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800ft rappel in the watercourse, which device to use: BMS microrack or Scarab?

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by Stupidjak, May 3, 2018.

  1. hobo_climber

    hobo_climber

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    Just gonna chime in here cos, 1. I know the dude who makes the Ti racks and 2. I own one myself...

    These racks are the business.

    I've been caving (& using SS/Ti racks) for 18ish years now and I can't say i've EVER felt the need to add or drop bars from my standard 4 bar U frame rack (think it would be about 9"). Don't quite understand the concept to be honest. It has served me well (and most people I cave with in NZ are the same) on everything from 10ft nuisance drops to 600ft monsters. 8, 9, 10, 13mm ropes, single, double (double 13's is a push!), wet, muddy, dry whatever. never felt the need to "adjust my friction setting".

    Maybe I'm missing out on something, or maybe our training down this side of the world is different...
    Kuenn likes this.
  2. hobo_climber

    hobo_climber

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    To answer this question directly... Yes, with a 5 bar U rack, this technique is totally achivable, some of my mates are '5 bar' guys and will use their thumb on the hand holding the rack (non control hand) to push the 5th bar upwards towards the bottom of longer drops as kind of a "soft brake"
    Kuenn likes this.
  3. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    Copy that.

    So @Stupidjak , I'm glad @hobo_climber chimed in with some alternative views... that will help you have a healthy decision tree. In the rack world it does, in large measure, come down to what you were first exposed to.

    Like the 90 degree rack-twist debate...which to me is just silly....to each his own. You may have noticed spacers on my racks between bars 1 and 2. Personal preference - aids with delivering a smooth rappel. User preference, again.

    Happy rapping on whatever choice you make for those l o o o o o n g rappels.
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
    Rapterman and ratagonia like this.
  4. Stupidjak

    Stupidjak

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    Thanks hobo_climber and Kuenn for the advice. I was talking with the Ti maker and his racks are fully custom. He says that all the kiwis use the standard 5 bar U-rack without hyperbars (so as to not bring extra weight and not have a device that catches on anything), but american's like hyperbars, so he can add them in any configuration. He even does a 4-bar version with double hyperbars that looks like a lightweight microrack. Pretty damn awesome, and actually not crazy expensive seeing how you get 30% off (thank you NZ dollar).

    A side note, the maker mentioned that you can wrap the rope over the top bar, so theoretically no hyperbar should be needed.

    Hopefully all of this info will be useful to somebody else ready switch over to a rack to tackle the big one!
  5. Stupidjak

    Stupidjak

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  6. Rapterman

    Rapterman

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    OK...
    Thats BIG
    Kuenn likes this.
  7. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    Sweet!!

    So maybe what's not being discussed here... the proverbial 800 lb gorilla in the corner... and to me bears far greater risk/reward/failure than the material composition of your rappelling device, is the diameter of the rope at that distance. I trust that is some smooth/soft rock! :eek:
    Brian in SLC and hank moon like this.
  8. townsend

    townsend

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    From my limited knowledge of racks, the back-and-forth between OP and others on racks has been extremely informative. I really appreciate all who have shared their knowledge. I really think a rack is in my future (and maybe even a titanium one). Carry on.

    Scott
  9. townsend

    townsend

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