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Friction Hitches and the Affect on Nylon/Dyneema
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By Crag Dweller
From New York, NY
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?

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By MTKirk
From Billings, MT
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.

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By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
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.

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By matt davies
Feb 16, 2013
You are gonna dye!

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By bearbreeder
Feb 16, 2013
mammut alpine smart ;)

i usually carry a few nylon slings in addition to dyneema ...

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By Leo Paik
Administrator
From Westminster, Colorado
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.

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By Buff Johnson
Feb 16, 2013
smiley face
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.

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By Robert Cort
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.

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By Locker
From Yucca Valley, CA
Feb 17, 2013
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By Matt N
From Santa Barbara, CA
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.

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By Superclimber
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.

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By EvanH
From Boone, NC
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.

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By wivanoff
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

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By Marc H
From Lafayette, CO
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.

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By Crag Dweller
From New York, NY
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!

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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
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.

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By logan johnson
From West Copper, Co
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.

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By MTKirk
From Billings, MT
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.

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