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Descending a weighted rope


Nate Tastic · · 88,4,108,50, 80 · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 10
Eric L wrote:

The only way down is up.

In my case, the only way down is down ;-)

Did that movie ever come out?

Em Cos · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 5

Not sure what you've got against the prusik hitch, but you could always tie a kleimheist instead. 

rgold · · Poughkeepsie, NY · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 525

I've actually had to do this, and with a partner hanging in space to boot.  Down-prusiked the ropes.  This can be challenging and maybe impossible if the ropes are held against rock protrusions or pinned along the length of a slab, fortunately I just had to get past one or two tight points at the top and then the ropes hung free from the rock face.

Lothian Buss · · Albany, NY · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 15
rgold wrote:

I've actually had to do this, and with a partner hanging in space to boot.  Down-prusiked the ropes.  This can be challenging and maybe impossible if the ropes are held against rock protrusions or pinned along the length of a slab, fortunately I just had to get past one or two tight points at the top and then the ropes hung free from the rock face.

I have so many "where when what why how" questions about this. Any chance you'd take the time to flesh out the story?

Danny Herrera · · San Bruno, CA · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 330

multi pitch sport and calling people gumbys

rgold · · Poughkeepsie, NY · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 525
Stiles · · the Mountains · Joined May 2003 · Points: 840

Batman down

Franck Vee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 40
jg fox wrote:

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

But if you pulled only one side of the rope?

You setup the 3:1 on one strand and you use a prussic to hold the system between pulls. Your buddy has prussic - I'm not positive it would hold in that weird position (with just one strand of the rope pulling up, the other one slack once you start pulling). But let's say we've tested and it does.

You pulley will start to accumulate slack. You can do back-up knows on with that slack to make the system redundant in case your pulley system slips. And just clip that to your anchor.

EDIT: Would the prussic holds? It would be still able to bite into the rope it would seem. And it would probably stay consistantly loaded (assuming you pull slowly). Would be interesting to test.

Franck Vee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 40
eli poss wrote:

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. 

Interesting, but for some reason I'm reluctant to cut the rope.... Like cutting, essentially, a loaded rope...

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 442
Franck Vee wrote:

Interesting, but for some reason I'm reluctant to cut the rope.... Like cutting, essentially, a loaded rope...

Yes, this would be a last resort scenario where getting to the ground very quickly was urgent. For example, maybe you just stung by an insect you're allergic to and you forgot your epi in your pack. Or maybe you're a diabetic and can feel your blood sugar getting dangerously low and you're out of food. Or perhaps you suffer from some kind of seizure disorder and you can feel a seizure coming on.  

JonasMR · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 6
eli poss wrote:

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. 

Took me a second to follow, but I think I see it now.  Probably step 2.5 is tie a fisherman's on the end of your new rap line (to backup slipping through the hitch) and the other new rope end to the anchor (to back up the first friction hitch)?

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 442
JonasMR wrote:

Took me a second to follow, but I think I see it now.  Probably step 2.5 is tie a fisherman's on the end of your new rap line (to backup slipping through the hitch) and the other new rope end to the anchor (to back up the first friction hitch)?

Not quite. You would be fixing your new rap line to the anchor, probably with a fig 8 on a bight or similar and doing the same for the other line that your unconscious partner is now hanging on. That way, you're only relying soling on a friction hitch a few seconds while you cut the line. Typically you wouldn't want to do this, but if you're unconcious partner is hanging like 5 ft off the ground then it drastically lowers the stakes.

The second friction hitch, tied to your new rap line and clipped to the friction hitch your partner is hanging on isn't ever being weighted. It's only there to capture the other strand when you cut the rope, otherwise it falls to the ground and you have to prusik down normally. 


JonasMR · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 6

Hmm, I think I'm not following then.  I was thinking the goal of the two friction hitches is to give you slack in the side of the rope that will become your new rap line, thus it couldn't reach to the anchor to get tied off.  I may need a quality MS paint visual aid here.

