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Basic setup (climbing out of a hole)
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By Joshua Griffin
Jul 9, 2012
My first bouldering trip in the Magdalenas.
So, I plan on repelling into a really big hole and there is nothing to climb on to get back out. I was wondering what kind of setup I should be looking at for ascending the rope getting back out. I loaned my book out for a while that would tell me so I am looking to your guys.

I may only do this once so I was looking at the Petzl Tibloc because it is cheap and simple. I could also keep it with me wherever I go just in case.

Joshua

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By kennoyce
From Layton, UT
Jul 9, 2012
Climbing at the Gallery in Red Rocks
Joshua Griffin wrote:
So, I plan on repelling into a really big hole and there is nothing to climb on to get back out. I was wondering what kind of setup I should be looking at for ascending the rope getting back out. I loaned my book out for a while that would tell me so I am looking to your guys. I may only do this once so I was looking at the Petzl Tibloc because it is cheap and simple. I could also keep it with me wherever I go just in case. Joshua


If you're just doing it once and considering Tiblocs, just use Prusiks. Get two 2-3 foot long pieces of 7mm cord, tie them into two loops using double fisherman knots, and google prusik knot to see how to use them.

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By Merlin
From Grand Junction
Jul 9, 2012
Just my two cents, prusiks stink unless you are in an emergency and have no options, use a bachmann and have tiblocs just in case.

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By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Jul 9, 2012
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after a day of cragging.
Repel: To ward off or keep away; drive back

Rappel: To descend (as from a cliff) by sliding down a rope passed under one thigh, across the body, and over the opposite shoulder or through a special friction device

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By kennoyce
From Layton, UT
Jul 9, 2012
Climbing at the Gallery in Red Rocks
Merlin wrote:
Just my two cents, prusiks stink unless you are in an emergency and have no options, use a bachmann and have tiblocs just in case.


Yep, a bachmann is a little bit nicer, but I always forget what it's called. Again though, since he only wants to do it once, I wouldn't worry about the tiblocs since they're like $30 each. He just needs to practice using friction knots a couple times first so he knows what he's doing and doesn't end up stuck in the hole.

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By Harry Dorcy
From Denver, CO
Jul 9, 2012
And before you get to the bottom of the big hole that you can't climb out of, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE go somewhere else and practice ascending the rope with your equipment of choice AND your back-up Prusiks.

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By csproul
From Rancho Cordova, CA
Jul 9, 2012
Summit of Wolf's Head with Pingora in the background
Do you own a Grigri/Cinch? You can also use on friction hitch/tibloc/ascender, and a Grigri.

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By Larry S
Jul 9, 2012
The wife and I road-trippin on the Connie.
May setups can be improvised depending on the gear you have and the situation. The ideal situation is of course some variation of two ascenders and stirrups/daisies, but if this is a one time thing and you don't mind all the extra struggle of a lesser setup, it can be done safely. You can probably use a grigri and prussik or even an ATC guide/reverso and prussik, it's just slow and lots of work. The setup you'll want may change depending on if it less than vertical, vertical, or will you be free hanging in space on the end of your. If you're going to buy tiblocs, check out the Wild Country ropeman series too, you may be able to find the older MK1 or MK2 for cheap and they're probably easier to use and friendlier on your rope. As someone said, practice and master the techniques before you find yourself stuck at the bottom of that hole.

Edit - I use the term 'prussik' to refer to any of the friction hitches, not specifically a prussik knot. You'll probably want a bachman or kleimheist or something easier to slide.

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By Merlin
From Grand Junction
Jul 9, 2012
kennoyce wrote:
Yep, a bachmann is a little bit nicer, but I always forget what it's called. Again though, since he only wants to do it once, I wouldn't worry about the tiblocs since they're like $30 each. He just needs to practice using friction knots a couple times first so he knows what he's doing and doesn't end up stuck in the hole.



But if he's got tiblocs his friends can borrow them in the future :)

I've got a block against prusiks after trying to climb out of a slot canyon in a semi desperate situation and having them bind on a thinner diameter rope. But yeah, I used to string a rope off my balcony and practice climbing ropes using all the common friction knots, doing it in the field first will make for a crummy day.

