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RomanG1


Dec 27, 2012, 1:13 PM
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Rope knot to use when rappelling or anchoring
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Once i've made my anchor ( say natural anchor, a tree or a boulder ) with webbing, slings, or perhaps just tying rope around tree (yes i know this is bad) what knot to use to secure my rope? On a single rope rappel.

I read Black Diamonds tests suggest that figure 8 can weaken strenght by as much as 30%. I know its still strong enough to hold a fall (while leading) or using it as a knot to secure to the anchor to rappel from.

What knot do you suggest to use. If I have a biner to rappel from or something round to wrap around such as a tree, how should I tie my rope?

-Figure Eight with a backup double fishermans?
-Double fishermans with a backup?
-?

Thanks guys


bearbreeder


Dec 27, 2012, 1:16 PM
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Re: [RomanG1] Rope knot to use when rappelling or anchoring [In reply to]
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if you dont know the answer to that question, and anyone who is skilled a rapping should ... i suggest you seek a real experienced person to ask them to show you how to do it

things get lost in translation on the intrawebs, and forums are not a place you want to ask basic safety questions

Wink


RomanG1


Dec 27, 2012, 2:05 PM
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Re: [bearbreeder] Rope knot to use when rappelling or anchoring [In reply to]
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I've used figure 8 with back up as double fishermans, but just wondering if this is the best (strenght wise) knot to use for this.

With double ropes i tie using to 2 figure 8s with DF as backups.

Thanks :)


acorneau


Dec 27, 2012, 5:20 PM
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Re: [RomanG1] Rope knot to use when rappelling or anchoring [In reply to]
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RomanG1 wrote:
Once i've made my anchor ( say natural anchor, a tree or a boulder ) with webbing, slings, or perhaps just tying rope around tree (yes i know this is bad) what knot to use to secure my rope? On a single rope rappel.

I read Black Diamonds tests suggest that figure 8 can weaken strenght by as much as 30%. I know its still strong enough to hold a fall (while leading) or using it as a knot to secure to the anchor to rappel from.

What knot do you suggest to use. If I have a biner to rappel from or something round to wrap around such as a tree, how should I tie my rope?

-Figure Eight with a backup double fishermans?
-Double fishermans with a backup?
-?

Thanks guys

RomanG1 wrote:
I've used figure 8 with back up as double fishermans, but just wondering if this is the best (strenght wise) knot to use for this.

With double ropes i tie using to 2 figure 8s with DF as backups.

Thanks :)

Factoid:
A tensionless wrap will retain a higher strength in the rope than any knot.

Reality:
As Bear has said, direct instruction from a qualified teacher would be best to show you all the things you don't know enough to ask about.


wivanoff


Dec 28, 2012, 5:38 AM
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Re: [RomanG1] Rope knot to use when rappelling or anchoring [In reply to]
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RomanG1 wrote:
I read Black Diamonds tests suggest that figure 8 can weaken strenght by as much as 30%. I know its still strong enough to hold a fall (while leading) or using it as a knot to secure to the anchor to rappel from.

So, what's the problem? Do you trust this knot to hold a leader fall but not to rappel from?


RomanG1


Dec 28, 2012, 6:16 AM
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Re: [wivanoff] Rope knot to use when rappelling or anchoring [In reply to]
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wivanoff wrote:
RomanG1 wrote:
I read Black Diamonds tests suggest that figure 8 can weaken strenght by as much as 30%. I know its still strong enough to hold a fall (while leading) or using it as a knot to secure to the anchor to rappel from.

So, what's the problem? Do you trust this knot to hold a leader fall but not to rappel from?


I just wanted to know what everyone elses uses. As i said, despite being weakened its still plenty strong. I was curious about what everyone else uses.

I see the hesitation in answering this, as this should only be taught in person by someone with credible background and not over the web. However, i wasnt asking on instructions or materials but rather only on the name of the knots.

