Exum Mountain guides provided a tailor-made course of instruction for 14 personnel from SEAL Team THREE in March 2009. The goal for the course was to provide training in the following skills: basic rock climbing, mountain rescue, contingency planning, movement through rough terrain, high altitude first aid, and mountain navigation. The guides emphasized safety during all evolutions, and they stressed the use of simple and effective techniques that minimized equipment and maximized efficiency. Most of the SEAL personnel did not have any prior climbing experience prior to attending the course. Exum guides developed and instructed a two week course that progressed incrementally and culminated in a 20 hour non-stop Field Training Exercise (FTX). The FTX was an excellent test of the skills that had been learned throughout the course: rough terrain movement, route finding, link-up procedures, mountain navigation, multi-pitch rock climbing, contingency planning, casualty evacuation, nighttime movement, and teamwork. The high altitude environment is one of the most challenging environments to work in, and the training provided by Exum Mountain Guides drastically increased the participants’ ability to move safely through the mountains and to deal with any sort of contingency. The guides from Exum were extremely professional and demonstrated the highest levels of expertise in all aspects of mountain movement. I would strongly recommend this course to any military unit that is looking for comprehensive and professional training that covers all aspects of working in the mountain environment.
- Task Unit Commander, SEAL Team THREE -