How long should this practice run take?

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Re: How long should this practice run take?

Postby NZcaver » May 21, 2013 2:17 am

Good job. :goodjob:

Your soft lock sounds fine to me, and you could even skip the turn around the lower hyper bar. I only have one hyper bar, so I take the rope over the bar then feed a loop through the bottom of the frame and hook it back over the hyper bar. I use a maillon to attach the rack to the D-ring, but I know numerous other cavers who use a carabiner (and check orientation carefully when applying weight, like you do).

FYI, my favorite tip for up-to-down changeovers with the frog is to open the tab on the Croll before standing up and transferring your weight. That way it pops right open as soon as you stand up, instead of doing the awkward standing-and-fumbling-to-get-it-open routine.
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Re: How long should this practice run take?

Postby Anonymous_Coward » May 21, 2013 8:58 am

NZcaver wrote:Good job. :goodjob:

Your soft lock sounds fine to me, and you could even skip the turn around the lower hyper bar. I only have one hyper bar, so I take the rope over the bar then feed a loop through the bottom of the frame and hook it back over the hyper bar. I use a maillon to attach the rack to the D-ring, but I know numerous other cavers who use a carabiner (and check orientation carefully when applying weight, like you do).


Most cavers lock off the way NZ describes. However, there is some good reason to use the lower hyperbar as you described. Without it, sometimes there is a "pop" when unlocking the rack. This can be undesirable when there are sketchy anchors, not much room to move without weighting another tether, or two people's weight on the descender as in pickoffs. Not necessarily dangerous, just undesirable. Using both hyperbars in the lockoff allows a smoother weight transfer.

In addition to checking carabiner orientation, if you use Scott McRae's rappel test every time you weight your descender, the potential failure situation is backed up. As this test requires rappelling a small amount, that is all the more reason to not lose 2-3 inches on the rope when you "pop" out of a hard lock.
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Re: How long should this practice run take?

Postby Scott McCrea » May 21, 2013 10:00 am

Another important thing about lock-offs is to pick one that works well for you and stick to it. Learn to do it in your sleep, upside-down, underwater and in the dark. Your lock-off technique should be instinct.
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Re: How long should this practice run take?

Postby Scott McCrea » May 23, 2013 3:53 pm

Now that you sound like you have done well with the practice, how about mixing it up a little? Switch the rebelay so you are progressing to the left or which ever is opposite of what you are doing. Or, take the slack out of the rebelay. Or, pretend you lost your long cows tail. Or, your footloop. Or...
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Re: How long should this practice run take?

Postby GroundquestMSA » May 23, 2013 10:26 pm

Scott McCrea wrote:Or, take the slack out of the rebelay


I was just planning to do this next.

Scott McCrea wrote:Or, pretend you lost your long cows tail. Or, your footloop. Or...


...all of my vertical gear? I prusiked 15 feet with an old fish stringer and no harness, do I get points for that? Maybe I should try the rebelay with that setup...
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Re: How long should this practice run take?

Postby GroundquestMSA » May 28, 2013 8:28 pm

Tried taking the slack out of the rebelay. No problems except I couldn't lock off as normal. I also tied 40 lbs. (700 something feet of pit rope?) to the rope and tried a changeover and rappel. I had a bit of trouble rigging into the micro-rack since you can't just swing it back and forth like a 6 bar. Finally got it, though.

Any other stuff y'all suggest I practice?
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Re: How long should this practice run take?

Postby LukeM » May 30, 2013 9:43 am

NZcaver wrote:I only have one hyper bar, so I take the rope over the bar then feed a loop through the bottom of the frame and hook it back over the hyper bar.


Should there be a half-clockwise twist in the loop before hooking it on the hyperbar? I was taught this way and told it was Carroll Bassett's recommended method. Maybe opinions have since changed, or maybe that was made up. It does seem to add additional friction though.

As for other things that can be practiced, here are some suggestions:

simulate gear loss/failure. Do everything you've been doing with an improvised system (Texas?) using cord friction hitches for ascenders and a munter on a carabiner for a descender. You could even practice improvising a harness from webbing while you're at it. Then you'll be comfortable with a system that's great for long trips to short pitches in the far reaches of a cave.

simulate light failure. Climb/change over/rappel blindfolded not far off the ground with something soft below you.

Simulate losing an ascender with no cord for fiction hitches. This one's more of a stretch... Ascend a short distance with only one progress capture. This may be appropriate if you had a serious gear shortage and only a small pitch to navigate. You can use foot-locks or repeatedly tie clove hitches to step in. Basically a single-ascender self-belay but without any slopes or chimneying.

Oh, one other I just thought of. Do your practice run with a hefty pack hanging from you.
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