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Rappel accident - LCC, Utah
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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Oct 5, 2012
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lichen covered look from scrubbing a new route.

Of course you would probably die and the anchor pull from the static shock load of the high fall factor.
Calculate the force of a 100k person taking a fall factor 2 on a 3m static tether.

force calculator


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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Oct 5, 2012
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.

A better way to rappel with a noob is to rig their device first at the anchor and then rig your own device after them. You rap first and then give them the fireman belay when they go. Unless they undo their device there is no way they can completely screw it up.


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By pfwein
Oct 5, 2012

M Sprague wrote:
Of course you would probably die and the anchor pull from the static shock load of the high fall factor. Calculate the force of a 100k person taking a fall factor 2 on a 3m static tether. force calculator


I agree, that's why I didn't do the tether--seemed like a "backup" that would give a false sense of security, and is a pain to implement and creates kind of a cluster. Simulrapping seemed like something that if perhaps you do it all the time, with a partner who does it all the time, it may be safer then if you just do it now and then. Since I wasn't dong it all the time, I pulled the plug.


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By rging
From Salt Lake City, Ut
Oct 8, 2012
CoR

pfwein wrote:
The point of "tethering" is that if one climber reaches a belay and accidentally disconnects from the rappel before the other climber is secure, the other climber will still be "safe" (fall will be arrested by the tether).


Wow did I not finish my earlier thought. A tether would only be used if one person was tied in and the other was using the rappel device in a counter balance situation. So if you are in a hurry you can tie in on one end, the other person set up to rap on the other side and the tether merely keeps you together in case of weight differential. More practical for injury, rescue. The only way I would do a simul is with a firemans, except the time I simul rapped off an arch.


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By Robert Cort
Oct 8, 2012

Stich wrote:
A better way to rappel with a noob is to rig their device first at the anchor and then rig your own device after them. You rap first and then give them the fireman belay when they go. Unless they undo their device there is no way they can completely screw it up.


+1

Tandem rap is not for newbies. Works well for two experienced and competent people in order to expedite a descent.


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By rging
From Salt Lake City, Ut
Oct 9, 2012
CoR

cdec wrote:
Any properly tied friction hitch works. It is personal preference. Get well.


True, if your personal preference is to lock up your system and need another to get out. You do know prussic can't be undone when loaded like a an autoblock, kleimheist, or french braid can? You better take two with you or you will be waiting for someone to come along.


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By cdec
From SLC and Moab, ut
Oct 9, 2012

rging wrote:
True, if your personal preference is to lock up your system and need another to get out. You do know prussic can't be undone when loaded like a an autoblock, kleimheist, or french braid can? You better take two with you or you will be waiting for someone to come along.


Did you pick that tid bit up from Chockstone on the interweb?
Actually a prusik can be released from a partial load as can any friction hitch. That's why we use them.
A prusik tends to bite best and because of this it is usually more difficult to release.
The situation you are most likely referencing goes back a bit into our climbing history and happens when the hitch is above the belay device. A rappel rigged this way can get you into trouble if the terrain is steep and unweighting is difficult or the hitch is too far away to work on after being loaded. This technique is no longer taught nor should it be used.

With you back-up BELOW the device any hitch can be used as the rappel back up. If any hitch is fully loaded below the device you simply transfer the load by locking off directly at the ATC, pulling up some rope and releasing your hitch of choice.

Bam! Knowledge free of charge.


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By rging
From Salt Lake City, Ut
Oct 9, 2012
CoR

cdec wrote:
Did you pick that tid bit up from Chockstone on the interweb?


I must admit you really know your stuff. You should write a book. You could call it Things You Can Do But Shouldn't.


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By Medic741
From Pittsford, New York
Oct 9, 2012
When I was a bum at Frey

Gaaaah this thread makes my eyes bleed


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By Crag Dweller
From New York, NY
Oct 9, 2012
My navigator keeps me from getting lost

Stich wrote:
A better way to rappel with a noob is to rig their device first at the anchor and then rig your own device after them. You rap first and then give them the fireman belay when they go. Unless they undo their device there is no way they can completely screw it up.


