/ Right equipment for the job
I'm not looking to kick off a new pastime here, though I guess anything's possible. I'm looking for some straight forward advice on the correct equipment to support some upcoming tasks.
I have a property that sits atop a ravine. In many places, with careful selection of footing, it's possible to get a fair way down the ravine; in other places it's a vertical drop. The property is in the tropics and is covered in jungle. I'd like to be able to safely maintain some of this jungle. This means periodically, going down the ravine and cutting back some of the growth and at times removing unwanted trees. I'd prefer to be roped for my own peace of mind and to allow me to deal with some of the steeper sections in safety. I may also at some point decide to build a walkway along a section of the ravine and this would involve being on a rope and digging footings for the walkway and fitting sections to the footings. It would be nice to also have the option of going up some of the bigger trees (much like tree surgeons do).
My experience is limited to some basic work that I did in the army many years ago, and about all I have these days is a basic knowledge of some equipment and techniques.
My question is; what equipment should I consider purchasing to support what I'm trying to achieve?
Thanks in advance
You can find a lot of useful stuff on Youtube,from throwlines to prussiking.
What you are describing are fairly standard rope access tasks. When it comes to rope access, normal climbing gear and climbing techniques are generally entirely inappropriate.
For the 'work' tasks you describe, doing anything other using industrial rather than purely recreational equipment and adopting the standard industry practice of using two entirely independent safety ropes is pretty foolhardy. The basics are not rocket science but equally there is vast scope for novices to make a whole variety of errors.
I think anyone giving you any advice other than to get some specialist training or book yourself on an IRATA level 1 training course (see http://www.irata.org/ ) would be doing you a dis-service.
That said, browsing through the Petzl Professional Catalogue (45MB!) will probably give you a fairly decent idea of the methods and equipment used in industry - http://www.petzl.com/en/pro/catalogue/login
When it comes to tree surgery, that's a rather different set of skills and techniques yet again. Even as someone who does roped access tasks professionally, I'd prefer to hire a professional tree surgeon rather than mess around up a tree with a chainsaw myself.
PS Working for one employer, we occasionally rig zip-wires and high-ropes courses from mature trees but we will always use long ladders wherever possible. Rope access techniques are always the last resort, not the default.
Static ropes (more than one if you're using tools that can cut ropes!), jumars (for going up), grigri or other autolocking descender (for going down), shunt (to attach you to your backup rope)
A rope access guy would be able to help better than me.
But its a lot of expense to do a bit of gardening! Also pretty dangerous if you make a mistake.
Edit: I have done some stuff similar to what you describe with the gear I mentioned (and more stuff) but I don't recommend it. Frankly I did a shoddy job and I was pretty scared the whole time. Ex is right, its worth getting training. I wish I had and I would if I did something like that again!
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