Anyway, thanks for the replys.


wivanoff


Dec 28, 2012, 7:18 AM
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Re: [RomanG1] Rope knot to use when rappelling or anchoring [In reply to]
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RomanG1 wrote:
I just wanted to know what everyone elses uses. As i said, despite being weakened its still plenty strong. I was curious about what everyone else uses.

Fair enough. To me it depends on anchoring possibilities and how much excess rope I have.

For single line rappels, I've used a rethreaded fig 8 around an object like a tree or boulder, an inline fig 8 or fig 8 on a bight clipped to carabiners, a double bowline with a yosemite finish and a DFK backup around tree or boulder, a clove on a carabiner block through quicklinks. In short, it doesn't matter as long as it's a "climbing knot" and tied correctly.

Mostly, I double line rappel. When tying two ropes together I use either a flat overhand or a flat DFK.


marc801


Dec 28, 2012, 7:42 AM
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Re: [RomanG1] Rope knot to use when rappelling or anchoring [In reply to]
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RomanG1 wrote:
As i said, despite being weakened its still plenty strong.
*All* knots reduce the breaking strength of the material they are tied in.


Partner rgold


Dec 28, 2012, 8:58 AM
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Re: [RomanG1] Rope knot to use when rappelling or anchoring [In reply to]
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Bearbreeder has a point, there is bad (and good) information on the internet. But the suggestion that asking someone in person somehow inoculates you against bad information is absurd. The probability of questionable advice from someone asked in person is no better or worse then the probability of getting bad advice on the internet.

What is different about forums is that you will get many responses, not just one or two, so the variation from good to bad will necessarily be much greater. Often, an argument will start over the best method, and with any luck the various sides will offer reasons for their opinions rather than just indulging in name-calling. So you get a range of opinions and perhaps a spirited debate. I think this is actually a better result than the one you get by asking someone whose expertise and judgement you have little ability to evaluate anyway, but it does leave the responsibility for the final decision more firmly in your hands, where it ultimately belongs.

In many aspects of climbing, there is little agreement on "best practice," and not much in the way of solid experimental evidence to justify what people do. The history of the sport shows clearly that, many times, both the "experts" and the prevailing conventional wisdom have been wrong. All the more reason to solicit as broad a range of opinions as possible and try to draw your own conclusions. At the very least, you can use the debated information to have a far more informed discussion with the local expert you consult.

One of the ways to spot potentially faulty information is the vehemence with which the supporters proclaim it to be the One True Way. Climbing is very situation-dependent and things that one wouldn't do in one set of circumstances may be appropriate in a different set.

So here are a few things to think about. I've tried to give the reasoning involved in the various choices.

(1) Just plain forget about how much a knot decreases the strength of the rope. It is totally irrelevant to any ordinary climbing consideration and is not a reason to accept or reject any knot in common use.

(2) If you have a solid tree, then the best method is probably to wrap the rope at least three times around the tree and then tie a loop in the wrapping end and clip it back to the rappelling strand with a locker. The point here is that the knot isn't tensioned at all. This is the strongest attachment, although that part doesn't matter, but more to the point, it is (a) stable, meaning that it isn't going to come undone under repeated loading and unloading, and (b) easy to untie afterwards.

(3) You can certainly put slings around a tree and clip your rappel rope into a locking biner, or better two lockers with the gates reversed. You can use a figure-eight for this; it is certainly stable. But if you hang around for a long time on it, you will have more and more trouble untying it.

(4) You can also tie the rope to your anchor with a bowline. This knot has to be properly finished or it will not be stable under cyclic loading. The advantage of the bowline is that it will be far easier to untie after you've been hanging on it for a while. Although I can't claim to have conducted a survey, my impression is that most rescue groups use bowlines for weight-bearing applications. But these applications often involve not only long hanging times but also more than double the weight of a single rappeller.

The bowline has recently gotten so much bad press by some of today's "experts" that it a pall hangs over it. It is a knot that has to be tied and finished properly and requires some understanding on the part of the user, but it is hardly the "instrument of death" one of the climbing magazine so hysterically proclaims.

