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Backing up Raps

Discussion in 'Archives - Yahoo Canyons Group' started by utahraptor@webuniverse.net, Oct 1, 2001.

  1. I'm curious to know if any of you heavy hitters out there back up your rappels with a prussic or any other such safety device/knot and if so, do you rig it above or below your rap device? pros/cons?
  2. I've only used prusiks for crevasse rescue, but I've known people who like to use the prusiks as a back up when they rap. From what I do know, they force you to rap alot slower. I would think that if you are a proficient rappeller it's probably only necessary if you're likely to slip and let go of your brake rope, such as if you're rappelling down a waterfall or if there's a chance you'll get hit by a falling rock and knock you out. The prusik can go above the rap device so your non-brake hand can slide it down the rope as you go. This way it will not get jammed in the rappelling device as well. One other potential problem is if you do fall on the prusik, you'll need to get your weight off of it to continue the rappell(when your weight is on it, it should not be able to slide down obviously). This can be a little bit of a problem if you are on an overhang and can't touch a wall to get your weight off. There's a lot of little tricks one can learn on how to overcome a problem like this, but it's something to bear in mind. You don't want to get stuck unable to go up or down. Jumar --- In canyons@y..., utahraptor@w... wrote: > I'm curious to know if any of you heavy hitters out there back up > your rappels with a prussic or any other such safety device/knot > and if so, do you rig it above or below your rap device? > pros/cons?
  3. This page... http://www.climbing.com/Pages/rockcraft/Ropework/rockcraft- RW_rapp.html tells you to put the Prusik below the device, but warns to make sure it doesn't get stuck in the rappell device. So where to put it depends on who you ask. I'd probably try it both ways some place where you can experiment safely and find what works best for you. Jumar --- In canyons@y..., utahraptor@w... wrote: > I'm curious to know if any of you heavy hitters out there back up > your rappels with a prussic or any other such safety device/knot > and if so, do you rig it above or below your rap device? > pros/cons?
  4. --- In canyons@y..., jumar_b@y... wrote: > know, they force you to rap alot slower. I would think that if you > are a proficient rappeller it's probably only necessary if you're > likely to slip and let go of your brake rope, such as if you're > rappelling down a waterfall or if there's a chance you'll get hit by > a falling rock and knock you out.

    I personally don't use a backup in a wet canyon - it's another link in a system that can hang up and leave you dangling inside a waterfall, which from personal experience I can tell you is not too much fun. Plus, in water it is always a bonus to disconnect from the rope as fast as possible (esp. if there is a drowning hazard, like a hydraulic), so no extra backup for me. I do like a backup (usually a shunt) on really long rappels in dry canyons, both as a backup and also as a means to easily rest without locking off the rap device. I don't really bother for short drops, unless I want to stop halfway down on purpose (usually to take pictures mid-rappel).

    In a wet canyon, if a rappeler is inexperienced, I'll usually go down first and use a fireman's belay as a backup when they rappel. If the water is too deep to offer one of these, I won't... but in that case, they have a nice pool to fall into if something goes wrong.

    Mike dallin@on-line.com
  5. Good point about the waterfall. --- In canyons@y..., dallin@o... wrote: > --- In canyons@y..., jumar_b@y... wrote:
    know, they force you to rap alot slower. I would think that if you
    are a proficient rappeller it's probably only necessary if you're
    likely to slip and let go of your brake rope, such as if you're
    rappelling down a waterfall or if there's a chance you'll get hit > by
    a falling rock and knock you out.
    I personally don't use a backup in a wet canyon - it's another link > in a system that can hang up and leave you dangling inside a > waterfall, which from personal experience I can tell you is not too > much fun. Plus, in water it is always a bonus to disconnect from the > rope as fast as possible (esp. if there is a drowning hazard, like a > hydraulic), so no extra backup for me. I do like a backup (usually a > shunt) on really long rappels in dry canyons, both as a backup and > also as a means to easily rest without locking off the rap device. I > don't really bother for short drops, unless I want to stop halfway > down on purpose (usually to take pictures mid-rappel).
    In a wet canyon, if a rappeler is inexperienced, I'll usually go down > first and use a fireman's belay as a backup when they rappel. If the > water is too deep to offer one of these, I won't... but in that case, > they have a nice pool to fall into if something goes wrong.
    > Mike > dallin@o...
  6. Tom Jones

    Tom Jones Guest

    Most of the experienced climbers I know (and I know quite a few) do not use a backup on the rappel, because it un-necessarily complicates the system, and provides little, if any, added safety.

    However, it is important to properly control the friction in your rappel system, so that excess hand strength is not required to rappel. It is also really good to have, easily at hand, ways to add friction to the system while on rappel.

    Since I use those tiny little 8mm static lines most of the time, this is especially difficult for people wandering into the canyons with me, who are used to larger ropes. While double biners under the ATC add some friction, and use of a Trango Jaws rather than a plain ATC is also useful; the real trick is adding a locking biner to your leg loop and either using a simple wrap, a second ATC or a munter hitch in this position. Unfortunately, experimentation is required to obtain the proper friction, and the best configuration will vary with rope size, wetness, and the person's weight.

    A leather glove is probably the best purchase I have ever made.