Google texas prusik then use a bachman set up, like kennoyce says, it will save money and works just fine.

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By Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Jul 9, 2012
At the BRC
I think cavers usually have the best dialed techniques for ascending fixed ropes. You could consider visiting the vertical forum on the NSS website-
forums.caves.org/viewforum.php...
however you can count on a huge number of 'yer gonna die' responses, as well as many questions about exactly what hole you plan on exploring. But any advice you might get will likely be valuable.
There used to be some websites that described vertical techniques, but I wasn't able to find them just now. I'll try again later if I get the chance.
Mark

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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Jul 9, 2012
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.
You are going to find ascending with Tiblocs to be a potentially terrifying experience I think. I sure did for the first time. For one, they are very sensitive to the diameter of the carabiner you use with them. Second, if you do not set them right they can slip and strip your rope sheath. This experience is in itself quite a load of fun.

Try to get a static line to drop in the cave and borrow a proper Frog system or just go and buy that stuff. If you really want to get into pit bopping it will be worth it to have your own gear. If you intend to use prusik knots, practice on a rope suspended from a tree brance prior to committing to the void.

I used to do a lot of caving back in the 90s incidentally. You could also contact your local caving club, or grotto as they call them, and see if you can interest some cavers in exploring your hole there.

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By Joshua Griffin
Jul 9, 2012
My first bouldering trip in the Magdalenas.
Thank you guys, this is very helpful. The bachmann knot looks really handy. Can I use a sling with this setup?

I don't have a grigri, I have an ATC.

And can I use my dynamic rope? I assume that it is possible to completely destroy a good dynamic rope. Would I need to get a static top?

I will absolutely practice a LOT before I go down into the void. We have trees, barns, 40 foot tall tanks, etc. to practice on. The hole I will be in has perfectly vertical walls so I will be ascending next to this wall.

Joshua

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By Larry S
Jul 9, 2012
The wife and I road-trippin on the Connie.
Joshua Griffin wrote:
Thank you guys, this is very helpful. The bachmann knot looks really handy. Can I use a sling with this setup?


I've used slings for friction hitches before because i didn't have a choice... but cord works way better. The slings will stack and overlap and not want to loosen.

Also, this quote was quite amusing.

Stich wrote:
...interest some cavers in exploring your hole...

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By kennoyce
From Layton, UT
Jul 9, 2012
Climbing at the Gallery in Red Rocks
Joshua Griffin wrote:
Thank you guys, this is very helpful. The bachmann knot looks really handy. Can I use a sling with this setup? I don't have a grigri, I have an ATC. And can I use my dynamic rope? I assume that it is possible to completely destroy a good dynamic rope. Would I need to get a static top? I will absolutely practice a LOT before I go down into the void. We have trees, barns, 40 foot tall tanks, etc. to practice on. The hole I will be in has perfectly vertical walls so I will be ascending next to this wall. Joshua


Slings do work, but not as well, or as easily, I'd invest the $3 into getting some cord.

You can also use a dynamic rope, but there is a greater risk of sawing through the rope if it is going over anything sharp, so make sure you pad the edge of the hole or anything else that could damage the rope.

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By Larry S
Jul 9, 2012
The wife and I road-trippin on the Connie.
Joshua Griffin wrote:
And can I use my dynamic rope? I assume that it is possible to completely destroy a good dynamic rope. Would I need to get a static top? I will absolutely practice a LOT before I go down into the void. We have trees, barns, 40 foot tall tanks, etc. to practice on. The hole I will be in has perfectly vertical walls so I will be ascending next to this wall. Joshua


You can use a dynamic rope, but it will stretch and bounce, making it even less efficient. The bouncing and stretching will cause accelerated abrasion and wear of the rope over any rough edges it runs over. If you pad the edges well (lots of duct tape), you can keep from damaging your rope.

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By Larry S
Jul 9, 2012
The wife and I road-trippin on the Connie.
See this very similar thread.

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By Joshua Griffin
Jul 9, 2012
My first bouldering trip in the Magdalenas.
Larry, you are wonderful. That's in a very manly way. I checked out that link and you drew a wonderful diagram. Do I need a ATC Guide or is an ATC-XP okay?

