/ Self rescue: guide plate.

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AlanLittle - on 14 Apr 2013
I was watching Steve Long's excellent video on escaping the system last night. Steve & Oli show the most common UK scenario where the fallen climber is hanging from the belayer's harness.

Now I'm wondering about the scenario where my fallen climber is hanging from a device in guide mode. In many ways it seems much simpler: the climber is already on a locked-off device attached directly to the central point of the belay. I'm already not in the system. Let's say I don't need to extract the plate for my own use because I already have everything I need to get up & down the rope: tibloc, prusik loop, knowledge of how to tie a munter.

I still need to do something to back up the plate (suppose the climber regains consciousness and unweights the rope) I'm guessing a prusik on the live rope direct into the central point? Is this ok? Am I missing something?
remus - on 14 Apr 2013
In reply to AlanLittle: why not just tie off the plate? Faster, easier and takes less equipment.
needvert on 14 Apr 2013
In reply to AlanLittle

If it was my life I'd be perfectly happy with a big overhand in the brake strand.

I'd be less than happy, but not angry, if you didn't do anything to back up the plate presuming it wasn't in a position where things could interfere with it.

(Though I don't know anything and will probably die soon.)


((Edit: Interesting post/thread here:
http://www.mountainproject.com/v/atc-guide/106838345__3
))
jon on 14 Apr 2013
In reply to AlanLittle:

> suppose the climber regains consciousness and unweights the rope

What can happen? It will lock again as soon as it's weighted again. In fact it won't really 'unlock' at all.
jezb1 - on 14 Apr 2013
In reply to AlanLittle: Tie off the plate, I'd do it in the same way you'd tie off an Italian hitch.

Little bit of slack in the inactive rope, clove hitch this to you power point, and ab down on the new isolated rope (with your Italian hitch as you didn't want to get your plate back earlier).
AlanLittle - on 14 Apr 2013
In reply to jezb1:

Thanks all.

OK, now he's more than half a rope length away so I can't reach him by abbing. Am I about to try down-prusiking for the first time? I'm guessing not fun but feasible?
jezb1 - on 14 Apr 2013
In reply to AlanLittle: So you prussik down to him, apply first aid etc

You then have to prussik back up to the original belay.

You both then need to get off what I assume is a multipitch crag, otherwise you'd just have lowered him.

How are you going to ab off and retrieve your rope ready for the next pitch of abbing?

Maybe hoist time then to get him to somewhere more useful for a counter balance ab...
LJC - on 14 Apr 2013
In reply to AlanLittle: For securing a guide plate, an overhand in the breaking strand clipped back into the power point the plate is hanging from is quick and easy.

Assuming he can't be lowered to the ground with the free rope, and you are on a good stance, I would remove the plate from guide mode and set up a z haul or space haul (obviously an inefficient one using gear to hand, since I don't multipitch with a protrax), and try and raise the fallen climber to a ledge where he could be un-weighted, or I could reach via absail.
Neil Williams - on 14 Apr 2013
In reply to AlanLittle:

Er, in what situation would you be able to prussik down one strand of the rope but not ab down it?

Neil
jezb1 - on 14 Apr 2013
In reply to Neil Williams: When it's weighted by an unconscious climber....
thegoatstroker - on 14 Apr 2013
In reply to Neil Williams: When the strand is weighted with an unconscious climber?
AlanLittle - on 14 Apr 2013
In reply to LJC:

Ah. Setting up hoists? I have no idea. Fortunately I plan to do a self-rescue course in June; I just started doing a bit of googling around while I was thinking about it.
Will Nicholls - on 14 Apr 2013
In reply to AlanLittle: You could leave the plate in guide mode and just put a prussik on the live, clipping the dead rope into it. Then haul away.
Neil Williams - on 14 Apr 2013
In reply to thegoatstroker:

Fair point, I was imagining a slightly different situation.

Neil
shrubbery - on 14 Apr 2013
In reply to Will Nicholls: with the added advantage of an extremely efficient lockoff when pushing the prussic back down the rope
rgold - on 15 Apr 2013
In reply to AlanLittle:

> OK, now he's more than half a rope length away so I can't reach him by abbing. Am I about to try down-prusiking for the first time? I'm guessing not fun but feasible?

I had to prusik down a rappel rope once to rescue someone hanging in space on it. There is nothing difficult about the prusiking part, but it can be extremely difficult to get past a spot where the rope is held against the rock. In one place I had to remove remove the prusiks from above and reinstall them below a contact area I couldn't push the knots past. If the rope had been held hard against a longer surface (think of the rope running down a slab and then over an overhang), it might not have been possible to get down this way.

It is possible but possibly gear-intensive to get down to an incapacitated person more than half a rope length away if you are able to build solid anchors in spots you can reach with the free end of the rope. It is gear-intensive because of the anchors you have to leave behind; the procedure is most reasonable if you can make it with only one intermediate anchor and/or their are natural anchors that don't consume your rack. Of course, an assortment of tricks is involved, but it can be done without having to reascend the rope if you set things up right.

