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Escape descenders-special need Q
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mnormand


Dec 14, 2011, 7:55 AM
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Escape descenders-special need Q
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1st post here, hello to all !

I'm not a rock climber, but a bowhunter trying to better my equip. Thought I'd join up here to get some tried and true answers regarding descenders.

I'm in a full body harness, but need a controlled descent solution for about 30ft. My personal needs: has to work if unconcious, lightweight, tangleprooof, idiot proof, ease of use in darkness. I'm 6ft, 200#, 54years. If I fall, I just want to get to ground safely within a few minutes.
This was suggested and looks good, but all thoughts appreciated.

http://www.edanko.net/RescueTECH-Escape-Descender.html

I have never used this type of equipment.
Again, regards to all, and thanks ahead of time.


(This post was edited by mnormand on Dec 14, 2011, 8:49 AM)


moose_droppings


Dec 14, 2011, 10:28 AM
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Re: [mnormand] Escape descenders-special need Q [In reply to]
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mnormand wrote:
1st post here, hello to all !

I'm not a rock climber, but a bowhunter trying to better my equip. Thought I'd join up here to get some tried and true answers regarding descenders.

I'm in a full body harness, but need a controlled descent solution for about 30ft. My personal needs: has to work if unconcious, lightweight, tangleprooof, idiot proof, ease of use in darkness. I'm 6ft, 200#, 54years. If I fall, I just want to get to ground safely within a few minutes.
This was suggested and looks good, but all thoughts appreciated.

http://www.edanko.net/RescueTECH-Escape-Descender.html

I have never used this type of equipment.
Again, regards to all, and thanks ahead of time.

There is no such device.

You can find some that are lightweight and might be easy to use by some in the dark, but that is as far as matching your needs goes. Nothing is idiot proof and I can't see one implementing a device for rapping while unconscious. For it to be tangle proof on it's own is possible, but usually requires human attention.


Edited for bolding.


(This post was edited by moose_droppings on Dec 14, 2011, 9:25 PM)


mnormand


Dec 14, 2011, 10:46 AM
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Re: [moose_droppings] Escape descenders-special need Q [In reply to]
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Thx MD.

The "Tree Spider Livewire Descent System" is one such system, but I just want to be sure the climbing community doesn't have something I don't know about, especially smaller and lighter. I guess the part about unconciousness is a bit of a stretch. I should have said limited movement or such. Just trying to cover most of the bases, or a worst case situation, a short harnessed fall that might leave one somewhat injured, etc.


barleywino


Dec 14, 2011, 4:39 PM
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the descender you link to seems to require threading the end of the rope through the device and then pulling the rope through, unlike conventional rappel devices. this is inconvenient and could be a problem if the end is frayed. also it looks like it has more friction that you might need (and is heavy!). better to get something like a Black Diamond ATC-XP plus Petzl shunt, or maybe a petzl Stop.


(This post was edited by barleywino on Dec 14, 2011, 4:43 PM)


Partner j_ung


Dec 14, 2011, 5:42 PM
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mnormand wrote:
Thx MD.

The "Tree Spider Livewire Descent System" is one such system, but I just want to be sure the climbing community doesn't have something I don't know about, especially smaller and lighter. I guess the part about unconciousness is a bit of a stretch. I should have said limited movement or such. Just trying to cover most of the bases, or a worst case situation, a short harnessed fall that might leave one somewhat injured, etc.

We don't use anything like that in climbing. Everything we regularly use requires an awake operator.


sandstone


Dec 14, 2011, 9:01 PM
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mnormand wrote:
The "Tree Spider Livewire Descent System" is one such system, but I just want to be sure the climbing community doesn't have something I don't know about, especially smaller and lighter. ...

There are some auto belay devices made specifically for climbers, primarily for climbing gyms, but they are not smaller and lighter. One such device is the Trublue auto belay. The advantage is that it can be used over and over, whereas the Tree Spider is single use. The disadvantages are higher cost, bulk, and weight.

The Tree Spider product looks like great protection for a worst case fall from a tree stand. The price looks good too, for the features it offers. (That opinion is worth nothing, I had never heard of the product before your post.)

As for rappelling setups, well there are lots of options. Rappelling is a very unforgiving activity, one little screw up and you hit the ground hard. There are techniques and devices to help lessen the danger, but there is no substitute for hands-on instruction from a knowledgeable teacher.


mach2


Dec 14, 2011, 10:53 PM
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I just took a look at the instruction manual for your tree spider, and saw it said it was one time use. (As a side-note I'm curious how one become's unconscious in a tree)
Most of the stuff climbers are using and interested in, is going to be possible to reuse again and again, but you would have to be knowledgeable and at least slightly conscious when you rigged it. To that end, we're typically interested in widgets we control from the front of the harness, where I'm guessing yours rigs from the rear. Thus, you might find the rescue plate you posted earlier might be a bit of a PITA to use.
So, while there are climbing products that could technically suit your needs, my thought is that they're probably more work than they're worth.
Best of luck and happy hunting


acorneau


Dec 15, 2011, 5:38 AM
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mach2 wrote:
(As a side-note I'm curious how one become's unconscious in a tree)


Too many beers.


mnormand


Dec 15, 2011, 6:10 AM
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Ah great stuff guys, thanks very much.

