Stuck Ropes

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Damage
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2016 8:05 am
Real Name: Denton

Stuck Ropes

Post by Damage » Thu Dec 29, 2016 6:16 am

Hi guys
Recent posts on stuck ropes got me thinking
How do you (safely) deal with stuck ropes on a multi pitch abseil
First q
Is there any more scientific way to try loosen the ropes other than the pull , jiggle ,trying to send big standing waves up the rope and change of angle to get them off
Once you sure they going nowhere :0(

I get if you can reach both ropes you can jug / Prussic up

What if one End is out of reach and you can't see the jam

Micro pitches on the pulled ends ???

Anchor the pulled end and jug / climb with Some sort of self belay putting in Gear so if it comes loose you fall on to your placed gear ???


Phone a friend and pay the beer tax ??( if that's a possibility)
Your thoughts

PeterHS
Posts: 255
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:50 am
Real Name: Peter Hedley-Smith
Location: Cape Town

Re: Stuck Ropes

Post by PeterHS » Thu Dec 29, 2016 8:36 am

It happened to me. It was late in the afternoon - I think time of day and weather etc have an impact on choices and decision-making as well as the route and location - and my partner and I went back the day after and climbed down from the top with a fresh belay position. My major concern was that I didn't know the status of my ropes at the top (it was an abseil with two 60m ropes joined together) I wasn't prepared to risk anything unless absolutely sure (since then, I nearly died after a hanger on a bolted route failed - see under General Postings). My ropes could have been compromised by a dassie, rock fall or some unknown factor. All ended well and the ropes were safely recovered. Thanks for posting. Peter

Damage
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2016 8:05 am
Real Name: Denton

Re: Stuck Ropes

Post by Damage » Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:45 pm

Hey Peter
Glad you ok after the Bolt saga
Are you back on the rock yet ??
Ya I'm glad it happened where you can walk /scarmble off safely
My concerns are when you need the rope to continue further down the mountain

Tx
/d

PeterHS
Posts: 255
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:50 am
Real Name: Peter Hedley-Smith
Location: Cape Town

Re: Stuck Ropes

Post by PeterHS » Thu Dec 29, 2016 10:03 pm

Damage wrote:Hey Peter
Glad you ok after the Bolt saga
Are you back on the rock yet ??
Ya I'm glad it happened where you can walk /scarmble off safely
My concerns are when you need the rope to continue further down the mountain

Tx
/d
Thanks for asking. I am not climbing again yet - physical rather than mental reasons. My rib is still too sore to be 100% reliable and I still don't have full strength in my left hand. I will return as soon as I can though.

Fortunately, when my ropes were stuck it was at the base of the second and last abseil. Whilst my climbing partner was tempted and willing to prussik back up the ropes (both ends were with us and obviously stuck), I wasn't prepared to take the risk. We were able to walk away, consider our options, and plan how to recover the the next morning. For sure, no one else was going to take them! I think if circumstances had been different I would have spoken with my mountain rescue colleagues. I know we all have different attitudes to risk and how we manage that and I err on the safer side.

Take care,

Peter

rednicollo
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:11 am
Real Name: Nicollo Samson

Re: Stuck Ropes

Post by rednicollo » Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:38 am

Thanks for sharing your insights.

supersmeda
Posts: 37
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:31 am
Real Name: Supersmeda

Re: Stuck Ropes

Post by supersmeda » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:35 am

It happens every now and again while kloofing where you get a rope stuck.

One way we got ropes unstuck when nothing else worked was to climb up about a meter or so on the rope using a tibloc/prussik, and using your bodyweight, jump on the rope(static). This works better than pulling the rope if it is really stuck. When I used this method I could see what was above me(so if a rock would come loose, it would not fall ontop of me or I would be able to get out of the way) and I have been on the ground or just above water. I have only had to do this twice.

What we have done to prevent this situation is to use a 2l Coke bottle top and put it over the knot so that the knot can't get stuck in a small space when pulling down the rope. Secure it with duct tape.

Another thing we have done, is the last person to abseil would make sure they abseil with the knot over any place that it can possibly get stuck...normally only a meter or 2 that you abseil to get the knot over a tricky section. Always tie a knot at the bottom of your rope though. Once we started doing this I haven't had a rope stuck again.

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Nic Le Maitre
Posts: 1263
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 9:40 am
Real Name: Nic Le Maitre
Location: Stellenbosch

Re: Stuck Ropes

Post by Nic Le Maitre » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:47 pm

If possible, lead up on the free end of the rope, placeing gear as you go.

If you don't have enough free to do that, either anchor the free end or get someone to put it through a belay device. Climb up, using the rock as far as is possible, with a prusik on the rope. Place gear as you go. Should you fall and the rope come free, the prusik will hold you on the rope and your belayer will catch you.
Happy climbing
Nic

supersmeda
Posts: 37
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:31 am
Real Name: Supersmeda

Re: Stuck Ropes

Post by supersmeda » Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:43 am

Haven't thought of climbing the free end of rope with prussik. Great suggestions Nic, thanks! :thumleft:

herschel
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 5:09 pm
Real Name: Herschel

Re: Stuck Ropes

Post by herschel » Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:11 pm

Hello Everyone,

We had an interesting situation of a stuck rope over the weekend while kloofing in a popular spot. It got me thinking there is so much knowledge around in this forum how can we get that disseminated to a wider and willing to learn group of people.

While being stuck on that ledge I thought, man I wish I had more knowledge. "Stuck rope troubleshooting/problem solving in a kloofing scenario" anybody keen on teaching/sharing skills?

I'm willing to host the session in Cape Town at my house or at my office in WillowBridge. I'm willing to provide beer and pizza (if at the office) or I'm willing to braai at my house. I can even pay rand or bitcoin for the person's time and effort.

If it's a bad idea, say so, I will not take offence, but at least I tried :)

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Nic Le Maitre
Posts: 1263
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 9:40 am
Real Name: Nic Le Maitre
Location: Stellenbosch

Re: Stuck Ropes

Post by Nic Le Maitre » Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:45 am

The primary cause of stuck ropes is that the knot snags.

This is either due to not moving the knot down over the first big change of direction edge or due to the shape of the knot. I exclusively use the flat overhand knot, with at least 30cm tails, for joining ropes when kloofing/abseiling, as it has a flat side that slides easily. The last person on the abseil must make sure to move the knot down as far as necessary.

As far as a training evening goes, a better idea is to go kloofing with a bunch of very experienced people and be a sponge!
Happy climbing
Nic

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