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How big a block is bomber to sling for rappel?
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Jan 18, 2012
Pete belays 2nd pitch Little corner
So here is what I'm wondering...rapping a route you come across a nice slingable boulder to set up your next rappel. How big does it need to be to rap absolutely safely? Refrigerator? Shopping cart? Microwave oven? Beachball? Assume it's set back on a level ledge a couple feet and for sake of argument egg shaped oriented horizontally.

I understand the multiple scenarios that could alter the decision, but I'm just trying to get an idea of what others feel is pretty much certainly safe.
Peter Pitocchi
Joined Oct 4, 2009
104 points
Jan 18, 2012
Colonel Mustard
Depends on the rock type, angle, surface contact, weight, etc. I dunno, I don't personally have a hard and fast rule for this situation other than you shove on the block and test it out a bit first to check for stability, etc.. I do know that any slung block looks drastically smaller once you start rapping from it. Colonel Mustard
Joined Sep 13, 2005
1,359 points
Jan 18, 2012
Myself placing a a blue/yellow offset MC to protec...
back it up and send the fat guy down first...if it holds your good to go hopefully rock_fencer
From Columbia, SC
Joined Dec 20, 2009
253 points
Jan 18, 2012
Go canyoneering and it will flip your perspective. Those guys sling fragile desert plants and cairns without giving it a second thought. JJNS
Joined Sep 30, 2008
505 points
Jan 18, 2012
I really wish that you were trolling, but I have my doubts. Yarp
Joined Jan 16, 2011
6 points
Jan 18, 2012
rock_fencer wrote:
back it up and send the fat guy down first...if it holds your good to go hopefully

Test the rock for stability first (by pushing, if noone is below to make sure it isn't about ready to go) or your fat guy will get crushed.
Copperhead
Joined Aug 16, 2011
0 points
Jan 18, 2012
Peter Pitocchi wrote:
How big does it need to be to rap absolutely safely?


Too many variables, if you cant figure this out on your own and make a judgement call you should probably not be climbing.

What is with all the weird threads you create anyway?
dorseyec
Joined May 31, 2009
16 points
Jan 18, 2012
rock_fencer wrote:
back it up and send the fat guy down first...if it holds your good to go hopefully


The real question is, how much fatter does your partner need to be for safety?
andrewc
Joined Jul 31, 2008
0 points
Jan 18, 2012
 Morning Dew ,self portrait
Yarp wrote:
I really wish that you were trolling, but I have my doubts.

+1
s.price
From PS,CO
Joined Dec 1, 2010
1,363 points
Jan 18, 2012
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
I'm guessing it is not jammed in place or anchored deeply into the earth or behind some other boulders. So I would go for refrigerator sized with lots of surface area contact,( so not oval shape) up to car size to trust it as sole rap anchor. But then again I've used 2 inch trees with good roots as an anchor too. Woodchuck ATC
Joined Nov 29, 2007
3,090 points
Jan 18, 2012
As others have said, there are many variables besides size (size matters, though!).

Read the right-hand column ("Sharkfin Tower") on this website for an accident that occurred when a large block used for rappeling slid:

mountaineers.org/nwmj/06/061_N...
FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Joined Nov 19, 2009
116 points
Jan 18, 2012
I would sling a grape sized pebble if it was chocked in place securely, and I wouldn't trust a truck sized boulder if it was balanced precariously on loose rock. DannyUncanny
From Vancouver
Joined Aug 27, 2010
78 points
Jan 18, 2012
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Pea...
JasonJNSmith wrote:
Go canyoneering and it will flip your perspective. Those guys sling fragile desert plants and cairns without giving it a second thought.


Yeah, not a fan of that sort of sketchy practice. For popular canyons, just put some decent rap anchors in. Sheesh.
Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Joined Jan 1, 2001
1,494 points
Jan 18, 2012
Devils Tower Summit
If it's not bigger than a coffin then it probably is one. ERolls
From Custer, SD
Joined Jun 29, 2006
81 points
Jan 18, 2012
Stich wrote:
Yeah, not a fan of that sort of sketchy practice. For popular canyons, just put some decent rap anchors in. Sheesh.



Well then how are canyoneers supposed to tell people how bad ass they are? Otherwise its just glorified hiking with some safe bolted rappells.
dorseyec
Joined May 31, 2009
16 points
Jan 18, 2012
Once you have Black, you will fear to go back...
Bomber.
Bomber.


If the blocks are small, just pile a bunch on top of each other.
Guy H.
From Fort Collins CO
Joined Jan 1, 2001
7,282 points
Jan 18, 2012
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
Guy H. wrote:
If the blocks are small, just pile a bunch on top of each other.


? that way when the pull loose, if the big one doesn't hit, you improve your chances of a strike from all the other rocks falling down with it?.
Woodchuck ATC
Joined Nov 29, 2007
3,090 points
Jan 18, 2012
A grey fox skull wedged in a crack 100' up on a FA...
Skinner & Piana thought van size would be sufficient. We all know how well that worked out. Too many variabels other than size to consider. Glenn Schuler
From Monument, Co.
Joined Jun 24, 2006
964 points
Jan 18, 2012
KevinCO
From Loveland, CO
Joined Mar 22, 2006
85 points
Jan 19, 2012
Colonel Mustard
Well played, sir. Colonel Mustard
Joined Sep 13, 2005
1,359 points
Jan 19, 2012
Once you have Black, you will fear to go back...
Woodchuck ATC wrote:
? that way when the pull loose, if the big one doesn't hit, you improve your chances of a strike from all the other rocks falling down with it?.


I was of course joking in my above post. Steve knows what he is doing. If you have to ask, you probably shouldn't try this at home.
Guy H.
From Fort Collins CO
Joined Jan 1, 2001
7,282 points


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