/ Single rope abseiling

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Lumbering Oaf - on 02 Aug 2013
Hello,

In France last week I watched a guy ab using a single rope (not doubled over) and a 'knot' that was placed at the bolts. The 'knot' held his weight during the ab but came undone - very neatly - when given a sharp tug after he'd finished his abseil. In this way he would have been able to ab for distances of greater than 25 m using just one 50 m rope.

Does anyone know of a 'knot' that can be used to do this?

Watching this guy ab peaked my curiosity.

Cheers
Nick Russell on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Lumbering Oaf:

Are you sure he wasn't using a tagline? (An equal length of thin cord that doesn't bear any weight of the abseiler, but can be tugged to release the rope)

If not, I've never heard of this method and it sounds very scary!
Lumbering Oaf - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Nick Russell:

I didn't see a tagline. I thought it rather ballsy at the time.
nameless_rob on 02 Aug 2013
Nick Russell on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to nameless_rob:
> (In reply to Lumbering Oaf)
>
> A Kamikaze knot??

Good name. I think I'm going to try to forget that knot so I'm never ever tempted to use it!
Lukem6 - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Lumbering Oaf: I enjoyed the moment of an old geezer who abs to the halfway point then spins around to create lots of friction between the ropes then allows one rope to pass through, sliding him to the ground gently. I imagine this to be extremely dangerous if it doesn't work but I might still try it indoors at some point
goose299 - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Lukem6:
Sod that!
RomTheBear - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Lumbering Oaf: If you inted to do that often enough I think the best thing to do is to write you last wishes now.
RomTheBear - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Lumbering Oaf: In AK Climbing tips he refers to a system where you tie one end of your rope on a fifi hook, then you tie the top of thew fifi hook a few centimeters up below the know connecting the fifi hook to the rope with a small bungee cord. When you weight the rope the hook stay in place on the anchor but as soon as you release the weight, the hook pops off backwards and you can retrieve the whole rope.

He does say that you have 90% chance of dying if you try it.
Bruce Hooker - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Lumbering Oaf:

Pierre Alain used to propose for sale a gadget that allowed single rope abseiling. It was a spring loaded hook device which worked like the elasticated fifi mentioned just above, as soon as you got to the bottom and took the weight off the rope the hook sprang of the abseil point.

It was pretty expensive but I don't think that was why he didn't sell many :-)
Bulls Crack - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Lumbering Oaf:

Ze Saxon Cross? Arrrgghhh!
Keiran.A - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Lumbering Oaf:
you didnt mean this did ya:

tie a loop in the middle of the rope
with one end: thread the anchor and the middle loop
pull it tight to the anchor.

the end you threaded is your ab side, the other your retrieval.

Remember to remove your stopper and to make sure your on the right side.

you can do similar with a running slippery hitch, more advanced would be the Macrame rappel

and you can have a look at cambium savers.

What do ya think?
Keiran.A - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Keiran.A:
> Remember to remove your stopper

before retrieving.

shumidrives - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to nameless_rob: saw bear grylls use this on one of his shows and yes he was still 10ft short lol
muppetfilter - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to shumidrives:
> (In reply to nameless_rob) saw bear grylls use this on one of his shows and yes he was still 10ft short lol

NO... You saw a technical advisor set up for the cretin to then lie to the camera about.
rgold - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Lumbering Oaf)
>
> Pierre Alain used to propose for sale a gadget that allowed single rope abseiling. It was a spring loaded hook device which worked like the elasticated fifi mentioned just above, as soon as you got to the bottom and took the weight off the rope the hook sprang of the abseil point.
>
> It was pretty expensive but I don't think that was why he didn't sell many :-)

Ah yes, the Decrocheur Allain http://lh4.ggpht.com/_HZMYfs1ZHeo/SSCDr2BM6EI/AAAAAAAAA2Q/wRj_VTzl6NM/P1050491.JPG .

After weighting the rappel, you pulled on the little cord, which unlocked the hook, which thereafter remained in place only by virtue of tension in the rappel line. When you unweighted the rappel, the hook sprang open and the device fell the length of the rappel and clocked you in the head. Additional note to self: do not momentarily unweight rappel on an intermediate ledge.
rgold - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to rgold:
There's the method from the venerable Ashley Book of knots,

http://www.chockstone.org/upload/userfiles/mikllaw/deathrap33.jpg

And here is a video of the fifi hook trick done for real.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8Ute5c2BVk
Lumbering Oaf - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to nameless_rob:

Oooh, I like the look of the Kamakazi Knot!!! That was the sort of thing that happened: the guy abed off the cliff, he reached the bottom, he pulled/yanked the rope, the knot came undone and the rope was retrieved. Pretty cool, but pretty dangerous. :)
MikeTS - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to rgold:
> (In reply to rgold)

>
> And here is a video of the fifi hook trick done for real.
>
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8Ute5c2BVk

I watched it and felt ill. Do we have any proof he made it to the bottom alive?

Rick Graham on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to MikeTS:
>
> I watched it and felt ill. Do we have any proof he made it to the bottom alive?

I think they would have recorded that as well if it happened.

Seriously though, how many accidents as a result of this method?

Possibly none.

Not that it is recommended, but because it is so obviously dangerous he was probably being very careful.

We are often only one silly mistake from a disaster. Take care or use systems that have some element of redundancy. A lot of modern techniques and situations don't.

Rob Exile Ward on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to nameless_rob: My Dad showed me that knot, and he was never a climber; I have no idea where he picked it up from, possibly his teacher Frankland (as in 'Franklands Green Crack' fame) or the scouts in the 1920s...
MikeTS - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to Rick Graham:
> (In reply to MikeTS)
>systems that have some element of redundancy.

This technique is kind the opposite of redundancy. Redundancy enables you to survive unless everything goes wrong. Here you survive if everything goes right.

Rick Graham on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to MikeTS:

exactly, with a bit of luck thrown in
DancingOnRock - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to Lumbering Oaf:

Highwayman's hitch.
DubyaJamesDubya - on 05 Aug 2013
In reply to Lumbering Oaf:

It works fine but only with Elven Rope :-)
John W - on 05 Aug 2013
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

Like :-)
Milesy - on 05 Aug 2013
I remember being terrified doing a single rope abseil (fixed) at the Galloway sea cliffs.
ads.ukclimbing.com
davidbeynon - on 05 Aug 2013
In reply to Milesy:

The semi static I use for that kind of thing is so stiff that you have to push the rope through the belay plate if you ab on it doubled. It's just about right on a single strand.

Tends to be a figure of eight with plenty of tail and tons of redundancy in the anchor for me at the top though. No way you would catch me doing anything like the OP described.

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