I recently saw a caver ascending with a Petzl ascension rigged as a chest ascender and a stop as a foot ascender. The stop was rigged the same as for descending but attached to the foot with webbing and a krab and the tail end of the rope was run through a krab attached to his harness, which was a tied webbing harness. He had done an excellent job tying the harness. At any rate, he would hang by his chest ascender and bend his knee while pulling on the tag end of the rope to raise the position of the stop, then he would stand. He wasn't extreemly slow, but not fast either. To make this stranger, you don't need to climb rope out of the particular cave. You can easily climb along the wall. He told me has also used a mini triaxon (sp?) pulley in a similar fashion, using the progress capturing feature to move it up the rope while attached to his foot. I would hate to do a changeover using that system. Also, the rope he was using had a tag on the end that said not a lifeline, breaking strength 2,000 lb, working load 200 lb. It looked like static caving rope, but by the tag I would guess that it was not caving rope or maybe was too old and sold as utility rope.
Sounds like an accident waiting to happen. I'm trying to picture how the stop was threadedso you can use it as an ascender. I would think it be hard to pull a rope through a stop if you couldn't get to the handle. Sound like he was in the entrance area of the cave, so rescue wouldn't be too much trouble. How tall of a drop was this?
Dan Sullivan Member Southern Colorado Mountain Grotto Co-chair Colorado Western Slope Grotto NSS Youth Group Regional Coordinator
Post by Brad Tipton on Apr 23, 2007 22:32:20 GMT -5
I can't believe I just read that. That dude will be lucky if his next trip up isn't in a body bag. I have actually witnessed a climbing system with a traxion pulley as a substitute for a croll in a frog system. Of course we just happened to be rescuing the person with that particular setup. The rope you mention has been out there for a couple years now. It is made to look like a typical climbing rope. At 1st glance anyone could be fooled. These ropes have no core strands at all. The sheath looks nice.
The pit in question is only about 30' deep and you don't need to climb rope. With a little climbing and chimneying, it is easy to get out. I have rigged the pit for a safety, but it has never been needed. After seeing this I messed arround some with my stop (while firmly planted on the ground) and found that if you put some downward pressure on th attachment point of the stop, when you pull up on the tag end it closes the handle and lets you pull rope up, but when you stop pulling and apply pressure on the attachment point, the handle locks and you can load the stop. It is not very effective and obviously not very safe.
It is not very effective and obviously not very safe.
Using a Stop as an ascender is not very efficient, but it is effective and safe. If you check the instructions that came with your Stop (or look on the Petzl website), you'll find figure 5 shows the Stop being used for "occasional rope climbing." Note it's connected to the harness not to the feet. A more efficient example of a descender used for ascending is the Petzl I'D, commonly used by industrial rope access technicians for work positioning. Again, not nearly as efficient for climbing as a regular Frog - but great for doing a multitude of short ups and downs on rope.
It's unusual that guy used a Stop as one of his ascenders - but several other points you mentioned are of far greater concern. Hopefully his learning curve isn't too steep, or too sudden...
I certainly feel comfortable hanging from a stop from my harness. However, I don't thing I would want such a secure device attached only to my foot. I looked at my manual and messed arround with the stop a bit more and found that you could use an acension with a footloop and hopefully attached to your harness along with a stop attached to your harness and ascend. Load the foot strap, pull up the slack through the stop, load the stop, raise the ascension, wash and repeat. I still think that a frog would be much more efficient.
Post by Brian Roebuck on Apr 25, 2007 17:52:29 GMT -5
I imagine most of the efficient methods for ascention on rope have been devised by now. Sure there are alternative set-ups but the efficient ones have already come to light. I hope the caver in question can be educated to use proper rope, equipment, and techniques before he gets into trouble or gets hurt.
Brian Roebuck NSS 34626 RL (FE) ----- Caving is far too serious to be taken seriously.
.......... I have actually witnessed a climbing system with a traxion pulley as a substitute for a croll in a frog system. Of course we just happened to be rescuing the person with that particular setup.......
ha, using a traxion pulley instead of a croll would be most unusual I guess, but if there was a problem with his croll (cant think why) what would be technically wrong about using a traxion pulley and so why the rescue ?? was it the use of the Traxion, or inexperience