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cush


Apr 22, 2010, 9:35 PM
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back up while prusiking?
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i was top roping with a friend today and to get to the anchor to dismantle the system we had to prusik up the hanging rope(2 prusiks. one for your harness, one for your feet). as i was about 10 feet off the ground my partner commented on how i must really trust that prusik seeing as it was my only piece protecting me. i realized he was absolutely right but this is the way i was taught to prusik and the same way i've seen many other people do it as well. is it just me or does this seem like a gross oversight on climber's parts or is there something i'm missing that makes prusiking safe and negate the need for a 2nd piece of gear holding you?


west_by_god_virginia


Apr 22, 2010, 10:10 PM
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Re: [cush] back up while prusiking? [In reply to]
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the prussik is pretty fuckin safe in my book. if you're really worried, use another prussik and attach it to your harness.

quit worrying about everything being redundant.


cush


Apr 22, 2010, 10:17 PM
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Re: [west_by_god_virginia] back up while prusiking? [In reply to]
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west_by_god_virginia wrote:
quit worrying about everything being redundant.
Unsure this just doesn't make sense to me. please elaborate?


billl7


Apr 22, 2010, 10:22 PM
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Re: [cush] back up while prusiking? [In reply to]
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cush wrote:
i was top roping with a friend today and to get to the anchor to dismantle the system we had to prusik up the hanging rope(2 prusiks. one for your harness, one for your feet). as i was about 10 feet off the ground my partner commented on how i must really trust that prusik seeing as it was my only piece protecting me. i realized he was absolutely right but this is the way i was taught to prusik and the same way i've seen many other people do it as well. is it just me or does this seem like a gross oversight on climber's parts or is there something i'm missing that makes prusiking safe and negate the need for a 2nd piece of gear holding you?
The generally accepted practice is to not trust just to the prusik.

Instead, periodically grab a bite of the the rope below the bottom prusik, tie an overhand or figure eight, and clip it to your belay loop with a locker. After a bit, do it again with the developing slack but clip it in with a different locker. Continue, alternating lockers as you ascend while releasing knots if needed each time you unlock a locker.

How much between clipping into a backup knot? I've always asked myself how far would I be comfortable falling.

All that said, I learned to prusik over 30 years ago for self-rescue from a crevasse. Back then, we didn't tie the backup knots but we also didn't carry ANY biners for glacier travel.

Bill L


davidnn5


Apr 22, 2010, 10:25 PM
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Re: [cush] back up while prusiking? [In reply to]
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cush wrote:
west_by_god_virginia wrote:
quit worrying about everything being redundant.
Unsure this just doesn't make sense to me. please elaborate?

He's saying there are certain things that aren't redundant, such as harness, rope - for a reason. It's important to think about each aspect of your safety system, not just use redundancy as a mantra.

Two prussiks is already redundant, because if one fails you won't hit the ground. Unless you're working with acid-soaked, old or manky cord, why would you add more clusterfuck to move around when prussiking? If you add enough prussiks you could move as slowly as an aid climber!


billl7


Apr 22, 2010, 10:27 PM
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Re: [davidnn5] back up while prusiking? [In reply to]
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With the second prusik going around just the foot, I wouldn't trust it as offering redundancy should the one to the harness fail.

If the harness one fails, I'm hoping the foot pops out!


davidnn5


Apr 22, 2010, 10:45 PM
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Re: [billl7] back up while prusiking? [In reply to]
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That's a fair comment if you are putting all your upper body weight on the harness prussik.

But... Don't you prussik up with one hand and the other hand on the rope?

Also generally if there's damage to the cord, it won't take multiple pulls on it to break it. The autoblock, prussik etc are friction "knots" - they have no point at which they are more likely to break, because they are not tied (unless you tie a knot to shorten your cord for a prussik).

I prefer a bachmann for these purposes. Mostly cause I think they're pretty.

Side question: does anyone here routinely use webbing for prussiking? I think it's asking for trouble personally but some I've met seem to be happy to do it.


sungam


Apr 23, 2010, 2:50 AM
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Re: [west_by_god_virginia] back up while prusiking? [In reply to]
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west_by_god_virginia wrote:
the prussik is pretty fuckin safe in my book. if you're really worried, use another prussik and attach it to your harness.

quit worrying about everything being redundant.
Damn, you really are stupid as hell, aren't you?
Prussiks can, and DO, slide. Particularly when shock loaded.
Not to mention that pushing on the top of a prussik will cause it to slide downwards, just as pushing on the bottom slides it up.
So guess what? If your lop one slides and touches the top of the bottom one, it's sliding too. Not that that's a likely situation.

Tie back up knots every once in a while. This is simply clove-hitching the rope to a beaner clipped to your belay loop so if your prussiks slide you won't take to long a ride.


bhp


Apr 23, 2010, 3:22 AM
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Re: [davidnn5] back up while prusiking? [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Side question: does anyone here routinely use webbing for prussiking? I think it's asking for trouble personally but some I've met seem to be happy to do it.

