River Crossing Standards in Himachal Pradesh

In the last two lessons, you learnt about safety measures for rappelling and rappelling equipment (Rule 12-i). Today you will learn the next rule. The Himachal Pradesh Miscellaneous Adventure Activities (Draft) Rule 12-ii, 2016 specifies the techniques and various safety measures for river crossing.

2 Techniques for River Crossing:

  1. Flying Fox
  2. Tyrolean Traverse

These techniques require carabiners, pulleys, ropes, and seat harnesses for safe crossing. The ropes are tied to an anchor at the two ends of river. The ropes are fixed above the river.

Essential equipment and measures for safety

Helmets and Life Jackets

  • Helmet to avoid head injuries in case of accidents
  • All participants and guides shall wear a life jacket during river crossing. The buoyancy of the life jacket shall be at least 6.14 kilograms. However, the preferred buoyancy ranges from nine to ten kilograms. The jacket shall comply with norms laid down by (1) the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), (2) U.S. Coast Guard Type III, or (3) V/Committee of European Norms (CEN). The straps shall ensure that the jacket fits snugly.
  • Everyone shall wear the jacket correctly.
  • Do not use keyhole type and inflatable life jackets.
  • Everyone shall fasten the jacket securely before starting the river crossing trip.

Anchors, Bolts, Pulleys, Ropes…

  • Natural or artificial anchors on two banks of the river shall be bomb proof and strong.
  • The anchorage block shall be constructed underground. The minimum size of the block shall be 1.5x1x1 m, C.C. (1:2:4). The anchorage girder shall have round footing.
  • The abutment, the structure built at the end of a bridge, shall be built at least two meters ahead of the block.
  • High tensile (HT) grade bolts
  • The pulleys shall be of mild steel and shall satisfy the relevant Indian standards.
  • An additional steel wire rope with fiber core: The rope shall have a diameter matching the span and the amount of load to be transported. Every person crossing the river shall be attached to this rope as well.
  • The steel wire rope shall have fiber core of at least 12 mm in diameter. The core construction shall be either 6 x 19 (12/6/1) or 6 x 37 (18/12/6/1).
  • At least eight U-clamps shall be used for the additional rope. The clamps shall conform the related Indian standards.
  • The operators shall use static cabala rope that satisfies standards laid down by (1) Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and (2) Union Internationale des Association d’Alpinisme (UIAA). The rope must have international standard mark.
  • The commercial trip organizers shall use belay ropes with large pulleys satisfying the above three standards to ensure safety of adventure tourists.

Himachal Pradesh Aerial Ropeway Act, 1968

The trip organizers shall comply with the relevant clauses of the Himachal Pradesh Aerial Ropeway Act, 1968.

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