(3) Probably the best knot, if you are not going to use wraps, is the bowline on a bight. This knot is both stable and easy to untie. Even so, it is prudent to add a barrel finishing knot to secure the tail ("barrel knot" here refers to what one might call half a double fisherman's knot).

(4) As is typical in climbing, it is easy to worry about the wrong things. How your rope runs over the edge may well be more critical than what knot you use to anchor it. This is especially true if there is going to be any lateral motions while rappelling that would have the effect of "sawing" your rope against the edge. It is remarkably easy to break a weighted climbing rope this way. For this reason, if you are going to be hanging around and swinging, and/or if your rappel is significantly diagonal, then you want to have a secondary anchor point over the lip on the main face, with the strand from this anchor point to your tree now playing the role of a backup that isn't weighted unless the secondary anchor fails. The knot to use on the secondary anchor is either the bowline on a bight or the alpine butterfly knot. I'd go with the bowline on a bight for this application because of the ease of getting it undone later.

If you don't need the secondary anchor, you should be sure to pad your rope where it runs over the edge.


bearbreeder


Dec 28, 2012, 12:27 PM
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Re: [rgold] Rope knot to use when rappelling or anchoring [In reply to]
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you just wrote a massive post .. which the OP may well misread and lose something in translation ...

heres a hint for the OP ... get craig luebbens rock climbing anchors if you cant find a real person ... at least you know thats a credible source

if youve ever tried following recipes from intraweb forums youll may well have messed up something, or the person posting missed something, and ended up with a bad tasting cake

climbing forum safety instructions have a much different result ... you or your partner could end up dead

i almost did once from someone who learned something on the intrawebs ,,,

ask a real person, ask them to show you and even then make your own judgements ... at least you have a better chance of making a judgement and if they are climbing with you their life, rather than their internet ego, is on the line

its that simple Wink


(This post was edited by bearbreeder on Dec 28, 2012, 12:29 PM)


knudenoggin


Jan 1, 2013, 11:27 PM
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Re: [rgold] Rope knot to use when rappelling or anchoring [In reply to]
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rgold wrote:
Bearbreeder has a point, there is bad (and good) information on the internet. But the suggestion that asking someone in person somehow inoculates you against bad information is absurd. ...
What is different about forums is that you will get many responses, not just one ... , and with any luck the various sides will offer reasons for their opinions rather than just indulging in name-calling. So you get a range of opinions and perhaps a spirited debate. I think this is actually a better result ... ,
but it does leave the responsibility for the final decision more firmly in your hands, where it ultimately belongs.
I thought it worth the bother to log-in and make --what I then read-- the same point well put by RGold. The admonition to eschew Net advice in preference to some supposed knowledgeable (how does one ensure this?) instructor's advice is plain stupid. It should be possible to get a decent grasp on whether the Net has provided an adequate response --e.g., a few short replies that don't much discuss the situation should be less convincing than a series in which advice is challenged & defended, or at least clearly given and supported by many. (And, after some time reading forums, one can get an idea of who is better to heed, whom to ignore, whom to read for chuckles. --here, Two Out Of Three is da bomb! Laugh )

Perhaps a peek of insight into this just came across the e-waves on a forum Over Yonder --to wit:
In reply to:
spent a number of years teaching my students to do stopper knots above their re-tied figure 8. I used to justify it that it would jam in the 8 and ...
... that's pure fantasy! Ah, but you paid $$ and got the advice "from a real person" (who didn't suffer the critiques of the Net community in giving it). (Fact is that the fig.8 eyeknot in climbing cordage --and I'll guess in (bare) HMPE slippery 12-strand, as well-- won't slip and draw in the tail such that any stopper knot would jam into its body; even undoing the last tuck of the "trace 8" won't slip (no guarantees here w/HMPE, though).)

