be given gradually by mouth. * muscular cramp. * adequate warmth is essential. vomiting. * regular and adequate intake of fluids and salt. 11 .

* elevate the foot slightly to reduce swelling. * clean foot with soap and water and dry. * handle foot carefully . * legs and feet begin to swell. casualty looks ill and shocked. * numb and stiff feeling.AILMENT/ INJURY 10 Trench Foot SYMPTOMS PREVENTATIVE MEASURES * avoid prolonged immersion of feet in water. * evacuate quickly. * foot should be kept at about 0°C. TREATMENT * pain in the feet and legs. * do not rub and warm the feet. * cover foot with blanket over improvised cage. 12 . * pain and numbness may alternate.do not damage. * if pain is severe. * use footpowder. * give hot food and drink and aspirin to reduce pain. to avoid contact.

* stomach cramps. 13 Acute Ulcerative * swollen. * casualties should be put to bed if possible. painful and bleeding Stomatitis gums. * lack of Vitamin C and failure to keep teeth clean. * eating utensils should be sterilized.AILMENT/ INJURY 11 Constipation SYMPTOMS * similar to dehydration. nausea. * aspirin. * lethargy. fed a fluid diet and given antibiotics. 13 . PREVENTATIVE MEASURES * strict adherence to routine. * irritability. TREATMENT * medical attention should be sought if for more than 3 days. 12 Toothache * dental check-up before deployment. * good hygiene and regular teeth cleaning.

A balance has to be struck between operational equipment carried (weapons. etc) so that men are not overloaded and that sufficient and suitable clothing is worn for the operations envisaged. Military bergen Torch Knife and whistle Flask and bar ration Crampons and ice axes (to be issued if snow and ice covered areas of objective danger are to be crossed) Triple bowline abseiling harness (to be issued for abseiling) 2 x screw gate karabiners (to be issued for abseiling) Emergency rations Map and compass (minimum of one set per pair) Survival bag Mk 6 combat helmet. Individual Equipment.CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT 1. radios. depending upon the type of activities to be undertaken. Examples of special equipment for individuals and groups are as follows: a. Equipment. Clothing. General. Some special clothing and equipment may be required for mountain operations. An example of the special clothing list for individuals is as follows: Beret/woollen hat Jersey/fibre pile jacket Combat shirt Denims/windproof trousers Combat smock/windproof smock Combat boots Gloves Waterproofs 2. ammunition. 14 . 3.

Group Equipment Sleeping bag per 10 men Sleeping mat per 10 men Poncho per 10 men Tent per 10 men Helicopter panels per 10 men Ropes as necessary (11mm/No 4 nylon) Specialist clothing equipment as appropriate Avalanche probes Radios (one with each sub unit) 15 .b.

The shape of the load is kept as flat as possible. 10 minutes rest in the hour is recommended and for loads over 60 lb. Adjustment of Straps. In packing a load the centre of gravity should lie between the shoulder blades and close to the back. Operations in a mountain terrain require stores and equipment to be manpacked across steep slopes.CARRYING LOADS IN THE MOUNTAINS 1. Techniques of Packing a Bergen 2. Shoulder straps should be adjusted so that the pressure of the waist band is not taken in the small of the back. During short rests it is wise not to remove heavy loads from the back but to support it on a bank or rock. Technique of Carrying Loads 3. a. but on the pelvis. The points given below cover the packing and carrying of loads. 5 minutes every half hour. For loads up to 55 lb. Rests. Bulky loads should not be as heavy as compact ones. a. e. 16 b. . The object is achieved in the following method. Long objects are carried vertically. The following measures should be adopted when carrying loads. b. c. Heavy objects are placed high up. d. The heavy objects are placed close to the back. not horizontally.

e. During porterage training loads should be heavier than operational loads. Training Loads . A long route with an even surface is to be preferred to a short one leading over broken or excessive steep land. d. Speed should be adjusted to the gradient so as to avoid laboured breathing.c. Speed and Rhythm. Otherwise the pace should be rhythmical and regular. 17 . Selection of Route.

which is still a safe knot. 3. 18 . A more effective knot than the overhand for forming a waist loop. Figure-of-8 Loop. An overhand tied in a doubled rope provides a loop for belaying or for a waist loop. 2. It can be easily untied after loading. Overhand Knot Used to tie--off a loose end of rope after a bowline or other knot has been tied. Overhand Loop.THREE ESSENTIAL KNOTS FOR CLIMBERS 1. Any mistakes in tying it results in an overhand.

l. c. Keep clear of accumulation areas during and immediately after snow storms. b. d. The following basic rules apply: a. f. Fracture commonly takes place on the convex part of the slope. Never travel alone. The most dangerous slope angles are between 30 and 40 degrees. Never expose more than one of the party to risk at any given time. Keep up high and avoid being the trigger which starts the slide. i. Avalanche slopes that run out into gullies where the debris can pile up are especially dangerous. Avoid cornices and the slopes below them. Do not assume that the passage of another is proof that the slope is safe. 19 . k. Thin forest offers poor protection. Take local advice and obey all avalanche warning notices. g. Lee slopes are particularly prone to soft slab avalanches. Most avalanche accidents are triggered by their victims.AVALANCHE SAFETY 1. m. but below the tree line areas are generally safer. Protection. Find out the recent weather history. h. e. j.

