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ACA Techniques - Contingency Anchors

Discussion in 'Archives - Yahoo Canyons Group' started by rcwild@wildernessmail.net, Apr 24, 2001.

  1. Howdy, Matt,

    Couple quick points regarding your message.

    The techniques we teach in our courses are not fully used by CP canyoneers, but should be. People seem to think that since they are trying to avoid wet canyons they don't need to know any specialized canyoneering techniques. Fact is, canyoneers don't need two sets of skills -- simple skills for dry canyons and advanced skills for wet canyons. They need one set of comprehensive skills that prepares them for any situation they might encounter (wet or dry) and makes them as efficient as possible. Efficiency = safety in canyoneering. Being more efficient will also allow more time to enjoy the canyon instead of wasting time rigging excessive amounts of rope, recoiling excessive amounts of rope, etc.

    Regarding contingency anchors; I would set one up even in the scenario you provided. Let's say you have a 150 foot rope. You deploy 100 feet of it (for a 100 foot rappel), so only 50 feet of rope is left in your bag. What if the person gets stuck 40 feet from the ground? Or what if they get stuck on a free hanging part of the rappel, but could make contact with the rock and free themselves if you lowered them 40 feet?

    If you need to lower them most of the 100 feet -- What will you be using for your second rope? In the scenario above, you will need at least 50 more feet of rope for retrieval. Assuming it is a good rope and not just retrieval cord, you could either tie the ropes together once your main line is fully deployed (and pass the knot through your belay) or (if your second rope is at least 100 feet long) you could rig it with a bachman (or an ascender) on the main rope, set up a quick munter on a separate carabiner, release the contingency anchor on your main rope and lower away.

    Rich
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