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timd


Jan 3, 2005, 7:41 PM
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New Years rope slashing
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There we were, the first climb of 2005. I was on lead and climbing beautifully. As I was nearing the top out disaster struck! I was still about 20 feet from the anchors and just placed my 3rd. screw. I reached higher and got bomber placements with my tools. I step up with my right foot to kick into the ice. WRONG!, I hit something very soft and there wasn't that audible sound we are all familiar with. I look down at my brand new rope at the same time my fiance' says "honey you kicked the rope". To my horror I see a frayed rope 3 feet below me. To my suprise I didn't panic, although a sense of dread flowed through me. I looked down to the rope again, to my fiance' back to the rope and then to the anchors. I had but only one choice I felt. I could not weight the rope and I could not fall. I went for the anchors.

Setting up a belay stance in which to anchor so that I may tie into a safer part of the rope didn't occur to me. Why, I do not know. There was such a sense of urgency that the logical thought process seemed to disappear. I was on auto pilot. I get to the anchors and tie off to them. I then bring up the rope for closer inspection. I could not believe my eyes, I just hung off the anchors for a few minutes staring at the damage. My rope was cut 3/4 of the way through! I didn't have a knife so I tied back on so that the bad rope was just part of a long tail that I tucked into my pocket, and lowered off. That was the scariest lead of my life. And my new rope that was being used for the first time is now three feet shorter.

Happy New Year!


Partner euroford


Jan 3, 2005, 9:04 PM
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good job keeping it together bro!


kungfuclimber


Jan 4, 2005, 1:40 PM
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Look up the knot "Alpine butterfly". It is easy and quick to tie and would be the very first thing I'd do in your situation to isolate the weak part in the rope.

Good job keeping your head on.


granitegod


Jan 4, 2005, 2:21 PM
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...that is reason 17 why I don't ice climb....with my big clumsy feet I would fer sure do the exact same thing!


david.yount
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Jan 4, 2005, 3:03 PM
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Look up the knot "Alpine butterfly". It is easy and quick to tie and would be the very first thing I'd do in your situation to isolate the weak part in the rope.

Great job keeping it together!!

Alpine Butterfly knot is the best choice to isolate a weak point in a rope.

Considering you're specific circumstances a Figure-8 On a Bight is likely far easier to tie, one handed.

The idea behind each solution is to place the point where the rope is weakened in the bight.

david yount.


johnson6102002


Jan 4, 2005, 3:47 PM
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thats scary!

but nice job staying with it and not freaking out!!
i saw a freind put an axe right through the rope and out the otherside into the ice but the rope was not sliced like yours just a puncture. (on top rope)


sandstone


Jan 4, 2005, 4:56 PM
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I agree with the others, good job of keeping your head together.

Two ropes is the only way to go for ice climbing IMHO. I love my dual 8.5's.


sir_chalkalot


Jan 4, 2005, 5:11 PM
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In reply to:
Alpine Butterfly knot is the best choice to isolate a weak point in a rope.

Considering you're specific circumstances a Figure-8 On a Bight is likely far easier to tie, one handed.

The figure-8 knot is not safe for this purpose as it forms an abnormal figure-8 (live ends enter on same side). It's the same configuation that is warned against for joining two ropes for rapelling. The figure-8 will roll off the end under relatively small loads.

George.


Partner holdplease2


Jan 4, 2005, 5:42 PM
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*Warning*

opinion from someone who is NOT an ice climber ahead:

IMO anyone who ice climbs on a single line, or ice climbs period who has not thought about precisely what they would do in a circumstance where a rope is damaged by ice tools or crampons is sorely unprepared to be ice climbing.

Glad you are safe, but wondering why you had no plan other than "don't fall" in this situation where so many potentially safer options existed.

Climb prepared folks, "it won't happen to me" may not be the best way to think and "I won't fall" is along the same lines, IMO.

*end of inappropriate opinion by the inexperienced*

-Kate.


johnson6102002


Jan 4, 2005, 5:42 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Alpine Butterfly knot is the best choice to isolate a weak point in a rope.

Considering you're specific circumstances a Figure-8 On a Bight is likely far easier to tie, one handed.

The figure-8 knot is not safe for this purpose as it forms an abnormal figure-8 (live ends enter on same side). It's the same configuation that is warned against for joining two ropes for rapelling. The figure-8 will roll off the end under relatively small loads.

George.

it would have been better than nothing


sandbag


Jan 4, 2005, 6:08 PM
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In reply to:
*Warning*

opinion from someone who is NOT an ice climber ahead:

IMO anyone who ice climbs on a single line, or ice climbs period who has not thought about precisely what they would do in a circumstance where a rope is damaged by ice tools or crampons is sorely unprepared to be ice climbing.

Glad you are safe, but wondering why you had no plan other than "don't fall" in this situation where so many potentially safer options existed.

