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Chockstone Forum - Gear Lust / Lost & Found

Rave About Your Rack Please do not post retail SPAM.

Poll Option Votes Graph
Yes, I use a prusik to backup most abseils. 52
53% 
No, I don't use a prusik to backup most abseils. 46
47% 

 Page 1 of 3. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 41
Author
Simple Poll: Prusik style backup to abseil or not
patto
3/01/2013
2:03:27 PM
Simple Poll: Prusik style knot backup to abseil or not

Of course every situation is different, I like many climbers, base my choices on the situation. However please choose the option that you default to for a 'normal' abseil when you are the first to descend (as such a fireman's belay is not possible).


(This topic has naturally been discussed and polled numerous times. I'm just trying to get a read based on the simplified YES/NO response.)

Thanks.

E. Wells
3/01/2013
7:24:10 PM
Totally! I recently ran down to bolt a project after work and set my 9mm rap line only to realise I had left all forms of belay/abseil device at home. So with a munter I embarked on the huffing puffing cussing task, but if I didnt have a prussic I would never have even considered it. Jumaring was a bit of an ass though.

Ben_E
3/01/2013
8:44:43 PM
Seems likely that the same anal-retentive climbers that abseil with prusiks (I ticked "Yes" by the way, so include myself in that category) are overrepresented in the cohort of folks who actually bother to respond here.

I certainly don't 'recon I see >50% of people at the crags use them.

Maybe you'd be better off sitting in a deck chair (there's a few going free at Araps, I understand) at the base of popular routes making some empirical observations? I'd be willing to contribute by sitting at the base of a climb for a day with a note-pad in return for some beer...
patto
3/01/2013
9:23:21 PM
On 3/01/2013 dangermouth wrote:
>Totally! I recently ran down to bolt a project after work and set my 9mm
>rap line only to realise I had left all forms of belay/abseil device at
>home. So with a munter I embarked on the huffing puffing cussing task,
>but if I didnt have a prussic I would never have even considered it. Jumaring
>was a bit of an ass though.

FYI, a munter-hitch is actually a very high friction way of descending. In lab test it stands high and above all non locking assisted friction devices (Jim Titt). Having used it regularly for a period of time I have as much trust in this method as any other friction device. That said the twisting it causes is a massive pain in the ass and can in some circumstance increase the danger.

I've never ever used a prusik backup when using a munter hitch to rappel.


On 3/01/2013 Ben_E wrote:
>Seems likely that the same anal-retentive climbers that abseil with prusiks
>(I ticked "Yes" by the way, so include myself in that category) are overrepresented
>in the cohort of folks who actually bother to respond here.
>
>I certainly don't 'recon I see >50% of people at the crags use them.

I absolutely agree with this comment.

I'm not generally an anal-retentive climber, as such I voted NO. My only recognised anal-retentiveness is about dumping ropes where cars drive. The amazingly rare but recorded incidents of car battery acid resulting is scary rope breakages are enough to make me very paranoid of this risk.

However if I do set up a prusik style backup then I set it up using an extended abseil device. This method is a pain in the ass compared to other straight forward abseils and backup methods however I consider it the most robust and safe method. If I am going to the trouble of setting up a backup then I want to make sure it is as reliable as possible!
patto
3/01/2013
9:28:15 PM
The other big controversy that I dare not begin to poll is the spelling of "prusik". I am so much lost on the "correct" spelling that I can't even be consistent within my own writings without checking past posts and text.

Prussic, prussik, prusic, prusik, prussick, prussick.... Honestly I have no idea!
dave1962
3/01/2013
9:29:42 PM
had a mate tear his bicep while abseiling, if he did not have a prusik he would have hit the deck ! good to back it up and be safe

miguel75
3/01/2013
9:36:20 PM
On 3/01/2013 dave1962 wrote:
>had a mate tear his bicep while abseiling, if he did not have a prusik
>he would have hit the deck ! good to back it up and be safe

Freak nasty. How'd he/she/it manage that? I tore my bicep, (and one of the bicep heads off the bone) cartwheeling 600 feet down the Upper Cirque at Snowbird... Also, I may, or may not, have sustained brain damage in the same stack:)
patto
3/01/2013
9:58:30 PM
This discussion has always been and will forever be somewhat controversial. For this reason I avoided bringing up my opinion in my opening post. Ultimately it is up to individuals and the personal approach to risk. I can't fault the choice made.

That said the debate nerve has been touched by dave1962's comment. :-)

On 3/01/2013 dave1962 wrote:
>had a mate tear his bicep while abseiling, if he did not have a prusik
>he would have hit the deck ! good to back it up and be safe

IMO this sounds similar to many other counterfactual arguments involving safety. Attributing choices as life saving when the alternative wasn't observed is often seen in the promotion of safety choices. I will not debate the individual choices of others on this issue. However I will debate people using counterfactual arguments to support their choices! Short of sudden loss of conciousness it is very hard to argue conclusively that a backup save the abseiler life. Sudden loss of conciousness is extraordinary rare, and creates a lethal danger in numerous other climbing situations beyond abseiling.

