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protraxion q's
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By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From Bend, OR
Sep 24, 2009
Racked and loaded... name that splitter behind me? Hint, its on Supercrack Buttress

So, playing with my new protraxion... I have it rigged to haul, and it works fine... safety biner in the hole at the bottom.

Before hauling any line in, of course I tie the rope short behind the protraxion.

And then start hauling...

Is there any easy "safety" method to backup the protraxion. I haven't tried a prussick in front, but reckon that'll be a bad idea.

What do other people do?

Andy


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By Erik W
From Bay Area, CA
Sep 24, 2009
North face of Ama Dablam - taken on approach to Kongma La.

Given that the outer plates - combined with the upper and lower 'biners - make a closed loop, I don't worry so much about the whole works ripping out the bottom of the device as I use to with my previous pulley (Wall Hauler). Even if the pulley axle snaps, the plates and lower 'biner have the rope contained.

Beyond that, I haul with a gri-gri, which I guess makes me the backup. On high friction, 2-person hauls I'll throw a runner with lockers on the trailing end of the pulley and connected to a separate anchor point - just as a backup for the 'biners holding the protraxion.

My one piece of advice is to add an extra degree/link of freedom for rotational movement between the anchor tie-in point and the protraxion. My setup consists of: anchor-locker-2shortspectraCordLoops-locker-protraxion. It lowers the effective hauling point a couple inches, but the extra freedom makes hauling a lot easier.

I'm interested to hear what other folks do for a backup on the PT.


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By Brian Sadowsky
From salt lake city
Sep 24, 2009
Royal Arches

I clip a quick draw or sling w/ biners from the power point (or other place--which ever works best) to the rope next to the hauling device. It doesn't matter what kind of hauling device. If the hauler breaks it would get caught by the biner. I use this in addition to back up knots.




edit: posted photo


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By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From Bend, OR
Sep 24, 2009
Racked and loaded... name that splitter behind me? Hint, its on Supercrack Buttress

Brian Sadowsky wrote:
I clip a quick draw or sling w/ biners from the power point (or other place--which ever works best) to the rope next to the hauling device. It doesn't matter what kind of hauling device. If the hauler breaks it would get caught by the biner. I use this in addition to back up knots.


Can you describe more? I guess I'm missing how the biner is connected to the rope in this scenario.

And the second post.... so you have a grigi at your waist the haul line goes into that... as if you were belaying on it? Not a bad idea!


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By Evan1984
Sep 25, 2009

Are you worried about the cam action failing and it not locking or the whole unit disintegrating? Is this for backing up while hauling or rapping off the protrax like in solo-aid?

I don't worry about the whole unit failing.

Personally, other than clipping into the anchor behind the protrax, I just haul. If you are worried, stop to short clip occasioinally or haul with a gri/ascender to makes yourself the backup. I don't worry about the backup becuase its the pig. In the unlikely event that the cam failed, it would eventually get stopped by being lcipped to the anchor.

If you are rapping off the pro-trax, I've seen people set up a prussik on the load side as a back up. Then you can just start hauling when you get up. I've never done this personnaly, though.

Evan


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By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From Bend, OR
Sep 25, 2009
Racked and loaded... name that splitter behind me? Hint, its on Supercrack Buttress

The only reason I worry is having 50' of rope start zinging through the device should the cam fail. You'd be in a world of hurt if an appendage got caught up in it!

Thanks for all the suggestions.

Andy


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By Evan1984
Sep 25, 2009

  • **Edit for clarity***

Agreed. I think that proper rope stacking is the key to solving that problem. It won't stop the cam from failing, but keeping it neatly stacked will keep your appendages out of it.

Still, I don't think that it is a huge concern. Maybe a few short clips are in order, but I don't really think more than that. The way I see the cam failing is like on an ascender, meaning it pops off due to a traversing or torquing. I don't see this type of loading of the device happening much when I haul, and the cam engagement mechanism on the protrax seems less prone to popping off than an ascension.


I wish Pete or someone experienced would chime in on this, though.


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By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From Bend, OR
Sep 25, 2009
Racked and loaded... name that splitter behind me? Hint, its on Supercrack Buttress

Pete might chime in.. and I believe he HATES protraxions!

Stupid question probably.. but what do you mean by proper rope stacking will prevent the rope from zinging through?

Another question - I was surprised to see in the Protrax instructions that the largest static rope recommended is 10.2. Bummer since I bought a 10.3.

What lines do other folks haul with the protrax on?

Andy


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By Evan1984
Sep 25, 2009

Think the deadliest catch. Don't be standing in a coil of
the rope. It won't stop the pig from zinging through. But...if you stack it neatly, it may still zing out, but you won't get a leg or hand caught in it. And, just keep your fingers away from the device when hauling.

