M-System, "Fastest SRT system in the world"

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M-System, "Fastest SRT system in the world"

Postby Scott McCrea » Jul 19, 2012 9:07 am



" It is without a doubt the fastest and most efficient SRT system in the World."

Very interesting and innovative. I really like the ingenuity and creativity. He is trying some stuff that I have never seen attempted before. Something really cool could come out of this.

However, there are some serious issues.
1. He's not truly attached to the rope.
2. The upper ascender is three feet long with a remotely operated cam thingy.
3. It's not the fastest or most efficient SRT system in the world. The world record for climbing 30 meters of rope with mechanical ascenders is 24.6 seconds. This guy says that he climbed 34 feet in 7 seconds. If he could keep that pace for 64 more feet, ~21 seconds, he would shatter the record.

He should come to the NSS convention in Shippensburg, PA next August and compete in the contest. It would be great to see something new and inventive in the somewhat tired vertical contest.
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Re: M-System, "Fastest SRT system in the world"

Postby Anonymous_Coward » Jul 19, 2012 9:19 am

He says that the tether thingy is run through a fall-arrest device on his harness. It kind of looked like a carabiner to me. What is he talking about here?
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Re: M-System, "Fastest SRT system in the world"

Postby Tim White » Jul 19, 2012 9:21 am

If you read some of the European tree climbing forums and blogs, they don’t seem to impressed with this system (to put it lightly).
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Re: M-System, "Fastest SRT system in the world"

Postby Chads93GT » Jul 19, 2012 9:38 am

Wow that system is horribly destructive on your knees. Look how far past his toes his knees are on every step up. Talk about blowing out your knees. Also. That system is all arms and legs. After all. What happens when you can no longer pull your body weight in due to bicep fatigue. Climbing 30 feet is one thig. 300? 600?
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Re: M-System, "Fastest SRT system in the world"

Postby Anonymous_Coward » Jul 19, 2012 9:46 am

It seems a quick fix to the "no attachment to the rope" problem and the "all arms and legs" problems would be to add a croll and chest harness for progress capture. Of course at that point, the system would no longer weigh less than the (fill-in-the-blank) that he was advertising. To save this weight, he could ditch the extendo ascender thing and just hard tie the other ascender and footloop into his harness with a dynamic tether. Then, he might really have something there... :question:
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Re: M-System, "Fastest SRT system in the world"

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Jul 19, 2012 9:47 am

He's literally climbing with his biceps. If he tried that in Neversink, he'd burn out halfway up the pit.
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Re: M-System, "Fastest SRT system in the world"

Postby OpenTrackRacer » Jul 19, 2012 11:15 am

That's a very interesting system. He sure gets up the rope fast. As Scott noted, he's not really attached to the rope. I have no idea what he's taking about when he says "Fall arrest device". It looks like the harness connection is just a carabiner. If you pop off one ascender and drop you're going to keep going until the other one jams in that carabiner and stops you. That could be quite a jolt. As Andy pointed out, a Croll would take care of that issue.

He is raising his knees very high but he's demonstrating short distance speed. You wouldn't have to take such big steps if you didn't want to. That would reduce the arm load and adding a Croll would reduce it further.

It's very intriguing and certainly easy enough to rig up with existing equipment to test out.

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Re: M-System, "Fastest SRT system in the world"

Postby LukeM » Jul 19, 2012 1:14 pm

Interesting. Reminds me of a Mitchell without a chest roller but he's adding in his arm strength and larger strides to gain a higher top speed. Like Jeff, I suspect that fatigue would set in quickly with this system. Still, seems worth a try, and at the very least it may be a viable system for shorter drops if the extender thingy doesn't take up too much room.

I'm also curious about the fall arrest system when attached with one ascender.
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Re: M-System, "Fastest SRT system in the world"

Postby PeterFJohnson » Jul 19, 2012 2:35 pm

LukeM wrote:Interesting. Reminds me of a Mitchell...


Or a Texas with the footloops placed on separate ascenders to allow for alternate stepping as compared to sit-stand stepping. Despite what he says, it seems to me that the advantage of the extendo pole is not that it extends your reach but that it increases the distance between your two ascenders and therefore increases your stroke length no?

