use of climbing harnesses for guest cavers

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Re: use of climbing harnesses for guest cavers

Postby paul » Oct 20, 2011 6:33 am

As a matter of interest, the current issue of the British caving magazine, Descent has an article about SRT efficiency with respect to body shape. I'm not sure how easy it is to obtain the magazine in the US though.
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Re: use of climbing harnesses for guest cavers

Postby Caver John » Oct 20, 2011 6:43 am

I am curious what the literature sources say about srt with a climbing harness as far as how tO rig the harness without the ceenter mallion. I believe the way I'm doing it stated above is the best most efficient way with Thai style harness.

Let's face it although this is a caving forum, most of us here are into other activities and the caving harness doesn't suite them all. Alpine srt for example.
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Re: use of climbing harnesses for guest cavers

Postby Scott McCrea » Oct 20, 2011 8:02 am

No matter what you do, frog systems and climbing harnesses will not be efficient. They maybe good enough, but not efficient.
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Re: use of climbing harnesses for guest cavers

Postby Caver John » Oct 20, 2011 10:23 am

Scott McCrea wrote:No matter what you do, frog systems and climbing harnesses will not be efficient. They maybe good enough, but not efficient.


But that is my point, I can get a minimum of 18-20" with my setup. So what's your Idea of efficient? How much rope do climb per cycle with your frog setup?
Now I'm by no means advocating for people to intentionally use climbing harnesses for srt, but if if need be, it can work just fine.
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Re: use of climbing harnesses for guest cavers

Postby Cody JW » Oct 20, 2011 2:04 pm

I prefer a high attachment point harness for rope walking. Mostly because it is a more comfortable rappel ( for me). I am not sure there is an advantage for the low attach point on a harness for the rope walker,maybe there is but I do not notice. The low attach is an advantage for a frog. I use the Fractio for frogging because I figure the Euros know frogging better than we do.I know there are harnesses similar to The Fractio made here that work just as well. I know my frog works best when I use the Fractio and the Torse. I will also say the The Fractio is not a comfortable to walk in, the rubber backing on the back of the leg loops rub on each other when I walk. Maybe it is just the motion that I walk, others may not have that problem.
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Re: use of climbing harnesses for guest cavers

Postby paul » Oct 21, 2011 6:40 am

Caver John wrote:
Scott McCrea wrote:No matter what you do, frog systems and climbing harnesses will not be efficient. They maybe good enough, but not efficient.


But that is my point, I can get a minimum of 18-20" with my setup. So what's your Idea of efficient? How much rope do climb per cycle with your frog setup?
Now I'm by no means advocating for people to intentionally use climbing harnesses for srt, but if if need be, it can work just fine.


Efficiency is not a measure of how much the chest jammer moves up the rope with each sit-stand cycle in Frogging. It's a measure of how much the chest jammer is moved with respect to how much you move.

Having the lower attachement point on an SRT harness with respect to a climbing harness just means you have a longer length of rope to move the chest jammer up before it meets the bottom of the top or footloop jammer in a Frog setup so you can climb a given length of rope with less sit/stand cycles.

With a caving SRT harness (there are other brands and designs besides Petzl's) you can have the chest jammer set up with the chest harness so that there is very little movement wasted: you raise yourself by X inches, the Croll is moved up the rope by nearly X inches.

With a climbing harness, some effort is wasted with each cycle (not much in actual length for each individual cycle but it all adds up) as there will inevitably be some movement upwards of the harness and yourself without the chest jammer moving at the start of each sit/stand cycle.

If you only gain 10 inches of height gain measured as movement of the chest jammer up the rope each time you raise yourself by 11 inches, that is much more efficient than if you move the jammer by 18 inches but have raised yourself by 22 inches with each sit/stand cycle, for example. You may have climbed a given length of rope is less cycles in teh second case buit you will have raised and lowered your body weight over a greater distance than as with the first case.

For example, using very rough figures, if you take 100 feet of Frogging or (1200 inches)
Jammer moved 10 inches each cycle = 1200/10 = 120 cycles. Body raised each cycle = 11 inches so total height body raised = 120 x 11 = 1,320 inches or 110 feet.

