Petzl Stop vs. Rack

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

Moderator: Tim White

Petzl Stop vs. Rack

Postby Scott McCrea » Oct 25, 2005 4:32 pm

The following thread was rescued from the cache of the NSS Discussion Board, version 1.0 at Archive.org. For more info on Rescued Threads, go here.


Petzl Stop vs. the rack and brake bar system

Posted by Alan England NSS 30937 on August 21, 2000 at 01:14:50:

I am a bit out of touch with the current situation. I do vertical but not much. On my most recent vertical trip here in Korea I met a young man who insisted that the Petzl Stop was superior to the rack and brake bar system. The rack and brake bar system was unknown to the group here until I came. While only Petzl makes the Stop, there are several vendors for the rack and brake bar.

In the past I have heard of people having trouble with the Petzl Stop and I have also heard that it may not be safe. However, since I have never used one, I defer to anyone who can give a current comparison. I would appreciate as much detail as possible.

I was a member of ETCR and know that a strong rack and brake bar system is prefered for rescue situations.

Alan England NSS 30937

======

Posted by: FW on August 21, 2000 at 07:21:26:

Having tried both, I can say the rack is far superior. The "stop" is ok for short drops, it won't work at all on real long drops, and isn't nearly as versatile. A lot of new cavers buy Petzel gear because it is readily available in climbing shops, whereas specialized caving gear isn't.

======

Posted by: Yvonne Droms on August 21, 2000 at 09:26:59:

Alan,

You wanted some details... Here is a specific situation:

A rack will work under any condition. A Petzl Stop has its advantages, but it is not usable when the rope is very stiff (for example a standing rope in or near a waterfall). During a trip in the far reaches of Organ Cave (WV), one member of my caving group had to borrow someone else's figure-eight in order to be able to descend the 35-foot drop into the Pythagorean Room. His Petzl Stop would not work. The rope had been there for less than six months but had become very stiff. None of the other members of the group had any problems with their racks or figure-eights, although very stiff rope is difficult to deal with regardless of which rappel device you use.

Yvonne

======

Posted by: Jerry on August 21, 2000 at 18:50:19:

Alan,
Don't forget the stainless vs. aluminum controversy. As far as I know, the bobbin style Petzls only come with aluminum capstans. ( I think that is what the little jobbies inside a stop are called ) Many folks do not like to use aluminum on their rope. It blackens the rope with aluminum oxide which in turn, damages rope fiber. Many will argue that the damage done is negligible, but what do you consider negligible when your butt is several hundred feet from the pit floor? If it is your rope then you can decide.
Racks also are available with aluminum bars and they tend to offer a bit
more friction. This comes with a price, the alum. bars wear conciderably
faster. Anyhow, most of the folks doing any big stuff are on stainless steel
racks. The selection is big and the prices are too...Have fun!
Jerry

======

Posted by: Daryl Greaser on August 25, 2000 at 17:49:29:

I believe that both systems DO have their own merits: The STOP is a really good system for safety conscious individuals, esp. short drops and the like. The main reason is that if a person is knocked unconscious by falling debris (or whatever) then letting go of the STOP will at least slow the person down. In most situations I have found that the STOP will actually only SLOW you down. This is still far better than an out-of-control descent that will inevitably occur should you let go of the rope while using a rack. A simple way to make the rack better (discussed in the ACA editorial) is to
attach a LOW prusik knot to a carabiner attached to your harness (leg loop or other similar low attachment.) In this situation the prusik will engage and prevent a free-fall. If the caver that died last year had this rigged, it is possible she would have survived. After attending a British Colombia Cave Rescue sponsored Small Party Self-Rescue workshop this year and learning about this method, I will always use it, especially in situations where a bottom belay is impractical. Personally, I use the BMS micro-rack with hyperbar. Oh yeah, one other "CON" to "sport" rack use is the difficulty encountered when attempting to change over from ascend to rappel. A long rack makes this especially difficult. Therefore a STOP is easier to use in this situation, however I have found the micro-rack to be just as easy. Hope this helps.