I haul on an old 10.5 static fine


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By Erik W
From Bay Area, CA
Sep 25, 2009
North face of Ama Dablam - taken on approach to Kongma La.

Andy, I think Brian and I use the same quickdraw/runner method as a backup (he uses it all the time, I wrote about only using it on uber-beefy hauls). Just clip a runner with lockers to the rope after it comes out of the PT - the hauling end - and into one of your anchor points. Should the whole PT unit fail, this then would become the pivot point for the haul line - Near impossible to haul from, but it would keep the pig from taking flight.

As I mentioned though, the outer plates of the PT make a pretty bomber enclosure to hold the rope should the pulley axle fail.

Using a gri-gri or cinch is definitely the way to go for hauling, IMHO (and yes, it's clipped in just like when belaying with it). For starters, it makes super easy work of lowering the pig (i.e., when docking and transferring to a munter mule, or when the pig gets stuck under a lip somewhere). Second, it does function as a bomber backup should the cam on the PT go kaput (without the risks of using a toothed ascender on dynamic forces).

With the gri-gri as the yarding device, I don't use backup knots. I figure if the PT blows *AND* the gri-gri blows, Zeus is pissed at me for something and no amount of knots is stopping the Hades Express.

I haul on a 10.2 with the PT with no problems - and the rope is well fuzzed (also hauled on a dynamic 10.5 once and all was ok). I think your 10.3 should be fine.

Where are you heading, Andy?


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By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From Bend, OR
Sep 25, 2009
Racked and loaded... name that splitter behind me? Hint, its on Supercrack Buttress

Aaaahhhh, I never thought of the advantage of having the grigri to lower out the bag if you need to! Great idea.

Last year my wife and I spent two weeks in Moab learning to aid climb. Highlights were the Hindu, Kingfisher, and Phantom Sprint. Obviously everything was short... so no hauling, etc... "sport aid climbing" I called it.

At the end of October we're going down to Zion to climb the usual suspects - Touchstone and Moonlight. We plan to do Touchstone in one long day, or fix and then fire the next day. Moonlight we want the experience of hauling/portaledge etc.

20 years of free climbing, but total n00b on aid climbing until last year. Kind of fun to be a beginner again.


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By Erik W
From Bay Area, CA
Sep 25, 2009
North face of Ama Dablam - taken on approach to Kongma La.

Zion... awesome. Have a blast.


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By SAL
From broomdigiddy
Sep 25, 2009
good times. <br />

FWIW.

Gri-gri's and Cinch have been tested and one of the more common failures of both devices are when rope slips and a knot is tied in the rope and it jams into the devices seperating the plates and disengaging the rope. Not sure if this is possible to happen with the PTraxion especially if you are clipping the bottom plate holes but just thought i'd throw this tid bit out there.


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By SAL
From broomdigiddy
Sep 25, 2009
good times. <br />

Andy Laakmann wrote:
Aaaahhhh, I never thought of the advantage of having the grigri to lower out the bag if you need to! Great idea. Last year my wife and I spent two weeks in Moab learning to aid climb. Highlights were the Hindu, Kingfisher, and Phantom Sprint. Obviously everything was short... so no hauling, etc... "sport aid climbing" I called it. At the end of October we're going down to Zion to climb the usual suspects - Touchstone and Moonlight. We plan to do Touchstone in one long day, or fix and then fire the next day. Moonlight we want the experience of hauling/portaledge etc. 20 years of free climbing, but total n00b on aid climbing until last year. Kind of fun to be a beginner again.



Andy,

Touchstone can be done in a single push if you are moving at a descent pace. One good way to break it up using two ropes is to climb the first two aid pitches and fix. Then you can switch your rack around and leave most the aid gear on the ground and finish the remaining 5.10 and easier pitches. Since some of them require some bigger gear you can leave that stuff on the ground on day one and then swap out to fire the rest on day two. Rapping the route seems just as reasonable if not more so then gulley hell.Depends on if you dig sandy summits.

have fun


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By Erik W
From Bay Area, CA
Sep 25, 2009
North face of Ama Dablam - taken on approach to Kongma La.

SAL wrote:
FWIW. Gri-gri's and Cinch have been tested and one of the more common failures of both devices are when rope slips and a knot is tied in the rope and it jams into the devices seperating the plates and disengaging the rope. Not sure if this is possible to happen with the PTraxion especially if you are clipping the bottom plate holes but just thought i'd throw this tid bit out there.


Interesting. I don't think the PT would suffer such a failure by having a gri-gri sucked into it because, as you mentioned, that lower 'biner keeps the plates from separating - thus forming a contained system.

