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Extended Rappel Variation
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By Stephen Ackley
From Richmond, Virginia
Feb 26, 2013

I'll typically extend a rappel in order and use an autoblock clipped to my leg loop when climbing in areas with high rock fall potential or when I'll be cleaning a lot of gear.

At hanging belays, things can get uncomfortable with you and your parter bumping around hanging on single tethers. These setup allows you and your partner to shift around more comfortably physically and mentally.

Pitfalls are: Less extension than classic set up but plenty IMO
less room when taking up the rope to transfer weight
does not work as well when bolts are not side by side

What do you think MP?



Begin with a standard sliding x with limiter knots. The gold attache is clipped to the climber's harness. Ovals are clipped to the bolts
Begin with a standard sliding x with limiter knots. The gold attache is clipped to the climber's harness. Ovals are clipped to the bolts





The ATC gets clipped through both loops that form the master point
The ATC gets clipped through both loops that form the master point






after loading the ATC, attaching the autoblock, and taking up the rope, the ATC moves up against the limiter knots. Weight is transferred from anchor to rope
after loading the ATC, attaching the autoblock, and taking up the rope, the ATC moves up against the limiter knots. Weight is transferred from anchor to rope







double check everything, unclip from the bolts and rapp to the next anchor
double check everything, unclip from the bolts and rapp to the next anchor







if you're at a ledge or just want some more extention, you can unclip the atc from both loops and reclip it to just one side below the knot
if you're at a ledge or just want some more extention, you can unclip the atc from both loops and reclip it to just one side below the knot


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By EricSchmidt
Feb 26, 2013

Huh? Whats the original problem exactly?

Seems like a solution to a problem that doesnt exist and just turning your shit into a cluster fuck. Probably a reason this is not the standard way to do things... But sure reinvent the wheel.


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By Stephen Ackley
From Richmond, Virginia
Feb 26, 2013

This makes shifting around at a hanging belay easier and adds redundancies. It be comes really efficient when you're using a sliding x as your anchor to begin with.


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By MTKirk
From Billings, MT
Feb 26, 2013
Me on Supercrack

Well; I like it enough that I'm going to have to mess around with it a bit. Typically when I have multiple rappels to the ground I run a double length sling through my tie-in points (or belay loop) & tie a overhand leaving me with 2 loops (one long, one short). The Atc biner goes through both loops & I use the longer loop to clip the anchor. With my setup you have to clip to a single anchor point (usually a sliding X made with a extenda-draw-both climbers use this). I could see your way being better if there are chains/multiple clip in points on the bolts.

Thanks for sharing!


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By Pete Spri
Feb 26, 2013

Extending the device is nice.

And I like your application of tying that in with your personal tethers. I will give this a shot sometime.


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By Stephen Ackley
From Richmond, Virginia
Feb 26, 2013

Give it a try and let me know what you think. This was really inspired after climbing in el potrero and literally spending hours rappelling in the fashion which Kirk described.

I really hated punching my partner at hanging belays as we pulled and then set up rappels with 70 meters of rope.

This method makes it way easy to shift around on what little space you have and it feels nice having two tethers when you look down at hundreds of feet of exposure. But hey, i'm afraid of heights.




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By The Ex-Engineer
From UK
Feb 27, 2013

Several things:

1 - I don't see the point of the two krabs.
2 - Using an autoblock clipped to a leg loop is often a poorer option than using your belay loop and extending sufficiently.
3 - Using anything other than a dynamic rope tether doesn't address the risk of potentially shock-loading anchors.

When guiding or when I know I'll be doing multiple abseils I use a Beal Dynaconnexion - bealplanet.com/sport/anglais/longes-dynaconnexion.php


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By Eric Engberg
Feb 27, 2013

Reiterating to some of what has been said. If you are going to extend your rap device do not do it by girth hitching your belay loop but use the harnesss tie in points. Do not auto block to the leg loop but do use the belay loop. As far as the specific technique here I think it is a tradeoff - complicates the rapping setup but helps with the anchoring.


