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Ask Dr. Piton ... about attaching your haul load to the anch
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passthepitonspete


Oct 21, 2001, 10:47 AM
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Ask Dr. Piton ... about attaching your haul load to the anch
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Nabisco writes,

"Dear Dr. Piton,

Having done a handfull of bigwalls, all with a partner, and having attemped to solo the Prodigal Sun with no avail (due to testicular shrinkage) and rock fall, I would like to pose a question for you. When hauling the bag during a solo ascent, what's the best way to unweight the pig to unclip it from the anchors when the route drifts diagonally? Tension on the haul rope doesn't do the trick. Is there an easier way???"




Ah Nabisco, a very fine question indeed, one that has been posed by solo climbers since time immemorial. In fact, if ANY wall climber who is hauling a load (and there are some speed climbers who do not) is actually CLIPPING his load to the anchors, then it is time to get out of the Dark Ages of Traditional Big Wall Technology, throw away the daisy chain attached to your haulbag once and for all because you will never use it again, and start being smart about climbing walls.

Of COURSE there is a better way! There is ALWAYS a better way. Ask Dr. Piton.

Please note:

Whenever Dr. Piton mentions Traditional Big Wall Technology,

he really means, "the STUPID way."



First of all, you should never EVER attach your haul bag to the anchor with a daisy chain clipped into a carabiner! How the heck do you think you're going to release it?

Spoken with Arnold Schwarzenegger accent:

"Maybe you are strong man and can lift ze bag with one arm while you unclip ze carabiner, ja?"

Dr. Piton NEVER struggles with unclipping weighted carabiners. This is because Dr. Piton is lazy and weak. Dr. Piton CAN'T unclip weighted carabiners because Dr. Piton is retired from free climbing. Dr. Piton has biceps like an Oscar Meyer weiner.

(Dr. Piton would also like to think he's smart enough not to set himself up to do any more work than he has to...)

Wait, I know - get your partner to pull up on the bag and then unclip it when the daisy goes slack, right?

Fine, if your partner happens to be directly above you, or if you even HAVE a partner.

What do you do when you're soloing, and your pig weighs more than you do? How the heck do you think you can unclip that daisy?

What do you do if your partner has traversed a long way to one side, and lifting on the bags does nothing to lift them from the anchor because the rope is stretched diagonally?

Oh, I know - construct a "mini-haul". Gee, Traditional Big Wall Technology is fun.....

Nabisco, the proper and ONLY acceptable way to attach your haulbag to an anchor (unless you don't know what you're doing, or you WANT to make life much harder on yourself) is by using a



LOAD RELEASE KNOT

This is a dedicated length of 6mm or 7mm perlon attached to the suspension point carabiner of your bag.

Get a piece of 6mm or 7mm cord about 15' long - double it, and tie a figure 8 on a bight in the middle. Tied this way, this now leaves you two equal ends about 7' long each.

We will call this piece of perlon a "Docking Cord" or "Docking Tether".

This bight of cord is what you clip into the suspension point locker on your pig(s). It is with this Docking Cord that you will henceforth (for ever and ever amen) attach your load to the anchor.

You will never again clip your load to the anchor with a carabiner!

"Doing things the hard way is the sport of fools."

You attach the bag to the anchor with your Docking Cord using something called a Load Release Knot tied in your Docking Cord. This is a knot which safely and securely "docks" your load to the station, yet still lets you untie the knot even when it's loaded by the weight of your bag!

This is basically a munter hitch tied double through the power point of your anchor.



How to Tie a Load Release Knot

So, your load has been hauled up to the station and now hangs from your hauling device. Take the twin ends of the Docking Cord, and pass them in parallel through your anchor's power point in the form of a munter hitch. Flip the munter around a couple times to make sure you've tied it right.

Leave it in the orientation it will remain once it becomes weighted. Take in the excess slack. After you tie the munter with both ends in parallel and take up the slack, you take the two ends of the Docking Cord and wrap them around the doubled cord itself going down to the bag. Wrap the two ends around three or four times, and secure the two ends with a few square knots (not granny
knots!).

