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In need of simul-rappelling tips.
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natec


Mar 27, 2002, 1:47 PM
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In need of simul-rappelling tips.
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I have never simul-rapped before but I have been considering it as a time saver for getting off of multipitch climbs.

What would be the proper way to rig this? What are some of the pros and cons of simul rappelling?
Has anyone used this technique before to their advantage?



atg200


Mar 27, 2002, 2:16 PM
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No, it isn't a time saver. Rappelling is dangerous enough already without adding more load to anchors and adding more complexity.

I've simulrappelled a lot to get off spires in the SD Needles without leaving fixed gear, and when I was young and stupid I did it a few times to get off Devils Tower rap routes faster(though it never works out that way).


addiroids


Mar 27, 2002, 2:39 PM
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I agree with Andrew. Simul rapping is cool if you are just screwing around at Josh and want to practice it, but in general, it is not necessary.

First of all, the first person down can have all the room in the world to get off rappel, and start feeding the "Pull-side" rope through the new anchors. He/she can also figure out a good place for the second to come down and where to anchor. Maybe even rig up a few slings to clip into.

Secondly, if you are doing it right (and there isn't a ton of wind), it should take way less time for the second to come down than the first.

However, one advantage is that if it is raining, you don't want to be the first guy down, because you wringe the rope out onto your lap. So maybe rapping on 1 rope each might share the "wet crotch" between you.

Basically it isn't that much of a time saver, and it doubles the force on the anchors. Not too big of an issue on granite, but I was not liking the drilled angles in Arches and didn't want both Andrew and my fat butts hanging off that choss-pile anchor.

TRADitionally yours,

Cali Dirtbag


bradhill


Mar 27, 2002, 4:17 PM
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Don't do it!


Rappelling seems comfortable and easy but it is the most dangerous part of the climb. Simul-rapping is REALLY dangerous. Think about it- if the anchor fails, if one or the other of you drops the rope, if the rope gets cut, one of you gets hit by rockfall, etc., you're both dead. In a normal climbing situation, this stuff is just a backup. On rappell, you're trusting your life to it entirely. Too many single points of failure for a pair of lives!


Mark Twight in Extreme Alpinism strongly recommends that the second not even be clipped into the rap anchor while in use by the first, in case it fails. Look up Jean Cristophe Lafaille's epic on Annapurna if you don't think it's worth it.


The proper way to rap is to have the heaviest climber go down first with unweighted backup anchors. The second can then clean the backups and go for it only if the primary anchor never budged.


If you have to simul rappell (maybe there's a storm coming fast that will kill you if you don't descend fast) then try to at least use two sets of ropes through the anchor. Using an autoblock, always important, becomes triply so if you're forced to simul-rap on a single rope. (but s--- would have to be hitting the fan BAD before I went there!)


kelownaclimber


Mar 27, 2002, 4:28 PM
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I agree,simul-rapping is something that very seldom saves time and can kill not one of you but Both if either one makes a mistake!!I've done it numerous times with my climbing partner of 10 years and would not even think of doing with anyone else,niether of us found it shaved more than a couple of minutes off our descent time!


Partner rrrADAM


Mar 27, 2002, 4:30 PM
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Wow... Karen and I do it all the time, and she weighs 120 and I weigh 180... We've never had any problems... And as Andy said, at some places that's the only way down.

It can be a pian to drag the rope down off of spires though, and can be hell on the sheath of your rope, when rapping off horns, chock stones, or spires.



rrrADAM


natec


Mar 27, 2002, 6:43 PM
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Thanks for your advice everyone. I'm going to bag that idea on the fact that all of your combined experiences advise against it.


passthepitonspete


Mar 29, 2002, 7:48 AM
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Another consideration I'm not sure if anyone mentioned is this:

After rapping down, the first person down gets off the rope and tests to see if he can pull it down. Is that rope going to slide OK? Did you set it up right?

How many times have you rapped where you bugger up the ropes and can't pull them down? (It's happened to me more than once, and that was plenty)


atg200


Mar 29, 2002, 8:00 AM
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Great point Pete. In addition to that, it makes it just about impossible to pull the knot over an edge partway down a rappel, which I do constantly to prevent stuck ropes in the desert.


fishbait


Mar 29, 2002, 10:26 AM
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Hey Natec, don't give up on simul-rapping. It's just another useful tool to use in your climbing arsenal to get you off of pinnacles, boulders, spires, etc... I don't think you'll ever have to do it from anchors but it's a great way to get you off of things when anchors aren't available or possible. It's a common way to get off some of the spires in the Needles-South Dakota, like Atg200 said. Practice it in a controlled (safe) situation with a reliable partner and then save it for when you really need it...


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