Forget Everything You Know About FROG

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Re: Forget Everything You Know About FROG

Postby Wormster » Dec 3, 2012 9:12 am

Ok Paul I take your point there!
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Re: Forget Everything You Know About FROG

Postby Mike Hopley » Dec 3, 2012 10:47 am

Suspension Trauma occurs when someone is hanging immobie in a harness for a period of time which varies from individual to individual. Having a chest harness of any sort will make no difference at all.


That's correct.

But there are other risks to consider. Becoming unconscious on rope, without a chest harness to keep you upright, could lead to the airway being closed by the tongue. This would also apply when using a bungee cord chest "harness".

Suspension trauma kills rapidly, but not as rapidly as a closed airway (~4 minutes max). Perhaps because of this, the first step in a mid-rope pickoff is to ensure the casualty is supported by his chest harness, or -- if he's not wearing one -- to improvise one quickly if you can. At least, that's what Alpine Caving Techniques says.
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Re: Forget Everything You Know About FROG

Postby Stridergdm » Dec 4, 2012 8:06 am

Mike Hopley wrote:
Suspension Trauma occurs when someone is hanging immobie in a harness for a period of time which varies from individual to individual. Having a chest harness of any sort will make no difference at all.


That's correct.

But there are other risks to consider. Becoming unconscious on rope, without a chest harness to keep you upright, could lead to the airway being closed by the tongue. This would also apply when using a bungee cord chest "harness".

Suspension trauma kills rapidly, but not as rapidly as a closed airway (~4 minutes max). Perhaps because of this, the first step in a mid-rope pickoff is to ensure the casualty is supported by his chest harness, or -- if he's not wearing one -- to improvise one quickly if you can. At least, that's what Alpine Caving Techniques says.



I'll step in here and say the first step of a pick-off should be: "consider another plan". Pick-offs can be very dangerous for the rescuer and can end up with two people stranded on rope.

In addition for what I believe is the most current and best article on "Harness Hang Syndrome" I would refer you to NSS's and NCRC's Roger Mortimer's excellent article on the subject.
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Re: Forget Everything You Know About FROG

Postby Mike Hopley » Dec 4, 2012 10:20 am

Stridergdm wrote:I'll step in here and say the first step of a pick-off should be: "consider another plan". Pick-offs can be very dangerous for the rescuer and can end up with two people stranded on rope.


I know a pick-off technique that is straightforward, does not require strength, and poses little real danger to the rescuer. The rescue can be aborted at any point if necessary. This only applies to frogging, however; it may not be possible to adapt it to other systems. This method is described in Alpine Caving Techniques -- the "cut the rope" method.

Obviously it is only straightforward if you practise it enough. Otherwise it seems scary and bewilderingly complex -- just like learning vertical techniques in general. :wink: But it is remarkably easy once you get used to it.

It is not even that difficult to descend past rebelays, deviations, or knots with a casualty; and again there are ways to escape if you mess up (admittedly, passing a knot is somewhat committing). It's just something that should be learned thoroughly before it's needed, like first-aid.

I totally agree that a rescuer should be mindful of his own safety, however, and should quickly assess the hazards before doing anything else. One casualty is better than two.


Stridergdm wrote:In addition for what I believe is the most current and best article on "Harness Hang Syndrome" I would refer you to NSS's and NCRC's Roger Mortimer's excellent article on the subject.


Good article, thanks! Saved for reference.
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Re: Forget Everything You Know About FROG

Postby Scott McCrea » Dec 4, 2012 10:47 am

When time is ticking and someone stuck on rope needs help, time is best spent planning for an option other than a pick-off. If all else fails, then a pick-off may be an option.

Mike, have you tried the "cut the rope" technique with a conscious but uncooperative subject? Or in a waterfall? I'm not saying this is not something worthy of having in your skills toolbox, it just introduces a lot of potential new problems.
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Re: Forget Everything You Know About FROG

Postby Mike Hopley » Dec 4, 2012 1:31 pm

Scott McCrea wrote:When time is ticking and someone stuck on rope needs help, time is best spent planning for an option other than a pick-off.


Not necessarily. It depends on the situation. Pick-offs are certainly not a routine method of helping people who are in a spot of bother on rope! When they are necessary, however, it is important not to waste time.

"Someone stuck on rope needs help" is a very general situation. Most of these situations are not actually that urgent and do not require such radical intervention.


Mike, have you tried the "cut the rope" technique with a conscious but uncooperative subject?


No. If they really need a pick-off, they'll soon be unconscious anyway. :wink: And of course, an uncooperative subject could put the rescuer at risk, in which case you might decide it is too dangerous to help them. And I wouldn't want to be wielding a knife around a deranged caver!


Or in a waterfall?