You can click here to see a photo of the last bit.

Voila, your bag is "docked" to the power point. No stupid daisy, no stupid crab to unclip and fight and curse and swear at. (A preposition is a bad thing to end a sentence with).

When it's time to release the pig, you untie the square knot(s), unwrap the ends, and voila, your bag has a pre-rigged lower-out munter hitch that will set it free for the first few feet, after which you can use another lower-out line if needed.

The better way, incidentally, is to shorten up on your haul line as much as possible, so that your excess haul line becomes your lower-out line.



Attach the pig to an anchor with a crab?

Silly, silly, silly.

Been there, done that, never again.

And YOU'LL never do it again either, Nabisco, because you now know The Better Way.



As for your "testicular shrinkage", this is likely beyond the scope of even Dr. Piton's sagacity.

Take two Viagra, go solo a big wall, and call me in the morning.

Cheers,

Dr. Piton













[ This Message was edited by: passthepitonspete on 2002-02-22 17:56 ]


atg200


Oct 24, 2001, 12:37 PM
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Great post Pete. How about describing the Chongo haul method next(unless you know something that works better).

andrew


theooze


Nov 6, 2001, 3:07 PM
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Dr. Piton,

Looking at the other side of the equation - I was about to buy a wallhauler last year when a climbing shop guy in Cedar City, UT persuaded me to buy a Petzl Mini Traxion instead, touting its strength. This may have been shortly before the Protraxion came out; the Protraxion is similar to the mini, but with a bigger pulley and so would probably have been a better choice.

But as i understand the Wallhauler, the cam can be released by pulling the pin, correct? These Petzl units (at least my mini Traxion) have no such release. So how do you get the pig off the pulley?

I guess you could rig the pulley with a munter/mule too, but surely there's a better way.

Cordially,

Hans Chlorine


passthepitonspete


Nov 7, 2001, 2:04 AM
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Of course there's a better way.

There's always a better way!

But putting your "compound pulley" [generic term for pulley + cam as in Wall Hauler or Protraxion] on a load release knot cord could be it, at least in simple 1:1 hauling.

Dr. Piton is glad to see you're thinking...

The problem with releasing the cam on the Wall Hauler isn't pulling the pin. You can pull the pin out even while it's weighted, at least in theory. In practise it's sometimes very hard because the shell of the Wall Hauler that the pin passes through deforms a bit under load (it straightens once unloaded, so you might have to unload the weight of the bag first before you can pull the pin)

In practice, Wall Haulers can be a pain in the ass to work with...........under heavy loads like the ones Dr. Piton typically hauls (all that shower water and beer is heavy, eh?) the casing of the Wall Hauler deforms and it's hard to release the pin...........the little split ring holding the pin gets bent when you pull on it in such situations, so you end up losing the damn pin.........and of course the pin was attached to the unit with a little 3mm perlon cord that always ended up breaking...........oh, and you can't get the rope out of the Wall Hauler without taking the whole Wall Hauler off of its carabiner. The good news is that Petzl, who took over the manufacture from Rock Exotica, has replaced the cord with a wire cable. Dr. Piton found this out when he bought one from a guy at the base of the Zodiac (for an exhorbitant profit to the seller....though I had to admire his entrepeneurial spirit, and it did save me a walk down to the Mountain Shop. I found this out when I attempted to haul my load, and found the cam's teeth to be so worn that the load was slipping - - - - yeesh!)

At any rate, Dr. Piton is not a great fan of Wall Haulers (despite owning two because they were the best solution available at the time), and they continue to suffer from having such a low rated capacity (only about 200 lbs!) and are not suitable for "live loads", or at least load who you wish to KEEP alive until they reach the upper station! Dr. Piton has routinely hauled larger loads than 200 lbs. with a Wall Hauler, by the way.

The Pro-Traxion has a smaller pulley wheel than the Wall Hauler so it will be harder hauling than a Wall Hauler. But the bearings on the Wall Hauler are no hell, so you might not come out too far behind. Dr. Piton has never used a Pro-traxion (the Mini-traxion is the shit for hauling up stuff on the zipline, though!) and the Petzl website doesn't show its rating, but I seem to have this picture in my head of the Pro-traxion being able to haul 5 kN, which is a helluva lot stronger than the Wall Hauler.