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 442
JonasMR wrote:

Hmm, I think I'm not following then.  I was thinking the goal of the two friction hitches is to give you slack in the side of the rope that will become your new rap line, thus it couldn't reach to the anchor to get tied off.  I may need a quality MS paint visual aid here.

Yes the goal would be to create slack if you were going to cut the rope and then tie them back together for a counter-balance rap. But if time is an urgent factor then you may not want to mess around with a counterbalance rap. In that case, you free one half of the rope by cutting it and then fix the free half to the anchor and single strand rap down to the ground.

Unfortunately I don't have access to MS paint because I'm on chromebook and the best app I could find makes MS paint seem like photoshop. Yeah, it's that bad. 

Em Cos · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 5
eli poss wrote:

Not quite. You would be fixing your new rap line to the anchor, probably with a fig 8 on a bight or similar and doing the same for the other line that your unconscious partner is now hanging on. That way, you're only relying soling on a friction hitch a few seconds while you cut the line. Typically you wouldn't want to do this, but if you're unconcious partner is hanging like 5 ft off the ground then it drastically lowers the stakes.

The second friction hitch, tied to your new rap line and clipped to the friction hitch your partner is hanging on isn't ever being weighted. It's only there to capture the other strand when you cut the rope, otherwise it falls to the ground and you have to prusik down normally. 


How could you pull up either half of the line enough to attach it to the anchor? Either they are both still firmly gripped by your partner's rappel device and autoblock hitch, or you imagine cutting the rope will somehow dislodge the autoblock and then you've just killed your partner. 

Petroclimbsagain · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 0
rgold wrote:

I thought EVERYBODY was joking on this post, my first joke was inappropriate...


Pop702 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 10

Vt prusik?

JonasMR · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 6

Here is what I understood to be the Poss Maneuver.  Climber is at Z, put friction hitch 1 at AB, friction hitch 2 at BC.  Cut rope at D making ends D and E.  Your buddy is friction hitched at Z to both strands, and is now supported by ABZ through friction hitch 1.  Use unweighted end D to tie a knot around A to back up your buddy and make sure hitch 2 can't slide off.  Tie a stopper knot at E, slide it down to C.  The distance EC is the slack you introduce in that line and are using to thread/operate your belay device.  Rappel down to your buddy on line EC (supported by friction hitch 2), clip into his harness as backup, and apply pterodactyl anti-venom or Meteor-B-Gone as necessary.  To get to the ground you'd have to pass the "knot" that is your buddies rap device, which would mean down-ascending and is contrary to the rules.  But perhaps I am misunderstanding?
Rob Warden...Space Lizard · · Between Zion, Vegas, LA, an… · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 115

The answer  is a valdotain tresse knot. 

Em Cos · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 5
JonasMR wrote:

Here is what I understood to be the Poss Maneuver.  Climber is at Z, put friction hitch 1 at AB, friction hitch 2 at BC.  Cut rope at D making ends D and E.  Your buddy is friction hitched at Z to both strands, and is now supported by ABZ through friction hitch 1.  Use unweighted end D to tie a knot around A to back up your buddy and make sure hitch 2 can't slide off.  Tie a stopper knot at E, slide it down to C.  The distance EC is the slack you introduce in that line and are using to thread/operate your belay device.  Rappel down to your buddy on line EC (supported by friction hitch 2), clip into his harness as backup, and apply pterodactyl anti-venom or Meteor-B-Gone as necessary.  To get to the ground you'd have to pass the "knot" that is your buddies rap device, which would mean down-ascending and is contrary to the rules.  But perhaps I am misunderstanding?

I can see how it might be possible, by cutting as far as possible from the center point, to get enough tail to fix one of the lines to the anchor, but definitely not both. So you're ruining your rope, introducing a lot of unnecessary risk, and forcing that extra risk on your unsuspecting partner. Depending on how far away they are this might not even save much time, and can only be done if you have at least enough cord for two loops and the skills to tie them into friction hitches. What in the everloving fuck is the theoretical advantage of this sketchfest over simply using those same cords and friction hitches to descend the weighted rope? 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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