• AAA-BTBF Key Points
  • AAA-BTBF Details
  • AAA-BTBF Photos


(See Current RTR Open Enrollment Schedule for when/where this program is offered)

Read (or print) the most recent color information flyer on this seminar HERE



These two advanced ‘seminars’ are vastly different from any other that RTR offers as there is no over the edge nor on-rope activities.  Leave your full harness at home—instead bring your “critical thinking cap” and PPE. Both seminars are an immersion into a subject matter that is often overlooked in our other seven day “workshops”. Here, you will need a pencil, parallel ruler, scientific calculator, graph paper and a willingness to learn.  SEE CURRENT FLYER for further information on this Seminar. Also, the accompanying photo slider contains many photos and captions from previous AAA-BTBF seminars since it first kicked off in Jerome, Arizona in 2016.

The Advanced Anchoring Analysis Seminar will be mostly ‘barn floor’ physics while the more advanced physics using algebra and trigonometric calculations and functions will occur in the final program “Beyond The Barn Floor” (BTBF). Both seminars build on one another so plan on being at both to get the most out of the week. 

The Beyond The Barn Floor Seminar is a take off from the somewhat famous quote of Bible scholar and teacher/theologian, Donald Gray Barnhouse (1895 - 1960) "If you are going to be a success (in communicating the Gospel of Christ) get the hay down out of the loft, onto the barn floor, where the cows can get it."  The meaning is obvious. You must be able to thoroughly communicate the subject matter in order to make a difference. Hence, RTR’s fundamental approach. This quote has been used with much success by senior instructor, Reed Thorne, in relaying the importance of simple and effective communication regarding physics and other physical laws we are inextricably bound to. In the 3 day BTBF program, we leave the barn floor and climb into the "loft" with lessons on algebra and trigonometry for those seeking more understanding and depth to their teaching as instructors.

Both of these programs are only open to past RTR students so the update will be essential for those who are instructors of the RTR paradigm.  (NOTE: If you are applying for this seminar and are not a past student of Ropes That Rescue you may apply for entry however  permission for attendance is only granted by the lead instructor.)

Also, if you are a returning Ropes That Rescue AAA-BTBF student, we wish to offer you a special 50% off discount for attending again. Remember each AAA/BTBF is different each year so we welcome returning students.

Adavanced Anchoring Analysis Seminar (4 days)

Read (or print) the most recent color information flyer on this seminar HERE

  • Physics topics pick up where other RTR workshops leave off
  • Examines the role of friction and efficiency in greater detail:
    • Raising systems (Pulley systems)
    • Lowering systems (Friction appliances)
  • Reviews the effects of friction and efficiency on fall factors
  • Detailed look into anchor systems
    • Notation of anchors and anchor systems
    • Point anchor notation (Am, As, Ab) (Asf, Asff, Abf, Abff)
    • Linear anchor notation (Abt, Ao)
    • Multi-point anchor notation ; Sliding and fixed (Amp)
    • What constitutes "bombproof" in natural and artificial anchors
  • Brief look at anchor systems with 3 or more points (see slider)
  • Brief look at drilled anchors in concrete and rock
  • Reviews testing of various anchors and anchor materials
  • Begins with a review of "barn floor" physics concepts of various anchor systems
  • Dozens of RTR worksheets to help reinforce class concepts (some are home work)
  • Detailed anchor analysis of various high angle offsets
  • In depth look at tension and compression forces on rigging pods & bipods (and AHD's)
  • Often includes analysis of various student requested topics

Beyond The Barn Floor Seminar (3 days)
  • Overlap with AAA is seemless
  • Begins with a review of basic algebraic principles
  • Introduction to trigonometry and its role in rescue problems
  • Discusses the role of equilibrium in rescue problems
  • Examines complex multi-part rescue problems on the whiteboard
  • Derivation of numerous formulas applicable to technical rescue
  • Again, incorporates dozens of worksheets to aid in student understanding
  • Numerous comparisons of "barn floor" physics to "loft" physics
7 Days
(AAA = 4 days BTBF = 3 days)
12 Students or more
Mentally challenging
Classroom 70%, Practicals 20%

Prerequisites: PAST RTR STUDENTS ONLY (mathematics experience strongly recommended)

DISCOUNT: If you are a returning RTR AAA-BTBF student (in either Arizona or Maryland) we offer you a 50% off discount. 

