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By Enterthedragon12
Sep 9, 2013
I want to buy some rappelling equipment and have done some research but there's a lot out there and it's pretty confusing to someone that is coming into this not knowing anything about it.

In addition, I also have some box gutters on my house that I'd like to use the equipment to hang from my roof and paint. I weigh about 160lbs and there's a VERY solid brick chimney that that is rectangular (4feet long x 3 feet wide) that I would plan to anchor to.

My question is, Is there a rappelling harness that is suitable for hours of use without getting pretty uncomfortable? Or is the use of rappelling equipment a bad idea for painting? (The house is too tall for the tallest of ladders.)

So far I'm considering an 11mm static rope and a Trango B-52 rappel device, but not sure what else (aside from a harness) would be needed.

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By Locker
From Yucca Valley, CA
Sep 9, 2013
...
"Is there a rappelling harness that is suitable for hours of use without getting pretty uncomfortable?"

A "Big Wall" harness would have more width on the waste belt and it would also be more padded.

Something like a YATES would probably be best.

yatesgear.com/climbing/big/ind...



EDITED:

"Or is the use of rappelling equipment a bad idea for painting?"

Very possibly!

By the way, what are you going to use for an anchor?

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By vincent L.
From Redwood City
Sep 9, 2013
First day of school
If you are anchored to a fixed point on your roof , how will you reach all sides of your house ?

It seems like you would be at an uncomfortable angle when painting some sides , IE , not directly underneath your anchor .

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By Abram Herman
From Golden, CO
Sep 9, 2013
Viking helmet cover, yep.
+1 on a big wall harness, that'll be the most comfortable, aside from maybe an industrial full-body harness.

You might think about using a different rappel device. The one you're thinking of getting will take some knowledge of knots to tie off when you want to hang hands-free and just be generally more of a pain in the butt; something like a Grigri or a Cinch would allow you to just throw a backup knot on the brake strand, rather than using a mule knot or something to tie off.

Another thing to think about: if you end up hanging off the side of the house, how will you get back up on the roof once you're done? You might need to get an ascender (and learn how to use it). This would be another good reason to go with an assisted locking device like a grigri, as it makes ascending a rope quick and easy.

As far as reaching all sides of the house... When I was a painter in college, the roofers or other crews would sometimes use ropes for access, and they had little anchors that could be screwed/bolted into something for a temporary anchor. Of course, you have to put holes in the roof or elsewhere, and you'd need to be sure you have enough confidence that it's safe to totally rely on them, but it might be worth looking into. This is what I had in mind: bradlewis.com/pictures/roofanc...

Also, I'm sure once you have all your stuff set up you could find a local climbing bum on here that would be willing to show you a few things and double-check your set up, for the low low price of a six pack ;-)

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By J. Broussard
From CordryCorner
Sep 9, 2013
Young Good Free Face, 11b
Locker wrote:
A "Big Wall" harness would have more width on the waste belt and it would also be more padded. Something like a YATES would probably be best. yatesgear.com/climbing/big/ind... EDITED: "Or is the use of rappelling equipment a bad idea for painting?" Very possibly! By the way, what are you going to use for an anchor?


what gives Locker?
I HAD been enjoying all of your replies to questions like this.

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By Bill Moser
Sep 9, 2013
Boulderers heading home after a day in the Gunks
Hey, how 'bout a pic of the house -- might give us some ideas :)

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By Doug S
Sep 9, 2013
Edge of Time
I'm curious... if the roof is too tall for ladders, how will you access it to set up anchor from the chimney then rappel down? I agree that it sounds like a difficult way to do it, and maybe unsafe as well, depending on the condition of the masonry.

For the price of rope, harness and gear, why not just buy or rent some scaffolding? It would be much safer and easier IMO. Either way, good luck!

