The rack is the cadillac of rappel devices. Smooth, STRAIGHT (no twisting of the rope), the ability to add and remove friction at the flip of the wrist (something you need to do on drops like fantastic pit due to the rope weight, else you will be feeding rope for 586' and your arm will fall off before you get half way). Why twist up a brand new rope like a cork screw because you want to use figure 8's? Figure 8's have their place, but not in fantastic pit.
You want to do this to save money. Ask yourself. Is your life not worth the $120 cost of a rack? Mine is.
Yes, there is a first time for everything and life is full of risks, but smart people minimize risk. Part of risk minimization is proper gear, correct? Afterall, are you prepared to goto Fantastic pit, knowing that you may be seeing daylight for your last time because of your refusal to buy the right gear? I think your life is worth more than a $10 figure 8 and an ice pack, no? There is a first time for everything. Last year, the first 2 people died in the warmup pit, only a few feet from where your photo was taken.
Im sure those 2 kids famlies wish they would have had proper training.
Afterall, if you are going to fork out $400 on a rope to get to the bottom, why not fork out another $120 on a proper device to use on it so you dont trash the rope on the first use?
And here is the real kicker. after that 600' rope gets wet its going to shrink. How much? Its going to shrink enough that you wont even be able to use it to get to the bottom of Fantastic Pit. Buy a rack, get training, learn to use it on shorter drops, as there are lots of 100-200-300' drops in yoru area. Learn why rope weight is a factor.
At Bridge day we rappel 876' and its not a beginners rappel, people have to train on drops and be prepared for the rope weight issue. How many 70 lb 1 arm curls can you do to change out figure 8's on the way down? the rope is going to get wet (even more weight) and its going to get muddy (even more weight).
Im in great shape but 70 lb curls will wear me out fast ;) Be safe, get the right gear. Id rather you be around to do that drop multiple times, and others, instead of just once. Fantastic Pit is no place for experiments. Be safe, Be smart.