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khu

Glacier travel gear arrangements

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I've got a couple questions, but I'll run down my gear first so you know what I'm working with. This is for a 2 person team.

 

Here's a run-down of what I'll have:

- 2 pickets, one with single runner and locker, one with double runner and locker. Both hitched to 2nd position on post.

-Ice Screw

- Rope coiled around chest. Overhand knot through loop and connected to harness with Wire-gate biner

- Prusik on rope to climber attached with locking biner to harness

- Petzl Basic for ascending or for pulling out climber (wiregate or locking biner??)

- Petzl microtrax for self-tending pulley, would also use for ascending, with screwgate at main anchor point

- Petzl Partner pulley on wiregate for Z system

- Extra oval biner with plastic petzl sheave for ZxC

- 50ft of 6mm cord for ZxC haul

 

My questions are:

1) Do I have the lockers or wiregates in the correct spot in the system? I figured anywhere an accidental open gate doesn't mean falling into the crevasse, a wiregate would be sufficient.

2) what is essential to have on your rope and harness while traveling? what can I have in my bag for when I escape the system? I know the prusik needs to be there, but what about leg loops and an ascender?

 

My set up now keeps the extra cord, oval and pulley in the bag for a ZxC system. I also store the partner pulley and wiregate for it. I keep my basic on my harness for ascending fixed lines if needed, or to ascend after a crevasse fall, and the microtrax for ascending after a crevasse too. The ice screw I'd like to have handy if I cant drive a picket.

 

Just curious what people's set ups are. Thanks for the input

 

 

khu

 

 

 

Edited by khu

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Both hitched to 2nd position on post.

-Prusik on rope to climber attached with locking biner to harness

- 50ft of 6mm cord for ZxC haul

 

why girth hitch the second hole and not the top hole?

 

waist prussik should be longer than usual prussiks. how long is your waist prussik? 2ft loops work good for waist prussiks.

 

why carry 50ft of cord when you can use the extra rope for the C portion of ZC?

 

 

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I figured the second position so I can dig a decent trench for the sling or for the scenario where I'm not able to fully drive the picket; to avoid redoing it when I really need to place it. Is it more common to just use the top? I wanted to avoid having it loaded where part is cantilevered above the snow.

 

I'm not sure the exact length of my waist prusik, but its more than enough for 4+ wraps with an overhand knot and extra loop. My foot one has loops about the length of my inseam with figure 8 on a bight.

 

And I take the extra cord because I've not really been able to get a good ZxC with my coiled rope being used for the Z portion. Usually a little short. Plus I always like to have extra cord and could rap down to a victim on it if needed, or use if for anchors or other things.

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It would take an ice layer to prevent a picket from not going down fully. No reason to think that will happen around the second hole point. More often than not, it goes in fully so you would have to change it to the top postion or go with the weaker less than full depth.

 

the waist loop length is really about trying to do 2 things.

1.From a self arrest position with a picket already placed, I take my waist prussik which is already on the rope and attach it to the buried picket. this is easier with a longer prussik.

 

2.When I need to move to the lip of the crevase, I protect myself by using my waist prussik which is attached to the fixed rope. A short one would be crazy hard to move back and forth.

 

what length of rope and spacing do you use? a 50m rope with 40 feet between climbers leaves 60 feet of coils used for rescue and rappeling.

If you are using a 30m rope but both climbers need to carry 50ft of cord to help with rescues, maybe a rethink of the rope choice is in order.

rapping down with a 6mm rope is not trivial, especially when you think about the cutting in the snow of the thinner line and the friction needed to go down and how will you get back up.

 

One good reason for a extra cord is for some other kinds of mech advatage pulley systems. I think there is some kind of efficient 7:1 system utilizing a cord on the end of the z system. I saw it once but never really tried it.

Edited by genepires

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khu,

 

If you haven't read these already, I would recommend Andy Selter's book, Glacier Travel and Crevasse Rescue and Freedom of the Hills. Both have very good descriptions and illustrations of glacier travel rigs.

 

From the description of your set up it is not clear to me which method (there are several) you are following. It is not a bad idea to go out with a friend (ideally an experienced climber) to practice setting anchors, haul systems, ascending, etc. You can try the different systems and select the one that works best for you.

 

Crevasse rescue is pretty hard with a team of three, very difficult with just two, so you should be very well versed and practiced before heading out.

 

Gene makes a lot of good points. Rapping on 6 mm is tough, ascending would be even harder. I know a lot of climbers who like the weight of a skinny (i.e. twin or thin half) 30 m cord, but in practice a 50 m, slightly thicker cord has many advantages.