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By Merlin
From Grand Junction
Jul 9, 2012
kennoyce wrote:
Slings do work, but not as well, or as easily, I'd invest the $3 into getting some cord.


+1 buy cord, have devoted ascending cord. While cord may not have saved my life it has certainly saved me a miserable night or two in the desert canyons. Texas Prusiks are a great way to go in slot canyons, caving, or glacier crossings.

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By Larry S
Jul 9, 2012
The wife and I road-trippin on the Connie.
Joshua Griffin wrote:
Do I need a ATC Guide or is an ATC-XP okay?


That needs to be a grigri or other guide-mode type device (atc guide, reverso, B-52, etc) for it to auto-capture the rope and let you hang from it hands-free while you reset the prussik(s). If you use a regular ATC you have to hold the brake strand while you reset or you loose your progress. See this Video.
.

If you put a prussik/foot loop on the pull rope like i drew, you have a 2-1 system, pushing the rope down with your foot moves you easily up, but only half as far as you push. It moves slow, but with little effort. If you put the foot-loop right on the top prussik like in the video and don't use a second one at all, you have to pull yourself in/up with one arm while you stand up and pull the rope thru w/ the other hand, then sit and reset. It's more more strenuous, but quicker.

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By Joshua Griffin
Jul 9, 2012
My first bouldering trip in the Magdalenas.
Yeah, I had watched that video. Pretty interesting setup. I have some cord on the way and am in the process of purchasing a Guide. I look forward to checking this system out. I will try both methods (2:1 and 1:1) but I suspect I would be happier with a 1:1. I have about 160ft to climb total.

Joshua

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By Joshua Griffin
Jul 10, 2012
My first bouldering trip in the Magdalenas.
Everything I need is ordered. I will be practicing on a bridge probably and will post photos of my setup here.

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By Larry S
Jul 10, 2012
The wife and I road-trippin on the Connie.
Josh - Back again - Found a hard copy of this when i was cleanin - check out page 7 and 8. Petzl 2011 catalog

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By Joshua Griffin
Jul 11, 2012
My first bouldering trip in the Magdalenas.
Great resource, Larry. I will be trying a few different knots as well as different ratio lifts. There seem to be plenty of options without even having special gear. All good stuff to learn just in case.

Joshua

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By Joshua Griffin
Aug 3, 2012
My first bouldering trip in the Magdalenas.
The dive went great. Thank you everyone who explained things to me. I ascended 150 feet on a dynamic rope with no issues.

Alright, there are many ways to accomplish this task I have found. Here's two slightly different setups I have used. First: the Klemheist.

I found that using a prusik in any part of this setup is not a great idea. Prusiks tend to really lock on the rope and are not easy to loosen. So, first I attach myself to the rope with a Klemheist.



I would suggest using a sling girth-hitched to your belay loop or even better, double the sling first. Here I used a daisy chain. It does not have a huge load rating between loops. Put the Klemheist near the top of your reach when you are hanging on the rope.



Under that, add a Bachmann to the rope.



Attach a long sling to the Bachmann and tie a loop in the end to put your foot in. Make the loop so that the Bachmann will be right in front of your face when hanging on the rope and your leg needs to be 90 degrees to your body when straight. Here's how it should look.



You then stand on your leg sling and move the Klemheist up the rope. Load the Klemheist and slide the Bachmann back up to eye level. Do it again.

Occasionally tie a figure 8 in the rope just below you and attach it to your belay loop. This is incase your Klemheist or daisy chain (hopefully a sling) should fail. You will simply fall to the figure 8 and stop. It is just like being tied in for top roping.



Another option is to use a gri gri or a guide ATC. Which ever one you use, you switch their position relative to the foot Bachmann. The Bachmann will be near the top of your reach and the guide or gri gri will be on your harness.



The closer you have the guide to your harness, the easier it is to pull the rope through when you stand up. Still tie the safety figure 8's.

Teaching a friend in Colorado who caves but has never used this kind of "emergency" setup.


There is another setup you can use that takes about 15 seconds to change between rappelling and ascending. I may post it a bit later if anyone cares.



Joshua

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