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Cows Tail PAS

Original Post
Anonymous · · Unknown Hometown · Joined unknown · Points: 12,235

Hello all, my name is Glenn, im new here. This 1st post actually .   Ill try to make this short and sweet!

Ok so cow tails, there not much info on them (I assume because of new PAS chains) Personally  i clove hitch to the anchor, but I've needed a PAS, and decided it's time to get one. I dont want to spend 60$ on something i can make from  rope for vary little money, and the idea of using my 120 runner doesnt sit well (no shock load, people have died using a runner as a PAS) My question, or questions are.....

1st....   what is the best way to attach the cows tail to my harness??   Most say a girth hitch to the tie in points, and others say use a carabiner to belay loop,  so you can remove it if you need to.   (I was taught cloth through tie in points, and metal through belay loop) is this correct?

2nd.... what size rope should I use because SRT uses 11 that's insain I dont even climb on 11.

r m · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 0

I've phrased this in terms of what I do/would do. Not saying anyone else should follow my lead ;).

Been thinking of making a cowstail for climbing lately.

The image at the top of http://ropewiki.com/Cowstails (2020/01/11) is what I used for caving, except minor detail - the harness part was a FoE. You might want to have a search around through caving literature to see what that communities thoughts are. If you gave me a climbing harness I'd still use a FoE to attach it - it won't be as fast to remove as a girth hitch, but no slower than tying in.

I've never heard "cloth through tie in points, and metal through belay loop" before. It has some truth in it (rope should go through tie in, belay device on belay loop) but it doesn't seem a useful universal law. I girth hitch slings to my belay loop often. Some harnesses don't have belay loops at all.

And yeah 11mm is pretty thick to a climber. It's not that thick to a caver. You have your own judgement, if you're happy taking a giant whipper on a 9.5mm, how do you feel about a 9.5mm cowstail?

Dave Dave · · Dave, Namur, BE · Joined May 2016 · Points: 0

Commercial rope lanyards will probably be a bit more convenient, but if you want to DIY - youtube.com/watch?v=DpWKrgh…;

Anonymous · · Unknown Hometown · Joined unknown · Points: 12,235

That was a good video thank you!!!!   1 thing confused me though..... why did he attach the belay device to the cows tail and not the belay loop???   That seems dangerous for both you and your partner am I wrong.... I mean doesnt that kind of take away from it being a PERSONAL  anchor system?    

I top rope a 9.6, mix with a 8.9 and have prusiks in different sizes so I guess 7 or 8 would be good for a cows tail right???

One last thing....      can I just get some cordage, double fisherman each side with a locking carabiner, butterfly in the middle and attach it to a carabiner on my belay loop???? then I could belay and PAS when i need to on same carabiner...... or same thing but figure 8 to tie ins and not the carabiner on belay loop..  Sorry I'm just looking for best and safest option which I know can be differnt with everyone

Chris W · · Burlington, VT · Joined May 2015 · Points: 233

Who has died using runners as PAS? I use my runners as my anchor attachment frequently. Sure you don't want it running against a rope, and you don't want to whip onto it... But very rarely should your anchor attachment be loaded dynamically. Cuts down on extra stuff on the harness. And can use my cord or rope in a pinch if need be.

I've heard of deaths due to Daisy chain but not many due to typical runners that are in good condition

normajean · · Reading, PA · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 100

I learned about Pursell Prusik this forum years ago and very happy with the system. It satisfies the requirements of being cheap, adjustable, redundant, and dynamic. You can learn how to tie one on Animated Knots. I have two of these girth hitched to my tigh in lops. I think I used a 7 mm rope. 

The only issue it somewhat crowds the tie ins. You can see it on this pic on the left where I am using just one because I am actually on the ground practicing during a class. Normally, I would clip another one to a second bolt. 
chris magness · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 590

Glenn,

You're opening several cans of worms, topics that have been discussed and debated tirelessly here..

