ffj's journal II Rope Rescue Technician

What skills to learn, what tools to get
ffj
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Re: ffj's journal II Rope Rescue Technician

Post by ffj » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:07 am

The Double Figure Eight (bunny ears) Anchor

Here is another way to utilize separate loops to capture two different points of contact. I've used trees in this example but a common occurrence is to utilize bolt anchors such as used in rock climbing.

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Bunny ears are easily adjustable and again we want to equalize the load on each point of contact.

Here is an example of two equal loop lengths:

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And adjusted for an offset load direction:

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Sclass
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Re: ffj's journal II Rope Rescue Technician

Post by Sclass » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:54 pm

ffj wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:36 pm
The Prusik

This knot is usually tied with a prussic loop. It also has a multitude of uses including belaying, ascending rope, progress capture device, or a simple rope grab. The loop is normally a smaller diameter cord or rope that is secured with a double fishermans knot, although there are variations to this rule
Great thread. I've been waiting for you to mention this knot. Any experience climbing with it? I've been fantasizing about climbing a very large tree at my mom's using the prusik knots on a climbing rope so I can trim the tree.

I have no mountain climbing experience but I was hoping to try climbing the tree in 10' increments to test the technique. I've seen special mechanical attachments that do this without knots and wonder is the prusik just for emergencies like a muenter/carabiner as a substitute for a rappelling figure 8 metal loop.

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: ffj's journal II Rope Rescue Technician

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:53 am

Rock climbers use the prusik to ascend ropes all the time, though it is inefficient compared to using mechanical devices such as ascenders. It is good practice to carry two prusik loops (plus slings and carabiners) so that a climber can ascend the rope if needed. The petzl tibloc is a popular piece of gear that can be used in place of the prusik, is more efficient, and still cheap.

I really don't think anyone should start from a place of no knowledge about climbing and go straight to ascending a large tree to trim it, sorry. There's just too much that could go wrong.

ffj
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Re: ffj's journal II Rope Rescue Technician

Post by ffj » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:39 am

@Sclass
Thanks. Rope training is a great way to scratch the itch of creative problem solving. It's amazing what you can do with a piece of rope.

I love climbing trees. Probably the next topic I will cover is ascending and descending rope, and the method of using a prussik will be addressed. It's actually a very simple process but it does require stamina. Don't let Gilberto scare you off ;). Once you learn the mechanics it's really fun and if you take the necessary precautions it is very safe. And I will cover all of the precautions one must consider before leaving the ground. Gravity is a bitch. :D

ffj
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Re: ffj's journal II Rope Rescue Technician

Post by ffj » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:49 am

Another Simple Anchor

Here is another way to secure an anchor that actually captures the object being used. It's a nice alternative to the basket hitch.

Start by wrapping the tree at least two times. I did three in this case because of the length of the rope I had, but keep in mind anything over three is overkill and it may interfere with the proper loading of your carabiner.

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Wrap it so that your tails end up roughly on the side of the anchor and secure with a double-fisherman knot:

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ffj
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Re: ffj's journal II Rope Rescue Technician

Post by ffj » Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:55 am

The Tension Tie-Back

There will be occasions where your primary anchor point will be sub-optimal. This can happen near cliff edges where the trees are somewhat stunted because of the topography . So we need a way to reinforce that primary anchor so we can utilize well-placed points of contact.

Start by tying a regular anchor to the under-sized or stunted tree (yellow) and another anchor that loops through the first one and is in the direction of the larger tree which will reinforce the smaller one:

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Tie an anchor to the larger tree that is in-line to the eventual load that will be applied to the primary anchor:

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Now we want to connect the two together so that when a load is applied to the primary anchor, both trees will be sharing the load. Since we have intertwined the two anchors on the primary tree, in the event the tree were to fail, the reinforcing tree would be able to capture the load. Keep in mind this would be a very bad event if this were to occur, so it is a redundancy that we would never want to utilize.

Start by tying a figure eight on a bight and connecting it to the primary anchor:

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Then it's a simple matter of looping a rope a couple of times through each tie-back carabiner:

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Now that we have a couple of loops in the system, we can utilize its mechanical advantage to get the tie-back very snug. With a partner, each of the four strands can be held and pulled in the direction of its intended travel. So work with a partner and just pull your dedicated strand and you'll be amazed at how tight you can make this system. Once we have accomplished that, we need to tie it off to maintain that tension.

Start by forming a large bight of the remaining tail and forming two half-hitches to be tied against the carabiner. You can maintain tension simply by pinching the rope against the carabiner before the half-hitches are applied.

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Once we have tied the two half-hitches, we need to finish with an overhand followed by a linked carabiner to ensure the knot cannot become undone:

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An overview of the complete system:

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Sclass
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Re: ffj's journal II Rope Rescue Technician

Post by Sclass » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:19 pm

Thanks for the warnings. I've actually topped the same trees as a 13 yo kid using backyard tree climbing skills and a loop of safety line clipped to the trunk. My dad would belay a safety line. Prolly considered child abuse today. :lol: Now that I'm faced with doing this alone I thought I'd try acending the rope with the knots. But...if there is a mechanical device that works better I'd like to buy one.

So a Prussik knot will be a huge improvement over climbing from limb to limb. I'm thinking I should try it first climbing say 10'. I think if I use a propper harness and clip in with safety line not much can go wrong. I can wear my bike helmet. :lol: Heh heh.

I'll probably just throw down $4000 and have the pros do it which is what I did a few years ago. It just didn't look all that magical and I felt I could have saved some green by climbing up myself.

