another newbie question - if forced to ab back down and not able to set up a retrievable anchor would a rappelling ring be a cheaper and possibly safer alternative to a snap karabiner?
thinking of something like this 25kn alu ring - i cant post a link as the forum thinks its an advert
search on ebay item 281189292317
Have you thought about how you would attach them to whatever anchor you were leaving in place? You'd either need a piece of tat or a krab and if you were leaving a krab you may as well ab or lower directly from that and not bother with the ring.
For most enforced abseils the gear you have to leave behind to retreat from is crag litter and it should rightly be cleared away by the next party up the route. As such you may as well just ab (not lower!) directly from the same piece of tat you would use to connect one of these rings to the anchor. That way it doesn't leave a permanent lower-off temptation for others.
Of course if you're abseiling from the top of a pitch that doesn't have a fixed anchor and you're wanting to establish one for others then that's a whole new discussion and can of worms...
In reply to john arran: well i meant as an enforced retreat to wrap some tape arpund a suitable anchor(s) and tying one of these rings on and pass the rope through it, that would save loosing a more expensive gear such as a locking karab.
i agree about leaving litter, i always pick up rubbish, but a length of nylon and a small ring up in the crag isnt much of a hazzard or eyesore
im just banding ideas around, as a noob ive got a lot to learn about everything
Thanks for the clarification. My point was that in that situation the ring itself would be unnecessary as you could simply pass the rope itself through the loop of tape attached to the anchor(s). As long as you abseiled and didn't try to lower off it would be just as safe for you.
The slight drawback of this in general is that when later pulling your rope down you'll be pulling the rope directly across the tape, and even though the rope is no longer weighted there will still be a likelihood of heat damage to the tape, so it may no longer be a reliable tape loop for future parties to ab from. If it's a mid-pitch retreat then the next team are likely to clean your gear up anyway so there would be no problem with them just taking the tape loop home and discarding it.