I don't use a PAS ever.  You can connect to an anchor with a locker and clove, as you suggested.  When it's time to rap, use a runner- which you should already have with you.

You mentioned runner failure.  True, dyneema is weaker when it's knotted and is a completely static material.  If you are clipped to an anchor with a knotted dyneema sling, move above it for some reason and slip, you risk loading the sling beyond its capacity.  You're more apt to win Powerball than you are to kill yourself in this fashion.

If you're concerned, use a nylon or nylon blend runner as a teather.  My course of action.

No biner at your harness for a connection.  Girth hitch or basket with an overhand.

Cheers.

Greg Davis · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 10

Cows tails are great, you can use them to beef up rap anchors and for bail tat as well.

I like the pursell prussik as well, takes some practice but it's a pretty superior way to use cord material to tether.

Have you looked into the petzl connect? To me that might be the best system, beefy rope but with some adjustability.

If you are trying to stick to a budget pursell is probably the way to go, or cows tail. Either one is cool, just would like to echo what others have said and find a mentor or guide that can iron out some kinks.

Insert name · · Hell · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 60
Glenn johnson wrote: Hello all, my name is Glenn, im new here. This 1st post actually .   Ill try to make this short and sweet!

Ok so cow tails, there not much info on them (I assume because of new PAS chains) Personally  i clove hitch to the anchor, but I've needed a PAS, and decided it's time to get one. I dont want to spend 60$ on something i can make from  rope for vary little money, and the idea of using my 120 runner doesnt sit well (no shock load, people have died using a runner as a PAS) My question, or questions are.....

1st....   what is the best way to attach the cows tail to my harness??   Most say a girth hitch to the tie in points, and others say use a carabiner to belay loop,  so you can remove it if you need to.   (I was taught cloth through tie in points, and metal through belay loop) is this correct?

2nd.... what size rope should I use because SRT uses 11 that's insain I dont even climb on 11.

SRT? 

You can use mallion/quicklinks to connect to your harness.
Personally I think I would use some 6mm cord or just use a non dyneema slings.
Anonymous · · Unknown Hometown · Joined unknown · Points: 12,235

Search rescue team, thanks for the replys 

Insert name · · Hell · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 60
Glenn johnson wrote: Search rescue team, thanks for the replys 

I figured you were referring to that or SRT arborist style.

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,936

Glenn - you're overthinking this. Any of the methods you mention is fine: biner-on-belay-loop, girth-through-tie-in-points, webbing, sling, Purcell. All of them will do the job. Stop trying to identify "the safest"; They're all good and none will get you hurt unless you F up in some major way.

Anonymous · · Unknown Hometown · Joined unknown · Points: 12,235
Gunkiemike wrote: Glenn - you're overthinking this. Any of the methods you mention is fine: biner-on-belay-loop, girth-through-tie-in-points, webbing, sling, Purcell. All of them will do the job. Stop trying to identify "the safest"; They're all good and none will get you hurt unless you F up in some major way.

True but the one thing I've noticed is no standers in climbing... with all the options it seems that why people get confused and hurt. If we could identify the safest quickest and lightest option wouldnt that be best....    I realize there different applications....   when it my.life on the line I tend to think alot hahaha...  but your right I probably am over thinking ;)    

Insert name · · Hell · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 60
Glenn johnson wrote:

True but the one thing I've noticed is no standers in climbing... with all the options it seems that why people get confused and hurt. If we could identify the safest quickest and lightest option wouldnt that be best....    I realize there different applications....   when it my.life on the line I tend to think alot hahaha...  but your right I probably am over thinking ;)    

There is no right answer for every person, scenario, etc. 

I know a lot of SRT guys and while they follow “rules” they aren’t always using the best method pending who is in the group and their experience.  
Turner · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 432

I've been recommending the Sterling Chain Reactor PAS or the Petzl Connect Adjust depending on your situation.

Follow the manufactures recommendation for attaching it to your harness.

Don't use some POS homemade Purcell whatever. Knots do not belong in a tether.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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