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 Post subject: A Little Question for the Rap Crowd
PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 6:11 pm 
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You Splitboarders seem a little nuttier when it comes to technical lines, so I thought I'd post here. :)

I recently saw a climbing website which argued that using a spectra sling as an anchor for your rappel was a bad idea. They claimed the thin spectra band would "cut through your rope like butter." Or something like that. Their recommendation was to always use a ring or a carabiner to connect rope to leash.

Ordinarily, I'd ignore the comment, as Freedom of the Hills never had a problem with it.

...but I do tend to use thin ropes (8mm) and thin slings (mammut contact), and now I'm wondering if there's any truth to the idea. Has anyone heard of a spectra sling cutting through a rope?

Hope this isn't too out there for the gang.

Andy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 6:46 pm 
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Location: Reno
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER use Spectra slings as a point of contact to another line in a rappel or anchor system... you can use Dyneema (sp?) slings, I believe, as an autoblock... though even that seems sketchy to me. I only use thinner cord or a shunt.

You ESPECIALLY do not want to use ANY rope, cord, or sling as a point that the rope will run through at the primary or any secondary anchors. Nylon rubbing against nylon at high speeds and under high loads = melted nylon and a dead climber.

As I understand it, Spectra slings achieve their light wieght and strength by having a large portion of the fibers running in the same direction. As you have heard, this gives them the unintended property of being like knives, when stressed.

Anyway, why not just carry a few extra rings for emergency rappels?

BTW - Freedom Of the Hills = ridiculously outdated... best to get your advice directly form the manufacturer of the climbing equipment you are going to be using.

Zach

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 6:53 pm 
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Ice, I havnt tried (Im too damn cheap to bail from sewn slings) bailing from spectra, but I'd imagine the issue to be moreso the rope burning through the sling when you pull it, not the other way around. Sounds like they might be cautioning against lowering from a sling..

Also, i'd be nervous about even rapping off of it, for sure.. aluminum rap rings are cheap and light; it's your ass on the line here. Rig up an experiment.. setup the 'anchor' in question, type a rope into two stirrups. thread it through the sling, and saw back and forth a few times. Scary how fast the sling burns through... That however might not be generated during a rapell, no moving rope during descent, etc..

Is this something that you've been using and are now having second thoughts about? or just something you were thinking about trying? Might be worth testing it in a controlled environ before you commit, should it be the latter.

Also.. careful with the climbing Q's on the intarweb.. Everyone seems to be an expert.


:twisted:

-C


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 7:41 pm 
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Zach wrote:
best to get your advice directly form the manufacturer of the climbing equipment you are going to be using.

Zach


Thanks Zach. That's a great suggestion. No, I haven't tried this practice myself, though I was tempted to.

Am I correct in assuming this is a problem the older nylon slings didn't have?

That would sure suggest TFOTH is in need of updating!

Andy

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 7:42 pm 
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Location: Seattle
I guess I should be dead. Many times over.
ImageImage
I've rapped off naked trees, tape, webbing with water knot, whateva. Spectra does seem a bit on the spendy side. Carabiners would get expensive real quick.

Use whatever you want to rap. Most importantly, just be sure that your anchor won't fail. That's all that really matters. You might get some friction heating when you pull the rope. Probably not a problem, just inspect the sheath periodically. Anybody telling you much different is probably just trying to sell you something.

EDIT: Definitely a different situation if you're talking about lowering. The rope is stationary during a rappel. But is anyone considering top-roping descents? Please god no!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:03 pm 
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skykilo wrote:
I guess I should be dead. Many times over.
ImageImage
I've rapped off naked trees, tape, webbing with water knot, whateva. Spectra does seem a bit on the spendy side. Carabiners would get expensive real quick.

Use whatever you want to rap. Most importantly, just be sure that your anchor won't fail. That's all that really matters. You might get some friction heating when you pull the rope. Probably not a problem, just inspect the sheath periodically. Anybody telling you much different is probably just trying to sell you something.

EDIT: Definitely a different situation if you're talking about lowering. The rope is stationary during a rappel. But is anyone considering top-roping descents? Please god no!


In which of thise pictures are you rapping with your line running through a spectra sling? Have you ever actually done this?