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By Erik W
From Bay Area, CA
Feb 27, 2013
North face of Ama Dablam - taken on approach to Kongma La.

@EricE, why girth hitch to the tie-in points as opposed to belay loop? What's the reasoning beyond eliminating a risk link in the chain?


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By Stephen Ackley
From Richmond, Virginia
Feb 27, 2013

@Eric W - the classic argument is that girth hitching your belay loop repeatedly kinks it up and will wear out the loop. Jury is still out on that but you might as well go though the beefier and redundant tie in points.

@ Eric E and the Engineer - the set up I described requires attaching the auto block to the leg loop because the atc is less extended than your classic set up with a girth hitched 120cm sling and overhand knot. I certainly see the argument about using the belay loop - it is stronger - but the leg loop is more than adequate to hold body weight right? I'd be interested to see if there are any reports of a leg loop failing perhaps when catching a falling climber.


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By Jon H
From Boulder
Feb 27, 2013
At the matching crux

As I understand it, it's not suggested to tie in to your leg loop not from a strength perspective, but if you get knocked out by a falling rock but caught by your autoblock on a leg loop, you will be hanging at an inverted position.


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By bearbreeder
Feb 27, 2013

yr fine ...

its not the way i do it ... but whatever ...

itll work in real life, just not on the intrawebs ;)


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By Eric Engberg
Feb 27, 2013

In real life I never extend, don't use an autoblock and do girth hitch my belay loop to anchor with. But on the Interwebs we discusss theory 101.


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By rging
From Salt Lake City, Ut
Feb 27, 2013
CoR

Jon H wrote:
... but if you get knocked out by a falling rock but caught by your autoblock on a leg loop, you will be hanging at an inverted position.


As opposed to plummeting to your death.


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By bearbreeder
Feb 27, 2013

Eric Engberg wrote:
In real life I never extend, don't use an autoblock and do girth hitch my belay loop to anchor with. But on the Interwebs we discusss theory 101.


which is useless 101 in this case ...

hes using a body weight sling attached to 2 bolts, itll work fine ... it aint rocket science

you can "theorize" all you want about this and other stuff ... but it wont make you any climb any better or be any functionally "safer" ...

everyone does things differently ...

and no a prussic on a leg loop wont flip you over ... unless you misrigged your ATC, which in that case i suggest one should focus on your basic skills rather than intraweb "safety"

from the safety conscious AAI ...

alpineinstitute.blogspot.ca/2012/07/rappelling-safety.html


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By Sir Wanksalot
From County Jail
Feb 27, 2013

WTF interwebz?! Classic school of back up on rappel is either a prussic above the device, or an autoblock... wait for it... on the damn leg loop! Belay loop hold device... autobloc under device, by your hand... why make it so difficult?

Dude that came up with this... NICE! This is an easy way to deal with multiple raps on bolts.


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By The Ex-Engineer
From UK
Feb 27, 2013

Stephen Ackley wrote:
@ Eric E and the Engineer - the set up I described requires attaching the auto block to the leg loop because the atc is less extended than your classic set up with a girth hitched 120cm sling and overhand knot. I certainly see the argument about using the belay loop - it is stronger - but the leg loop is more than adequate to hold body weight right? I'd be interested to see if there are any reports of a leg loop failing perhaps when catching a falling climber.


As mentioned, the main risk (although greatly reduced by extending) is of a leg loop prusik coming into contact with the belay and releasing if an injured abseiler inverts, which is a reasonable possibility if wearing a pack.

However, my preference is mainly based on a much simpler issue. With the prusik on your belay loop you can control your abseil with either hand which improves your ability to resolve rope tangles and/or place/remove gear.


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By The Ex-Engineer
From UK
Feb 27, 2013

Erik W wrote:
@EricE, why girth hitch to the tie-in points as opposed to belay loop? What's the reasoning beyond eliminating a risk link in the chain?


