Prusiks

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Prusiks

Postby GroundquestMSA » Oct 2, 2014 5:14 pm

I'm putting together a minimalist climbing system to use on several VA caves with small nuisance drops. I'm using a loop of webbing for a diaper harness, a couple of Prusiks for a Texas, and a steel carabiner for a Munter. This, as I see it, is about as Spartan as I can reasonably go. I have a question about what style of loops to use. I have climbed several pits with Prusiks, but I've not talked to the experts about the best way to set them up. I've always used two long endless loops of cord, clipping one to the seat and standing in the other, but I've heard that some people use small Prusik loops and clip footloops or tethers to them once tied. Which is best? Endless loops seem simpler, but there may be many disadvantages I haven't thought of.

Any other advice connected with the old dead methods of climbing is very welcomed.

Thanks!
J
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Re: Prusiks

Postby Scott McCrea » Oct 2, 2014 8:34 pm

Sometimes spartan is not worth it. A real harness, a couple of ascenders, and a steel biner is not too much bigger. But, it works a heck of a lot better/easier/more efficient.

I have Prusik loops for emergencies, but wouldn't use them for regular caving. Unless, it was just for fun.
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Re: Prusiks

Postby GroundquestMSA » Oct 2, 2014 8:54 pm

Scott McCrea wrote:Sometimes spartan is not worth it. A real harness, a couple of ascenders, and a steel biner is not too much bigger. But, it works a heck of a lot better/easier/more efficient.

I have Prusik loops for emergencies, but wouldn't use them for regular caving. Unless, it was just for fun.


I know what you mean, but... My ropes are already placed. My purpose is to have a climbing system that I can carry in my pockets if I want, or in my (very small, I think you know the one, Scott) pack. I know it's slower, more uncomfortable maybe. I know it's not efficient. One of these days (maybe that's what I'll do tonight) I'll put together a proper tirade against the obsession with efficiency, but for now, let me ask why a one minute ascent is preferable to a three minute ascent?

I can't tell if your last line is a joke or not. Isn't "regular caving" fun? You guys might cave for a higher purpose, but I don't. Surveying, or otherwise, I'm caving for the joy of it, so leave it to me to decide if a given method is "worth it" for me :big grin: .
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Re: Prusiks

Postby Scott McCrea » Oct 2, 2014 9:08 pm

No joking. Sometimes we do a trip with minimal gear just because.

The efficiency becomes most important when there is a problem. However, since you have been there and know what to expect and have an exit strategy, why not go minimal.

To your original question, for that short of a drop, I doubt it will matter much which knot/loop you use. Use what you have and know.
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Re: Prusiks

Postby GroundquestMSA » Oct 2, 2014 9:35 pm

Scott McCrea wrote:To your original question, for that short of a drop, I doubt it will matter much which knot/loop you use. Use what you have and know.


True. I suppose I'm guilty of overcomplicating pretty much everything. And I guess it's not fair of me to complain when someone suggests a "better way" when I'm asking for a "better way". I'm just always afraid that there's something big that I'm missing, or some basic tip or technique that will make a real difference.
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Re: Prusiks

Postby Chads93GT » Oct 3, 2014 4:29 am

I started out this way but now my minimal is my frog. my entire climbing rig is the size of two softballs. Its barely larger than the harness itself which you have to wear anyway. Use a basic instead of a hand ascender and it gets ridiculously tiny.

As for efficiency, its about personal preference but beginners should be taught to be efficient. Ever seen someone take an hour to frog 100' becuase their system was set up wrong? I have. They were completely exhausted by time they got to the top and we almost had to do a rescue.

Don't mistake efficiency for speed. Being effecient simply means you know how to climb and use the least amount of energy. This is not the same thing as climbing faster.

Just make sure your prussic loops are both attached to your harness. I assume both are but you only stated that one of them was.
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Re: Prusiks

Postby trogman » Oct 3, 2014 9:10 am

If you want to be even more minimal, try this stuff out:
http://www.innermountainoutfitters.com/tech-cord-5mm/

It's called tech cord, and it is only 5 mm dia., but has a 5000 lb breaking strength. I use it for my handled ascender tether, and it works great. I'm sure it would work fine for prusiks also, although I haven't tried it yet.

