Ascending with just rope?

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15 years 8 months ago #132034 by Davej
Ascending with just rope? was created by Davej
Ok, I'm a noob and still waiting for the book and DVD, but I'd like to start practicing ascending. I won't go too high. If my rope is 1/2\" 12-strand arborist stuff then what should I use to make two Prusik loops for my feet? I'm thinking the Prusiks would go above the Blake's hitch. Also what is it with using a pulley to push the Blake's hitch? Wouldn't a small carabiner or even a loop of cord do this?

Thanks,

Dave

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15 years 8 months ago - 15 years 8 months ago #132038 by oldtimer
Replied by oldtimer on topic Re:Ascending with just rope?
Dave, Wait until you get the books read them TWICE and get the rest of the safety gear before you try to improvise. The new techniques are easy to accomplish as soon as you the get basics. Do not rush the process or you may become another casualty like the few ones we have been reading of lately in the Accidents Report section of the TCI and Arborist forum. Gravity always wins!:blush:

Instruction from a Trained Facilitator or Arborist will go a long way on how you develop your climbing and safety technique. B)

In the mean time read all the posting in the Gear Review section and see what other climbers think about their best gear collection. You could hold buying your gear and get it all in one order and save on the transportation. Also, find out if there is a local Vermeer Dealer near you they carry most of the Sherrils Gear and you will save on Shipping and handling a good bit. You are looking at expending close to $500 plus to get the nice gear you like. It only goes up from there as you get hooked on the stuff and can not stay away from buying more gear every time you get a chance. ( Speaking from Experience here) If you go to the Rendezvous, in previous ones they have Discounts Coupons there that could save you some money also. Good Luck! :lol:
Last edit: 15 years 8 months ago by oldtimer. Reason: Add a note

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15 years 8 months ago #132039 by Tree Dimensional
Replied by Tree Dimensional on topic Re:Ascending with just rope?
Well said Oldtimer!

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15 years 8 months ago #132040 by Davej
Replied by Davej on topic Re:Ascending with just rope?
Well, mostly I wanted to get everything on order. I'd like to order a $20 cambium saver from Sherrill's, and along with that I wanted to order some Prusik cord of the right diameter...

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15 years 8 months ago #132048 by moss
Replied by moss on topic Re:Ascending with just rope?
Davej wrote:

Ok, I'm a noob and still waiting for the book and DVD, but I'd like to start practicing ascending. I won't go too high. If my rope is 1/2\" 12-strand arborist stuff then what should I use to make two Prusik loops for my feet? I'm thinking the Prusiks would go above the Blake's hitch. Also what is it with using a pulley to push the Blake's hitch? Wouldn't a small carabiner or even a loop of cord do this?

Thanks,

Dave


Check out Tengu's Tips on the New Tribe site, he explains how to make and use a \"two-footed\" prusik ascender:
Triple Crown Knot

The foot prusik definitely does not go above the Blake's hitch.

Rigging a self-advancing Blake's is an \"add-on\" technique, really isn't needed to climb. I guess some people use it but no one that I climb with on a regular basis does. For these add-on techniques you need to have a reason to use them that's not theoretical. In other words, learn the climbing system inside and out, then if you think you have a problem to be solved (you want to self advance the hitch for instance) then find the best way to do it.

To answer your question, a small carabiner or a loop of cord could do it. A micropulley creates the least friction of any of the options which is why people like to use it for that purpose.
-moss

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15 years 8 months ago #132050 by Tree Dimensional
Replied by Tree Dimensional on topic Re:Ascending with just rope?
Dave,

I am a bit reluctant to offer much advice on an internet forum, however what Oldtimer and Moss have said here is very sound advice. There are always options when we climb trees, and only experience will open the door to how each tree could be climbed. Certian trees have very tight crotches and make retrival of gear next to impossible.

