Mountain Project Logo

Single Line Rap & Tag Line


Original Post
Tom Sherman · · Bristol, RI · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 416

Hi All,

I know this is an advanced technique, but I wanted a 2nd rope for full length raps. This weekend I forgot to bring my static out (to TR), so bought 220' of 7mm for use as a tag line (and a tope rope anchor over the weekend). I've been lurking around for awhile researching this and just wanted to get it straight.

METHOD FOR SINGLE LINE RAPPEL

1. So EDK is literally an Overhand?
2. Cinch the heck out of this knot with approximate double shoulder length tails
3. Smaller diameter line opposite tails when cinched (for rolling)

Overhand

4. Saw this method somewhere, just add another overhand to further limit rolling
Overhand & Limiter

Using the quickdraw as pretend rap anchor:
5. Biner block using clove-hitch ok?
6. Verify rap anchor size opening and no chance of pass-through (not the case here)
7. Approximate distance from rope joining, ok?
8. Thinking of using the one steel biner I own here, seems like in the event of this falling some distance on a full-length rap, I wouldn't want to be using another biner which could become damaged, reused unkowningly.
Cinched

9. The whole setup ready to rap.
Rap & Tag Line

10. Added safety, necessary? not? sometimes?
11. Place this in tag line, or before rope joining in rap line?
12. Seems to me like this could be a big problem.
13. What about leaving this for first rappel, inspecting biner block behavior, removing to finish. Could additionally be backed up, by tying off tag line on next anchor/ ground.
14. Routes where this is good? bad? ugly? (i.e. overhanging, crack, clean vertical)
Rap/ Tag Line/ Biner Re-clipped

15. Should one thread the tag line through the rap device, just for the heck of it? Never?

Not going to go out and try tomorrow based on the first mp reply. But since I was forced into making the purchase that I meant to learn more of anyway, figured I'd reach out for answers.

Thanks for your time to read and respond. And omit #'s if I got the gist of it. Thank you.
marty funkhouser · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 30

I rap on both stands (9.7mm standard and 7mm static tag) just like any other rap. I always arrange the ropes so I pull the fatter rope. Biggest issue is the 7mm line wanting to pull through the anchor while rapping due to the increased friction of the fatter rope through the rap device. This is easily mitigated by rapping slow and paying a little attention.

I see a lot of folks talk about biner blocks, etc. on the computer forums but after 15yrs of climbing Ca granite and desert towers I have never seen anyone actually do it. My opinion is that its better to keep it simple because I'm usually rapping while fatigued and dehydrated.

Canyon · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 5

If you do plan to use a biner block and single strand rap, make sure your hitched biner CANNOT fit through your anchor biner. I have seen/heard of many canyoneers that have died that way.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

Use a biner block ("Reepschnur") if you plan on rapping with a tag line. Here is a website that describes it, as well as a fatality from not using it.

traditionalmountaineering.o…

Although I have used the skinny tag line to do longer rappels, using twin ropes is even better and safer.

One more thing - you don't need double shoulder-length tails. Eighteen inches of tail is plenty.

Have fun.

Creed A · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 775

I had almost the exact same set up for rapping off Petit this summer--9.8 dynamic cord and 7 mm static tag line, both 60 meters. We used an edk and a biner block. Something went wrong with the biner clock causing the static tag to twist like crazy. The tagline kinked so bad that we couldn't pull the rope. We had to re-ascend the rope and get it untangled. Never again will I mess with a biner block. I saw a guy attempt a biner block this weekend and he ended up securing his rope to the anchor. We had to fix it so he could pull his rope. Both of these instances could be user error. Either way, I'm done with the biner block.

For the rest of the raps, we tied the dynamic rope and tagline together with an edk, making sure that the knot couldn't squeeze through the rap ring and get stuck (it couldn't). We tied the knot on the tag line side of the anchor. The thinking is this: the dynamic rope is heavier and could creep downwards, causing the ends of the rope to be uneven. With the knot on the tag side of the anchor, the dynamic rope cannot creep.

We then rapped and pulled the tag. I threaded both the tag and the dynamic rope through my rappel device. This seemed sufficiently safe and efficient. I will warn you though: those 7 mm taglines kink bad. They are just skinny and wild. If you find a good method for managing it, do share.

20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,348

Rap on both strands. There is no advantage to rapping on only one, only an increase in risk. I dont use a biner to block the anchor, I just rap on both strands like they are twin ropes. I have never had problems with the rope moving through the anchor, you just need to be careful and aware.

john strand · · southern colo · Joined May 2008 · Points: 1,640

Agreed..you carried 2 lines..rap on 2 lines...I have forever used a figure 8 to join the ropes together.

Gargano · · Oakland, CA · Joined Jan 2011 · Points: 1,280

+1 for rapping on both lines. As others have said, just watch the rope movement if the thinner line ends up through the rap rings. The advantage of the Reepschnur is that it allows you to use a super-thin (6mm or smaller) pulldown cord, which ends up being a pain to pulldown on if you're doing full rope length raps. Better to just use a 7mm or larger diameter line and rap on both lines.

EDK is a good knot. It unties easily after being weighted and the knot tends to rotate away from the rock when being pulled, which helps reduce the risk of getting the knot stuck.

____________________________

As for this...

john strand wrote:I have forever used a figure 8 to join the ropes together.
Be very clear when you recommend using a figure-8 to join two ropes, John.

