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Tech Tip: Question Partner capture from overhanging ledges

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by wsbpress, May 31, 2018.

  1. wsbpress

    wsbpress

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    Location:
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    I'd like to learn a technique or two for assisting someone down from an overhanging ledge from below. I'm interested in this for situations where downclimbing and thigh belays are not reasonable.

    If you've got a technique that has been successful for you I'd really appreciate learning about it.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    Rapterman likes this.
  2. Ram

    Ram

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    The geometry of each drop varies, so one size does NOT fit all. But here are some guidelines.

    *Captures involving overhangs have their limits a few feet lower than vertical or low angle captures
    *The same support that creates the feeling that the capturers are standing on flat ground applies. Support of the capturers is perhaps even more critical.
    *If the overhang goes more than 7 feet up from the ground, the exercise becomes much more difficult
    *Strength of capturers and lightness of capturee needs a bit more safety margin
    *pack drags to help "over the lips" that are difficult, is a good additional tool

    The capture method most used for overhangs is called The Circle of Love.

    One of the capturers creates a round circle with both arms, up as high as they can, with balance and strength. Others supporting this person must make him (usually tall strong males) as stable as possible. The person being captured slips over the edge, facing in (most common), on their side (often) or facing out (least used), aims their legs into the arm circle, created by the capturer. Critical that the capturee have their legs together and mostly straight. As the legs slide into and below the arm circle, the capturer, closes the circle, but still maintains the circle shape. As the legs get lower, the circle closes to around the thighs and squeezes the legs of the capturee. This must not be done too high off the ground or too low on the capturee's body. At least the thighs, not lower.

    That is the basic mechanical part, but there is more needed. A second capturer is needed every time in the "Circle" maneuver. They guide the legs down in and stabilize the the other capturer. Others can help each of the capturers be strong and stable, holding feet, pushing into backs and in many ways depending on the circumstances. They can also slow the descent and control the capturee, once they get low enough.

    The capturee often will bend at the waist just enough to use the shoulders of the capturer, supporting the other capturer doing the circle. The capturer doing the circle, can bend their knees when the circle is squeezed around the thighs of the capturee, and with the help of others bring the capturee to the ground. When done correctly, the circle capturerer will have their cheek, plush against the hip of the person being captured. That is where the origin of the name comes from.
    R
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
  3. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

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    Location:
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    I've caught people just below the knee's before, but I had a very stable stance to catch from and there was someone beside me with their arms up in the air for the capturee to grab hold of to help them balance.
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  4. Chasetharp

    Chasetharp

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    I appreciate the statement of which direction the person being captured faces. Downclimbing is usually done the opposite way in canyoneering, with your back to the rock. But if the geometry allows it is great to slide on your side in a crack or go down facing the rock to drop your legs sooner, such as this situation. One of those things that seem to develop with experience, how to wedge your body against sandstone properly.
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  5. wsbpress

    wsbpress

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    Great info. Thanks Ram for taking the time to write that up.

    I wonder how my crew will respond when I invite them to come over and practice "The Circle of Love"?
    Rapterman likes this.
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