I have had to re-climb a tree to get a stuck friction saver back.:blink: If I were starting out to climb again, I would look over all that I could find on the net, then I would purchase the material (books) that would serve me best to accomplish the type of climbing I was going to do. Same goes for equipment, there isn't any need to purchase equipment that is just going to take up space in your gear bag. I am a climbing arborist, and the only recreational climbing I do is when I am working on \"NEW\" techniques, that \"hopefully\" will make my job easier. What I may use for equipment, might vary with every tree I climb. I own three saddles, each with its own attributes. You mention ordering a leather cambium saver. Good for you, this shows not only respect for the tree but, repect for the equipment you own. Tree bark can be tough on gear, like ropes and lanyards. By the same token, tree climbing gear can be awful hard on trees.

If I may be so bold as to suggest, you may want to find someone in your area to mentor you through your first few climbs. I work with my wife, she is unable to climb. This creates a whole other set of issues as to safety. We are always adjusting our protocols for rescue. Hence we are adapting to what the tree offers me to work on.

On a side note, I would like to take this time to offer the readers here a glimps of my first \"PAID\" climb. I would say I was a well informed beginner. I was mentored by some of the best climbers in my area. When I enterd the tree, everything went according to plan. Then I had to start working on the tree, well, rope/lanyards/handsaw and ALL the other stuff I had with me ended up in a knot. The longer I am in business, the more I condone the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) theory applies. The longer you climb the more gear you amass, there really isn't a need to carry all that \"stuff\" on you when you could pull it up a tree on an old climing line.

I don't know as much as some of the members on this site, BUT I do know ONE thing, keep an open mind and EVERY tree you climb will be a NEW learning experiance.

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15 years 7 months ago #132098 by Davej
Replied by Davej on topic Re:Ascending with just rope?
Well, I finally read the book and watched the DVD and got enough gear scraped together to give this a try. I used two 5-3 Blake's hitches with the lower one going to a footloop. I used 1/2\" arborist line for everything. This setup seemed barely usable because it was so difficult to advance the lower Blake's (which would tend to get frozen). Maybe foot-locking is more practical? Or maybe a looser knot for the footloop?

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15 years 7 months ago - 15 years 7 months ago #132099 by moss
Replied by moss on topic Re:Ascending with just rope?
Davej wrote:

Well, I finally read the book and watched the DVD and got enough gear scraped together to give this a try. I used two 5-3 Blake's hitches with the lower one going to a footloop. I used 1/2\" arborist line for everything. This setup seemed barely usable because it was so difficult to advance the lower Blake's (which would tend to get frozen). Maybe foot-locking is more practical? Or maybe a looser knot for the footloop?


Look at Tengu's tips (Triple Crown Knot) on the New Tribe web site for the best way to rig a footloop on the down rope using cord. When you're advancing the footloop be sure to lean back and move your knees towards your chest. Climbers learning the technique sometimes forget to unload the footloop enough to advance it. The ultimate footloop attachment is a mechanical ascender, the footloop can be made from cord and girthed to the bottom of the ascender handle, works great.

Footlocking is a nice step up from using footloops but there is a skills curve there, you can't get it just like that, gotta practice.
-moss
Last edit: 15 years 7 months ago by moss.

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15 years 7 months ago #132107 by Davej
Replied by Davej on topic Re:Ascending with just rope?
moss wrote:

Look at Tengu's tips (Triple Crown Knot) on the New Tribe web site for the best way to rig a footloop on the down rope using cord. When you're advancing the footloop be sure to lean back and move your knees towards your chest. Climbers learning the technique sometimes forget to unload the footloop enough to advance it. The ultimate footloop attachment is a mechanical ascender, the footloop can be made from cord and girthed to the bottom of the ascender handle, works great.

Footlocking is a nice step up from using footloops but there is a skills curve there, you can't get it just like that, gotta practice.
-moss


Thanks Moss, I found those Tengu Tips. I'll make a loop today and try a Prusik and maybe a few other knots. I guess I will have to admit that a mechanical thingie probably would slide up slack rope better than any knot. I gave footlocking a few tries yesterday and that might work if I worked on it or maybe had something like a rubber or neoprene pad strapped to the top of my shoe. Also I can see this old strap-style saddle might get some neoprene or minicell foam wrapping also.

