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SECURE and knife questions

1:34 p.m. on October 31, 2001 (EST)
(Guest)

Q1: I read on "Top Roping" sometime ago about "SECUREing" anchors. Can someone tell me what SECURE stands for? I know about the SIRENE system, is there other system you use other than SECURE and SIRENE?

Q2: Do you carry a knife as a rescue tool to cut your rope setup? What is your actual rescue experience in using the knife and what brand/model of knife did you use?

Thanks and climb safe. :-)

7:38 a.m. on November 1, 2001 (EST)
(Guest)

S - Strong (good trees or other anchors, good slings, etc...)
E - Extended (Master point extended over the edge)
C - Centered (Master point directly above the climb)
U - Unbroken (Master point is unbroken ring of metal, ie two locking carabiners with gates opposed)
R - Runs Easily (Rope runs easily through the whole setup)
E - Edge Padded (Pad sharp edges that can cut through the anchor)

As far as the knife, I've never used one for that purpose, However if you want to carry a knife I would suggest a German Paratrooper knife. (Hence the name) They were made so paratroopers could cut themselves loose from their chutes. They open easily with one hand (once you oil and loosen them up). Any other knife that you can open with one hand (and won't accidently "spring" open on you) would probably work too.

-Jason

Quote:

Q1: I read on "Top Roping" sometime ago about "SECUREing" anchors. Can someone tell me what SECURE stands for? I know about the SIRENE system, is there other system you use other than SECURE and SIRENE?

Q2: Do you carry a knife as a rescue tool to cut your rope setup? What is your actual rescue experience in using the knife and what brand/model of knife did you use?

Thanks and climb safe. :-)

8:59 a.m. on November 1, 2001 (EST)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Don M, Don Morris, Don P. Morris

Quote:

Q2: Do you carry a knife as a rescue tool to cut your rope setup? What is your actual rescue experience in using the knife and what brand/model of knife did you use?

I always have some sort of a cutting instrument with me when I am outdoors, because it comes in handy in many different ways. But I don't regard it as a "rescue tool" to slash through my climbing gear. A knife should be used around climbing gear, especially when already rigged very carefully. Example - years ago, a climber snagged his clothing in his rappel device, whipped out a knife to cut his clothing away, instead cut through his rope, fell to his death.

It is probably just as important to carry some kind of wrench, in order to open jammed locking carabiners, etc. I would recommend a Leatherman tool or comparable - knife and needlenose will see you through just about everything.

I did my first rappel more than forty years ago, and have done quite a few since then, up to 600 feet long, and have never had to use a knife.

9:25 a.m. on November 1, 2001 (EST)
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Knife...

Quote:

Q2: Do you carry a knife as a rescue tool to cut your rope setup? What is your actual rescue experience in using the knife and what brand/model of knife did you use?

I carry a Spyerco Ladybug on a string around my neck for longer routes. Usually in the pack when I'm craggin'.

No rescue experience, but, nice for cuttin' loose fixed lines, old webbing, cheese...

Picked up a Microtech UDT but I'm a tad nervious to wear it around my neck...otherwise, perfect, one handed operation and about the right size and weight.

Talked to Benchmade about their axis style knife they outfitted the blind feller's Everest expedition with. Kinda a bit too large and heavy (IMHO) but claimed to have gone to the summit...

I think a good idear to have a knife as backup. Purty remote that you'd have to "Simon-ize" yer partner but nice to have that option...har har...

Brian in SLC

1:29 p.m. on November 1, 2001 (EST)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Brandon, Brandon Lampley

Les,

I think its important to carry a knife. I carry a cheapo ripoff of the gerber serrated blades, cuts rope and slings well and doesn't make me cry when I lose it, just get another $8 one.

Some situations where I've used it.

1.Removing ancient slings from rap stations
2.Removed my partner from ancient rap station slings when he managed to 'superduperlock' his biner. I let him think I didn't have an knife for about 10 minutes while we talk about me rapping to the ground and leaving him at this hanging belay..then he decided he could chew through the slings...alas, I cut him loose.
3. I carry about 30 feet of 9/16 webbing, rock colored for rap slings, when one is needed, tie and cut to the exact length, save a little $ and makes station nicer, not a ton of extra webbing flopping around, getting tangled.
4. To sacrifice end of rope hopelessly jammed behind flake.
5. The best, when doing the free rap coming down the grand, woman coming down behind us got her pontail sucked into her 8. Free hanging, about to break her neck, hopelessly stuck. Sent up knife on rope end after 'teaching' her how to wrap her leg. Cut through entire ponytail. Spend 30 minutes removing enough hair from 8 to get going. I spent the time out of the crater zone after lecturing her about loaded ropes and sharp knives before sending it up. Her new do was the rage at the cowboy bar the next night.
6. Cutting pants leg off fallen climber to expose tibia poking throu... nay, that get into post climbing (falling) fun

3:36 p.m. on November 1, 2001 (EST)
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SECURE, SRENE, ERNEST (ERNST)

These are all variations on mnemonics to help you with setting up anchors.

E = equalized
R = redundant
N = non-extensible or N = not and E = extensible
S = strong/solid
T = timely (shouldn't take 5 hours to set up)

S = solid
R = redundant
E = equalized
N = non-extensible or N = not and E = extensible

and (stealing from JasonB)

S - Strong
E - Extended
C - Centered
U - Unbroken
R - Redundant
E - Edge Padded

Whichever works for you. Note that they all basically say the same thing. I learned SRENE, but now use ERNST in most of my teaching as somewhat easier for many people to remember.

