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Tech Tip: Answered Best Ropes setup for Heaps Canyon Zions

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by ratagonia, Jun 1, 2017.

  1. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Since it comes up a lot:

    My favorite rope combo for Heaps is 1 x 300'er plus 2 x 150'ers. With a group larger than 3, maybe add a 150 pull cord, or another 150' working rope.

    First rap on the approach ridge, right hand variation, is 65 feet. Dirty/unpleasant obvious variation is a wee bit shorter, maybe. If there is a black rope here still, you should remove it and carry out. It has been there two months.

    Second rap on the ridge is 210 feet. I usually bag and drybag the rope from there. I have a "Heaps special ropebag" for that.

    First rap IN the canyon is about 65 feet from the anchor to the point where it is pulled. But, the second part is easily jumped (after one person raps to check for sand or logs), so the rap side does not need to go that far.

    From there, all the raps are less than 60 feet, all the way to the end. The last two raps IN the canyon are perhaps the longest, at a bit less than 60 feet. So 120's work well as the working ropes in the canyon; but to me, the 150s work better because they also work on the 2nd to last rappel.

    Final Sequence via Bird Perch: climb up, climb down. Rap1 - 58 feet from small tree to big tree. Rap2 - 145 feet from big tree to bird perch. Rap3 - 280 feet from bird perch to ground.

    Tom :moses:
    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2017
  2. 2065toyota

    2065toyota

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    I always like a 60' w/ pull cord in the same bag. Easy to deal with and small working rope. I think we even took a 40 and 60 last trip because we had 6 people. Keeps things moving along quickly and tied together make good pull ropes on the end sequence
    dakotabelliston likes this.
  3. LonePeak

    LonePeak

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    Given 3mm Amsteel's mere 0.5 lb/100', I don't see why one would ever go without a pull cord and a backup pull cord. They turn the two working 150' into a retrievable backup (passing a knot, fiddlestick). If you commit the longest rope and the two half-length ropes as pull cords on a long early rap (like the 210') and they get stuck &/or damaged, you're stranded in the canyon! If you're lucky, maybe you can climb and salvage some rope? Maybe not. I've been told by several canyoneering leaders never to be without a complete, uncommitted backup set. I wouldn't mind saving weight with a well-protected, smaller diameter, high strength backup rope if it fit the canyon logistics though.
  4. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    I see your point.
    However, in Heaps, the 300' rope is used on exactly 2 rappels. The second, and the last. minimal chance of hanging it up.

    One reason I like the two 150's is that there is a non-zero chance of sticking the rope behind that perched block on the second to last rappel. If it gets stuck, I'd rather have a rope that gets me to the ground, and have to have someone run into town to borrow something to complete the retrieval. It's been done. Helps if it is not dark yet.

    In other words, "it depends"...

    :moses:
    Tom Collins and LonePeak like this.
  5. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

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    I like this as the base for 3 people, and if you have more each additional person carries a short ~60' rope for working in canyon. Since most of the drops in canyon are of the short variety most can be handled toss and go with a 60' rope. Or my favorite technique in high water send the wussies :D first on meat and then bag the rope on top and jump.
    2065toyota likes this.
  6. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    2 60m ropes and 1 300'.
  7. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Gives you a good arm workout, while you are at it!

    T
  8. gajslk

    gajslk

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    We went through once with a 100 footer* as our in-canyon rope. It was just barely long enough for that drop. Just barely as in really freaking scary unless getting down to the last six inches of rope in your hand and then reaching for safety while 450 feet off the deck doesn't bother you. It was long enough for everything in the canyon.

    *Fairly new rope, probably cut a little long to allow for shrinkage. Exact length at the time unknown.

    Gordon
  9. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Good to KNOW, thanks Gordon. Let's change that to, say, 58 feet.

    Tom
  10. Kip Marshall

    Kip Marshall

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    Group of 4: 3x120's and a 360 in a drybag. The drop in to Phantom can be handled with 2x120's.
  11. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Yes, it CAN be. Did that with you. What a Cluster! Rapping down the face though longer sure seems to work better.

    Differ'nt strokes for Differ'nt folks!

    :moses:
  12. Kip Marshall

    Kip Marshall

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    Don't be afraid of the razors edge....

    And normally, it goes quite fast.
  13. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    Nah, not really. A couple pounds more per 60m rope than a 50m rope. And, not many folks buy 50's.

    Plus, gives you margin, man. If you compromise one, you could cut a few feet out of it and still be good to go.
  14. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Well maybe. I do have the advantage of cutting ropes to the exact length, and the 150 foot Canyon Fire fits conveniently into a Bagarino. The 200 footer fits into a Small Silo. Really what I mean is that carrying that extra bit of rope IN HAND all day long is tiring.

    I see what you mean. Your arms are strong than mine.

    And that would be 60m vs. 45m. 33% more; 25% less.

    Differ'nt strokes for Differ'nt folks!

    Tom
  15. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    Plus, that rap off the ridge as you mention above is way sweeter with 2 60's. Gets you down in the sleepy flats. Low stress.
  16. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Can be stretched on 60m ropes. More like 62 meters.

    T
  17. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    We took lots of ropes with our group of 6. We had 200s, so that was mostly what we took (with the 300 packed away in a dry bag until the end.)

    http://canyoncollective.com/threads/how-to-descend-heaps-in-9-hours.19671/

    We had an 82 footer, 3 200s, and the 300 between the 6 of us. If I had it to do again, I like Tom's recommendations, but I'd probably do an 80 footer, a 200 footer, a 300 footer, a 300 foot pull cord, and another 80 footer for every person over 3.
  18. Mike Zampino

    Mike Zampino Canyon season never ends.

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    Like you mentioned, you have the benefit of cutting ropes to the lengths you need. We used a 120, 200 combo instead of the two 150s. It is more economical to recruit Wes and his buddy and have them carry the longer ropes. :twothumbs:

    Our 300+ was bagged from the get go. So LMAR had to downclimb the last part of rap #2 because shrinkage on the 200 left it about 190 and a little short for reaching the bottom. o_O
  19. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Title: "best"
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2017
  20. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

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    Don't you mean title, as someone who recently made a post about proper spelling and grammar shouldn't you get that right?:moses:
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