petzl stop

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petzl stop

Postby chris » Aug 31, 2007 9:12 am

hi there every 1 im new to this site. Im now starting out caving im already a climber but fancy a change :woohoo: ive been reading up about caving methods on various sites and the main descender used seems to be the petzl stop? iv found one discounted on this web site
but this is an industrial abseiling company is there any difference with this one to the ones sold by caving shops or are they the same thing?
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Postby Dwight Livingston » Aug 31, 2007 9:55 am

If you will be rappelling on stiff, dirty 11mm rope, I don't think you'll be happy using a Stop. In general you'll be much happier with your choice of gear if you first determine what caves you expect to be dropping and who you'll be going with. See what gear they use and it will probably be better suited for the caves you will be doing. There are many good reasons to be using stiff, dirty 11mm rope, and your best choice for that, in my opinion, is a full size stainless steel rack.

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Postby NZcaver » Aug 31, 2007 12:47 pm


Like many things in life, cavers will have a wide variety of opinions on this.

I agree with Dwight that your choice of descender will best depend on where you'll be caving and who with, and the type/diameter of the rope. Also the depths of the drops, how they are rigged (rebelays?), and other such things. But I disagree that a full size (big/heavy) stainless rack is necessarily the best choice for all stiff rope situations. I've used a Petzl Stop as my primary descender for about 15 years (actually I'm on my second Stop now), and it still does me fine even on stiff rope. Only once or twice on short sloping drops has this ever been a problem, and then I solved the issue by rigging my Stop in a C-configuration.

Just know that a Stop is not considered the easiest device to learn on (because of the added complexity of having a brake handle), so get some good hands-on instruction from someone who knows how to use one. Be aware the brake handle is really more of a "convenience" than a safety feature. Often the handle needs an upward push to lock, otherwise you'll slowly creep down the rope. But the Stop is nice and quick/simple to get on and off rope, that's for sure.

Another popular option in the US is the Micro-rack, which is about the same size/weight as the Stop but functions rather differently. I suggest you find some local cavers, hook up with those who are vertically active, rig a tree or cliff, and see if anyone will loan you their gear to try out after they show you how to use it. You could also try reading back through these On Rope threads for information - just don't use it as a total subsitute for real training/practice/experience!
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Re: petzl stop

Postby hank moon » Aug 31, 2007 1:39 pm

chris wrote:hi there every 1 im new to this site. Im now starting out caving im already a climber but fancy a change


are you doing your caving in the UK?

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Postby Amazingracer » Aug 31, 2007 2:55 pm

Although I'm a TAG caver, Ive been giving some serious thought to the Stop. The rack annoys the heck out of me in cave. Ive seen several different ways to overcome the muddy/stiff rope problems. And the UKCaving guys have plenty of advice as well.

The stop is big overseas. You linked to a UK shop so I'm guessing Hank Moon is correct that you are caving in the UK. In that case you'll find most people there seem to use Stops.
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Re: petzl stop

Postby paul » Sep 4, 2007 7:03 am

hank moon wrote:
chris wrote:hi there every 1 im new to this site. Im now starting out caving im already a climber but fancy a change


are you doing your caving in the UK?

From his "local time", apparently not.
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Postby volica » Sep 4, 2007 8:03 pm

As far as I know (correct me if I am wrong), most people overseas start caving using petzl's Simple bobbin. And yes, Stop's handle is security device, "Dead man grip", however ones natural reflex is to squeeze a handle when going too fast. It works good if someone got unconscious on the rope and let handle go thou.
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