Caving with systems

Discuss vertical caving, equipment, & techniques. Also visit the NSS Vertical Section.

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Caving with systems

Postby Rivershredder » Nov 6, 2013 10:45 am

Just wondering what everyone else does with their systems while caving? I was just looking for something quicker, and less bulky than stuffing my Mitchel in my cave pack.
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Re: Caving with systems

Postby CaverCSE » Nov 6, 2013 7:53 pm

The hybrid ropewalker that I and some of my buddies use (or what we call "The Gearbox" because it sounds like one while climbing on it) can be worn through a cave fairly easily. I do throw the roller and bungee in my pack for travel and just climb Texas on the short drops (when I don't need to climb with a large amount of weight).. I can even wear most of my gear longer and through more awkward cave than the same sized cavers with frog systems can.. The only thing to be mindful of is to make sure you don't wear out foot stirrups/straps by caving too far with them on your feet (I wrap mine in large amounts of gorilla tape). In fact I cover most of my vertical gear and cave gear in gorilla tap; it makes things last far longer when wearing through abrasive caves.. I was actually using my hybrid ropewalker on trips to the bottom of Rawhide Horror Hole, Blunder Hole, Paradox, DKSH, among others...
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Re: Caving with systems

Postby caver.adam » Nov 7, 2013 4:04 pm

I disassemble mine if I have to take it with me. I generally feel like it is easier to put the harness on if everthing isn't hanging on it anyway. Then I can just roll the harness up like webbing and wrap the cowstails around my ascenders. Not the easiest way, but consistent.
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Re: Caving with systems

Postby Anonymous_Coward » Nov 7, 2013 5:07 pm

Step 1. Get a frog system.

Step 2. Wear it.

THE END
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Re: Caving with systems

Postby Stridergdm » Nov 7, 2013 8:00 pm

Anonymous_Coward wrote:Step 1. Get a frog system.

Step 2. Wear it.

THE END

The end.. until you get to that belly tight crawl you can barely fit through. ;-)

Fortunately pretty much all the caves I've done vertical in I've been able to leave the gear at the bottom of the drop to come back for later, was simply bouncing, or pretty much could continue to wear my frog. But there are some caves where it would have to come off to squeeze through a few passages.
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Re: Caving with systems

Postby Chads93GT » Nov 8, 2013 3:12 pm

Step 3. See step 1. ropewalkers in multi drop caves, or push caves, no thanks.
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Re: Caving with systems

Postby Scott McCrea » Nov 8, 2013 3:39 pm

The end? Maybe not.

I'd say, it depends. If you are doing a thru trip of Ellison's I would take and pack my ropewalker. There are tricks to make it easier to fit in a pack. Like wear your harness and pack the rest. Big bulky foot and chest harnesses may feel nice when you are on rope, they may not feel so good when you have to lug a huge pack around to carry them. It depends on where your priorities are.

If the cave has multiple drops less than 200' or so, just wear the frog the whole way.

If on expedition or surveying new cave passage and expect vertical features, leave it on.

Everyone does it differently. My stuff is tiny. I can fit my ropewalker in a Nalgene bottle.

IMO, the biggest issue with removing and donning vertical gear is to do it quickly. It should take no more than two minutes. Some can do it in about 10 seconds. Don't be the one we are waiting for.
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Re: Caving with systems

Postby chh » Nov 10, 2013 2:36 pm

Scott McCrea wrote:IMO, the biggest issue with removing and donning vertical gear is to do it quickly. It should take no more than two minutes. Some can do it in about 10 seconds. Don't be the one we are waiting for.


This.

I'll just wear my stuff, until I can't. Then it all comes off as a unit and goes back on as a unit. Systems that don't utilize a chest harness are obviously superior here. Also gear management is key. Orient your cowstails, descender(if it comes off your half-round), and other accoutrements, so that when you disengage the half round to remove your stuff everything stays in it's place. Good caving harnesses have very few gear loops, so get into the habit of storing things in the same way every time, and after every pitch. A good rule of thumb to follow here is that should someone come up behind you at any point in your vertical trip and cover your eyes, you know where everything is and it doesn't slow you down at all. Go on, try it. It'll be fun :big grin:
Your words of caution are no match for my disaster style!
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Re: Caving with systems