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By ARowland
Sep 9, 2013
I work as a cell tower climber, and I can tell you I have spent many long days hanging in my harness in (relative) comfort. It's definitely overkill for what you want to do, but the harnesses we use use have an integrated rigid seat called a bosun's chair that keep the sides of the harness from pinching your legs, and a spreader bar in the front of the harness that keeps the load from the rappel device (a grillon, almost identical to a grigri) from squeezing your legs. I'd recomend a grigri as your rappel device, and pairing a cheap rock harness with a homemade bosun's chair (a plank with a couple of cords to support it) as your best value option. If you start spending much more than that, you're probably better off hiring a professional instead.

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By John Husky
Sep 9, 2013
As someone stated already, the house is not too tall for a ladder. You just don't have the right ladder. How do you think they installed the gutter?

I guess this is actually a troll, but here goes...

If you want to learn to rappel, get some good books and hire a guide, I guess. It is the worst part of climbing, but maybe you'll enjoy it.

If you really want to paint your tall house, rent a lift. It is a basket that is attached to a boom arm which can telescope and lift up. If you know the height and width of your house, the folks at the rental place can get the best machine for your use. Where I live they cost around $300 per day.

If you try to paint by rappelling you will be able to paint an upside down cone shaped section of your wall, directly below your chimney. However, you should not assume that a chimney is going to be a safe anchor. I take them down from time to time, and often they are shit.

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By Mike Belu
From Indianapolis, IN
Sep 9, 2013
Summit of Rainier.
Pay someone to install siding and use the extra time to go climbing.

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By RockinOut
From NY, NY
Sep 9, 2013
Gear
Yer Gunna Die
Yer Gunna Die


Couldnt resist.... but yea

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By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Sep 10, 2013
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after...
Ladders. That's how you paint things on houses. Unless you live in a four story mansion, there are ladders that will reach and can be secured for such a purpose. That's what you should be researching.

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By Abram Herman
From Golden, CO
Sep 10, 2013
Viking helmet cover, yep.
Maybe he feels more comfortable with the idea of rappelling down from the roof than standing on top of a 40 or 50 foot ladder—I wouldn't blame him. I've spent plenty of time manhandling some huge ladders. They're no fun to set up and move around, especially by yourself, and no fun to be on top of, especially if you're on a slope or out in the breeze. Rappelling could seem like the safer option, depending on what the house looks like, but since none of us have seen it it's hard to have an informed opinion.

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By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Sep 10, 2013
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after...
I understand that perspective. However, since I haven't seen the house and since "anchoring to a chimney" is coming from a person that is admittedly inexperienced with this type of gear and applications, I think that the conventional means of getting this type of work done would better serve him.

Anchoring to a chimney is always dubious at best. Any mason will tell you this. Personally, I have seen a cornice carpenter break one (a chimney) when he anchored to it, and with just body weight. There's a correct tool for every job, and for this one, it's scaffolding or ladders. If you're that uncomfortable, perhaps a contractor is what you need.

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By Woodchuck ATC
Sep 10, 2013
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
I can't imagine having easy access to paint, brushes, wet rags for cleaning up small spill spots, etc.,,,all hanging from a rappel harness. A ladder is a must. How many times do you figure to go up and down that rope, to refix, readjust, to reposition it? Sounds like alot of work for not much benefit to get the job done.

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By Jake T
From Prescott AZ
Sep 10, 2013
There are a lot of options out there for rapping and ascending, I'm an arborist and most of us use a simple friction hitch with a micro pulley as a slack tender. our ropes usually go over a limb or through a pulley with one end tied into our harness and the "free" end with the hitch on it.
The simplest and cheapest solution that I can think of for both ascending and descending safely is the old school double rope technique with a blakes hitch. For that system youll need a static rope at least twice as long as the height you need to descend, a harness, and a few lockers to run your rope through at your anchor point. simple, no expensive equipment, and very reliable. Please do your research thought, there is a ton of good info on arborist sites out there. Try searching "DRT blakes hitch".

IMPORTANT: descend SLOWLY with a friction hitch.

As for the harness, If your only planning on hanging and working every now and then and using your equipment mostly for recreational rappelling You might consider buying a cheap sport climbing harness and just making a belay seat out of a 2"x8" and some cord. Stay tied into the harness, get where your going then hang your seat from a prussic.

