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Carry Lots of Potshots

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by Canyonero, Oct 26, 2022.

  1. Canyonero


    Here's my tech tip of the day: Carry more potshots.

    Did a canyon the other day with four potshots. At one drop used a stacked potshot anchor, using all four potshots. About a 20-25 foot rappel. First one pulled fine, second one got caught. Really caught. So caught that 6 people yarding on it couldn't clear it.

    Back up the line I go. Look at the failed anchor and realize it is just going to fail again. Pull it out, fill the crack with gallons of sand, and place a sandtrap in it. Rappel very gingerly on the sandtrap (no testers now!) Sandtrap pulls fine.

    Meanwhile, one of the less experienced members of the team had headed down into the next pothole, not realizing how bad it was. She got into the water but obviously could not escape. I was asked from below what should be done. I said haul her back up. They were able to haul her up out of the water, but not all of the way back up due to friction at the lip and a really bad lifting angle. This is all happening while I was building the initial anchor and was a continuing saga as more people rappelled, I rappelled. I climbed. I rebuilt the anchor. And I rappelled again. Eventually, they were able to use more people/ropes and overcome the friction and angle and get her back to the top. She's cold and to be honest, a little frazzled at this point, having spent 30+ minutes on the rope.

    We toss 3 potshots and quickly have the first person across the pothole on a guided rappel. And continue down the canyon.

    On at least 2 other occasions later in the canyon, we needed 3-4 potshots. One toss required a long throw with all four (1/3 full) potshots to get someone out.

    The bottom line is that if we had had more potshots, we could have worked both problems at once. If we had had to cut that rope and abandon our four potshots, we would have had some very difficult pothole escapes down canyon. I don't want to say impossible, because desperation has a way of providing extreme levels of motivation, strength and skill, but it would have been pretty darn tough.

    Carry more potshots. It can make you more efficient and increase your level of safety.
    MMclimbhigh and Rapterman like this.
  2. ratagonia


    Mount Carmel, Utah
    Supply on genuine PotShots has been kinda spotty, but we will be building a supply over the winter, and have them available now... uh, well, actually, coming in on Friday. There are Walmart-type PotShots I see around - I am flattered. Imitation is sincere.

    (Canyonero - check's in the mail.)

    Rapterman likes this.
  3. Yellow Dart

    Yellow Dart It's only hubris if I fail.

    La Verkin
    And they are handy to keep your various snacks separate!
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