Rappelling rope?
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Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: CMC Rescue on 04/19/2012 03:57:58 MDT Print View

> we started replacing the 8 plates with the brake-bar rack for the majority of our rescues.
Wet canyoning in NSW (Australia) in the walking clubs is pretty big stuff. Some abs are nearly 50 m. By and large, figure-of-8s are banned by all clubs, on safety grounds. Yes, we use a highly developed (bar) rack. Heavy, but VERY reliable.

For wet canyons we use static ropes.


Edited by rcaffin on 04/21/2012 00:41:51 MDT.

Brian Austin
(footeab) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: CMC Rescue on 04/20/2012 01:27:25 MDT Print View

1 person as safety knot check?

Sounds like bad way to teach IMO. EVERYONE needs to be checking all the knots ALL THE TIME. Get them in the habit to take personal responsibility for their own safety. This is NOT to be taken lightly or to assume that someone else did it FOR YOU.

Figure 8 banned? Makes a mess of the ropes I agree, but banned? Rediculous. Sounds more like a bunch of power hungry zealots in charge of "safety". Tieing off an 8 is simplicity itself. A tac bar... for very long repels, sure, but all the time? Heck no! Teach the munter hitch right after basic repel technique!

Heck the first time I learned how to repel I did it upside down. They were teaching us TRUST in the rope/gear and how to get out of being inverted. If one is NOT going to teach this first time out, then ya, maybe a chest sling. They also taught 1st thing out a fireman rappel stop.

PS. Make sure the scouts wear OLD T-Shirts/jackets as the likelyhood of them getting their clothes STUCK in the repel device are high and ripped. If they are young and light enough, they might have a VERY difficult time actually repeling on a larger rope. Then if they get their shirt stuck in the repel device on top of this... Beware!

Doug Smith
(Jedi5150) - F - M

Locale: Central CA
Re: CMC Rescue on 04/20/2012 10:39:21 MDT Print View

"1 person as safety knot check?

Sounds like bad way to teach IMO. EVERYONE needs to be checking all the knots ALL THE TIME. Get them in the habit to take personal responsibility for their own safety. This is NOT to be taken lightly or to assume that someone else did it FOR YOU."

Sorry for not making that clear enough Brian. I figured it was a given that everyone is responsible for their own safety. On top of that, a full-time safety officer is designated. Does that make more sense now?

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: Static unless on 04/20/2012 16:19:57 MDT Print View

From: Rock Climbing by Craig Luebben
"Static ropes work fine for rappelling and top roping, but never lead on a static rope."

From: The Mountaineering Handbook by Craig Connally
"Static ropes ..... are designed for caving, rescue, rappelling, canyoneering, hauling, expeditionary fixed lines, top roping, gym climbing ..."

Static lines are much more durable. Less rope stretch is part of the reason
why. Gym ropes can be semi static and split the difference in elongation. Personally I
own a 10 mill lead line, and a 9 mill rap and glacier line. At one point in my
life I wore out an 11 mill line one year top roping. If I had it to do over again, I
would have saved my lead line by buying an extra static for the top roping.


"thats odd as guides generally teach rappelling the usual way ... rappel down, usually with a prussik and possibly a firemans to start

i havent head of any accidents doing so under proper supervision

not saying its right or wrong ..."

All the places I have worked (about 6) for that did climbing with students used a separate and
independently anchored belay rope when rappelling. And the rappel rope was tied to the
anchor with a munter/mule hitch on a master biner. This way if the student got stuck (clothing in device etc.)
the rappel rope could be loosed and the student lowered enough onto the belay
while the device was cleared, or be lowered on the belay rope all the way down.
This can be particularly important on a summit with weather coming in. You don't
want a student stuck halfway blocking everyone's escape.

Edited by oware on 04/20/2012 16:24:57 MDT.

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: Static unless on 04/20/2012 16:22:05 MDT Print View

"I wouldn't consider a static rope if you plan on doing any toproping or climbing at all, or there's even a slight chance of it. Look around for studies of impact force when a climber takes even a small fall on a static rope. It's not good. Otherwise for rappelling or gear hauling, static would definitely be the way to go. Use a rappelling rack or figure 8 for descending."

Jamie- lets see a link.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: CMC Rescue on 04/21/2012 00:52:21 MDT Print View


> Makes a mess of the ropes I agree, but banned? Rediculous. Sounds more like a bunch
> of power hungry zealots in charge of "safety".
Sorry if I roll around on the floor in mirth. The idea of 'power hungry zealots' in some of our clubs is simply ... hilarious.

Sometimes the ropes belong to the club, and sometimes they belong to a member. They cost money and have a finite life. The decision to ban figure-of-8s was made in order to protect the ropes, the owners of the ropes, and the novices.

