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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:09 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2004 12:45 pm
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Location: Reno
Back to the actual topic.

An old friend of mine who guides on rock had this to say about rapping off of Spectra slings:

1. Because of the slipperiness of Spectra, it is actually "easier" to pull the rope through, after rapping, without causing friction burns on the rope.

2. However, with Spectra or any Nylon Webbing, sling, etc.. The slightest tug or equalization on either side of the rope can cause enough friction to burn through the sling... consider the load on the rope, typically stretched to it's static point by then, so the sheeth fibers are more taught and consequently more abbrasive.

Like I said; lot's of people have gotten away with lot's of things, but it doesn't make them smart.

Zach

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 12:23 pm 
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Zach wrote:
Back to the actual topic.


Yup. Did your friend at Mammut tell you that Dyneema is actually a trade name for Spectra, and both are aramid fibers? I hope so! Because Spectra is great stuff for certain applications. And it's still very much in use.

Spectra works OK for an autoblock, it's not as good as nylon (Perlon) but it will do OK in a pinch. I've used an 8mm spectra sling on 7.5mm twins to back up a rap while untangling the ropes (usually back up my raps, never know when the rope is going to knock something down onto you), even used it to jug a fixed line WITH A HAULBAG after missing a rap station. (That was embarassing and strenuous) While I can see the wisdom in not recommending sub-optimal choices in a lead course, I do think your guide friend probably exaggerated a little bit :-). I would rather have a Spectra autoblock than none at all, in spite of its low melting point. If you're going fast enough with an autoblock to melt a Spectra sling, you'll glaze the rope and probably burn the shit out of your hands.

As far as rings and slings, if you have to rap off a sling, that's what you do; hell some sport climbers routinely lower off of bolt hangers on overhanging desperates (aka the 'Texas Rope Trick'). A 3mm radiused bolt hanger is not very forgiving either (but then again, bolt hangers don't melt easily). Given the option of a larger, more durable radius to run the rope across, I'll always take it, of course. (Which means that I'll always use 1" or 9/16" tat in preference to an 8mm sling, and I'll always use rings or a biner if I have one with me)

But if the only way down is to thread a sling, you cross your fingers, back it up (if possible), send the fat guy down first, and take your chances. At least, that's what I do, and most of the really experienced climbers I know. Nobody LIKES to risk their ass unnecessarily but not many people like dying of exposure either. And sometimes you run out of biners or gear (d'oh!). Retreating from a big route can get to be a very expensive proposition, or a deadly one. The Seattle guy is glossing over the level of commitment that a 1000m face entails, but I will say that most technical alpine routes I've done, um, "discourage" retreat once you're committed.

I haven't seen anything thus far while touring that would force such a choice, but I've been forced into it many times on alpine routes and a couple times on walls. So far, I've never had to rap directly off of an 8mm sling, and it would certainly be a last resort for me (and anyone I know who has seen another climber splash on rappel). Most of my partners who've been climbing for any length of time have seen someone die or get seriously injured as a result of a bad decision, so this is not something I take lightly. But you have to get down and sometimes a rap is all you have.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 8:37 am 
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Location: Reno
- Posting here from Little Rock, Arkansas... if anyone wants to know what hell is like; it's negotiating a falling-out of a business partnership between your mother and sister, in Arkansas, while it's snowing at home :evil: Though, the BBQ is damn fine.

Anyway, I just got an email from another friend who I posed this question to. Below is his response.. because of who he is, I've left his name out. Suffice it to say, he is one of the most respected and accomplished mountain guides in the world, right now, so I would trust his opinion with my life.

Text of his response:

Hey Zach,

Thanks for the note. I was away doing slide shows last week so I'm just catching up on emails.

The problem with rappelling off of a spectra sling (or any nylon sling) where the rope runs through the sling is that when you pull the rope you will heat up the nylon. It can heat up so hot and fast that you can burn through normal nylon slings. If you never plan to use the sling again that's probably fine. There is more friction when you pull the rope too making the pull harder to do. If the sling heated up and then the rope got temporarily snagged before you freed it you could expose a part of your rope to a lot of heat. Spectra probably won't burn though as quickly but it could still get rather hot.

Two rappel rings would ease the friction making for a smoother pull plus keep the rope away from the sling.

I have rappelled directly from nylon slings but if it is possible I try to avoid it.

