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sammyg

Found ropes on top rap on Prusik Peak

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Found 1 blue and 1 orange rope on the top rap station on Prusik. The orange rope was cut in half.

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I ran into the guys that had to leave them on the way up asgard. They told me i could have the ropes, but i think you got there before i did :)

 

I think you were the party just ahead of us on saturday.

 

I insisted that I would get the ropes and give them back, but they insisted that I keep them. I believe both ropes were cut. Given that you packed them out you should keep them.

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Here is the "epic story" you requested. Perhaps someone can learn from my mistakes. This is the story as I wrote it on Aug. 25.

Ryan, Bradley and I have safely returned from climbing Prusik Peak. I thought I would share the story because some of you heard that I set off my SPOT on the Peak. At Ryan's suggestion we focused on climbing Prusik Peak several months ago. Our preparation included some practice at our local crag. Ryan, Bradley and I practice the technique of Trad climbing with three people. I wanted to make sure they knew how to place protection, set anchors, equalize anchors and all that stuff. We would take two 60 meter ropes. I was also very focused on the double rope rappel which would be needed on Prusik Pk. I decided to use the double fisherman's knot for this. We would also each use an autoblock when we rappel. We practiced this also.

The West Ridge of Prusik peak is a multi pitch rock climb. It is about a six pitch climb. We started on the rock around noon on Friday. The climb went well. We are not that speedy because we are methodical and careful. The group of three can also take more time. The guys each did some leads and we had no falls. We reached the summit just after 7 PM.

The rappel off the summit goes down the north face which is very steep. I set up the double rope rappel threading the blue rope through the rappel ring and tying it to the orange rope. The means that we can rappel 60 meters. The ropes are tied together at the top just next to the rappel ring. The rappel ring sits on a table top like rock on the summit. The ring was about a foot from the edge. I rappelled first. I was able to free up one end of the rope which was caught. I passed an anchor off the the right at 25 meters. I kept going and stopped at the next anchor at 50 meters. Then the guys each followed. When we all three reached the anchor at 50 meters it was time to secure the end of the orange rope and pull it. We were unable to budge the rope. This struck a fear in me. I had Bradley try pulling from another angle. Nothing. After several attempts I suggested that Bradley climb a gully using an prusik on the blue rope. Bradley suggests that we have a prayer. I am sending him up to cut the orange rope, giving us as much length as possible. He does so and makes a cut which gives us about 32 meters of the orange rope. ( a 8.5mm rope). This is all we will have to work with to get down the face. Darkness if falling. We have one headlamp.

About five meters below is a ledge. I rappel down to have a look. Over the fall line is darkness. to the left is an arete. To the right is a ramp going downward. It appears to me that to the right is a large gully in the mountain. I suggest that we try this way. The guys agree. I also tell them that I am considering setting off the SOS on my SPOT. Bradley suggests this a good idea. I go ahead and set off the SPOT. Then I explored the ramp. It ends in a drop off but I can see a ledge 8-10 meters below. We decide to rappel down to the next ledge. Of course we don't know what lies beyond but I am hopeful for more ledges because of the gully impression. I also feel that if we keep moving we stay warm. I find a horn and a good placement for a nut and we rappel off these two pieces. From this ledge I am able to see another so we repeat the process. I reach the next ledge and set up anchors. Each time the guys have to set up their rappels in the dark. After four or five reiterations Ryan observes that the terrain is changing, becoming less steep. Finally I see a tree. Using the tree as an anchor we rappel over a final rock about 25 feet. We reach a mountain goat trail. We are off the north face. From here we traverse back to the West ridge where our packs are. It is 2 AM. I set off an OK message on my spot.

We then hike 4 miles back to Cochuck Lake on a beautiful starry night through the Enchantment basin. The sun rises as we reach Aasguard pass.

Thanks for your prayers and support. And thanks to the Sherif for sending out a helicopter at daybreak.

 

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Thanks for sharing.

 

Please don't take critique personally, this is more for the benefit of other beginners. You made it down safe, that's all that matters.

 

EDK is the knot of choice for less chance of hanging on edges.

 

At least one headlamp per climber. They are so light now anyway, plus if you want to shave weight some helmets will hold a light without the headband.

 

With the rap ring just a foot from a bad looking edge move the knot till it's over the edge, you are only losing a little over a foot in distance so it doesn't matter.

 

If there's any question a rope might not pull do a test pull for a short rope distance with the first person down while people are still at the upper anchor.

 

Spot's and PLB's come with the instruction "Only to be activated when all other means of self-rescue have been exhausted"

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Some suggestions:

 

Have a pair of tiblocs and associated footloops for ascending a stuck rope. Fast enough to go all the way up if need be and free it, even on vertical terrain.

 

Anchor the the bottom of the rope that isn't passed through the rap ring next time and ascend the other. Safer than assuming you won't pull the knot through the rap ring.

 

If its a beautiful starry night, bivvy rather than SPOT. 3 guys + homo huddle = I LOVE TO PARTY.

 

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I'm gonna add my 2cents in as well:

 

EDK all day.

Do a test pull, always.

Ridonkulous to only bring 1 headlamp for 3 dudes.

Often on broken terrain it is much easier to do short single rope raps, passing a station at 25M should have been at least a signal. The first rapper should have finished the dbl rope rap, tried to pull the ropes which wouldn't budge. Yelled up to the team that they were going to stay at the farther station and that the other two should try two single rope raps and see if the ropes pull then. Extend anchors with shoulder length slings if needed.

Do more research, beta out there about this exact same situation.

Don't set your SPOT off because you're scared to spend a cold night in the hills, shivering from your inexperience. SPOT's are for accidents, not mistakes.

