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Dropped your ATC? Here are some options


Original Post
Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,745

I keep hearing about folks who carry a 2nd device "in case they drop the ATC".  That's IMO silly and unnecessary.  Here's a list of things you can do to continue a multiple rap descent if someone drops their device.

Lower them to the next anchor. (Might be best solution.  A good idea anyway on very broken or low angle terrain, or or crazy-windy days.  Saddlebagging of course is also appropriate under those situations)

Give them your device. Tie it to the rope and pull it back up to you.  (Not a good idea if it'll snag on the way back up)

Use a carabiner brake. (Practice ahead of time)

Do a spidered tandem rap. (Practice ahead of time!)

Secure the rope and use a Grigri on one strand. (For folks who carry a Grigri on multipitch) Second person raps normally.

Secure the rope and rap on one strand using a Munter Hitch. Second person raps normally.

Do a Dulfer or other body-wrap type of rap. (Not recommended for vertical terrain)

I am intentionally NOT listing any sort of counterweighted tandem/simul rap.  There's nothing good about it.

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

I keep hearing about folks who carry a 2nd device "in case they drop the ATC".  That's IMO silly and unnecessary.  Here's a list of things you can do to continue a multiple rap descent if someone drops their device.

Lower them to the next anchor. (Might be best solution.  A good idea anyway on very broken or low angle terrain, or or crazy-windy days.  Saddlebagging of course is also appropriate under those situations)

Give them your device. Tie it to the rope and pull it back up to you.  (Not a good idea if it'll snag on the way back up)

Use a carabiner brake. (Practice ahead of time)

Do a spidered tandem rap. (Practice ahead of time!)

Secure the rope and use a Grigri on one strand. (For folks who carry a Grigri on multipitch) Second person raps normally.

Secure the rope and rap on one strand using a Munter Hitch. Second person raps normally.

Do a Dulfer or other body-wrap type of rap. (Not recommended for vertical terrain)

I am intentionally NOT listing any sort of counterweighted tandem/simul rap.  There's nothing good about it.

And - rappel on both strands with a Munter. 

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 190

Great topic!  Wouldn't you need 2 devices for a simulrap, anyways?  I've only done it once, but we both were on rappel at the same time and needed to be in order for it to work the way we did it.

I've also been in the situation you described once, and it was fairly early on in my climbing career.  What we ended up doing was I rapped down and then lowered my partner on a slingshot TR belay from the bottom.  I thought about lowering him first but was not 100% sure how it would work from the top (and didn't want to experiment for obvious reasons).  How would you do it?

grog m aka Greg McKee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 70

Lets quit being scared of simo-rapping. Its fast and efficient. You can simo rap off of a munter hitch with your partner on their device. 

John Barritt · · OKC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 1,053

The old ways are truly lost...........rap on one locking gate............ ;)

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 190

Aaah, good call Greg.  That would work with a Munter.

beensandbagged · · R.I. · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 10
grog m aka Greg McKee wrote:

Lets quit being scared of simo-rapping. Its fast and efficient. You can simo rap off of a munter hitch with your partner on their device. 

A dislike and fear of rapping will help keep you alive.

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,745
grog m aka Greg McKee wrote:

Lets quit being scared of simo-rapping. Its fast and efficient. You can simo rap off of a munter hitch with your partner on their device. 

I was referring to a counterweighted set-up, where one climber is tied to the end of the rope and the other raps on one strand.  They need to be tethered together since friction at the anchor (which the rope moves through as they descend) will tend to hold one of them in place.  Like it said, it sucks.  A real simo OTOH with a Munter and the remaining device would be fine. As would the lower-then-lower approach.  SO MANY SOLUTIONS, eh?

DCarey · · Missoula · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 15

I dropped my ATC off the top of Castleton. Rapped down the north face on a munter with a prusik backup. Went slowly but I'm alive and off the top so... 

Jason Scott Heacock · · Milford, NH · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 790

I don't know the exact weight for a back up ATC but its so light that you don't even notice it.   The munter hitch is awesome as a last resort for belaying or rappelling but it puts one hell of a twist into the rope and that makes rope management a pain in the neck.  Brake carabiner requires 5 or 6 biners doesn't it, unless I've mistaken. Either way ATC'c weigh next to nothing....

David Kerkeslager · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 55
grog m aka Greg McKee wrote:

Lets quit being scared of simo-rapping. Its fast and efficient. You can simo rap off of a munter hitch with your partner on their device. 

