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Friction Hitches and the Affect on Nylon/Dyneema
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Feb 16, 2013
My navigator keeps me from getting lost
After cleaning a trad route while rappelling on a slippery new, skinny rope I decided it was time to actually start using a friction hitch while rappelling. And, a question came to mind that hadn't occurred to me before.

What does everyone think about the affect a friction hitch has on the sling you're using? Would you trust that sling to hold a lead fall after you've used it for the hitch?
Crag Dweller
From New York, NY
Joined Jul 17, 2006
274 points
Feb 16, 2013
Me on Supercrack
When I use a rappell back-up (which isn't often) I use one of two the permanently tied 6mm nylon prussik loops I always have on my harness. In the past I've used nylon slings. I doubt it weakened them any, but it fuzzed them up real bad and made them look horrible. I wouldn't use Dynemma unless I had to, mostly because they are expensive & I'd hate to wear them out like that. MTKirk
From Billings, MT
Joined Dec 20, 2011
280 points
Administrator
Feb 16, 2013
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after...
I do what John does. I have a piece of 5mm cord that weighs about an oz if that. Cheap, light and functional. Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Joined Jul 30, 2011
1,005 points
Feb 16, 2013
You are gonna dye! matt davies
Joined Mar 9, 2007
25 points
Feb 16, 2013
mammut alpine smart ;)

i usually carry a few nylon slings in addition to dyneema ...
bearbreeder
Joined Mar 1, 2009
1,931 points
Administrator
Feb 16, 2013
My $0.02: Dyneema has a lower melting point, it is best not to use it for intentional friction. Use nylon and designate it only for that duty. Leo Paik
From Westminster, Colorado
Joined Jan 1, 2001
23,191 points
Feb 16, 2013
It'll work if you had to do it, but overall I'd go with nylon. Like Leo said the low melting point; also it's not as resilient and will break down quicker with knotting. I think Malcolm had good rule of thumb, if you're using dyneema for a repeated purpose, plan to replace it regularly for the next season. Buff Johnson
Joined Dec 19, 2005
1,494 points
Feb 16, 2013
Buy yourself a VT prussic:

bluewaterropes.com/home/produc...

Made of technora so it won't melt. In a pinch, you can use it to rappel down a loaded rope.
Robert Cort
Joined Oct 12, 2009
804 points
Feb 17, 2013
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Locker
From Yucca Valley, CA
Joined Oct 13, 2002
2,382 points
Feb 17, 2013
OTL
Robert Cort wrote:
Buy yourself a VT prussic: bluewaterropes.com/home/produc... Made of technora so it won't melt. In a pinch, you can use it to rappel down a loaded rope.


$17 ? - less than $1 worth of 5-6mm acc. cord is all that's needed.
Matt N
From Santa Barbara, CA
Joined Oct 20, 2010
368 points
Feb 17, 2013
I got into a minor jam once and had to use a dyneema sling. I threw it out afterward. Now I carry a small piece of cord like everybody else up thread mentioned. Seems to be a popular consensus. Superclimber
Joined Mar 7, 2009
1,481 points
Feb 18, 2013
From the instructor at the AAC Best Practices Rappelling Clinic:

Once you use a sling as a friction hitch, that sling is only a friction hitch. It doesn't go back on the rack.
EvanH
From Boone, NC
Joined Sep 16, 2010
11 points
Feb 18, 2013
High Exposure
EvanH wrote:
From the instructor at the AAC Best Practices Rappelling Clinic: Once you use a sling as a friction hitch, that sling is only a friction hitch. It doesn't go back on the rack.


Honest question: Was that his personal opinion or official stance from AAC?

Here's a photo from the FREE AAC Rappelling Best Practices Clinic Facebook page I found
Photo from AAC best practices page
Photo from AAC best practices page



AAC Facebook page
wivanoff
Joined Mar 3, 2012
121 points
Feb 19, 2013
The Cathedral Spires in RMNP, left to right: Stile...
Crag Dweller wrote:
After cleaning a trad route while rappelling on a slippery new, skinny rope I decided it was time to actually start using a friction hitch while rappelling.


Don't worry about a friction hitch. If you need to add some extra friction to your rappel setup, add a few 'biners between the rope and device. It's a quick and easy fix that doesn't require an extra piece of gear.
Marc H
From Lafayette, CO
Joined May 10, 2007
280 points
Feb 23, 2013
My navigator keeps me from getting lost
bearbreeder wrote:
mammut alpine smart ;) i usually carry a few nylon slings in addition to dyneema ...


Good input, everyone, thanks. It, unfortunately, confirms what I assumed to be the case. I hadn't planned to use the sling for anything other than a friction hitch anyway, though.

And, while it's a trending topic, thanks for the reminder bearbreeder. I've actually had an alpine smart sitting in the gear bin but, because I bought it when I was climbing sport on a 9.8mm rope, I hadn't even thought of using it now that I'm climbing on a 9.5. Finally, I get to use this thing!
Crag Dweller
From New York, NY
Joined Jul 17, 2006
274 points
Feb 23, 2013
Middle
wivanoff wrote:
Honest question: Was that his personal opinion or official stance from AAC?


I assume it's a personal opinion. Dyneema doesn't handle heat well which is probably why that instructor said it.
Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Joined Jul 23, 2010
130 points
Feb 23, 2013
Flakey Pull Roof v5
Instead of the dedicated cord, cordalette, Daisies etc.. that most people carry I have gone back to carrying two or three shoulder length knotted 1/2" or 1" nylon slings.
Those slings live on my harness all the time.
The main reason I use old school knotted slings is that they are often sacrificed to replace tat and revamp rap stations (last year I went through 80' of webbing and removed closer to 200'of tat.)
Nylon tape is also perfect for friction hitches, and super cheap to replace.
logan johnson
From West Copper, Co
Joined Mar 1, 2006
332 points
Feb 23, 2013
Me on Supercrack
logan johnson wrote:
Instead of the dedicated cord, cordalette, Daisies etc.. that most people carry I have gone back to carrying two or three shoulder length knotted 1/2" or 1" nylon slings. Those slings live on my harness all the time. The main reason I use old school knotted slings is that they are often sacrificed to replace tat and revamp rap stations (last year I went through 80' of webbing and removed closer to 200'of tat.) Nylon tape is also perfect for friction hitches, and super cheap to replace.



Yeah I do this too, EXCEPT for the prussik loops. Mainly because I just carry them on my harness coiled on the webbing that goes from the leg loop to the tie-in. Takes no space & they never get in the way. But yes; I find the home-made double length slings much more useful than a bunch of extra cord (say like a cordalette). I usually carry them over the shoulder with one 'biner. they lay flat, are easy to access, and serve double duty as runners.
MTKirk
From Billings, MT
Joined Dec 20, 2011
280 points


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