d. Cross one at a time. heavy snow balling. 2. Secure your combat jacket hood over your nose and mouth if possible. such as booming of snow. . Go downhill on foot rather than ski. It is generally more stable than other slopes and the higher you are the less chance there is of being buried. Cross high and if possible on a CONCAVE slope. f. Sudden increase in temperature after a snow fall. Action when Crossing a Potential Avalanche Slope. Loosen rucksack straps and be prepared to shed any other impediment. Be observant of warning signs. o. fresh avalanches from the boots or skis. Note particularly any weak layers. a. especially when a dry wind creates an avalanche danger. Snow takes 2-3 days to settle. The deeper the snow the greater the danger. Study layers of snow by digging a snow pit. Never assume that the passage of another party is proof that the slope is safe. Loosen ski bindings and take hands out of ski pole straps. Go straight down rather than make a descending traverse. g. c. p. q.n. They may well be the first pressure on the trigger. and longer if the weather is cold and the area is out of the sun. e. An accumulation rate in excess of 25 mm per hour leads to avalanche danger. 20 b.

d. Keep your mouth shut. Two things are paramount: (1) (2) An air space and A position near the surface. c.. Action if caught in an Avalanche a. whether you are at the top. If swimming movement is possible. and the head up.. It may be advantageous to work out of the side of the avalanche. it seems a double action back stroke is most effective with the back to the force of the avalanche. A good skier may be able to ski out of danger. Delay your departure as long as possible. bottom or middle or to one side and where your best line of escape lies. A supreme effort should be made in the last few seconds as avalanche loses momentum and settles. There is no clear cut procedure. In powder avalanche cover the mouth and nose with some clothing and form an air space to breath in. g. Above all . e. 21 j. Make a quick assessment of the avalanche. h. . b. DO NOT PANIC. Ride out as best you can and save your greatest effort for the last few seconds.5 m or more). f. The chances of survival are greatly reduced if buried deep (1. Establish orientation by spitting and then try to dig slowly to the surface.3. Remove rucksack and skis (these should already be in the quick release position on suspect ground). The more you let past you at the start means the less will bury you at the finish.

Mark the position of where the victims were engulfed and where they or any equipment was last seen. Finally a fine probe search should be carried out if the victim or victims have not been found. Speed is of paramount importance in any avalanche search operation. Few victims are brought out alive after two hours or more in the snow.4. A search of the debris must be made for any sign of the victims or their equipment. e. d. 22 . If nothing is found then repeat the search. The line between the two points will indicate the direction of flow. c. No longer than half an hour should be spent on this search. Avalanche Search. A coarse probe search must then be instituted. b. a. The chances of survival are greatly reduced as burial time increases. Send for help if possible.

Piggy Back: People Required .Nil Comment .Rope and padding.One Equipment and MeansRucksack and padding casualty sits on padding.Depends on shape of sack One-man Split Rope Carry : People Required .One Equipment and Means .Exhausting Rucksack Carry: People Required . At the outset it should be understood that improvised "carries" and "stretchers" are of short range value. It would be exhausting and possibly dangerous to attempt a long evacuation by such methods. b. a. 23 . legs through rucksack straps Comment .Moderately comfortable.One Equipment and Means . The main requirement is in moving an injured person to a more sheltered area or in evacuating someone with relatively minor injuries. c.IMPROVISED STRETCHERS Introduction 1. Casualty sits on padding with coils of rope. Comment .

d. Split into two over outside shoulders of carriers.Rope and padding. Casualty sits on rope (padded) in between. Two-man Split Rope Carry: People Required .Two Equipment and Means .Not good on rough terrain. 24 . Comment . Unstable fore/aft.

2 8.7 -3 -12 -21 -30 -38 -46 -55 -64 LOW RISK OF FROSTBITE HIGH RISK OF FROSTBITE VERY HIGH RISK OF FROSTBITE 25 .3 0 22.3 -1 26 -2 -11 -19 -28 -36 -44 -53 -61 -12 -20 -29 -37 -45 -54 -63 30.WIND CHILL CHART WINDCHILL FACTOR THE RISK OF FROSTBITE ON BARE SKIN WIND STRENGTH BEAUFORT SCALE WIND MPH +10 +5 0 2 3 4 4 5 6 6 7 CALM LIGHT BREEZE GENTLE " 0 4.3 -3 MODERATE GALE 34.8 13 10 9 5 2 5 3 -2 -1 -1 -3 -9 -7 -7 9 AIR TEMPERATURE -12 -18 -23 -29 -12 -18 -23 -29 -15 -21 -26 -32 -34 -40 -46 -51 -34 -40 -46 -51 -38 -44 -50 -56 -50 -57 -64 -71 -58 -65 -73 -80 -63 -71 -79 -87 -67 -76 -84 -92 -70 -79 -87 -96 -72 -81 -90 -98 -73 -82 -91 -100 -16 -23 -30 -36 -43 MODERATE " " FRESH STRONG " " " " " -6 -14 -21 -29 -36 -43 -50 -8 -16 -24 -32 -40 -47 -55 -9 -18 -26 -34 -42 -51 -59 17.