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Stuck Rope in Organ Mtns.
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Rkenney


Feb 9, 2012, 8:05 PM
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Stuck Rope in Organ Mtns.
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This last Monday (2/6) we climbed the North face of sugarloaf, and on the w south side rappel, maybe?, our rope got stuck. We could not manage to get it unstuck, and therefore, is still up there. I have pretty much written it off but would appreciate knowing if anyone gets it.


(This post was edited by Rkenney on Feb 9, 2012, 8:16 PM)


northfacejmb


Feb 10, 2012, 7:35 AM
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Re: [Rkenney] Stuck Rope in Organ Mtns. [In reply to]
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Man that stinks. What kind of rope is it?


Rkenney


Feb 10, 2012, 9:01 AM
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Re: [northfacejmb] Stuck Rope in Organ Mtns. [In reply to]
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That is the worst part, it was my favorite rope. It was a yellow sterling Nano 9.2mm dry 60m.


Lazlo


Feb 10, 2012, 9:11 AM
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Re: [Rkenney] Stuck Rope in Organ Mtns. [In reply to]
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I know this is hard to think about; but you might consider going back and cutting it out. If you don't, someone else will.

At least then you'll have a shorter rope rather than no rope.


Rkenney


Feb 10, 2012, 9:20 AM
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Re: [Lazlo] Stuck Rope in Organ Mtns. [In reply to]
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I would have contemplated it, but I live in Amarillo (about 7 hours away), and do not have the time to repeat this climb. I have pretty much given up on the rope, but I want it to have a good home. I also would like to hear the story of how it got stuck. It is a great climb and I am sure that somebody would do it for a free rope!


jolery


Feb 10, 2012, 9:47 AM
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Re: [Rkenney] Stuck Rope in Organ Mtns. [In reply to]
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Rkenney wrote:
I would have contemplated it, but I live in Amarillo (about 7 hours away), and do not have the time to repeat this climb. I have pretty much given up on the rope, but I want it to have a good home. I also would like to hear the story of how it got stuck. It is a great climb and I am sure that somebody would do it for a free rope!

I'm assuming you mean the story of how it got unstuck? How did you guys get down without the rope? How is that route by the way - I have family down that way and have hiked around the Organ Mountains but never really got on rock - amazing place - intimidating, deserted, and beautiful - gotta be a shitload of unclimbed lines out there


Rkenney


Feb 10, 2012, 2:05 PM
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The climb was great, but since we were repelling in the dark, it was definitely an adventure. We were using a 6mm tagline that we were able to save, and rapped the rest of the way with the tagline. Slow and easy.

Yeah, I was kinda hoping to make a friend out of the rope and maybe get a partner for the next time I am down there.


billl7


Feb 10, 2012, 3:24 PM
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Re: [Rkenney] Stuck Rope in Organ Mtns. [In reply to]
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Will be hiking in the area this weekend so am curious about the circumstances. Here's the rap descent on MP.com:

"The descent requires an exposed traverse down the south spur of the summit. It's 4th class but quite exposed and you won't see the 2-bolt anchor until you are almost at the end of the spur. A double-rope rappel reaches the ground, but an intermediate rap-station consisting of 3 fixed wires and an ugly rat's-nest of webbing will allow you to reach a saddle in two rappels. From the saddle, scramble down to the west where another short rappel from a 2-bolt anchor gets you to the ground. Follow the base of the cliff all the way back to start of the climb and regain the climber's-trail for the return."

Was it that the rope got stuck when pulling on the tag line from the initial double-rope rap? But you had enough tag line to do the short rap after the scramble down to the west?

Anyone have opinions about whether one can lead back up the rap descent at a moderate grade? Of course, if folks thought that would be feasible I'd be making my own decisions when actually up there.

Bill L

Edit: Also, I'll suggest making a comment to the Sugarloaf MP.com page. Mark it as a "condition report" and it'll stay at the top of the comments (delete it later when you have your rope ... or someone posts that it's no longer there). Worked for me one time a couple summer's ago in the Sandia Mountains.

Edit 2: Found a little more clarification of the above quoted rap route in a comment by Robert Cort on the page for Left Eyebrow. Comment is copied below. Sounds like its possible to do that descent more than one way.

