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Tech Tip: Answered Why do we bottom belay?

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by ratagonia, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. Rapterman

    Rapterman

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    If you are using a block above your device the best option is the Bluewater VT prusik.
    It cannot melt (sheath is Technora) and is RELEASABLE when loaded.
    If blocking below the device then any number of prusik type slings are doable as the friction required is much lower.
    In addition, using a nylon or poly prusik to provide additional friction on a rappel is begging for a 'melt-down'.
    There are now a couple of very good rappel devices designed for adding friction mid-rappel...
    :D
  2. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    And they're guaranteed not to melt!
  3. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    Bump

    Agree. Rope length, diameter, stretch, rappel device, etc. all come into play. And once a person hits full on out-of-control it's more like trying to stop a train. Most times it can be done, if there is sufficient weight-to-friction and distance...and the device was equal to the task to begin with.

    Bottom belaying is an important duty we all share, at times I believe it is approached far too casually.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017
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  4. Ross Platt

    Ross Platt

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    Thanks for bumping this, it is great thread to sift through.
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  5. Taylor

    Taylor

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    This image shows the best practice for rappelling if one really wants to do it right. [​IMG]
  6. Canyon Monkey

    Canyon Monkey Useful Idiot

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    This image can be a death trap in certain conditions and extremely awkward in others. There is no "best" as the situation dictates what is best at that given time. When the only tool you have is a hammer every problem is a nail. Also that runner is not redundant despite the carabiner clipped back into the belay loop if you really want to do it right :)
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  7. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    I was thinking this was like a Where's Waldo? There are 10 things wrong with this picture - can you find all 10???

    T
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  8. Ross Platt

    Ross Platt

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    I'm thinking that #1 is no helmet.

    Edit-Or no shoes
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  9. Canyon Monkey

    Canyon Monkey Useful Idiot

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    Shoes would help :) and a helmet and orientate the upper binner correctly, tails are uneven, dyneema is not the best choice here, not redundant, unneeded binner/poorly tied extension and tuck in the waist belt ....clearly he is stuffing his shorts to make his junk look better :)
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017
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  10. Taylor

    Taylor

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    I thought yall would enjoy that photo. Pick apart the details as much as you like(it came from an article in Climbing.com). The fact remains, properly extending the device and properly using a friction backup below is best practice.

    Sent from my SM-G900P using Tapatalk
  11. Canyon Monkey

    Canyon Monkey Useful Idiot

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    I guess since this is "best practice" I will have to change this to my go to class C canyoneering set up. In all seriousness "Best Practice" is a term the the AMGA uses to define what they feel is best. As a certified AMGA Instructor, I can tell you that not everything translates well from climbing to canyoneering . In fact, this is NOT best practice in canyoneering.
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  12. Pictish

    Pictish

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    This looks like fun! let me take a stab at it:

    Aren't you supposed to always attach a belay or rappel device to the belay loop and not the tie ins? I don't really know why that is, but every harness manual I've ever read (BD, Metolius, Singing Rock, Petzl) has been clear on this point.

    I bet that french prusik third hand is made of a melty fiber. As Todd said above, begging for a melt down.
  13. Canyon Monkey

    Canyon Monkey Useful Idiot

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    Aren't you supposed to always attach a belay or rappel device to the belay loop and not the tie ins? I don't really know why that is, but every harness manual I've ever read (BD, Metolius, Singing Rock, Petzl) has been clear on this point.

    That is not an issue per se.
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  14. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Is that an X slot?

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    Thanks for bumping over Kuenn. Looking over all the posts... Wow, time flies. All we have learned. When do we get back to finish Imlay?

    Big raps such as Englestead and multi big ones like Heaps are serious. I concur with all the comments over on the threads of working up to higher level canyons. In fact, there are lots of suggestions of alternate canyons that are equally fun that build your experience. Suggested progression canyons.

    Prepare for it. All of us started somewhere. Don't skip the value of experience. Why take on more unnecessary risk?

    Hopefully someone reads this, takes pause, and follows the advice.

