Send us a suggestion!

Beal Escaper

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by Brian in SLC, Jun 19, 2017.

  1. wsbpress

    wsbpress

    Messages:
    112
    Likes:
    101
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    I was able to create an improvised version of this with accessory cord and some shock cord. Its hard to imagine the circumstances where I'd choose to use it in the field, but it's nice to have more tools in the toolbox.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    Yellow Dart likes this.
  2. Steve Kugath

    Steve Kugath

    Messages:
    30
    Likes:
    48
    Have had a Beal Escaper now for some time now. As Kuenn above points out it is a bit of a "Niche" tool. I have always been of the school of take more rope than you need (consequently I'm not really into pull cords attached to rappel line for retrieval unless the pull cord is attached to a fiddlestick )...so I've never ran into a situation where this tool would be a go to item. Only 30 foot rappels on it up to this point but I have developed some confidence in it as being reliable and functioning as advertised. The best set ups in canyons would definitely be off bolts installed in a wall with a straightforward pull. A small amount of tension is suggested (10 kg.) through out the Rappel or the device will slip an inch or so. I have tested it at 10 feet and 5 feet off the ground however where I took my complete weight off the system and I was able to safely continue the rappel. So slabby rappels will work just fine.

    Easy to block for a group rappelling using a simple overhand knot... last one down simply unties the knot before rappelling. Enough cord is provided as well where you can tie an overhand on a bight and clip the device to your anchor preventing release as well.

    It will work on raps with webbing placed over an edge like we most typically find on the Colorado Plateau but would require a bit more down climbing to get on the tension of your rappel line as the device would add an additional 1-2 feet from your rapide...definitely courtesy raps for all but the last one down. It will function if the device is on an edge but certainly expect premature wear due to the up and down pulling motion required (8-10 pulls in my experience) on the rappel line before the device releases. The directions are included on the small stuff sack it comes in but the setup is pretty intuitive for canyoneers who are familiar with advanced rigging/anchoring techniques like sand traps, wanchors, fiddlesticks etc. Setup only takes about a minute as the rope that passes through the webbing wraps (that closely resemble the wraps used on a valdaton) is tapered at the end. The webbing wraps are are sewn into the blue accessory cord as well making it really simple to pass the setting rope through. Currently I'm playing with the device to look for possible "unofficial" uses...disconnect the bungees (that allow the device to release) for example and you have essentially a prussik. Curious what other "Escaper" owners think and have toyed with while using the device.

    I'll take through some more canyons to continue satisfying my curiosities but see more potential for use personally in an alpine settings. Below are the printed directions for usage:

    [​IMG]
    Yellow Dart likes this.
  3. ratagonia

    ratagonia

    Messages:
    4,032
    Likes:
    4,752
    Location:
    Mount Carmel, Utah
    I'm working on this year's theme of "Works sometimes" vs. "Works all the time".

    Seems like we have already identified one kind of rap that it does not work for: one with several places where you unweight and re-weight the rope.

    Does it work with sandy ropes? Different diameters? I guess they made that not a problem by providing a piece of rope specific to the Escaper, that you would keep clean.

    Tom
  4. Steve Kugath

    Steve Kugath

    Messages:
    30
    Likes:
    48
    As you mention Tom sandy ropes are no problem nor is rope diameter as you tie your rap rope into a sewn webbing loop with an overhand follow through...perhaps some abrasion here with where a sandy rope ties into the escaper's loop and experiences micro movement. If the anchor webbing and rapide are back from the edge there is definite abrasion possibilities with the contact of rock while rappelling and releasing...best scenario is an anchor above the canyon floor in which the escaper would only have contact with sand, dirt, water, etc. after it is released and falls to the ground...due to the location of many canyon anchors the escaper would not really be a go to device with most of our anchors at ground level.

    With just 22lbs. of weight on the rap line the braided webbing will not shift. As mentioned though I completely (at least body weight) unweighted the system twice on my way down a 30 foot rap...had 20 feet of rap line above me (so less than a pound). 5 feet further down (at this point I was just 5 feet off the ground) I once again took off all body weight and could see where only a tiny bit of the escaper line had been pulled through the braiding. I think the designers built it in a way where body weight could be removed from the system completely a few times with out releasing. Somewhat like a ratchet every unweighting and reweighting pulls the systems rope through about an inch...you do have 10-12 inches before it would exit the braids completely...however the more times unweighted and reweighed the faster it moves toward releasing.