"There are two sets of rap anchors on the south ridge from the summit. One (easier to see) to the right, and one to the left. I've not tried the ones to the right, but have heard some strange tales (like "they appear to have been set for 70m rope", etc.) So, I suggest the ones on the left. a two rope rap gets you to the saddle, scramble down to the right and a short single rope rap gets you to the walk off. You can do the first rap with a single rope, using an intermediate anchor (3 fixed wires but somebody recently cleaned up the webbing))."


(This post was edited by billl7 on Feb 10, 2012, 4:15 PM)


Rkenney


Feb 10, 2012, 8:55 PM
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Re: [billl7] Stuck Rope in Organ Mtns. [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Edit: Also, I'll suggest making a comment to the Sugarloaf MP.com page. Mark it as a "condition report" and it'll stay at the top of the comments (delete it later when you have your rope ... or someone posts that it's no longer there). Worked for me one time a couple summer's ago in the Sandia Mountains.

Thanks for the tip.

In reply to:
Was it that the rope got stuck when pulling on the tag line from the initial double-rope rap? But you had enough tag line to do the short rap after the scramble down to the west?

There are multiple descents. We were trying to do the south one, but I think we did one to the west. We had a 60m and a tagline and rapped down to 20 ft. left. There was a fixed nut anchor with a bunch of tat, it was also a hanging belay. This is where we had to cut the cordage, as the rope was stuck on a lip about 10m up. Two more 25m~ raps got us to the ground.


billl7


Feb 10, 2012, 9:19 PM
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Re: [Rkenney] Stuck Rope in Organ Mtns. [In reply to]
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Rkenney wrote:
We had a 60m and a tagline and rapped down to 20 ft. left. There was a fixed nut anchor with a bunch of tat, it was also a hanging belay. This is where we had to cut the cordage, as the rope was stuck on a lip about 10m up. Two more 25m~ raps got us to the ground.

Okay - thanks for the info. The person I am hiking with is not into multi-pitch. Sounds like the sticking point is roughly 60 meters up from the deck. We may take a look from below but its unlikely we'd manage to get up there even if the terrain is moderate. I'll post back here on Monday or Tuesday.

Hey, good for your team for getting off of it with just a tag line. That's a heck of a story that will probably grow fonder with time.

Bill L


billl7


Feb 13, 2012, 1:15 PM
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We were up there hiking on Sunday but condidtions weren't right for recovering the rope. It snowed/hailed overnight and temps below the base never got above 40:



(This post was edited by billl7 on Feb 13, 2012, 1:17 PM)


billl7


Apr 6, 2012, 1:10 PM
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Was up there a week or so ago. Bad news first, I ended up cutting off about 17 meters. Otherwise, I'd say there really wasn't any way at the end of that day you were going to get the rope down no matter how many waves you sent up the rope.

The blue marks in the next photo shows the westerly rap route (copied from MP.com). I would have guessed this is what you started to rap but then swung climber's right and back towards the saddle behind the ridge But your note sounded like you continued on the blue rap route. Maybe later winds took the tag-line end around towards the saddle? The yellow arrow shows where a ledge is that held the high point of your rope after the pull. To get to the ledge, my partner at the southerly anchors had to lower me about 30 feet; the southerly anchors are behind the ridge and provide a direct rap to the saddle.


The below photo shows the ledge the rope was draped over after I coiled up the free end of the rope. Before coiling, the rope end coming from the tag line ran up from the crack on the left (inner) side of the ledge, then ran left to right across the top of the ledge (as shown in part), and then all of the coiled rope was dangling down from the right (outside) edge of the ledge:


To the left (inside) of the above ledge, there is a crack. Here is a shot at the rope inside the crack.


From inside the crack, the rope went down, away, and around towards the saddle:


I couldn't shake free the rope end that went down and around towards the saddle. We were running out of daylight so I cut the rope, coiled what I had and climbed back up to the rap anchor.

Here's the rope coiled up after I brought it back to the campground - I estimate there is about 43 meters of it.


To get all the rope, the only other thing I could have tried would have been at the ledge to coil up the part I had and toss it towards the saddle and hope for the best. I have not idea if that would have worked.

On the way down from the saddle, before the last short rap, here's looking up at the tag line:


If you'd like the remainder of your rope that I have, send me a message. Wish I'd been able to say I got all 60 meters.

