Quantcast
It is currently Thu Nov 27, 2014 11:25 pm

All times are UTC + 2 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Assists on abseils
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:43 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:37 pm
Posts: 356
Real Name: Jonathan
Ok - me at my normal asking about ways of cheating the system, but anyway...

I take it the assist on abseil is a normal thing to do and I am not just being paranoid by always doing that.

Normally one would climb trad with 2 ropes and thus the one rope would be doubled over and abseiled on while the other rope would be used for the assist. But if going fast 'n lite, or doing a long walk-in (say doing the Bell Traverse at Didima with a climb up the Horns, Mitre etc) the routes have little gear, are of an easy grade. In such a case one may be tempted to carry just a single trad rope, if the route calls for it just tie in in the middle for 2 lines.

My question is this - if one was to do this, is there any reason why the assist on the abseil couldn't simply be done with a 30m 7mm access chord? Quite simply, if I was to start using a 7mm access chord for the assist would it be dangerous and if so, why.

Thanks in advance :thumleft:

_________________
"There is something fundamentally wrong in treating the Earth as if it were a business in liquidation." Herman E Daly


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Assists on abseils
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:31 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2008 1:21 pm
Posts: 279
Ok Gaz before everyone climbs into you, lets simplify some of your points;

1. Trad in the berg: Your choice single or double rope (the US climbers trad on singles all the time). Most SA climbers prefer to trad on double ropes because of the tangible advantages. In the US they are normally following a nice clean crack line so the gear goes easily on 1 rope. Not so mostly in SA. Ok maybe google the list of advantages of using a 2 rope system or read a good book.

2. One of the main reasons to use a 2 rope system is so that you can abseil further i.e. Tie 2 ropes together, pass through anchor, abseil on double ropes & pull the system. This implies that you know how to set up a rope so it can be pulled or you will be ascending again to release the ropes.

3. If you are climbing in the berg then forget the beginners back up rope thing & use a prussik. Once the first person has abseiled like this they can do a fireman's belay for the rest of the group. I know "big kids" stuff but hey you are already messing around in the berg. Now you are back to two ropes but can abseil a full rope length.

4. Normal disclaimer for you Gaz - get someone to show you all of this & learn it well. Here's my suggestion that you go see Gavin Raubenheimer again.

The double ropes thing is generally better, but I understand you want to cut down on weight. Most climbs in the berg were opened with ropes barely 30m long, so maybe you should make up some special shortened half ropes as that would be optimal. I think some Beal ropes can be bought by the metre. Alternatively use a single bi-colour half rope which gives you the best of all worlds in your case.

http://www.sterlingrope.com/product/155 ... olor_9.2mm
Okay I could not find a Beal at this point but I am fairly sure you will be able to get one.
Or climb single rope & use a joker...

All the best & figure out a system that enables you to climb safely. :thumright

_________________
Really, its not that bad...I think it's my shoes...


Last edited by Old Smelly on Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Assists on abseils
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:05 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:39 am
Posts: 46
Real Name: Mike J
Just use an autoblock clipped to the leg loop. Fast, simple, prevents lots of possible accidents. Also makes life much easier if you happen to be cleaning gear on rappel because you can have both hands free. The main risk to it not functioning is the knot being too close to the ATC so that the device prevents the knot from blocking -- this is why some people extend the ATC off of the donut, but you can just check and see how it sits on your harness and this might be unnecessary. More wraps = more friction. Thinner rope(s) => more wraps.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Assists on abseils
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 12:49 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:37 pm
Posts: 356
Real Name: Jonathan
Cool. Thanks.

I have set up abseils at Monteseel, Worlds View and off bolts at Rumdoodle (after having lunch on the island). I have also practiced an abseil where the gear is retrieved from the bottom - sling around a rock with a retrieval access chord. I still like to have a belay from the top if I am at all worried about my anchors though. I am yet to reach confidence in any form of pro aside from a sling around a tree or solid heavy rock (especially when abseiling).

My bug is one of those ones that can be set to auto lock Cesar recently showed me how to set this up for a belay, I guess upside-down it would auto lock on abseiling.

_________________
"There is something fundamentally wrong in treating the Earth as if it were a business in liquidation." Herman E Daly


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Assists on abseils
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:09 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2008 1:21 pm
Posts: 279
Nah Gaz the autolocking is for belaying. You must use a prussik in autoblock mode - that's why mikej said use an autoblock & I said use a prussik. Clearly you need someone to show you how to do this but lets try for a picture:

http://www.google.co.za/imgres?sa=X&esp ... 103&ty=119

That is straight from the Petzl catalogue.

Other than instructing large groups there is no real need for a back up safety line.

I do agree about the anchors though. Never abseil off an anchor you are unsure of.


Attachments:
abseildescent.jpg
abseildescent.jpg [ 117.99 KiB | Viewed 815 times ]

_________________
Really, its not that bad...I think it's my shoes...


Last edited by Old Smelly on Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Assists on abseils
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:19 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:37 pm
Posts: 356
Real Name: Jonathan
I'm going climbing with DionB tomorrow - he does the prussik lock thing, I'll get him to show me how.

Thanks for the advice though :thumleft:

_________________
"There is something fundamentally wrong in treating the Earth as if it were a business in liquidation." Herman E Daly


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Assists on abseils
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:03 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:39 am
Posts: 46
Real Name: Mike J
Ghaz, when worried about abseil anchors you can back it up with extra pro. Then send the heaviest person down first, lightest person last. Last and lightest person then has the option of removing the backup gear. E.g., you sling a chockstone, back it up with a cam/nut/whatever, and then if the chockstone holds for the heavier climbers then the lightest climber can probably safely pull the backup. Not 100% but way better than everyone just going off the chockstone with no backup.

These are the only times in climbing I've wanted to be heavier. :D

Now check out these anchors!

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/threa ... 9723&tn=40
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/threa ... 9723&tn=60


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Assists on abseils
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:16 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:37 pm
Posts: 356
Real Name: Jonathan
I have heard of a few people having to use a few chichi bushes as anchors in the Berg - mainly on the Column and Mponjwane. Often this seems to happen around midnight. I guess 7 pitches with a long walkin and heavy packs makes for a really long day...

_________________
"There is something fundamentally wrong in treating the Earth as if it were a business in liquidation." Herman E Daly


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Assists on abseils
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 4:23 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 10:39 am
Posts: 156
Location: Cape Town (mostly :) )
If you are worried about your pro, what are you anchoring the "abseil assist" (as you call it), to? If the anchors for the main line are sketchy, the likelihood of your abseil assist line being any better (if at all different) is slim, surely? If its a body belay and the main anchor pulls, there's a good chance you both die, which is noble but silly. If you "still like to have a belay from above", who belays the last person abseiling, from above?

There are systems to deal with scenarios, and these are all covered in the various courses offered by the various instructors out there so I, again, echo @oldsmelly - spend the time with an instructor.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 

All times are UTC + 2 hours


Who is online

Registered users: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot], Yahoo [Bot]


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group