    More testing where I remove body weight from higher raps with a loose belay from above...will post those results in a week or so. Also want to try the escaper when wet.
  5. ratagonia

    ratagonia

    Messages:
    4,032
    Likes:
    4,752
    Location:
    Mount Carmel, Utah
    excellent. You could also try dumping the escaper in a mucky sandy bottom of a rappel.

    Tom
  6. Steve Kugath

    Steve Kugath

    Messages:
    30
    Likes:
    48
    No problem! I've developed an amazing ability to catch my falling rope end even while treading water:) In case of a miss I suppose I'd clear some of that mucky water and give it a good rinsing (or sacrifice a bit of clean drinking water) much like I'd try and clean up a wet sandy rope before deploying again...you're point is good though...most canyons present conditions that are not suitable for Escaper deployment.
  7. ratagonia

    ratagonia

    Messages:
    4,032
    Likes:
    4,752
    Location:
    Mount Carmel, Utah
    But, are you producing tests for the edification of the general public? Or only for those groups that bring a certified rappel-rope-end-catcher in their crew???
  8. Steve Kugath

    Steve Kugath

    Messages:
    30
    Likes:
    48
    Watch for my new series due out on Netflix next month..."Tales of a rappel-rope-end-catcher"...exciting plot twists with tricks of the trade seamlessly injected through out each episode to enhance even casual viewer's skills... watchers will quickly become high demand invitees for every canyon adventure especially those that will be deploying the Beal Escaper above murky waters:)
    Brian in SLC and ratagonia like this.
  9. SARguru

    SARguru

    Messages:
    36
    Likes:
    19
    Location:
    Edmonton Alberta
    The first video can't load for me, so out of curiosity I went onto Youtube and found a good video which for some reason can't post. "Beal Escaper: review and Analysis" by user"physicsfrac". The instructions posted above show to pull 8 times, in his video it takes him over 20 pulls for it to release.

    Having worked at a large outdoor shop, I have seen plenty of people buy ropes and gear with zero knowledge or skills and go out for a day at the cliffs. I can totally see someone who learned to rappel by watching it being done by the army, using a rope Swiss seat and a carabiner wrap, buy the Escaper and after several rappel bounce, take the Escape route down to the bottom!

    Perhaps this is the beat thing since sliced bread, heck someone thought of jamming a plastic rod through a knot and that has become a popular and accepted practice.

    It's certainly peaked my curiosity but I can think of 50 things I would spend 50 dollars on before I would buy the Escaper.

    Have a great weekend everyone.

    Nic


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Rapterman and ratagonia like this.
  10. Yellow Dart

    Yellow Dart It's only hubris if I fail.

    Messages:
    233
    Likes:
    257
    Location:
    La Verkin
    It should involve a love interest with a canyon ape.
  11. Diobsud

    Diobsud

    Messages:
    1
    Likes:
    0
    Just a thought concerning the release process. It takes unweighting of the rope 8-10 times to unlock the device and release the rope. I have heard that this works OK with a 60-70M rope, but what about a 300 ft wet strand? Could you pull enough on it to get it to unweight enough to unlock it? Probably not!
  12. SARguru

    SARguru

    Messages:
    36
    Likes:
    19
    Location:
    Edmonton Alberta
    Diagram H of the products instructions indicates:
    Maximum length of rappel = 80m (~262ft),
    Maximum weight of rope = 7kg (~15lbs)




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Similar Threads: Beal Escaper
Forum Title Date
Archives - Yahoo Canyons Group Beal Trail Line Static Ropes (not so good for canyoneering) May 20, 2008
Archives - Yahoo Canyons Group Beal Static Ropes (not so good for canyoneering) May 20, 2008
Archives - Yahoo Canyons Group Beal Static Ropes (not so good) May 19, 2008
Archives - Yahoo Canyons Group Beal dynamic rope lanyards Jul 5, 2007
Archives - Yahoo Canyons Group Beal Cilaos rope Sep 15, 2002