I've rapped off of slings before... didn't want to spare a carabiner. I spent 2 hours trying to get my rope down... re-leading the pitch to get back up to it on someone elses rope. It twisted just enought to make an autoblock out of the sling.

Considering the force generated by pulling the rope, I imagine that you would be likely to burn through the rope too... same tyoe of force generated if you were to use it as an autoblock.. I took a leading class, when I first started climbing, right around the time that Spectra slings were first hitting the market. One of the first things that the guide mentioned to me was that they spelled death if used as an autoblock. They heat up really fast and essentially become a rope cutter.

Zach

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 10:16 pm 
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Location: Western Washington
NEVER rap off just a sling. Lowering rings are dirt cheap, and light, too. The real issue everyone is talking about here involves pulling the rope, as in lowering yourself, that will burn through both rope and sling. Pulling through a sling will probably crisp the sling more than the rope, but why take the chance if you don't have to? How much is a good 'biner, $8.00?? What is your life worth? And who are you trying to kill if you leave a half-burnt sling somewhere? Sorry to be preachy about it, but think about the next person who may want to, or need to, use that piece you've left. Oh, and I've had to free a pitch to retrieve rope before, one time I had to do it twice!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 10:23 pm 
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Location: Meyers, CA
folks have rapped off their shoe laces before...but that doesn't make it a good idea.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 10:45 pm 
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Just to be explicit about the technique I'm describing:

Image

Rope remains stationary, is fed doubled through a rappel device like Fig 8 or Munter Hitch. Drawings are examples from 5th Ed TFOTH.

Andy

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:17 pm 
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In kilo's defense, skiing is not rock climbing. You're not f'cked if you fumble pulling your rope, and there's much less chance of things getting stuck on a snow slope. Furthermore, if you are scared that you're going to cut your rope in half by rapping, then you should probably just stay home. The outdoors is too dangerous for you.

I can see little slings being problematic not due to strength/damage issues, but because if you're not careful they could tie up your rope. Just take some webbing, and a rap ring if you're really worried about it. Slings are too pricey to waste on raps anyway.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 12:44 am 
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Jon Dahl wrote:
NEVER rap off just a sling. Lowering rings are dirt cheap, and light, too. The real issue everyone is talking about here involves pulling the rope, as in lowering yourself, that will burn through both rope and sling. Pulling through a sling will probably crisp the sling more than the rope, but why take the chance if you don't have to? How much is a good 'biner, $8.00?? What is your life worth? And who are you trying to kill if you leave a half-burnt sling somewhere? Sorry to be preachy about it, but think about the next person who may want to, or need to, use that piece you've left. Oh, and I've had to free a pitch to retrieve rope before, one time I had to do it twice!


You know nothing. Your whole diatribe is absolutely 100% obsurd, you should stay home or stick to a "controlled" area. :roll:

and a few others might as well join him...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 12:59 am 
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Ice Bat That's along way from a wrap 3 pull 2. I know its a one man....bit it IS..........weak.

Jump in here if you know. Interlocked web anchors (w3p2) are standard in the training I've had.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 7:57 am 
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Location: Reno
huevon wrote:
In kilo's defense, skiing is not rock climbing. You're not f'cked if you fumble pulling your rope, and there's much less chance of things getting stuck on a snow slope. Furthermore, if you are scared that you're going to cut your rope in half by rapping, then you should probably just stay home. The outdoors is too dangerous for you.

I can see little slings being problematic not due to strength/damage issues, but because if you're not careful they could tie up your rope. Just take some webbing, and a rap ring if you're really worried about it. Slings are too pricey to waste on raps anyway.


Good point.... and, I didn't mean to come across as doomy-gloomy.

Still, I'm pretty certain that the specific properties of Spectra present additional dangers... oddly enough, I don't know of any manufacturer that still makes Spectra slings. Seems like they've all gone to Dyneema.

I don't thikn there's any question that using webbing as an anchor point for a rappel is relatively safe... The question is whether or not slings made of Spectra are acceptable aas well. I'm actually going to talk to a friend at Mammut today... since they've had experience with Spectra, I'll ask him

Zach

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