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Worlds largest rope swing?
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By David Sahalie
From on the road again
Feb 19, 2012

This post violated Rule #1. It has been removed by Mountain Project.


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By camhead
From Vandalia, Appalachia
Feb 19, 2012
You stay away from mah pig!

That's Corona Arch, which is not in a National Park, so it's probably legal unless the BLM says otherwise.

The kids in the video are definitely guilty of being douchebags, though.


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By Marc H
From Lafayette, CO
Feb 19, 2012
The Cathedral Spires in RMNP, left to right: Stiletto, Sharkstooth, Forbidden Tower, Petit Grepon, The Saber, The Foil, The Moon & The Jackknife.

camhead wrote:
The kids in the video are definitely guilty of being douchebags, though.


Why? Because they're using their natural resources along with some ropes and hardware to have some fun? It's not much different than what climbers do.


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By "H"
From Manitou Springs
Feb 19, 2012
Axes glistening in the sun

All fun and games until someone goes "SPLAT!" Seriously looks like fun.


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By Alex Swan
From West
Feb 19, 2012
Rather Grand

Petzl

Petzl says no. I agree


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By Austin Baird
From SLC, Utah
Feb 19, 2012
Me scaring years off my mom's life

Petzl's complaint was based on incorrect information. Read through the rest of the thread and I clear up their concerns. Their concern was friction from the rock to the rope. They didn't realize that we had a rope protector.


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By Austin Baird
From SLC, Utah
Feb 19, 2012
Me scaring years off my mom's life

camhead wrote:
That's Corona Arch, which is not in a National Park, so it's probably legal unless the BLM says otherwise. The kids in the video are definitely guilty of being douchebags, though.



Seriously man. After we shot the video we all went out and climbed on wet sandstone and then I bolted the Bachar-Yerian. You won't find a bigger bunch of douchebags anywhere!

For reals though. We thought something looked like fun; we figured out how to rig it; we had fun doing it; our buddy made a cool video that we didn't expect to blow up like it did. This is MP, so I'm used to people saying things just to be inflammatory, but how are we douchebags?


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By Marc H
From Lafayette, CO
Feb 19, 2012
The Cathedral Spires in RMNP, left to right: Stiletto, Sharkstooth, Forbidden Tower, Petit Grepon, The Saber, The Foil, The Moon & The Jackknife.

milfred wrote:
Petzl Petzl says no. I agree


Your link only goes to Petzl's FB page where they're featuring a new headlamp or something.


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By Austin Baird
From SLC, Utah
Feb 19, 2012
Me scaring years off my mom's life

Here'e their complaint

"We noticed this recent and very popular video. We would like to express our fear of accidents with this activity, if you look closely there is numerous points of friction of the ropes on the rock, which could lead to damage on the ropes and potential rupture. This is not a good example of a safe rigging and safe behavior."

Here's my response:

"It may not be obvious from watching the video, but we have a hard rubber hose that we threaded the ropes through. The hose covers the ropes at the points where they would be rubbing on the rope. So at 0:35, what's hitting on the rock is actually rubber hose; it's obvious by the fact that the ropes are acting as a single unit instead of separating, which you would expect if they weren't protected by something. At 0:40, it's a funky angle that makes it LOOK like the ropes are dragging on the rock. If you watched that from another angle (like the ground instead of the GoPro, you'd see that the ropes aren't actually dragging across the rock. Of course, it's obvious to ME because I rigged the system and know how it works. It's probably hard to pick all that out of a video with quick cuts though."


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By Dirty Gri Gri, or is it GiGi?
From Vegas
Feb 19, 2012
Growing a winter coat in Red Rock Canyon- December 2013.

Beautiful scenery; Looks like they had loads of fun! Reminds me of the energy you often see in Cirque Du Soleil performers. They should audition. : )


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By Matt Pickren
Feb 19, 2012
Where did the rock go?

Awesome video, looks like a good time! What did you use for the anchor? I only ask because another cool video was recently made starring Madonna's new favorite back-up dancer. You would never know it watching the video, but the summit of the point of Moab now sports many new bolts. Was it really necessary? I guess for the safety of him, yes. But was the highline absolutely necessary at the demise of a desert summit?

Anyways, were your ethics better I hope?


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By Austin Baird
From SLC, Utah
Feb 19, 2012
Me scaring years off my mom's life

There are about 8 bolts up on top of Corona. 5 of them are the "established" (as long as I've been going up there anyway) rap anchors. We used those 5 and didn't add any new ones.


