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Hokus

Munter Hitch for Trad Climbing

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Gary:

 

You make a great point about how the Munter Hitch can be a great tool and that it does not twist the rope if it is used with the ropes "parallel."

 

Where you say "parallel" I think you may mean "in the same direction." If you rappel on a Munter, and allow the tails to hang down, you will get the rope twisting, right? If you rappel on it but make sure the tails travel up out of the Munter and then back down below you, you don't right?

 

Parallel lines do not have a distinct direction, so this distinction may be important because someone might think that feed rope UP and tails DOWN are "parallel" unless they understand the "concept."

 

And I agree: I've used the munter hitch for belaying a follower or for lowering somebody with a lot smoother performance and simpler operation than any belay device. In fact, when I set somebody up to lower me for a rescue some years back I set it up this way because I had less than complete faith in their use of their belay device.

When using the Munter Hitch, have ropes in and out of the "knot" feed from the same direction if possible.

 

Mr. Munter can be your friend.

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Yes mattp,

 

Your wording, "When using the Munter Hitch, have ropes in and out of the "knot" feed from the same direction if possible.", should help. Words and knots (or hitches) don't mix easily. I'll try to come up with some pictures.

 

Did you see the link, provided above by Hokus, to the auto block technique? It is sweet!

 

Thanks for the help.

Edited by gary_hehn

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Interesting topic and all. But I think I'll just use a regular belay device. I somehow have trouble agreeing that you can belay or rappell on the old Munter without ending up with a huge snarly rats F*$# nest of a rope. I'll save that old trick for emergencies only....actually...I prefer the carabiner brake rappell, and the Munter for belaying....IN EMERGENCIES ONLY!

 

In short, you can use any technique you want to with your snarled and twisted up rope. But when it's my rope and we're climbing at the local crags, your gonna have to remember to bring your belay device....or else you might have a long walk back to the car to pick up my spare ATC.

 

Really...when you think about it, it's not that much to have to remember. Rope, shoes, harness, belay device, locking biner. Everything else a person might want at the crags can be "Jimmy Rigged" with dental floss, shoe strings, and some rocks you just picked up off the ground. Or perhaps all you need is just two very big, rock solid, NUTS, and a pair of shoes to have a good time. I don't know. Maybe I just don't understand why anyone would choose to make life more difficult than it needs to be.

 

That's all I have to say here. I'm off to the store now to buy some beer, I think I'll just leave my wallet at home to challenge myself into coming up with other alternatives to fill my oh....so important shopping list. LOL

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Folks,

 

Rope twist when rapping with a Munter can be easily eliminated with this simple trick. It's fast really simple, and works great.

 

This was first posted on the Mazamas Tip of the Week page, (maintained by me):

http://www.mazamas.org/your/adventure/nw/munter-hitch-rappel-removing-the-twists/

 

When retrieving the rope following an Munter hitch rappel, care must be taken that any twisting in the ropes is removed before pulling them down through the anchor. Here’s a simple way to do this.

 

Before you leave the stance at the start of a rappel, click a carabiner onto one of the ropes and let it slide down and set on top of the Munter hitch. As you rappel, the ropes will twist slightly, stopping this free running carabiner from staying with you. When you reach safe ground, unclip the Munter hitch and start to untwist the ropes by hand. When the free running carabiner drops down to you, you know that there are no more twists in the rope, and can start to pull it down.

 

From the book “The Complete Guide to Climbing and Mountaineering”, by Pete Hill

 

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Hokus,

 

Another long time Munter user here, since mid 80's. I use it for belaying the leader about 95% of the time. Use Cinch/grigri on occasion.

 

I use it for belaying the second off the anchor about 75% of the time. Auto-block device about 25%, especially when climbing in a team of 3.

 

Occasionally for rappelling. I like the slot devices for rappelling because they make it very difficult for the two cords to wrap around each other, which adds friction and more difficult to pull the ropes. Not a problem if you pay attention to your ropes. I currently like the Petzl Verso for single ropes, and DMM Bugette for HALF and TWIN ropes.

 

One thing about the auto-block munter which I have liked using lately. I have not figured out an easy way to release once loaded. Anyone know if there is a way, other than raising the climber? The climbing mag. piece did not mention anything about releasing once loaded. For this reason I don't use it on steep or overhanging, which is an unlikely scenario for me anyway.

 

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What a great forum. I've used the Munter for belaying, lowering and rappelling.

 

Mastery of the Munter is a (or at least was a) foundational piece of entry into the American Mountain Guide Association to guide at any level on rock. I went through the TRCSM course some years back and utilizing a munter hitch it belay, to lower and to rappel on a 6mm cord to negotiate the "edge" and lower the guide below the master point from a distance well above the master point.

 

Guide courses change, but I have little doubt that mastery of the Munter is still a foundational piece of the AMGA and you should question guide associations that don't start with this hitch, and then transition to mastery of belay devices.

 

Hate the kinks and loops, looking forward to trying techniques of rectifying this...

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Uh, ALtreides, anyone who knows much about Antilock brakes will only buy a car with an off switch for them for snowy icy conditions where antilock brakes will send you into a spin.

 

In normal conditions (dry) or rainy, antilock brakes are great for those who don't know how to use a brake pedal. For anyone who knows how to drive, you can stop faster without the damned anitlock brakes.

 

IF, they start putting real brake components on cars instead of what is there now, then antilock brakes will be better than the ol' human foot. Until then, antilock brakes are not as good. AKA have to have aviation type brake components. If they finally move the Antilock brake components used on the F1 race cars to "normal" cars with the computers and sensors to match, then the antilock brakes will be better than the human senses and foot. Until then, I sure as hell do not want Antilock brakes. They are more likely to get your car crunched than to save it. Unless of course you aren't paying any attention while you are driving and are bumpering someones bumper and are clueless.

 

Learn a little bit, before spewing ignorance please.

 

PS. I can stop far faster in my truck without the damned antilock brake system on than with it. Yes, if I was loaning my truck to someone, I would turn it back on as they are not familiar with how my trucks brakes feel otherwise, they stay off.

 

PPS. Newer antilock brake systems are far better than the old ones and are very close to being better than the human senses. They aren't there yet.

 

 

Edited by Wastral

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"Climbing" does not require anti lock brakes. Take your "I'm better than a machine" arguments to spray please.

 

Uh, ALtreides, anyone who knows much about Antilock brakes will only buy a car with an off switch for them for snowy icy conditions where antilock brakes will send you into a spin.

 

In normal conditions (dry) or rainy, antilock brakes are great for those who don't know how to use a brake pedal. For anyone who knows how to drive, you can stop faster without the damned anitlock brakes.

 

IF, they start putting real brake components on cars instead of what is there now, then antilock brakes will be better than the ol' human foot. Until then, antilock brakes are not as good. AKA have to have aviation type brake components. If they finally move the Antilock brake components used on the F1 race cars to "normal" cars with the computers and sensors to match, then the antilock brakes will be better than the human senses and foot. Until then, I sure as hell do not want Antilock brakes. They are more likely to get your car crunched than to save it. Unless of course you aren't paying any attention while you are driving and are bumpering someones bumper and are clueless.

 

Learn a little bit, before spewing ignorance please.

 

PS. I can stop far faster in my truck without the damned antilock brake system on than with it. Yes, if I was loaning my truck to someone, I would turn it back on as they are not familiar with how my trucks brakes feel otherwise, they stay off.

 

PPS. Newer antilock brake systems are far better than the old ones and are very close to being better than the human senses. They aren't there yet.

 

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