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khu

Fixed line etiquette

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I have never used them before. Just wondering what the practice is for these in two situations:

 

1) crossing a ladder - can you just clip a biner on a sling for added protection?

 

2) ascending a steep section - could I throw on my Petzl Basic and just tend it while I climb?

 

I'm assuming these are more-or-less just two anchor points with a taut rope between them

 

I'm talking like the DC on Rainier.

 

 

Thanks

 

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yes and yes

 

course, it's always a bit sketch to trust a fixed line you didn't place with anchors you can't see :) as you describe though, you're not really actively using the line, just counting on it in an emergency

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if the rope climbs upwards, you will need something to keep you from sliding downwards attached to the rope. prussik, ascender, ect

 

if the fixed line goes horizontal, you can clip to the fixed line with a tether. (daisy chain, shoulder length sling, ect) You will need a way to get to the other side or up the rope if the rope sags down into the crevasse. The length of your tether may make getting across very difficult if long. But a short tether makes it awkward to move. Find the middle ground.

 

something to think about is the shock load if you fall onto the horizontal fixed line. if the rope is a static line, it seems like there would be tremedous forces onto the rope and anchors. (Better off with a dynamic line) if the line is too taut, there would be high forces once again for both kinds of rope.

I have never seen or used a horizontal fixed line so I have no real expertice with that. Just something to think about.

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An easy way to clip into fixed lines is to clip them with the biner attached to one of your prusics instead of carrying a dedicated sling to clip onto fixed lines. Less junk around your junk and its no slower. This technique would work really will with a tibloc or something like that.

 

The fixed lines on the DC last year weren't on very steep sections but a fall could have taken you over something really steep. We didn't use prussics on them, just clipped them on the way down to prevent a really bad fall, messing with prussics can still be slow even if you are pretty good at them.

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