Climb prepared folks, "it won't happen to me" may not be the best way to think and "I won't fall" is along the same lines, IMO.

*end of inappropriate opinion by the inexperienced*

-Kate.

Good enough Kate! :)

Its one of the things you encounter, 4 appendages swinging sharpies around, you got to be careful. He mentions not sinking a 'bail' screw because if you lose your rope entirely, youre SOL until someone can bring a new thread up or down to you too. But sinking one and then pulling up the rope would have been the most rational thing to do, and sometimes rational thought escapes.
Theres no coincidence why the words panic and death have the same number of letters in them......
One of the many nuances of the world of slow moving water


david.yount
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Jan 4, 2005, 6:13 PM
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In reply to:
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Alpine Butterfly knot is the best choice to isolate a weak point in a rope.

Considering you're specific circumstances a Figure-8 On a Bight is likely far easier to tie, one handed.

The figure-8 knot is not safe for this purpose as it forms an abnormal figure-8 (live ends enter on same side). It's the same configuation that is warned against for joining two ropes for rapelling. The figure-8 will roll off the end under relatively small loads.

George.

The Figure-8 knot is a fine choice for isolating the cut bit of rope, it adds sublime safety to the situation as presented.

Granted, an Alpine Butterfuly would be much more elegant and perhaps safer but it's quite impossible to tie one-handed (assuming he could only free one hand to tie a knot). (Further, I don't recall ever seeing any tests performed on the Alpine Butterfly, certainly no one would use it to join two lines together, though the Figure-8 may be used to join two lines together)

True, a poorly dressed and set Figure-8 has been proven to provide less holding power than a correctly fashioned Figure-8 knot, but even a poorly formed Figure-8 showed significant strength.

The failure mode for a Figure-8, joining two lines together with rope tails on the same side of the knot, is to invert. It inverts once, walking toward the tails. If the tails are very short the knot may fail (the two ropes will come apart, or in this sitation of isolating the crampon cut the weak point of the rope will be exposed to the falling force). If force is applied to the knot once again, the knot may invert a second time. Eventually the Figure-8 knot may walk time and time again until the knot walks off the tails.

However, the forces measured when the knot inverted were higher than should be generated by conservative rappelling. The Figure-8 knot was never claimed dangerous for joining two ropes used for rappelling, but a limitation was learned, in the lab.

Ultimately, nobody has any idea how this cycular loading failure mode in the testing lab relates to a single load caused while lead falling. I speculate that a Figure-8 on a Bight might invert once when subject to the huge force of a lead fall (as opposed to the much lower force from jerky rappelling). It might invert twice. But with sufficient "tails" it would be safe because I speculate it would not continuously invert 5 or 6 times. But nobody knows.

But you bring up a worthy point to consider. Why use the aging Figure-8 on a Bight to isolate the crampon cut, when it has been shown in the lab that the Overhand on a Bight is a somewhat superior knot! Bravo!

I advocate using the Overhand on a Bight to isolate the crampon cut, and it's quicker and easier to tie one-handed than the Figure-8 and certainly versus the Alpine Butterfly. Again, make sure the "tails" are sufficiently long so that if the Overhand knot inverts, it won't roll right off. But nobody knows how this knot might perform under the large forces of a lead fall either.......

Ultimately, Kate made a poignant illustration. Consider using half ropes or twin ropes.

David Yount.


rendog


Jan 4, 2005, 6:25 PM
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IMO anyone who ice climbs on a single line, or ice climbs period who has not thought about precisely what they would do in a circumstance where a rope is damaged by ice tools or crampons is sorely unprepared to be ice climbing.

Glad you are safe, but wondering why you had no plan other than "don't fall" in this situation where so many potentially safer options existed.

Climb prepared folks, "it won't happen to me" may not be the best way to think and "I won't fall" is along the same lines, IMO.

*end of inappropriate opinion by the inexperienced*

-Kate.

exactly kate.

it would be like aiding with a single line. if that line gets damaged, you'd better know what the hell to do to be able to get off the climb.

for myself, I've climbed ice many many times with a single line. sometimes halfs are just too much bother to deal with on the easier one pitch climbs. I probably would've done the same thing and fired for the station. but that';s just me. nice work keeping the noggin together

but if I were on some horror show where i was up on a scary chunk of ice where the station was still sways away and i was above my belay, say half way or something...I'd most likely try to sink a bomber screw, clip in, pull up the rope, tie in with a figure 8 on a bight, knock down a shot of whiskey, and keep going.

that's just a couple different scenarios. it would really depend on the situ eh Kman?


timd


Jan 4, 2005, 7:57 PM
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There are no inappropriate responses. I appreciate the feedback on my experience. They say that hinsight is 20/20 and I believe it. As I stated in my original post, rational thought was not with me. I saw the top and went for it. The luxury of hanging out and thinking through the situation was at the time, out of the equation. As I look back there were options available to me, lessons learned I guess. And yes a double rope system is definately in the future.

