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marshallgeo5


Aug 9, 2013, 8:40 PM
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Top Rope Anchor and Rappel
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So I'm setting up a tr with 2 nearby bomber trees about 15 feet from the cliffs edge. I've got an 80 foot 11.2 mm static rope to set the anchor with, which I've tied around one tree with a double bowline and grapevine. I tied 2 figure 8s on bights, clipped both loops with 2 opposite opposing locking carabiners, and then took the long end of the rope and clove hitched it to a 30 foot piece of 1 inch military webbing tied around a tree with a wrap 3 pull 2. I then thread my climbing rope through the masterpoint carabiners and drop the anchor over the cliff edge. Hopefully this is all okay!

My question is, how do I then safely transfer myself to the climbing rope in order to rappel? I don't need to where I'm climbing, but it's got some not-so-steep, safe slopes that would be perfect to practice this on. I read somewhere that with leftover static rope in my anchor I could tie in with a clove hitch, but that sounds dumb and dangerous. I was thinking about incorporating an autoblock into the system but I'm not sure where to attach it and whether I should tie into the loose static rope end with a figure 8?

Thanks for any help! I've only just begun my outdoor career, but I think I'm going to be addicted


(This post was edited by marshallgeo5 on Aug 9, 2013, 8:43 PM)


shockabuku


Aug 9, 2013, 9:22 PM
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Re: [marshallgeo5] Top Rope Anchor and Rappel [In reply to]
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marshallgeo5 wrote:
So I'm setting up a tr with 2 nearby bomber trees about 15 feet from the cliffs edge. I've got an 80 foot 11.2 mm static rope to set the anchor with, which I've tied around one tree with a double bowline and grapevine. I tied 2 figure 8s on bights, clipped both loops with 2 opposite opposing locking carabiners, and then took the long end of the rope and clove hitched it to a 30 foot piece of 1 inch military webbing tied around a tree with a wrap 3 pull 2. I then thread my climbing rope through the masterpoint carabiners and drop the anchor over the cliff edge. Hopefully this is all okay!

My question is, how do I then safely transfer myself to the climbing rope in order to rappel? I don't need to where I'm climbing, but it's got some not-so-steep, safe slopes that would be perfect to practice this on. I read somewhere that with leftover static rope in my anchor I could tie in with a clove hitch, but that sounds dumb and dangerous. I was thinking about incorporating an autoblock into the system but I'm not sure where to attach it and whether I should tie into the loose static rope end with a figure 8?

Thanks for any help! I've only just begun my outdoor career, but I think I'm going to be addicted

A picture would be nice because your written explanation is a little confusing to me. Did I read correctly that you clove hitch the rope to a piece of webbing? That's probably not good and the whole thing sounds very complicated.

But, if you feel the need to rap the TR line (as opposed to just walking around to the base of the cliff) I would suggest you have another piece of rope that you can tie off to the tree and rap down until you get to the master point (MP). Once you reach the MP you can anchor into it, disconnect from the first rap line, and then reconnect to the TR line to rap to the base. Presumably if you can't walk around you'll also have to climb out so this gives you a rope to climb out on (using an ascender or pulling rope up through your rap device).

I suppose the static anchor line could fulfill this purpose but it might cause you some difficulty, especially when climbing out, unless you extend your rap device/ascender.

Edit to add: I'd make sure to knot the ends of the extra rope so you don't rap off the end of it.


(This post was edited by shockabuku on Aug 9, 2013, 9:23 PM)


distantThunder


Aug 9, 2013, 10:19 PM
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Re: [marshallgeo5] Top Rope Anchor and Rappel [In reply to]
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Good question.

I didn't think thru all of your description of the anchor, but basically if you are tied off to 2 solid trees you are in great shape.

1. make sure the TR biners that will hold your rope are dangling over the edge. do not lay them flat on the surface near the trees. your TR rope should not run over the top edge of the rock - that is a bad set-up.

2. as a consequence of (1), you will have static line (or slings) going over the edge to the biners where the rope feeds. pad the slings or rope if the edge is sharp - use some old T-shirt. the padding should protect the slings/rope, but not interfere with the rope feed.

