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sapling slinging
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By Michael C
From New Jersey
Apr 4, 2013
Mt Minsi, PA
I've come across my fair share of saplings and baby trees while climbing and usually sling them with a basket hitch. But I got to thinking that I could very well end up taking a fall on a triaxly-loaded biner.

How do you normally sling saplings on lead? Girth hitch?

Thanks,
Michael C

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By joshf
From missoula, mt
Apr 4, 2013
Me
girth hitch, or just loop the sling and clip both ends.

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By Allen Corneau
From Houston, TX
Apr 5, 2013
joshf wrote:
girth hitch, or just loop the sling and clip both ends.


That is a basket hitch.

Michael: if your biner is tri-axially loading then use a longer sling, that way the angle between the left side and the right will be more acute.

I use a basket hitch if possible but will use a girth hitch if really needed. (Girth hitching reduces the strength of the sling in half while basket hitching doubles the strength.)

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By Avi Katz
Apr 5, 2013
I'm no engineer but I imagine that any force strong enough to cause a tri-axially loaded carabiner to fail could easily pull out a sapling.

wereallgonnadie

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By The Stoned Master
Administrator
From Pennsylvania
Apr 5, 2013
Day Lily.
Just to add: looking back I have always girth hitched slings around saplings and chockstones. I knew girth hitching took away some strength but half...wow. I still am girth hitching however; its worked well and even at 12kn (half of the average strength of a dyneema or nylon sling) it'll catch me. If my fall will create more than 12kn then I'm plugging gear (to back up sapling sling) or not climbing higher with just a sling around a small sapling.

If my fall will generate more force than my rope is made to handle you can take this lead...

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By Jeremy Riesberg
From Boulder, CO
Apr 5, 2013
Palisaid, SD.
I'm going to start basket hitching my saplings just to decrease the impact I have on them. The way I see it is, if my fall can break my tri-loaded biner, that trees gone too. At least this way the tree had a chance to stop me, or at least slow me down.

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By John Husky
Apr 13, 2013
Don't sling saplings, maybe? They are not very strong?

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By NYClimber
From New York
Apr 13, 2013
Awesome slab climb right out of the water! Rogers ...
If I have to sling a sapling I always want backups - if it's used for a belay of course.

I just read this week in-fact that the girth hitch will weaken the sling by like 50%! I was shocked. I know knots reduce the strength of anything that they ARE tied into - but I didn't know it was THAT much vs. the basket hitch. I like a girth hitch tho b/c it draws up tight around the base of a tree, etc. and only gets tighter when loaded and won't 'ride up' the tree.

I am always careful that I don't wanna harm nor kill a tree as well....

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By cdec
From SLC and Moab, ut
Apr 13, 2013
loop the sling tie the ends with an overhand.
This also creates redundancy.

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By The Stoned Master
Administrator
From Pennsylvania
Apr 13, 2013
Day Lily.
NYclimber I was also blown away to hear that! 50% is a lot. Now Michael said sling a sapling on lead, my experience says on lead the only way ill be able to (attempt to) sling a sapling AND tie it off with 1 hand into an overhand is if I'm on a really nice ledge/stance. For me the basket (never used but am now considering) or the girth are the only feasible on higher moderate and above AND on lead. If possible I always tie an overhand/8 when creating a belay.

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By NYClimber
From New York
Apr 13, 2013
Awesome slab climb right out of the water! Rogers ...
I didn't read it all but that's what I heard...

Hard to see the details on their test charts - but here is their article:

blackdiamondequipment.com/en-u...

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By bearbreeder
Apr 13, 2013
for those worried about girth hitches ... just think of all those people who girth hitch to their harness purcell prussics or those nylon (because of the "deadly" dyneema) slings and expect to be caught if they take a fall on static material

with rope in the system and on good fully rated slings ... im not worried

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By Nick K
From Somerville, MA
Apr 13, 2013
bearbreeder wrote:
for those worried about girth hitches ... just think of all those people who girth hitch to their harness purcell prussics or those nylon (because of the "deadly" dyneema) slings and expect to be caught if they take a fall on static material with rope in the system and on good fully rated slings ... im not worried


I'm stunned that this many people weren't aware of the 50% strength reduction. I'm not sure there's enough panic going around.

Gentle mockery aside, if I was going to sling a sapling mid-route, I would absolutely girth hitch it. Same goes for chockstones and chicken heads. Horns would probably just get the sling looped over them, as I wouldn't want the hitch to tighten itself off.

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By NYClimber
From New York
Apr 13, 2013
Awesome slab climb right out of the water! Rogers ...
I agree. I like the girth hitch myself and will continue to use it as well. I'm not worried either!

