footloop storage

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footloop storage

Postby chh » Nov 30, 2013 4:43 pm

Hey all,

I was having a discussion with a friend lately about footloop storage in between pitches where there is some real caving in between. I've never been happy with my methods, even though they have never slowed me down or really gotten caught up much at all. I'm always looking for ways to further streamline my stuff in between pitches. The problem I have with my methods is that what is fast is a little sloppy, and while the slower methods are more streamlined, they are, well.... slow.
I typically use 4 methods depending on the length and type of cave in between pitches. I'll list them in order of most common usage to least common. I guess it's also important to mention that I use 6ish mm cord for my loops, not tape.
1) triple the footloop and stuff it in the rope channel of the upper ascender, close the cam, and then hang the ascender on my gear loop via it's connecting carabiner.
2) for more crawly squeezy stuff I'll actually take the time to bundle or knot the footloop securely to a length about that of my upper ascender and then still clip one or two loops into the rope channel so that when the ascender is hanging from my gear loop, the footloop is not longer than the ascender and is secured both to the connecting carabiner and the ascender, actually kind of stretched between the two so there is a minimal amount of loopage to get hung up on stuff.
3) For nice easy walking passage, I throw the footloop over my shoulder and clip it into my ascender in the front bandolier style.
4) Very rarely I will pull the footloop off my upper ascender all together and put it in the exterior breast pocket of my cave suit. I usually only do this on the way down in technical caves when I anticipate the need for cowstails and/or upper ascender for rebelays or traverses, but not really my footloop until I'm on the way out. This usually also means tight pitches in addition to rigging that is installed for froggers with appropriately sized rebelay loops and such. Again, pretty rare.
So who has figured out something so blindingly simple that it's going to change my life? :big grin:
Your words of caution are no match for my disaster style!
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Re: footloop storage

Postby jharman2 » Nov 30, 2013 6:30 pm

My footloop is attached to my upper ascender using a small Camp 'biner. I unclip the biner between pitches and stow the footloop doubled over on my gear loop. It is also nice to be able to remove the footloop and clip it directly into an awkward rebelay. I don't use that trick often, but it's come in handy in the past.
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Re: footloop storage

Postby chh » Dec 1, 2013 10:09 am

jharman2 wrote:It is also nice to be able to remove the footloop and clip it directly into an awkward rebelay. I don't use that trick often, but it's come in handy in the past.


One of the many good reasons I also keep my footloop on a carabiner so that it is removable. But not tying your footloops to your ascender is probably another thread.
With your footloop just doubled on your gear loop, doesn't that make an awkward loop hanging down around your knees?
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Re: footloop storage

Postby jharman2 » Dec 1, 2013 10:33 am

chh wrote:With your footloop just doubled on your gear loop, doesn't that make an awkward loop hanging down around your knees?


Maybe it's because my footloop is small diameter (5mm spectra) or I'm just used to it, but I don't really notice it being a bother or getting caught on anything.
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Re: footloop storage

Postby Scott McCrea » Dec 1, 2013 9:17 pm

jharman2 wrote:It is also nice to be able to remove the footloop and clip it directly into an awkward rebelay. I don't use that trick often, but it's come in handy in the past.

So, you use your footloop as a third (emergency) cowstail? Am I reading that right?

I use a 5mm sprectra cord with a Petzl Spirit and remove it as well. I double-double it and hang it from the gear loop. Unless look grim, then I stuff it in the pack.
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Re: footloop storage

Postby chh » Dec 1, 2013 10:02 pm

Could be he means as an actual attachment at an awkward rebelay, but I think more likely he means just as a footloop where no footloop was included in the rigging or it might otherwise be helpful, like a severely undercut lip. Though, I've never had any problem overcoming an undercut lip with my normal frog setup:)

That being said, I'd use my footloop as an emergency prussic or other life attachment if the circumstance required it, which it probably wouldn't.
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Re: footloop storage

Postby CaverCSE » Dec 2, 2013 9:08 pm

I often wrap mine around my chest/waste and clip it back to itself kinda like a belt. I also occasionally wear my cave suit over top of my harness in really terrible caves. This allows me to just sloppily clip all my stuff onto my harness and tuck all the dangling stuff into my suit for traveling through the cave; it's overkill for your average cave trip though...
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Re: footloop storage

Postby jharman2 » Dec 3, 2013 9:24 pm

chh wrote:I think more likely he means just as a footloop where no footloop was included in the rigging or it might otherwise be helpful, like a severely undercut lip.


Correct. The footloop can be clipped directly into the hanger / quicklink to provide a solid step. I've only used this a couple times, but it can be handy.
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Re: footloop storage

Postby Chads93GT » Dec 3, 2013 10:06 pm

I sling mine like Alpine caving technique shows. I clip the foot loop into the hand ascender then sling it over my shoulder. I rarely clip it in to my waist for stowing.
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