That rescue plate was somewhat interesting as I -thought- you pre-rigged and tested it utilizing as many holes as it took to get somewhat a hands free descent based on weight. I was immediately concerned with rope knotting/twisting/anything that would change the rate of descent, good or bad. Typically the plate would be located between the tree strap, and the harness lead, with the long tag end of the rope in a bag or hanging down the tree. In a fall the plate would let rope feed through for a reasonable descent.

The Tree Spider LiveWire looks like it will be the better answer to my needs.

Well this was a good exercise, I appreciate all the input very much. I've climbed trees all my life, but have no interest in climbing as you folks do. My hats off to those that partake this sport, its a tough one!


donwanadi


Dec 15, 2011, 6:55 AM
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mnormand wrote:
Ah great stuff guys, thanks very much.

That rescue plate was somewhat interesting as I -thought- you pre-rigged and tested it utilizing as many holes as it took to get somewhat a hands free descent based on weight. I was immediately concerned with rope knotting/twisting/anything that would change the rate of descent, good or bad. Typically the plate would be located between the tree strap, and the harness lead, with the long tag end of the rope in a bag or hanging down the tree. In a fall the plate would let rope feed through for a reasonable descent.

I think you are misunderstanding how that plate works. The amount of friction does vary by how you rig it but you MUST control the free end. The descent speed if you are not controlling the brake end of the rope might not be free fall but you will still be seriously injured.


(This post was edited by donwanadi on Dec 15, 2011, 6:59 AM)


sandstone


Dec 15, 2011, 8:41 AM
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In your original post you mentioned you will be in a full body harness. The ones shown on the Tree Spider web site have an umbilical attached on the back, between your shoulder blades. That is not uncommon for industrial fall protection harnesses.

If you are considering using that kind of harness with a descender attached at the end of the lanyard, you could get yourself into some trouble. The descender will be well above you, behind your head, and it will be difficult to reach in case you need to clear a rope jam, etc. In the worst case scenario, you could be stranded part way down your rope. If you don't keep moving around, you can get harness hang syndrome.

Climbers use harnesses that have a front attachment point near the waist. That puts our belay and descent devices within easy reach.

I also noticed that the harnesses on the Tree Spider web site do not have an energy absorber built into the umbilical. Energy absorbers are standard for industrial fall protection harnesses. Climbing harnesses do not have energy absorbers, because we use energy absorbing ropes. Climbers do use energy absorbing devices (screamers) where appropriate in our anchor (protection) systems.

Even short falls can generate surprisingly high forces. If the fall is brought to an abrupt halt by a static (non energy absorbing) umbilical, you can be injured. For example, if you anchor that Tree Spider harness umbilical low, say below waist level, you can fall twice the length of the umbilical. If there is no energy absorber in the system the forces are high enough to injure you. Doing that on a stretchy energy absorbing climbing rope is one thing, doing it on a static umbilical is another thing entirely.

It looks like the Tree Spider Livewire product is designed to absorb that impact energy, but be mindful of the forces if you have to attach your umibilical to something that will not absorb the impact energy. In that case, attach your umbilical as high as possible to limit the distance of your fall.

Be careful, and best of luck to you.

http://www.outdoorswa.org/...0Hang%20Syndrome.pdf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fall_arrest


mnormand


Dec 15, 2011, 9:19 AM
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Sandstone, you hit it on the head.

I do use an HSS UltraLite full body harness, one of the best in the biz.

http://www.huntersafetysystem.com/store/hss-ultra-lite.html

It has a shock absorbing tether/umbilical nylon strap above the shoulderblades. It's triple stitched over itself with breakaways to soften the initial jolt. Your point about the plate above/behind my head is well taken and understood fully. I will not be pursuing that device.

The Tree Spider harness has a stretch umbilical, you might look at that again? Also a vid on Youtube by an 3rd party reviewer shows this.

Again, this has been interesting talking to you climbers, as what works for one semi-related sport definitely does not work for the other. I've been at this a long time, just trying to protect myself better, as I hunt alone, and getting older.

Oh and btw, no beer/alcohol is ever involved! The part about unconcious was mentioned from a health standpoint and/or worst case, like climbing treestand failure with bodyslam or head trama or such from contact with tree. It can and has happened.

All good info, Thanks!


sandstone


Dec 15, 2011, 10:11 AM
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mnormand wrote:
...The Tree Spider harness has a stretch umbilical, you might look at that again?...

Don't confuse an umbilical that is stretchy for convenience with one that is capable of absorbing impacts. What I see in the Tree Spider product is an umbilical with a stretch cord in it to help manage the umbilical slack. That is not a fall impact energy absorber, and Tree Spider makes no claims that the umbilical is an energy absorber.

Take a look at this umbilical that is designed for climbing via ferrata routes (where you clip to a steel cable to protect yourself). You'll notice that the umbilical strands are stretchy for convenience, but there is a separate energy absorber (the blocky looking part) to handle fall impact forces.

http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/...ider-via-ferrata-set

I trust that you know what you are talking about when you say your harness umbilical has an energy absorber, but I didn't see mention of that feature on the manufacturers web site. As a matter of fact, I couldn't find any photos or specifications of umbilicals on the HSS web site. Perhaps the umbilical you use with your harness is from another manufacturer, or I'm just missing something on the HSS web site.


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