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Tech Tip: Question What do you use to anchor yourself ahead of a rappel / Rappel device extension?

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by nkanarik, May 13, 2021.

  1. nkanarik

    nkanarik

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    Saw this video, and got scared a bit :)
    https://dmmwales.com/Knowledge/June-2010/How-to-Break-Nylon-Dyneema®-Slings

    I was wondering what people use for:
    1. Anchoring yourself for safety prior to rappel (I use various items... nylon sling / dyneema sling / Metolius PAS 22 Personal Anchor System - all girth hitced to my harness belay/rappel loop and carabiner on the other side to connect to the anchor point)
    2. Rappel device extension, if using one (I use a 6" Black diamond dogbone connected with a rapid link to my harness)

    Cheers
  2. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    1) I'd say "typically", I'm usually climbing and just clip a set of draws together into my harness, one set off each anchor (or a master point on a built anchor). Sometimes its a 60cm shoulder length sling and very rarely a 120cm sling. My slings are almost exclusively dyneema (Mammut contact slings). I'll usually load the slings or draws with my body weight when I transfer over from using the lead rope as my belay anchor. Avoids shock loading the anchor as well as the sling (!). Climbers have been aware of the lack of shock absorbing from the high tech slings for quite awhile.

    1) For canyons, if I'm using a tether, its typically one of Tom's Imlay Clipsters. And or a Sterling Chain Reactor.

    2) Same as 1) for canyons.

    Another item I really like and sometimes use for anchoring is the Bluewater rabbit runners. Can be had in all nylon, or, a dyneema/nylon blend. I've always found rabbit runners to be pretty useful kit.
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  3. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    My takeaway from the video is this: DO NOT climb or canyoneer with 80kg of steel plates connected to your harness.

    Tom
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  4. nkanarik

    nkanarik

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    I spoke to Black Diamond about using their dogbone as an extension for rappel device, and they gave me the answer "can't comment, not rated for canyoneering activity" - was wondering if others have any opinion/advice whether should/shouldn't use them. it's the perfect length for me (using the 12mm long, and ~25mm wide) and seems more durable than any other option I'm aware of (I'd use the clipster, but seems on the long side for me, and seems less? durable).
  5. hank moon

    hank moon kinetically bulbous

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    1) Imlay clipster or equivalent
    2) Imlay clipster or equivlant, doubled and clipped back to tie-in point (or sometimes a doubled VT Prusik and/or 60 cm sling)
    Last edited: May 13, 2021
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  6. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Black Diamond is a climbing company, and makes gear for climbing. As in, For Climbing ONLY. Their policy is to not comment on uses outside of the sport of climbing. I am happy to see they consider Canyoneering to be outside their area of interest.

    What is your question? Is a sling rated for 5000 lbs strong enough to hold your body weight? I don't mean to mock you, but here I am. Using a heavy-duty dogbone (rather than, say, a lightweight dyneema dogbone) would seem to be quite durable. I would expect to inspect it once a month or so, looking especially where the carabiners clip in, where they are likely to get the most wear.

    The 12 cm length seems like a good length for a rappel extension.

    The Clipster is a heavy duty nylon climbing sling sewn flat in places. I get at least 100 days in the field on one. I could use it as a LONG extension on long rappels, folded over in half, perhaps, though really I usually use it to clip into the anchor, and then use it to dangle my pack. I use a carabiner as my everyday short rappel extension, using a climbing type harness with a belay loop. On long rappels I put two more carabiners in the chain, so the rap device is in front of my face.

    Did I make up for my mockery?

    Tom
    Last edited: May 30, 2021
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  7. nkanarik

    nkanarik

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    Thank you Tom. No worries - Got used to your style by now :)
    Yes - it helps. I'm going to play with these options and see what works best for me (i.e. a will order a couple Clipsters soon).
    I assume the 23" makes more sense than the 31"

    Thank you all for the positive feedback!
  8. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    We used the long version 31" when guiding. We had more people clipped in more often and often several at the same time teaching stuff and closely supervising. For many people, the long is just the right length to catch their knee when walking.