    When I did Englestead, I signed the line that asked me on the permit if I knew how to add friction. That added to the anxiety! Umm, I think so... definitely was a NOOB with my wife and 15 year old. Yes had a few canyons under my belt, and went through formal classes. But... Did I have the right technique?

    I was taught to use an ATC with the full Z. Down to your leg, and back up, and down. Thumb in the bum. Double biner. Result? Really slow going, and my arm hurt feeding rope. Ah, where was that squirrel that day... But I digress...

    And yes, we had a bottom belay. Both hands alert and ready.
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  15. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Is that an X slot?

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    Hilarious pic Taylor!
  16. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    Climbing.com says best practice, hmm... (excuse me whilst I clear my throat and cancel my subscription).

    The main thing I get from the picture is he obviously believes the ATC to be the rappelling god's solution for abseiling; even in the climbing world I think there are better hardware solutions. And if I was using that rig (which granted is a backup alternative, so long as instruction manual is handy) I would probably be going with a french wrap too on long raps!

    And as for the 10 things wrong...I'll take the less obvious one. Left pant leg is rolled up higher than right.
  17. GravityWins

    GravityWins

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    In addition to the above mentioned items, I dislike seeing a knot in one end of the rope. The general talking points about knots in the ends of rope canyoneering are:
    • In Class C conditions the optimal solution is to set rope length so the canyoneer can do a floating disconnect, ie no unhooking of the device from the rope required, just rap off the rope end. The knot prevents rapping off the end, and could trap someone in flowing water.
    • Assuming this is a toss and go and the the rope is not secured at the anchor. If both ends are not capable of reaching the bottom then having only one end knotted will result the knot catching in the ATC, then the rope will slip through the anchor until the second end passes through the ATC and the rapeller plummets down.
    • Most canyoneering groups do not knot the rope, if one person knots the one rope end and the person doing the pull doesn't expect a knot then the knot will end up at the anchor and there will be a stuck rope. Best case: we all know who will be buying the liquid refreshments after this mishap, worst case: group stuck without rope to complete the canyon or someone is injured trying to retrieve the stuck rope.
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  18. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    Even more basic than that....

    Skinny jeans
    Don’t shoot the messenger – this is just an unbiased report from the front line – but in style circles, right now, skinny jeans are about as popular with designers as Brexit is. Should you consider becoming independent from yours, the alternatives are confusingly disparate: the Vetements-inspired stepped-hem kick-flare crop is still riding high and the Martin Sheen in Badlands-style indigo worker jean is coming on strong. Bear in mind that with a new jeans shape comes a new silhouette: a baggier jean often requires a top that will tuck in. Basically, go to a shop and try some on, because this one is going to be complicated.

    https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2017/mar/14/skinny-jeans-fashionable-spring-style-questions

    But, more seriously...

    Climbers typically use the same device for both belaying as rappelling. And, that's typically an ATC type device, on a double strand of rope.

    Other than his fashion sense...I'm not seeing a gob of stuff to pick on (helmet could have been added, but, I'm sure it was warm in the studio).

    I typically girth hitch a tether through my harness tie in points and leave the belay loop open for whatever business.

    Interesting...as it came up on Facebook in response to the Englestead accident/fatality, that climbers from "back east" commonly use a back up during a rappel. I climbed at Rumney last year, but, most folks there just clip and go (lower off). A query of a very experienced friend confirms that folks, especially climbing in the Gunks, back up their rappels. I'd say its fairly uncommon out here. But, should it be the norm? I dunno.

    [​IMG]

    Look ma, no backup...(100 feet of free air...last rappel off Devil's Castle at Alta). She went hands free right after this pic...plenty of friction...
  19. Rapterman

    Rapterman

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    It should be obvious to anyone that has done awkward starts over sharp lips that an extended device is a huge no no.
    This rig would leave you trapped there.
    NICE hair though!
    Very... climbery
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  20. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    It think it is very informative.

    Now I know that I NEVER do "best practice for rappelling if one really wants to do it right. "
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