Read (or print) the most recent color information flyer on this seminar HERE

Get: RTR Application
Go to: Registration Information
Find out tuition and when and where offered: See Schedule

  • Cartoon by Reed Thorne for Advanced Anchoring Analysis - Beyond The Barn Floor Seminar.

  • Mike Green is a Captain with the Montgomery County (Maryland) Fire and Rescue Department where he is currently the Station Commander of Fire Station 29. This station is one of two technical rescue stations, and houses the heavy rescue unit he rides and helped his department design.  He is also a member of Maryland Task Force 1, a FEMA US&R Team, where he serves as the Assistant Rescue Team Manager.  Although involved with many disciplines of technical rescue, Mike enjoys technical rope rescue very much.  He has taught thousands of hours of technical rescue courses for his own department and technical rescue team, the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute, FEMA’s US&R program, and at other venues.  Prior to becoming an official instructor for RTR, he acted as an assistant in a number of courses.

  • The Advanced Anchoring Analysis- Beyond the Barn Floor Seminar is held in either Arizona or Maryland. Reed Thorne is one of the 3 Lead RTR instructors for the AAA-BTBF in Arizona. At the Jerome Fire Department in Jerome, AZ, we have the good venue to test anchor loading with slow pull readings on each leg... The test our knowledge with mathematics indoors to verify. 

  • Luke Thorne tears it up on the Jerome Fire whiteboard with his math skills. Luke is a skilled math teacher at a charter school in Prescott, AZ

  • During the Jerome 2016 Advanced Anchoring Analysis Seminar an in depth look at the forces of compression and tension at work in an anchor pod (or A-frame high directional) constructed from the Arizona Vortex Multipod. 


  • Reed Thorne pulley system practical mechanical advantage whiteboard analysis on the Jerome Fire, AZ, whiteboard in the first 2016 AAA-BTBF.

  • During the Jerome 2016 Advanced Anchoring Analysis Seminar enjoying a good cold one at the Oak Creek Brewing Company around the fire pit after a demanding day, participants and instructors take the time to network and discuss aspects of the course in Sedona. (left to right, Michael Johns, Josh Mister, Jason Eberly, Logan McGrane (all of Montgomery County, MD Fire), Mike Green (RTR Lead Instructor is penultimate in the photo), and Blas Delgado of Texas. Of course, photo credit goes to Reed Thorne who was also present. 


  • Luke Thorne, AAA-BTBF Lead Instrcutor in the Jerome Fire truck bay going over anchoring.

  • During the Maryland 2019 Advanced Anchoring Analysis Seminar, a first look at the distribution of force on a symmetrical 3-point fixed anchor anchor system. 

  • RTR Lead Instructor, Mike Green has an interesting 2019 AAA-BTBF Maryland venue.  Multiple anchors angles can be demonstrated before confirming the actual forces with Enforcers. (See Next)

  • (From Previous) In this 2-part exercise, participants first practiced placing drilled baby angle pitons (commonly known as "drilled angles") into a concrete substrate.  Part 2 involved creating a symmetrical 3-point fixed anchor system from those pitons.  This led to a second look at the force distribution in this type of anchor system to confirm and reinforce the findings of the first system.  

  • The 2019 Advanced Anchoring Analysis Seminar in Maryland saw new testing through Mike Green.  To indeed take the investigation into greater detail, the fixed anchor system was changed to a distributing system (often called a load equalizing system).  This allowed participants to see how force on the anchors change when the system is not fixed.  Here, pulley's were used to eliminate friction in the system to produce more accurate results. 

  • Keith Thorne, RTR Assistant Instructor, leading discussions on the ultimate resulatant on a rigging pod using a large whiteboard with a pool cue and whitebaord marker during the 2017 AAA-BTBF in Jerome, AZ.