Daryl Greaser
Northern Rocky Mountain Grotto

======

Posted by: Eddie Johnston on August 30, 2000 at 13:01:51:

How can you say that a stop won't work on long drops? What do you call a long drop? I've used a Stop on 100 ft pitches without any trouble, but maybe this doesn't fit into your 'long drop' category, I don't know

======

Posted by: Ralph Powers on September 06, 2000 at 19:23:59:

To me any "long drop" would qualify if it's too far to safely use a figure 8 device (unless it's stainless steel). Generally I tell my students not to do any drops on an eight that are over 100-120 feet (and only if they do them slowly). Beyond that depth then a rack is preferred...but by then they SHOULD have already accumulated some experience with their 8's before "advancing" to the rack. Different regions have different methods to be sure. The above is how I learned and thus how I teach. I'm still alive and caving without any incidents thus far.
Scott McCrea
SWAYGO
User avatar
Scott McCrea
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 3198
Joined: Sep 5, 2005 3:07 pm
Location: Asheville, NC USA
NSS #: 40839RL
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Flittermouse Grotto
  

Postby NZcaver » Oct 25, 2005 5:14 pm

Many of these points have been (or are) already under discussion on our all-new and shiny NSS discussion board. :wink:

Check out "Anyone use a Petzl Stop descender" and "Spinoff post about the Stop"


Maybe we should ease up on rescuing some of these old threads, and let them rest in peace... :roll:
User avatar
NZcaver
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 6316
Joined: Sep 7, 2005 2:05 am
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Name: Jansen
NSS #: 50665RL
Primary Grotto Affiliation: CCG
  

Postby hank moon » Oct 25, 2005 5:26 pm

Anyhow, most of the folks doing any big stuff are on stainless steel racks.


feel kinda silly replying to such an old thread, but the above statement is so darn (provincially?) wrong I could not resist. anyhoo, long live the rack, the bobbin, and the good ol' figure 8. All has its place and time...
Last edited by hank moon on Oct 25, 2005 7:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

hank
User avatar
hank moon
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 610
Joined: Sep 7, 2005 9:52 am
Location: Salt Lake City
  

Postby Scott McCrea » Oct 25, 2005 6:33 pm

NZcaver wrote:Many of these points have been (or are) already under discussion on our all-new and shiny NSS discussion board. :wink:

Check out "Anyone use a Petzl Stop descender" and "Spinoff post about the Stop"

Maybe we should ease up on rescuing some of these old threads, and let them rest in peace... :roll:


Thus is the life of the NSS DB. It ain't perfect and can certainly be better. Since you seem to share an interest in the health of this DB, perhaps you would like to help out?
Scott McCrea
SWAYGO
User avatar
Scott McCrea
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 3198
Joined: Sep 5, 2005 3:07 pm
Location: Asheville, NC USA
NSS #: 40839RL
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Flittermouse Grotto
  

Postby NZcaver » Oct 25, 2005 8:35 pm

Sure Scott! Always happy to help with The Cause, time permitting of course... :grin:

And when you say "help *us* out" - does that mean you're one of the DB moderators too? I don't see your name on the list... :?
Last edited by NZcaver on Oct 31, 2005 6:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
NZcaver
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 6316
Joined: Sep 7, 2005 2:05 am
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Name: Jansen
NSS #: 50665RL
Primary Grotto Affiliation: CCG
  

Postby bsignorelli » Oct 26, 2005 8:04 pm

hank_moon wrote:long live the rack, the bobbin, and the good ol' figure 8. All has its place and time...


And the Munter Hitch! :twisted:

Bryan
bsignorelli
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 101
Joined: Oct 4, 2005 10:52 pm
Location: Arkanistan
  

Postby hank moon » Oct 27, 2005 1:29 am

bsignorelli wrote:And the Munter Hitch! Bryan


Amen. How could I have forgotten my favorite hitch?

hank
User avatar
hank moon
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 610
Joined: Sep 7, 2005 9:52 am
Location: Salt Lake City
  

Postby ljthawk » Oct 27, 2005 8:20 am

hank_moon wrote:
bsignorelli wrote:And the Munter Hitch! Bryan


Amen. How could I have forgotten my favorite hitch?


I just used that hitch and some old retired rope to control the rolling decent of a '77 Vette off a trailer. People I was with thought I was crazy. Definitely one of my favorite hitches.

L.J.
ljthawk
Frequent Poster
 
Posts: 96
Joined: Oct 24, 2005 9:53 am
  


Return to On Rope!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users