Fall Arrest Equipment?

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Fall Arrest Equipment?

Postby MLarsen.Farm » Nov 17, 2015 4:41 pm

Looking for advice on a backup device for a cable ladder or tripod. I have come upon a number of fall arresters. Petzl ASAP, Kong Backup, Silent Partner, or Camp Goblin. Does anyone have experience with these on their backup line? Or another recommendation.
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Re: Fall Arrest Equipment?

Postby NZcaver » Nov 17, 2015 11:22 pm

So you're intending to use a fall arrest device as a self-belay technique for climbing a cable ladder? A more common technique is to just clip in with your Croll (attached between your seat harness and chest harness in a frog system) or an equivalent ascender. Just be sure to keep slack in the rope to an absolute minimum while climbing. For descent, most cavers prefer to rappel rather than down-climbing a cable ladder.

Or are you talking about a true two-rope system with a main and backup? These are common for industrial rope access and rescue, but not so much in caving. Be careful relying on traditional fall arrestors for vertical caving. There is some concern over how reliable auto-braking mechanisms are when the rope and the device gets caked in mud and grit.
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Re: Fall Arrest Equipment?

Postby MLarsen.Farm » Nov 18, 2015 8:51 am

Thanks for the reply.

"Self Belay on a cable ladder?" Yes that would be accurate. In case something happened on a cable ladder, I would like a safety line for a backup. In some cases we have a few folks that prefer a cable ladder.

Our club has a tripod with a cable winch attached to get into a few 30" entrance shafts. I would like a backup or safety line for that as well. Based on your advice it appears that the ascender + rappel maybe the method of choice for back up while using the tripod as well.

I share your concern with mud and grit while using the auto-braking mechanisms.

You are re-enforcing my doubts and that's why I have posted here. Thanks again!
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Re: Fall Arrest Equipment?

Postby LukeM » Nov 19, 2015 2:12 pm

What has caused you to rule out your traditional belay by a second member of your party?
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Re: Fall Arrest Equipment?

Postby frbarton » Jan 25, 2016 9:54 am

For what it's worth, the Petzl ASAP is pretty awesome. I use it when rigging my drops pretty often. It's great because it requires just your harness, a sling, and the ASAP so it sets up and breaks down very easily. It's not ideal, however, if you do not have someone else with you, as if you were to fall, you'd have to be able to extricate yourself from the situation.
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Re: Fall Arrest Equipment?

Postby Tim White » Mar 1, 2016 8:26 am

I agree with NZcaver that the simplest solution for the cable ladder is a chest type ascender. Please AVOID using ANY ascender that is attached with a lanyard or tether to the harness. Toothed camming ascenders are NOT to be used for fall-arrest. A dynamic fall onto a toothed ascender can generate enough force to damage or cut the rope.

As for a back-up to the cable controlled decent/accent using the tripod, as LukeM stated, a standard top belay seems best there.

The rope access company that I manage uses ASAPs. We put them on over 4,000 people each year and they work almost without a flaw. But I would never use one in a cave environment. There is too much risk of the cave environment causing a failure of the ASAPs operating mechanisms.
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Re: Fall Arrest Equipment?

Postby cavetopia » Mar 4, 2016 1:19 pm

Another option is the Camp Goblin. The Goblin does not require a separate shock absorbing lanyard.
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