Even if one is weighing advice purely ad hominen, having more *hominens* to *ad* should prove better than one "real" one. But it's to your benefit to understand a rationale for recommendations, not merely that they come from a (supposed) good source. And being published is no guarantee of quality.

In reply to:
(1) Just plain forget about how much a knot decreases the strength of the rope. It is totally irrelevant to any ordinary climbing consideration and is not a reason to accept or reject any knot in common use.
+1. I wonder what other reading you did re knot strength, for most of it should point to the questioned fig.8 eyeknot as being as strong as any if not stronger. (I recall one fellow doing truck-pulled testing of end-2-end knots in cheap rope in which each specimen had fig.8 eyeknots on both ends : the eyes never broke, always one of the end-2-end knots (even where this was essentially identical to the eyeknots (viz., "twin fig.8s") !)



In reply to:
(2) If you have a solid tree, then the best method is probably to wrap the rope at least three times around the tree and then tie a loop in the wrapping end and clip it back to the rappelling strand with a locker. The point here is that the knot isn't tensioned at all. This is the strongest attachment, although that part doesn't matter, but more to the point, it is (a) stable, meaning that it isn't going to come undone under repeated loading and unloading, and (b) easy to untie afterwards.
True re strength, but didn't we just banish such considerations?
Think about the tree, instead : this "tensionless hitch" is the worst for the tree, with the fully loaded line bearing w/o mitigation on the tree, with a long run of unarrested material to enable considerable movement at the initial point of contact --"OUCH"!
In contrast, if that trio of wraps are eyes of a multi-eye knot (say, a bowline), each would bear 1/16th of rope load to its point of contact, and have little movement (both from lack of tension and from the arrest point being behind the tree opposite the load, where it flows into the other side of the eye).

In reply to:
(3) You can certainly put slings around a tree and clip your rappel rope into a locking biner, or better two lockers with the gates reversed. You can use a figure-eight for this; it is certainly stable. But if you hang around for a long time on it, you will have more and more trouble untying it.
I'm always amused by the prescription for lockers in such a situation (actually, more so re tens.hit above):
is this to defeat highly skilled & mischievous squirrels from popping open the gates with well-aimed acorns?


In reply to:
The bowline has recently gotten so much bad press by some of today's "experts" that it a pall hangs over it. It is a knot that has to be tied and finished properly and requires some understanding on the part of the user, but it is hardly the "instrument of death" one of the climbing magazine so hysterically proclaims.
And here one can see evidence of the cautions about information on the Net, but also about what is published by (one would hope) credible persons in credible publications (knots-book author Duane Raleigh & Rock & Ice mag.). Shoot, recently one hilarious mistaken echo of the recent John Long no-knot fall had it that he was being lowered and his bowline came untied (!!) --in fact, he didn't tie <any> knot, and fell upon this unsecured (hence unhelpful) rope. But, with appalling rapidity and absence of circumspection, Bowline Is Bad headlined posts were everywhere.


*kN*


bearbreeder


Jan 1, 2013, 11:50 PM
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Re: [knudenoggin] Rope knot to use when rappelling or anchoring [In reply to]
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my point remains ...

ever try to cook a recipe off what someone posts up on the forums ... miss a step? or think you got it right when you really didnt without someone who knows what they are doing correct you on the spot? ... you get burnt unsavory cake ...

miss a step when someone is posting something on a climbing safety related matter? ... youre dead, or your partner is

theres no substitute for someone who knows what they are doing show you in person and being able to correct you if needed (and NO ONE i know off, including me, didnt need correction when they first started something new)

i see it all the time where people set up anchors, tie knots, do multi, belay or rap incorrectly because they "learned it off the internet"

a quick few minutes of real life instruction usually solves the issue

IF you must rely on the internet for safety advice ... do so at the websites of the climbing mags, UIAA, UKclimbing article, manufacturers sites, BMC or at the very least those of accredited guides, etc ..

not the intraweb forums where people are more concerned about "being right" or their own intraweb agendas as you can see in some of the current threads ..

