/ Best devices for extra abseiling friction ....

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Simon Pollard - on 12 Apr 2013
I am sure we all have had moments when we have abseiled (particularly on single ropes) laden with extra kit when we need more control and friction.

I have used for years a Wild Country VC Pro II mainly with a prussic backup but on long single abs on a single rope into a seacliff adventure sometimes I think I want more control of friction and lockoff.

I have seen the Petzyl Pirana and also the Sterling ATS .... does anybody have any experience of these / pros / cons ??

Thanks in advance.
Pursued by a bear - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to Simon Pollard: I don't know the devices you mention but what I've always done when abseiling is to put a few krabs on the bight of rope between your abseil device (a Sticht plate in the old days) and the krab that the rope's clipped in to. Gives a bit more control when you need it.

T.
Fredt on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to Simon Pollard:

I'd give an arm and a leg for more friction in abseils.
Kevster - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to Fredt: extend the belay plate with a sling gives an amount more control.
No experience of other defenders, but cavers might be the breed to ask.
GrahamD - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to Pursued by a bear:
> (In reply to Simon Pollard) I don't know the devices you mention but what I've always done when abseiling is to put a few krabs on the bight of rope between your abseil device

Yep - works a treat.
muppetfilter - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to Simon Pollard: If you are looking for the more advanced mechanical devices like the Stop 326g, Rig 380g or ID 530g all fit the bill. They all have the downside of being rather heavy, the gri gri has the issue of overheating and not locking on anything less than vertical.
The Papa Lazarou on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to Simon Pollard: http://www.grivelgb.co.uk/products/belay-rappel/master-pro-belayer/ this looks as though it may meet your requirements
jimtitt - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to Simon Pollard:
I add a karabiner brake above the device.
Mitch1990 - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to Simon Pollard: maybe look at a Rappel rack? Good amount of friction, basic, light and disapates the heat well. You'll find something like a petzl stop will heat up quickly and not cool down quick enough and will glaze the sheath of your rope, specially on a dry rope. still use a prussic for back up though.
MB
martinph78 on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to jimtitt: Can you explain this some more?


My mate always uses a fig.8 for abseiling, he prefers it. Not sure if it adds a bit more friction, I think it does when I tried it.
Sean Kelly - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to Simon Pollard: Add an extra krab or 2, no extra gear required, and seconds to set up.
muppetfilter - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to mitchellbowen1990: out of interest have you ever used a stop ?
Simon Pollard - on 12 Apr 2013
Thanks All .... the Grivel looks interesting .... but never heard of it before ( I am 30 years climbing) and that concerns me ... not in the major shops ?? Same for the Sterling ATS and Peztl Pirana I put forward to be honest .... (I found them via web search and they are more in USA) ... but maybe the extra crabs in the Wild Country VC Proc II may be best ... further experience ?? e.g. lock off techniques on steep / overhanging terrain for the stuffing crab method .. thinner ropes ... ??
jimtitt - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to Martin1978:
> (In reply to jimtitt) Can you explain this some more?
>
When I go over the edge bolting sometimes the total is around 120kg (Iīm fat and carry a lot of gear) which isnīt so easy to control with refinement on a Grigri so I add a quickdraw to the belay loop and then make a karabiner brake with another draw, you could use a couple of screwgates if you wanted, the main thing is that the rope doesnīt rub on the draws tape anywhere. A single karabiner has always been enough and two means there isnīt enough residual force to lock up the Grigri.
Hereīs Mike Barter on krab brakes and cooking Salsa http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03JjYHk2L2A
I replace the locking krab with a draw to extend and only use singlekrabs above.
Simon Pollard - on 12 Apr 2013
The Petzl Stop would do the job but of course a bit more weight ... as woudl 5 bar racks .... but the Sterling ATS is only 90+ grams for much more flexibility (apparantly) ??
The Papa Lazarou on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to Simon Pollard: have you looked at the link I posted? it has a video presented by Stevie Haston(albeit a bit cheesy) which demonstrates how to use it & gives its weight in text on screen. looks like a very versatile device. I will be replacing my reverso3 soon & will more than likely be replacing it with one of these
Dave Williams - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to Simon Pollard:

If you don't want to carry extra kit, then a few extra krabs on a bight is the best idea as it will definitely slow you down. Otherwise you could use a GriGri or a Shunt, which'd give you total control to the extent that you could have a complete hands off stop. While effective, a GriGri doesn't give a particularly smooth descent and concerns have been voiced that it doesn't always lock up. A Shunt's 100% better in this respect, always locks up, even on wet ropes, skinny ropes etc.

