/ Best devices for extra abseiling 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.
I'd give an arm and a leg for more friction in abseils.
No experience of other defenders, but cavers might be the breed to ask.
Yep - works a treat.
I add a karabiner brake above the device.
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.
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.
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.
Excellent video Jim, especially the salsa - prolly not the sweetcorn though!!
I always thought that the whole point of it was that it WOULDN'T go down the rope.
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:))
> No experience of other defenders, but cavers might be the breed to ask.
> 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.
(BTW, it's not me in the vid!!)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Loved the vid. Jim, thanks for that!
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).
> 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.
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.
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).
Looks like your leg loop might get unzipped..
In reply to Muel:
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!
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.
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