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By mattm
From TX
Apr 13, 2013
Grande Grotto
Those BD Tests are for joining two slings together, NOT attaching a sling to a solid object. Those 50% reduction figures aren't applicable to slinging a sapling.

A quick google search lead me to a confined space rescue book that quotes a 20% loss of strength in anchoring situations.

HOW you rig up the girth hitch and WHAT you rig it around will probably effect strength. A narrow and smooth object with likely have more loss in strength vs a large diameter object with rough texture (bark). The larger radius bend and rough texture (friction) reduce the load on the hitch.

You also have to be sure you're not adding a "pulley effect" in your girth hitch setup which will also reduce strength.


Bad Girth Hitch Setup.  The sling creates a pulley...
Bad Girth Hitch Setup. The sling creates a pulley effect greatly increasing the load on the webbing. - Image from Long/Gaines Climbing Anchors




Better Girth Hitch Setup.  There is no pulley effe...
Better Girth Hitch Setup. There is no pulley effect and the friction from the tree bark helps take some of the load off the hitch itself. - Image from Luebben Anchors book


I almost ALWAYS girth hitch trees etc. The weakness is likely in that sad looking twig sticking out of the rock and NOT how I rig my sling.

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By The Stoned Master
Administrator
From Pennsylvania
Apr 13, 2013
Day Lily.
Exactly Matt! If it was good enough for Leubben it is good enough for me! That's a great book.

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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Apr 13, 2013
El Chorro
Is this a real thread?

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By The Stoned Master
Administrator
From Pennsylvania
Apr 13, 2013
Day Lily.
Your looking at it dude. Is it real? That's the point of these forums (not that you can always tell), people ask a question, other people answer. Pretty straight forward. Not everyone is a walking climbing textbook nor has everyone experienced all of climbing and every situation it can present.

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By C. Archibald
Apr 13, 2013
Me on some bolted 10 in boulder canyon
Michael C wrote:
I've come across my fair share of saplings and baby trees while climbing


Are you climbing near a tree farm or garden center?


Whenever I find a sapling or baby tree, I rip it from the soil and fling it at my partner.

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By C. Archibald
Apr 13, 2013
Me on some bolted 10 in boulder canyon
Like this:



Flinging the sapling any other way could reduce one's power and distance by up to 50%!!!

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By nbrown
From western NC
Apr 14, 2013
Top of Shortoff with the Bonsai
Definitely one of the smallest rap anchors that I've ever used... I've actually used it a bunch of times, and surprisingly it's quite solid for it's size. Also, I know it's better not to girth hitch this one, but that's how it was set up last. Don't worry too much about the tree either, we just fixed a better anchor in it's place today - give that poor thing a break.
Rap tree!
Rap tree!

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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Apr 15, 2013
Rumney
The Stoned Master wrote:
Your looking at it dude. Is it real? That's the point of these forums (not that you can always tell), people ask a question, other people answer. Pretty straight forward. Not everyone is a walking climbing textbook nor has everyone experienced all of climbing and every situation it can present.


Haha, my thoughts exactly. Places to learn trolled by those who know it all.

I wouldn't sling anything smaller than 2" in diameter and expect its root system to sustain the force of a fall. That said, you'd be surprised how deep the root systems of these cliff side trees get.

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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Apr 15, 2013
Stoked...
I'm always amazed at what small trees to do cars when they hit them... then I see people worried about rappin' on 4" dia. trees and it makes me laugh.

Oh and Nbrown ur girth is messed up man... poor form ;-)

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By Daryl Allan
From Sierra Vista, AZ
Apr 15, 2013
Me and my Fetish I guess.. ;)
Reminds me of that 'close calls' video where some guy was watching a race from behind this tiny tree. It was one of those where everyone stands right on the edge of the road as cars to tearing by. Well, one of those little drifter cars comes whipping around the corner, loses traction, and goes right for him but this little tree he was standing behind stopped the car instantly and barely moved.

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By S.Stelli
From Colorado Springs, CO
Apr 16, 2013
I thought saplings were booty?

I always take them with me if I come across one... that way I can plant it later to bail from (so I don't have to use my OWN saplings that I purchased)

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By Michael C
From New Jersey
May 1, 2013
Mt Minsi, PA
Yes, I was being serial. I live in Jersey and have climbed some chossy jungle shit, super serial.

But besides that, this is pic of my climbing up Betty (Gunks, NY). I remember on lead basket hitching a 24-inch sling around that little tree on the right. So, that would be an example of what I was talking about.


Betty, Gunks NY
Betty, Gunks NY

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