Ascending with limited gear...tomorrow

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Ascending with limited gear...tomorrow

Postby GroundquestMSA » May 23, 2012 6:42 pm

I've asked similar questions before, but this one is more specific. I've not yet settled on a favorite system since I've never really used any proper setups or had any in person training. I'm currently caving away from home and have a few pits to drop. I didn't expect to do any vertical caving so I left all of my stuff at home except my CMI UltrAscenders. What's the best way to create a useable system with only 2 handled ascenders and no chest harness or box? A relative is supplying rope and harnesses, as well as some 7mm that can be chopped up.

We're going for it tomorrow afternoon, one way or the other. At least 5 pits in 3 caves, estimated 15', 20', 40', 40', and 60' deep. We'll dedicate the morning to experimenting with what we have to make sure we aren't doing anything too horribly foolish. Thanks everyone.
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Re: Ascending with limited gear...tomorrow

Postby Scott McCrea » May 23, 2012 7:15 pm

Texas system sounds perfect. With the 7mm cord, tie not-too-long lanyards for each ascender--basically turning them into QAS's/Safeties. Then, you can put them both on the rope. On the lower one, attach a foot loop. You'll have to play with the length. Now you just sit-stand. Sit on the top one and stand on the lower one. This uses a lot of upper body/arm strength, but with some practice and decent technique, those pits should be no problem. Practice changeovers. Practice a lip. Then practice changeovers. Before you try it for real, practice changeovers. Did I mention changeovers?
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Re: Ascending with limited gear...tomorrow

Postby GroundquestMSA » May 23, 2012 7:37 pm

Thanks Scott.

By the way, how do I practice a lip? It's a great idea and I've never tried it, except when wriggling on the lip, in cave.
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Re: Ascending with limited gear...tomorrow

Postby Scott McCrea » May 23, 2012 7:44 pm

After you get your changeover nailed, try climbing over something, anything. You don't need to be far off the ground. Just looking around my house, I could practice lips climbing over my oil tank or the rack on my truck. Changeovers. If you can rig a tree, toss the rope over a lower branch so the rope is redirected and climb over the branch. Well, that might not work. Could be dangerous. Then practice changeovers.
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Re: Ascending with limited gear...tomorrow

Postby GroundquestMSA » May 23, 2012 7:54 pm

Right.

Do you suggest I practice changeovers? I normally do so when I'm feeling bored or when I'm going to be climbing soon, but your tone seems to suggest that that may be a waste of time.
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Re: Ascending with limited gear...tomorrow

Postby gdstorrick » May 23, 2012 9:08 pm

Post deleted.
Last edited by gdstorrick on Jul 7, 2012 8:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ascending with limited gear...tomorrow

Postby Downundercaver » May 24, 2012 12:15 am

Scott McCrea wrote: Then, you can put them both on the rope. On the lower one, attach a foot loop. You'll have to play with the length. Now you just sit-stand. Sit on the top one and stand on the lower one.


I would also recommened putting another Krab on your harness and tieing a clove hitch onto the Krab from the rope you are climbing (but under the two accenders) then every couple of feet just pull the clove hitch through the Krab, That way if your Primary accender fails you are still connected to the rope by the Clove hitch. When i did a Certificate in Abseiling a few years ago thats the way they tought us to Prusik.
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Re: Ascending with limited gear...tomorrow

Postby chh » May 24, 2012 5:41 am

Texas system and a munter. More than sufficient for what you are going to be doing, though I don't know that I'd call that limited :grin:

Downundercaver wrote:I would also recommened putting another Krab on your harness and tieing a clove hitch onto the Krab from the rope you are climbing (but under the two accenders) then every couple of feet just pull the clove hitch through the Krab, That way if your Primary accender fails you are still connected to the rope by the Clove hitch. When i did a Certificate in Abseiling a few years ago thats the way they tought us to Prusik.