When you are doing three consecutive abseils each of 30 m or so, each one through a waterfall and ending up in deep water (swimming), and you are mostly in the pitch dark because you are so deep into the cliffline, and the water is close to 5 C, you don't fool around. It's great fun, but people have died when they have got into trouble.

Sorry, but you are such a long, long way off the mark.


Edited by rcaffin on 04/21/2012 00:53:12 MDT.

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Is that a real rap rope or a Sears rap rope? on 04/21/2012 18:13:46 MDT Print View

Here is one I googled. Don't know the seller and haven't used the rope.

It is a 9 mm 150 ft long and $80 shipped. Should be good for light scouts when going
over the edge, as it is low stretch yet thin enough to run through the devices well.

"Edelweiss low stretch ropes are the perfect combination of price and quality. Edelweiss low stretch ropes differ from American static lines due to the fact that they are designed to take up to a factor one fall. These ropes WILL stretch a little to allow them to absorb a factor one fall. The lines are made completely from Polyamide (nylon), which gives them a high strength rating. These ropes are great for cavers, canyoneers, and climbers."


Here is the same thing offered by Sears!

Edited by oware on 04/21/2012 18:16:14 MDT.

Jamie Estep
(jestep) - F

Locale: ATX
Re: Re: Static unless on 04/23/2012 08:03:14 MDT Print View

I'll see if I can find a link online. The specific article I'm referring to was in a print Climbing or R&I, can't remember which one, that I had back in high school. It basically said even something like a 1 ft fall on static could cause spinal injuries.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: Re: Static unless on 04/23/2012 10:02:24 MDT Print View

the issue on TRing on a static is that unless the belayer is VERY vigilant ... which honestly some people, especially kids arent, any decent slack in the rope can cause hard fall as there is little stretch

the issue with TRing on a dynamic rope ... is that rope stretch can be an issue on the first 10-15 feet of a climb ... which is alleviated by having the belayer pretension the rope

each has its advantages and disadvantages ...

most guides out here and gyms however use dynamic ropes .... and they are the ones with liability concerns should something go wrong ... unlike random BPL posters ;)

the person i would be most afraid of is the guy online who keeps on insisting on using ONLY "static" or something like that for TRing ... the first question i would ask is how much do ya climb outside and how many groups do ya take out ...

Edited by bearbreeder on 04/23/2012 10:04:04 MDT.

Tyler H
(ctwnwood) - F

Locale: Utah
static vs dynamic rope on 04/23/2012 10:24:05 MDT Print View

Some people have suggested but nobody has clearly stated, after all these posts:


Here are some links: http://www.camp4.com/rock/index.php?newsid=231

As in any discussion of best climbing practices there are widely varying opinions, held on a variety of bases which are more or less out of date.

It is widely accepted that climbing on a static rope is dangerous and can put fatal forces on the body or gear.

If you want to use the rope for both climbing and rappelling it should be dynamic. It sounds like your group's uses might warrant purchasing a burly, static, rappel rope and a dynamic climbing rope. Both should be in the 10-10.5mm range, although the rappel rope could be thinner if weight is a concern.

"Static ropes - traditionally used mostly in caving and rescue but now also used for sport rappelling and even in climbing gyms - are designed to minimize stretch ( cavers hate feeling like yo-yo's). So their ability to absorb shock is marginal, particularly along short lengths of rope. What's more, static ropes aren't as well defined by industry codes as dynamic ropes, so they vary in elasticity according to the manufacturer and the country of origin. They're often about as non-dynamic as a cable, and transmit virtually all the shock load to the safety system and the body. And in a climbing situation, a very short fall can develop enough force to be critical."

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Static Ropes and climbing on 04/23/2012 10:41:01 MDT Print View

Those are good articles. Perhaps since there seems to be confusion even on this thread,
NEVER climbing on a static rope is the best rule of thumb.

The articles do point out tho that static ropes can and are used in gyms and thoughtfully
on some top rope climbs. A long slingshot toprope belay is where I find them useful.


"A static rope may be used (cautiously) in a top rope system or a gym where falls are measured only in inches, but not in the system used for lead climbing."

Edited by oware on 04/23/2012 12:25:18 MDT.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Rappelling rope? on 04/23/2012 13:10:23 MDT Print View

Oops! I wasn't meaning to start any holy wars! I was kind of surprised when I remembered to check this. I ended up buying a 9mm Sterling HTP static, a 10.5mm Bluewater Gym Rope (static), and a 10.2 Sterling Evolution Kosmos. Used the static ropes for rappelling only, although I used the gym rope for TR when I could belay. Mostly used the dynamic for TR. Everyone had fun, got to feel a little adreneline, and go past some places they didn't think they could.