A proper waterfall, and not just a trickle? Too dangerous. One drowning is better than two.
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Re: Forget Everything You Know About FROG

Postby NZcaver » Dec 4, 2012 3:17 pm

Better to just rig your rope releasable so you can lower from above (if circumstances permit), and lower the immobile subject down. Of course that won't work with rebelays and in certain other sticky situations. Cutting the rope during a pickoff is something you better be damn sure about before you attempt it.
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Re: Forget Everything You Know About FROG

Postby Mike Hopley » Dec 5, 2012 6:18 am

NZcaver wrote:Better to just rig your rope releasable so you can lower from above (if circumstances permit), and lower the immobile subject down. Of course that won't work with rebelays and in certain other sticky situations. Cutting the rope during a pickoff is something you better be damn sure about before you attempt it.


Yes, cutting the rope is not to be taken lightly! It's worth noting that there are different methods, and many methods carry the risk of cutting the "wrong rope" (actually, the wrong section of the rope), leading to both cavers falling. The risk of falling to my death kinda rules out these methods, for me. :wink:

Releasable rigging is an excellent approach, especially as a way of enhancing the safety of novices. We almost never use it here, because it doesn't combine well with the typical pitches and rigging methods. However, it does work well with electron ladders -- which are often climbed by novices who have no other vertical skills or equipment. Making ladders releasable is not common practice, but it's fairly easy. I'd like to see it more often, especially on novice trips!
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Re: Forget Everything You Know About FROG

Postby Scott McCrea » Dec 5, 2012 6:35 am

Goob does a good job demonstrating how, in the heat of the moment, even the most practiced and level-headed rope users can quickly make mistakes when cutting rope.

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Re: Forget Everything You Know About FROG

Postby Mike Hopley » Dec 5, 2012 7:10 am

Scott McCrea wrote:Goob does a good job demonstrating how, in the heat of the moment, even the most practiced and level-headed rope users can quickly make mistakes when cutting rope.


That's just spectacularly incompetent YouTube idiocy. :roll:

Proof-by-YouTube would lead one to conclude that abseiling, climbing, or even tying your shoelaces are all lethally dangerous and should never be attempted by anyone. That should be a good enough reductio against proof-by-YouTube.
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Re: Forget Everything You Know About FROG

Postby Scott McCrea » Dec 5, 2012 8:13 am

The same could be said of internet forums.
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Re: Forget Everything You Know About FROG

Postby Amazingracer » Dec 5, 2012 1:33 pm

Scott McCrea wrote:The same could be said of internet forums.


I physically laughed out loud at this. Five internets for you good sir.
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Re: Forget Everything You Know About FROG

Postby Mike Hopley » Dec 5, 2012 2:23 pm

Scott McCrea wrote:The same could be said of internet forums.


Things appear to have got a bit bitchy, huh? Shame. Or maybe I'm mis-reading -- hardly unusual on the Internet.

Anyway, peace! I take your point about the seriousness of cutting ropes from which cavers are dangling. Nevertheless, I'd much rather someone did this than left me to die hanging unconscious in a harness.

(And hopefully I will never need this stuff For Real.)

Incidentally, cutting rope during SRT is not uncommon with expedition rigging. I did that this summer, for instance. The alternative was carrying a much longer (heavier) rope fairly deep into the cave, and re-rigging a 140 metre pitch with 5 rebelays. So we went with cutting the rope at the last rebelay.

...and now I have convinced you all that I'm a knife-wielding maniac who is only happy when he's destroying our precious lifelines. :big grin:
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Re: Forget Everything You Know About FROG

Postby KENTO » Dec 5, 2012 8:03 pm

I am kind of late to this thread obviously, have enjoyed and been enlightened by the good points raised. As to the young ,hefty woman in the video clip that started this out. She does seem to make it work for herself fairly efficiently in spite of the sloppy bulky tape slings etc. This kind of reminds me of a saying from a community I also take part in quite a bit of discussing and practicing , long distance hiking on the National Scenic Trails and other Uber hikes. The saying is this ..." Hike your own Hike " It seems to me that this person has done quite a bit of practicing in the safe at home environment where she could be lowered to the ground. I would expect that this technique and equipment will allow her to take on simple open air drops of no great depth. All of the following debating of what else might be required of her is valid from the vertical safety geeks among us, certainly. But really , if she just sprinkles in a couple of trips a year to say an 80 foot pit that is led by an experienced vertical trip leader and goes borehole caving the rest of the year with a helmet, 3 sources of light , a well prepared party of friends then hey, she is going caving. Hope she keeps it up enough that she get's in a little better shape and shows us doubters what for.
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Re: Forget Everything You Know About FROG

Postby PANGAEA » Dec 9, 2012 12:12 pm

I agree with 99% of what people have posted on here about this video. I just made the seat harness and the frog set up . Amy was so excited about the fact that I made a seat harness that was comfortable to her that in my opinion she went a little to far to fast without first setting up her system correctly before she went so far as to call it Myth Busters and put it on Youtube. I had nothing to do with any of that. I just made the gear and held the camera and said well that was cute. Dont get me wrong I am not throwing Amy under the bus but I have a business to run and walking a fine line can be almost impossible. Amy is a very sweet girl and means well. John Mccrary
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