3. NOW for your real question. Yeah ... remember that well. It always felt like a bit of a bitch to lower yourself over the edge and get your weight on the rappel system. Remember this ... HOLD ONTO that brake hand and NEVER let go with your brake hand. Gently work your body over the edge, and there is a small drop of 6-12 inches before your weight goes onto the rappel device. usually I just muscled this - holding the anchor system with my free hand.

Again ... you are fine so long as you never LET GO of the brake hand. People only get in trouble when they panic and release that brake hand.

then you are off and rapping.
have fun!


P.S. I do not like autoblocs and prussiks. others disagree. make up your own mind when you have more exprience.

dT


(This post was edited by distantThunder on Aug 9, 2013, 10:26 PM)


JimTitt


Aug 9, 2013, 11:20 PM
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Re: [marshallgeo5] Top Rope Anchor and Rappel [In reply to]
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Set up your ab device on the climbing rope with an autobloc below off your leg loop, ab down the end of the static using a Munter.


wivanoff


Aug 10, 2013, 5:28 AM
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Usually, I would attach my rap device to the climbing rope with an autoblock or backup and "Batman" down the static lines to the masterpoint. To me, that is the simplest unless the top of the route overhangs. Jim Titt posted a good method with the Munter on the excess static line. I've tried that, also.

Fairly long discussion that might be helpful here:
http://www.mountainproject.com/...ong-anchor/108030421


marshallgeo5


Aug 10, 2013, 6:05 AM
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Thanks everyone for your help! It seems like there are a lot of safe techniques and I guess I'll have to go with one to start.

I should have been clear that in my set up, I'm clove hitched to a locking carabiner, not the sling. Also, I placed my anchor rope on an old hoodie to protect it from the corner and it is hanging over the edge.

I stole the set up from Craig Luebben's Rock Climbing Anchors


(This post was edited by marshallgeo5 on Aug 10, 2013, 6:09 AM)


billl7


Aug 10, 2013, 6:26 AM
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Re: [marshallgeo5] Top Rope Anchor and Rappel [In reply to]
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One option to consider (has it's pro's and con's) ...

Before dropping the power point over the edge, thread for rappel. Then tie off the rigged rap device (e.g., ATC) with a mule knot backed up with an overhand - it's releasable under load.

Now climb over and down until your weight is hanging from the anchor and the mule is loaded. Then carefully / thoughtfully, untie the overhand and release the mule and rap on down.

Try this a bunch a few feet off the ground first until you are comfortable with it. Helps if during the release you can get some of your weight onto your feet but it is not necessary with a bomber anchor.

Bill L


(This post was edited by billl7 on Aug 10, 2013, 6:33 AM)


marshallgeo5


Aug 10, 2013, 6:42 AM
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Re: [billl7] Top Rope Anchor and Rappel [In reply to]
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Bill,

I have a couple of questions if i was to use that set up. First off, is it safe to tie a mule knot and overhand with only one strand of the rappel rope? Secondly, Are you also still tied into your static rope in some way for an extra measure of safety?

Thanks a lot! My plan is to do this off of a 5 foot boulder for starters.


(This post was edited by marshallgeo5 on Aug 10, 2013, 6:44 AM)


billl7


Aug 10, 2013, 7:00 AM
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marshallgeo5 wrote:
... is it safe to tie a mule knot and overhand with only one strand of the rappel rope?

Yes - as long as the rappel rope is knotted to the anchor and not just passed through a locker(s) such as for a standard top-rope rig (probably obvious).

marshallgeo5 wrote:
Secondly, Are you also still tied into your static rope in some way for an extra measure of safety?

The mule with overhand itself does not need a backup.

That said, I might already be tied in by some other means for security (e.g., if it's a sloping cliff top). But in that case I usually don't go through the trouble of working with the mule with overhand.

I'll add that the important thing in any of this is one should be confident of avoiding this: leashed at full stretch to an anchor below you and so then fall twice the length of the leash onto the anchor. This is equivalent to a worst-case lead fall - very bad. The option I mentioned does introduce significant risk of this possibility for some circumstances.

