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Descending a weighted rope


Sam Fletcher · · Idaho · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 50

Ryan Swanson wrote:

Do you folks always have cord or slings for friction hitches when doing sport multi-pitch?  

I was thinking about highly unlikely scenarios that we don't plan for due to the insanely low probability of occurrence.  Nonetheless, there is a very remote chance that one might need to get down a rope that is weighted, so rather than be hard at work, I'm thinking about how to escape this situation.

Short answer, yes, but they are certainly multifunctional.

  • I always have a hollow block and a 120cm Nylon sling on me for a rappel extension/backup
  • I almost always bring a few alpine draws even for Sport Multi. Use the slings.
  • I almost always bring a cordelette pre-tied as a quad for my anchors. You could have 1-2 when you are rappeling depending on the situation.

Just a few ideas. As for the situation you describe. ASSUMING they have a backup which wont allow rope to pass through the device, using the material above you can build a haul system on one strand, generating slack on the other side. From there, you could either munter mule to be at baseline or just go straight into a counter balanced rappel. It would be a PITA since you can't utilize the backside of the rope for the haul system but it certainly could be done...

Allen Sanderson · · Oootah · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,145

Pee on the rope which will allow it to stretch thus allowing your partner reach the ground. Either that it will revive them. At that point you can rappel. If that does not work at least you have an empty bladder and will feel better.

Bill Kirby · · Baltimore Maryland · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 480

HA! Now you’re glad you have that $150 headlamp.

I would setup 3.1 and haul my partner back up 190 feet. I’m not sure you puny gumbies would do.

jg fox · · Long Beach, CA · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 5

Bill Kirby wrote:

HA! Now you’re glad you have that $150 headlamp.

I would setup 3.1 and haul my partner back up 190 feet. I’m not sure you puny gumbies would do.

3:1 with both ends of the rope weighted in the same direction?  Have fun.

Bill Kirby · · Baltimore Maryland · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 480

jg fox wrote:

3:1 with both ends of the rope weighted in the same direction?  Have fun.

Puny Gumby.. Ok ok 6.1 but only because I skipped chest and tris last week.

David Morison · · salt lake city, UT · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 70

If you have cordage for prusiks you could tie into the middle of the rope space/counterwight haul down to your partner, get them to the rope ends, then batman back up (well you'd run out of counter weight near the top..)

Sean Peter · · IL · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 80

Ryan Swanson wrote:

Do you folks always have cord or slings for friction hitches when doing sport multi-pitch?  

I was thinking about highly unlikely scenarios that we don't plan for due to the insanely low probability of occurrence.  Nonetheless, there is a very remote chance that one might need to get down a rope that is weighted, so rather than be hard at work, I'm thinking about how to escape this situation.

Why would you NOT always carry prussiks if you are concerned about insanely low probability occurrences?   

Harald Swen · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 0

2 lockers are all you need to descend safely and in control. A prusik as a back-up is advisable.

A locker and a figure eight are better though.

Who knows the magic trick :-)

David Morison · · salt lake city, UT · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 70

Harald Swen wrote:

2 lockers are all you need to descend safely and in control. A prusik as a back-up is advisable.

A locker and a figure eight are better though.

Who knows the magic trick :-)

carabiner break? I could see that working

Sam Sala · · Denver · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 40

David Morison wrote:

carabiner break? I could see that working

How would you get the carabiner brake rigged? Don't you need to pull slack into the system to weave it all together?

Greg Shea · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 10

1. take your shirt off (this is sport climbing remember)

2. clip a quickdraw to the ropes and to your belay loop as a way of telling yourself that your somehow being safer than a random person in the same scenario

3. wrap the shirt around the ropes above the quick draw to prevent rope burn

4. this 

David Morison · · salt lake city, UT · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 70

Sam Sala wrote:

How would you get the carabiner brake rigged? Don't you need to pull slack into the system to weave it all together?

Yah, if you can't unweight the rope you'd have to lever one locker with the taught rope in its basket through the second locker. Once it's rigged I think you might be able to drag yourself down the rope. Putting some body weight on the "break bar" caribiner might help. If you have sling for a prussik or two I could imagine some options for making slack.

bttrrtRock Charles · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 5

This makes me salty as hell thus: Only sport climbers would multipitch without a prussik and slings. 

Any how id bet you could make a reasonably effective brake by individually wrapping sport draws around the rope. 

Or cut a loops of fabric off your pants for prussik  material. Its already sewn in a loop. 

Guess that assumes you have a knife. 

Hamish Malin · · Fredericksburg, VA · Joined May 2017 · Points: 15

shoot the hostage

DayMartin · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 0

Prusiks using the laces from your TC pros. 

simplyput . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 60

Chalk bag prussik cord.

Ooh, I opened up that can o' worms!

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


T Roper · · the gym · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 865

DayMartin wrote:

Prusiks using the laces from your TC pros. 

so thats why they are called pros

Eric L · · Roseville, CA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 115

The only way down is up.

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 456

If you have cord for friction hitches but don't want to prusik down (either because you're THAT lazy or because of some medical emergency or something that requires you to be on the ground ASAP):

  1. Tie a releasable friction hitch to one strand of the rope and clip to the anchor. Tie another friction hitch on the other strand as low as you can reach. Clip this second friction hitch to the first friction hitch but with slack
  2. Cut the rope above the second friction hitch.
  3. Now you have the other half of the rope and you can either counter-balance rap or just fix the other half of rope and rap normally. 
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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