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Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by Sonny Lawrence, Jan 29, 2018.
Scott Ensign presented data that indicates that the length of the rappel affects the outcome.
It's funny how exposure can mess up your mental processes. You were in far more danger on the last third of the big drop than on the first two-thirds. That also accounts for the massive overkill anchor on that drop ... you're not any more dead after falling 300 feet than you are after falling 100.
like Tom said- from my experience, the ability of the VT to hold decreased substantially over the course of the 300 foot rappel. Much like the amount of friction provided by the rappel device decreases for a given setting.
Besides which, ANY rappel backup ABOVE the device is likely to be ineffective in a loss of control situation. Until your femur breaks (as suggested by the data) at which point, on that rappel, it is too late.
Is there any advantage to putting your autoblock above your device if you're not planning on passing a knot? Even if it does grab above your device it's now holding your weight instead of just braking load. Makes it much harder to pull loose no?
Uh, well... we know examples of people who have lost control on a rappel in Zion and plummeted 100 feet, and survived, sometimes without significant injuries.