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Hero Loops
Fool in the Rain
7:39:49 AM
Anybody got some advice (apart from don't use them!) about Hero Loops?
Specifically which thickness cord and what knot/s to use?

Hvae Hero Loops ever been written about in any instruction books?

I understand the concept but have never used them.
9:57:04 AM

found this dont know if it's what youre arfter but hay.


Organ Pipe
10:02:52 AM
>I understand the concept but have never used them.

For those who don't, but are keen to learn, can you elaborate?

12:34:13 PM
My concept of hero loops (checking the thread link above) is as "tie offs", as used in aiding.
For this purpose the best material is 1/2'' tubular tape, preferably sewn shut rather than knotted for easier handling. 12-15cm in (loop) length I think, can measure one at home if you're fussy on details. Unfortunately not many of the shops carry tape this thin any more (it's not strong enough for free-climbing applications).

In Australia you would mainly use them for tying off old carrots where you either (a) don't have enough brackets on long bolt ladders, or (b) are attaching yourself to a long droopy carrot and want to avoid leverage on the bolt head by tying it off close to the rock.
The other use is for tying off pins (pitons) that are only hammered in half-way, again to reduce leverage, but you won't find many of those fixed, and I hope you're not hammering in your own!

If you're referring to short steps on etriers, well, that's a whole other kettle of fish, and if you've done any aid climbing you would understand the concept.

The other bit of gear that might be referred to as a "hero loop" is a short loop of tape (same size as a tie-off) attached to the top of my etriers. This gives you a loop to clip your harness in to or (better) hook your fifi into, to take a rest, especially on steep terrain. Handy sometimes but not essential, as you can usually clip directly into the piece of gear that you're hanging from.

- Steve
3:08:04 PM
On 8/08/2006 gfdonc wrote:
> a long droopy carrot

Now there's a reassuring mental picture...
Fool in the Rain
6:33:25 PM
Specifically I'm refering to Hero Loops as tie offs on carrots for lowering off. i.e retreating. saves leaving valuable bolt plates/slings etc.
10:45:34 AM
Fair enough. I wouldn't do it, though, what are you saving?
Let's assume your worst option is to leave a biner and bolt plate .. say $15? But consider:

- you can't lower from the hero without a biner 'cos the rope will saw through.
- so you're not going to save a biner unless you rap from a single carrot with no backup (don't).
- so you're really only saving $4 perhaps? Not really substantial upside ..
and the downside is ..


Alternatively to retreat from multipitch routes I sometimes have some short pieces of 7mm cord handy. This gets tied through things (like chains) or around things to rap off. But never a single carrot with no hanger.
Fool in the Rain
4:29:38 PM
Actually I should have said ABSEILING off, not lowering off.
I think Hero Loops were used quite a bit in the 70s, 80s.

With regards to carrots, consider that 60s climbers would abseil off a single carrot fitted with a washer. The rope was just looped over the carrot and "held" in place by the washer..
6:23:55 PM
no one's said it yet so i will.....another good reason to eradicate carrots from the face of the earth.

btw - also seem to recall a slightly younger mike law rapping off a hero loop in the wolgan after leading something which no-one had a hope of seconding....the rope sawed through the loop before it had entirely pulled.....he got down fine but you would have to be stoopid to think you could use the same arrangement to lower off!!??!
Fool in the Rain
1:27:28 PM
yep, that's why I stressed I meant Rapping off, not lowering off.
There are still a few climbs at the Wolgan which end in two carrots and require Hero Loops or other gear to rap down from. One climb is "Walking in the Rain", a supposed one star 14. When I did it a few years ago I ended up at the belay to find 2 carrots and some ancient cord tied around. I decided against lowering off the carrots and traversed into the corner for a very grubby rap off a tree. Point being, I don't trust the concept of Hero Loops either, but just wanted some more information.

Nick Kaz
4:09:11 PM
I'v done that route the climbing is ok,but I remember the gear being a bit average? Although I just replaced the tat and abseiled off, the current peice of tat was a prussic of correct diameter to use as a headband, keeping my flowing locks out of my eyes Ron Kaulk style. I thought about doing what you did but decided I could tie the bolts together well enough that I would be safe doing so and abseiling.

Just because someone says that abbing off two carrots tied together with string is a bad idea doesen't mean that it is always true. Use your own judgement in each situation is the best advice.
Fool in the Rain
10:01:47 AM
Cheers Nick, I've since suggested the star be taken away from "Walking.." and given to something better (maybe Absolutely Sweet Marie) The star tempted me to check it out. I found the climb disappointing. Any advice on what kind of knots you used?
7:28:20 PM
Wasn't there many stories of these Hero Loops being the norm in the Blue Mountains? They'd get to the top, use some 1/4" cord or something, rap back down then pull the rope? Bfore the rope was all the way up the cord or whatever burnt through and the whole lot came down? Kep the top clean but littered the ground.

I could be wrong.


Nick Kaz
8:37:14 PM
On 11/08/2006 Fool in the Rain wrote:
>I found the climb disappointing. Any advice on what
>kind of knots you used?

Yeah it was ok, but not upto typical coke ovens standards eh? A letdown after doing passionate pilgrims earlier in the day, that was a classic!

I think I tied two figure eights on the ends of a large prussic then snugged the knots over each of the carrots so they wouldn't wobble off, two carrots and 2 cords that way, but it's tricky to snug the second knot all the way up with a bolt plate on one of the bolts, however this was awhile ago so the mind is a bit rusty. There are definitely better looking routes around that area.

There are 14 messages in this topic.


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