  • Mike Green has a very cool bolt pull out testing unit from Hydrajaws. During the MD 2019 Maryland AAA-BTBF, participants had the opportunity to look at the strengths and failure modes of various drilled anchors, including standard wedge bolts, removable bolts from both Climb-Tech and Petzl, heavy duty concrete screws, and pitons.

  • During the Maryland 2019 AAA-BTBF, a student raised the question of dynamic forces on anchors, particularly as they relate to belay systems and shock loads.  Mike Green took time out for a bit to examine the forces involved and how they can be calculated.

  • Mike Green whiteboard - Maryland 2019 AAA-BTBF: This white board analysis of 3 common high angle offset techniques began as a practical demonstration.  Partipants in this course set up each type of offset and took various measurments of distance, angles, and forces.  After compiling data, the systems were analyzed on the white board.  Finally, the data was compared and conclusions were drawn from the experiment.


  • During the 2016 Jerome, AZ Beyond the Barn Floor Seminar, Luke Thorne, BTBF Lead RTR Instructor, leads students through the calculations to determine which highline is holding the most force when comparing between the English Reeve and the Norwegian Reeve variations. 

  • Mike Green - During the Maryland 2019 Advanced Anchoring Analysis Seminar, participants examine the forces present in a vertical "A-frame" anchor pod, both tension and compression, utilizing digital tension and compression scales.  See next photo. 

  • See previous photo: By varying the angles of the A-frame and the various anchors, participants gain a thorough understanding of what to expect of similar systems in the field. 

  • During the examination of this concept, the anchor pod set up is manipulate d to show the "positive" and "negative" influence of tilting the anchor pod/AHD.

  • 2019 Advacned Anchoring Analysis - Beyond the Barn Floor Seminar Lead RTR Instructor Mike Green sitting in the middle. The AAA-BTBF Propeller Head Hats were an added bonus!

    Back Row, L to R

    Chris Miller,  Indian Land Fire Rescue, Lancaster, South Carolina
    Ron Miller, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Rescue Service, Rome, Georgia
    Zeb Lilly, Harrisonburg, VA Fire
    Chris Prestia, Frederick MD Fire
    Matt Karas (RTR Assistant Instructor)
    Clarence Tucker, Frederick MD Fire
    Keith Wilson, Lancaster County, SC Emergency Management
    Front Row, L to R
    Matt MacDonald, Kingston, PA Fire
    DJ Walker, Austin, TX Fire and NCRC
    Marlo Reyes, Valero Refinery Industrial Rescue Team, San Francisco, CA


  • Reed Thorne leads students of the 2016 Advanced Anchoring Analysis Seminar through vector analysis of the a rigging pod forces with varying efficiency pulleys. 

  • Luke Thorne delivers a slide show on Trigonometry

  • Frame Guy Angle Testing at Jerome Fire

  • Len Batley (penultimate) Senior RTR AU Instructor working with students on a "Force Table" in the very first 2015 AAA-BTBF in Jerome, Arizona. Luke Thorne is also helping with the calculations. 

  • RTR has been 'sponsoring' (Adopt-A-Highway) a two mile section of Arizona scenic highway 89-A in Oak Creek Canyon since 1993. This beautiful scenic section is just above Midgley Bridge and includes a spectacular vista of the red rock Mitten Ridge and famous Teapot Rock (just behind the right sign post). 


    This John William Waterhouse painting illustrates Alfred Tennyson's poem The Lady of Shalott. Draped over the boat is the fabric the lady wove in a tower near Camelot. But she brought a curse on herself by looking directly at Sir Lancelot. With her right hand she lets go of the chain mooring the boat. Her mouth is slightly open, as she sings 'her last song'. She stares at a crucifix lying in front of her. Beside it are three candles, often used to symbolize life. Two have blown out. This suggests her life will end soon, as she floats down the river.

    From Reed Thorne: The classic Brittish Pre-Raphaelite style John William Waterhouse painting of The Lady of Shalott from the Tenneyson Poem. The painting is my favorite classical piece found in the Tate Museum in London. I stood in awe of it when I visited the Tate in 1974.