I too wonder about the "Fall Arrest Device". I emailed him asking what he uses - will post when I get a response. You could just do away with the "Floating Bridge" and use two tethers. This would fix the safety issue but would come at the cost of not having the "floating bridge" which seems to allow you to sit down at any point without losing too much height. Another issue is that it would be difficult to deal with the extendo pole deal at pitch heads and possibly even rebelays.

I agree there are a questions, but I second Scott's notion that innovation and experimentation are always a good thing. To quote someone on the previously mentioned European Arborist forums - "Hurrah for Eccentric Brits!"
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Re: M-System, "Fastest SRT system in the world"

Postby Stridergdm » Jul 19, 2012 5:08 pm

Jeff Bartlett wrote:He's literally climbing with his biceps. If he tried that in Neversink, he'd burn out halfway up the pit.


I don't think so. He's raising the ascenders with his arms, but still lifting his body with his legs.

And yes, the advantage seems to be that you're always getting a full stroke with both sides of the system.

I have to say I'd be curious to try it out.
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Re: M-System, "Fastest SRT system in the world"

Postby OpenTrackRacer » Jul 19, 2012 5:56 pm

Without a chest ascender he's using his arms a lot to keep his body upright.
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Re: M-System, "Fastest SRT system in the world"

Postby chh » Jul 19, 2012 7:24 pm

This made its debut on the tree climbing circuit some time ago. It's interesting, but not highly valuable as a work system in my opinion. Tree climbers rely a lot more on upper body strength to climb than your typical caver. I'd be willing to be that he could climb 300 feet like that. Tree climbers look at ascent systems much like project cavers do. It's all about access to something else that you're going to be doing, not an end in and of itself. Are there more efficient systems? Certainly. But we like to keep gear at a minimum, which is actually my beef with this whole thing. That extendable arm thing he's got his upper ascender on? WhIat do you do with that thing once you've reached your TIP and you then have to work the tree? Stow it on your harness? No thanks. The reason why so many tree climbers still footlock is that you don't need anything other than a prussic cord and some technique to access your work area. This stows easily and stays out of your way for the rest of the day. Me, I use an ascender and a pantin in combination with a knot that is also used in work positioning. That way the only thing hanging of my harness at the end of the access is a single ascender with a carabiner. Not too much in the way.
As much as this guy touts it's minimalistic nature, there are sparer systems. Maybe not as fast, but still climbing the rope is only a very small part of your day. Plan accordingly.
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Re: M-System, "Fastest SRT system in the world"

Postby Patrick Wilson » Jul 19, 2012 7:29 pm

OpenTrackRacer wrote:Without a chest ascender he's using his arms a lot to keep his body upright.


I was growing tired just watching him climb on that without a roller.
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Re: M-System, "Fastest SRT system in the world"

Postby chh » Jul 20, 2012 6:42 am

Another reason to add a croll to this system is that IF on of your ascenders failed, you're talking about a short freefall on a static leash and the only thing keeping you from zinging off the end is the fact that your carabiner and ascender probably won't fit through the harness attachment carabiner or ring. But then, if you're going to use 3 ascenders, it might as well be a ropewalker, right?
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Re: M-System, "Fastest SRT system in the world"

Postby Vertigo » Aug 6, 2012 10:24 am

It looks good for speed climbing. The fastest I ever climbed Mitchell was 2.5ft. per second, for me, the ropewalker has been slower, as my maximum step height is way shorter with it. Here's my experience listed in order by climb rate speed:
Footblock: self rescue, because it hurts my foot after a while Longest climb: 30ft. 2 times in a row
Texas: Best used for multi-drop caves when carrying almost no weight or no pack Longest climb: Neversink, and many nuisance drops
Frog: Best for multi-drop caves when carrying ropes or packs. Longest climb: 408ft. of footage, many TAG caves
FrogWorm: Best used coming out of a long, deep, drop after a hard expedition. Longest climb: tested 1,000+ft. in both Neversink and Cagles Chasm
Ropewalker: Best for efficiency over long haul on deep drops and footage.
Mitchell: Best for speed when not carrying a heavy pack on multiple pitches without much caving between. Longest climb: Golondrinas
Murphy: Best for speed on deep drops. Longest climb: Neversink
M-system: yet to be tested...
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