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Monster rapide in Mystery

Discussion in 'Utah' started by Pictish, Sep 9, 2016.

  1. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    There are many things people "should" do.

    and we know there are many people out there who don't.

    Specifically, there are many people who use biner blocks who do NOT recognize the danger in large rapides, or do not inspect rigorously. I suggest that dealing with the world as it is will produce better results than dealing as if the world is as it should be. Get rid of oversized rapides when you find them, please.

    Several years ago I did a canyon with a small group of competent canyoneers. They rigged the last rap in Behunin with a biner block and almost everyone went down, no problem. The rapide on the end was one of those D-shaped aluminum rapides for completing a caving harness, which are VERY large. It had several strands of 1" tubular webbing coming from the several bolts associated with that location. The block provided, with a large carabiner, was physically capable of slipping through that rapide, though it would perhaps be rather difficult.

    People! Clean up anchors when you come to them. Remove excess webbing. Replace with new black webbing. BRING webbing to do this with, ESPECIALLY the trade route canyons. A wrench in Zion? probably a good thing to have along. Saving the lives of one of the many, many canyoneers in Zion that have only a brief acquaintance with canyoneering competence would be a good thing. This might include someone in your party, or even you.

    /soapbox

    Tom :moses:
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2016
  2. Pictish

    Pictish

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    Tom, I think you read my last post a bit too quickly. I'm having trouble seeing how it suggests I don't know how to bend two ropes together.
  3. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    I have had customers (2 so far) order a 240 foot rope for doing mystery, because the longest rope they had was only 200 feet. And they had not considered that they could tie two 120 foot ropes together, and still do the DRT they were comfortable with. I was able to direct them to a different rope purchase, and suggest a class might be in order.

    I realize that later in the paragraph you implied you were able to tie a few knots. However, an opportunity for a fine bit of snark presented itself, and I am unable to pass up such opportunities. A character flaw, I must admit.

    :moses:
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  4. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    I soloed it from the bottom with 2 60m 8.1mm climbing ropes...didn't seem too bad, but, I was younger and fitter back then.

    Having a pair of pliers or one of those multi tools with plier might prove useful too. I used a couple of rocks to free up a stuck Petzl Attache locker a few years ago. Little bit of sand can really make a locking carabiner hard to open. Pliers woulda been easier (and the less damaging to the locking biner).

    Yeah, a small adjustable wrench is nice when fixed anchors are in play.

    It applies here because most of the canyoneering in Zion is just rappelling. Is it unwise? Not really. Maybe not best practise, but, its not "unwise" or "inapproapriate".

    "Unwise" would be to only bring a pull cord and not a full strength rope on a longer canyon (ie, not having a full strength back up rope). "Unwise" would be to be using a biner block but not carrying small rapides or rings to rig said biner block.

    Sure, you wouldn't be one of the cool kids who has the newest canyoneering specific low static rope with a matched rappel device. But, dynamic ropes in a non-flow canyon in Zion with an ATC? Old school, baby.
  5. Pictish

    Pictish

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    Carrying a 200' rope for a canyon in which the longest rappel is 120' means I'd have to core shot my rope 80' to 120' from the end in order to get stranded. Since the only other drop in Mystery over 80' is the penultimate rappel at the spring it seems like I'd have to be actively trying to destroy my rope for it to become an issue.

    You assumed I wasn't carrying spare quicklinks/rapides. Why? Because I didn't just slap one on the big one and rappel of it? Did you miss where I said the last anchor already had webbing and a "regular" quicklink on it. I always carry a fist-full of spare rapides and a generous amount of webbing, even in trade route canyons. Maybe especially in trade route canyons.

    Now about canyoneering with dynamic rope. It was my understanding that subjecting climbing ropes to canyon duty was bad for the rope. Partly because stretch/bounce on rappel chewed it up on edges faster but mostly because sand works it's way into the rope and damages the elasticity and over time makes it less reliable at absorbing climbing falls. Isn't that why many climbing rope bags come with built in tarps? To keep the rope out of the dirt? Am I wrong here? Is this just an old wives tale? Tom, what say you?
  6. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    I say yes, yes and some of that, this and the other.

    I don't think plopping the rope down in the dust of Smith Rocks or American Forks does anything significant other than get the rope dirty, specifically the outside of the rope. And the hands dirty, and everything else dirty. The tarp mitigates the dirtiness, somewhat.

