Safe Descent Rate for Hitch?

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15 years 5 months ago #132675 by Davej
Safe Descent Rate for Hitch? was created by Davej
After climbing only a handful of times I already see a few slight burnmarks on my True Blue splittail (always tied as Blakes). Looking at them the burns aren't as bad as I remembered them being when they were fresh. I'm curious if there is perhaps a descent rate that is considered a safe \"standard rate?\" Thanks.

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15 years 5 months ago #132677 by oldtimer
Replied by oldtimer on topic Re:Safe Descent Rate for Hitch?
The only safe rate of descend while using a knot is SLOW!
Any other speed will likely leave burn marks on the rope or the split tail. Loosen up the Blake before descending and use your control arm for doing the braking.

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15 years 5 months ago #132679 by Davej
Replied by Davej on topic Re:Safe Descent Rate for Hitch?
oldtimer wrote:

The only safe rate of descend while using a knot is SLOW!


Well, I thought I was going slow. How many inches per second is \"SLOW?\"

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15 years 5 months ago #132686 by Culinarytracker
Replied by Culinarytracker on topic Re:Safe Descent Rate for Hitch?
Davej wrote:

Well, I thought I was going slow. How many inches per second is \"SLOW?\"


Hmmm.... Depends on several things...

Short answer, 4-12

My split tail shows a little sign of \"wearing in\" I like to call it, but it's definately not burned. (and I have been a little quick a couple times in the past) Anymore however, I seem to always clip another carabiner in front and descend on a munter hitch holding the blakes in my right hand and controlling the down rope of the munter with the left by my hip.

Got my eyes on a CMI Rescue 8. Can't wait to get my hands on it too.

Carl

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15 years 5 months ago #132687 by Davej
Replied by Davej on topic Re:Safe Descent Rate for Hitch?
Culinarytracker wrote:

I seem to always clip another carabiner in front and descend on a munter hitch holding the blakes in my right hand and controlling the down rope of the munter with the left by my hip.

Got my eyes on a CMI Rescue 8. Can't wait to get my hands on it too.


Is adding a figure-8 below the Blakes the optimum solution?

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15 years 5 months ago - 15 years 5 months ago #132688 by Baker
Replied by Baker on topic Re:Safe Descent Rate for Hitch?
Davej wrote:

Culinarytracker wrote:

I seem to always clip another carabiner in front and descend on a munter hitch holding the blakes in my right hand and controlling the down rope of the munter with the left by my hip.

Got my eyes on a CMI Rescue 8. Can't wait to get my hands on it too.


Is adding a figure-8 below the Blakes the optimum solution?


Carl,
Get a Kong 8. They're lighter and stronger than the CMI ones. Much easier to lock off

Dave,
If you descend on an 8, you don't need the hitch and vise versa. As for burning the rope: If your split tail is hard and melted where it contacts the climbing rope, it's burned. SLOW DOWN. If it's fuzzy - it's just that, fuzzy, worn a bit, but not burned. Some discoloration is normal wherever 2 ropes create friction. Interestingly enough, you are using a friction hitch.

If you want to see rope wear, ask an arborist to see his rope. Worn? Hell yeah! Safe? As long as the core isn't exposed, yes again.
Last edit: 15 years 5 months ago by Baker.

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15 years 5 months ago #132689 by Davej
Replied by Davej on topic Re:Safe Descent Rate for Hitch?
Baker wrote:

If you descend on an 8, you don't need the hitch and vise versa.


Doesn't untying that knot sorta conflict with the desire for a quick descent?

As for burning the rope: If your split tail is hard and melted where it contacts the climbing rope, it's burned. SLOW DOWN. If it's fuzzy - it's just that, fuzzy, worn a bit, but not burned. Some discoloration is normal


It doesn't look like much; just seems like a flat line on the rope, although with enough of these I think the diameter of the rope would slowly decrease.

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15 years 5 months ago - 15 years 5 months ago #132690 by Baker
Replied by Baker on topic Re:Safe Descent Rate for Hitch?
Little flat areas on the tail are normal. Among others, one of the reasons to use a split tail in the first place is to wear it out (eventually) instead of the end of your climbing rope.

Your right, Dave. Untying the knot and adding an additional piece of gear would slow a rapid descent. Done incorrectly or in the wrong order this could also prove very dangerous. In a DRT system, I prefer to just stick with a friction hitch and save the 8 for SRT.
Last edit: 15 years 5 months ago by Baker.

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15 years 5 months ago #132694 by Davej
Replied by Davej on topic Re:Safe Descent Rate for Hitch?
Baker wrote:

Untying the knot and adding an additional piece of gear would slow a rapid descent. Done incorrectly or in the wrong order this could also prove very dangerous. In a DRT system, I prefer to just stick with a friction hitch and save the 8 for SRT.


Ok, and I agree, but... on page 65 of the \"Tree Climbers Companion\" the SRT usage is pictured, and the hitch isn't untied: The picture shows both the hitch and the figure-8 in use.

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15 years 5 months ago #132695 by Baker
Replied by Baker on topic Re:Safe Descent Rate for Hitch?
Technically it is a hitch, but it's not a climbing hitch. It is a section of cord tied in a prusik hitch to act as a safety brake. If the rope slips out of the climbers control hand, the prusik will catch and prevent a fall to the ground.

It is set up like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0d8-Fxdx8Y



The image above shows the way it is set up in the book. Many rescuers set it up this way too, but is it more effective and much easier to release if the prusik is BELOW the 8 device like this.

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15 years 5 months ago #132697 by moss
Replied by moss on topic Re:Safe Descent Rate for Hitch?
I wouldn't worry about wear on your split tail, that's one of the reasons you're using it, to save wear and tear on your main climbing rope. If you start seeing long burn marks on your climbing rope, then you know you're going too fast.

No one can tell you what's too fast or too slow for hitch descent, there are too many variables from rope type, rope diameter, split tail or not, hitch type etc. Everyone learns from experience, inspect your rope after descent, if you've burned it, you went too fast. Your split tail will start to show signs of burning/melting from regular use, it doesn't mean you were descending too fast.
-moss

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