It's fine to rethread the figure-8. As seen below:



DO NOT join two ropes using a figure-8 in the same fashion as you would tie an EDK (overhand knot). When tied this way the knot has been known to invert or roll.

Basic information here: chockstone.org/TechTips/Joi…
Bill M · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Jun 2010 · Points: 321

I am using an 8 mm static to tag but I thread the 8 mm through the anchor and tie an EDK since I am afraid I will stick a rope and be left with nothing but a static tag line to work with. Of course the 8 mm slips some so I tie the ends together and deal with feeding lead line through the ATC at the end of the rap if I need to.

will ar · · San Antonio, TX · Joined Jan 2010 · Points: 250

Tom,

The biner block is very popular in canyoneering where you are rapping down extremely smooth water worn drops and I think they are typically using thinner pull cords as well. In climbing the biner block adds a large profile (defeating one of the advantages of a low profile EDK) and is more likely to get stuck. Rapping on two strands is very common.

Will

john strand · · southern colo · Joined May 2008 · Points: 1,640

Well the photo shows the only way i tie a figure 8

Tom Sherman · · Bristol, RI · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 416

-Will
No climbing for you, but your still going over the forums? We should get out before the rock season ends. I've got next weekend free, 25th/26th. What do you say? I've got quite a few locations in mind I want to hit before it's too cold. Shoot me an e-mail if you have any time off and interest to get out. Hope you and your family are doing well.

Thanks for all the replies. Guess I will have to re-think the whole tag line thing. Not sure how I feel about rapping on the tag itself. I guess everybody does it, its just so damn skinny.

Especially when I read somewhere on here some ____ about "static lines are not designed for and not capable of taking the heat generated from rapping on an ATC and therefore not suitable for rappelling". Is that just rubbish?

Sunny-D · · SLC, Utah · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 700

It might help if people started using the right name for the above "figure eight" knot. It is a Flemish Bend. If the real name of the knot were in better circulation there wouldn't be any mix up of terms and less worry/wonder. Just my two cents.
Dallen

Morgan Patterson · · CT · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 8,767
Tom Sherman wrote:We should get out before the rock season ends.
Climbing season never ends in new england. . .
JeffL · · Salt Lake City · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 65

One issue not mentioned yet is the ability for you to pull the ropes. I have not yet been in a situation where I couldn't pull my ropes down using the skinny one, but if the anchor was way back on a slab, the friction could make pulling with the skinny rope very difficult. Consider carrying gloves so when pulling, the skinny rope doesn't dig into your hands if you have to pull really hard.

Also, if you're trying to TR on a two rope set up, you open up a couple more logistics that you'll need to learn.

Tom Sherman · · Bristol, RI · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 416

Keyword: ROCK

Morgan, Since you would be one in the know, you should teach me where to climb ice in CT, maybe I wont have to spend my whole winter driving up to NH from RI

Morgan Patterson · · CT · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 8,767
Tom Sherman wrote:Keyword: ROCK Morgan, Since you would be one in the know, you should teach me where to climb ice in CT, maybe I wont have to spend my whole winter driving up to NH from RI

Haha I totally meant rock climbing ;-) Only time I don't climb in CT is the summer, really. Winter is great for bouldering in RI and CT, unless you like skiing deep pow in N. VT. Oh and I don't climb ice... rock breaks easily enough and being a bowling pin for chucks of ice the climber hurdles at you isnt my cup of fun either, huckin off cliffs into waist deep pow def! You can but I wouldn'
t recommend fighting gravity all year long. Sometimes its nice to just give in a let it ride...
bearbreeder · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 3,065
20 kN wrote:Rap on both strands. There is no advantage to rapping on only one, only an increase in risk. I dont use a biner to block the anchor, I just rap on both strands like they are twin ropes. I have never had problems with the rope moving through the anchor, you just need to be careful and aware.
there are advantages to the biner block ... it just takes practice and you need to know where to use it or not

every try re-ascending a 10mm + 7mm dual strand rappel? ... try it sometime

simply fix the line with a clove, first person goes down ... etc ... the last person takes out the clove and raps on both strands, that way the person at the bottom anchor can give a firemans

easy as apple pie

;)
bearbreeder · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 3,065
JeffL wrote:One issue not mentioned yet is the ability for you to pull the ropes. I have not yet been in a situation where I couldn't pull my ropes down using the skinny one, but if the anchor was way back on a slab, the friction could make pulling with the skinny rope very difficult. Consider carrying gloves so when pulling, the skinny rope doesn't dig into your hands if you have to pull really hard.
put the skinny tag in autoblock on your reverso attached to your belay loop, or use an autoblock munter (or garda) ... and simply let your body do the work

if you are on a hanging belay a dynamic tether might be prudent with the above

;)
Bill M · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Jun 2010 · Points: 321
JeffL wrote:One issue not mentioned yet is the ability for you to pull the ropes. I have not yet been in a situation where I couldn't pull my ropes down using the skinny one, but if the anchor was way back on a slab, the friction could make pulling with the skinny rope very difficult. Consider carrying gloves so when pulling, the skinny rope doesn't dig into your hands if you have to pull really hard. Also, if you're trying to TR on a two rope set up, you open up a couple more logistics that you'll need to learn.
It is not an issue of not being able to pull it all. Its an issue of getting the rope stuck and having 100 feet of 7 mm cord to work with to reclimb the pitch. I've stuck double ropes several times in Red Rocks due to wind.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply

Log In to Reply