FTL Weekend Two: BUD DUB

It sounds bizarre.

Perhaps it is a new kind of bubble gum.

You have to learn a couple new knots in order to do it and you really have to put your whole body into it.  Just don’t get too wrapped up or you might not get out of it.

What is this BUD DUB thing?

BUD DUB is simply a set of letters to help a search and rescue team remember the order in which to move on a belay system:

When you are moving a team downhill you B-U-D

  1. Belay – That’s the nice lad with the rope wrapped behind his bottom
  2. Uphill rope handler – keeps the rope from getting tangled and watches for the end
  3. Downhill rope handler – looks for the next big fat tree to belay around

When you are moving a team uphill you D-U-B

  1. Downhill rope handler – helps pull up the slack for the belayer
  2. Uphill rope handler – looks for the next big fat tree to belay around
  3. Belay (where you do all the hard work)

I would love to give y’all a nice detailed description of such a wonderful workout, but I have found that the fantastic folks at Shenandoah Mountain Rescue Group already did the work for me. Check out belaying for Search and Rescue at their website.

Belaying is used for safely moving a team of people and/or a litter with a patient up or down a steep slope using ropes and climbing equipment.  I call it “The Flabby Arm Exerciser.”  Trust me, if are not sure if you need to do more pullups, belaying a few turns will answer your question.  My arms hurt just writing this post!

I found belaying for a team moving downhill was as easy as it looked.  Belaying for a team uphill is hard on your body and is SLOW.  One of our instructors simulated a team at the end of the rope walking up hill.  He was walking so slow, slugs must have been flashing him rude gestures as they sped by. While in the belay position, I was pulling rope up so fast I figured the man must be jogging up the hill.

Every once and a while the instructor being “pulled” up the hill would fall down, on purpose.  The aching belayer would need to immediately thrust his hand holding the rope towards the ground and against his thigh acting as a brake.  I was surprised on how easy and effective this was.  I imagined a falling team tumbling down a hill would jerk me off my feet and pull me around the tree to drag down the hill after them.  Mechanical Physics is a pretty nifty thing to experience first hand.  Friction and pulleys really are your friends.

I had a great time with the other FTL students practicing BUD DUB fire drills along a snow covered hill behind a school.  I still have the rope stains on the back of my pants to prove it.

Too bad I forgot my sled.

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