 

 

Edited by DPS

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what length of rope and spacing do you use? a 50m rope with 40 feet between climbers leaves 60 feet of coils used for rescue and rappeling.

If you are using a 30m rope but both climbers need to carry

 

I use a 50m rope with 10 coils on each climber, for a two person set up. I've also got a fairly long waist prusik in position going to the other climber, so I'm not too worried about that.

 

The cord isn't a huge deal as I will have it for other things, and in an emergency I can double rap off it if needed and then climb the anchored line going to the victim. Obviously I would pad the lip going into the crevasse if I were running the cord over it, to avoid cutting pretty deep.

 

My main question about all this is where to use the wire gate vs screw gate biners.

 

 

 

If you haven't read these already, I would recommend Andy Selter's book, Glacier Travel and Crevasse Rescue and Freedom of the Hills. Both have very good descriptions and illustrations of glacier travel rigs.

 

I've got Freedom of the Hills, but the section on glacier travel seems to glance over other setups than 3-4 man teams.

 

I will look into Andy's book. It sounds like a winner.

 

I've got an idea of what I'll have on my very limited camp ALP 95 harness and I'll try and fit some stuff onto my backpack straps to act like gear loops.

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I've got an idea of what I'll have on my very limited camp ALP 95 harness and I'll try and fit some stuff onto my backpack straps to act like gear loops.

You really shouldn't need to carry too much on your gear loops. Prusiks will be attached to the rope, pickets can be strapped to the side of the pack with the double length sling clipped over my shoulder to the pack's shoulder strap so you can just pull it off.

 

Harness loops can carry an ice screw, pulleys, a couple extra carabiners, a couple of alpine draws, a cordallete if that's your bag. Not much really else needs to go on there.

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- Rope coiled around chest. Overhand knot through loop and connected to harness with Wire-gate biner

 

Tying in like that (in a traditional Kiwi Coil) can make it impossible to untie your knot/coils if they get loaded. Instead, tie a second knot (I often use a figure-8 on a bight) and clip it into your harness with a locker (or two). That way, the fall will load the locker and not your coils.

 

You can also just clip in with two lockers and stash the coils in your pack. It's more comfortable that way.

 

Oh, sling your pickets in the middle hole and place them as deadmen. Real crevasse rescue puts a whole lot of force on the anchors and you'll be psyched to have solid anchors. Practice digging t-slots while lying prone in the snow by yourself.

 

IMG_11241.jpg

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Oh, sling your pickets in the middle hole and place them as deadmen. Real crevasse rescue puts a whole lot of force on the anchors and you'll be psyched to have solid anchors. Practice digging t-slots while lying prone in the snow by yourself.

 

I thought deadman anchors were best saved for deep or fresh snow. This was my original setup, but reading and searching seemed to reveal the "post" orientation being more common.

 

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Oh, sling your pickets in the middle hole and place them as deadmen. Real crevasse rescue puts a whole lot of force on the anchors and you'll be psyched to have solid anchors. Practice digging t-slots while lying prone in the snow by yourself.

 

I thought deadman anchors were best saved for deep or fresh snow. This was my original setup, but reading and searching seemed to reveal the "post" orientation being more common.

 

The upright position or post orientation as you called it is only something you would want to use in knife-hardness snow.

 

There aren't many objective studies on snow anchor strength, but this resource on snow anchors is pretty good:

 

http://www.mountainsafety.org.nz/assets/images/Snow%20Anchors0705.pdf

 

If you get bored, skip to pages 15-18 for the goods.

 

 

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I use a 50m rope with 10 coils on each climber,

 

My main question about all this is where to use the wire gate vs screw gate biners.

 

10 coils should be around 40ft each which would leave 85 ft between climbers. In alaska this might be needed but the cascades don't require that much space between climbers. Just more chances for slack and rope stretch to make a small fall into a large fall. With a couple knots between climbers and 50 feet between will give you 57 feet of rescue coils each. Being on a dynamic line is preferred over skinny static, granted the snow is forgiving. If you wanna rap on 6mm, even doubles over, then it is your call.

 

Lockers go on whever it is the sole connection to a anchor, either on puropse or during the accident.

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I thought deadman anchors were best saved for deep or fresh snow. This was my original setup, but reading and searching seemed to reveal the "post" orientation being more common.

 

If the snow is hard enough for a vertical placed picket to be worthy, it is very unlikey that your partner punched through a hidden crevasse. Of course there is a chance that your partner could trip over themself and fall in a open one. But chances are if you are placing gear for crevasse rescue, the snow is soft and weak and therefore it should be deadman placed.

 

With that in mind, I still place my picket with the sling on the top hole cause it is hard to pull of the pack with it girthed to the middle hole.

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