I use a sling for the foot prusik (actually I use the klemheist for webbing) because it's a lot more comfortable to stand on than 6mm cord (wider area)

I also tie the occasional backup, which is really just a precaution against ground-fall in the case of failure of a prusik. Not that I think that it's particularly likely, but I think it's worth it to back it up.


d0nk3yk0n9


Apr 23, 2010, 4:08 AM
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Re: [bhp] back up while prusiking? [In reply to]
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What I use for prusiking is one prusik into the harness only, and one prusik tied using a longer piece (not tied into a loop yet) with one strand going to the harness (with some slack so I can still stand on the other strand) and one strand tied into a foot loop. That way, I'm backed up by the second prusik on my harness if the first one fails.

Then, I take a single biner and put it into my harness and clip figure eight loops tied in the slack as I go up. I generally don't bother with always keeping one clipped; I'm okay with tying the next knot, then unclipping the last knot, clipping the new one, then untying the last one. I feel like it isn't too great of a risk being reliant only on my prusiks for the few seconds it takes to change knots.

Finally, the basic prusik knot is a pain in the butt to ascend with. I much prefer the bachman if extra biners are availiable and the klemheist (not sure if I spelled that right) if not.


billl7


Apr 23, 2010, 5:29 AM
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Re: [davidnn5] back up while prusiking? [In reply to]
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davidnn5 wrote:
But... Don't you prussik up with one hand and the other hand on the rope?
Are you asking how to make upward progress?

davidnn5 wrote:
Also generally if there's damage to the cord, it won't take multiple pulls on it to break it. The autoblock, prussik etc are friction "knots" - they have no point at which they are more likely to break, because they are not tied (unless you tie a knot to shorten your cord for a prussik).
If they fail, they will fail when it is convenient!?!

davidnn5 wrote:
I prefer a bachmann for these purposes. Mostly cause I think they're pretty.
Hmmmm ... k.

The bachman does have that clearly accessable handle - which to me is also a source of concern.

Bill L


billl7


Apr 23, 2010, 6:38 AM
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Re: [d0nk3yk0n9] back up while prusiking? [In reply to]
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d0nk3yk0n9 wrote:
Finally, the basic prusik knot is a pain in the butt to ascend with.
It can be. But much of that can be helped with a simple technique: grasp with the fingers around the rope at the base of the prusik with thumb up; use the thumb to press back the end-loop of the prusik (sort of unlocks it, allowing slack into the wraps of the prusik); now push up the prusik.

With not much practice, this can go smoothly. But I'll admit, every now and then it takes a little more effort.

Bill L


olderic


Apr 23, 2010, 6:59 AM
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Re: [cush] back up while prusiking? [In reply to]
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Using backup knots when ascending a rope - prusicks, Bachman's, Climnbeist or ascenders is standard practice and has been for many years. Climbing 101. Like many other things in climbing the practical implementation of it varies with individuals.


malcolm777b


Apr 23, 2010, 7:46 AM
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Re: [cush] back up while prusiking? [In reply to]
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cush wrote:
i was top roping with a friend today and to get to the anchor to dismantle the system we had to prusik up the hanging rope(2 prusiks. one for your harness, one for your feet). as i was about 10 feet off the ground my partner commented on how i must really trust that prusik seeing as it was my only piece protecting me. i realized he was absolutely right but this is the way i was taught to prusik and the same way i've seen many other people do it as well. is it just me or does this seem like a gross oversight on climber's parts or is there something i'm missing that makes prusiking safe and negate the need for a 2nd piece of gear holding you?

Why did you HAVE to prusik to get to the anchor? This seems a little fishy to me....Why couldn't you just climb the route? How did you get to the anchor in the first place? If you were too pumped, why not climb the route, and Batman the rope as necessary to get past cruxes? I've never once seen a situation where someone was forced to ascend the rope to get to the anchor....


tomtom


Apr 23, 2010, 8:47 AM
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Re: [malcolm777b] back up while prusiking? [In reply to]
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Tie backup knots.

Issue solved.


Partner j_ung


Apr 23, 2010, 9:33 AM
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Re: [west_by_god_virginia] back up while prusiking? [In reply to]
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west_by_god_virginia wrote:
the prussik is pretty fuckin safe in my book. if you're really worried, use another prussik and attach it to your harness.

quit worrying about everything being redundant.

IMO, a single prussik is one thing that prolly ought to be backed up by something else (other than the prussik your foot's in).


west_by_god_virginia


Apr 23, 2010, 10:06 AM
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Re: [sungam] back up while prusiking? [In reply to]
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sungam wrote:
west_by_god_virginia wrote:
the prussik is pretty fuckin safe in my book. if you're really worried, use another prussik and attach it to your harness.

quit worrying about everything being redundant.
Damn, you really are stupid as hell, aren't you?
Prussiks can, and DO, slide. Particularly when shock loaded.
Not to mention that pushing on the top of a prussik will cause it to slide downwards, just as pushing on the bottom slides it up.
So guess what? If your lop one slides and touches the top of the bottom one, it's sliding too. Not that that's a likely situation.

