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Sheath Slippage

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by NevadaSlots, Feb 4, 2019.

  1. NevadaSlots

    NevadaSlots

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    Here’s the situation, brand new Imlay Canyon Fire 8.3, I stick the rope, 4th rap of 6. The anchor for the stuck rope is a not bomber deadman, I’m really not to keen on jugging it. I pull hard, really hard, no go. Pull out the ascenders, full body weight (170 lb) and it starts to budge, bounce about 50 times and she finally breaks free through the quick link . Rope inspection indicates some sheath slippage on one end, the stealth seems to kinda bunched up.. I can kinda move the rope-sheath like an accordion slightly for about the last 6feet of rope. Not noticeable while on rap and no indication of core damage. Good to go or cut it? What say ye?

    Obviously I made some mistakes in the canyon, and I realize that sheath slippage is not all that uncommon and in theory does not compromise strength and is generally more of a nuisance than a problem. Just looking for opinions.
  2. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    I am glad you did a good job of getting safely out of a pickle.

    It can be more than a nuisance, as that bunched up end can get your rope stuck, or jam in your rappel device.

    I suggest cutting the tip off, then milking as much sheath off as you can, cutting off the empty sheath AND about 6" of core, and re-welding the core and sheath. It is more common in this situation for the end of the sheath to break away from the end of the core, and thus you would end up with a section of empty sheath.

    After you get a good end made, you might want to tighten up the rope by soaking and drying it 2 or 3 times.

    Tom
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  3. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    "Pull out the ascenders, full body weight (170 lb) and it starts to budge, bounce about 50 times and she finally breaks free".

    Mechanical grips and aggressive bouncing will usually result in some sheath issues. I agree with Tom's recommendations (not that he needed my rubber stamp).
  4. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Your initial assessment of the deadman was that it was "not-bomber". Is that your assessment now?

    Tom
  5. NevadaSlots

    NevadaSlots

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    One of my mistakes. I should have just ascended the line, and fixed it (after I realized it was stronger than I thought). Good news is that I was using a Wild Coutry Ropeman 1 which I belive causes less damage then a normal toothed ascender, with its more lugged design.
    Thanks for the input, will do.
  6. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    I disagree and was heading in a different direction. I do not think it a good idea to ascend a stuck line. As a last resort perhaps. Before ascending a stuck line NOW, my protocol is to have 3 people hang on it and bounce... OKay, strong enough for me to carefully and smoothly ascend the rope, but really my experience has been when you have 3 people hang on it it comes. Or have more rope, and leave it -- and/or get it the next day. (Perhaps because I have foolishly ascended ropes in the past, only to marvel at the tiny thing that was making the rope jammed.)

    No, my point was that the deadman you evaluated as marginal was actually truck, meaning you can adjust your deadman evaluator. And you could make weaker deadmen that can be pulled out from the bottom by a two- or three-person load.

    Then again, you were already at a distinct disadvantage by canyoning solo (if I am parsing the hints correctly).

    Tom
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  7. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    The only device I know of that regularly damages ropes is the Tibloc. With a proper fat-round carabiner and some care, it USUALLY only struggles on very small ropes.

    Using toothed ascenders (handled ascenders (many brands), Petzl Basic, Petzl Microtraxion) do not damage the rope when used to ascend the rope. They are likely to damage the rope if used to catch falls of any significant distance, but if you are doing that, you are already in big big trouble.

    Tom
  8. hank moon

    hank moon lovely ligatures

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    "Tiblocs don't damage rope, people do"

    Proper Tibloc use requires developing good muscle memory. At least on the old version. The new version has a 'spring' of sorts built into the design; we'll see if this helps reduce rope damage. A friend recently showed me a new way to inflict damage w/a Tibloc - will post back (eventually) with a writeup and/or video.

    Adding on to Tom's post: toothed ascenders can damage the rope when down-climbing a rope (i.e. sliding the ascender down the rope, with the cam disengaged via finger pressure - not locked open). There's an ideal way to do this that practically eliminates the possibility of rope damage. Of course, 'ideal' not always possible so YMMV.
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  9. NevadaSlots

    NevadaSlots

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    Awe indeed, whether to ascend a stuck rope or not is very situation depended. Such as...
    1. Double or single line
    2. Anchor strength
    3. Is the rope going to be weighted at the point where it is stuck or at the anchor.
    4. Type of rock
    5. Time constraints
    6.Environmental conditions
    7. Group size
    Etc.


    I’m confident I could have jugged it safely after the fact. But pulling hard was a better safer idea as it often is. It’s just a matter of personal safety and gear destruction threshold sometimes. And that’s one of the reasons we love the canyons, the situation is always different.
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  10. NevadaSlots

    NevadaSlots

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    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
  11. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Why was the rope stuck?

    I am always concerned about what is happening at the top. And that while it will likely stay stuck while I climb most of the rope, when I get up near the top, me getting there might disturb what it is that sticks the rope. I have seen a rope stuck by the pull side being over the rappel side in a tight V, capturing it.

    Just to be clear, we are talking here about ascending a rope without both sides. If we have both sides, we can secure one side and climb the other, right?

    Tom
  12. NevadaSlots

    NevadaSlots

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    I’m not entirely sure what was going on up by the anchor that was giving me trouble. I couldn’t see the anchor. I theorize that the main factor was the rock-very grippy, gravelly, shap breccia. Actually based on not wanting the biner bock to get jammed in a mean looking crack and the rope shredded around the clove hitch (and not having a fiddle stick on hand) I double lined the rappel. There could have been a twist in the lines as well but I’m not certain.
  13. hank moon

    hank moon lovely ligatures

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    I've heard of several near-misses along those lines, which is why I would never ascend a stuck rope unless a) I knew with certainty it was securely anchored, b) Certain death was the alternative, or c) I was out of my mind. Ok, maybe d) the fall wouldn't be a big deal (e.g. short, clean fall into deep water). No amount of pull-testing from the bottom would suffice. I'm concerned about your 3-person protocol - the "OK, strong enough to ascend" part of it. One of the aforementioned near-misses involved the rock geometry at the top (slab) holding the jam in place. Similar to what you described with the tight V, but simpler: just the crossed rope and slabby terrain making it stick. As the person ascending got onto the slabby terrain, the jam came undone. Lucky guy: he didn't fall.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
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  14. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    A VERY CRITICAL distinction!!

    Can I say it without being labeled a heretic and burned at the stake, "Only a fool would ascend a single line stuck rope." It is schlemiel logic. (Present company excluded, obviously)

    Q:How did it get stuck? A:I was attempting to retrieve it. Conclusion: Then you obviously were expecting it to fall unrestricted.

    But ye say..."To every rule there is an exception" ...and an idiot ready to demonstrate it.

    EDIT: Conceding there is one acceptable exception - you forgot to remove the block...been there (the rest of Hank's are fuzzy-logic). :cautious:
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
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