Be safe and please do your homework before taking the advice of some random internet dude like me.

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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Sep 10, 2013
Stabby
DON'T trust that chimney with your life!!!!!.

Ladder, scaffolding or a man lift, period. 30+ years of construction talking here.

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By Locker
From Yucca Valley, CA
Sep 10, 2013
...
"or a man lift"



Is that the same as a "Nut tuck"?

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By Tom-onator
From This Galaxy
Sep 10, 2013
Tom-onator
Mike Lane wrote:
DON'T trust that chimney with your life!!!!!. Ladder, scaffolding or a man lift, period. 30+ years of construction talking here.


+1
Renting a pump jack scaffold like the siding blokes use would allow you to work a greater area while maintaining a safer environment.
Easier done with a helper but can be done by self with a lot of back n fourth walking the plank (aarrghh).
video.search.yahoo.com/video/p...
Use blocks and planks to level the ground if necessary and be cautious of power lines.

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By AnthonyM
Sep 10, 2013
Maroon Bells-Bell Cord Couloir
Can't you just lash or duct tape two super long ladders together???

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By Enterthedragon12
Sep 11, 2013
Sorry for the delayed response. Here is a picture of the house (and me putting up Christmas lights a few years back). I can reach some areas with a ladder however due to the porch protruding out so far, it prevents a ladder from reaching the top peaks. There is a top peak similar to the one on the front of the house, on all 4 sides. There is also a porch roof on 3 of the 4 sides that block a ladder.
Even though I have an access door on the roof (there is a flat area on the roof that cannot be seen in the picture of about 20' x 13') that I could potentially rappel down from, as many of you have pointed out, rappelling down is probably not my best option. I think it may have sounded like the fun option or at least gave me an excuse to fork over some $$$ for rappelling gear. I think I'm going to rent a boom lift and play it safe, but I do still have the desire to get into rappelling.
So with the idea of rappelling off of my house out of my head, I could still use some tips on equipment. I'd most likely plan on rappelling and climbing in places such as Red River Gorge where it’s primarily rock formations and steep cliffs, so I'd go for the dynamic rope instead of the static, but it would be nice to have a list of essential equipment. I’ve seen “kits” out there that seem to come with a lot of stuff, but many kits contain very different types of items and it seems like it would be better to just buy the individual pieces.


Thanks again for the replies

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By Helas123
From Ontario/California
Mar 25, 2014
Jake Jones wrote:
Ladders. That's how you paint things on houses. Unless you live in a four story mansion, there are ladders that will reach and can be secured for such a purpose. That's what you should be researching.

Totally agree with jake about this matter.

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By Max Forbes
From Burlington, VT
Mar 25, 2014
Old and Busted wrote:
DON'T trust that chimney with your life!!!!!. Ladder, scaffolding or a man lift, period. 30+ years of construction talking here.


What this guy said. Consider using a rope anchored to your chimney as a safety measure were your ladder to fall, but I seriously would not hang from that chimney 40 feet off the ground all day, especially without climbing anchor construction experience.

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By Ryan Nevius
From The Range of Light
Mar 25, 2014
Mt. Agassiz
This is a really old thread.

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By FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Mar 25, 2014
Ryan Nevius wrote:
This is a really old thread.


No kidding - the paint has long since dried...

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By Nathan Flaim
Mar 25, 2014
I wonder that you seem to be so stuck on the idea of rappelling.
As this is a climbing website, I think I can speak for most of us in saying that rappelling is but a means to an end. If you are going to invest in a day at the red river gorge, go climbing. There are easy routes there that will allow you to climb to the rim of the gorge before rapping back off, such as Bedtime for Bonzo at the Fortress.
I would highly recommend hiring a competent guide service. They will be able to loan/rent you all the gear you need for the day, orient you to its use, and ensure your safety with as much certainty as can be expected. As an added benefit you will literally be able to talk said guide's ear off all day long with questions about gear. All climbers love talking about gear, and gathering information from an experienced individual as opposed to from an online forum is much more efficient.

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