Why we belay. Video

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Why we belay. Video

Postby Scott McCrea » Jul 22, 2013 9:42 am

Rescue loads are usually belayed. This is why. Not for faint of heart. No gore or anything bad, just scary.
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Re: Why we belay. Video

Postby batrotter » Jul 22, 2013 11:31 am

Geez!!!
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Re: Why we belay. Video

Postby snoboy » Jul 22, 2013 11:39 am

SPOILERS:

One theory about why this accident happened is that the pulley cut the trackline. If you watch just before the rope failure, you can see a jerky lowering motion. It has been proposed that the lowering line was attached to the downhill side of the pulley, torquing it sideways and causing the catch/slip motion. The side plate of the pulley then caused the rope failure. I wonder if we will ever know...

I am really curious to know what the lowering device was, and how the fall was ultimately caught.
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Re: Why we belay. Video

Postby rjack » Jul 22, 2013 11:48 am

It does look like there was something wonky with the lowering pully.

I really have no idea how to do it better, but that belay was pretty useless. If he'd fallen any sooner the pendulum would have taken him into the concrete wall - big splat. And if he'd been any further down on the lowering line he would have ground fallen anyway. As it was the belay was ideal, but only for the exact spot he (they?) fell from. I say they because it looks like a black dummy in the litter.
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Re: Why we belay. Video

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Jul 22, 2013 11:51 am

rjack wrote:That belay was pretty useless.

Disagree. Without it, he'd have been a stain on the pavement. Certainly you are correct in that only luck prevented him from a groundfall or wall pendulum anyway, but I doubt the guy involved in this training would call that belay "useless."
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Re: Why we belay. Video

Postby rjack » Jul 22, 2013 2:18 pm

Jeff Bartlett wrote:
rjack wrote:That belay was pretty useless.

Disagree. Without it, he'd have been a stain on the pavement. Certainly you are correct in that only luck prevented him from a groundfall or wall pendulum anyway, but I doubt the guy involved in this training would call that belay "useless."


pretty useless = just precisely the right amount less than completely useless :D
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Re: Why we belay. Video

Postby snoboy » Jul 22, 2013 2:29 pm

I would argue that there was no belay. High lines need to have a track line, and then have tag lines to both sides to protect against a track line failure. In a sloped highline like this I would prefer to see a lowering line and a belay/tag line on the top side, as well as a downhill tag line.

If the lowering line in this video had failed instead of the track line, the rescue package would have decked. It is likely only luck that caused the lowering line to catch them.

This team got lucky in so many ways...
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Re: Why we belay. Video

Postby Stridergdm » Jul 22, 2013 7:24 pm

snoboy wrote:I would argue that there was no belay. High lines need to have a track line, and then have tag lines to both sides to protect against a track line failure. In a sloped highline like this I would prefer to see a lowering line and a belay/tag line on the top side, as well as a downhill tag line.

If the lowering line in this video had failed instead of the track line, the rescue package would have decked. It is likely only luck that caused the lowering line to catch them.

This team got lucky in so many ways...



I have to agree. There is so much luck here.


5' sooner or 10' later we'd be talking about acute concrete poisoning.

I also have to wonder at the shock loads the patient and the attendant suffered.
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Re: Why we belay. Video

Postby snoboy » Jul 22, 2013 8:33 pm

Stridergdm wrote:acute concrete poisoning


Made me LOL. :laughing: I guess that's OK since it appears everyone lived.
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Re: Why we belay. Video

Postby cavedoc » Jul 23, 2013 9:36 pm

snoboy wrote:I would argue that there was no belay. High lines need to have a track line, and then have tag lines to both sides to protect against a track line failure.


Agreed on both counts. The lowering line caught him. There was no belay.

Is there any possibility this was staged? After looking at this too many times it looks like there is failure of a doubled track line, even harder to do. There is also a bang and a puff of...something. Maybe it's just a cloud of exploding nylon but it looks like a small charge went off right at the spot where they would fall and survive. If you look at second 26 it looks like the failure is about a foot uphill from the pulley, not at the pulley. This seems unlikely. It's also a reasonably steep guiding line so it shouldn't have that much tension on it. I know nothing of the incident other than what is in the video and I mean no disrespect, but it just looks so unlikely unless it was done on purpose.
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Re: Why we belay. Video

Postby Chads93GT » Jul 23, 2013 9:58 pm

Why is it hard to believe that the rope broke in a spot other than at the pully? If the pully cut the rope on the way to the point where the failure finally occurred, obviously the weak point will break.Either way the weak spot in the rope will break. I couldnt imagine why one would stage this kind of fall. The consequences of this fall almost made two meat waffles on the wall, if the lowering rope had caught him sooner.
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Re: Why we belay. Video

Postby Anonymous_Coward » Jul 24, 2013 8:56 am

I'm not seeing the double track line. Looks like a single to me.
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Re: Why we belay. Video

Postby cavedoc » Jul 24, 2013 9:51 pm

Anonymous_Coward wrote:I'm not seeing the double track line. Looks like a single to me.


Look at about second 26. You can see two lines pulling back rubberband-like after the failure. And it looks thicker than the lowering line while the two are both tensioned.

I've not destroyed a highline so I don't know the failure mode of a double track line but it is not intuitive to me that both lines would fail at exactly the same spot. Maybe that wobbling pulley damaged both lines at the same place but it still seems odd that the weakest link in both lines is right next to each other. If someone has done testing like this and knows that this is the failure mode then I am happy to be corrected. It's just not what I would have predicted.
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Re: Why we belay. Video

Postby caverdan » Jul 25, 2013 9:33 am

Maybe the two lines were twisted and not letting the pully run free. Looks like they have a lot of tension on the line. Maybe.....they bought there rope at Home Cheap O and it was made using drier sheets. (We throw a piece in with every load.)

Impressively lucky to say the least.
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Re: Why we belay. Video

Postby Anonymous_Coward » Jul 25, 2013 5:42 pm

cavedoc wrote: Look at about second 26. You can see two lines pulling back rubberband-like after the failure.


Yeah, I'm still not convinced. I watched again, and stared at the frame from second 26 for a while. I really think what you are seeing is a cloud of dust getting snapped free from the rope when it breaks. If you look at second 26, it appears that there are three "lines" to the left of the rescuer. The lowest one is the trackline that ended up saving his bacon. The middle one is the broken trackline recoiling back. I maintain that the top "line" is a line of dust in the air. You can watch it dissipate in mid-air. I think we are looking at a single trackline failure.

Of course we are both just watching a grainy video from somewhere (Peru?) and may never truly know what the configuration was. So it is probably a moot point. I am however willing to debate the shooter on the grassy knoll or 9/11 conspiracy theories if anyone is interested.

I think the best point was from snoboy. If they had had a progress capturing tagline on the downhill side, the fall would have been much less severe, and the rescuer would not have had to rely on conveniently placed parking garage entrances for a chance at survival.
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