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Canyoneering 108a - solo canyoneering scenario

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by ratagonia, May 20, 2018.

  1. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Due to poor planning, you are soloing a canyon for which you have spotty beta. You have a 120 foot rope and a 40 foot rope. You come to a rappel that looks to be about 70 feet, but you cannot see the bottom of the rap from above, so you don't really know the length.

    How do you efficiently descend this rappel and recover your rope?

    edit: cannot see bottom of rappel
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
  2. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    edit, see below
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
  3. Boilerman

    Boilerman

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    Tie the ropes together with an EDK. 160' rope minus knot and tails. Biner block and rappel on the side without the knot. Pull the rope and hope the next rappel isn't 150'.
    Or if the start is allows, hook up my Beal Esacaper to the 120' rope and rappel. Pull and continue on.
  4. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    My apologies. The bottom of the rappel cannot be seen, and the actual length of the rappel cannot be determined from above. Might be 80 feet, might be 60 feet.
  5. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    ????????????????????????
  6. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    edit, see below
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
  7. Boilerman

    Boilerman

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    Beal Escaper. I now have a 120' rope. No worries. This is what it was designed for. Not an every day use item, But dang handy in a situation like this. I am to the bottom with plenty to spare.
  8. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Why? Given knowing the length of the rap, there is exactly zero need to cut the rope. Though the part of the scenario I left out was NOT knowing the length of the rappel.

    T
  9. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    I agree. I misread the question and wasn't thinking it through (85 hour work week and almost no sleep last night-tired!). Ignore those previous posts.

    Anyway, here is my solution:

    rope.JPG

    If you don't know the length of the rappel, determine it. At a last resort, go down the 120 and back up with a pair of ascenders.

    This is a boring solution, but it would work as long as the rappel is not more than 80 feet in length. I'm sure you have a fancier solution though. If the drop turned out to be more than 80 feet, the above wouldn't work unless you had some extra webbing or other materials available.
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
  10. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    "If you don't know the length of the rappel, determine it. At a last resort, go down the 120 and back up with a pair of ascenders."

    The point of the scenario is that you CANNOT determine it from above. Yes, rappelling it and seeing how much rope is left is an inefficient way of determining the length, but effective. I was hoping for something more elegant.

    I realized with only brief reflection, that this is a pretty dumb scenario.

    Tom
    Last edited: May 21, 2018
  11. Craig

    Craig Feeling My Way

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    I'm sure I would have done the same as Scott: tied the ropes together, found the middle, blocked the knotted side, start the rappel. If I discovered that the rope was short, I'd have to ascend and hope I'm in a busy canyon. But I'm not very experienced or imaginative.
  12. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    No cutting the rope?

    T
  13. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    What could be more elegant than a 252 lb. fat and clumsy canyoneer trying to ascend a 120 foot rope?
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  14. Chasetharp

    Chasetharp

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    Might argue that the poor planning was going solo in any situation.. :D unless you’re completing a canyon solo for a SAR call.. and your third teammate is staying with the injured. And you came way unprepared for a canyon with no beta. Shew.

    What’s your proposed solution? Think most would agree to attempt to find the halfway point of 160’ of total rope and be prepared to ascend if needed. Assuming they also came without webbing for rigging an unknown canyon, which they could use to extend the pull.
  15. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Kinda obvious. Yes.

    Tie two ropes together. Match ends, measure out both strands at the same time, block at the halfway on the combined ropes so you can rap on the side without the knot. This works as long as the rappel is less than 80 feet.

    T
    Last edited: May 21, 2018
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  16. Norb

    Norb

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    Question on the parameters...How much webbing do you have? If in this scenario you brought some play out more rope on the rap side. Once you get down far enough to see the bottom, if the pull side doesn't hit the ground, lock off and add some webbing to the pull side.
  17. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Okay. Yes, finding the center of the combined ropes will work as long as the rappel is 80 feet or shorter. So here is a REAL scenario, not quite so simple - what do you do if the rappel is 90 feet (onto nasty pointed rocks)?

    Tom
  18. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Nothing wrong with experienced, adept canyoneers soloing canyons they have done before, with solid knowledge of what to expect. Some of my best canyon experiences fit in this category.

    In this scenario, "I was misinformed."

    Tom
  19. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    You have no webbing. You thought it was in your pack, but apparently not.
  20. Hikster11

    Hikster11

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    If I thought for sure the drop was less than a 100 feet then I would set block at 100 feet. With the 40 ft tied to the remaining 20ft on the pull side. Rappel down and when I reach the end of the pull side tie my backpack to the end. From this point you should be able to tell if you pack will be able to fall without getting caught on something. Finish the rappel and hope the weight of my pack will start to pull. If not accend and reassess the situation.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
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