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Creative Problem Solving 102-a

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by ratagonia, Nov 15, 2017.

  1. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Found this in a canyon this past weekend. Let's say 80 foot rappel, twisty and narrow so it is hard to pull ANYWAY. Deadman anchor (ie, not capable of taking a fall). How do you get your group of 10 people, including two beginners, through this rappel, and yourself ON rappel safely?

    Monkeying Around.
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  2. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

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    Prime candidate for a fiddlestick I say, then you don't have to set the ring so low and starting is no longer a problem. Depending on how twisty the drop is I would do a test pull before the last man goes just to be sure. As for a solution when you don't have a fiddlestick, set a courtesy for all but the last person. Have a second ring tied into the webbing near the anchor and rigged with a short rope. Last man has two devices rigged to his harness, he hooks into one and raps down to the lower ring and locks off. While locked off he hooks into the lower rope with the second device and then raps off the first line, locks off again, pulls the short rope and then continues down.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
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  3. Jason Linder

    Jason Linder

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    Setup courtesy for all but LP. Backup the anchor with meat for everyone but LP. Pull the block 5+ feet above the courtesy ring. Have them lockoff, meat lowers them through the twisty narrow section as the block reaches the courtesy ring. As block sets, person on rappel is now free-hanging. Person on rappel then unlocks and rappels down the final 75 feet.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017
  4. Zach Olson

    Zach Olson

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    Tie a courtesy for everybody except the last man. Back up the deadman with a meat anchor. No need for a fiddlestick. Use Tom Collins idea of another Rapid tied into the webbing with a short rope. Last man rappels down the short line and transitions to the main line.

    I don't see a need to lower anybody. Lowering causes unnecessary rope grooving.
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  5. alavender27

    alavender27

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    How do we know the tight crack is not down climbable?
  6. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

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    The fiddlestick would, eliminate the need to transition from one rope to the next and you wouldn't even need the courtesy, everyone even lamar starts nice and safe up top. Also depending on how twisty the rap is, even if you can pull it with the ring over the edge it might still create rope grooves pulling 80' of rope. The fiddlestick will eliminate that so if you've got one (and assuming there's nowhere for the fiddle to get caught once pulled) it's the best solution.
  7. Zach Olson

    Zach Olson

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    I definitely misread your first post. I thought you were advocating using a fiddlestick AND a short rope for last man. I agree that the fiddlestick would eliminate the need for the last man to transition and would work just fine. I do disagree that the fiddlestick is a total solution to rope grooving. I think in Tom's scenario here in soft rock the fiddlestick could have a negative impact.

    I was just in a canyon last month I'll call "lightly used" with a last rappel of about 150' and a very twisty start similar to Tom's scenario. The few groups prior had used a fiddlestick and had left both rope grooves and "micro" rope grooves from their 2mm dyneema pull cord.

    I really wish that the Fiddlestick technique was consequence free but unfortunately you can still leave marks in soft enough sandstone.

    (Also: why are we leading 10 people through a canyon with a rappel like this?)
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  8. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

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    True if the rock is soft enough even the little you pull with a fiddle will groove the rock, but its still gonna create less grooving than pulling 80' of rope through.
  9. Zach Olson

    Zach Olson

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    I agree and will fiddle more often than not. Tom's drawing just makes it look like the pull is a from a free hanging anchor with no rock contact.
  10. gajslk

    gajslk

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    If grooving is an issue, lowering the beginners even 5 feet might be a non-starter. Probably have them rap off a meat backup with a bottom belay. Using a short rope to get to the ring and changing over was the first thing that popped into my head. Easy, quick, and safe if you know what you're doing. One rap device is plenty. Even with the short rope, though, there will likely be some grooving issues on the pull. If you're willing to leave some gear(and a hint) behind for the next party, leaving an etrier hanging down the crack might be the ticket.
  11. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    It is a great canyon for beginners, as long as there is good leadership.

    Tom
  12. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Leaving an etrier? kinda crazy. Maybe we should leave a note on the anchor, or a brass plaque should be installed indicating how people "should" execute this rappel, eh? (/sarcasm)

    With a high courtesy anchor, the beginners have not problem beginning the rappel, other than the usual.

    I was thinking there were too many catch points further down for a Fiddle, even if the FiddleCord stayed out of the narrow slot (unlikely). So I did not even consider it.

    Tom
  13. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Bingo. Since the rap was 80 feet and both ropes were 120 feet, I used the top 40 feet of the pull-side rope to rap off a high ring to get to the low ring. I was already rigged into the lower rope. The pull side of the main rope was tied to the pull rope at that 40 foot point.

    This is the corkscrew rap in Monkey Business, North Wash, Utah. The anchor when we came to it was extended to the TOP of the narrow slot, and most likely the rope would pull from that ring. This is a canyon done by not-so-experienced people on a regular basis, and I have not heard of stuck ropes there. Considering there is a 90 foot rappel after that, and no escape from the canyon below this point, I am pretty sure the rope pulls even with the ring in that slot... but.

    Hmmm. Too easy.

    Tom
  14. gajslk

    gajslk

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    My second thought was "Just bolt the f*** out of it" ;)
  15. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    Transitioning from one rope to another maybe fairly common to those with experience (fairly common in the caving world), however it may be the first time I've heard it advocated here. Might be worth going through the step-by-step.

    That said, if I'm grasping @ratagonia 's idea of being rigged into both ropes at the beginning - short extension and main line - is pretty clever, eliminating the need for a transition. Better be 100% on the statics.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
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  16. Ultra Static

    Ultra Static

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    I'd be interested to see the step by step description of transitioning ropes with only one rappel device.

    Sent from my BLN-L24 using Tapatalk
  17. 2065toyota

    2065toyota

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    VT prusik
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  18. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    A. rappel to the top of rope #2. Clip your pre-rigged Mariner's Hitch sling into the anchor. Continue rappelling until your weight is on the Mariner's hitch sling.
    B. remove rappel device from rope #1. Install rappel device on rope #2. Lock it off.
    C. pull rope #1 from the 'short ring' above.
    D. release the Mariner's hitch, sagging down on rap device on rope #2.
    E. remove the Mariner's Hitch sling.
    F. Unlock rap device.
    G. Rappel to the bottom.
    H. Pull Rope.
    I. Hike back to the car.
    J. Drink beer (optional).

    Tom

    note: there are several things out there in Google Land called a Mariner's Hitch, and they may or may not be what I am talking about.
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  19. Ultra Static

    Ultra Static

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    Thanks for the steps. Is this the correct hitch?
    http://www.chockstone.org/TechTips/Mariners.htm

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  20. gajslk

    gajslk

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    I'd have done it a bit differently, not knowing the Mariner's Hitch.

    A. Prerig a prusik from your harness to a bit above your rap device on the short rope. When you get just below ring two, let go of of the prusik and let it lock. You can put the prusik on mid-rappel, but this is easier. I do it whenever I know I have to pass a knot.

    B. Clip in to anchor two. (Either don't let go with your brake hand or lock off your rap device first. Choose one.) Minimize slack in the sling.

    C. Remove rappel device from rope #1. Install rappel device on rope #2. Lock it off.

    D. Unclip from anchor two and put a longer sling on anchor two.

    E. Put your foot in the sling and stand up enough to release the prusik.

    F. Lower yourself gently onto the rap device, sliding the prusik down.

    G. Remove prusik from short rope and pull the shortie.

    H. Unclip the longer sling.

    I. Unlock and rap
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