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Prusik placement

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by Outdoors24, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. Outdoors24

    Outdoors24

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    I have been reading in several different places and I am wondering where is the preferred spot to put a prusik as a back up during a rappel or if it is even recommended? I have read many different things on various social media sites. So I figured I would ask on here and see what the general consensus is? It's been on my mind a little more with some of the falls that have happened in some canyons recently.
  2. hank moon

    hank moon lovely ligatures

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    @Outdoors24 welcome to the group!

    Prior discussion on your topic

    http://canyoncollective.com/threads/why-do-we-bottom-belay.19272/page-3#post-80895
    http://canyoncollective.com/threads/stopper-knots-bad-idea-or-the-worst-idea.19962/page-2#post-85229
  3. Terry LeBlanc

    Terry LeBlanc

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    I use a Bluewater VT Prussik (8mm), since I'm usually first one down. I provide fireman's belay to those that follow. It's easy to manage as an autoblock off a harness leg loop on a normal short descender hookup and works well, even better with a short extension to give a little more working room. Available lots of places, $25 from Bluewater. I don't generally need it, but it's nice to know it's there, just in case. I made several cord loops of various sizes, but the Bluewater VT Prussik is a better solution.

    https://www.bluewaterropes.com/product/vt-prusik/
  4. Rapterman

    Rapterman

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    Agree with Terry.
    The Bluewater VT is an amazing back-up tool. I always carry one clipped on my hip in every canyon for those sketchy
    first person at risk situations...
    Just be aware that when brand new and used with a new and slippery 8mm rope it may not grab very well.
    TEST before you trust!
    :)
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  5. Canyon Monkey

    Canyon Monkey Useful Idiot

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    Even with a well worn VT and well used 8mm rope I have had issues with slippage under heavy load. The new 7mm version of the VT is far better with skinny ropes.

    https://canyonsandcrags.com/product/7mm-vt-prusik-tan/
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  6. hank moon

    hank moon lovely ligatures

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    Yes. Which is one reason why the 7mm version was developed. I believe you had a "hand" in that? :)


    re: "normal short descender hookup" - do you mean hooking the descender directly to the harness belay loop? If so, what kind of harness, specifically (make and model)?

    When I worked as a guide at Zion Adventure Company (ZAC), we found that with a direct descender-harness connection (Petzl ASPIR harness) there was potential for autobloc failure due to autobloc contact with the descender. For this reason ZAC used an extension for all its client harnesses, to keep the autobloc and descender properly separated. The extension was a 17 cm dogbone quickdraw sling, permanently attached to the harness with a 7mm or 8mm quicklink. Most of the guides used this same setup.

    I have yet to see a direct-connection setup that avoids the autobloc-descender-contact failure mode, when using a VT Prusik.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  7. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    I think it should be noted that canyoneers RARELY use a "rappel backup". There are special occasions when one is indicated. But using one "in general" tends to be unnecessary, counter productive and produces bad habits.

    Tom
  8. Terry LeBlanc

    Terry LeBlanc

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  9. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Terry said:

    Yes, my "normal" short connection uses a rapide connected to my Petzl Adjama harness, with a Petzl biner and descender. This last trip I used a Critr2, previous trip I used an ATS. I used a short 6" dogbone sling extension this time...more room to manage the autoblock, but complicated some of the more awkward starts, had to "manage" the descender a bit more, a fair tradeoff, just had to pay attention at the start to get over the edge.

    I used a new VT Prussik this last trip on a 9.2mm Canyonero. As some have mentioned, it didn't work as well as the old one, had to adjust the autoblock a bit, couple more wraps, less slack. First I've heard of the 7mm VT...need to look at that.

    FYI: I have now seen the last half of Mystery in the daylight.<g> WooHoo. The Mystery Springs rap was even better when I could see it. The pools were clear, clean and cold...gorgeous. No problem catching the shuttle this time.<g>

    --Terry
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  10. clangingsymbol

    clangingsymbol

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    I recently graduated to (Skinnier - 9.2 and 8.3 Imlay) Single Ropes and Long Raps (300 footer is my current record). As such, I also moved to a CRITR 2. With the CRITR multi friction device, I have found I can control the descent much better and have never been in a situation where I was concerned or uncomfortable and unable to lock off mid rap to gather myself or evaluate the situation. Several times, do to wind and a blind through, I have had to lock off to clear obstacles on the rope (twists or rope blown into vegetation), and have been successful!

    Only once, prior to using a CRITR (didn't know about them yet), did I ever feel like an autoblock would have been useful. It was my first experience with a skinny rope (double though) and only 100 footer (free hanging). I was exhausted at the end of the rap!!! Fortunately, we always use the firemans and the first man down was used to the skinny ropes.

    So, personally, I would recommend a multi friction device like a CRITR or SQWUREL or anything like them with firemans over a prusik, even with first man down. Keep that rope on your harness to use when needed though. It has come in handy to me a few times!
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  11. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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  12. AW~

    AW~

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    This video would agree with you...however development begats development and since the industrial world was introduced to rappelling, the progress cant be stopped.
  13. Rapterman

    Rapterman

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    Aussie style:
    good way to get DEAD.
    A common cause of failure is the brake hand rope burning through either an extension on the device
    (sometimes set up as a bridal off the hips) or just through the harness waistband itself
    because you CAN'T SEE where the rope is running behind you like a bandsaw...
    And the yahoos that do this just gotta go FAST.
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  14. Outdoors24

    Outdoors24

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    Thanks for all the responses! So it sounds as though using prusik on rappel is not necessarily recommended. It sounds as though proper training and equipment can better help you rappel successfully? I generally use a Critr2 because I like the different friction settings on it.
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  15. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    Couldn't agree more!

    From the article @ratagonia referenced, "Let's use the time we use to practice using a rappel safety to become better rappellers."

    I have a few back issues gathering dust of the "Nylon Highway", but haven't found Edition 42...still looking. Sounds like it would be an interesting read.

    All this talk of safety, prevention and cure reminds me of a clever poem written in 1895 by Joseph Malins, The Fence Or The Ambulance
  16. 2065toyota

    2065toyota

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    I use a VT on occasion when going first on long raps. Clip it in with a biner to my main belay loop so it extends just above the rap device.
    Rapterman likes this.
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