Lowering a pack using rope
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John Beisner
(trtlrock) - F - M

Locale: Blue Ridge
Lowering a pack using rope on 08/14/2009 12:42:45 MDT Print View

For the 1st time ever we need to carry some rope with us on a trip to New Zealand. The ONLY purpose this rope will be used for is to lower 2 packs (one at a time -- grin) a maximum of 20 feet so we could then down-clamber a tricky spot where otherwise the pack might throw off our balance or just get in the way.

Given the above, I'm looking for the lightest-weight rope that will do the trick.

I'm assuming you thread the rope through the pack's haul-loop, and then tie a knot on the loose ends. Then the pack is lowered down, and the knot is untied to repeat a 2nd time...

Max pack weight is 30-35 lbs.

What rope should I carry?

How many feet?

What type of knot do I tie at the top?

Thanks in advance...

Fred eric
(Fre49) - MLife

Locale: France, vallée de la Loire
lowering a pack on 08/14/2009 12:58:24 MDT Print View

Had to do that once, we were in Iceland Hornstrandir , using a path that can only be used a low tide, seeing the beach where we should arrive, i started fishing.
We started again 2h later to discover it wasnt that easy to finish.
We decided to try it it was a mix of scrambling / going in water chest height, and we used "rope" a few times to pass the packs between us.

I used 2mm ( 2,4g /m) Beal cordelette the nominal strength is 70dan thats plenty enough for that.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Lowering a pack using rope on 08/14/2009 13:46:15 MDT Print View

Just did this to drop over a cornice -

Almost any cord you have is strong enough. The issue is how to hold onto it. I used a 2.5mm from my shelter setup, wrapped around my butt, belay style. If I had had to haul my pack back up (less than 25#) it would have been a real struggle.

My pack has a top pocket in addition to two cross-straps to compress the collar - 7 attachment points in all. I looped under all of them and tied a bowline. Again, if I had had to haul it back up, I wanted things secure.

A 20' drop, plus 1' to tie, plus 3' to your butt, plus 3' to wrap - sounds like 30' to me.

Also, depending on the angle of the drop, a line from the bottom might be useful to guide the pack down, or at least keep it from hanging up, tumbling, and repeating.

Edited by greg23 on 08/14/2009 13:47:56 MDT.

John Beisner
(trtlrock) - F - M

Locale: Blue Ridge
hmm, but... on 08/14/2009 14:23:15 MDT Print View

First, I hadn't thought of hauling a pack up. D'oh! Just as conceivable I suppose, although from a balance p.o.v. I think I'd be more likely to climb/clamber with the pack on than descend.

And I hadn't considered angles at all. Good points.

Wouldn't I need more like 50 feet of rope, since I'll need to re-use the rope to lower a 2nd pack? And, unless you know of some magic Elvish rope that'll come off when I shake on it, that means doubling the length & looping through the pack rather than tying on, right?

Would 50 feet of Triptease be appropriate? It's light & strong...

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: hmm, but... on 08/14/2009 16:17:04 MDT Print View

John,
Is someone downclimbing first?
If so, they are the elf.
If not, yep, more rope.

John Beisner
(trtlrock) - F - M

Locale: Blue Ridge
Triptease? on 08/14/2009 16:40:26 MDT Print View

Double-D'oh!

Thanks Greg for not too obviously pointing out that I had, um, kinda missed the obvious.

So...Triptease OK you think?

I've got various AirCore stuff, but I can imagine slicing up the hands pretty good with that stuff. And I won't exactly be carrying any heavy work gloves...

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Triptease? on 08/14/2009 17:33:55 MDT Print View

It's your call.
Climb up on the roof......

David Loome
(DavidLoome) - F

Locale: American Southwest
webbing>rope on 08/19/2009 11:16:07 MDT Print View

I've used a rope for similar situations in Grand Canyon and on sections of the Hayduke Trail. I use a @30' piece of 1" nylon webbing. I tie one end into a small loop about big enough to stick your hand through, then pass the other end through it to make sort of a noose.

I always cut the haul loop off my packs, so I pass it through both shoulder straps, cinch it up, and lower away.

Not sure how much it weighs, not much though, and packs up smaller than rope. I've lowered my pack weighing up to 35 pounds and it was fine, could probably handle more without issue.

YAMABUSHI !
(THUNDERHORSE) - F
webbing>rope on 12/02/2009 23:49:02 MST Print View

agreed (4 months late) but

for sure webbing is handy...obviously weighs more but i sure do enjoy having it when the need arises...

went for an early spring hike a while back and found ourselves confronted with bulletproof ice & short cliffs and 0 count em Z-E-R-O traction devices...

nothing kahtoolas couldnt tackle but with no other options
that 40' of 3/4 inch webbing seemed heaven sent!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Triptease? on 12/03/2009 01:52:42 MST Print View

> I've got various AirCore stuff, but I can imagine slicing up the hands pretty good
> with that stuff.
Yep, that's the issue. I have 1 mm Dacron kite-line rated at 150 lb. Strong enough, but could I hold it? No way.

I carry 20 m (60') of 4 mm cordlette. Fits in a little sack my hand, but I can haul on it, top rope with it, and I can slither on it too. Oh yes - many times!

Cheers

Roger Homrich
(rogerhomrich)

Locale: California/Michigan
Re: Triptease? on 12/03/2009 07:14:07 MST Print View

I usually carry some Triptease for my tarp, and I find that it works fairly well for this task. As it has been mentioned… the diameter is rather skinny, so you need good technique or the rope cuts into your hand or slips through your grip… especially with a heavier pack.

