regaining control when using bars and a rack

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regaining control when using bars and a rack

Postby eyecave » Jan 2, 2013 12:46 am

i am certain that it is possible to get too speedy using a six bar rack with all six bars engaged...so, losing speed control with fewer bars is a given......
pushing the bars up tightly may not work...which means gripping the rope and doing leg wraps might only lead to widespread blistering........so...how do we handle when we find ourselves on too few bars and we are now officially out of control?....two ways to handle this, the quick and the sudden.......first..the quick.....

relax :yikes: .......look down at your rack at the bottom bar..if the rope is on top of the bar lift the moving rope up and with the rack between you and the rope....grip the rope with significant friction; but do not try to hold the rope still, let it continue to slide...with your other hand you ADD A BAR..(always maintain a habit of adding all bars at the lowest point)..immediately after that you will significantly increase your grip on the rope and allow your hand position to shift so that the rope and the grip hand is now between you and the rack.......the object being to position the rope against the bottom of the added bar just as the rope changes from the farthest position to the nearest,......... by relaxing the grip at the right moment while raising the rope gripping hand position upwards the added bar is shoved up into the others incorporating its friction........with the rope hoisted up one can then clip in yet another bar and then change the rope back to its original position in relation to the rack using controllable hand grip and position...thereby incorporating yet another bar :sadbanana: .....let the uncontrolled forces assist you..........

part b the quick.....

relax....look at the bottom bar.....if the rope is behind the bottom bar lift the rope with your brake hand using enough friction to bring the rope where it is between you and the rack......ADD A BAR.....increase grip rope position and grip hand rotate to raised position with the rack between it and you with the added bar engaged.....remember when changing rope position to bring the rope between the two bottom rods of the rack at its lowest point each time a bar is added so that the bar is forced upwards towards the other bars by shifting hand grip position.....

the sudden way is to understand the whole meaning behind this smooth and slick steel beast attached to your crotch.....its got this nylon thingy winding its way thru it..........if you was to shove something soft and flexible and big enough into the spot where the nylon hits the metal
it could stop you suddenly if it got sucked up into the bars.....always have this in mind before any rappel, add it to that checklist that you either do deliberately or instinctively at each rappels brink..........think about what you would use....for the brainless.....flesh and hair often isn't tough enough to stop the weight and friction stuff completely so avoid that :tonguecheek: .........

i have used the quick when doing a deep enough pit several times......and never yet the sudden.......point being, use the sudden when you give up.....it will, at the least distract you in a rather desperate moment......and...i will bet you that it works if done well enough... :wink: .....
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Re: regaining control when using bars and a rack

Postby Chads93GT » Jan 2, 2013 9:42 am

Throw the rope over the hyper bar. 37:1 stoping power over not using it. That's what I would do first. ;)
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Re: regaining control when using bars and a rack

Postby eyecave » Jan 2, 2013 9:50 pm

Chads93GT wrote:Throw the rope over the hyper bar. 37:1 stoping power over not using it. That's what I would do first. ;)


i am talking about a regular six bar rack............any comments about what i wrote please keep that in mind and keep them to what you would do with a six bar regular rack loss of control if you want to contribute something useful to this discussion.........has anyone ever lost control with a hyperbar rack?....if not make that your recommendation and go start your own discussion.....
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Re: regaining control when using bars and a rack

Postby GroundquestMSA » Jan 2, 2013 10:12 pm

Good tips on how to add bars.
However,
eyecave wrote:if you was to shove something soft and flexible and big enough into the spot where the nylon hits the metal it could stop you suddenly if it got sucked up into the bars....flesh and hair often isn't tough enough to stop the weight and friction stuff completely so avoid that

What do you suggest one should shove into the rack? I can't think of anything routinely carried on rappel with enough substance and flexibility to jam up a speeding rack. Do you think that there are times when the best idea is to hang tight and prepare for impact, instead of frantically thrashing at your rack and potentially doing more harm than good?

Also, I'm pretty sure the line
eyecave wrote:this smooth and slick steel beast attached to your crotch
violates some Term of Service :tonguecheek:
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Re: regaining control when using bars and a rack

Postby Extremeophile » Jan 3, 2013 8:18 am

eyecave wrote:i am talking about a regular six bar rack............any comments about what i wrote please keep that in mind and keep them to what you would do with a six bar regular rack loss of control if you want to contribute something useful to this discussion.........has anyone ever lost control with a hyperbar rack?....if not make that your recommendation and go start your own discussion.....