    Tom



    --- In canyons@y..., jumar_b@y... wrote: > This page... > http://www.climbing.com/Pages/rockcraft/Ropework/rockcraft-
    RW_rapp.html > tells you to put the Prusik below the device, but warns to make sure > it doesn't get stuck in the rappell device. So where to put it > depends on who you ask. I'd probably try it both ways some place > where you can experiment safely and find what works best for you. > Jumar > --- In canyons@y..., utahraptor@w... wrote:
    I'm curious to know if any of you heavy hitters out there back up
    your rappels with a prussic or any other such safety device/knot
    and if so, do you rig it above or below your rap device?
    pros/cons?
  7. Here's some good petzl rappelling helps:

    http://www.petzl.com/FRENG/tech/canyonrappel.html

    http://www.petzl.com/sport/sportuktest/sport.html

    jumar

    --- In canyons@y..., "Tom Jones" <tom@j...> wrote: > Most of the experienced climbers I know (and I know quite a few) do > not use a backup on the rappel, because it un-necessarily complicates > the system, and provides little, if any, added safety.
    However, it is important to properly control the friction in your > rappel system, so that excess hand strength is not required to > rappel. It is also really good to have, easily at hand, ways to add > friction to the system while on rappel.
    Since I use those tiny little 8mm static lines most of the time, this > is especially difficult for people wandering into the canyons with > me, who are used to larger ropes. While double biners under the ATC > add some friction, and use of a Trango Jaws rather than a plain ATC > is also useful; the real trick is adding a locking biner to your leg > loop and either using a simple wrap, a second ATC or a munter hitch > in this position. Unfortunately, experimentation is required to > obtain the proper friction, and the best configuration will vary with > rope size, wetness, and the person's weight.
    A leather glove is probably the best purchase I have ever made.
    Tom

    --- In canyons@y..., jumar_b@y... wrote:
    This page...
    http://www.climbing.com/Pages/rockcraft/Ropework/rockcraft-
    > RW_rapp.html
    tells you to put the Prusik below the device, but warns to make > sure
    it doesn't get stuck in the rappell device. So where to put it
    depends on who you ask. I'd probably try it both ways some place
    where you can experiment safely and find what works best for you.
    Jumar
    --- In canyons@y..., utahraptor@w... wrote:
    > I'm curious to know if any of you heavy hitters out there back up
    > your rappels with a prussic or any other such safety device/knot
    > and if so, do you rig it above or below your rap device?
    > pros/cons?
  8. Shane B.

    Shane B. Guest

    >>Since I use those tiny little 8mm static lines most of the time, this is especially difficult for people wandering into the canyons with me, who are used to larger ropes<<

    I will roger this......Not only does Tom rappel on a shoe string but he does it single strand which really speeds things up. I went with Tom recently and he said we would be using 8mm rope. That's cool, I have used 8mm hundreds of times with an ATC, no problem. Tom never mentioned we were going to use the official ACA approved rope bag, single strand, 8mm, method until I stepped up to the first rappel.

    This system was way to fast for the rappel device I had brought to rappel with. I also had not packed a glove because most the rappels on our route were short 10' to 30' drops.

    There is probably a good lesson in there somewhere, at least when canyoneering with someone new discuss compatible systems before you have passed the point of no return.

    Shane
  9. --- In canyons@y..., utahraptor@w... wrote: > I'm curious to know if any of you heavy hitters out there back up > your rappels with a prussic or any other such safety device/knot > and if so, do you rig it above or below your rap device? > pros/cons?

    With emphasis on the "heavy" perhaps....

    I'll say, very rare that I back up a rappel. Have done it for practise several times with prussic both above and below, french prussic, and shunt both above and below.

    Below, as long as you have the distance fingered out, is the best, in my opinion.

    Another item to practise, is ways to stop and rig a backup enroute down a steep rappel. Leg wrap, "muling" off a munter, "muling" off an ATC, adding a prussic all whilst hangin' in the air. Purty interesting. I hardly ever do a rappel without a cordellette, prussic cord and perhaps a sling or two. Then, plenty of options.

    Down aiding a rope on prussics is another interesting thing to practise as well.

    I think the caving community, years back (late sixties) did a bunch of studies on the relatively ineffective prussic as a back up above a rappel device. That's a con...and easy to try in the backyard. Get on rappel, rig a prussic loose enough like yer really rappelling, then, with a couple feet of air beneath you, so you won't bounce too hard, let go the rap device. My experience is that the prussic just might not set up...and...as a back up, especially for unplanned stuff, that just ain't a good thing. If its loose enough to rap comfortably on, then it won't bite when you let go...

    Below the harness is the best way to back up. Easy to restart rap as well. Even the Shunt is difficult to restart in free air if its above yer rap device...takes a fair amount of arm strength...

    All fun to play with in the comfort and safety of the back yard!!

    Brian in SLC
  10. Hank Moon

    Hank Moon Guest

    --- In canyons@y..., beadysee@f... wrote:

    > Below the harness is the best way to back up. Easy to restart rap as well. Even the Shunt is difficult to restart in free air if its > above yer rap device...takes a fair amount of arm strength...

    Below, for sure...Shunt is easier to release with "release cord" tied through small hole in cam (side opposite large attachment hole, down low). YMWIXX000MLQURXMCY.

    hank
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