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Stuck Rapide

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by wilwat, May 30, 2017.

  1. wilwat

    wilwat

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    I sometimes encounter rapides that I am not able to open, but otherwise look good (as does the rest of the anchor). In the past, I have just added my own rapide to the webbing. I now bring a small pair of pliers to turn the screw gate. Is this problem unique to me? Do others know of very lightweight wrench/pliers for this issue?
  2. Chad

    Chad

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    Location:
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    You can use another rapide as the wrench to loosen it.
    townsend and wilwat like this.
  3. wilwat

    wilwat

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    Great insight! I'll have to try that out:woot:
  4. 2065toyota

    2065toyota

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    doesn't work very often. just curious as to why you are wanting to unscrew and or remove the rapide
  5. wilwat

    wilwat

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    I don't want to remove it. Rather, I want to open the gate and place my rope through it. My usual method is to measure out the right amount of rope, then butterfly coil it, toss it, then pass the rope through the rapide (which requires opening the gate), set up a biner block etc.

    For shorter rappels where I can easily see the bottom, I can just feed rope through the rapide until the rope hits the bottom. However, if the drop is long, this is rather tedious. Moreover, if I can't see the bottom, then I'd prefer to measure and toss. In both circumstances, I want to be able to open the rapide.

    Hopefully the above all makes sense. I'm of course open to suggestions if my methodology seems sun-optimal.
  6. hank moon

    hank moon kinetically bulbous

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    Location:
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    One measuring method is:

    - pass end of rope through rap ring
    - measure that end of the rope using the "butterfly-coil-as-you-measure-with-your-wingspan" method
    - block, toss, etc.
    - make sure rap rope is on ground before rapping

    Works with any type of rap ring (gated or not)
    Rapterman, wilwat and Scott Patterson like this.
  7. 2065toyota

    2065toyota

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    It seems more tedious to try and open the gate and then reclose it. All of my ropes are always in rope bags so pulling them through doesn't take any more time than just pulling it out of the bag.

    If the rap is long or not sure if it's on the ground, then the end of the rope is blocked and the whole bag is tossed down, then reset by the next person as needed
    wilwat and ratagonia like this.
  8. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    To answer your original question, it often helps to whack the gate on the rapide with the stout part of a large carabiner, or on the rock. Sometimes this breaks free whatever is sticking the threads of the gate.

    But, really, most of us (it seems) do what Hank and Toyota suggest. With a little practice, it gets fast and easy. SOMETIMES annoying. Certainly using ropebags makes it much easier.

    Tom
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  9. hlscowboy

    hlscowboy

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    Location:
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    I found a set of wrenches for biking at the 99 cent store. I took out the two wrenches that fit most quick links and put them in my bag. They are thin and ridiculously light, but I've used them several times now and they work quite well for the purpose that you are describing, though I had not considered using another quick link for that purpose, so I may be retiring them, but if you're still looking for a wrench option, they would fit the bill.
    wilwat likes this.
  10. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    I think you need a new technique. Why add unnecessary, time-consuming steps? Speed is safety. Pass the end of the rope through first, then either tie a stone knot with it and fiddlestick it (saves even more time and rope grooves) or if you must, pull through as much as you need as you coil it. I don't recall EVER opening a rapide in a canyon unless I was adding one off my harness to an anchor.
  11. wilwat

    wilwat

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    Very informative responses.

    It hadn't occurred to me that the majority of us simply don't open the gate at all. This goes a long way in explaining my difficulty in opening the gate (I frequently do it, but others generally don't). To be honest, I was puzzled as to why I was having trouble opening stuck rapides in popular canyons like Keyhole/Pine Creek etc.

    In the future, I will look into feeding it through and/or bicycle wrenches/using another rapide as a wrench/whacking it with a stout carabiner.
    2065toyota likes this.
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