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Problem Solving


Original Post
Heavy on the J · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2017 · Points: 0

For the sake of discussion, let's say you have accidentally rappelled past an anchor with a heavy haul bag. How would you get back up to the anchor?

I know, I know, the first one down should have left the pig for the 2nd, but maybe you have two bags. 

I have my answer ready, but I'm interested to hear what others come up with. And yes, it's a hypothetical situation that should be rare, but I've found myself in a similar predicament so it's not totally out of the question.

ClimbingOn · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 405

The question is too vague to give a "This is how I would do it" answer. Is the route overhanging? Are there bolts on the face? Cracks? What gear do you have? Practically every situation will yield a slightly different answer. I would choose the best solution at the time given the particulars of the route and the gear I have on hand.

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

Dump out the water and cams from the pack leaving only your sleeping bag and pillow. Next, rap off the end of the rope taking care to ensure the pig remains directly below you as you crater toward the ground. Then ensuring that your sleeping bag and pillow is packed on top of the pig, just directly below you, enjoy a nice, soft landing as the pig cushions your fall. Easy.

Other than that, ClimbingOn gave the only correct answer that can be given. It all depends on what you have to work with. If it’s a bolted route, I’d just clip the pig to a bolt and jug up. If it’s not bolted, I’d build a mini anchor and clip the pig to that, then jug back up.

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

Different options:

1. Kill yourself

2. Prussik

3. Drop the haul bag. Apparently the hardmens used to chuck theirs off the top of a route and then hike down. 

JK- · · SLC · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 58

WIthout more information it's hard to give a "best" answer. But assuming I have no other options to anchor myself, the bag, or the rope to and HAVE to return to the previous anchor...

I'm going to tie a butterfly or some such in my rope and attach the pig to that, then ascend to the anchor. Haul the pig as close to normal as possible from there.

physnchips · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 0
grog m aka Greg McKee wrote:

3. Drop the haul bag. Apparently the hardmens used to chuck theirs off the top of a route and then hike down. 

I've been so tempted in the past, but seems I'm just not cut out for the hardmens club.

Heavy on the J · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2017 · Points: 0

JK's answer is most similar to what I had in mind.  When I rap with a haul bag I typically put the bag on rappel on an extended sling clipped to the rappel device, then clip myself to that 'biner with a separate 'biner.  That setup would make it very easy to escape the haul bag by just adding some stopper knots below the belay device, attaching yourself to prusiks above the device, then unclipping and jugging the ropes on the prusiks.  You could then haul the bag to the anchor using either strand of rope.  

In my real world similar situation, my partner was doing a double rope rap with the haul bag, and ended up hanging in space about 80' down, with a set of anchors on the wall in front of him (but out of reach).  He could have kept rapping to where the ropes came back in contact with the wall, but we weren't sure if he would find another rap station, and the blank face didn't offer many options for a gear anchor.  It was also dark.  

He tried swinging into the wall but it was tough to get enough momentum going.  From the anchor above, I ended up prusiking down the ropes to where they came free of the wall, and from there I could push/pull the ropes to help him generate a swing.  He was eventually able to snag the anchor and then everything was back to normal.  

But of course it got us brainstorming other solutions.  Our next move would have been to get him and the haul bag back to the anchor as described above, then rap without the haul bag (should have done that the first time), which would make it easier to swing to the anchors below or explore further down for another rap station.  Cutting the pig loose definitely came to mind ;)

Thanks for the replies.  I realize the question was a little vague and open-ended, but I enjoy hearing different ideas for potential solutions.  Has anyone else encountered a similar scenario?

ViperScale . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 235

Hope you have knots tied at the end of the line, tie off the haul bag to something so it is no longer pulling you or the rope down, go back up the rope to the anchor, get the haul bag on the way back down.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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