The Tyrolean traverse or “tyro” requires using a rope to horizontally cross from one point to the other. It is often used to get through a safer spot over a body of water such as a raging river or a crevasse.
Various sources claimed that tyro originated in the late 18th or 19th century, where climbers in Tirol (a region in eastern Alps of Austria and Italy) initially developed this method to move out of the mountain ranges of Dolomites and the Kaisergebrige in the Tirolain Alps.
Nowadays, this technique has been widely used in several mountaineering activities such as caving, water crossings, rock climbing, technical tree climbing and mountain rescue.
If the cables, wires or ropes are already set, the following step by step instructions will help you how to safely DO the Tyrolean traverse:
- Clip the top handle of the bag using a carabiner or quickdraw (extender) before take-off. With your pack securely clipped and hanging on the cable, hook one end to the other to your belay loop. While moving across, the pack will be towed behind you.
Rationale: Carrying a heavy baggage while crossing can weigh your upper body down especially if you are hanging on a low gap between the rope and river.
- Your body should be closely clipped to the cable with an average extender of 12-15 centimeter webbing. The extender will bear your weight while the locking biner will serve as your backup.
Rationale: Make sure you follow the ideal length because if you are quite distant, the tendency is your arms will be overextended allowing you power and mobility to a smaller extent. When this happens, you will have to exert extra effort to advance.
- Position yourself. Firmly place both of your hands on the cable to a position where you will be pulling from. Then, haul yourself up that you are off the ground and swing one leg first around the stable wire. Until both legs are up, wrapped around the line and in a solid stance.
- While on a steady posture, release one hand and immediately fasten the quickdraw on your belay loop to the cable. Avoid creating twists on the webbing.
- Once you have been securely clipped, ensure your body is comfortable with the harness and you are neither swinging loosely nor your head facing the opposite direction of your destination.
- Start progressing at your own pace. To gain momentum, push straight out from the anchored tree or rock then start moving forward. Tug your body hand over hand. For speed and efficiency, most climbers let their feet hang down off the rope.
- Repeat the same procedure until you have arrived at your designated location safe and sound. A risk-free landing zone should be well-assured upon reaching the area.
- In getting off from the line, unclip the hook that was attached to your harness however leaving it still clipped to the rope. With legs still wrapped around the cable, release the clip of each tether with one hand. Release your legs in a well-directed manner and lower it to the ground.