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Creative Problem Solving 101-a

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by ratagonia, Sep 2, 2017.

  1. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Problem Solving Practice 101-a

    Here's the scenario:

    You're halfway down a canyon. Your group has one 200' rope, and three 120' ropes. You reach the longest rap in the canyon, which is about 150'. You grab the 200' rope to rig... but there's a problem: while you were bagging this rope after the previous rap, you discovered it was core-shot right in the middle, now isolated with an alpine butterfly. The group is 6 people, of which 3 are beginners and 3 are experienced. You are carrying what you and yours usually carry in a canyon. There is a 2-bolt anchor in an advantageous position, and the rappel is a single, clean rap.

    How do you rig this rappel and retrieve as much gear as possible?

    (let's hear solutions from other-than-the-usual-suspects first. I can think of 4 solutions that are reasonable)

    Tom
  2. gajslk

    gajslk

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    For the first solution that comes to mind, you don't need to leave any gear and all three beginners can have a fireman's belay for the entire drop. I'm not sure I'd start casting about for another solution beyond that ...

    Gordon
  3. Chad

    Chad

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    I'll take a stab at this...

    1) You could use the 200' rope and slowly lower everyone down except the last man (one of the experienced). Then the last man can fiddlestick the 200' rope off the anchor, and tie 2 of the 120' together for the pull side. Rappel down (passing one knot), pull the fiddlestick out and bag all your rope.
  4. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    a. How are you going to lower everyone with the knot in the rope;

    b. It would help if you explicitly stated that the last person passes the knot, assuming that is what you have in mind.

    Tom
  5. Chad

    Chad

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    Yah, you beat me to it. I had just realized I can't lower everyone with a knot in the rope! Yes I meant the last person that rappels down passes the knot.
  6. Chad

    Chad

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    Ok, second try...

    You tie the 120' to another 120'. The knot between the two 120 footers you leave immediately next to the anchor on the rappel side, and have a releasable block immediately on the other side of the anchor. You tie a knot in the end of the rappel side. All beginners and 2 others clip into the rope immediately below the knot and rappel down to the knot in the end, and then are lowered to the bottom using the releasable anchor.

    Then for the last man down he can bring all the ropes up and start over. He could fiddlestick the 200' rope off the anchor, and tie 2 of the 120' together for the pull side. Last man would rappel down (passing one knot), pull the fiddlestick out and bag all the rope.
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  7. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Yes. However, we have found it easier/better to do the lower first, when you can see and are in contact with the person being lowered. Lower until the rope reaches the ground.

    Looks good. I see that as solution #1. What do you do if you do not have a FiddleStick?

    Tom
  8. Tirrus

    Tirrus Rope rider.

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    CEM/release knot the 200 sized to the ground, with a 120 tied on the retrieve side after lower, last man passes the butterfly.

    Or just wingsuit the last 30ft.
  9. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Since I consider the CEM and Macrame to be hideously unreliable, I don't consider them to be viable solutions.

    ditto on the wingsuit.

    T
  10. spinesnaper

    spinesnaper

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    Viable options very much depend on how much rope you need to complete the canyon. If you tied the 200 and the two 120's together with the block on the side of the two 120's, after completing the descent of the canyoneers from the 150 rappel, pulling the rope would allow you to recover one of the 120's plus up to 20 feet of rope from the upper 120 foot rope. Pulling on the 200ft side one could bring up to 50 ft of rope to the ground plus whatever you could climb up and cut. For sake of argument, let's say you could recover another 60 ft of rope. You walk away with 200 feet of working rope. This would allow you to marginally complete the canyon provided no additional rappel is longer than 100 feet. If you add any sling material on hand, even longer rappels could be negotiated possibly up to 120 feet without passing a knot, and more by passing a knot.
    Please check my math.
    Ken
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2017
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  11. Tirrus

    Tirrus Rope rider.

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    Always carry as many Petzl Tubas as you have beginners...

    IMG_3336.JPG

    But seriously, don't. :tongue:
  12. gajslk

    gajslk

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    You can do better. Much better.

    Gordon
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  13. darhawk

    darhawk

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    Maybe the simplest solution for the last person is to tie the 200-foot rope to the anchor and Rappel down passing the knot. Cut off 50 feet once down and leave 150 dangling. Pray forgiveness from the canyon gods. You walk away with three intact 120-foot ropes and 50 of extra rope just in case. If 150 was the longest Rappel you should be okay. I don't see how to leave less than 150 ft of rope. Unless you have Elvish rope.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
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  14. gajslk

    gajslk

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    Oh, if only there was another anchor half way down the wall ... or a way to make one. :)

    Gordon
  15. spinesnaper

    spinesnaper

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    So much for solving canyoneering problems at 3 AM. Mine would have been a very expensive solution. :cry:
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  16. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    This isnt creative, but it is realistic. One person rappels down, passes the knot, and finishes the canyon and comes back with another rope. That way, no one puts the beginners at risk.
  17. Tirrus

    Tirrus Rope rider.

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    Maybe 2 of your 3 pros play through the rest of the canyon? buddy system, leaves one experienced person to tend to the newbies.
  18. gajslk

    gajslk

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    Tom could have been a jerk and made it the second-last drop, with the last being 450 feet high. No mommy note and thunderstorms forecast overnight. No way to go back up canyon to a safe spot. You can still get out, although protecting the beginners won't happen. Since you entered a canyon having a 450 foot drop with your longest rope being 200 feet, arguably you're all fairly new at this anyway. Assuming that one person can pass knots, you can get that guy safely to the bottom of the big drop so that he can hike out and get help. Or drive to town and buy a longer rope.

    Gordon
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  19. Rapterman

    Rapterman

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    Good scenario!
    When performing 'rap and lower' as Chad has recommended, first person down should be experienced.
    I would tie the third 120' to the bottom so the first down has a line to provide firemans to the noobs that follow.
    especially for the first 30' when they are being lowered as this can freak some people out.
    I think Darhawk has close to the best finish.
    But since your Last person REALLY has their act together and is adept at knot passing why not use a piece of the damaged rope single line to
    'extend' the anchor 30-40 feet (with a rapide at the end), then rig two 120 ropes off THAT for your rappel.
    Passing from above the knot/rapide to the new rappel is close to the same as just passing a knot by itself.
    Then you just pull the two 120s and you have only sacrificed 30-40' to the canyon gods.
    Helps to practice!

    :D
  20. Yellow Dart

    Yellow Dart It's only hubris if I fail.

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    What @Chad said with the rap-and-lower.

    I originally got into ropework as a freshman in college. Seeing as I didn't drink yet, I had a lot of free time at night; so I climbed all the campus buildings. Security didn't like that, and I was nearly caught once when cornered on top of the sports complex - but got away by jumping something I shouldn't have. To mitigate that in the future, I bought a harness, biner/ATC, and 100' of static; all of which I'd wear and keep tied in and ready to throw around an exhaust tube and rap, happily absconding.

    But I was a poor college kid, and as such could not afford to buy new rope every time running was necessary. Not knowing about fiddlesticks (if they were even a thing in 2005), I found a releasable knot, which allowed me to rap 50', pull the B-side, and scamper off with my rope.

    I give you, the Highway Man's Hitch
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highwayman's_hitch
    highwaymansR8.
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