But that's interesting information about the gri-gri/cinch, especially given the recent focus on knotting the end of ropes for when lowering people off climbs. Realistically, that knot should just be a "Hey, you're near the end of the rope" reminder when it hits your brake hand - which in practice should be a ways away from the gri-gri anyway. But from what you say, if that knot goes thru an inexperienced belayer's hands and hits the gri-gri, the unit could fail.

Sorry about the tangent..... back to the PT and such.


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By John McNamee
Administrator
From Littleton, CO
Sep 25, 2009
Artist Tears P3

Andy,

Don't worry about the protrax. If you use it as it was designed it will work fine. Don't use it for huge loads. Compared to what I use to haul with, this this is a luxury liner! If you are concerned about the unit totally failing, then I would not use it. Buy a large 3 or 4 inch pulley and use a jug. That's how I use to do it and how I will do it when I get back to Yosemite in the next few years and will be hauling heavy loads. The Kong Roll Block is an option but its very heavy. Onrope1 has a good selection of pulleys.

Use a rope bag to stack the rope. Saves time in the long run. I like the Fish Snake Charmer, but any bag will work.

I've looked at some of the failures of the protrax and in my opinion they where not being used as designed. Flame away!

By the way I was given a prototype of a early wall hauler the other day by a big wall legend. Amazing device. When I have time I'll post up a pic...

Kept things really simple. Simple means safety and speed on a wall.


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By SAL
From broomdigiddy
Sep 25, 2009
good times. <br />

Erik W wrote:
Interesting. I don't think the PT would suffer such a failure by having a gri-gri sucked into it because, as you mentioned, that lower 'biner keeps the plates from separating - thus forming a contained system. But that's interesting information about the gri-gri/cinch, especially given the recent focus on knotting the end of ropes for when lowering people off climbs. Realistically, that knot should just be a "Hey, you're near the end of the rope" reminder when it hits your brake hand - which in practice should be a ways away from the gri-gri anyway. But from what you say, if that knot goes thru an inexperienced belayer's hands and hits the gri-gri, the unit could fail. Sorry about the tangent..... back to the PT and such.


I am not talking about a grigri being sucked into it. I am just talking about a back up knot being tied in the rope incase the cam in the PT fails.

The knot test on these devices failed at pretty low loads and the same force for both devices pretty much. around 8kn.


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By "Pass the Pitons" Pete Zabrok
From Oakville, Ontario
Oct 7, 2009
Left to right - me, Sam Adams, Thomas Huber, Alex Huber

The Pro-Traxion is a TOTAL PIECE OF SH|T!

There is simply no other way to state this. Do knott waste your money on the thing.

Buy yourself a Kong Block-Roll. If you are having trouble finding one, drop me an email.


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By njsmail
Nov 7, 2009
ever feel like this before a route? <br />

why? pete Why? I sense a story or two behind this.. I own a protrax and have TR solo'ed with it, the teeth do make me nervous, but if there are some serious issues, perhaps I shouldn't...


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By "Pass the Pitons" Pete Zabrok
From Oakville, Ontario
Nov 14, 2009
Left to right - me, Sam Adams, Thomas Huber, Alex Huber

It's just not very strong, nor well made, dude.

If you are toprope soloing, a couple of Mini-Trax's are a better bet. You can find photos and beta on McTopo. Never trust your life to a single device, even when toproping!

As for the Pro-Trax, it fails under heavy load. I have met at least two teams at the base of El Cap who have bailed after their Pro-Trax failed. Mine failed on me, too, hauling heavy loads. The plates get tweaked and don't line up. But it'll work ok for lighter loads, though. The pulley is nowhere near as efficient as that of the Kong, and the Kong is hugely faster and easier when hauling heavy loads.


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By njsmail
Nov 23, 2009
ever feel like this before a route? <br />

Thanks, I want to make it as safe as possible, I can't seem to find anything called mc topo. . . link?


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By YetAnotherDave
Nov 23, 2009

Just for a bit of context, when PTPP says 'heavy loads' he means HUGE loads. Like 'solar shower on day 14' loads.

I used a protrax for my first few camping walls, including one El Cap route, and it was fine. You definitely want to have the right biner - the petzl locking ovals are optimal. D-shaped biners can lead to shifting the plates, and that way lies deep unhappiness.

The Kong hauler that Pete is such a fan of is definitely the better unit, but it does come with a weight penalty. That said, it's worth it if you're hauling big loads or slabby routes. My protrax is mostly a backup piece since I got my Kong.

And McTopo, AKA Supertaco, AKA the Taco Stand lives here: www.supertopo.com/forumsearch.php?ftr=mini+traxion+toprope


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