Another option for minimalist is using a Tibloc ascender. They work OK, but you have to make sure it is set on the rope with each step, otherwise it can slip and shred your rope.

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Re: Prusiks

Postby Rangeoflight » Oct 3, 2014 9:15 am

GroundquestMSA wrote:I'm putting together a minimalist climbing system to use .....
Thanks!
J


I had visions of doing the same thing for the minimal vertical we have in CO. I found that trying to climb with a diaper seat or a hasty swiss seat was really, really uncomfortable. So much so that I decided that it was worth the weight/bulk to carry at least a real harness.

I would recommend helical knots rather than prusiks....much easier to break and move after weighting.
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Re: Prusiks

Postby caver.adam » Oct 3, 2014 9:30 am

To answer your question: personal preference.

I like smaller loops with a single line to my feet. I think it doesn't catch on rocks as easy. The person that taught me to prussic disagrees and says that a single loop is simpler and harder to mess up. Less chance of failure. Really, if you practice out of a cave you can decide for yourself pretty easy. 5-6mm cord is cheap enough to build both sets above ground and try them out.

Also, if it isn't about being cheap you can check out the kong futura ascender: http://www.karstsports.com/kofuas.html#.VC6yDGddVJ0.
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Re: Prusiks

Postby trogman » Oct 3, 2014 12:40 pm

caver.adam wrote:To answer your question: personal preference.


Also, if it isn't about being cheap you can check out the kong futura ascender: http://www.karstsports.com/kofuas.html#.VC6yDGddVJ0.


That futura looks nice! But that is a bit pricey. For a little less you could go with the Duck. http://www.karstsports.com/kodurocl.html#.VC7ckWddVvA

The Duck only weighs 70 grams, vs. the Futura's 125. The only catch is that the Duck requires a carabiner in the attachment hole to lock it closed. So the added weight of the biner probably makes up the difference.

For my purposes, I like a minimalist vertical rig for ridgewalking purposes. I would rather not haul a bunch of heavy gear around on the mountain all day if I can go with a lighter alternative.

I have a caving buddy whose philosophy is: if you carry vertical gear on a ridgewalk, you won't find anything, and vice-versa. That hasn't exactly been my experience, though. I usually carry ~50' of rope- just enough to at least check out any small holes I may find.


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Re: Prusiks

Postby caver.adam » Oct 3, 2014 1:14 pm

I just linked karstsports. Looks like amazon has the futura for $70 each.
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Re: Prusiks

Postby GroundquestMSA » Oct 3, 2014 5:35 pm

Rangeoflight wrote: I found that trying to climb with a diaper seat or a hasty swiss seat was really, really uncomfortable.


I found that too. Eventually I learned where to wear it for the best comfort/balance combo, and have been practicing with it for a few days without any major discomfort.

Chads93GT wrote: my entire climbing rig is the size of two softballs. Its barely larger than the harness itself which you have to wear anyway.


By your climbing rig you mean ascenders and loops and stuff? How about harness and descender? How many softballs would that bring you to?
Here's everything I've been practicing with in the box my Zebralight came in. Harness, ascenders and descender.

Image
Image

You were talking about 16" deBeer Clinchers, right? :big grin:
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Re: Prusiks

Postby Bob Thrun » Oct 3, 2014 5:45 pm

As others have said, continuous long slings are the simplest. I have tied into small Prusik loops that I replaced when they become worn, rather than replace loong loops.
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Re: Prusiks

Postby Chads93GT » Oct 4, 2014 9:56 am

Chads93GT wrote: my entire climbing rig is the size of two softballs. Its barely larger than the harness itself which you have to wear anyway.


By your climbing rig you mean ascenders and loops and stuff? How about harness and descender? How many softballs would that bring you to?
Here's everything I've been practicing with in the box my Zebralight came in. Harness, ascenders and descender.
[/quote]

By my entire climbing rig I mean my Onrope1 Goliath harness and frog system and a steel biner for munter rappelling. When I fold everything up compact, less than 2 softballs.
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Re: Prusiks

Postby Chads93GT » Oct 4, 2014 9:57 am

I can even add my mini rack and have barely increased the bulk. Weight, yes.
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