When a person knows that failure will directly result in an a significant incident then the the occurrence of failure is exceedingly rare. Safely controlling an abseil would generally not significant stress of the biceps. In the event of the failure of the biceps I would still expect my forearm grip to provide significant control to the decent.

I once broke my scapula while on lead when climbing. Despite significant pain no fall resulted. The pitch was completed in significant pain as this was the easiest solution under the multi pitch traversey circumstances. After obtaining a safe anchor, and having the option of assistance at the ledge, I quickly found that even the task of pulling in slack was beyond my acceptable pain threshold. The point being that when the situation calls and life and severe injury is directly threatened most of us are capable of considerable performance in the face of pain.

wallwombat
3/01/2013
11:02:35 PM
Obviously ODH is away.
patto
3/01/2013
11:14:19 PM
I just spat my drink over my keyboard!
widewetandslippery
3/01/2013
11:59:25 PM
I do that all the time but its counterfactual

ajfclark
4/01/2013
9:37:26 AM
I'm not sure this helps with either side of the argument, but it does involve abseiling and a prussic:

There's some discussion here: http://www.bogley.com/forum/showthread.php?62220-Rap-accident-in-Rubio-Canyon-60-fall

Groveller
4/01/2013
10:05:36 AM
I wonder if moisture was a big factor in this accident. Film recorder sounds like Shaggy off Scooby Do. Also I usually rap with both sides of the rope through the belay device. Is this better than just one rope?
patto
4/01/2013
10:54:44 AM
I did see that and have read the discussion of that accident. That is exactly why I am not comfortable with the notion that clipping a prusik to your leg loop provides a trustworthy backup.

On 4/01/2013 Groveller wrote:
>I wonder if moisture was a big factor in this accident. Film recorder
>sounds like Shaggy off Scooby Do. Also I usually rap with both sides of
>the rope through the belay device. Is this better than just one rope?

There are a few distinct advantages of rapping off a single strand when in a canyoning environment. Most prominently these are to aid rescue and to enable selection of the exact length of the rope during abseil.
Dave_S
4/01/2013
11:56:22 AM
On 4/01/2013 patto wrote:
>I did see that and have read the discussion of that accident. That is
>exactly why I am not comfortable with the notion that clipping a prusik
>to your leg loop provides a trustworthy backup.

This, and the fact that if you flip upside down then your leg loop would be right next to your belay device, it why rather than clipping the prussik to my leg loop, I extend the belay device with a 60cm sling basket hitched through the tie-in loops, and then clip the prussik to my belay loop. Problem solved.
mikllaw
4/01/2013
12:14:26 PM
I've done it once only, in 1973, it saved my life. I haven't bothered with it since...
bones
4/01/2013
12:25:52 PM
On 4/01/2013 Dave_S wrote:
I extend the belay device with a 60cm sling basket hitched
>through the tie-in loops, and then clip the prussik to my belay loop. Problem
>solved.

Does this make awkward raps (where it's hard to weight the rope over an edge due to the location of the anchor) more awkward?
mikllaw
4/01/2013
12:54:15 PM
On 4/01/2013 Dave_S wrote:
> I extend the belay device with a 60cm sling basket hitched
>through the tie-in loops, and then clip the prussik to my belay loop. Problem
>solved.

This is good if you are rapping with a beginner. You can set them up on the rope and then rap yourself. The rope doesn't crush them uinder your weight. You can then give them a fireman's belay when they come down.
martym
4/01/2013
4:45:59 PM
On 4/01/2013 ajfclark wrote:
>I'm not sure this helps with either side of the argument, but it does involve
>abseiling and a prussic:

I haven't read the discussion on the linked site, so maybe they discuss it - but why is he rapping on only a single strand when two are clearly available? That may have caused the autoblock to fail, as it was of similar width to the single strand of rope.

ps. I use a prussick when I feel nervous, and when i know the area or can see where I'm going generally don't - probably the worst thing to do, as you're more likely to fall when complacement & less likely when being overcautious...

Sabu
4/01/2013
5:33:26 PM
On 3/01/2013 patto wrote:
>The other big controversy that I dare not begin to poll is the spelling
>of "prusik". I am so much lost on the "correct" spelling that I can't
>even be consistent within my own writings without checking past posts and
>text.
>
>Prussic, prussik, prusic, prusik, prussick, prussick.... Honestly I have
>no idea!

Our cat is called prusik and I find I have exactly the same problem (I even had to double check the spelling before posting this..)!

p.s. I generally don't use a backup when abseiling. I might consider it if circumstances arose where I thought it a good idea (eg loose rock everywhere) though.

 Page 1 of 3. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 41
There are 41 messages in this topic.

 

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