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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

Author
Simul rappel without the simul danger

ironcheff
27/05/2014
10:41:56 AM
I like the idea of the time saving that can be made with simul rappelling, especially if youíre running out of light. Iíve never been game to do it though due to the added risk. I thought of this system that takes the added risk out of the equation and looking for some feedback.
Thread the anchors as per normal. Either side of the anchors tie an alpine hitch, one in each strand, connect the 2 hitches together with a locking biner. Both strands can now be weighted and rappelled independent of the other.
Itís practicality is limited to parties of 3 or more people with the last person down removing the alpine hitches and rappelling on double ropes as per normal.
hotgemini
27/05/2014
10:48:33 AM
What specifically is the risk about which you are concerned?

Put knots in the ends of the ropes, put the heavier climber on the 'blocked' side of the abseil, if that doesn't put your mind at ease, clip a 120cm sling between the two climbers.

Your setup screams of a physical 'solution' to an entirely psychological 'problem'.

phillipivan
27/05/2014
10:55:45 AM
There aren't that many places to climb in Australia where the time you stand to save by simul rapping is meaningful. On larger objectives your party sized will probably be determined by factors other than 'ease and saftey of simul rapping' and you will adapt as appropriate to whatever degree you are comfortable with.

That said, with a bit of care it's not hard to do with a party of two and avoid catastrophe. Probably the real issue is that it's a skill that may not get used until people are tired/stressed/rushing and that increases the likelyhood of mistakes.

sbm
27/05/2014
10:58:00 AM
What you want is a stone knot.

I found the time saved faffing around trying to simul rap "safely" is usually less than the time saved just by rapping the normal way efficiently.
martym
27/05/2014
11:16:16 AM
What you've described is what a lot of canyon leaders do - ensure everyone goes down on independent strands; then put the leader at risk by undoing the knot (by "at risk" I mean only in comparisson to the punters - every other canyoneer wouldn't bother with the knot.)

As per simul-sailing - you would generally abseil much slower; which negates your issue of beating benightment.

Who draws the short straw, getting stuck at the top, in the dark, untying heavily weighted knots?
martym
27/05/2014
11:20:10 AM
On 27/05/2014 sbm wrote:
>What you want is a stone knot.
>

Why wouldn't you clip the biner into the anchor?
peteclimbs
27/05/2014
11:27:23 AM
My partner and I will simul rap pretty regularly if the setup allows. I agree that in a lot of cases the benefits can be outweighed by the added faff, particularly getting comfortable and organised at the rap station.

On the perception of the additional danger, the one that probably freaks people out is the idea that if one of you loses control of the rap and plummets to the bottom then you're both toast. Making sure that both of you back up the rappel with a friction hitch (and are comfortable using it) goes a long way to managing that concern. Extending the ATC away from your harness and a prusik on the break hand is my preference and only takes a second to set up.

If you both have gri gris then even better.

ajfclark
27/05/2014
11:46:15 AM
On 27/05/2014 peteclimbs wrote:
>Extending the ATC away from your harness and a prusik on the break hand is my preference and only takes a second to set up.

I think you mean brake hand.
peteclimbs
27/05/2014
11:51:42 AM
Indeed I do.
patto
27/05/2014
12:59:16 PM
On 27/05/2014 peteclimbs wrote:
>My partner and I will simul rap pretty regularly if the setup allows.
>I agree that in a lot of cases the benefits can be outweighed by the added
>faff, particularly getting comfortable and organised at the rap station.
>
>On the perception of the additional danger, the one that probably freaks
>people out is the idea that if one of you loses control of the rap and
>plummets to the bottom then you're both toast. Making sure that both of
>you back up the rappel with a friction hitch (and are comfortable using
>it) goes a long way to managing that concern. Extending the ATC away from
>your harness and a prusik on the break hand is my preference and only takes
>a second to set up.
>

The notion of using a friction hitch and extended belay device laughs in the face of any time saving benefits of simul-rapping. Simul rapping has few real world uses beyond having a laugh.

Of course in real adventure terrain there is also a good chance that the rope hasn't dropped correctly and needs to be sorted out. Doing this on simul-rap is not an exciting prospect.


Given that rapping is about the highest risk per minute activity that climbers do, trying to hasten a rap is not especially wise. There are few situations where the risk of not getting down fast enough is greater than the risk of rapping carefully. (Lightning storm is often described as one situation.)
peteclimbs
27/05/2014
1:29:30 PM
> The notion of using a friction hitch and extended belay device laughs in the face of
>any time saving benefits of simul-rapping.

No it doesn't. I back up raps anyway, whether simul'ing or not.

Macciza
27/05/2014
1:37:46 PM
And for the people without the psychological issues . . .
Done a fair amount of simul-rapping with Zac over the years, it can be great fun . . .
Sometimes its simply easier then bothering about alternatives, or because we've only got grigris or whatever, basically for basic raps its about as basic as you can get; and sorting out rope snafus can be quite exciting sometimes, like both on sticht plates and no prussiks etc, but is usually boring and straight forward . . .
Sometimes in order to overtake slower parties accessing lower cliff lines - that can be fun. Overtook heaps of people out at Walls Ledge by simul rapping down Weaselburger or something and just stopping at some random ring to rebelay, down in no time at all, particularly the final bit where one of forgot for a moment what we were doing . . .

Re loss of control issues - abseiling is usually a far more controlled event then catching a big leader fall, being pulled off balance or into the cliff could lead you to lose control of the rope when belaying; why aren't people worried and protecting against this possibility with friction hitches as well ..?

Pat
27/05/2014
1:50:40 PM
Simul rapping
>has few real world uses beyond having a laugh.
>
>

One use that I have put it to is getting down off an undeveloped cliff that had a large stone horn. Partner and I rapped down both side of the horn at the same time. Just a few moments were had as we got the weighting of the ropes at the same time sorted out. Otherwise agree with your post, but we did have a real world use and had a laugh at the same time.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
Online Now
27/05/2014
1:58:45 PM
Simul-abseils.

It is a useful technique to know, and have in the bag of tricks experience.

I have found it most useful when topping out on short climbs such as 'higher than highball' boulders, with no anchor options on top of same.
My climbing partner and I have often gotten off such items safely* (* a relative term), by simul-abseiling off either side of the rounded top with the rope simply laid out between us...
Ron McD
27/05/2014
2:56:24 PM
we use them lots in canyoning.

There are 15 messages in this topic.

 

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