John Brochu
(JohnnyBgood4) - F

Locale: New Hampshire
Re: Re: Triptease? on 12/03/2009 11:40:54 MST Print View

If you carry any mini biners as part of your standard kit, provided they were strong enough for your intended use*, you could get away with a thinner diameter line by utilizing a friction hitch like the Munter.

*Do not trust a non-rated biner for anything that might risk injury or death such as some of the applications Roger is using his 4mm cord for

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Triptease? on 12/03/2009 14:04:07 MST Print View

> *Do not trust a non-rated biner for anything that might risk injury or death such
> as some of the applications Roger is using his 4mm cord for

Totally agree! When I carry a carabiner, it's a full rated climbing one, albeit light-weight aluminium. Ditto any other abseil gear.

Cheers

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Lowering a pack using rope on 12/03/2009 17:18:54 MST Print View

"I'm assuming you thread the rope through the pack's haul-loop, and then tie a knot on the loose ends. Then the pack is lowered down, and the knot is untied to repeat a 2nd time..."

That will eventually wear out the haul loop. Also, the friction impedes the flow of the rope through the haul loop, more a concern when raising the pack than lowering it. I think a better approach is to clip a carabiner through the haul loop and use it as a pulley. This facilitates control both lowering and raising a pack, and confers a 2:1 mechanical advantage when raising(minus some coefficient of friction) a pack. A noticeable difference with a heavier pack.

John Brochu
(JohnnyBgood4) - F

Locale: New Hampshire
Re: Re: Lowering a pack using rope on 12/03/2009 19:00:30 MST Print View

>>>That will eventually wear out the haul loop. Also, the friction impedes the flow of the rope through the haul loop, more a concern when raising the pack than lowering it. I think a better approach is to clip a carabiner through the haul loop and use it as a pulley. This facilitates control both lowering and raising a pack, and confers a 2:1 mechanical advantage when raising(minus some coefficient of friction) a pack. A noticeable difference with a heavier pack.<<<

If you do it that way, then don't you need twice as much rope as the longest pitch you need to lower, plus a little extra for the two knots?

What I would do is bring a biner, 25' of cord, and then use one of my tarp guylines.

Take a tarp guyline and sling a tree or tie it around a rock or whatever you're anchoring to, clip the biner to that, take the 25' rope and tie a loop in the end then girth hitch the haul loop of the pack using that loop, tie the rope to the biner with a munter hitch, then lower away... Maybe tie the end of the 25' section to something for backup in case you misjudge the distance.

Better test different diameter rope with your expected pack weights before hand. I'm not sure how much weight you can handle for a given diameter of cord.

Edit: This method assumes you have trees,sturdy shrubs, or heavy rocks with cracks in between them close to the edge of the cliff that you can use to anchor with.

Edited by JohnnyBgood4 on 12/03/2009 19:06:26 MST.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
boooing on 12/03/2009 19:14:10 MST Print View

When hauling a pack, stretch in the line is not desirable. For any hauls of consequence (read: anytime you'd really "need" to do it) I use nothing short of 4mm cord. Webbing is probably best. 3/4" tubular will be fine.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Lowering a pack using rope on 12/03/2009 20:21:14 MST Print View

"If you do it that way, then don't you need twice as much rope as the longest pitch you need to lower, plus a little extra for the two knots?"

Correct, John, and your technique would suffice if you were really going for the lightest weight solution. But if I were moving over terrain where 20-25 foot pack lowering was part of the scenario, I would probably pack something that would bear human weight as well, something along the lines of what Roger mentioned.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: boooing on 12/03/2009 20:34:57 MST Print View

"For any hauls of consequence (read: anytime you'd really "need" to do it) I use nothing short of 4mm cord."

+1 We did it with climbing ropes back in the day, with a variant of the carabiner/haul loop for crevasse rescue situations. Carabiner clipped to haul loop clipped to a sling clipped to a carabiner clipped to a D-ring on your pack shoulder strap. If you go in the hole, unclip the carabiner from the D-ring, clip it to the rope in front of your seat harness, get out of your pack and let it dangle below you; slip into your Texas sling, ascenders, or whatever, and start up the rope with ~ 2:1 advantage for hauling your pack. In a UL environment, though, 4 mm Kern Mantle seems adequate to me, even if it does stretch a bit with heavier loads.

YAMABUSHI !
(THUNDERHORSE) - F
Re: Re: Triptease? on 12/03/2009 21:11:34 MST Print View

Slither on Brother!!!



It was easliy one of the funniest treks ive been on

one buddy walking R2D2 style for fear of re-breaking a mending shoulder, another buddy reduced to crawling after loosing both, count em 2 contacts, our japanese friend just butt sliding easy sections...

looking so gumby we might as well have been painted green



how the roosters doing?
Its been forever since ive seen a game

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Triptease? on 12/03/2009 21:18:37 MST Print View

"Slither on Brother!!!



"It was easliy one of the funniest treks ive been on

one buddy walking R2D2 style for fear of re-breaking a mending shoulder, another buddy reduced to crawling after loosing both, count em 2 contacts, our japanese friend just butt sliding easy sections...

looking so gumby we might as well have been painted green"

I don't know what you've been smokin' but that must be some baaaad weed, brother. ;}