Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  
Dhamma

Roping up for Glacier Travel

Recommended Posts

<-Mountaineering Newb with some experience doing easy trad free climbing.

 

I recently got a 30meter 8mm rope for roping up on glaciers. it doesn't seem to stop too well with my bd atc (need to pickup a new belay device)

 

From what I've read this a good length rope to use for 2 guys roping up together, but too short for any more than two people--is this correct?

 

Also, do any of you guys carry a full size ascender while climbing? Seems like if you fell down a cravasse, you would want the simplest tool to get the fuck up and out asap, and not have to mess with prusiks--especially if injured and unable to tie knots? The thing barely weighs anything. Comments please :)

Edited by Dhamma

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have used a 30m rope for 3 people quite a bit. You don't have enough rope for the two end people to have extra, but with a 3 person team i (personally) don't think it is necissary.

 

I have seen people (mostly rescuers 15 years ago) carry full sized ascenders, but; If you pre-place your prusiks on the rope before you head onto the glacier you don't need to worry about tying them in the crevasse.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are problems with 8mm ropes (glacier floss) but if you are aware, they are not big. Prussicks require an extra wrap or two and a small diameter prussick (6mm) which freaks a lot of people out. I use a short prussick and clip on a longer, stronger sling. Mechanical ascenders are usually built for larger diameter ropes and will not work on 8mm. Barely work on 9mm. Rappell devices are the same as ascenders. You can get them for 9mm which helps. You can use a caribiner brake bar system or even the Munter. You may have to wrap the rope around your waist or leg for extra friction, especially if the rope is wet.

Keep the rope dry. The only way to do this is to buy a dry treated rope and retire it when it gets worn or "un-dry".

Not having a coil at each end is chancy. Yes, most crevasse falls are barely past the lip if at all. Then you don't need a coil. If someone does go deep and is hanging in space and has cut a deep rope groove into the ice bridge, what are you going to do? Sit there till someone with a coil comes along? Probably. For those of you who do not carry a coil, please tell us what your plan is. I am not being a smartass. Just asking Personally, I have never had this happen. But I know that the second I count on that, I'll get a dose of Murphy's where it feels the most intrusive.

I leave you with that thought.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the prussiks should be put on the rope when you tie into the rope. That way you don't have to try and tie it on after falling in. Tiblocs work on 8mm ropes but the thought of teeth on a thin line is a little too uncomfortable for me.

 

Why do glacier travel people need to belay with ATC's? Especially with a 30m rope, you are not going to be going to alpine rock climbs. The ATC is most useful as the blocking for the prussik in a 3:1 pulley system in which case holding power is irrelevant. If you need holding power, use a munter. (as mentioned above)

 

As Bug says, it is a good idea to have rescue coils. A 50m rope is a minimum for teams of two. 30m works for teams of 3 as there is the rope between the two surface climbers to be able to get to the victim.

 

where did you read that 30m is good for 2 climbers but not more? That source needs to get purged or burned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess it was my misinterpretation. The guy way sayingthat a 70m rope was too long for two guys, and you should cut it in half by coiling it up on each guy. I took it to mean you need a shorter rope and I thought, well shit, why dont' i just get a smaller rope. REI had a 8mm dry rope 30 meter that said alpine on it, i thought it sounded like the ticket. I'm still not through freedom of the hills yet--need to keep reading. thanks for the advice!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yeah, 70 m of rope between glacier climbers is too long. Can you imagine the rope stretch if someone fell in?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So for two climbers on a glacier, you'd want a long enough piece of rope such that the strand between you two would be big enough to span crevasses and allow for effective arrest on the glacier you're traveling on. Figure 10m for the cascades. On top of that you'd want more than 10m in a coil on each person. This would allow you to rig up a haul, prussik to the edge, rappel to your partner if need be, and so on. So my rule of thumb is you'd like about 35-37m of rope for a two-person team in this neck of the woods.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the span between climbers is a personal choice. 30 feet is a little short for me. I usually go with 45 feet to allow some distance if I get caught off guard and slide some before being able to self arrest. I also use up some rope by putting in three butterfly knots to drag and take some of the force off the surface person.

 

165 feet= 45 ft between climbers + 6ft for bowline knots + 6ft for butterfly knots + 108 at ends (54ft per end) for rappeling to victim and making anchor.

 

It is all a personal call though. I usually take a more conservative slant on things cause I am a wanker.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Totally agree with Bug & genepires, think about how you are going to effect a rescue as a two-man rope team. You need to have a good amount of slack at each end. Also, think about how you will anchor the rope if your partner falls in. You have to arrest the fall and hold your partner while you build an anchor. I like knots between climbers at ~6' intervals to stack the odds in favor of being able to arrest the fall and successfully create an anchor (idea is that knots will catch in crevasse lip). The knots complicate rescue scenarios (can't prussik up the rope with knots, nor haul it through the crevasse lip), especially if the person is unconscious, but I believe they reduce the odds of taking a longer fall or failing at anchoring the rope.

 

I think 50 or 60m rope is good for a 2 person team, you may need the 60 if you have knots between climbers - if you have to rig a haul system you'll need enough rope to drop an anchored line (without knots) to the climber AND create the rest of the hauling system.

 

As mentioned already, you won't need your ATC unless you want it to tend a prussik. but, if you use a pulley instead of a biner for the pulley at the anchor, using a bachman instead of a prussik will self-tend at the pulley and you can leave the ATC at home. So, a pulley plus a biner, or a biner plus an ATC, just depends what equipment you want to bring.

Edited by NateF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The way I see it, the butterfly knots shoudl not be a problem. If there is a crevasse fall, chances are that the snow is real soft. So the knotted rope will dig in really far, so far that actually digging it free to be able to haul up will take too much time. (plus the thought of digging the snow around the loaded strand!) So the extra rope will most likey be needed in a prepared lip to do the haul or prussik out with.

 

One thing I started doing, after practicing single person rescues, is to be able to attach the rope to the first piece of snow pro with a tension release hitch that is already attched to the rope. In addition to the regualr prussik setup, I had a cordelette with a regular prussik hitch to the rope. This cordelette also had a munter mule hitch (to a locker) close to the prussik hitch. this locker would be attached to the first snow pro, whatever it is. When I placed the second snow pro, I could release the munter mule to lower the rope onto the new equalized snow anchor.

One can also release a regular prussik by pulling on the wraps to lower also. But my way is so much more geeky and makes me feel "smart". :)

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×