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15 years 7 months ago - 15 years 7 months ago #132109 by moss
Replied by moss on topic Re:Ascending with just rope?
Davej wrote:

Thanks Moss, I found those Tengu Tips. I'll make a loop today and try a Prusik and maybe a few other knots. I guess I will have to admit that a mechanical thingie probably would slide up slack rope better than any knot. I gave footlocking a few tries yesterday and that might work if I worked on it or maybe had something like a rubber or neoprene pad strapped to the top of my shoe. Also I can see this old strap-style saddle might get some neoprene or minicell foam wrapping also.


Try the \"single foot\" footlocking technique, it is much easier to learn and is very effective. Single foot locking is great when you have trunk contact with the tree, one foot stays on the trunk to stabilize your position, the other works the footlock. It works fine for branch (air) ascents too.

Form a loop in the down rope like so:


Point your toes down or tilt your foot down to lock the rope and stand on it:


Raise your toes or tip your foot upward to unlock and move your foot up the rope for the next \"lock\".

You have to hand tend the rope below your foot until gravity on the down rope causes the footlock loop to self-tend, usually at 8-10 ft. above the ground.


    Photo series on Flickr
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-moss
Last edit: 15 years 7 months ago by moss.

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15 years 7 months ago #132193 by Davej
Replied by Davej on topic Re:Ascending with just rope?
So do people really get good at a footlocking technique or does nearly everyone end up buying and using a foot ascender?

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15 years 7 months ago - 15 years 7 months ago #132195 by moss
Replied by moss on topic Re:Ascending with just rope?
Davej wrote:

So do people really get good at a footlocking technique or does nearly everyone end up buying and using a foot ascender?


I see very few rec climbers using mechanical foot ascenders (Pantin or the CMI version). Don't forget about a prusik foot loop, see Tengu's tips on the New Tribe site for the Royal Crown Knot. Also, a hand ascender like a Petzl Acension combined with Tengu's foot loop (girth the top of the foot loop on to the handle of the ascender) makes an excellent easy to advance foot loop system.

The single foot lock technique shown in the photos above can be learned pretty quickly, just takes 3 or 4 climbs to start to get comfortable with it. Remember that when you first start getting off the ground you have to pull the tail of the rope down by hand (below the foot lock) until you get up to 8-10 feet, then the weight of the rope makes it a hands free operation.

Double foot locking technique takes a lot longer to master, some climbers (even pros) never get it. It's optimal for traditional arborist access technique where the climber ascends 1:1 on a doubled rope with a prusik around the two legs of the rope above (as an ascender) and two feet locking both legs of the rope below (lower ascender). Double foot lock works well on a single rope for DdRT (locking the tail for trad Blakes climbing), but is even more difficult to master because it's tougher to lock a single rope compared to two legs of the rope.
-moss
Last edit: 15 years 7 months ago by moss.

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15 years 7 months ago #132196 by Culinarytracker
Replied by Culinarytracker on topic Re:Ascending with just rope?
I couldn't get footlocking down for the longest time. Then one day it worked, and I've never been able to figure out why it wasn't working to start with.
Then our 12 year old daughter figured it out on her first climb attempt.

So yes, people get good at it (check out some competition videos, they get VERY good at it. )

In my opinion, the less gear you need, the better off you are. Extra gear can be wonderful, but NEEDING the extra gear can cause problems when it fails, drops, or whatever else may happen.

Carl

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15 years 7 months ago #132272 by Davej
Replied by Davej on topic Re:Ascending with just rope?
Culinarytracker wrote:

I couldn't get footlocking down for the longest time. Then one day it worked, and I've never been able to figure out why it wasn't working to start with. Then our 12 year old daughter figured it out on her first climb attempt.


Well, I've only had limited success with everything I've tried so far. Obviously the more I practice the more I'll figure things out. At least I'm now going high enough to have some rope weight. My boots seem to leave black marks on my white rope though.

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