Bill L


(This post was edited by billl7 on Aug 10, 2013, 7:02 AM)


marshallgeo5


Aug 10, 2013, 1:39 PM
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Bill,

Thanks for your help. So just to summarize, assuming I don't have an overhang that would make foot placement problematic, a safe technique would to be to rig the rappell with an autoblock and clip into it. Then tie a mule knot backed up with an overhand. You then said to "knot the rappell rope to the anchor" but unfortunately I don't really understand the reasoning for this all too well. Are you clove hitching it and why? I figured it would be safe to lower down to the masterpoint without knotting it to a carabiner in the masterpoint?

That method sounds safe and relatively uncomplicated to me. And thanks for the heads up about fall factor consideration when batman lowering. If there is a difficult overhang, I take it that it would be safer to tie a Munter hitch with excess static rope and lower down with that instead of batmanning (obviously putting a big old knot in the end of the static rope for safe measures just like I would in the climbing rope)?

Thanks big time for your help!


(This post was edited by marshallgeo5 on Aug 10, 2013, 1:40 PM)


billl7


Aug 10, 2013, 4:01 PM
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Re: [marshallgeo5] Top Rope Anchor and Rappel [In reply to]
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marshallgeo5 wrote:
... assuming I don't have an overhang that would make foot placement problematic, a safe technique would to be to rig the rappell with an autoblock and clip into it. Then tie a mule knot backed up with an overhand.

I wasn't suggesting an autoblock when using the mule. Seems an autoblock (edit: on the brake strand) could be hard to deal with in this option.

marshallgeo5 wrote:
You then said to "knot the rappell rope to the anchor" but unfortunately I don't really understand the reasoning for this all too well.

You had asked is it safe to tie a mule knot and overhand with only one strand of the rappel rope?

As this is the beginner forum, I was just emphasizing that if you do this on a single strand, it best not be on free-flowing strand of a top-rope set up because, when weighted, the rope would simply flow through the master point and you'd deck. Does that make sense?

marshallgeo5 wrote:
If there is a difficult overhang, I take it that it would be safer to tie a Munter hitch with excess static rope and lower down with that instead of batmanning (obviously putting a big old knot in the end of the static rope for safe measures just like I would in the climbing rope)?

For now, I'd stay away from difficult overhangs until you have more experience with intermediate challenges. Not sure I'd be trying to rig a top-rope from above and then rap down it when a difficult overhang is involved. There are many climbs out there where about the only way to rig a top rope is to first lead the climb.

Bill L


(This post was edited by billl7 on Aug 10, 2013, 4:48 PM)


marshallgeo5


Aug 10, 2013, 5:15 PM
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That all makes sense so thanks for the help. I think I was just blending together different ideas a bit but its all clear now so thank you for your advice and patience


Syd


Aug 15, 2013, 2:36 PM
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Firstly, don't forget rope protectors on your statics. A sharp edge can quickly saw through, especially where the knots are.

Make sure you have a prusik on one of the statics to protect you as you move to the edge. Falling unroped is a common way to die. Use a separate biner to your rap biner, so you can easily disconnect it. Don't disconnect until you are ready to move over the edge to rap.

I find the easiest approach to start the rap is to sit on the edge. Hold onto one of the knots on the static and try to find a foothold. It makes things infinitely easier if you have an autolock belay device, although you should still always have one hand on the rope tail. An autolock also avoids any chance of your autoblock getting caught in your rap device, as you're trying to get organised at the top. At times starting the rap can be quite awkward. It just takes some practise. Once you get your weight onto the climbing rope, check the position of the rope protectors etc, before starting to rap. It's easy for biners to rotate and rope protectors to move as the statics adjust themselves. Where the crag is severely undercut at the top, is is usually wisest to walk down.


marshallgeo5


Aug 16, 2013, 8:11 AM
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Syd,

Thanks for your post and sorry to ask for further clarification. Could you elaborate on your use of the static rope for protection as I move to the edge? Would you attach yourself with a separate carabiner to the loose end of the static with a Munter hitch and prusik? Ive read that some people clove hitch into it. Or would you be tying into the actual static anchor (so not the excess leftover static)?