The best compound pulley I've ever seen was this big honkin' heavy duty job by Kong-Bonatti. That thing had a huge pulley wheel, decent bearings, a much higher load capacity, and you could open it without unclipping it. And no stupid cord, the cam was rather like that of a Petzl ascender.

All this being said, I still haven't answered your question - how to release the cam and hence the haul line and hence the pig from the system.

I'm afraid the cord on the cam of a Wall Hauler is not your answer, Hans-y. Think about it - you can't open the cam of your ascender when you're weighting it, can you? [gee, I almost wrote "waiting" it - better a homonym than a homo, eh?]

Therefore, unless you are Arnold Schwarzenegger, you will not be able to open the cam on ANY hauling device until you first release the weight of the pig from the haul line.

There are a few solutions to this. The usual one, and the way I usually do it, is to (obviously - duh) first dock the load with the docking tether (load release knot cord) with a nice snug load release knot, then put your weight on the free end of the haul line, and crank that mofo while at the same time releasing the cam on the Wall Hauler. Then the rope is release from the Wall Hauler and goes slack as the weight of the pig is transferred to the docking tether. Easier said than done with really FAT sows, eh?But remember, if you are hanging from the haul line with all of your weight, and you reach down and grab that pig with your hand and pull upward on it for all you are worth, you are in effect lifting the pig with a 2:1 mechanical advantage, and that is the Real Big Wall Tip and the better way of first getting the haul line unweighted so you can THEN undo the cam.

Your idea of putting your hauling device on its own designated load release knot cord does have some merit, though I would personally not require it, as I am about to explain.

If my load were so very heavy that I could not release the cam by pulling up on the bag as I hang from the rope, then by definition I could not haul it with a 1:1, I had to be using a 2:1. In this case I could lift the weighted haul line with the 2:1, even, in order to release the cam.

Were I soloing, which is what I did last time with an enormously heavy load (see my ascent of Zenyatta) I used something called a Far End Hauler.

This is another topic to Ask Dr. Piton, and please don't ask until I've completed the Continuous Loop, which itself is a very detailed presentation not unlike the 2:1 hauling ratchet post in its complexity. So what I'm sayin' is, gimme a bit of time to that, then ask me about the Far End Hauler.

The idea behind the Far End Hauler is this - it allows you to haul from the haul bag, not the station.

Here are the basics - you need two Wall Haulers, one for hauling up top as per normal, and a second one mounted upside-down on the top of the pig. You can also use a garta knot (alpine clutch) or a Gri-gri.

The analogy here is to the Body Hoist as described in the "Clove Hitch vs. Gri-gri" post in Gear Heads forum, now linked to Dr. Piton forum. LOOK HERE FOR FAR END HAULER Instead of the Gri-gri being on your harness holding you in space after a fall, the Gri-gri is on the top of the pig holding it as you haul. Except that the one on top of the pig is a Wall Hauler preferably.

So the purpose of prebuilding the Far End Haul is so that when you're soloing and you find your bag gets stuck, you can rap down on the lead line to the bag, put the free end of the haul line (which is pre-rigged through the upside-down Wall Hauler on top of the pig) through a pulley on an ascender clipped to the haul line, construct the same Z-pulley setup, and haul the bag right at the bag! You get 2:1 mechanical advantage, that you can increase to 3:1 by pulling up on the bag. You can guide it around the roofs and stuff or up slabs. Works great.

Read it in the other post, and lemme know if you know what I'm talking about. Makes ya think a bit. I need to explain it more fully.

Anyway, when I soloed and hauled that pig with the 3:1 initially, when I got up to the belay and cranked the load release knot cord tight, I was able to take the free end of the rope and pass it through part of the anchor as a pulley, crank down on it, lift up on the bag enough to unweight the bag on the upper Wall Hauler, and pop the cam.

Do you "get it"? I was able to release the pin on the Wall Hauler no probs by doing it this way.

