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By EugeneK
From Cambridge, MA
Apr 8, 2012
Rap accident

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By Ben Beckerich
From saint helens, oregon
Apr 9, 2012
About half way up the East Arete on Illumination Rock
" '...This could have been averted had he used the stairs,' added Singhal."

Insightful

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By Tom Mulholland
From #1 Cheese Producing State!
Apr 9, 2012
Whiskey-a-Go-Go
Tie a knot in the end of the rope!

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By JSH
Administrator
Apr 9, 2012
JSH @ home <br /> <br />photo courtesy of Gabe Ostriker
"While two team members took the stairs, the other two decided to rappel down the 77-metre building," claimed Manish Singhal, CEO, Tourismworx.

"After the first performance, a portion of the 100-metre cord used in the stunt had been pulled up. As a result one rope, out of the two used for the stunt, didn't touch the ground."

I don't think that a 100 m rope was going to work for a 77 m rappel.

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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Apr 9, 2012
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.
[It seemed he wasn't aware that his rope wasn't touching the ground," Sandeep Hooda, a professional dancer present at the spot, said. Organizers insisted that Shailendra was primarily to blame.]

Yes indeed.

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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Apr 9, 2012
El Chorro
I think it's interesting that people make fun of this situation without offering the usual "thoughts for the family" sort of comment. If this had happened to a climber in Eldo, everyone would be saying how they felt bad for the family and that we should "be safe out there." I don't disagree with anything that has been posted... I'm just sayin.

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By Lee Green
Apr 9, 2012
Granted I'm new to climbing, only 1 yr of experience, but I'm puzzled by why people don't routinely tie stopper knots. I've been a sailor for decades. We tie stoppers in most everything, just as a regular safety precaution, though usually the worst consequence is nothing more than a line whipping around loose. (A jib sheet in a wind can lay a nasty welt on you, but it's not fatal, unless you go forward without a harness to secure it and go overboard.) Yet climbers don't seem to make stoppers a habit when the consequences are death. Can anyone clue me in to why stopper knots are not standard practice in climbing/rappelling?

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By Finn the Human
From The Land of Ooo
Apr 9, 2012
Mathematical!
Lee Green wrote:
Can anyone clue me in to why stopper knots are not standard practice in climbing/rappelling?


Climbers are too good for stopper knots. F*** gravity.


But seriously, this is really unfortunate... I never like seeing news like this.

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By Ben Beckerich
From saint helens, oregon
Apr 10, 2012
About half way up the East Arete on Illumination Rock
Lee Green wrote:
Granted I'm new to climbing, only 1 yr of experience, but I'm puzzled by why people don't routinely tie stopper knots. I've been a sailor for decades. We tie stoppers in most everything, just as a regular safety precaution, though usually the worst consequence is nothing more than a line whipping around loose. (A jib sheet in a wind can lay a nasty welt on you, but it's not fatal, unless you go forward without a harness to secure it and go overboard.) Yet climbers don't seem to make stoppers a habit when the consequences are death. Can anyone clue me in to why stopper knots are not standard practice in climbing/rappelling?


To tell you the truth, I basically always forget.

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By mark felber
From Wheat Ridge, CO
Apr 10, 2012
1. If you neglect to untie the stopper knot before pulling the rap line, your rope will be stuck by the stopper knot. This is easy to do if you finish a rappel well to one side of the rap anchor.

2. The stopper knot can get jammed in a crack during the rappel, or caught on something.

3. Nobody wants to admit that they're dumb enough to rap off the end of the rope.

4. Laziness.

These are not necessarily good reasons, just reasons.

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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Apr 10, 2012
El Chorro
markf wrote:
1. If you neglect to untie the stopper knot before pulling the rap line, your rope will be stuck by the stopper knot. This is easy to do if you finish a rappel well to one side of the rap anchor. 2. The stopper knot can get jammed in a crack during the rappel, or caught on something. 3. Nobody wants to admit that they're dumb enough to rap off the end of the rope. 4. Laziness. These are not necessarily good reasons, just reasons.


+1.

I mainly don't do it because it takes extra time. The time to tie the knot is negligible, but the time to get to the end of the rope and untie it every time I pull the rope just seems a waste. Also, I've had more than one knot get stuck in a crack... that sucks.

I just don't see how someone can rappel for 50 meters or so w/o looking down to see the end of the rope flapping in the wind.

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By Evan1984
Apr 10, 2012
This is a sad and preventable accident.

My personal experience with stopper knots is interesting. I've more or less always known that you **should*** tie them, but I, like many, was not particularly religious about it.