Don't do this.
Your words of caution are no match for my disaster style!
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Re: Ascending with limited gear...tomorrow

Postby Downundercaver » May 24, 2012 6:06 am

chh wrote: Don't do this.


Can i ask why you would'nt do this?
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Re: Ascending with limited gear...tomorrow

Postby Chads93GT » May 24, 2012 8:14 am

There is no point as you already have two points of contact. You attach BOTH ascenders to your harness with a teather. Basically you make a "cowstail" just like a frog for this system, only your ascender with the foot loop is below the other ascender (not above it like a frog).

What you are describing would be done with only one attachment point as a backup, but simply throwing in a clove hitch just because is making a simple system and fast progression up the rope, complicated. There is no reason making things more difficult than they have to be.
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Re: Ascending with limited gear...tomorrow

Postby Extremeophile » May 24, 2012 9:30 am

This idea of tying into the rope as a backup is common practice in big wall multi-pitch climbing, where the second is cleaning on ascenders. But this is done using a dynamic rope, not static, and is generally considered good practice because ascenders are often alternately removed from the rope in order to transfer weight off a piece when the rope traverses to the side. The impact of falling 15-30' onto static rope would most likely cause an anchor failure, or at the very least an internal organ failure. For caving this seems to add complexity and is unlikely to be an effective backup should both ascenders fail.
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Re: Ascending with limited gear...tomorrow

Postby chh » May 24, 2012 5:45 pm

Downundercaver wrote:
chh wrote: Don't do this.


Can i ask why you would'nt do this?


Pretty much a combination of what Chad and Extremophile said. A backup is not necessary as you maintain two points of contact on the rope. Big walling is a whole different animal than caving. For example if I couldn't clean the gear I needed to without removing one of my ascenders, then I would tie a back up knot. If I could remove the gear without removing one of my two ascenders, I wouldn't bother with the knot.
Same in caving. With most maneuvers (rebelays, knots, etc.) one can maintain 2 points with just their "short" or "additional" cowstail if any thought at all went into the rigging.
Pulling rope through a clove hitch backup when you are already maintaining 2 points of contact on the rope is just a waste of time. And as with climbing big, and caving, efficiency is often synonymous with "safety".
Your words of caution are no match for my disaster style!
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Re: Ascending with limited gear...tomorrow

Postby Downundercaver » May 24, 2012 9:10 pm

I was going off the first reply in which scott never mentioned using anything other than a accender for a foot loop (No teather mentioned) and one for the harness hence one point of contact to the rope. Yes a fall of 15-30 feet would deffinatly screw the anchors up hence why i said every couple of feet (meaning 3 feet) you pull the clove hitch through the Krab. I can see your point of using the teather from the bottom accender but the point of this question was limited gear, that is why i put use the rope you are climbing as the second point of contact and not a teather or anything of the sort.
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Re: Ascending with limited gear...tomorrow

Postby paul » May 25, 2012 6:17 am

Downundercaver wrote:Yes a fall of 15-30 feet would deffinatly screw the anchors up hence why i said every couple of feet (meaning 3 feet) you pull the clove hitch through the Krab.


I think you need to have a look at the differences between Dynamic climbing ropes and Semi-Static SRT Ropes and also Fall Factors.

A fall of 30 feet would cause no problem (providing you don't hit something on the way down) providing there is enough rope above to absorb the shock (say near the bottom of a 500 foot pitch). A fall of 3 feet could be much worse if there isn't a lot of rope above to absorb the shock (for example when near the anchor).

A friend of mine suffered a severe back injury and was hospitalised when a 'spit' anchor on a rebelay popped and he fell maybe five feet. The problem was there was only a short distance between that rebelay anchor and the one above so the resulting Fall Factor was reasonably high.
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Re: Ascending with limited gear...tomorrow

Postby Chads93GT » May 25, 2012 6:59 am

If I fell 30 feet on a static rope, I think id rather be dead then have my spine ripped out my torso.........
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