Wink


(This post was edited by bearbreeder on Jan 1, 2013, 11:55 PM)


viciado


Jan 2, 2013, 3:20 AM
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Re: [bearbreeder] Rope knot to use when rappelling or anchoring [In reply to]
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While bearbreeders' premise regarding internet information appears to be well intended, it is as misleading as the information to which he refers.

In actual fact, RGold's post is not only based on recognized authority, it is specific and to the point, are easy to follow and give concrete advice.

Yes, it takes time to sift through the posts, but when you find "gold," it is easy to separate it from the organic waste.


billl7


Jan 2, 2013, 6:54 AM
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Re: [RomanG1] Rope knot to use when rappelling or anchoring [In reply to]
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The fact is, if one wants a one-stop shop for questions with some assurances of getting a high-quality answer suited to one's level of experience, you're going to have to either pay for it ($$ and lots of it over time) or be the 3 percent out there who find that golden mentor to climb regularly with for a year or so.

Otherwise, most of us are left to books, the interweb, and friends. If one can't evaluate the merit of interweb advise, one likely can't evaluate the merit of a given reference book or of friends. Edit: ... or be able to just self-assess which is so critical to this activity.

And, realizing I'm being a bit fatalistic here, one's ability to evaluate interweb posts, reference books, or friends - or even to absorb what one pays for ($$) - is going to be obvious in terms of eventual injuries or eventual inactivity in this area.

Cheers!
Bill L


(This post was edited by billl7 on Jan 2, 2013, 7:35 AM)


Partner rgold


Jan 2, 2013, 8:45 AM
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Re: [bearbreeder] Rope knot to use when rappelling or anchoring [In reply to]
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bearbreeder wrote:
my point remains...

...miss a step when someone is posting something on a climbing safety related matter? ... youre dead, or your partner is

All true but irrelevant. People who have been shown in person miss steps all the time. People who read authoritative books miss steps all the time. Are you really suggesting that useful and correct information should be suppressed because someone might forget some of it?

bearbreeder wrote:
theres no substitute for someone who knows what they are doing show you in person and being able to correct you if needed (and NO ONE i know off, including me, didnt need correction when they first started something new)

Agreed. Unfortunately, that magical wizard guardian may not be available when most needed.

bearbreeder wrote:
i see it all the time where people set up anchors, tie knots, do multi, belay or rap incorrectly because they "learned it off the internet"

You interview everyone you see "doing things wrong" to discover where they learned it? Here's a prediction: just as many of those people "doing things wrong" learned them from books or the personal instruction of "experts" as learned anything from the internet.

bearbreeder wrote:
a quick few minutes of real life instruction usually solves the issue

True enough, if the "issue" occurs when an "expert" is present and able to give corrective advice.

bearbreeder wrote:
IF you must rely on the internet for safety advice ... do so at the websites of the climbing mags, UIAA, UKclimbing article, manufacturers sites, BMC or at the very least those of accredited guides, etc ..

Many of those sites give advice that is rather different from the advice promulgated in the U.S. by, say, certified guides. How many people belay the leader directly off the belay anchor, for example? How many people clip their belay device to the rope loop rather than the belay loop? At one point, the AMG manual recommended that now thoroughly-discredited figure-eight version of the EDK as an improvement on the ordinary EDK. And the BMC puts out a video illustrating tying and finishing a bowline at the same time as U.S. "expert" Duane Raleigh proclaims the bowline to be an "instrument of death."

I'm not saying those sites are unreliable, and by and large the variation in the quality of the advice is going to be considerably narrower from those places than the sampling from the internet, but there are things you can learn from the forums you won't get from manufacturers, guide services, and Euro websites.

bearbreeder wrote:
...not the intraweb forums where people are more concerned about "being right" or their own intraweb agendas as you can see in some of the current threads ...

So, the manufacturers don't have "agendas" and aren't "concerned being right?"