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By Matt Pickren
Feb 19, 2012
Where did the rock go?

Awesome, glad to hear it. Go for a tribute to Dan O jump using a tricycle or skateboard!


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By Crag Dweller
From New York, NY
Feb 19, 2012
My navigator keeps me from getting lost

Awesome! Looks like a blast. I just watched the behind the scenes video and it sounds as though congratulations are in order, Austin.

That was a very cool idea, btw.


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By Brian in SLC
Feb 19, 2012
Climbing in Smuggler's Notch

Austin Baird wrote:
Their concern was friction from the rock to the rope. They didn't realize that we had a rope protector.


How 'bout an arch protector?

Seems like a fair amount of impact. Bet the NPS folks in Arches cringe when they see this kinda thing.

One thing to do it, another to promote it heavily.

Guide service in Moab "guides" this arch as a rappel stunt? Wow.

Can't tell from the video, but, looks like the rope hits the sharp underside of the arch? How far down does the rope protector go?

In the "making of" video, that slip was pretty scary. Mentioning that the rope is set to miss the ground by 10 feet...really? Yikes.

I'm not sure having this become a hugely popular thing is going to be great for the climbing access in this area... High risk. One accident and people will be reviewing the sanity of all this.

Not to mention the visual and noise pollution from a bunch of screaming dude and dudettes rippin' it up in what some folks would like to be a quiet, introspective area with a "delicate" arch. Some would lament the loss of this area to the Mountain Dew crowd (or, "gold bullet" aka diet caffiene free coke...ha ha). Getting harder to find neat areas away from this type of behavior.

Video was REALLY well done! Which is why this will not end well for the access to Corona Arch, methinks. The area just can't handle the crowds of folks in a conga line up there waiting for their turn to rip it up, dude. Plus the potential impact to all the other special areas nearby with arches, towers...

Does look like fun and the video is amazing.


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By Austin Baird
From SLC, Utah
Feb 19, 2012
Me scaring years off my mom's life

Brian in SLC wrote:
How 'bout an arch protector? Seems like a fair amount of impact. Bet the NPS folks in Arches cringe when they see this kinda thing. One thing to do it, another to promote it heavily. Guide service in Moab "guides" this arch as a rappel stunt? Wow. Can't tell from the video, but, looks like the rope hits the sharp underside of the arch? How far down does the rope protector go? In the "making of" video, that slip was pretty scary. Mentioning that the rope is set to miss the ground by 10 feet...really? Yikes. I'm not sure having this become a hugely popular thing is going to be great for the climbing access in this area... High risk. One accident and people will be reviewing the sanity of all this. Not to mention the visual and noise pollution from a bunch of screaming dude and dudettes rippin' it up in what some folks would like to be a quiet, introspective area with a "delicate" arch. Some would lament the loss of this area to the Mountain Dew crowd (or, "gold bullet" aka diet caffiene free coke...ha ha). Getting harder to find neat areas away from this type of behavior. Video was REALLY well done! Which is why this will not end well for the access to Corona Arch, methinks. The area just can't handle the crowds of folks in a conga line up there waiting for their turn to rip it up, dude. Plus the potential impact to all the other special areas nearby with arches, towers... Does look like fun and the video is amazing.


Rope protector was long enough to cover the ropes down the anchor side and across the underside. Devin (the filmmaker) played up the danger just for impact, but everything was way less sketchy than he made it sound. The "slip" wasn't bad at all. He could have somersaulted, rolled 15 feet, and he still would have come to a stop just fine. We set the ropes to about 17 feet off the ground; after stretch we were about 15 feet off.

Those are fair points about whether or not we're "ruining" the wilderness experience for other people at Corona. I coordinated the whole thing and I thought long and hard about that issue before deciding to do it. Ultimately, Corona is a real popular arch that is easy to get to. People have been rappelling, highlining, flying planes through it; hell, Mountain Dew even lowered a Jeep off of it (that's the rumor any way). I think there are certain areas in Moab that one can expect a "wilderness experience", but I don't think Corona is one of them. And for what it's worth, the hikers we encountered up there all seemed to really enjoy watching us. We even had one 45 year old mom jump the swing. (Not to mention my 56 year old mom who jumped at 1:23; she's a total badass.)