I'm having some difficulty following these descriptions, but it sounds like reaction 1 is to add bars when you find you don't have enough, and reaction 2 is to add bars and then jam something into them. Perhaps it would be more useful to have a discussion about how to avoid finding yourself with too few bars in the first place. In 23 years of vertical caving and climbing I've never been in an out of control situation. If you've been in this situation several times then there's likely another root cause problem that needs to be addressed. Prevention would be better than planning to bring something that can be jammed into the bars once you've lost control.

I've had to add or remove bars, push bars together, and increase or decrease tension on the rope to control my speed, but this has all been done "in control" and is a normal part of descending rope. I have hyperbars on my current 6-bar and micro racks, but I've never needed to use them in an emergency. They've mostly been useful for locking-off.
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Re: regaining control when using bars and a rack

Postby Extremeophile » Jan 3, 2013 8:25 am

eyecave wrote:i am certain that it is possible to get too speedy using a six bar rack with all six bars engaged...so, losing speed control with fewer bars is a given......

To restate the point in my previous post, getting too speedy with six bars is not a certainty and losing speed control with fewer bars is not a given. Anyone that has this experience would be better off sticking to level ground.
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Re: regaining control when using bars and a rack

Postby Stridergdm » Jan 3, 2013 8:53 am

Also, I'm curious why this is posted here and not in the On Rope forum? You may get far more discussion there.

This particular forum is more oriented towards discussing the details of rescues that have occurred.
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Re: regaining control when using bars and a rack

Postby NZcaver » Jan 3, 2013 6:05 pm

Stridergdm wrote:Also, I'm curious why this is posted here and not in the On Rope forum? You may get far more discussion there.

This particular forum is more oriented towards discussing the details of rescues that have occurred.

Thanks for the heads-up, Greg.

This topic has now been moved to the On Rope forum.
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Re: regaining control when using bars and a rack

Postby GroundquestMSA » Jan 3, 2013 6:47 pm

Extremeophile wrote:
eyecave wrote:i am certain that it is possible to get too speedy using a six bar rack with all six bars engaged...so, losing speed control with fewer bars is a given......

To restate the point in my previous post, getting too speedy with six bars is not a certainty and losing speed control with fewer bars is not a given. Anyone that has this experience would be better off sticking to level ground.


I think he means to say that since it's possible to go too fast with 6 bars, it's a given that losing speed with fewer is a possibility; and must therefore be prepared for.

Extremeophile wrote:I'm having some difficulty following these descriptions, but it sounds like reaction 1 is to add bars when you find you don't have enough, and reaction 2 is to add bars and then jam something into them.


Assuming the rack is oriented parallel to your body...#1 explains how to add bars when you are on 3 or 5 bars. #2 explains how to add a bar when you are using 4. #3 suggests that you jam something into the rack.
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Re: regaining control when using bars and a rack

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Jan 3, 2013 6:49 pm

I have been waiting for an opportunity to jump in here, but the original post doesn't make quite enough sense for me to respond coherently.
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Re: regaining control when using bars and a rack

Postby Chads93GT » Jan 4, 2013 12:15 am

I made my best shot at it.
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Re: regaining control when using bars and a rack

Postby Extremeophile » Jan 4, 2013 8:58 am

GroundquestMSA wrote:I think he means to say that since it's possible to go too fast with 6 bars, it's a given that losing speed with fewer is a possibility; and must therefore be prepared for.

Semantics. My point is simply that the focus should be on proactively avoiding an out of control situation, not being prepared to react once you've lost control. You should not get on rope if you believe getting out of control is a possibility/certainty/given, unless you are in training and have some sort of safety such as a belay.

GroundquestMSA wrote:Assuming the rack is oriented parallel to your body...#1 explains how to add bars when you are on 3 or 5 bars. #2 explains how to add a bar when you are using 4. #3 suggests that you jam something into the rack.

If you say so. Two reactions are described: the quick and the sudden. It's more like the unclear and the confused.
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Re: regaining control when using bars and a rack

Postby Extremeophile » Jan 4, 2013 9:16 am

Extremeophile wrote:If you say so. Two reactions are described: the quick and the sudden. It's more like the unclear and the confused.

That's a bit harsh, but the original post is advice about what to do in an out-of-control descent. First, the advice that is being given is very unclear to me, and second, I'm pretty sure I don't agree with it. I don't intend for my comments to be a personal attack, I just think it's important that anyone reading this thread take it with a grain of salt.
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Re: regaining control when using bars and a rack

Postby chh » Jan 4, 2013 7:40 pm

I guess I would try and throw the rope up and over the top of the frame of the rack if the rope weight was not prohibitive. But mostly, I guess if I was on an uncontrolled rappell I guess I would die......
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Re: regaining control when using bars and a rack

Postby Chads93GT » Jan 4, 2013 10:11 pm

No hyperbar. No problem. Just throw it over your shoulder and around your back then clamp your qas on. Oh wait.
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