I bought this book called Knots by Gordon Perry at a book discounter and I've been fantasizing about this for years.

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: ffj's journal II Rope Rescue Technician

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:48 pm

Don't let Gilberto scare you off ;).
I don't want to scare or discourage anyone, I just want people to be safe. I'm not here to rain on anyone's parade and I think ropework is great and a lot of fun. :)

I think what really has me on a safety kick is that lately I've been seeing lots of people who just bought the gear for climbing or treework (I've done both), got little to no instruction, and are inventing methods as they go along. I'm all for risk taking by people who understand the risks they are exposing themselves to (example: Alex Honnold) but a lot of people are casually being really dangerous and have no idea. Thankfully I've never been around when someone has been hurt but I've seen some wake up calls for people who thought there was no problem (sometimes after being told otherwise).

ffj
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Re: ffj's journal II Rope Rescue Technician

Post by ffj » Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:07 pm

@Sclass

There are tons of mechanical devices that make it very easy to climb rope which I'll showcase later. But prusiks work well too and are much cheaper. Before you start climbing just make sure your rope and all related gear are rated for life safety, and I would make sure your skills are solidified before carrying sharp objects such as handsaws and chainsaws up with you. :D

Simple tree jobs are pretty satisfying but you got to know when to call the pros too. I watch this guy quite a bit and he really does a professional and safe job and I've learned quite a bit from him.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSSqc6 ... -LBrjyRrvw

@Gilberto

Safety is everything, I agree, but I want to impress upon you and others that once reasonable safety requirements are met it's time to go to work. If Sclass does his due diligence and follows safety procedures then he shouldn't become unnecessarily worried about trimming a tree. What i would like to impress upon others is that once one has sufficient knowledge and skill, it takes a huge amount of danger out of the equation, even if it looks dangerous.

I hope you realize that I'm not dismissing your concerns, but I want to empower people who are interested in this to become good at it and subsequently become safe at it.

ffj
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Re: ffj's journal II Rope Rescue Technician

Post by ffj » Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:19 pm

The Anchor Sling

There are pre-made anchor slings manufactured that are very easy to use and take out the necessity to tie an anchor. They are very fast and should be used when possible to save time, however, keep in mind that most departments don't carry a lot of these and they won't always be suitable for the job at hand. Some are adjustable in length and some are fixed length and we need to make sure that we use the correct length whenever possible.

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It's as simple as it gets:

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We can also use this particular one in the choker mode but keep in mind that half of the strength rating disappears when this is done:

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And here is the strength ratings for different configurations along with the date of manufacture. Note the difference between a basket sling and a choker.

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Sclass
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Re: ffj's journal II Rope Rescue Technician

Post by Sclass » Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:18 am

Thanks for the warnings. I'm going to leave this to the pros. I'll probably still ascend 10' to see if it works, but I'm actually worried about other things like branches snapping under me or felling unpredictability and strangling me between the tree and the ropes...I've heard stories by an old timer about palm tree trimming accidents in LA where the cutter gets leaned back on his harness by heavy fronds.

Cool to see such techniques exist.

ffj
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Re: ffj's journal II Rope Rescue Technician

Post by ffj » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:53 pm

@Sclass

You can always climb for the fun of it. Check out http://www.newtribe.com




The Pickett System Anchor

Sometimes there just isn't anything to tie to and a vehicle can't be driven to the spot needed to use as an anchor. So we have to improvise and that is where the pickett system comes into play. Basically it involves driving three stakes into the ground and tying them all together to create a very strong attachment point. The stakes should be long enough, roughly four feet long and driven most to the way into the ground at roughly a 15 to 20 degree angle.

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The stakes are spaced roughly four feet from each other in a straight line:

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Once they are driven into the ground at the proper angle, we take a rope that is doubled up and tie a clove hitch at the bottom of the first stake and then tie a second clove hitch above it:

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From this second clove hitch, we tie another at the bottom of the second stake, and repeat the sequence to the third stake:

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Finish this last clove hitch with several half hitches to secure the rope:

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Now that the three stakes are tied together, we must tension them up with the use of two smaller stakes. We simply insert them between the two strands between stakes and twist until the system is tight. Once this occurs, drive the smaller stake into the ground to secure the tension:

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At this point the anchor is finished and we can attach to the loop of the first stake:

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: ffj's journal II Rope Rescue Technician

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:53 pm

I hope you realize that I'm not dismissing your concerns, but I want to empower people who are interested in this to become good at it and subsequently become safe at it.
We are on the same page, I just like more cautionary notes and hand wringing with my technical instruction. :D

The picket and the slings you just posted are interesting, I've never seen those. The labels on the slings with ratings for more than one configuration are new to me. Rock climbing gear usually just has one rating in Nm.

Ever gone rock climbing? One of the best sport climbing areas in the US, Red River Gorge, is in Kentucky (where I think you are located).

ffj
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Re: ffj's journal II Rope Rescue Technician

Post by ffj » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:30 pm

Yeah the configurations matter and that pickett system is crazy strong. I've flipped tractors using that anchor with a 9:1 mechanical advantage system.

I've spent many a day and night in the Red River Gorge and back when I was younger and much skinnier did some rock climbing there. A 5.10 was my limit as I wasn't that good. It's a beautiful area but extremely crowded anymore so I haven't been back in a while. If I lived closer I would love to be on the rope rescue team that services that area as they see a lot of action, most of it from intoxicated or impaired people unfortunately. There is a ton of trad climbing there too btw.

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