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Six pack for quick rappelling tutorial
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By Chris Cover
Apr 7, 2012
A friend and I are doing an adventure race next weekend in Moab and have no rappelling experience. We'd like to try it at least once before dropping from a 300' wall. Pressed for time and not looking for a full on climbing class, guys at WildyX recommended we try here looking for a kind soul willing to help. We have harnesses, atc devices, and locking caribiner. Live next to North Table (Golden), and if anyone could spare an hour for a quick instruction, would greatly appreciate, and reciprocate.

Thanks,

Chris and Julie

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By Rob Selter
From running springs Ca
Apr 7, 2012
me
YER GONNA DIE!

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By fat cow
From St. Paul, MN
Apr 7, 2012
perfect seam
assuming the race coordinators are putting a single strand 300 feet long for expediency and safety reasons, but if not you have to do some transitioning through joined ropes you may need to up your ante to a 12 pack or maybe be a case of cheap PBR or something.

you could of course read about it as well, but its likely someone will show you just for the sake of showing you

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By DexterRutecki
From Cincinnati, Ohio
Apr 7, 2012
fat cow wrote:
assuming the race coordinators are putting a single strand 300 feet long for expediency and safety reasons, but if not you have to do some transitioning through joined ropes you may need to up your ante to a 12 pack or maybe be a case of cheap PBR or something. you could of course read about it as well, but its likely someone will show you just for the sake of showing you


I kinda doubt the race organizers are going to have newbies rappelling 300 feet and passing a knot halfway down..

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By Robert Cort
Apr 7, 2012
Chris Cover wrote:
A friend and I are doing an adventure race next weekend in Moab and have no rappelling experience. We'd like to try it at least once before dropping from a 300' wall. Pressed for time and not looking for a full on climbing class, guys at WildyX recommended we try here looking for a kind soul willing to help. We have harnesses, atc devices, and locking caribiner. Live next to North Table (Golden), and if anyone could spare an hour for a quick instruction, would greatly appreciate, and reciprocate. Thanks, Chris and Julie


Where are you located? I'll bite if you're in southern NM.

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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Apr 7, 2012
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lichen covered look from scrubbing a new route.
If you are going to drop 300 feet with any speed, you are going to want something better than an ATC. It will heat up very quickly and possibly burn your hands and the rope. (I suggest leather gloves. The fingerless ones are great) A figure 8 would handle the heat better and be smoother. It would heat up (less than the ATC) but a Grigri might be the best way to go if on a single strand, since it has the safety of locking up if you let go. Is the rap low angled or steep/free hanging? Do you have to carry your gear to the rap point so weight is an issue? Are the race organizers going to have people at the base holding the end of the rope to yank on it if you screw up and lose control?

You might be better off contacting a sport rappelling group if you need speed. They and climbers have a whole different approach to rappelling generally. Climbers tend to see it as a necessary evil and try not to kill themselves doing it, While sport rappels are more likely to rap head first at high speed while shooting guns, drinking 18 beers before and make swooping SWAT style jumps. They also tend to ride ATVs and molest their cousins.

Have fun and be safe. Rappelling is easy, but it is also easy to screw up and kill yourself. If you haven't rapped off a 300 foot cliff before, it will blow your mind.

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By Dave Swink
From Boulder, Co
Apr 7, 2012
M Sprague wrote:
If you haven't rapped off a 300 foot cliff before, it will blow your mind.


My first thought.

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By Marc H
From Lafayette, CO
Apr 7, 2012
The Cathedral Spires in RMNP, left to right: Stiletto, Sharkstooth, Forbidden Tower, Petit Grepon, The Saber, The Foil, The Moon & The Jackknife.
Chris Cover wrote:
We have...atc devices...


I would get the Petzl Stop or the Petzl Rack.

The best feature of the Stop is that it locks off automatically, and I believe it might even have an anti-panic function. The way that works is if you yard down on the lowering lever all the way, it locks up on you. (Disclaimer: I'm not 100% sure the Stop has this feature.)

The great thing about the Rack is that you can adjust how much friction it provides. On a 300-ft rappel, you're going to appreciate the ability to add friction as you get lower.

Definitely get leather gloves. You can get some for as low as $3 at Cheapo Depot, but they won't last very long.