I've had numerous discussions on this issue with fellow climbers, instructors and guides over the years and never come to a definitive decision. However, there are certain points, most people agree on:

- BOTH the tie-in points and belay loop are tested to the same minimum standard of 15kN on any UIAA/CE rated harnesses, so both are easily strong enough if the harness is in a serviceable condition (and if you have any doubts you should bin it).
- having any sling girth hitched to your belay loop on a PERMANENT basis could be a really bad idea - fabric on fabric always risks potential wear so both belay loop and sling should be inspected before and after use, but you can't do that properly unless you remove the sling.
- having a sling girth hitched around the tie-in points is likely to generate more fabric on fabric movement and taking a factor 2 fall on it (especially if it is a skinny 8mm dyneema one) COULD melt through the sling due to fabric on fabric friction as it tightens up (however a factor 2 fall could equally likely rip the belay out, break the sling at any inline knot or result in internal injuries to the climber).

The only sensible conclusion is that both methods are safe enough provided you remember two things:
- you always try to keep tight on anchors and NEVER EVER move above anchors when connected with a sling.
- you examine both sling and harness before and after every route or days climbing.

That said it would still be better not use a sling at all and use dynamic rope instead.


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By Erik W
From Bay Area, CA
Feb 27, 2013
North face of Ama Dablam - taken on approach to Kongma La.

Stephen Ackley wrote:
the classic argument is that girth hitching your belay loop repeatedly kinks it up and will wear out the loop. Jury is still out on that but you might as well go though the beefier and redundant tie in points.


I don't know about it being a classic argument, but I get what you're saying. BD did a test on a handful of belay loops after Skinner's death... interesting results. 75% cut thru = fail @ 2918 lbf. Heavy, heavy abrading = fail @ 4805 lbf.

www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en-us/journal/climb/all/qc-lab>>>


Ex-Engineer wrote:
- having any sling girth hitched to your belay loop on a PERMANENT basis could be a really bad idea - fabric on fabric always risks potential wear so both belay loop and sling should be inspected before and after use, but you can't do that properly unless you remove the sling.


This is where I am. PAS permanently girth-hitched to the belay loop. Check both very regularly for wear - and you can easily check them by loosening the girth hitch and inspecting all the elements (belay loop & PAS). Been doing it this way since 2004, having gone thru four PAS systems in that time, none of which were retired due to abrasion.

My issue with girth hitching the tie-in points is 1) more moving fabric when weighting and unweighting ( =abrasion), 2) crowded tie-in when climbing with doubles. I use the PAS primarily for rapping. Great for extending the belay device. Plus, always have a "sling" on me if I need to ascend a rope after escaping the belay (with prussik loop or Tibloc).


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By MTKirk
From Billings, MT
Mar 4, 2013
Me on Supercrack

Hey Stephen,

Got out over the weekend & messed around with your setup, It worked pretty well. If I'm on rapping bolted anchors, and only have one double sling I'll probably use it. When I have an extra sling I'll be sticking with my method, you've probably seen it before but here's a pic in case you haven't. The only advantage is that it gives you a bit more length to work with, and some increased redundancy. Thanks again for posting!

Multi-rap setup
Multi-rap setup


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By Stephen Ackley
From Richmond, Virginia
Mar 4, 2013

Glad you liked the set up Kirk.

But whoah dude. That right there seems a little over complicated compared to using one tether and a knot to hold the atc in the middle-ish.

I didnt like that method myself and often threw in a second tether, hence the sliding x extention/ tether things above.

I love the all the gear on carpet pics in this thread though.