Postby CaverCSE » Nov 11, 2013 10:45 am

I often get cold waiting on people who use frog systems in multidrops and have never been outpaced by a frogger, even if the drops are only 50ft to 80ft deep. I loved using my hybrid ropewalker in Rawhide Horror Hole which has 10 different drops with two of those drops being over 100ft deep (for a total cave depth of 630ft deep and length of roughly 1 mile or so) and some of the drops are in a waterfalls. *Note that the hybrid ropewalker I use is completely different then the store bought On Rope double bungee system which sucks at most anything other then big pits.
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Re: Caving with systems

Postby Extremeophile » Nov 11, 2013 3:50 pm

CaverCSE wrote:I often get cold waiting on people who use frog systems in multidrops and have never been outpaced by a frogger, even if the drops are only 50ft to 80ft deep. I loved using my hybrid ropewalker in Rawhide Horror Hole which has 10 different drops with two of those drops being over 100ft deep (for a total cave depth of 630ft deep and length of roughly 1 mile or so) and some of the drops are in a waterfalls. *Note that the hybrid ropewalker I use is completely different then the store bought On Rope double bungee system which sucks at most anything other then big pits.

Is that you Clinton?
Your system may successfully combine all the advantages of a Frog with all the advantages of a Ropewalker. No wonder nobody is outpacing you.
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Re: Caving with systems

Postby Scott McCrea » Nov 11, 2013 4:23 pm

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Clinton is combining a Texas and RW.
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Re: Caving with systems

Postby trogman » Nov 12, 2013 10:19 am

I'd like to know more about this "hybrid" ropewalker system.

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Re: Caving with systems

Postby mostlytree » Dec 7, 2013 11:26 pm

I came up with a system for tree work that may work for you.. calling it a haas. this is a reworked rope walker... kinda,,,
http://youtu.be/gWFm7v9rbNI treestuff.com sells them.. its called a haas.

the length of bungie is contained inside the lower tether. there is a liner that allows the bungie to flow. in effect what it does is when you step down its weight bearing, but when you raise your foot it acts like a bungie. from your boot, not the top of the ascender block. like a rope walker. this is why it can be so much smaller . what you end up with is a really compact sytstem that is really easy to use, store, and when used it stays below your attachment. hundreds of them are being used in tree work.
you get full range and capture, like a frog, but hands free like a walker, and its way simpler than either. it can be really fast also.
http://youtu.be/maZyIShNDJw


this may work for you.
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Re: Caving with systems

Postby CaverCSE » Dec 11, 2013 8:08 pm

I stole most of the ideas from the single bungee ropewalker then combined it with more modern things like the frog styled foot ascenders. Then the biggest thing I did is spend a long time in Lowes determined to come up with a way to make a chest roller for cheap, without machining and, tiny. I finally did find a design that, so far, seems to work very well..
Here's a link to the pictures of the first version of the system I was playing around with.. I've changed a lot of things up since then but haven't taken pictures of the latest system yet... Things I added: standard cows tail, I now use a basic acender in place of the upper ascender too, the new petzl pantin can't really effectively be used anymore since petzl removed the lock off/emergency ascender hole to save weight or something(?), and most other people have been using a frog chest ascender with this system too.. You can use just about any ascenders as long as the knee ascender is backwords (a left hand ascender on your right knee/leg and vice versa) then just match the foot ascender to the direction of your other foot.

https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/1132 ... 4861000241
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Re: Caving with systems

Postby Rivershredder » Dec 11, 2013 9:19 pm

CaverCSE wrote:I stole most of the ideas from the single bungee ropewalker then combined it with more modern things like the frog styled foot ascenders. Then the biggest thing I did is spend a long time in Lowes determined to come up with a way to make a chest roller for cheap, without machining and, tiny. I finally did find a design that, so far, seems to work very well..
Here's a link to the pictures of the first version of the system I was playing around with.. I've changed a lot of things up since then but haven't taken pictures of the latest system yet... Things I added: standard cows tail, I now use a basic acender in place of the upper ascender too, the new petzl pantin can't really effectively be used anymore since petzl removed the lock off/emergency ascender hole to save weight or something(?), and most other people have been using a frog chest ascender with this system too.. You can use just about any ascenders as long as the knee ascender is backwords (a left hand ascender on your right knee/leg and vice versa) then just match the foot ascender to the direction of your other foot.

https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/1132 ... 4861000241


Interesting design. Why not just use a frog walker?
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