Lots of people don't like them - too complicated, extra kit/ extra weight to carry blah blah blah... Much the same could actually be said of using a Pirana.

I use a Shunt all the time when abseiling and have done for years. The extra weight is totally insignificant. I do a fair amount of new routeing on sea cliffs and having total control, being able to easily stop and let go to clean a pitch on abseil or generally check out the route is a massive advantage. It's also hugely increases the safety margin, which isn't an insignificant reason for using one either and, unlike a Pirana, you can also prusik with just a single Shunt.

As a caver I've also used a Petzl Stop for years and I see that other posters have recommended it. Using one would be total overkill IMO for what you need and I would never contemplate using one when climbing. Unlike a Shunt, it's big and weighs a fair bit too.

HTH

Dave

Steve Clegg - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to jimtitt:
Excellent video Jim, especially the salsa - prolly not the sweetcorn though!!
Steve
Oceanrower - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to Dave Williams: Exuse my ignorance here, but how do you ab with a Shunt?

I always thought that the whole point of it was that it WOULDN'T go down the rope.
Gordon Stainforth - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to Simon Pollard:

I know that on long abseils when there wasn't quite enough friction when using a simple Sticht-like belay device to abseil from, I sometimes put a turn in the dead rope round my right leg (if I was wearing quite tough/thick climbing trousers). i.e from descendeur, round outside of thigh, between legs and back to hand. I remember it worked just fine. Good for resting too. Very little strain or heat on the leg because it wasn't having to take much load at all, just adding a bit more friction. I'm hazy as to exact details though. (Remember doing it quite a lot in France in 1985:))
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martinph78 on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to jimtitt: Thanks, and now I know how to make salsa as well :)
Simon Pollard - on 12 Apr 2013
Looks to me that Stevie and Grivel would not give massive extra amounts of friction ... but valid device for sure ... and yes cheesey video !!
Simon Pollard - on 12 Apr 2013
The Salsa video and crab brakes looks completely scalable .. i.e .. as much or as little extra friction as possible ...
Fredt on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to Kevster:
> (In reply to Fredt) extend the belay plate with a sling gives an amount more control.
> No experience of other defenders, but cavers might be the breed to ask.

Whoosh!

Dave Williams - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to Oceanrower:
> (In reply to Dave Williams) Exuse my ignorance here, but how do you ab with a Shunt?
>
> I always thought that the whole point of it was that it WOULDN'T go down the rope.

Explained here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=US-f4Sko73A
You can also hold it open instead of twisting it, which isn't as good/ safe but is ok provided you know what you're doing. I use a Reverso, not a Fig. 8, but the set-up's the same. Also: http://www.facewest.co.uk/pp/petzl/B03_SHUNT_B03200-07-1.pdf

The Shunt was initially designed to specifically protect long caving abseils. Its use in caving has now been superseded by integrated devices like the Stop.

HTH

Dave

(BTW, it's not me in the vid!!)
Dave Williams - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to Fredt:
> (In reply to Kevster)
> [...]
>
> Whoosh!

Haha! :Ž)

All the SRT cavers I know look down on rock climbers' ropework with complete and utter contempt. As a climber who caves, I'm not allowed to rig anything other than a simple handline, although I've noticed that I do have my uses when it comes to derigging pitches and hauling loaded ropebags.

Dave


syv_k - on 13 Apr 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> , I sometimes put a turn in the dead rope round my right leg (if I was wearing quite tough/thick climbing trousers). i.e from descendeur, round outside of thigh, between legs and back to hand.

Have done this. A Z rig is more comfortable and still supplies massive amounts of friction (rope down to maillon/biner clipped to leg loop, then up to biner above descender) although apparently with certain types of modern harness buckles this is bad because it exerts force in a direction that could loosen the leg loop - it is OK with an old fashioned harness that has double back buckles, or clip to some accessory cord around your leg instead.
Baron Weasel - on 13 Apr 2013
In reply to Simon Pollard: As a caver as well as climber - I'll second the motion for having a braking crab on the control rope. Clip this crab to your leg loop and pull the control rope up - the extra change of direction will slow you even with the thinnest ropes beautifully.