LJC - on 15 Apr 2013
In reply to Will Nicholls: I've never tried hauling with a guide plate using a z system, but it strikes me that there would be an awful lot of friction from the plate making things awkward.
AlH - on 15 Apr 2013
In reply to LJC: No usually works fine unless you have a rope at the limit of the larger end of the recommended diameters certainly with all Reversos and ATC Guide.
James Thacker - on 15 Apr 2013
In reply to LJC: Unless its a short haul the friction through a guide plate is probably too much in many cases. You might be lucky of course but it's often better to set up a more efficient hauling system.
AlH - on 15 Apr 2013
In reply to James Thacker: Interesting James, thats just not my experience in climbing situations, allowing for friction over rock edges, around bends etc. I've seen them employed effectively by quite a few different users (so its not just me being on the large side). Admittedly this has been with ropes usually 10mm and below. A 'flat' scenario like crevasse rescue may well be different but on steepish rock have seen no issues. I probably wouldn't rig a hoist like that for choice but if its already in the system in hoists up to half a rope seems to work as ok as any other z haul?
Bob_the_Builder - on 15 Apr 2013
In reply to rgold:
> It is possible but possibly gear-intensive to get down to an incapacitated person more than half a rope length away if you are able to build solid anchors in spots you can reach with the free end of the rope.

I'm trying to figure out what you mean here. Are you suggesting ab down the free end, set up new anchor, connect live rope (with hanging climber) to new anchor, pull free rope through the old anchor, abseil again from the new one?

If so, how do you pull the rope? I assume we have in this situation secured the injured climber initially with a prusik at the old anchor. That would prevent us from pulling the rope through surely?

I like the idea, and want to try it because it would be a great thing to know, but I cant think how to do it.
James Thacker - on 15 Apr 2013
In reply to AlH: I'm not saying it doesn't work, maybe you are just stronger than me Al. Hauling through a guide plate as a 'progress capture device' results in much greater friction. If you are looking at a short haul, perhaps on an MIA problem solving day with a guide plate already in use it makes perfect sense. As you say if you need to haul somebody a longer distance then there are much more efficient methods.

I wasn't thinking of crevasse rescue, in that case you are going to make life hard for yourself using a guide plate. Same applies if hauling over the edge of a large stance possibly.



AlH - on 15 Apr 2013
In reply to James Thacker: Yes no sense in using it in crevasse rescue. Admittedly when I've seen it in use its been on relatively short distances and usually in isolation- so not compared at the same time with other methods. More comparative testing needed- I have just the opportunities coming up too. Al
James Thacker - on 15 Apr 2013
In reply to AlH: Hours of fun for you all in North Wales. Just demonstrates the need to have a range of techniques at your disposal to build a solution. J
jkarran - on 15 Apr 2013
In reply to AlanLittle:

> I still need to do something to back up the plate (suppose the climber regains consciousness and unweights the rope) I'm guessing a prusik on the live rope direct into the central point? Is this ok? Am I missing something?

Overhand knot in the dead rope couldn't be simpler.

jk
AlH - on 15 Apr 2013
In reply to James Thacker: Oh no, N.Wales is due to be more fun than that- I meant a couple of work days in May!
jkarran - on 15 Apr 2013
In reply to AlanLittle:

> OK, now he's more than half a rope length away so I can't reach him by abbing. Am I about to try down-prusiking for the first time? I'm guessing not fun but feasible?

You could or you could haul him up or you could ab part way then descend the live rope for the last little bit or you could use your body as a counterweight on the dead rope, pull yourself down the live rope raising your partner and lowering yourself as you go. Really depends where you are, what you're aiming to achieve and what kit you have available.

jk
EeeByGum - on 15 Apr 2013
In reply to AlanLittle:
> Am I missing something?

Nope. I could never understand the complicated methods of exiting the system when simply belaying from the rock made things so much more comfortable. The other downside to belaying from your harness is that if your second falls, it is almost impossible to stop one of the ropes cutting off all blood from your leg.
JoshOvki on 15 Apr 2013
In reply to AlanLittle:

If you are using half ropes can't you just give slack on one rope and ab down on that one? The other rope will still have the climbers weight. Alot easier than prussiking down to them.
andi turner - on 15 Apr 2013
In reply to AlanLittle: I think whatever you do, you're going to have to be quick about it. An unconscious climber henging in their harness won't last long...

I'd be thinking of an overhand knot clipped into the power point to back up the device, secure myself, untie and throw what rope I have down. Ab this to its end (nearly) and then down prussik to the casualty to administer first aid.

I'd then start thinking about getting out of there...
rgold - on 15 Apr 2013
In reply to Bob_the_Builder:
> (In reply to rgold)

> I'm trying to figure out what you mean here. Are you suggesting ab down the free end, set up new anchor, connect live rope (with hanging climber) to new anchor, pull free rope through the old anchor, abseil again from the new one?

Yes.

> If so, how do you pull the rope? I assume we have in this situation secured the injured climber initially with a prusik at the old anchor. That would prevent us from pulling the rope through surely?

No. You use the injured climber as a counterweight for the rappel, so that when you get the next anchor set up and the climber tied off you can just pull the rope as you would for any rappel. You have to know the rope tricks needed to shift the load of the injured climber hanging on the securing prussik to your counterweight; it is too complicated to explain here, but it is described in both "Climbing Self-Rescue" by Tyson and Loomis, Mountaineers Books, and "Self-Rescue" 2nd Ed. by Fasulo, Falcon Guides.


rgold - on 15 Apr 2013
Addendum:

The use of the French prusik as illustrated in Steve Long's videos constitutes a substantial simplification over the procedures in Tyson and Loomis and Fasulo, the difference being that the French prusik can be broken loose when fully loaded, whereas the ordinary prusik usually has to be unweighted before it can be released. The additional faffery required to unweight a prusik complicates the procedures considerably.

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