 

I'm sure in retrospect you've thought of all of this..

 

Nonetheless, nice effort and good work making it down Prusik and out of the hills.

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Thanks for the input. Point taken about the SPOT. I did send out the "I'm OK signal" when I reached the bottom. Thanks for the pointers about double rope rappels. I assure you, I will do EVERY possible precaution if I ever have to double rope rappel again. What I learned to do:

1. Bring the 10 Essentials up the rock. (bring a small pack for the person who follows)

2. Time management.

3. Research the rappel. (I did speak with someone who had done this rappel but I should have pressed him more for details.)

4. Carry a headlamp for each dude.

5. Take every precaution to make sure the knot won't catch.

6. Extend the belay ring over the edge. ( I did have a belay ring on me)

7. Use the double overhand knot (EDK )instead of the double fisherman's knot. See Mountaineering, The Freedom of the Hills, 7th edition, page 192. ( I had read that section by the way).

8. Put the smaller rope through the belay ring instead of the larger one.

9. I like your point about having first rapper trying to pull the ropes before the other two go. Also, the last dude can stop at first ledge and test pull.

10. Consider doing a single rope rappel instead of double rope rappel.

11. Practice ascending two ropes on your home crag and carry Purcell prusik cord.

12. Practice all this stuff extensively at your home crag.

 

 

 

 

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not meaning to jump on anyone's case but just trying to help out. Maybe you need to hone in those basic skills on the crags which will help with time management on the alpine. 7 hours for 6 pitches on the w ridge is really slow even for a team of three. (team of three should be no more than 20% slower than a team of two when you got 2 double ropes) I suspect that it was the making of belays and belay transfers that took the most time. 45 minutes to get both climbers done with a pitch (low 5th) is a goal you should achieve before going into the alpine.

 

good on ya though for getting out and doing it.

 

PM just saw your point #12

Edited by genepires

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I go ahead and set off the SPOT. . . . It is 2 AM. I set off an OK message on my spot.

 

Doesn't the SOS message go to trigger a rescue and the "OK" message sends a message to friends in your contact list (but not the rescuers)? One doesn't cancel the other although I think you can cancel the SOS message by holding down the button or something. Hopefully that's what you meant.

 

Glad you all made it down safe and it looks like you learned a whole lot. :-)

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Yes, at 2 AM I did turn off the SOS and sent the "I'm OK" signal. The OK message did go to SPOT headquarters. I spoke with the Sheriff the next day and he said he got the "I'm OK" message before sending out the Helo. He did not question my use of the SOS. There was communication between the Sheriff and my family during the night.

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I don't see the need for a SPOT type device in some place like the enchantments. If shit does hit the fan there are going to be plenty of other people around to provide assistance. Worse case scenario you'd have to huddle together on a ledge for the night. You were never in a actual life or death scenario. I keep a mindset that if I do get caught out in the dark I can always sit down and shiver until it gets light again.

 

A friend nearly died on Colchuck a few years back and I'm pretty sure he didn't have a spot. Other folks saw the fall and sent for help.

 

In a remote place where you are unlikely to see anyone a SPOT device might be warranted. It really should never be used though, self sufficiency is your number one tool for staying safe.

 

and I'm off my soapbox

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I don't see the need for a SPOT type device in some place like the enchantments. If shit does hit the fan there are going to be plenty of other people around to provide assistance.

 

certain accidents will require the action to occur within hours. (head injury, internal bleeding, ect) A spot would be the only way for rescuers to get the information fast enough if a cell phone is not available.

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I don't see the need for a SPOT type device in some place like the enchantments. If shit does hit the fan there are going to be plenty of other people around to provide assistance. Worse case scenario you'd have to huddle together on a ledge for the night.

 

Disagree

 

We were on Serpentine arete during the week this past August. There was another party topping out as we hit the crux. I don't think they would have heard our calls for help if we had needed it. Also there was no cell reception until we were on the summit.

 

As an example look at Steph Abegg's accident. Her sister was very close to where she could (just by chance) get cell reception and it barely worked out for Steph, just a little bit later would have been a way worse outcome.

 

Imagine being on the middle of Serpentine, how far away are you in time from cell reception? What if just by chance there is no one within hearing distance when you have an accident? Now you have to leave the injured person to go for help.

 

Also the rescue organizations prefer the PLB. It does 3 things. It sends out a registered signal tied to your emergency contact numbers so rescue can find out your itinerary. It sends it's GPS coords, and it has a homing beacon.

 

""Rescue will almost never come till morning anyway.""

 

Ask Steph about that one. If the accident is 3 to 4 hours before dark the PLB will be much better than relying on cell reception or someone else.

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2. Time management.

 

8. Put the smaller rope through the belay ring instead of the larger one.

 

9. I like your point about having first rapper trying to pull the ropes before the other two go. Also, the last dude can stop at first ledge and test pull.

 

Time, yes, that was a way late start for this climb with this team, it left no margin for error. Generally the earlier start the better regardless of anticipated time to complete the route.

 

I wouldn't necessarily put the smaller rope through the rings, I would put the newer rope. An old fuzzy will have more friction than one with new dry treatment.

 

A test pull should always be from the anticipated next anchor and while someone is still at the top anchor.

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Really guys, mo bettah to just do the shorter raps, that would have solved the problem in all liklihood. Its when you try to skip raps and do double rope raps on less then vertical terrain and/or with a stepback at the anchor that you cause yourself problems due to the rope stretch and the fact that now you are 200 feet away from the anchor instead of 100, and that there is allot more terrain for the rope to hang on way out there. Last guy could have worked the knot over the edge also as he rapped, thats what I always try to do to insure a good clean pull. hey, nothing wrong with being a Sunday morning quarterback is there! :)

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