    Most canyoneering, on the other hand, involves water, and subjecting the special, magic, beloved springy climbing rope to sand particles of various sizes in a slurry of scuzzy pothole water is certainly disrespectful and could possibly damage the properties valued in a lead climbing rope. I don't see it as immediately un-elasticizing the rope as much as introducing sand particles into the core of the rope, where it stands to reason they do not belong and would eventually cut perhaps a few of the core fibers, aided by subsequent stretching and recovering that a dynamic rope does with loading and unloading. I have no particular evidence for this, so maybe it is just an old bachelor's tale.

    It had not occurred to me that people would use a lead line for canyoneering. I had always been thinking that climbers wanting to do say Pine Creek would take their old, beat-up top-rope-quality ropes for such an affair. Using retired climbing ropes I don't see as dangerous - it is more that they are heavy, absorb a bunch of water and are bouncy, which is often not such a good idea over an edge.

    So say us all!

    :moses:
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  7. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    I didn't assume anything. Was pointing out things that are "unwise". Did you assume that I assumed...uhh...never mind.

    I personally wouldn't take a lead rope through a canyon unless that's all I had in the car...mostly because I'm a bit of a gear/rope junkie and usually have the best tools for the job.

    Plenty of us climb in the desert (and other locals) on surfaces which can dirty a rope (Owen's River Gorge being particularly nasty, IMHO). Ropes get dirty. I wash mine. Dirty ropes make your hands dirty. Can wear out a rappel/belay device quicker.

    Lead climbing on a rope which is full of sand from being drug through a wet, muddy, sandy canyon would intuitively be a bad idear, methinks.

    Not sure if a static rope or dynamic rope is more prone to core shotting over an edge on rappel. If we could take the rodeo start folks out of the equation, it'd be an interesting study. I've had just as many static ropes core shot as dynamic. Well...maybe more dynamic because of more mileage. But, in canyoning, its about equal.

    In a more or less straightforward rappel, with no rodeo starts, would a rope with more or less stretch wear faster or be prone to core shots? Good question.

    I've always maintained that a savvy rappeller, who's in control and rappels at a fairly smooth, constant rate, couldn't actually tell the difference while on rappel between a rope with an elongation of 3% or a rope with 6%. You start a rappel, you have 10 feet of rope in play. With static elongation you have a pretty darn small difference in rope length due to stretch. Under 4 inches versus just over 7? Pretty small difference at the start of a rappel. Further on...more distance stretched out...you might figure out a difference when your feet hit the ground and you let go of your brake hand...

    Free air? Nah. On a vertical wall with your feet barely touching? Probably not. Lower angle slab where you're kinda walking down backwards....maybe?

    I think when folks "feel" a more dynamic rope is when they accelerate and decelerate. That's when they might get a little bouncy. And your static elongation changes into dynamic. Then the difference in rope construction should be more apparent.

    Anyhoo...blind taste test...be interesting to see if folks could tell, given the same diameter, which rope is dynamic versus static. There is a huge difference in hand though....
  8. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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  9. gajslk

    gajslk

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    You'll have to try harder than that. Offhand I can think of at least two decent options for getting down anyway. And another lousy option if it's the last drop in Mystery. Maybe you could sever the rope into 10-foot lengths ... maybe smear a section of coil with peanut butter and leave it out overnight?

    So why didn't you add one to the anchor? Folks unfamiliar enough with rappelling to screw up a biner block are likely to thread both quick links out of being a bit nervous = problem solved for the short term.

    Use your retired ropes. I noticed that my 100 foot ropes get hammered on the hardest in canyons. I cut up a retired pair of 200' 9mm dynamic doubles and still have two 100' sections left. They work just fine on nuisance rappels and I don't worry when a newbie does a (intentional or otherwise) rodeo start.

    Gordon
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  10. Pictish

    Pictish

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    You're absolutely right. Heck, I carry a pair of handled ascenders in my bag. So long as the knotted together chunks of rope reach the ground I can get down. Though getting the two beginners who I had with me down safely in that scenario was probably beyond my skills.


    @gajslk I think you missed the part in the post at the start of this thread where I said there was already a normal sized rapide at the anchor:


    This is phrased like you're addressing me specifically:

    Did you mean to state it as general advice? In any case I've never owned a dynamic rope.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017
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