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By shotwell
Apr 7, 2012
Marc H wrote:
I would get the Petzl Stop or the Petzl Rack. The best feature of the Stop is that it locks off automatically, and I believe it might even have an anti-panic function. The way that works is if you yard down on the lowering lever all the way, it locks up on you. (Disclaimer: I'm not 100% sure the Stop has this feature.) The great thing about the Rack is that you can adjust how much friction it provides. On a 300-ft rappel, you're going to appreciate the ability to add friction as you get lower. Definitely get leather gloves. You can get some for as low as $3 at Cheapo Depot, but they won't last very long.


You can read the directions for the Stop on the page you linked. Doing so would tell you it doesn't have any sort of anti-panic feature.

7. Descent
To descend, press the handle with one hand while holding the
braking side of the rope with the other hand. You control the descent
by varying your grip on the braking side of the rope. Releasing the
handle helps to stop the descent.
Warning:always hold the braking side of the rope.
Warning, with a dry rope, heavy loads or repeated descents, the
temperature of certain (touchable) parts of the device can exceed
48C. In this case, the use of gloves is recommended.

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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Apr 7, 2012
El Chorro
M Sprague wrote:
You might be better off contacting a sport rappelling group if you need speed. They and climbers have a whole different approach to rappelling generally. Climbers tend to see it as a necessary evil and try not to kill themselves doing it, While sport rappels are more likely to rap head first at high speed while shooting guns, drinking 18 beers before and make swooping SWAT style jumps. They also tend to ride ATVs and molest their cousins.


AWESOME.

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By Crag Dweller
From New York, NY
Apr 7, 2012
My navigator keeps me from getting lost
The race organizers are allowing people with no experience to participate?! I hope they have very good lawyers and insurance.

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By Sam T.
From Denver, CO
Apr 7, 2012
PM sent

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By Chris Cover
Apr 7, 2012
Thanks for the info and those who have offered to help... Looking forward to the blown mind, not so much dying.

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By $t0& 960
From Colorado
Apr 8, 2012
s
North table has rattlesnakes now I would not go there go to boulderado in boulder canyon instead. I am busy otherwise I would not mind to go over some rap techniques but no pay though I don't want the liability neither am I certified as an instructor

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By Bud Martin
From Bozeman, MT
May 10, 2012
M Sprague wrote:
While sport rappels are more likely to rap head first at high speed while shooting guns, drinking 18 beers before and make swooping SWAT style jumps. They also tend to ride ATVs and molest their cousins.



Yes.

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By Marc H
From Lafayette, CO
May 10, 2012
The Cathedral Spires in RMNP, left to right: Stiletto, Sharkstooth, Forbidden Tower, Petit Grepon, The Saber, The Foil, The Moon & The Jackknife.
shotwell wrote:
You can read the directions for the Stop on the page you linked. Doing so would tell you it doesn't have any sort of anti-panic feature.


Thanks, but I'm not interested in buying one. Just trying to provide a recommendation. Did you see the part where I said "..I believe it might [have the anti-panic feature]" and "Disclaimer:..."?

I'm glad to know you're well versed in its use though.

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By NickinCO
From colorado
May 10, 2012
after the hard stuff, into cruiser hands.
The stop is ok, but using a rack sucks. My vote goes for a petzl RIG but it might be a tad heavier. I've raced down 200' ropes at job sites for beers before and it works great. It'll definitely glaze the ropes, but so will anything else if you're moving fast.


petzl.com/us/pro/rig-compact-s...

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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
May 10, 2012
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.
Nick Mardi wrote:
The stop is ok, but using a rack sucks.


What's so sucky about them? You need to remove bars if the rappel is too slow. The mini rack is probably the best out there. It's made from stainless steel and hardly rubs any oxide off on the rope at all. For rappels over 250 feet, not using a rack or large device that can absorb the heat from friction will get you into big trouble. You will likely lose control of the rappel.

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By randy88fj62
May 10, 2012
Thunderbolt Peak in the Palisades
For their limited time and ease of use I don't think a rack or petzl stop would be the best as they can be rigged backwards easily. Using two biners (second biner adds extra friction for 200 lbs plus person) with a standard tube device would be suffcient.

An easy setup would be an extended rappel device with a prusik backup. Leather gloves would allow them to grip tightly (as they will since they're new) and descend safely.

A figure eight would be smoother but would not provide as much friction unless they had it rigged in vertacco mode (rope leaves eight and then goes through main locking biner again for extra friction) or used a z rig which is too advanced for a single rappel in their timeline.

I assume the organizers will be using a thick rope (10mm to 11mm) so they should be fine with a tube device.

If they descended like navy seals super fast they would glaze the sheath at best. Since they are new and they should descend slowly to control their speed they will not glaze the rope unless they let their device sit too long when unclipping at the bottom.

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