A good suggestion.

If you're going to do this, it is a good idea to extend the noob's belay device with a sling rather than clipping directly to the harness. Otherwise, you'll be using the noob as the rap anchor. And, standing there holding someone's body weight off your harness while they're rappelling isn't the most comfortable position to be in.


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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Oct 9, 2012
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.

It's usually not a problem if the anchor is high and the tension doesn't force the other person to hang awkwardly.


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By rging
From Salt Lake City, Ut
Oct 9, 2012
CoR

A reasonable method would be to clip the device and caribiner through the rope then all they have to do is clip the caribiner to their belay loop when you get to the bottom and unweight the rope. If someone can't clip a caribiner into their belay loop then their should be three of you and a babysitter. You can do this with multiple devices and people if need be.


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By Wayne
From Superior, CO
Oct 9, 2012

This has moved quite off topic from simul rappel, but to continue the drift:

Stich wrote:
A better way to rappel with a noob is to rig their device first at the anchor and then rig your own device after them. You rap first and then give them the fireman belay when they go. Unless they undo their device there is no way they can completely screw it up.


+1

And if you are at all worried they will freak out and have trouble rapping down, you can connect the two of you with a sling. It's sometimes called 'travelling brakes' and you are in control of both of you.

It's also a rescue technique that is good to practice with an experienced buddy, because if the higher device is set in a high friction mode you might have a very slow descent.


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By Brian in SLC
Oct 9, 2012
Climbing in Smuggler's Notch

Stich wrote:
A better way to rappel with a noob is to rig their device first at the anchor and then rig your own device after them. You rap first and then give them the fireman belay when they go. Unless they undo their device there is no way they can completely screw it up.


Seen it work, and, used it m'self!

Austrian guide and clients in Meteora, Greece
Austrian guide and clients in Meteora, Greece


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By cdec
From SLC and Moab, ut
Oct 9, 2012

rging wrote:
I must admit you really know your stuff. You should write a book. You could call it Things You Can Do But Shouldn't.


I do "know my stuff" a bit. There is ABSOLUTELY no reason you "shouldn't" use a prusik below the belay device. The scenario you mentioned simply can't happen. I mentioned your thoughts to a friend today. He immediately said, "it's rigged wrong" and he's right. Read a book, take a class or simply do some rope work that is more involved than going chains to chains.

rging wrote:
A reasonable method would be to clip the device and caribiner through the rope then all they have to do is clip the caribiner to their belay loop when you get to the bottom and unweight the rope. If someone can't clip a caribiner into their belay loop then their should be three of you and a babysitter. You can do this with multiple devices and people if need be.


Sure that's reasonable but silly and still leaves the door open for something to go wrong. As Stich mentioned Pre-rigging the rappel as it is known (More free climbing knowledge) is a far better solution. Used for years all over the world by folks who know what's up.


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By rging
From Salt Lake City, Ut
Oct 9, 2012
CoR

cdec wrote:
There is ABSOLUTELY no reason you "shouldn't" use a prusik below the belay device.


No issue with setting it up below. Its the difference between body weight and 20 pounds so obviously less weight on the knot is far superior for getting out of trouble. The issue I have is with the prusic itself. I have 4-5 books and have never seen one mention a prusic as a friction knot for rappeling. I have practiced a number of friction knots in this scenario and using a prusic is an absolute nightmare if you actually use it to stop you. Its like wrestling an alligator versus pushing lightly on the autoblock. If you are hanging on a rope it is crucial to use a system that can be operated with one hand. Like I said before, it will work but why.


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By Buff Johnson
Oct 9, 2012
smiley face

Brian in SLC wrote:
Seen it work, and, used it m'self!


Is that a superhero suit, and with the gold boots??


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By cdec
From SLC and Moab, ut
Oct 9, 2012

rging wrote:
I have 4-5 books and have never seen one mention a prusic as a friction knot for rappeling. I have practiced a number of friction knots in this scenario and using a prusic is an absolute nightmare if you actually use it to stop you. Its like wrestling an alligator versus pushing lightly on the autoblock. If you are hanging on a rope it is crucial to use a system that can be operated with one hand. Like I said before, it will work but why.

