Petzl Stop Proper Usage

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

Moderator: Tim White

Petzl Stop Proper Usage

Postby bladerunnerevan » Mar 30, 2014 2:58 pm

To all Petzl Stop users,

I am new to the Stop (previously used a full 6 bar J-frame rack). My rappels are getting very technical with lots of knot passing, up-climbs, and getting on/off the rope. The Stop certainly beats the rack in these situations.

My understanding of the Stop is that the "stop" handle is NOT used to control descent. Rather, you hold the handle down (fully opening the cam) and use a brake carabiner to control descent speed? Is this correct? Or is it ok to use the handle for descent? In my most recent rappel, only about 300', I threw the rope, I didn't need a brake carabiner until about half way down. It seems very counter intuitive and downright difficult to lift the rope up in order to brake. Does any one have a solution or advice to the problem? I know i could rappel out of a bag but this is not always an option.

What is the proper way to use a Petzl Stop and to vary friction?

Thanks in advance for any advice!
bladerunnerevan
Infrequent Poster
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Mar 30, 2014 2:43 pm
Location: Utah
  

Re: Petzl Stop Proper Usage

Postby Phil Winkler » Mar 30, 2014 3:44 pm

I used it for years, but only on 200 ft or less rappels. I used the brake handle to control descent all the time. Worked great. It is much easier to disengage for knots, etc. then a rack and that is likely why it is so popular in Europe.
Phil Winkler
13627 FE
User avatar
Phil Winkler
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2371
Joined: Sep 5, 2005 8:48 am
Location: Wilmington, DE and Dewey Beach
NSS #: 13627FE
  

Re: Petzl Stop Proper Usage

Postby snoboy » Mar 30, 2014 10:44 pm

My advice is too track down a Raumer HANDY braking crab. Offers much better control with the STOP, and most of the time you will find less need to lift the rope. If you are using mostly 11mm rope, you may find it too aggressive though. Rapping out of a bag will likely increase the problem, since their will be less rope weight.

I've understood that using the brake handle to control speed works, but leads to accelerated wear of the cam.
snoboy
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 176
Joined: Apr 6, 2009 10:05 pm
Primary Grotto Affiliation: BC Speleological Federation
  

Re: Petzl Stop Proper Usage

Postby Extremeophile » Mar 31, 2014 9:46 am

I like the Petzl Freino better than a braking krab or Raumer Handy. Having an integrated braking device prevents some issues during changeovers, and it's much easier to clip/unclip with one hand. In most cases you simply need to add or remove tension from the tail end of the rope to control speed, so lifting the rope aggressively is usually not necessary. However, when you're on a long rappel, smaller diameter rope, new rope, etc., you may need to lift the rope to apply more friction. This is a learned behavior and is no less intuitive than most other actions while on rope.
User avatar
Extremeophile
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 761
Joined: Dec 7, 2009 7:37 pm
Location: Littleton, CO
Name: Derek Bristol
NSS #: 34941
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Colorado Grotto
  

Re: Petzl Stop Proper Usage

Postby Extremeophile » Mar 31, 2014 9:55 am

bladerunnerevan wrote:My understanding of the Stop is that the "stop" handle is NOT used to control descent. Rather, you hold the handle down (fully opening the cam) and use a brake carabiner to control descent speed? Is this correct?

While many people use the cam to control speed, your description is the correct intended function.

In my most recent rappel, only about 300', I threw the rope

There are many other threads on this topic. I generally lower the rope to reduce the potential for damage.

I know i could rappel out of a bag but this is not always an option.

I rarely do this with static cave rope. It is generally stiff enough that feeding from a bag doesn't work very well, but I would do this if moving water was part of the equation. I more often rappel with the rope in a bag when rock climbing or canyoneering due to concerns with wind or water taking the rope places I don't want it to go, and these ropes are generally more supple and therefore feed better.
User avatar
Extremeophile
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 761
Joined: Dec 7, 2009 7:37 pm
Location: Littleton, CO
Name: Derek Bristol
NSS #: 34941
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Colorado Grotto
  

Re: Petzl Stop Proper Usage

Postby potholer » Apr 11, 2014 6:16 am

As a long-time Stop user, generally I'd reckon that if the rope below was too heavy to lift, there'd be little need to lift it for braking.

I never use the handle for speed control except possibly on very fast descents (like wet 8mm). That said, at ~70kg, I seem to be about the right weight for a Stop user on most normal 9-11mm ropes.
Meaningfully larger people may find more situations when extra speed control seems necessary, and when I was much lighter, I did often find myself hauling myself down the start of longer pitches (>30m) on Bluewater.

One other point (not aimed at the OP, but more generally):
Some people (especially beginners) complain of left hand pain on long descents with Stops.
Typically that seems to be some combination of cautious abseiling making descents very slow, appropriate muscles yet to build up, people gripping the handle too far up (and thus losing leverage), people relying solely on grip rather than also applying rightwards pressure using the left arm, and people (especially beginners) gripping excessively tightly due to nervousness. Possibly all five at once.
potholer
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 381
Joined: Nov 9, 2005 7:29 am
Location: UK
  


Return to On Rope!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users

cron