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 rappeling off cliffs 
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Rogue Canuck
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Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 7:56 pm
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Location: British Columbia, Canada
Post rappeling off cliffs
I don't know if any of the members are actually checking on this board anymore, but here goes:

I've been thinking lately about using my ropes and descenders that I use for trees, and trying some rappeling off cliffs. I descend from trees with complete confidence, and haven't had any issues, but I'm feeling less confident about taking it to rock. I've thought it through, and it seems like it shouldn't be a big deal. Obviously there are concerns about preventing or at least minimizing rope chafing, and I'm planning on anchoring to trees on top of the cliff so I don't have to buy a bunch of hardware and do a bunch of learning how to make safe anchors with it. Beyond that, though, I don't know. More specifically, I don't know what I don't know!

Any useful tips for me?


Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:35 pm
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Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:25 am
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Location: Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
Post Re: rappeling off cliffs
Where are the tree climbing cavers? Obi, Glenn, there's more out there, they should have some good info.

Are you planning on using a rack?
-AJ


Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:26 pm
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Rogue Canuck
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Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 7:56 pm
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Location: British Columbia, Canada
Post Re: rappeling off cliffs
moss wrote:
Where are the tree climbing cavers? Obi, Glenn, there's more out there, they should have some good info.-AJ

I know, right? Where is everybody? If I try this rappeling thing without their advice and get hurt, it'll be all their fault! (Then they'll be sorry.)

As a matter of fact, I was thinking about using my rack (well, a mini-rack technically, not one of those huge things the cavers use that look like you could lower a piano with it). It just seems so appropriate, and the poor thing doesn't see much action these days. I'm planning on backing it up with an autobloc below, but I can't think of the proper name for that configuration right now.


Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:28 pm
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Rogue Innovator
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Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:55 pm
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Location: Columbus Oh
Post Re: rappeling off cliffs
Ha! I remembered my password!

A rack backed up sounds good!

Grigri would be a fit for that.

_________________
Tree Climber's Toast: May we climb a 200 year old oak together, and may we plant that tree tomorrow.


Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:41 pm
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Rogue Canuck
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Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 7:56 pm
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Location: British Columbia, Canada
Post Re: rappeling off cliffs
JimK, is that really you?? A rack backed up it is, then! (I'll probably try the Grigri, too.)


Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:08 pm
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Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 2:47 pm
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Location: Bemidji, Minnesota
Post Re: rappeling off cliffs
BS5 I'd probably use my usual rack set up for long-ish rappels. A small CMI rack with a friction knot (beeline or some such) set up below the rack. Then I can take my hands off the thing if I want to, and the friction knot works to increase friction in the rack rather than taking all the force if you have it above the rack. I read somewhere that that's called a spider rappel.

Big worry would be setting the rope at the top; I have a good feel for the tree species I climb, but not a f-rigging clue how to safely set a rope at the top of a cliff (unless there's a handy well-rooted tree). Other issue is rope abrasion on rock edges, rock climbers seem to have pads and stuff for that.


Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:49 am
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Rogue Canuck
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Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 7:56 pm
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Location: British Columbia, Canada
Post Re: rappeling off cliffs
Mark! You're back, too! I've been missing you guys!

I'm in full agreement regarding anchors. A good sturdy tree is the only thing I feel confident using at this point, and I'm not particularly interested in learning all about pitons or whatever.

The protection from chafing is one thing I have been thinking about. There are some good ideas in On Rope, plus I'l try my leather cambium savers.

I am starting to lean heavily toward using a backed-up rack. I'd forgotten the name of the system I had in mind, but I think you're right about it being called the spider rappel. It's a great system -- after years of using hitches and Grigris, I'm used to the formula: hands off = staying put. Descending with an unbacked-up rack, fig. 8, or ATC makes me nervous now! The Grigri would work fine, too, but the rack is reassuringly rugged and simple. Another benefit of the spider rappel is that you can safely control it with one hand, unlike the Grigri.

So how are things in Bemidji these days? Pretty wintery already?


Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:07 pm
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