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Tying a knot in the rappel rope

Do you tie a knot in your rappel rope(s)?  

525 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you tie a knot in your rappel rope(s)?

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Boviously, the answer is the same as everything else in climbing: it depends.

 

Freeing a stuck rope could expose you to bad weather. It could lead to sketchy poorly-protected or unprotected climbing. It could prove impossible and leave you with much less rope. It could be a huge problem.

 

Another way to avoid rapping off the end of the rope might be to very carefully watch the end of the rope while you're rappelling.

 

An option for rapping not mentioned yet is to tie knots in the ends, then stuff it into a sack and rap with the sack. Good for windy conditions, rope-eating flakes, and not-vertical terrain.

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Actually, I don't believe I said anything along the lines of "from what I've read" but, there was some constructive advice given regarding the use of single knot per strand along with accompanying reasons. Those posts were useful.

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Yup. A stuck rope is annoying at least, and it can be a major pain in the neck when it is windy and said stuck rope is way off to the side. I generally do not tie knots when I can see where I am headed and there is a big ledge there, but as the landing area gets smaller or I am unable to see where the ends of the rope are I will be a lot more likely to tie the knots.

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Another way to avoid rapping off the end of the rope might be to very carefully watch the end of the rope while you're rappelling.

 

An option for rapping not mentioned yet is to tie knots in the ends, then stuff it into a sack and rap with the sack. Good for windy conditions, rope-eating flakes, and not-vertical terrain.

 

Yes, if you are worried about not knowing how much rope you have left, and about potentially rapping off the end of your rope, then putting the ends of your rope in a sack where you can't see them or see how much rope is eft below you is a grrrreat! idea :rolleyes:

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Another way to avoid rapping off the end of the rope might be to very carefully watch the end of the rope while you're rappelling.

 

An option for rapping not mentioned yet is to tie knots in the ends, then stuff it into a sack and rap with the sack. Good for windy conditions, rope-eating flakes, and not-vertical terrain.

 

Yes, if you are worried about not knowing how much rope you have left, and about potentially rapping off the end of your rope, then putting the ends of your rope in a sack where you can't see them or see how much rope is eft below you is a grrrreat! idea :rolleyes:

 

Strike four. He mentioned tying a knots in the rope before rapping.

 

On a related note, using a stuff sack for the pull line is standard procedure for single rope rappels...for all the reasons already mentioned.

 

Edited by tvashtarkatena

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Yes, if you are worried about not knowing how much rope you have left, and about potentially rapping off the end of your rope, then putting the ends of your rope in a sack where you can't see them or see how much rope is eft below you is a grrrreat! idea :rolleyes:

 

I said tie knots in it, so you won't rap off the end.

 

I think it's pretty clear that when you're rappelling, you're going to have something to worry about. So pick your poison.

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Rope in a stuff sack is not "standard procedure" for any rappels. In fact the only time it is even marginally useful is in gale force winds.

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You can also knot and take the rope with you either stacked or in a ropebag and feed it out. As another alternative you can throw it without a knot, rap 1/2 - 3/4 of the way, do a leg rap, pull up the ends and knot them, and then proceed.

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Rope in a stuff sack is not "standard procedure" for any rappels. In fact the only time it is even marginally useful is in gale force winds.

 

Strike five. Using a stuff sack is essential to manage a pull line for single rope rappels. You can't throw a pull line; way too delicate, light and tangly.

 

If you don't know how to do a single rope rappel with a pull line, I'm sure teh interwebs can help.

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Rope in a stuff sack is not "standard procedure" for any rappels. In fact the only time it is even marginally useful is in gale force winds.

 

WTF Dru? I'm not the one who came up with this idea, and I've used it before and been glad it was an option I knew about.

 

When are you even marginally useful?

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Rope in a stuff sack is not "standard procedure" for any rappels. In fact the only time it is even marginally useful is in gale force winds.

 

Where do you get a statement like that? Like anything is "standard procedure". I've been doing this as a "standard procedure" for decades in high wind situations and especially in the Gorge every winter.

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Dru might learn to DROP a subject now and then.

 

And, I agree with JH: standard procedures are often anything but in the field. Now, back to our regularly scheduled program...

 

 

Edited by tvashtarkatena

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If it is at all windy you should definitely throw the rope down and not simply drop it.

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I was waiting for someone to mention the option of lowering. I think it was Mattp who mentioned that once in another thread. If you wanted to, in a double rope rappel, you could rappel one one strand, with the tail in a bag, and be lowered or belayed on the other strand. Or you could just be lowered one strand and drag the other along.

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If it is at all windy you should definitely throw the rope down and not simply drop it.

 

Perhaps if you talk to it softly it will drop where you need it to.

 

Personally, if there are any horns or trees on the route (never happens), I like to make the bulk of my rope clears them. That almost always requires a hefty throw.

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I don't think it was me who suggested that, Catbird, though I could see how lowering might make it easier to keep track of where the rope is -- though wouldn't it be easier to lower the first down on both ends of the rope? Then the other guy or others could follow.

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just to play devils advocate, if you were to lower your partner and it was windy and didn't have the best position to see your loweree, how would you know when to stop lowering? (assume a multiple pitch rappel)

 

tvash - didn't you retreat from dragontail a month back? :)

 

 

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just to play devils advocate, if you were to lower your partner and it was windy and didn't have the best position to see your loweree, how would you know when to stop lowering? (assume a multiple pitch rappel)

 

tvash - didn't you retreat from dragontail a month back? :)

 

Sure, you just might have a problem. That's why you have the option of rappelling a single strand while on belay with the other strand. Best of both worlds. You control your rate of descent, you are backed up by the belay.

 

In the previous discussion, there was one fellow who says he always ties into the end of the rope(s) he is rappelling. So in that case there is a bight or bights hanging down the route. If the rope became stuck, you could tie a backup knot right below you, untie from the end, pull up the rope, rethrow, tie into the end again.

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I don't think it was me who suggested that, Catbird, though I could see how lowering might make it easier to keep track of where the rope is -- though wouldn't it be easier to lower the first down on both ends of the rope? Then the other guy or others could follow.
You could do it either way. It's probably easier to lower on one because you wouldn't have to worry about the two twisting about one another going into the belay device.

 

If you were using a Munter Hitch, it definitely would be easier to lower on one strand, while dragging the other.

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just to play devils advocate, if you were to lower your partner and it was windy and didn't have the best position to see your loweree, how would you know when to stop lowering? (assume a multiple pitch rappel)

 

tvash - didn't you retreat from dragontail a month back? :)

 

 

Ahem...well...that was an exploratory foray for a later ascent of the Triple Couloirs, my good man.

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I confess, I'm the one who ties into the ends when I can't verify that the rope reaches ground. And when I reach the following stance, I tie the ends to my next rappel anchor before my partner rappels. If you use an ancient style rappel device such as a figure-8, it's possible to feed the knot through the device, so my preference for tying the ends to me is probably a holdover from the 70s...

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