BW
Baron Weasel - on 13 Apr 2013
scott titt - on 13 Apr 2013
In reply to Simon Pollard:
I just take another turn of rope round the belay carabiner, works a treat, weighs nothing, costs nothing, never lose it, always with you.
If I think I will have to stop on the way (untangle, clean) I use a Shunt, a great bit of gear for sea cliff adventures, and makes escaping easy.
neuromancer - on 13 Apr 2013
In reply to Simon Pollard:

Just put another biner in your belay loop pointing the other way. Reduces the space for the rope to run through, increases the angles it has to turn about, and increases friction.
Fraser on 13 Apr 2013
In reply to jimtitt:

Loved the vid. Jim, thanks for that!
ice.solo - on 13 Apr 2013
In reply to Simon Pollard:

pirana is good but a pain in the ass to carry (only fits certain krabs, sits at annoying angle, useless for anything else).

otherwise, you can rig a regular 8 by threading it 'backwards' then bringing the rope around from behind the device and reclipping it thru the krab again.
its called 'veltacco' or something and is condoned and taught by the european canyoning commission, the single most anal group ive ever met when it comes to ropework.

you can even double up with another loop around the krab if ropes are skinny and youve got a huge weight, but after a lot of access work on 8.2mm ropes dropping with up to 50kgs of extra gear including inflatable boats etc ive never needed to (ive got photos of all that if you need to see it).
Oceanrower - on 13 Apr 2013
In reply to ice.solo:
> (In reply to Simon Pollard)
>
> pirana is good but a pain in the ass to carry (only fits certain krabs, sits at annoying angle, useless for anything else).
>
>
I use mine as a standard belay plate. It's great for that. Moves smoothly, can add extra friction if you've got a chubby on the other end and easy to lock off if required.
Mitch1990 - on 13 Apr 2013
In reply to Simon Pollard: Hey I had suggested a rappel rack in a previous post but if you just want to add friction by just using krabs then here's a picture I took of a way it could be achieved.
http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=217765
MB
OwenM - on 13 Apr 2013
In reply to Simon Pollard:

Hi Simon (were you in the bowline late 70's early 80's?).

Some very complicated way of adding friction being dreamed up here. Easiest way is to clip your belay device into two crabs instead of just the one.
Simon Pollard - on 14 Apr 2013
In reply to OwenM: Hi Owen .. yes aahh the Bowline days .. brings back memories !! I agree its quite amazing the diversity of approaches to this common need !! Also it shows that people have tried / experimented with different techniques which is interesting considering many accidents are abseiling related ... I think I might try crab brakes a bit .. probably on a short safe cliff with a grassy landing when its raining so cant climb properly !!
Muel - on 14 Apr 2013
In reply to Simon Pollard:

All very complex methods... I just use 2 quickdraws back to back. Increases the friction as there are 2 biners on the rope, and extends the belay device away from you giving you more control. Also means you can attach the prusik to your belay loop, not the leg loop. (My harness has fancy modern buckles that can be opened by a biner catching on it).
dave crookes - on 14 Apr 2013
In reply to Simon Pollard: Sounds like you need to just hold on a bit tighter or get out a bit more [or lose some weight??]. dc
cuppatea on 14 Apr 2013
In reply to mitchellbowen1990:
> (In reply to Simon Pollard) Hey I had suggested a rappel rack in a previous post but if you just want to add friction by just using krabs then here's a picture I took of a way it could be achieved.
> http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=217765
> MB

Looks like your leg loop might get unzipped..


In reply to Muel:
> (In reply to Simon Pollard)
Also means you can attach the prusik to your belay loop, not the leg loop. (My harness has fancy modern buckles that can be opened by a biner catching on it).


I like being a luddite. Fig 8 for the abseiling, threadback buckles :-)
Although the idea of the prussic being on the dead rope looks useful!
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a lakeland climber on 14 Apr 2013
In reply to Simon Pollard:

There's a UKC article on abseiling here: http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=167 look at the section about slowing things down. No need for extra pieces of kit, just add another krab next to the main krab and make sure it goes through both the rope and the harness loop.

ALC
cuppatea on 14 Apr 2013
In reply to a UKC Articles.

I think that the best way is to make sure the screwgates are done up.

http://i.ukc2.com/i/38564.jpg
Simon Pollard - on 15 Apr 2013
In reply to dave crookes: Cheeky bugger ... Thats two more beers you owe me when I am next in Edinburgh !! :-)
chris fox on 15 Apr 2013
Baron Weasel - on 15 Apr 2013
In reply to chris fox: Racks are good bits of kit - but I doubt it would suit the needs of the OP. The Petzl Raumer carabiner is the ideal bit of kit and works on very thin ropes where controlling descent would otherwise be too fast. Normal carabiners work very well too!

BW

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