One time, I was on a low angle, multi-pitch rap at dusk. I was cruising down the rope expecting the next set of anchors to be 10 yards below. Suddenly, I caught the stopper knots in my hand and realized that I had gone about 10 feet past my anchors.

That turned me into a born again stopper knot person.

Edit: I'd also like to add that the problems of forgetting to untie stopper knots and lost time become much less the more you make stopper knots part of your routine. We don't think squeeze checks are too much time and we don't think forget to unbuckle our seat belts because these are all safety steps that have become habit.

Evan

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By $t0& 960
From Colorado
Apr 10, 2012
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i always have an autoblock attached to my leg loop of my harness and use it on multi pitch raps and single pitch climbs when i have to clean my own trad pro it also gives me an extra prussik cord and a biner for some emergency cases, guitly of not tying a stopper knot recently have been more aware of its importance. Very important to pay attention and not pull the stopper knot while taking the rap ropes out that can be problematic especially on multiple rappels. Another reason to use double ropes for multipitch though.

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By JSH
Administrator
Apr 10, 2012
JSH @ home <br /> <br />photo courtesy of Gabe Ostriker
Ryan Williams wrote:
I just don't see how someone can rappel for 50 meters or so w/o looking down to see the end of the rope flapping in the wind.


As the idiot who did that .... I was sure I'd set it up correctly, like I had hundreds if not thousands of times before. It had a middle mark. It was a straightforward rappel down slabby rock, albeit close to full-length. The ends hung up on a ledge midway; I stopped to untangle and re-throw. I looked down to check the left side, it was down. Just about when I would have looked down to check the right side .... click, plunk.

So that's how it's done. I had always chosen not to tie end knots. I may revisit that decision, at least in the Gunks, definitely not in Vegas.

I wasn't making fun in my earlier post; I was just pointing out the published mathematical inconsistency. He may well have had a 200-ft (60m) rope, and "editorial" mistakes were made. I admit that I'm more careful about well wishes when I think there's a chance the friends or family might come looking; I wish this guy's family as much peace as anyone else.

Mutton, there's been plenty written about the advantages of double ropes (I'm a believer) ... a few searches here should lead you to some good threads.

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By Tom Mulholland
From #1 Cheese Producing State!
Apr 10, 2012
Whiskey-a-Go-Go
JSH wrote:
He may well have had a 200-ft (60m) rope, and "editorial" mistakes were made.


It's likely that the ropes were fixed for their 'stunt.' You can clearly rappel 77m on a single strand with a 100m rope.

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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Apr 10, 2012
El Chorro
I'm a pretty big fan of doubles, but they really aren't needed all the time. Managing a single rope w/ long runners is easy enough most times, but it does take longer. When I'm leading hard on multi-pitch climbs, I like to move fast and save every ounce of energy for the next pitch. Doubles make this possible because you can just clip the rope to a cam or a draw, and not worry about having to extend it.

There are also times where doubles do give you more protection options. One time I spefically remember was leading the R pitch on the Third Pillar of Dana. You do a 10- move w/ nothing but micro-nuts protecting you from a big sharp ledge (not really R, but spicy). If you have doubles, you can place a stopper in a crack just left of the crux, and then you can traverse right and place another one in a different crack. Neither crack has enough room to place more than one good piece - it would be a rope drag nightmare w/ a single.

The main drawback w/ doubles is that you will fall farther (unless you have two pieces in side by side). I experienced this on Dum Dee Dum Dum, where I fell out of the wide section and sort of skidded on the low angle terrain below. Not a real impact, but more of one than would have happened w/ a single. I suppose the belayer could have done a better job as well.

If you have doubles that are also rated as twins, you can avoid this by clipping both ropes when you are above a ledge (or any other time you want to minimise fall distance). But then you are increasing the forces that your gear and your body must withstand, so it's a catch 22.

Then there are the times when I've been on new terrain on VERY sharp limestone and was wishing I had a second rope. And times when I had to bail and leave gear behind, or just get down super fast. Lots of other reasons too. Like most things in climbing, doubles have their place. I'd say I use mine on about a half of the multi-pitch climbs that I do and much less than that on single pitch.

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By bearbreeder
Apr 10, 2012
i usually tie the knots on multi raps, the trick IMO is to have a system set up where the first person down holds the ends of the rope for a firemans and then unties the knots ... they should be doing that anyways for diagonal raps

also if the first person down uses a prussik or something similar, then they can usually fix any snafus, knot related or not

rapping off the ends i believe is one of the more common rap failures ... its all too easy when yr rushing or in the dark to screw up the rope management ... especially if you depend on the middle mark or bi-pattern rather than pulling up both ends of the rope

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