Let me know if you have more questions.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 9:41 am 
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
Zach wrote:
I have rappelled directly from nylon slings but if it is possible I try to avoid it.


If you have the time to do so, a classic trick for reducing the friction between a rope and something that might cut it (such as fixed lines running over edges on walls) is to duct tape the hell out of the thing that might cut it.
I'm not sure why I hadn't thought of this before. Probably because when I'm forced into these type of things, it's usually on long climbs, and most of the time I have a couple biners with me that get sacrificed. Also cause I'm usually in a hurry if I'm pressed hard enough to rap off of bare slings.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 10:01 am 
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Thanks for the follow-up, Zach!

Your expert's opinion looks consistent with the general consensus that's been emerging here. I also like the double-ring trick to avoid putting all your eggs in one basket, so to speak.

Will pray for snow for you in Arkansas.

:)

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 8:52 pm 
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Man... I cant believe I missed a climbing related flame battle... why did yall all have to make peace before I read this thread.... BASTARDS!
-Barret


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 11:45 am 
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yo, this post really needs to be hijacked. :)

damn, and by the looks of the subject title i thought this would be some stoopid poll about what rap music we're all rockin' in our ipods!

so i'm thumpin' ludicris and old skool nwa. how about you guys zach and pbelitz?

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 8:11 am 
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Location: Evergreen Land
rico I'll help you out here. the ipod is way too low on my priority list but I do have a mix CD that is playing some old rap: gang starr, outkast (atl ), method, old bustah, DRE, keith murray,....

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 8:33 am 
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I'ma start packing a 40 instead of my thermos, and drain it on the summit for tha Dead Homie, ODB.

*TRUE*

burn through that shit, beeeeotch.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 3:16 pm 
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Location: Seattle
I have an mp3 player with some old 2Live Crew, Eazy-E and Dr Dre on it.

Eazy-E goes especially well with raps for backups for raps:
"Gimme dat nut!"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 12:31 am 
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Location: 21 and Lewis
Aight playaz, i muthafu@#$ stumbled on this bit#$ on tha prizzolowl fo sum gangsta-a$$ recent east side slizzide photoz. An, you know, bein a homie known fo doin quite a muthaf#$^n bit of rappin, both on stage an on in my native mutha@$n hood, you know, the seee-ierrahhh, I had to chiggity check out what tha f#% was goin on.
I read sum sh$% scarier than rollin down crenshaw on point, and sum sh#$ spoken by sum muthaf#$n o-geez'.
An I gots a muthaf@#$n solution to ya'llz problemz. If you trippin bout them slangs fo whateva b#%$@-a$$ personal muthaf#$n ethincal/moral reasonz...bring yo own muthaf$#n slang that you trust, an a deus of rangz, an fix that sh$% up right. Cut that old sh$% off an toss it at tha sto. Communitay muthaf#%$@n service. If you down wit tha game, show me tha money baby!
An if you coo rappin like Ren off nuthin but a slang thang, aight then.
An if you really got sum ethics thaz az tight az (whaaat?), cut all tha sh$% down and tie yo muthaf#$@n v-thread. O get a fat bollardizzle up in that steep shizzle. But playa, I gots ta say, when yo rollin deep on 50 pluz degreezy pow pow an its deep, I'ma say 3-2-1 see ya an tie that slang while yo a$$ is diggin ta China! Rappin off treez iz cool, betta to smoke, but if yo gangsta a$$ thinks friction ain't doin sh$% to that stump ova time, betta akx sumbody, cuz if 50 foos each rap off, tha po piney foo goina get jacked. Few times, sho, you know. That treezy iz survivin, witout cho muthaf@#%n help, an sh#$, its helpin yo a$$ ab-muthaf%@#n-seil.
Ya'll debatin ethicz, an that sh#$s worse than them busta-a$$ politicians. Only one muthaf#$@n thang to be said now. What'chall do in tha hillz iz fo yo self, an not fo no otha. Ain't that why we in da hood in tha first part?
Word. SkiZius

And if this sh#$ iz inappropriate fo tha site, pleaz let a homie know. Just tryin ta spread sum love, you kno?


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 6:44 pm 
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Location: PNW
Can you make a translator script that does that for all posts on here?

So is this gonna end like one of those old movies where everybody's about to fight and then they break into some muthaf#$^n gangsta-a$$ song and dance?

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 9:08 pm 
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Dude! Google already has such a service at http://gizoogle.com. Click here to see an example!


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