Check out Climbing Self Rescue by Tyson & Loomis, page 85 "another viable option for a third hand is to tie a PRUSIK around the brake strands.
Most of us have two hands and can use them both to operate our systems. Hence the notion of a 3rd hand.
Any hitch can be wrapped enough so that it is difficult to release or tied loosely enough to slip. But all can be released if the set up is done correctly.
Why? Some people like the idea that a Prusik really bites and choose it because if they are going to go hands free to deal with ropes or do rescue work they feel confident in it. Personal preference as I said in the beginning.
Finally your lack of knowledge is evidenced through inaccurate information, misspellings and use of incorrect terminology in your posts. I persisted down this path so that those who know even less than you, raging would not be led astray.

Done now.


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By Greg D
From Here
Oct 10, 2012
Out of the blue.  Photo by Mike W. <br />

rging wrote:
A reasonable method would be to clip the device and caribiner through the rope then all they have to do is clip the caribiner to their belay loop when you get to the bottom and unweight the rope. If someone can't clip a caribiner into their belay loop then their should be three of you and a babysitter. You can do this with multiple devices and people if need be.


Don't do this.


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By Greg D
From Here
Oct 10, 2012
Out of the blue.  Photo by Mike W. <br />

Crag Dweller wrote:
A good suggestion. If you're going to do this, it is a good idea to extend the noob's belay device with a sling rather than clipping directly to the harness.


Unnecessary because...

Crag Dweller wrote:
Otherwise, you'll be using the noob as the rap anchor. And, standing there holding someone's body weight off your harness while they're rappelling isn't the most comfortable position to be in.


Not an issue when done right.


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By Greg D
From Here
Oct 10, 2012
Out of the blue.  Photo by Mike W. <br />

Stich wrote:
A better way to rappel with a noob is to rig their device first at the anchor and then rig your own device after them. You rap first and then give them the fireman belay when they go. Unless they undo their device there is no way they can completely screw it up.


Yes, do this.


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By MJMobes
From The land of steady habits
Oct 10, 2012
modern man

Greg D wrote:
Yes, do this.


unless the n00b has a knife that is, then you lower them


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By GMBurns
Oct 10, 2012
Climbing at Morro Anhangava in Southern Brasil. <br /> <br />(photo by Isa Vellozo)

sfotex wrote:
The 25-year-old climber was aided in completing his ascent by 9:30 p.m. and drove himself to a hospital to be checked out. The other climber was lowered by rescuers shortly thereafter and taken to University Hospital in serious but non-life threatening condition.


huh?


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By Zappatista
Oct 10, 2012
Book me, officer.

Sounds like a noob mistake, but if there is a way to fuck things up royally with very little effort, be sure that seasoned climbers will be doing the same thing with abandon. I know a very strong and competent climber technically who took a 110 footer to the ground doing a counterweight rappel on the unweighted side of the rope from the anchors on a sport climb. Lucky to be alive, much less climbing. When I saw his busted up excuse for a body, I asked: "So, gonna start carrying an ATC now?"

I can count on one hand the number of people I'd trust to simul rap with, and I can't recall a single situation that's required the technique so far. It's just not worth the risk, unless in a massively objective-hazard filled time-sensitive retreat scenario, and even then, I'd prefer to preserve a saftey margin while descending.

Everyone's got a different threshold. Mine has never landed me in a hospital from climbing-related injuries, I'm keeping it that way. Good luck to the injured parties, I'll be interested in the followup, to see whether this was 100% one climber's pilot error that caused the fall(s).


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By rging
From Salt Lake City, Ut
Oct 11, 2012
CoR

The thing that I am most afraid of with simul raps is my partner forgetting he is simul rapping and trying to go off belay as soon as he hits the ground. I saw this once when I was canyoneering. Fortunately it was in swim depth water. The second guy fell ten feet and went completely under. When he came back up he looked pretty pissed. Maybe he thought is was intentional (it was not). We did laugh a bit but that thought stuck with me.


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