Tie back up knots every once in a while. This is simply clove-hitching the rope to a beaner clipped to your belay loop so if your prussiks slide you won't take to long a ride.

whatever sunGAY.


west_by_god_virginia


Apr 23, 2010, 10:09 AM
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Re: [j_ung] back up while prusiking? [In reply to]
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j_ung wrote:
west_by_god_virginia wrote:
the prussik is pretty fuckin safe in my book. if you're really worried, use another prussik and attach it to your harness.

quit worrying about everything being redundant.

IMO, a single prussik is one thing that prolly ought to be backed up by something else (other than the prussik your foot's in).

why do you think it ought to be backed up? the slide potential, rockfall cutting the cord, single attachment point?


Partner j_ung


Apr 23, 2010, 10:27 AM
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Re: [west_by_god_virginia] back up while prusiking? [In reply to]
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west_by_god_virginia wrote:
j_ung wrote:
west_by_god_virginia wrote:
the prussik is pretty fuckin safe in my book. if you're really worried, use another prussik and attach it to your harness.

quit worrying about everything being redundant.

IMO, a single prussik is one thing that prolly ought to be backed up by something else (other than the prussik your foot's in).

why do you think it ought to be backed up? the slide potential, rockfall cutting the cord, single attachment point?

All of the above plus a couple others, but mostly user error.


csproul


Apr 23, 2010, 10:38 AM
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Re: [west_by_god_virginia] back up while prusiking? [In reply to]
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Those are all pretty good reasons in my book. In fact, I have had a prusik slip. Albeit it was on an icy rope, but it did happen, and it scared me enough to make sure I use back ups in the rare event I ascend a rope with friction hitches of any kind (or mechanical ascenders for that matter). I've not tried it, but I'm guessing that adding a 2nd prusik would not be effective. If one slips, the other will too. Not to mention that it'd take more time and effort to mind a second/third hitch than it would to just clip into a backup knot.


dancottle


Apr 23, 2010, 5:52 PM
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Re: [csproul] back up while prusiking? [In reply to]
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Other than an icy rope like posted above i see no reason to back up a prussic. Using two is redundant. If the top one slips it will be stopped by the bottom one. If the bottom one slips the top one will hold you.
Well now actually I guess if the top one is cut it could be a problem but I going to stick to two for those very rare occasions when I need to prussic.


edge


Apr 23, 2010, 5:59 PM
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Re: [west_by_god_virginia] back up while prusiking? [In reply to]
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west_by_god_virginia wrote:
j_ung wrote:
west_by_god_virginia wrote:
the prussik is pretty fuckin safe in my book. if you're really worried, use another prussik and attach it to your harness.

quit worrying about everything being redundant.

IMO, a single prussik is one thing that prolly ought to be backed up by something else (other than the prussik your foot's in).

why do you think it ought to be backed up? the slide potential, rockfall cutting the cord, single attachment point?

Prussiks slide easier than Jumars, and yet it is standard practice to back Jumars or their equivalents up with a knot.

If (If'n?)you know what you are doing, then a backup knot takes 5 seconds. One every 25 feet on a pitch would take 40 seconds per 200' ropelength, but the added security usually compensates for lost knot-tying time. Maybe add 2 minutes to untie the knots as you go.

Death takes forever to untie.


(This post was edited by edge on Apr 23, 2010, 6:00 PM)


bill413


Apr 23, 2010, 7:51 PM
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Re: [dancottle] back up while prusiking? [In reply to]
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dancottle wrote:
Other than an icy rope like posted above i see no reason to back up a prussic. Using two is redundant. If the top one slips it will be stopped by the bottom one. If the bottom one slips the top one will hold you.
Well now actually I guess if the top one is cut it could be a problem but I going to stick to two for those very rare occasions when I need to prussic.

If you press on the end of the prussik, it opens it a little, making it more likely to slip. So, " If the top one slips it will be stopped by the bottom one" is just not reliable.

If the bottom one slips, because you didn't tighten it enough, at the point when you have loosened the top one to move it up, you're in trouble.

Once a prussik starts sliding, it can just keep on going.

Backing up your ascension system is important, no matter what it is.


billl7


Apr 23, 2010, 9:21 PM
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Re: [west_by_god_virginia] back up while prusiking? [In reply to]
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west_by_god_virginia wrote:
whatever sunGAY.
Like a flashback to 4th grade.


shimanilami


Apr 24, 2010, 12:08 AM
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Re: [malcolm777b] back up while prusiking? [In reply to]
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malcolm777b wrote:
Why did you HAVE to prusik to get to the anchor? This seems a little fishy to me....Why couldn't you just climb the route...?quote]

That's exactly what I was thinking.

No matter. Just tie in backup knots every so often to catch you in the unlikely case that a prusik fails.

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