Look. The internet is a place where people get together to discuss things that interest them. Any such discussion is going to have a range of opinions and perspectives, and yes, some of these are going to be "wrong" by any reasonable standard. The reader/participant is going to have to be vigilant and take everything with a grain of salt. They may indeed get more reliable information from other expert sources, and should certainly seek such sources out. On the other hand, they may also get up-to-date perspectives on things that aren't available in books, they may learn about perfectly acceptable alternatives to things that are in the books, and they may learn about some cases when the books are wrong.

As an academic by profession, I and my colleagues spend a lot of our time being wrong about the things we're studying. Discussion and analysis are the tools that enable us to go from ignorance to expertise. I have a lot of faith in human intelligence, in spite of our many public illustrations of its failure, and I believe in the value of discourse to get at the truth. In climbing, bad information can be dangerous---all the more reason to develop a mentality based on discussion and evaluation rather than blind acceptance of "expert" opinion.

The entire history of human progress shows that attempts to suppress, marginalize, and trivialize free and open discussions are ultimately more destructive to knowledge than any of the errors in the discussions themselves.


(This post was edited by rgold on Jan 2, 2013, 9:11 AM)


bearbreeder


Jan 2, 2013, 9:23 AM
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Re: [rgold] Rope knot to use when rappelling or anchoring [In reply to]
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suppress information? ... give all the information you want ... im simply saying that the intrawebs forums are NOT the best or even a good place to ask for basic safety advice

ive had to correct people who when i asked said "i learned/read about it on the internet" ...

some if it is fairly minor, others such would have lead to deaths ... things such as extending rappels with a single quickdraw (the guy got the concept of extending the rap, but missed the part about the locker), setting up lowering off the chains wrong, rapping off without any knots in the bottom yet missing the part about finding the middle mark, poor basic belay techniques, gear placements learned online, etc ...

EVEN if all the information is correct that you give ... there is often something lost in translation in the teaching process without hands on correction ... as an "academic" you should know this VERY WELL ... and all it takes is one simple missing item to kill yourself or your partner ...

there is generally NO GOOD FEEDBACK process on the intraweb safety leasning, at least one that isnt on the spot and hands on ... sure there might be the occasional take a photo and ask if its correct ... but doesnt even come close to be able to correct mistakes on the spot, and the majority of "safety advice" threads dont even have that

and not its not "hard" to go out and find someone to show you how to do it .... yes you can pay a few $$$$, and get the proper instruction , rather than spending that money on those yuppie jackets and going out to the bar and getting drunk ...

or you can simply go and make friends, be willing to learn, recompensate with gas and food and be a good partner

i personally dont know ANY safe climber who goes out and tells others to learn basic safety skils off the intraweb forums without getting someone in real life to check em ... do you Wink

remember that ALOT of these new climbers will be taking out friends ... and be the most "knowledgeable" person in groups and setting up ropes ...

if you were to listen to RC.com ... you could all be learning how hip belays are all the shizzle ... or how you dont need to give any dynamic belays when your climber falls in a sport route because some old geezer says you dont, and they SLAM into the wall because of it ...

now im not saying theres not stuff to discuss on the intrawebs forums ... but like anything it requires you to have the basics down and a good understanding already IMO ... and already apply all this in the real world safely

as for "manufacturers" ... for newbies, i strongly recommend the person take the advice of the maker of the gear and who has liability over the "advice" of some intraweb poster ANYDAY ... when you get more experience and understand more, then you can decide whether to use gear outside their recommendations ... but please dont decide that for your partners at the very least, and not without telling em that you learned it off a forum as a newbie instead of following the manufacturers guideline ... which is EXACTLY how i almost got killed

Tongue


(This post was edited by bearbreeder on Jan 2, 2013, 9:35 AM)


Libbster


Jan 3, 2013, 6:04 AM
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Re: [RomanG1] Rope knot to use when rappelling or anchoring [In reply to]
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Not sure what you asking really. When cleaning a route I would do a double rope rappel with a prusik knot for safety. If your really concered with safety you could also request a firemans belay from the bottom.


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