    Personally, I use over-the-shoulder slings to add length to the anchor (etc) rather than having that extra length on me at all times (aka, daisy chain or PAS or Purcell Prusik).

    Tom
    Last edited: May 31, 2021
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  9. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    I usually use nothing, but if something is needed, I use the same thing as you, the Metolius PAS. Expensive and probably overkill for that application I suppose. It also works well to hang my pack in a stemming canyon and on long free rappels and as a rappel device extension. I just girth hitch it onto my belay loop. Also handy for a long ascent if I stick a rope and want to go back up it.
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  10. Helo-ops

    Helo-ops

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    Last edited: May 31, 2021
  11. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    There is a lot of personal taste involved in choice of "leash". Differen' strokes for differin' folks.

    There was an org that taught using a PAS and/or Daisy Chain, and always always always clipping into the anchor. I visited one of their Rendezvous in So Cal, and managed a rappel station in the sun, clipped into the anchor. And watched 12 people awkwardly unclip their PAS, clip into the anchor, rig up their rappel device, then awkwardly unclip their PAS and awkwardly one-handedly re-clip several loops and clip it to their harness. Did I mention I was sitting in the full sun? With more guide experience, I now know I coulda made the whole thing much faster by placing a sling with biner on the anchor and clipping each person in, and unclipping them, rather than all that awk awk awk awkward PAS management.

    I am in the minimalist school. In our clan, we RARELY clip into anchors, as it is rarely necessary. (Mostly dry Utah canyons). And we do not need adjustability in the leash - we can adjust the length by the first person putting one or two slings onto the anchor for everyone to use, so the adjustability is a function shared across the group, rather than a function brought to the anchor by each person. What I see with long awkward leashes is awkwardness, slowness, dangling excess, and the potential for all that dangly stuff to get caught on something while swimming, downclimbing or rappelling, with potentially fatal consequences.

    If you really like a lot of stuff dangling off you, take up trad climbing! Off-widths!!!

    Tom
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  12. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    I laugh... Yes, the Purcell Prusik is not to my taste. All that extraneous stuff, like spelling Prusik with extra letters... ;-)
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  13. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    I too, am of the minimalist thought. The only reason I clip into the anchor is if I have something to do there OTHER than rappel. I’ll clip in if I’m replacing webbing and the stance is slightly awkward or less than secure. I’ll also clip in when using ghosting anchors such as a Sandtrap, fiddlesticks, or a waterpocket - things that have sensitive components that could cause a premature release if not attended too. If I’m clipped to the anchor I can focus on safely getting on rappel without messing something up and make sure that the anchor retrieval mechanism is readied. After a quick systems check, I unclip and get on with it.

    Clipping into bolted or otherwise permanent anchors simply to rig my rappel is rarity.

    Re: the point of the OP, I simply use a 22” tether girth hitched to my harness that lives there.
    Last edited: May 31, 2021
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  14. Helo-ops

    Helo-ops

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    Sorry that stirred up a hornets nest . I like being tied off when rigging a rap close to an edge. Call me crazy but I just feel more relaxed.
  15. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    So do I! It is fair to say that many (Utah) rappel anchors are not close to the edge. My rule of thumb is: if you are likely to die if you fall over, and you are doing anything other than NOT falling over, you should be clipped in.

    Tom
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  16. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    What is the Interwebs for, if not for a lot of buzzing, but no real stinging... (except emotionally)
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  17. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    It is kind of surprising how few anchors are nowhere near an edge eh? Particularly true when ghosting. Most of those right on the edge seem to be bolts since nothing else can really go there. By design cairns, deadmen, sandtraps, waterpockets, fiddlesticked trees etc tend to be further back. You get all hooked up and then you go to the edge.
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  18. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    That gets my vote too.
    And whatever method you choose (if you do) have it ready to deploy when it comes your turn, please. Fumbling around with gear at the anchor kinda defeats the whole purpose of extra safety measures at the anchor.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2021
  19. vanyoneer

    vanyoneer

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    I made a video describing the rope lanyard I use. I found the purcell to be needlessly bulky and isn't conservative on cord. The challenge was a single strand of rope to serve as a lanyard, with some way to adjust. This is the result.

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