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Experimental soft toggle

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by vanyoneer, Sep 30, 2021.

  1. vanyoneer

    vanyoneer

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    After experimenting to find a viable "soft toggle" in which the pullcord itself is the toggle (no hardware), I arrived at the below. No idea how safe it is, just presenting it here for you to play around with.

    Step 1: put the tail through the anchor, make a girth hitch on the tail side. Take the rappel side, push a bight through the girth, and add a half twist.
    [​IMG]

    Step 2: push three bights of pullcord into the original rappel-side bight. Tighten by first pulling each leg of the girth hitch, then the rappel strand. Repeat once or twice more until the girth feels solidified. Note the orientation of where the tail exits the girth hitch.
    [​IMG]

    Once on the ground, pull the pullcord and count the three pops as the bights release, and the cord falls. Pull the rappel strand until the pop and the rope falls.

    I hooked it up to my truck to test in a piece of 10mm static line and pulled until failure, which failed in a not-catastrophically deadly manner as in the next pic:

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, the rope tension pulled all the bights through the girth, and formed a "slip knot" which immediately pulled up to the link. The truck couldn't pull enough to break this orientation (wheels spun).

    Let's say you are on rappel and a shock load were to capsize the system into this failure-orientation. Speculatively, you wouldn't die, but someone would have to ascend to undo the rope. I doubt this threshold could even be reached in rappelling forces, though.

    I'm guessing it failed around 1000-2000 lbs. The pullcord was glazed in multiple places from the friction of forcing itself through the girth hitch. The figure 8 knot on the opposite end tied to the truck froze solid.
  2. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Why?
    Yellow Dart and Bootboy like this.
  3. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    Lost toggle?
  4. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

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    Just tie a CEM
  5. Tirrus

    Tirrus Rope rider.

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    I enjoy seeing people try new things and experiment with alternate ways to implement techniques we have now. If we don’t play, we won’t discover new things. Keep it up Vanyoneer, don’t let this Tom’s stifle creativity. :tongue:
    Jake Freimanis likes this.
  6. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    Solutions in search of problems.
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  7. hank moon

    hank moon kinetically bulbous

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  8. Sutitan

    Sutitan

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    One of my largest concerns is how the variability of rope can impact the function of this toggle. We already know other polycarbonate toggles are impacted by type/wear/diameter of rope, and cant imagine doubling the amount of variables with the soft toggle would help. You could maybe eliminate some of that variability if you made the soft toggle from the rappel rope itself, and tie the pull cord to the tail of the soft toggle, but at that point, you've almost recreated the tried and true CEM.

    I enjoy the experimentation, even if it may not amount to anything other than learning what doesn't work. Keep it up. I think you've done a good job of it in the post, but I think its key to emphasize that this is an experiment and could not be safe to use, for this and any other future experiments you might be cooking up.
  9. Sonny Lawrence

    Sonny Lawrence

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    I coined the name "virtual fiddlestick" while on a SAR training at San Antonio falls, San Gabriel mountains in southern California. I have used it many times with many types of ropes. It certainly is not a perfect device. But every technique and piece of gear has its tradeoffs. I practice it when I don't need it in order to be adept at using it when I do need it. That has happened only once. I also use the CEM a lot, even when I don't need it. Same logic. I find that each has a place, although a small place, in my regimen of techniques and equipment. And as others have mentioned, the greatest benefit is experimentation and repetition of rigging in order to be able to rig creatively in not-so-standard, more urgent situations. I greatly encourage people to keep an open mind during online discussions in order to tease out the pros and cons of any piece of gear or technique. That positivity enhances the sport.
    Jake Freimanis and hank moon like this.
  10. vanyoneer

    vanyoneer

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    Why? Not sure, just tinkering. One unintended development I took away from this is how enjoyable the pull is: as each bight of pullcord dislodges, it becomes easier to pull, such that it pretty much falls out softly by the end. No bungee effect and rocketing downward.

    I actually suggest to try using a fiddlestick combined with a couple of tucked bights so that you get the reliability of the stone but the soft release as the bights pop out first. Will experiment and post back.
    ratagonia likes this.
  11. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    That's a good point. Sometimes the launch of the stick is useful for clearing possible obstacles, and sometimes not.

    Tom
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