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Smooth Operator/Fiddlestick not so Smooth!!!!!

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by Moab Mark, Mar 4, 2017.

  1. Deagol

    Deagol too many hobbies

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    so now there is a question in my mind: what is the functional limit for rappels using this technique?
  2. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Many people have done looooong rappels using it. Just shows that when you set up a loooong rappel, you need to be careful with your technique. To me, the problem is that the Fiddle was set up where the rope was pinned against the rock.

    Tom
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  3. Moab Mark

    Moab Mark

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    I agree with Tom, I just can't figure how a flat strand could knuckle? The rock that it was on was to steep to stand on. The fiddlestick came out just like normal. Just a good tig.

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  4. Moab Mark

    Moab Mark

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    The tail strand has the knuckle in it.

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  5. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    I've had that when the Stone Knot was tied "downward". But in the picture, it is clearly tied upward.

    T
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  6. hank moon

    hank moon lovely ligatures

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    Thoughts and a photo from more fiddling around:

    Several factors contributed to the stuck configuration shown below, and in photo 3, earlier in this thread:

    - Murphy's law
    - The Stone Knot was resting against the rock, on a shallow indentation.
    - A different Stone Knot tying method might have decreased the probability of jamming

    This jam is very stable due to the pull strand (light color) being captured inside the loop above the jam. Another stabilizing factor is the 0° angle between the two strands above the jam: as the angle is increased, the jam will become less stable and eventually fall apart.

    Lessons: a) whenever possible, set up your toggle (esp. the Stone Knot) so that it hangs in free space, off of surfaces and away from anything else that might interfere with it properly falling apart when the stick is pulled, b) one way of tying an "upward" Stone Knot may be more jam-prone than another.

    Note: this post edited to remove the "A and B" references, which in retrospect seemed more confusing than useful.


    TOGGLEPROB2-COR.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
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  7. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Awesome work, thanks Hank. :moses:
  8. Moab Mark

    Moab Mark

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    I am impressed you could tie A. I have tried and cannot get it to hold. Mine all look like B. So how do you think we should be tying the knot different? Not sitting on the ground? How would a Contrictor or Clove fit into this scenerio?

    Do you think the flat strands running over the stick knuckled or the ones going around the stick?

    Last night with a 300 ft rope bag hanging on the knot I could get it to do funky things if I only pulled the stick out half way. When you pull the stick it turns the knot so stick is pointed down. When this happens if the stick doesn't come out clean it starts to make loops.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017
  9. Craig

    Craig Feeling My Way

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    Hank, wow! Please show us how you tied both A and B. Is it possible to guarantee A at all times? What is the secret?
  10. John Diener

    John Diener

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    Yes, agree this is very interesting info Hank. I've spent some time working backwards from your photo A and Mark's photo (thank you for posting this!), and the only way I seemed to make it happen is by making each initial loop separately and overlaying them (see photo sequence below). Would definitely like to know if there are other ways to make things go wrong.
    -john
    20170308_161319_resized. 20170308_161353_resized. 20170308_161428_resized. 20170308_161636_resized_1. 20170308_161657_resized_1.
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  11. Moab Mark

    Moab Mark

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    Did you get your last picture to happen like that by just releasing the knot or did you manipulate the knot to get that knot?

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  12. John Diener

    John Diener

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    It's touchy - sometimes it'll grab and bind, other times the loop will pop out, when doing nothing but pulling on the rap side once the toggle is out. But yes, I can get it to happen without manipulating the knot (besides it laying on carpet). I haven't tried a freehang setup yet. And the rap line side has to be 'behind/under' the short end when the knot is dressed (both ways look similar) for it to have a chance of happening.
    -john
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  13. John Styrnol

    John Styrnol

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    Ok, this is all new to me. I've never used a fiddle stick, and I believe, I've never seen one used in a canyon before by someone else. Is this technique used more for ghosting? What is it used for?
  14. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Mostly ghosting, though it is a powerful tool and that is not always the POINT of using it.

    Some more information here: http://www.canyoneeringusa.com/techtips/fiddlestick/
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  15. John Styrnol

    John Styrnol

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  16. hank moon

    hank moon lovely ligatures

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    Hi Craig

    re: different ways to tie an upward Stone Knot - see photo below. Starting from fig. 0, if the initial Stone Knot (SK) loop is made as shown in fig. 1, then the jam might be more likely to occur; if instead it is made as in fig. 2, jamming seems less likely. This assumes a completely twist-free SK tying method. Could either method (1 or 2) result in a jam? Sure, but I think it less likely with 2. Hard to make a better case w/o a video, or indulging in excessive verbal acrobatics. Those interested should experiment at home to soak up the subtleties. It's, er...fun!

    As @John Diener has implied, some highly improbable loop-shifting is required to produce a jam, when starting from a properly tied SK. Nevertheless, it seems to have happened, assuming @Moab Mark tied a proper SK, and from his photos it appears that he did. So what's the importance of this info? Hard to say, but let's review some Stone Knot subtleties. When tying the SK, it's essential to tie the upward SK. Many instances of downward SK jamming have occurred. Of lesser importance is tying the SK twist-free. A twisted SK increases the chance of jamming, but to a lesser degree than the downward-SK error. The latter statement is presented evidence-free, but based on the conjecture that most folks don't tie twist-free Stone Knots, few toggle/twist jams are reported, etc. Probably of least importance is this new issue, Murphy having worked overtime to create that lovely jam.

    Speaking of Murphy, he once said: "If there are two or more ways to do something, and one of those ways can result in a catastrophe, then someone will do it." This has since been maxim-ized into whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. A great tool for staying alive (or at least unstuck).

    Note: this post edited to remove the "A and B" references, which in retrospect seemed more confusing than useful.


    TOGGLEPROB-3.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
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  17. Moab Mark

    Moab Mark

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    Okay so the way the video shows it is how I tie. That is how I tied it on the day in question. I agree with John that we're better off to put the Rappel strand on the back side of the tail strand loop. The problem with the video is he pulls both the tail and the rappel strand to collapse it. When pulling just rappel it collapse differently. Hopefully Murphy is done with me and I can just carry on. But now there is doubt. Which there is doubt in other methods also, sticking biner, rappeling double which creates twists which are hard to get out which in turn pin the rope at the top. etc.

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    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
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  18. Deagol

    Deagol too many hobbies

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    I'm still waiting for all those mass deaths that were predicted by certain experts due to the increasing use of the Fiddlestick/Smooth Operator in canyoneering. The only rope I have ever stuck was a traditional biner-block scenario.
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  19. Moab Mark

    Moab Mark

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    Played with this in Arches the other day. On a big rappel with knot on flat rock it does not want to collapse. I do not recommend fiddlestick if it's on rock. We set it up and pulled while watching, it collapsed but u could see how it could knuckle itself.

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  20. Jman

    Jman

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    We had this happen in Spry last weekend on the first rap.

    We realized our mistake when we were pulling the "downward" side of the loop to make the stone hitch. Yeah...forgot about that...whoops.

    IMG_7529.JPG



    And here is a video where we filmed BJ Cassell of Zion Adventure Company about 4 years ago correctly showing us how to tie the stone hitch. We did the "less successful" way as described in the video...

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