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Spiral_Out

Umbilical set-up?

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Hi all,

Gearing up for a good ice season and am looking forward to some long alpine climbs. I'm pretty fresh to this whole game, but clearly see the advantage to an umbilical system. (My experience with leashes hasn't been fun). Anyways, i was wondering what set-ups some people use. Ive heard of grivel making some but my internet searches produce nothing. My own bluerints include a BD rotor, some dyneema slings w/ shock cord through them attached to camp nano's. Im sure someone out there has a tried and true system that works well and doesn't freeze. Any tips?

Edited by Spiral_Out

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my leashless rig is almost exactly like Alpine Dave's, except I use the little BD Micron biners (lighter, but not rated) because my old Vipers don't have a hole to clip into when the fang is installed. With new tools though, the leashless system would certainly hold body weight.

 

I would argue that the swivel is clutch, especially for alpine.

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I also don't use the swivel. It my experience it didn't keep the umbillicals untangled it just added an ounce or two to the set up. Secondly, I think they would be least useful on alpine routes in particularly where you are generally cruising up big features rather than mixing it up (I know depends on the route).

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Without the swivel, I have noticed mine getting a twist or two occasionally. I climb mostly alpine. Sometimes at a belay, or in a moderate section, I will untwist them--which is not hard to do nor very time-consuming.

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For those of you using alinedave's mod, how are you attaching them to your tools?

 

I've got some previous generation BD Cobras with a jerry-rigged 'Fang' on 'em.

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I rigged up some umbilicals for my older BD Vipers by buying a shackle that was long enough to go around the bottom spike and drilled a slightly bigger hole in the fang to put the shackle bolt through. After failing to find any shackles at department stores, I found one at a marine supply store in their sailing section. I know the marine supply store on the north end of Lake Union by Gasworks has a good selection of gear.

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I have Grivel's, and proto BD's. Not a big fan of biners (although the mini key ring biners do work well enough on the home made rigs) or swivels. Both of their rigs work fine if you want to clip in and out of the umbilical and need a set that works on multiple tools/positions.

 

With or without elastic works fine as well imo. On bad days the elastic will likely freeze up anyway.

 

Big fan of girth hitch straight to tool and girth hitch straight to harness..full strength and super low profile with a little sewing :) Light, simple and easy enough (and cheap enough) to make it tool specific.

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For those of you using alinedave's mod, how are you attaching them to your tools?

 

I've got some previous generation BD Cobras with a jerry-rigged 'Fang' on 'em.

 

Just clip the umbillicals into your tools with a biner. If your tools don't have a clip in point you'll have to make one by drilling/threading a cord through. It's easy with the quarks, I don't know with the old cobras... can't remember what those look like.

 

A FYI do not use nano wires to clip into new BD tools. They are just big enough that they can slip over the pommel and just small enough that you can't get them back off. Had to climb first pitch of the season on the upper handles... lame. I now use superfly's which easily flip over the pommel and easily flip back. It doesn't seem like a problem at home... trust me it is.

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The tiny Camp biners seem to work pretty well, I can't remember what they are called. I replaced the stock biners on the grivel tethers with the camp and they are a lot easier to use with gloves on. They are small enough where they don't flip in front of the pomel on the new BD tools and are still full strengh biners. The bd proto seems quite promising, I've liked it more than the grivel, for what its worth, but the majority of the time I don't use tethers at all.

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The camp biners are the nano wires. At home they don't seem like they will flip over the pommel but if you plunge just a couple times they flip over. It happened to both of my tools after just one or two plunges.

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I havn't had that happen before, but if if I'm plunging with them, then I don't have the thing clipped to the spike. Also, I added a bunch of tape to the biner to make it a bit wider, so it isn't possible for it to flip. But in any event, the Nano biners seem to have worked better than anything else out there for me, for a full strength biner.

Edited by sill

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One advantage to clipping with biners rather than tying or girth hitching to your tool is the ability to move your clip point from the spike to the head when you transition from steep ice to plunging.

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Point well taken. If you do the design right, pulling the girth hitch isn't a big deal, if the section of different climbing is worth the effort. Tool like a Nomic makes it less of an issue. Either way you need a hole big enough to girth hitch too easily. Also easy enough to plunge a tool while still hooked up on the spike even with elastic, a bit easier if you don't have a biner getting in the way or can easily just reclip to the head of the tool. Although it makes a better self belay clipped directly to the head if you are plunging. But works fine either way.

 

Advantages ways..biners are easy to use, girth hitched is a cleaner set up and generally more fail safe. Disadvantage is the contraption of biner and swivel or the hassle of rehitching a different location.

 

 

 

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