Thanx

Tim


flying_dutchman


Jan 4, 2005, 9:12 PM
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knock down a shot of whiskey, and keep going.

That makes the decision to continue all the more easier doesn't it?


Partner gunksgoer


Jan 4, 2005, 9:18 PM
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i dont ice climb, but if i ever start its only gonna be on 1/2 ropes, no way would i ever lead ice on a single line.


kungfuclimber


Jan 5, 2005, 11:38 AM
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Granted, an Alpine Butterfuly would be much more elegant and perhaps safer but it's quite impossible to tie one-handed (assuming he could only free one hand to tie a knot). (Further, I don't recall ever seeing any tests performed on the Alpine Butterfly, certainly no one would use it to join two lines together, though the Figure-8 may be used to join two lines together)
David Yount.

Well Dave, I'm not looking to contradict however I'd like to counter two things. The first is that an Alp. Butterfly is not impossible to tie with one hand if you also use your teeth. Tricky yes, harder than an overhand certainly, but by no mean impossible. The second point is that no one would use the Alp. B. knot to join two ropes. The picture below will show how I do exactly that when I'm doing a one rope rap (ie gri-gri). For a double I, like everyone else should, use an overhand a.k.a. EDK.

nice to read a civil thread. :D
http://www.rockclimbing.com/...mp.cgi?Detailed=3726


timd


Jan 5, 2005, 7:55 PM
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Uh-----that looks a little complicated for the situation, I think an overhand on a bight would of worked. Besides my whole body was really tense at the time. I just went for it and retied to my harness once I got up top.


col


Jan 5, 2005, 8:47 PM
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my brother was climbing with a guy once. He held a rope momentarily in his mouth while doing something (not sure what) then he fell and pulled a couple of his teeth out. :( So while i would still tie a knot using my teeth rather than fall, I wouldn't make a habit of it. Then again, this is just more advice from the unqualified


akclimber


Jan 6, 2005, 1:17 AM
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id have free soloed like you. though everyone does have a good point on the overhand. when im climbing tho, tend to forget about the knots, ropes, sometimes belayer... and focus on climb


sandstone


Jan 6, 2005, 5:40 AM
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... He held a rope momentarily in his mouth while doing something (not sure what) then he fell and pulled a couple of his teeth out....

Last February I was on Pinnacle Gully, belaying my second up the steep(er) pitch. We were on the right side, and another team was coming up on the left side of the Gully. Their leader was climbing with a single rope, and he was futzing around quite a bit setting up his belay. I have no idea what all the fuss was about, but he was sure taking a long time to set up a belay. I was pretty preoccupied belaying my partner up, because my ropes had gotten very wet on the pitch and had frozen into thick stiff cables that had to be cleared of ice and forced through the belay device.

The other leaders rope starts sliding away from him, snaking its way down the pitch. It had a figure 8 knot in the end, with a biner clipped to it, it stopped at the last screw below his belay. He looked down at his rope with eyes as big as pancakes, then looked at me with those same eyes. I offered to get his rope and take it back up to him, but since he was past the major difficulties he decided to solo back down and get it himself. I figured I was about to witness a fatality, but he held it together and managed to retrieve his rope and get back up to his belay.

Only thing I can figure is that he had attached the rope to himself with a biner, instead of tying directly into the harness, and he had made the mistake of unclipping that biner when he was setting up his cluster of a belay.


kailas


Jan 6, 2005, 7:42 AM
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You would have to kick pretty hard to cut through your rope, I've
kicked my ropes a million times, they become frayed about four feet
from the end, but never 3/4 of the way thru. You'll see beginner and
bad climbers kicking and hacking the ice like mad men, this is poor
technique.


rendog


Jan 6, 2005, 8:15 AM
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kailas:

I guess you've never worn Footfangs huh? that's all that bridge between the front points was really good for was chopping your rope with one good kick.

it is Possible to partially sever the rope with a good solid kick, even with regular crampons. I've seen it happen. I've never done it personally, but it has happened.

and yes hacking at the ice is poor technique, however, onlly with time can the neophyte iceclimber learn how to climb without hacking everything to bits. A bit of time either with someone who knows what they're doing or a bit longer on thier own, and they will learn the finer points of climbing without shedding very much ice, climbing delicate lacy ice that will blow apart if you look at it wrong, Also getting to the point where you hardly have to kick your feet anymore, and you can just use your points like climbing shoes and just place them on the features in the ice displacing even less ice and conserving GADS of energy


punk


Jan 6, 2005, 8:24 AM
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Ropes are overrated, solo thatís where its at.
Just go with 2 screws fifi hook and a daises chain so ya can fire one or two in mid pitch and rest and a 230í of 7mm, Abakalov hook, Knife, and rap device to get ya down
:D


rendog


Jan 6, 2005, 8:53 AM
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now your talking my language Punk

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