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Contingency anchor issues

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by Scott B, Sep 22, 2017.

  1. Scott B

    Scott B

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    I recently had an incident where a contingency figure 8 bound (stuck) the rope with a rappeller 5 feet off the deck. This wouldn't normally happen but we were practicing lowering and it turned into a serious situation. Yes, in hindsight we should, and will in the future, have lowered the rope all the way down. We did tie a knot in the end of the rope. We were able to finally release the stuck rope before rigging a 4:1 pulley to release the tension on the 8 against the rapide. Two questions:
    1) is it suggested that all raps be rigged with a contingency? vs. a clove hitch on a locker I can see the logic, especially setting up a rap down a waterfall in case a rappeller gets stuck and needs a quick lower. However, it would be more of a hassle when setting up a pull cord retrieve?
    2) Has anybody else experienced a stuck rope using the standard figure 8 contingency? pulling a bight through then over the end with a twist or not? I was made aware of the "Euro 8 braid" that utilizes a daisy chain of the rope vs the flip over the end, any experience with this?
  2. hank moon

    hank moon lovely ligatures

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    @Scott B

    Pictures and a much more detailed description of what happened would be welcome.

    To answer your questions briefly:

    1) It *might* be suggested to rig all raps with a contingency, depending on the water hazard, team member skill levels, etc. In general, many folks rig most everything for contingency in Class C, but few do in Class A/B.

    2. A picture recently appeared in a post on FB "Canyon Rigging" group showing a stuck Fig. 8 block. Perhaps yours is the same one?
    Scott B and Mountaineer like this.
  3. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    I rig them all contingency anchors when I'm taking out Boy Scout groups, but that's because that's a requirement. When I'm out with friends, I generally don't. But I don't really do much class C either.

    When I do rig a contingency anchor, I use a munter/mule. First, because I think it's easier to use. Second, it's an extremely handy self-rescue knot. Third, there's no additional gear (like a figure 8 and a rapide) to carry with you. Fourth, you can't drop a munter/mule, it's a skill not a piece of gear. Not saying you can't get someone stuck somehow with a munter, but it seems a little harder than doing it with a contingency 8.
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  4. Norb

    Norb

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    I'll give my personal answer on #1.
    My answer is, it depends on the group. I rig contingency more often than not, but if my group has people that can't ascend, it's close to 100%(Even in class A/B).
    Rapterman likes this.
  5. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    It depends on the anchors, too.

    I have seen people rig contingency anchors on very-hard-to-reach anchors (under chockstones, etc.) where it seemed unlikely to be able to be used if needed. I ask why. "To be safe"! Yeah, right!

    Yes. In Disney-fied canyons where all the anchors are conveniently located, rigging for contingency each and every time might be prudent. But in REAL canyons, not so much.

    Tom
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  6. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    It has been suggested that, if your 8 block is jammed, you can clip into it with your short tether and lean back to pull it off the rapid link and unstick it.

    Tom
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