Bill L


(This post was edited by billl7 on Apr 6, 2012, 2:15 PM)


cchildre


Oct 11, 2012, 9:08 AM
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In the interest of closure. Can I get clarification about which rap route was responsible for the stuck rope. Two southern rap routes. One uses older anchors (double rope to the shoulder, and then a single rope slab rap). The other uses newer anchors (A 70 M single rap, then a single rap to some fixed gear/slings, and to the ground) All sorts of opportunities to get a rope stuck with those flakes or bushes. I've only been on the newer anchors, and both times, did a double rope rap all the way to the ground from the mid anchor, using two 70m. This incident sounds like they were off the typical rap route. Thanks for the pictures of the stuck rope and such, and it doesn't look very familiar. My next trip plan is to use a single 70m to get down the new rap system.


billl7


Oct 11, 2012, 9:29 AM
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cchildre wrote:
In the interest of closure. Can I get clarification about which rap route was responsible for the stuck rope. Two southern rap routes. One uses older anchors (double rope to the shoulder, and then a single rope slab rap). The other uses newer anchors (A 70 M single rap, then a single rap to some fixed gear/slings, and to the ground) All sorts of opportunities to get a rope stuck with those flakes or bushes. I've only been on the newer anchors, and both times, did a double rope rap all the way to the ground from the mid anchor, using two 70m. This incident sounds like they were off the typical rap route. Thanks for the pictures of the stuck rope and such, and it doesn't look very familiar. My next trip plan is to use a single 70m to get down the new rap system.
In my opinion regarding this thread, it wasn't that one or the other rap route was responsible for the stuck rope. It was starting down the one with the newer anchors, but then swinging back mid-rap towards the rap-route that starts from the old anchors. This "swinging back" caused the fall-line of the rope (when pulled) to slip behind the flake/ledge in the photos.

If one raps down either line (new or old anchors), this flake/ledge doesn't really come into play unless winds are really bad in the wrong direction.

It is unfortunate that the current MP.com descent description for Sugarloaf does not clarify (as of this posting) (Edit: the MP.com descent description is actually a blending of the two separate descents.)

Bill L

P.S. I have heard it is still somewhat possible to stick ropes going down either way. It is the swinging from one to the other that makes it extremely likely to happen.

P.P.S. I put a pretty complete description of all this as a comment to this MP.com Photo


(This post was edited by billl7 on Oct 13, 2012, 12:59 PM)


billl7


Oct 11, 2012, 11:56 AM
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For those not following MP.com, here's the MP.com description as it has been since at least February (I've added some bold font):

"Descent
copied from North Face route description
The descent requires an exposed traverse down the south spur of the summit. It's 4th class but quite exposed and you won't see the 2-bolt anchor until you are almost at the end of the spur. A double-rope rappel reaches the ground, but an intermediate rap-station consisting of 3 fixed wires and an ugly rat's-nest of webbing will allow you to reach a saddle in two rappels. From the saddle, scramble down to the west where another short rappel from a 2-bolt anchor gets you to the ground. Follow the base of the cliff all the way back to start of the climb and regain the climber's-trail for the return."

I've bolded certain parts to show that the above is actually a blending of two different ways to go.

A double-rope rap (60's) only gets one to the ground if using the old bolts on skier's left (as viewed when coming down the south spur); earlier, on skier's right, there are some new bolts from which neither double 60's nor double 70's will reach the ground.

The 3 fixed wires are about two thirds the way down if rapping from the new bolts on skier's right.

The saddle is only reached using the old bolts on skier's left. Same for the scramble and additional short rappel.

Not sure if this is the scenario of the epic in this thread but ...

a) the description leads one to think the bolts on skier's right are good for getting to the ground with double ropes (this happened to me); one might not even notice the ones on skier's left - especially in the dark.

b) So one starts rapping down from the new bolts on skier's right, passing up some intermediate bolts (also new) about 35 meters down thinking doubles will reach the ground.

c) further down, one realizes or sees that the ends won't reach; and one might not notice/find the three fixed wires as they are tucked behind a flake (especially in the dark).

d) the ground rises up to skier's left so one pendulums over that way trying to reach easier ground; after doing so, pulling the rope causes the stickage described up thread.

Bill L


billl7


Oct 12, 2012, 7:43 AM
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Does this help? (image courtesy of historical data availble via Google Earth)



(This post was edited by billl7 on Oct 12, 2012, 7:46 AM)


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