how do you use a rappel rack to set up a practice station?

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how do you use a rappel rack to set up a practice station?

Postby rickster » May 3, 2011 6:26 pm

While at a cavers get together last year, I was given the opportunity to ascend a rope that had been fixed in a tree.They then, somehow used a rappel rack rigged to another tree to let the rope down as I was climbing.Can someone tell me what this called or point me to some instructional info online.
Thanks.
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Re: how do you use a rappel rack to set up a practice station?

Postby MUD » May 3, 2011 7:32 pm

:waving: Hey Rick! If ya can wait til the weekend of May 13-15th I'll be @ the MUDfest site doing chores for the event. We will be camping there and I'll show ya first hand how we do it. We'll get some vertical practice in and then I'll take ya down into the depths of Sugar for a really sweet trip! :kewl:
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Re: how do you use a rappel rack to set up a practice station?

Postby rickster » May 3, 2011 8:02 pm

sounds good Mud.
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Re: how do you use a rappel rack to set up a practice station?

Postby Chads93GT » May 4, 2011 6:24 am

If you climb on a ropewalker you can set up like so. put your rope pile under the pully, feed the rope up to the pully, over to the rack, down through the rack and climb on the rope coming out of the rack. If you do this with a ropewalker, you can train solo for long climbs, and if your setup is close to the ground like mine is, it trains you proper climbing technique as you will NEVER have to self start. I have a 10mm talon rope while is very supple and not like climbing on stiff pit rope, therefore if you arent climbing with your feet perfectly in line and allowing the ascenders to feed correctly, you will keep bunching the rope. As it is i hang with my feet 2 feet off the ground and i climb through the 400' length of rope in 9 minutes with no self start problems. The number of caribiners on the rack in this picture is only that way in this picture. dont set your rig up with 2 biners like this just because i did. use as little gear as possible.

to get started climbing with this setup you grab the pully end of the rope and climb up to the rack. once you are at the rack you can hang onto the rack with your arms (dont use your qas when training with a ropewalker solo, you dont need it) and you manipulate the friction with your hands on the rack. very easy and you will figure it out quickly once you get started.

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Re: how do you use a rappel rack to set up a practice station?

Postby Marduke » May 4, 2011 9:27 am

The setup is simple. Pulley in a tree, W3P2 on another tree with rack clipped in. Someone tends the rack to control rope feed as you climb. Don't forget to tie off the end in case the rack attendant is not paying attention the end won't slip through.

I know of no specific name, but we call it "running rope".

This setup is much safer than the endless loop "treadmill" setup that some people use, as those are prone to breaking.
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Re: how do you use a rappel rack to set up a practice station?

Postby Stridergdm » May 4, 2011 9:56 am

In fact just did this last weekend with my wife.

Now I've got to teach my son how to handle a belay so I can get on rope more. :-)
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Re: how do you use a rappel rack to set up a practice station?

Postby cavemud2 » May 4, 2011 9:58 am

Cavemud wrote::waving: Hey Rick! If ya can wait til the weekend of May 13-15th I'll be @ the MUDfest site doing chores for the event. We will be camping there and I'll show ya first hand how we do it. We'll get some vertical practice in and then I'll take ya down into the depths of Sugar for a really sweet trip! :kewl:


Are you planning on a small cave trip that weekend?
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Re: how do you use a rappel rack to set up a practice station?

Postby Cody JW » May 4, 2011 10:11 am

I have used a similar system as in the photo above to train for Golandrinas several years ago. We hung a pulley high in a tree ( about 30 feet up or so) and attached a rack to a second nearby tree at eye level, the climber would climb as the rack attendant would operate the rack for resistance, or I felt to better simulate climbing a fixed rope the climber would climb to the pulley then be lowered down by the rack the climb back up to the pulley until he ran through all the rope. To me that gave a better feel of climbing than constantly feeding rope as you climbed. We used an old " retired" Ellisons rope and used old aluminum bars so we would not wear out good steel bars. I am sure someone has a better way but that worked for us as it got my big a#! in shape to make the climb. This system did take 3 people to operate , one to climb , one to operate the rack, and we also put a heavy block on the ground with a pulley and ran the rope under the climber through the pulley then had the third person pull on the rope so the climber could just climb and not worry about self starting because there never was much rope weight under you at any time.
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Re: how do you use a rappel rack to set up a practice station?

Postby Chads93GT » May 4, 2011 12:17 pm

Climbing to the pully then having a belayer is one method if you are frogging, as if you frog and use a rack then this is really your only option.

A 2nd option for froggers is to hang a petzl stop in a tree with a long piece of cordage going to the ground. you frog up to the stop, then pull the cordage to activate the lever on the stop which will lower you to the ground. you still use a pully of course, to keep the feed end of the rope out and away from the stop so youd ont get tangled, but this is a method you can use to solo frog train.

But if you want to solo train ropewalker, and greatly improve your technique, then use the method described above. Its nice to be able to train solo if you have that option. Ive personally never had the option of training with friends so I came up with the above method by simply reversing the method everyone else uses.
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Re: how do you use a rappel rack to set up a practice statio

Postby TennEagle » Jan 3, 2012 11:47 am

Hi. I have a related question, and hope it's OK to add it here...
Is there a preferred pulley type or size for a practice set-up like this? I assume a larger one, with say 2-1/4" sheaves, would be better (on the rope) than a mini or micro. But a micro would be handy to have around. Or does the size even matter <grin>, as long as it accommodates your rope diameter? Also, single, double, or no-swing sides ... does it matter for this? Thanks! (I'm "shopping" and geez there's LOTS of different pulleys.)
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Re: how do you use a rappel rack to set up a practice statio

Postby Carl Amundson » Jan 3, 2012 1:25 pm

TennEagle wrote:Hi. I have a related question, and hope it's OK to add it here...
Is there a preferred pulley type or size for a practice set-up like this? I assume a larger one, with say 2-1/4" sheaves, would be better (on the rope) than a mini or micro. But a micro would be handy to have around. Or does the size even matter <grin>, as long as it accommodates your rope diameter? Also, single, double, or no-swing sides ... does it matter for this? Thanks! (I'm "shopping" and geez there's LOTS of different pulleys.)

I don't think it really matters much what type of pulley you use for the Self-Belay ascending system.
I currently use a CMI micro-pulley for my setup, but have also used full-sized pulleys.

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Re: how do you use a rappel rack to set up a practice statio

Postby David Grimes » Jan 3, 2012 2:21 pm

I will add that this is a good method for training new people to use a frog setup (or any other) and practice changeovers. That way if they cannot complete the changeover for any reason they can simply be lowered back down. It really is an easy setup for practicing.
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Re: how do you use a rappel rack to set up a practice statio

Postby Cody JW » Jan 4, 2012 12:42 pm

For some reason I felt that climbing a rope that moves as you climb did not have the same feel as climbing a fixed rope. I tried it both ways and felt that climbing up to the pulley and then lowered down not only allowed you to climb a fixed rope but also gave you a target rest cycle of resting during the lowering process. The issue was that the system needed 3 people to operate.That was not an issue for my group as we all knew that if we were going to Golandrinas that we all needed practice , so we were all disciplined to show up and climb around 800 feet or so each weekend for several weeks leading to our trip. In our case the issue of three people to operate was no problem. If you are going to set something up for personal fitness obviously you would need another system of using a moving rope. I think the old "On Rope" described a system of splicing a short section of rope into a loop with a pulley and installing a resistance device (rack).
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