/ A vote for the releasable abseil.....

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Sarah G on 19 Nov 2012
Oooops, Santa got stuck....next time it could be you!


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-berkshire-20386903

This reminded me of why, when setting up an abseil used for pure entertainement (as opposed to getting off some rock when abandoning a climb, for example) we always set up using a releasable abseil and safety line.

Sxx
davidbeynon - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to Sarah G:

The article did say that he was quite capable of getting down by taking off the fake beard, but was "too much of a professional", which doesn't sound too bad to me.
Neil Williams - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to davidbeynon:

It does seem surprising that they (presumably) didn't use a releaseable abseil though...

Neil
deepsoup - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to davidbeynon:
> which doesn't sound too bad to me.
And not at all like a lame excuse made up to cover his embarrassment when asked about it later?
Sarah G on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to davidbeynon:
Not entirely sure he could have, to hbe honest- it looks like there is only a single line, and he is weighted on that line with the belay plate 9or whatever he was using) being jammed full of beardy stuff. He would have needed to take the weight off the belay device in oder to get the beard out and free it up....

Sx
Sarah G on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to Neil Williams:
I'm not surprised. I've seen charity abseils set up without safety lines or releaseable ab.

Sx
trouserburp - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to Sarah G:

Hilarious.

Call me a wuss but I'd ask that army chap to attach to me before poking scissors into my belay plate
jwa - on 19 Nov 2012
That looks so sketchy! Santa abseiling with no type of back up whatsoever, then the rescuer waving some scissors around a taut rope.
deepsoup - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to trouserburp:
> Call me a wuss but I'd ask that army chap to attach to me before poking scissors into my belay plate

Those trainers don't say army to me, I think he's just one of those chaps who likes to dress as if he might be in the army. Reminds me of that dodgy character who popped up on here a while back pretending to be an MRT type.
Jonny2vests - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to deepsoup:

Definitely a squaddie, the shaped beret gives it away. Note also that Santa was wearing combat highs (boots) also.
dale1968 - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to jonny2vests: pongo's haven't got a clue.....
Jonny2vests - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to dale1968:

I'd say you're right. They bloody love abseiling though for some reason.

Bootneck?
Irk the Purist - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to jwa:

I recently had cause to cut a fully weighted rope and found it to be nothing like the catastrophic failure at the merest touch described in 'Touching the Void.' It was actually more of a prolonged sawing process that could be eeked out to the point of leaving a single strand of core if you so wanted.

But I would have set up a releaseable abseil as it could after all have been Santa's fingers in the belay device, not a fist full of slightly smelly, off white nylon beard.
MarkDavies36 on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to Sarah G: This came out a couple of years ago in response to a similar incident

http://www.petzl.com/files/fckfiles/file/PetzlAmerica/Holiday_Tech_Notice/Holiday%20Tech%20Notice.pd...

martinph78 on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to Eric the Red:
> (In reply to jwa)
>
> I recently had cause to cut a fully weighted rope and found it to be nothing like the catastrophic failure at the merest touch described in 'Touching the Void.'

Having recently cut a fully weighted 5mm cord it was exactly like teh catastrophic failure in touching the void. Maybe it deoends on the rope/rope thickness.

I definiately wouldn't be letting anyone near my weighted rope with a pair of scissors, not without securing me to another rope first!
Irk the Purist - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to Martin1978:

I guess if I was abseiling on 5mm cord I'd think the same. On a 9mm kernmantle I'd probably still feel the same but I was just sharing my experience!
dale1968 - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to jonny2vests: guilty, as charged!
muppetfilter - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to Sarah G: That is really bad, at about 50 seconds he actually lets go of the dead rope which could have ended very badly.

I can't ever remember reading in a book that an effificent abseil rescue is to nevously hack away near the rope with a pair of nail scissors .

This could have been an avoidable situation had an ID,Stop or Gri Gri been used or if they had hired a trained qualified company to do this.(Or simply got someone in who knew what they were doing)
Jonny2vests - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to dale1968:
> (In reply to jonny2vests) guilty, as charged!

The hometown gave it away :-)

I am an ex-pongo. Engineers 15 years + 7 in the STABS. But I f*cking loath abseiling.
Jonny2vests - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to muppetfilter:

Yeah. The services often get approached for this sort of thing, on the assumption that they do this sort of thing all the time. Dale might, most don't.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Skyfall - on 21 Nov 2012
That was quite funny though, I agree, I'm not sure how keen I'd have been on someone using a pair of scissors around a weighted rope ...
Jamie B - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to muppetfilter:

> That is really bad, at about 50 seconds he actually lets go of the dead rope which could have ended very badly.
> I can't ever remember reading in a book that an effificent abseil rescue is to nevously hack away near the rope with a pair of nail scissors .
> This could have been an avoidable situation had an ID,Stop or Gri Gri been used or if they had hired a trained qualified company to do this.

Agreed, the whole thing looks amateurish in the extreme. No safety rope, nobody tailing on the ground, Santa not knowing to take a wrap round his leg before the problem got worse, rescuer not transferring Santa to his own line, hands off the dead rope, etc, etc, etc.

As you say, there are operators who do these kind of gigs routinely and with much better contingency planning than is exhibited here.
muppetfilter - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead: I'm just glad it wasn't a story about someone decking out infront of a large crown.As you say so many ways this could be avoided but also remedied safely and quickly. Why didnt the rescuer just drop a pre rigged haul rope down and lift the stuck santa enough to release him?
deepsoup - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to muppetfilter:
> Why didnt the rescuer just drop a pre rigged haul rope down and lift the stuck santa enough to release him?

Presumably because if he'd been thinking that far ahead, it would have been a releasable abseil (as in the title of the thread) and no "rescue" would have been necessary. He could simply have lowered Santa, who would have appeared to the crowd to still be abseiling.

Last year's viral 'inept abseiling Santa' video was much more cringeworthy than this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9Qg39Fvg1c
Jonny2vests - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to deepsoup:

Wow, I agree, that was loads worse.
Jamie B - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to jonny2vests:

> Wow, I agree, that was loads worse.

If only because of the suspense element of not knowing what he was going to crash into if his efforts to free the beard by letting go of the dead rope had been "successful"..

deepsoup - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:
Yup. It reminds me of Wile E Coyote jumping up and down on the trapdoor that failed to open when the roadrunner ran across it. :O)
Mark Reeves - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to Sarah G: Thank you, gave me a laugh this fine evening!
Timmd on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to Sarah G:
> (In reply to davidbeynon)
> Not entirely sure he could have, to hbe honest- it looks like there is only a single line, and he is weighted on that line with the belay plate 9or whatever he was using) being jammed full of beardy stuff. He would have needed to take the weight off the belay device in oder to get the beard out and free it up....
>
> Sx

.....
Stephanie Maynard, **marketing manager** at the centre, said Santa was not hurt.

"He could have just taken his beard off and let himself down but he was such a professional and he didn't want to let the children down," she said.
.....
Think the bit with 2 *s either side of it explains a lot. (:-))
Oujmik - on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to Sarah G: Presumbaly Santa could have self rescued without loss of face(beard) if he'd just had a large prussik loop he could have stepped into to unweight the belay plate and free his beard... seems prefereable to the scissors...
Sarah G on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to Oujmik:
Ideally he should have used a prussik/sling to place the belay device above his beard in the first place...

The options are endless, hey. I suppose we should be glad that Santa didn't go splat after the intervention with scissors etc from the squaddie and/or letting go of the dead rope....

there's just no excuse.

Sxx

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