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Rope bag and pullcord same bag

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by archietect, May 11, 2021.

  1. archietect

    archietect

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    I recently planned for a 130ft rap with a 60m rope and pullcord. I joined the pullcord and rope before the trip and stuffed pullcord below the rope in my bag.

    At the rap I set the totem block at 130ft, and adjusted the block length after first (wo)man down, and my turn I removed the totem and carried the bag down on a biner block. When i reached terra firma the remaining 20m of rope deployed, then 20ft of pullcord deployed. The join knot deployed out of the bag cleanly 20ft from the ground.

    It reduced needing to carry a separate pullcord bag, reduced the amount of time spent tying knots, and was efficient on stuffing time. I don’t think this is a common practice though.

    Do you do this and why/why not?
    ratagonia likes this.
  2. Sutitan

    Sutitan

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    I've never done this, and the only reason I probably wouldn't is because your pullcord is now dedicated to just that rope. If you wanted to use that pullcord with another rope or for some other anchor system (Fiddlestick/Sandtrap/Wanchor/Etc), you'd have to undo your setup.

    Im not sure how your rope bag is set up, but mine has a large enough grommet on the bottom that my rope can fit through. I have a figure 8 tied on the rope that is poked through that grommet at the bottom that I can easily/quickly tie my pullcord too. Makes attaching a pullcord a breeze, and its still available to be used where else it might be needed.
    Helo-ops and Yellow Dart like this.
  3. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    Not routinely. Why not?

    I don't routinely worry about setting rope length for rappels (maybe a swimming disconnect when I take beginners or the rare times I do a Class C canyon) and I generally rap on a single line with a stone knot, LAPAR replacing the safety biner in the stone knot with a fiddlestick prior to rappelling. Plus, the "pull cord" usually ends up being another rope that's already along on the trip rather than a dedicated pull cord.

    Your two arguments for this technique are

    # 1 Avoid having to spend time tying knots and
    # 2 Carry less weight

    I find # 1 a bad argument because the knots I tie are like 5 second knots. Heck, I even learned to tie a water knot that fast after everyone here made fun of me enough.

    I find # 2 a bad argument because I tend to canyoneer in large enough groups that no one is ever carrying all that much gear. Certainly not enough to complain about. Heck, there are usually people in the group who aren't carrying ANY group gear at all and nobody is really carrying more than one thing. A rope, a sandtrap, a couple potshots and a bit of webbing etc. The biggest fight of the day is who is going to carry the 200 or 300, but even that isn't as big of a deal as it used to be with the skinny new ropes.

    Two good arguments AGAINST your technique are that your pullcord is now married to that rope and putting two separate cords in one bag seems to be asking for trouble, aka the spaghetti system of rope management. I prefer to keep ropes separate whenever possible. You think tying a knot takes a long time? Try untying 20 of them.

    I can't remember the last time I tied a pullcord to anything but a fiddlestick or maybe a sandtrap. And even so, there was no tying, more like connecting with a carabiner.

    Are people still using Totems? Never really understood the point but I hear they were taught pretty heavily in courses for a long time.
    ratagonia likes this.
  4. archietect

    archietect

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    Yeah my scenario is kinda reliant on being familiar and using a totem block or an eight block or in general any rig with contingency lowering ability. Once you try it it becomes second nature to setting the rope length correctly and feeling warm and fuzzy with the bag of rope sitting next to the anchor until everyone’s down.
  5. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    If a contingency anchor is needed, that's certainly a reasonable way to do it. Most of the contingency anchors I use are either:

    1) Don't know if we have enough rope, so tie two ropes together and put the second one on a belay off a meat anchor so we can lower the rappeller further if they're still on the rope in 5 minutes (did this one on an exploration where we were guessing on the length of the final big rappel on my last trip) or
    2) Out with the kids or newbies in which case I tend to use a Munter-Mule-Overhand

    But I don't do much Class C where I understand contingency anchors and rope length setting are used much more frequently for obvious reasons.

    Honestly, if your system is safe, it works for you needs, and you know it well, then feel free to use it. I'm just explaining why I don't use it. There are many roads to Dublin.
    ratagonia likes this.
  6. 2065toyota

    2065toyota

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    Our most used ropes are a 40' w/ cord and 60' w/ cord pretied in bags. That is enough for prob 80% of the raps and fits nicely in bags. Way more efficient
    ratagonia likes this.
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