One other thing - NEVER haul with a Wall Hauler unless the pin is properly in place - the haul line WILL jump out!

Cheers,

Dr. Piton




[ This Message was edited by: passthepitonspete on 2001-11-07 02:30 ]


passthepitonspete


Nov 27, 2001, 2:32 PM
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HOLY FRIG!

Wall Haulers are flimsy little pieces of crap that should NEVER be used to haul live loads!.

Note: When we hauled Chongo up to Big Sur Ledge on Sea of Dreams for our beer keg party with Ammon and Gabe, Gabe hauled him using a Wall Hauler. Chongo was, however, backed up with a separate rope!

This is a story which I intend to include in my account of my ascent of Sea of Dreams, as soon as I get time to publish it. If anyone, however, would like to hear now about the bitchin'est big wall Keg Party ever, and hear about how Ammon and Gabe drank all of Pete's beer then sent for the summit, you will have to Ask Dr. Piton. You will also hear about how my partner Nick Ginn traversed across El Cap hundreds of feet horizontally to reach the Brothers McNeely, and how our very own El Cap Buzz climbed an unknown crackline for about eighty feet which might have been Steve Gerberding's and Scott Stowe's 1999 route "Every Man for Himself". Ammon then told Nick to tie a rope bag to the end of the rope and let the wind blow it over to him. The plan worked great thanks to their cunning creativity, and Ammon got the rope the first time, thus allowing El Cap Buzz and his brother Gabe to attend what was surely one of the BEST PARTIES in El Cap history!!!

The way you describe tying a load release knot above is the way I used to do it. I believe the doubled cord is the better way because the first slip knot in the single cord is sometimes hard to pull out. It is much easier to untwist wraps then to pop a loaded slip knot. I have used both, and I prefer the latter, though the former will work.

If you use the load release knot I have described, you can also use thinner cord.

I prefer 6mm cord for..


However I prefer 7mm cord for..



Cheers,

Dr. Piton



[ This Message was edited by: passthepitonspete on 2001-12-16 20:54 ]


bshaftoe


Mar 14, 2002, 3:19 PM
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Pete,

Could you elaborate on this bit:

Quote:Leave it in the orientation it will remain once it becomes weighted. Take in the excess slack. After you tie the munter with both ends in parallel and take up the slack, you take the two ends of the Docking Cord and wrap them around the doubled cord itself going down to the bag. Wrap the two ends around three or four times, and secure the two ends with a few square knots (not granny
knots!).


After you separate the ends coming off of the munter you say to wrap both ends around, do you oppose the two wraps and meet in the middle for the square knots?
The drawing you posted is helpful, but doesn't tell the whole story. (Plus the munter is not depicted correctly in the middle drawing.)

This seems like a very important part of this system as you utilize it to hold both the weight of the pig and yourself when doing multiple raps with the pig. (So you are literally hanging off the pig which is tied into the anchors with the releasable knot while rigging the next rap.)

Or have I missed something? (Entirely possible.)

-Shaft


bshaftoe


Mar 14, 2002, 3:34 PM
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Something like this?

http://cake.xmission.com/bwstuff/whichone.png

-Shaft

[ This Message was edited by: bshaftoe on 2002-03-15 12:22 ]


passthepitonspete


Mar 14, 2002, 4:31 PM
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Well, I'll be buggered!

Good thing someone around here is paying attention!

Yes, you're correct - the drawing on the left is wrong!

The correct way is on the right side - you take the two free ends hanging down, wrap them tightly three or four times around the "tensioned part" of the cord going down to the pig, and then tie them off with a square knot, and NOT a granny knot.

Thank you for pointing that out!

Wee-Wee the Big Wall Crab says, "Nice one, eh?"


bshaftoe


Apr 16, 2002, 10:28 AM
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I was still a little confused about this, so I got a piece of cord, some biners and tested it out. It works great and as long as you pretension the knot, it doesn't slip. (Wrap tightly, and push the wraps up towards the munter.)

I am considering using this knot on my slackline instead of the butterfly+mule knot which can be hard to release. (Especially if the mule slips down over the loop in the butterfly.)