There are plenty of other "rope swing" videos from Moab and several of them are pretty popular. They haven't affected access and that played into my decision to coordinate the trip. I'm surprised about how big the video got though; I wasn't really expecting that and I hope there are no issues from the exposure. At the end of the day, I made a decision that i felt good about and I tried to minimize impact and danger as best as I could. Moab's a special place to me (it was the only place I wanted to propose!) and I'm receptive to criticism from anyone who feels like I made the wrong decision.


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By Brian in SLC
Feb 19, 2012
Climbing in Smuggler's Notch

Austin Baird wrote:
Rope protector was long enough to cover the ropes down the anchor side and across the underside.


Which was a correction for an earlier jump where the ropes got cut half way through? Scary. Hope that's a take away for the next crew up there.

Good thoughts!

I find the hype surrounding these low talent, high risk, high visability type activities a bit distasteful, but, will have to admit I can see why folks enjoy them. Probably just the curmudgeon in me!

Congrat's, too!

Great dialog. Thanks.


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By FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Feb 19, 2012

Looks most thrilling. Is the rope anchored with a Munter mule such that you can lower to the ground after the swing? How was that set up?


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By Austin Baird
From SLC, Utah
Feb 19, 2012
Me scaring years off my mom's life

Brian in SLC wrote:
Which was a correction for an earlier jump where the ropes got cut half way through?



Yeah. I wasn't along on that trip but they told me about it and we came up with the protector. And I just now saw your "gold bullet" joke. I'm definitely going to steal that one. (I'll give your proper attribution whenever I use it though.) Yep - enjoyed the dialogue too. Thanks.


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By Austin Baird
From SLC, Utah
Feb 19, 2012
Me scaring years off my mom's life

FrankPS wrote:
Looks most thrilling. Is the rope anchored with a Munter mule such that you can lower to the ground after the swing? How was that set up?


We throw a static line off the top. The swinging lines have a foot loop tied in them so the jumper can clip in to rappel on the static line, stand up in the foot loop, unclip the biners, and rap down.


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By atrau
Feb 19, 2012

Austin Baird wrote:
We throw a static line off the top. The swinging lines have a foot loop tied in them so the jumper can clip in to rappel on the static line, stand up in the foot loop, unclip the biners, and rap down.


So you had no way, but a complicated cut and lower, or pick off, to help someone if something did happen?

Rob


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By NickinCO
From colorado
Feb 19, 2012
after the hard stuff, into cruiser hands.

atrau wrote:
So you had no way, but a complicated cut and lower, or pick off, to help someone if something did happen? Rob



LOL really?


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By atrau
Feb 20, 2012

Nick Mardi wrote:
LOL really?



Isn't it reasonable to think about a worst case in a situation like this?

Rob


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By Geir
From Tucson, AZ
Feb 20, 2012
Toofast

Super fun video! Seems like you guys thought out every angle of it too. Terrific!


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By Marc H
From Lafayette, CO
Feb 20, 2012
The Cathedral Spires in RMNP, left to right: Stiletto, Sharkstooth, Forbidden Tower, Petit Grepon, The Saber, The Foil, The Moon & The Jackknife.

atrau wrote:
So you had no way, but a complicated cut and lower, or pick off, to help someone if something did happen?

atrau wrote:
Isn't it reasonable to think about a worst case in a situation like this? Rob


Do you climb multi-pitch routes? Envision this situation: you're five pitches up an alpine route and your leader takes an upside-down fall rendering her unconscious. Let's say you're climbing with a 70m rope and she's 55m up the pitch. You have no cell phone service; no one else is around. What are you going to do?

Your rescue is going to be very complicated. Provided you have the right materials, you're going to have to prussik up your weighted lead line; build an anchor when you get to your climber; somehow get her limp body onto the anchor; then rappel five pitches with an unconscious person.

At least in the case of this rope swing, there's somebody above the jumper with a rope that can affect a rescue via rappel.

I think you're trying to paint rope jumping as more dangerous than climbing. I also think you failed. But maybe I missed something and you can enlighten me.


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By atrau
Feb 20, 2012

Marc,


Were they up on a multi-pitch climb?

Nope.

Dont make the situation here more than it is, lets talk about their situation.

Could this situation be safer?

Yes

I don't care what people do with their time, it is theirs to spend. But if we share information, we can make situations safer for everyone.

Do answer your questions Mark:

I do multi-pitch climb.

I am not going to give you a play by play about what I would do if my leader was knocked out.

Rob


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