Thank you for describing the approach because that really made it clear. I typically extend my belay device with a double sling according to Petzl's suggestion and then clip the autoblock into my belay loop to avoid getting it caught in my atc. I'll be trying this out on some steeper class 3 terrain this weekend


(This post was edited by marshallgeo5 on Aug 16, 2013, 8:14 AM)


Syd


Aug 16, 2013, 2:10 PM
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When you arrive at the top of the crag, put a sling around a tree or a boulder. Clip a locking biner into it. Tie a figure 8 in the end of your static and clip it to the biner. Tie a prusik onto the static, as shown here : http://www.animatedknots.com/imagesprelim/prusik_knot.jpg
Clip a locking biner into the prusik and clip this prusik to your bely loop. Tie a knot in the pusik, just in case you slip and the prusik doesn't hold. Move the prusik along the static and walk to the edge of the cliff to check out where you are going to set up your climbing rope. Finding the right spot can be tricky. It helps to have a partner at the base of the cliff telling you where to move. On some crags with a long walk to the top, a GPS can be helpful.

Continue setting up the second anchor and the 2 opposed biners for your dynamic climbing rope.

When you are learning, I'd keep things simple and foolproof and stick to figure 8 knots on the static.

If I'm using an autoblock (French prusik) I usually put it on my leg loop, but as long as you keep it well clear of your belay device, you're OK. I would recommend buying a Mega Jul for rapping to avoid the need for the autoblock. It's very cheap, very light, very smooth.

When you move over the edge, make sure your belay device is as close as possible to the opposed biners, to minimise the distance you have to scamble down to take up tension in the climbing rope.

Every situation is different and you often need to be a bit creative. Try to minimise your climbing rope rubbing on sharp edges and of course always use rope protectors where your statics pass over sharp edges. There's even situations where using statics is impractical and you may need to rap down to lower offs. Make sure you put your climbing rope through locking biners on the lower offs to avoid wear on the lower offs in this situation.

When you are top roping big overhangs, use a fake lead. There's a great youtube video of a fellow who didn't and the video shows him swinging out and crashing into the deck. I've also seen this happen to the unwary. Tie the tail of the climbing rope to your harness, as well as the end going to the top. Clip the fake lead end into the bottom ring bolt/fixed hanger. Your belayer needs to belay both ends. If you come unstuck the fake lead will stop you swinging into the deck. It can also help you get back on if you are working on a move.


CelticGuy


Sep 2, 2013, 9:04 PM
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Re: [distantThunder] Top Rope Anchor and Rappel [In reply to]
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distantThunder wrote:
Good question.

I didn't think thru all of your description of the anchor, but basically if you are tied off to 2 solid trees you are in great shape.

1. make sure the TR biners that will hold your rope are dangling over the edge. do not lay them flat on the surface near the trees. your TR rope should not run over the top edge of the rock - that is a bad set-up.

2. as a consequence of (1), you will have static line (or slings) going over the edge to the biners where the rope feeds. pad the slings or rope if the edge is sharp - use some old T-shirt. the padding should protect the slings/rope, but not interfere with the rope feed.

3. NOW for your real question. Yeah ... remember that well. It always felt like a bit of a bitch to lower yourself over the edge and get your weight on the rappel system. Remember this ... HOLD ONTO that brake hand and NEVER let go with your brake hand. Gently work your body over the edge, and there is a small drop of 6-12 inches before your weight goes onto the rappel device. usually I just muscled this - holding the anchor system with my free hand.


Again ... you are fine so long as you never LET GO of the brake hand. People only get in trouble when they panic and release that brake hand.

then you are off and rapping.
have fun!


P.S. I do not like autoblocs and prussiks. others disagree. make up your own mind when you have more exprience.

dT
+1. I hold on to the anchor power point with my left hand and hold onto the loose rope with my right keeping in brake position. I then slowly let my right arm out until it's locked out. Then a little back step to tighten up everything. I'm especially looking for the anchor lines to be equally stressed and will side step accordingly if necessary.

Also to be clear I have a safety rope tied to a tree/bomber anchor (typically with a bowline) and clove hitched to a second biner which is also hooked into my belay/rap loop of my harness. Safety is released and left on top when I'm ready to go.

FWIW I like the Autoblock/french prusik. If you want to fast rap, hold onto the prusik. If you want slow or to take it easy use the prusik as a brake. NEVER take your hand off the brake rope.

As others have mentioned keep your belay device s close to the power point as possible. It mens you'll be on tension quicker.


(This post was edited by CelticGuy on Sep 2, 2013, 9:27 PM)


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