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Topic - Self-rescue technique – a question

Charlie Evans - on 12 Apr 2011
Dear UKC,

I'm doing some self-rescue homework from Libby Peter's 'Rock Climbing Essential Skills and Techniques'. But I am left with a question I'd like to put to anyone who has been trained in self-rescue.

There are excellent diagrams for the scenario “escaping from the system” with anchors either “out of reach or not centralised” (p 130-131, example 2). However, in the final picture the load is taken by two prusiks, backed-up by a tied-off belay device on the central rope-loop – the belayer cannot escape yet. Can anyone tell me the next text-book stage?

To back-up the prusiks, I'm thinking:
tie-off the anchor ropes with two clove-hitches onto a big HMS on the slack rope between the klemheist and the central rope-loop;
clove-hitch the other end of the HMS to the slack rope between the belay-device and French prusik on the rope leading to your partner (or use a tied-off italian-hitch), then escape.

having tied-off the anchor ropes;
use a short sling, doubled or tripled, to link the HMS on the anchor ropes to another HMS;
clove-hitch the second HMS to the slack rope between the belay-device and french prusik (or again use a tied-off italian-hitch);
then escape.

I'm thinking, that's a lot of HMSs. It's not unusual for me to have used up my HMSs in rigging the anchor. I might just make sure I have one big-ish HMS spare on my harness just in case.

And, it's important to make sure there is enough slack between the klemheist and central rope-loop and between the French prusik and belay-device to tie the clove-hitches.

Would these solutions be practical and safe? I'd like to learn the tried and tested text-book solution, so I would really appreciate a properly informed answer.

All the best,
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