Here is a updated drawing.

When releasing the knot, you should take care to hold on to at least one of the strands tightly when unwrapping. I have a tendency to switch hands as I unwrap the knot, as long as you are gripping at least one strand tightly the pig ain't going anywhere.

-Shaft



timpanogos


Nov 12, 2002, 12:13 AM
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"Self-Rescue", A Falcon Guide book by David Fasulo advises a mariner knot attached to the prusik, with a QD backup on the loose loop of the mariner - this is in the "escaping the belay" or passing a knot sections.

Of course if the knot slipped to the QD backup - you might as well have clipped the biner

It is butt simple to tie - any reason not to use the mariner?


P.S. maybe webbing holds better than cord on this knot? i.e. use webbing on the pig instead of the cord??

Chad

[ This Message was edited by: timpanogos on 2002-11-12 00:16 ]


apollodorus


Nov 12, 2002, 12:44 AM
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If webbing holds better than cord, you'd be better off with the cord. When you go to release the pig, you unwrap the tails of the LRK, then let the munter hitch slip until the weight of the pig is on the haul line. If there was a chance of webbing grabbing better, and maybe hanging up, it would not help.

Four or six overlapping wraps of the tails, and then finished off with a few overhand knots, will hold just about any size pig.

You can also clip the pig with a loose sling as a back-up. Just make sure you unclip the sling before you untie the load release, or you'll have to wrassle the pig to get the sling off.


timpanogos


Nov 12, 2002, 3:17 AM
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After reviewing the book, it says that a cord or sling is fine. I've personally only used regular length sewn runners in belay escape/knot passing practice. A very cool thing about this knot is that 2 runners (or a runner and a cord) can be girth hitched together with a mariner tied to an anchor on the runner side, and a presik (or klemheist/bachman) tied to the load on the other side. Thus the only equipment needed to quickly build any needed load transfer is two runners (ok and a binner/anchor) always have 2 spare runners on your personal harness!

P.S. plus, always build that upward directional anchor point (escape/anti-zipper) anchor, in addition to your downward FF2 anchor and hookup before your leader takes off.

[ This Message was edited by: timpanogos on 2002-11-12 03:20 ]


gyngve


Mar 12, 2003, 12:13 PM
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Here's the way I got taught to make a load-releasing hitch (with a cordalette):

Make the Munter hitch, and weight the loop end of the cord (by clipping it into something). Then take up all the "slack" on the cord as if belaying a follower, so the two carabiners are now touching. Then release just enough slack so that the knot flips around. This gives just enough space for about four tight wraps around the cord (that's really all the wraps you need). Then do the standard bight with knot, and chain-stitch the rest of the cord to get it out of the way. You can make it ahead of time, and it keeps its form pretty well.


passthepitonspete


Nov 15, 2003, 9:53 AM
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I was glancing through the Long-Middendorf Big Walls text in the Mountain Shop a couple weeks ago, and there is no mention whatsoever of a Docking Tether. In fact, they advocate using a mini-haul to lift your pig from the anchor! Nowhere could you find a more perfect example of Big Wall Theory which has been superseded by the Better Way.

[Ya know, I should write the sequel....]

Recently it has been suggested that using an adjustable daisy chain to tether your pig to the anchors is an easy way. While this will work in a few circumstances, there are probably more circumstances where it won't.

Save yourself the expense of another adjustable daisy, and click here to read about why using an adjustable daisy to tether your pig to the anchor is not the Better Way.

Interestingly enough, it has been Dr. Piton's observation that Docking Tethers are being used almost universally on big walls, at least in Yosemite. In years past, Dr. Piton used to frequently give "Docking Tether mini-big wall tutorials" to aspiring wall climbers, but nowadays most everyone knows.

And this, in the Doc's opinion, is a Very Good Thing.

Edit: You might find the answer to the post linked above surprising. It sure as heck surprised Dr. Piton. In fact, talking about how to secure your pig to the anchor so you don't drop it might not exactly be the Doc's greatest area of expertise.....


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