Jammer moved 18 inches each cycle = 1200/18 = 66.67 cycles. Body raised each cycle = 22 inches so total height body raised = 66.67 x 22 = 1,466 inches or 122.17 feet.
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Re: use of climbing harnesses for guest cavers

Postby Cody JW » Oct 21, 2011 8:44 am

Is it safe to assume that the distance you raise on each step with a frog has a lot to do with your leg length. I only have a 30" inseam and I do not get 18-20 inches with each step. I get what the previous poster wrote about the relationship between the distance your torso moves up vs the distance your croll (or similar ) moves up and how low your seat attachment point has to do with this . Some people may have their frog set up correctly and not get as much per step as the next guy due to his leg length.
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Re: use of climbing harnesses for guest cavers

Postby Caver John » Oct 21, 2011 9:27 am

Paul,
I understand your logic, but it only make sense if there's slop in the system. Wih my chest harness on, (which consists of a loop of webbing over my shoulders and a bungy to keep it tight), there's very little slop when I stand. That coupled with the technique of pulling the rope through with ones feet( foot lock?) makes everything work really well. I'd say I have average legs too.
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Re: use of climbing harnesses for guest cavers

Postby Cody JW » Oct 21, 2011 11:49 am

Caver John wrote:Paul,
I understand your logic, but it only make sense if there's slop in the system. Wih my chest harness on, (which consists of a loop of webbing over my shoulders and a bungy to keep it tight), there's very little slop when I stand. That coupled with the technique of pulling the rope through with ones feet( foot lock?) makes everything work really well. I'd say I have average legs too.
Caver John, I would not sweat what others think. I leaned that a long time ago. The important thing with vertical caving is to be safe. I am sure what you do is safe and if it works for you ,great. I said in an earlier post that unless you are in the climbing contest that there are no prizes for first place. With the way I am built and my age I know that there are very few people I am going to beat up the rope. I feel what I do is safe and that is all that matters to me. We live in an era with lots of equipment to choose from and not everyone is using the same stuff. I think that is a good thing, as long as it is all safe. If you get 18 to 20 inches per step on a frog you will beat me up the rope hands down, even if I have a low attachment point and yours is higher. I feel this forum does what it is supposed to do by allowing the exchange of info of those who participate in the same activity. I have learned a lot and feel fortunate to have the knowledge of others on this forum to learn from. I have been caving for 30 years and learn stuff from this forum almost every day.
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Re: use of climbing harnesses for guest cavers

Postby Caver John » Oct 21, 2011 12:13 pm

^ well said. I know what I do is safe and effective. My intention for this post was simply to show it's feasable for someone to use a climbing harness for srt effectively, if need be.
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Re: use of climbing harnesses for guest cavers

Postby DeanWiseman » Oct 22, 2011 12:52 pm

Caver John wrote:^ well said. I know what I do is safe and effective. My intention for this post was simply to show it's feasable for someone to use a climbing harness for srt effectively, if need be.



I used a Petzl "Jump" climbing harness for years... it was far and away the most comfortable harness I used up to that time. It was a poor harness for frogging, but it was an outstanding harness for rope-walker/Mitchell, not to mention rappelling. I currently use an OR1 padded Endurance, which is quite similar in form, only more adjustable.


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Re: use of climbing harnesses for guest cavers

Postby Chads93GT » Oct 22, 2011 3:51 pm

I started out with a climbing harness as well. The thing I learned is that with a biner hooked through your waist and leg loops where the belay loop is located, you can inadvertently load the biner in 3 directions which is very bad. I ended up using deltas before I went with a caving harness.
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Re: use of climbing harnesses for guest cavers

Postby Caver John » Oct 22, 2011 7:08 pm

Chads93GT wrote:I started out with a climbing harness as well. The thing I learned is that with a biner hooked through your waist and leg loops where the belay loop is located, you can inadvertently load the biner in 3 directions which is very bad. I ended up using deltas before I went with a caving harness.


This was one of my concerns but when clipped through both attachment points and weighted, the waist a.p and the leg loop a.p. are pulled together so there virtually pulling on the samespot on the biner, hence no crossroad. But this is a very valid point and I have concidered switching to deltas but, I'd rather just get a caving harness.
I like the ggg harness for like $60, not bad.
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Re: use of climbing harnesses for guest cavers

Postby DeanWiseman » Oct 23, 2011 7:01 am

Chads93GT wrote:I started out with a climbing harness as well. The thing I learned is that with a biner hooked through your waist and leg loops where the belay loop is located, you can inadvertently load the biner in 3 directions which is very bad.


For me, I always just used a beefier, locking carabiner at that specific point. And anything that I attached to that spot went through both.

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Re: use of climbing harnesses for guest cavers

Postby Chads93GT » Oct 23, 2011 6:55 pm

yeah i did too but that diagram on all petzl biners, the warning lable of cross loading the biner in 3 directions and the gate flying open skeeered me. lol
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