Nobody cares how fast and efficient your rap system was when it drops and kills you. A disproportionate quantity of rapping deaths I've read reports of were during simul-rappel. I'd practice it for the rare cases where it's the only way to get down, but speed isn't a good enough reason.

If you want to take risks with your life, fine, but don't go around telling people to stop being scared of things that are perfectly rational to be scared of.

You're also the guy who thought it was a great idea to teach a newbie to rappel at the top of a multipitch not that long ago. I hope you gain a sense of caution before you get yourself or a partner killed.

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,745
Jason Scott Heacock wrote:

I don't know the exact weight in grams for an extra ATC but its so light?  What if you just led the pitch were setting up the belay and dropped your Grigri or whatever primary device. Wouldn't it be nice to dig into your pack or reach back to the rear gear loop of your harness and have that back up?  Not only can you easily lower off later on, your partner can be belayed with greater peace of mind.  The munter hitch is awesome as a last resort for belaying or rappelling but it puts one hell of a twist into the rope and that makes rope management that much more a pain.  Brake carabiner requires 6 biners doesnt it, unless I've mistaken. Either way ATC'c weigh next to nothing....

Admittedly, dropping your device at the top of a lead leaves you with fewer options than during the descent.  It's pretty much Munter or body belay I suppose.  As far as twisting goes, a properly manged Munter (help the rope feed INTO the hitch) produces vastly less twisting than a redirected ATC belay.

Kevin DeWeese 1 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2014 · Points: 0

Or have all of these in your back pocket and carry another rap device because none of us are climbing so hard that we need the extra advantage of saving the 2oz.

mcarizona · · Flag · Joined Feb 2007 · Points: 180

Remember when we used to have a small cord tied to the tuber or atc (of old) to prevent this kind of problem.  I admit, I don't have that on my current device, but maybe I (we) should.

Steve

IcePick · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2017 · Points: 100

I guess the Figure 8 is obsolete now ?   

Here's a thought- Rappeling is dangerous- just read the accident reports-walk off if possible OR be an expert with multiple ways of rapping AND be sure to double check everybody in your party.

LEARN FROM A PROFESSIONAL 

I've seen retards Aussie rapping face first in the ground 

Jfriday1 · · Conifer, CO · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 40

Just learn to belay and rap with a munter knot, its the only method you really need to know.  Takes 5 min to practice it.

highaltitudeflatulentexpulsion · · Colorado · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 35
David Kerkeslager wrote:

Nobody cares how fast and efficient your rap system was when it drops and kills you. A disproportionate quantity of rapping deaths I've read reports of were during simul-rappel. I'd practice it for the rare cases where it's the only way to get down, but speed isn't a good enough reason.

Source?

mediocre · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 0
David Kerkeslager wrote:

Nobody cares how fast and efficient your rap system was when it drops and kills you. A disproportionate quantity of rapping deaths I've read reports of were during simul-rappel. I'd practice it for the rare cases where it's the only way to get down, but speed isn't a good enough reason.

If you want to take risks with your life, fine, but don't go around telling people to stop being scared of things that are perfectly rational to be scared of.

You're also the guy who thought it was a great idea to teach a newbie to rappel at the top of a multipitch not that long ago. I hope you gain a sense of caution before you get yourself or a partner killed.

Oh shit. If that's not calling someone out I dont know what is.

ebmudder · · Bronx, NY · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 50

Thanks Gunkiemike...all good options. Using a munter with both strands is the simplest  method and requires no gear, as long as you don't drop your HMS biner along with your ATC. BUT...if you have 10 raps to the ground, rope management may become a huge PITA because of the munter twisting the rope. 

Your other suggestion of having your partner lower you is often overlooked... but in the case where you're doing multiple rappels you would have to tie back into the rope and rig a lower at each rap station...a lot more room for error.

grog m aka Greg McKee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 70
Kevin DeWeese 1 wrote:

Or have all of these in your back pocket and carry another rap device because none of us are climbing so hard that we need the extra advantage of saving the 2oz.

Dude the extra belay device would totally ruin my crimping power. And I would have to kiss slopers good by. Thats why I empty my pockets before climbing and take off my shirt - weight savings. 

anotherclimber · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 70

A good list gunkiemike! A couple of other options also exist that I'm aware of. If the leader carries hexes on their rack, a medium to large size one can be used just like an ATC to rappel with. Also if a solid rappel ring is carried for bail gear, or purposefully as a backup rappel device, that can also be used just like an ATC to rappel. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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