Thanks man


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By Benjaminadk
From Lake George, NY
Mar 7, 2013
Me

Pretty nifty set up. I'm a also a PAS guy. it is quick and very adjustable. Even with the PAS i'll sometimes use the rope to anchor for many situations. Extending the rappel is something I always do. It is more comfortable, easier to negotiate overhanging terrain, sets up for a backup nicely. Also, having your setup or a PAS has come in handy more than once for building and anchor after running out of slings on a long pitch. Note: I thread my PAS through the power points on my harness. It doesnt hurt to reinforce these since there is a lot of wear that occurs over time. I use a harness protector made by Wild Country.


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By Unassigned User
Mar 8, 2013

I use a auto block myself and have not needed to extend my rap device out beyond my belay loop at all! The KEY is to keep the cord the right length so it doesn't go too far up the rope and jam or get too close to the rap device! One accomplished - I have no issues with my auto block at all!

To me - and this is just my OWN personal feelings - adding a runner into the rap device to extend it just adds yet ANOTHER 'link' in the rap 'chain' of stuff - making things more complicated and morpronene to a mistake or failure. But hey - that's just MY $.02 on it.

I prefer to keep things as simple and clutter-free as possible!


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By wivanoff
Mar 8, 2013
High Exposure

This is what I do:

1) Girth-hitch a 4-foot sling through the harness tie-in points.
2) Clip a locking carabiner into the sling.
3) Fold the sling in half and clip the locking carabiner to the belay loop.
4) Pull out the sling and tie an overhand knot loop.
5) Use a second locking carabiner to clip the belay device into both strands of the overhand loop.

At the next anchor, I unclip the locking carabiner from the belay loop and clip it into the anchor. Off rappel. Pull down the rope and set the next rap station. Reattach rappel device. Test. Unclip locking carabiner from the anchor and clip it back to my belay loop. Rappel to the next anchor. I am never unanchored and there's a minimum of cluster.

I think this is a pretty standard way of doing it. We try to have the first climber down use an autoblock but subsequent climbers get a fireman's belay.

Can you explain the advantage of your sliding X system? When the second climber arrives at the anchor does she clip both ends of her sliding X to the anchors so that there are now two sliding Xs?


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By Unassigned User
Mar 8, 2013

wivanoff wrote:
This is what I do: 1) Girth-hitch a 4-foot sling through the harness tie-in points. 2) Clip a locking carabiner into the sling. 3) Fold the sling in half and clip the locking carabiner to the belay loop. 4) Pull out the sling and tie an overhand knot loop. 5) Use a second locking carabiner to clip the belay device into both strands of the overhand loop. At the next anchor, I unclip the locking carabiner from the belay loop and clip it into the anchor. Off rappel. Pull down the rope and set the next rap station. Reattach rappel device. Test. Unclip locking carabiner from the anchor and clip it back to my belay loop. Rappel to the next anchor. I am never unanchored and there's a minimum of cluster. I think this is a pretty standard way of doing it. We try to have the first climber down use an autoblock but subsequent climbers get a fireman's belay. Can you explain the advantage of your sliding X system? When the second climber arrives at the anchor does she clip both ends of her sliding X to the anchors so that there are now two sliding Xs?


This is what I do as well. Autoblock myself every rap - as MANY climbers 'get the chop' when rapping according to statistics!

I use a autoblock ALL THE TIME - a firemans belay might take too look to do and requires yet another rope being employed!

I too have a runner - tied or sewn - girth hitched into my belay loop with a Twistlock on the one end ready to anchor myself as soon as I hit the next rap anchor(s). Only THEN do I remove the rope from my rap device after triple-checking my connection to the new rap anchor(s).

Simple, uncluttered and works well. I don't like having MY RAP DEVICE way the frig out of my reach!


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By wivanoff
Mar 8, 2013
High Exposure

Michael Urban wrote:
a firemans belay might take too look to do and requires yet another rope being employed!

Another rope? Where?

Michael Urban wrote:
I don't like having MY RAP DEVICE way the frig out of my reach!

It's basically at eye level. You must have very short arms if you can't reach your rap device less than 2 feet above your tie in point ;)

Edit: Added link


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