On the knife - you must have been watching Vertical Limit too many times, or else just read Joe Simpson's rather harrowing tale. In some 5 decades of technical climbing, the only thing I have used a knife for was food (slices salami and cheese better than a piton, and besides we don't use pins anymore), cutting old slings off rappel points, cutting parachute cord to get replacement tent guylines, cutting a long sling to make two shorter slings, and opening plastic wraps on food packs. I never have been in the situation of having to think about doing the Rambo bit with some bad guys or making the life-or-death decision like Simpson's partner (or the father in VL), and I don't personally know anyone who has. I have had to cut clothes for a first aid situation, but that wasn't on a climb. A plain old Swiss Army knife works just fine. But, yes, I do have a "rescue knife"

On the hair or shirt caught in the rappel device, there are alternatives to cutting the hair/jacket/shirt. Read "Self-Rescue" for some ideas. A hint is - think about what you do to pass a knot while on rappel or lowering someone (Simpson and his partner should have known this). Admittedly, it is a bit hard to start instructing someone whose hair is caught, if they never did this before. Still, it's something I believe people should learn early on in their rappelling career.

5:17 p.m. on November 1, 2001 (EST)
(Guest)

knife around your neck

Just to add a bit to carrying a knife. I always have a knife on a break-away ball-chain (like GI's used to have for dog tags) around my neck.

Break-away is important because I have seen a close friend get his 3mm accessory cord necklace get tangled in a branch (big tree, long story) and almost hang himself....thank goodness the branch broke...

So....carry a one-hand opening knife (practice with both hands) and make sure it is on a break-away ball-chain...

now go and cut yourself,

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D

6:09 p.m. on November 1, 2001 (EST)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Brandon, Brandon Lampley
Both Hands

Quote:

So....carry a one-hand opening knife (practice with both hands)

I'm interested in this, keep it around the neck, makes sure you can get at it super quick, open and operate with both hands...does anyone have a story of needing a knife while climbing with this much urgency???? I can conjure up something...i just wonder if there is a wow, I couldn't let go of the ???, so I had to grap my knife with my left hand and cut the ???, man I almost bit it story.

8:32 a.m. on November 2, 2001 (EST)
(Guest)

Re: Both Hands

...for me, I've never urgently needed a knife yet, but that doesn't mean that I shouldn't prepare for it. Sort of like taking an Advanced Wilderness First Aid course....you may not need it, but if you do - then you are equipped. Perhaps the probability of having to rapidly open and use a knife with your weak-side hand is minimal, but maybe the consequence of not having the skill to do it when required is such that it exceeds your personal risk tolerance?

Maybe a parallel can be drawn to being able to tie the various knots we need using both, or either of our hands? I generally use my dominant hand, but I practice using my weak side hand too....

8:50 a.m. on November 2, 2001 (EST)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Don M, Don Morris, Don P. Morris

Quote:

Q2: Do you carry a knife as a rescue tool to cut your rope setup? What is your actual rescue experience in using the knife and what brand/model of knife did you use?

Thanks and climb safe. :-)

At least one rescue manual recommends a pair of EMT shears in lieu of a knife - much safer, will easily cut a loaded rope, very lightweight, but,alas, badly deficient in the macho factor. I have no idea how they would perform on pepperoni...

9:04 a.m. on November 2, 2001 (EST)
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408 forum posts
One hander...

Quote:

I'm interested in this, keep it around the neck, makes sure you can get at it super quick, open and operate with both hands...does anyone have a story of needing a knife while climbing with this much urgency???? I can conjure up something...i just wonder if there is a wow, I couldn't let go of the ???, so I had to grap my knife with my left hand and cut the ???, man I almost bit it story.

Not climbing per se...but...I do a bit of canyoneering and have known fellers who got tangled in the rope whilst in a waterfall...and quick access to a knife proved very handy...

One handed operation is bonus but a nice feature...and what I look for in the perfect knife...

Brian in SLC

11:47 a.m. on November 2, 2001 (EST)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Brandon, Brandon Lampley
Re: Both Hands

You will use AWFA, even if only for prevention. I've used my WEMT skills on everything from blilsters to a tib-fib this year while climbing. The beauty of wilderness medicine is the emphasis on early recogntion and prevention.

OK, I can see someone drowning while canyoneering, but when do you anticpate needing your weak hand rope slashing skills climbing, I've been thinking fixed line, avalanche scenarios....

In general, I commend your preparedness. WFA and weak hand rope tying in my opinion will come in orders of magnitude more useful than urgent knife manuevers.

Quote:

...for me, I've never urgently needed a knife yet, but that doesn't mean that I shouldn't prepare for it. Sort of like taking an Advanced Wilderness First Aid course....you may not need it, but if you do - then you are equipped. Perhaps the probability of having to rapidly open and use a knife with your weak-side hand is minimal, but maybe the consequence of not having the skill to do it when required is such that it exceeds your personal risk tolerance?

Maybe a parallel can be drawn to being able to tie the various knots we need using both, or either of our hands? I generally use my dominant hand, but I practice using my weak side hand too....

11:53 a.m. on November 2, 2001 (EST)
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EMT shears

hikerdon -

Thanks for mentioning this. I forgot to mention it myself, but this is one thing we mention in the BSA Climbing Instructor and Climbing Director courses. Much safer than a knife for getting a stuck, panicked kid unstuck from the rappel (they hate having their long hair cut, though, but they don't seem to mind the shirts getting cut as much).

A bit off the current topic, but another thing for setups like we use for running a bunch of folks through a rappel is a releasable rappel. Since we always use a top-rope belay for the kids (it's both boys and girls these days - the all-boys version of Scouting has disappeared at the Venturing level), you can lock the stuck victim off on the belay line, then release the rappel line. The victim can then get his/her hair/shirt/jacket unstuck and, if not too scared, get back on rappel to continue the descent. (yes, we try to get them to tuck in the long hair and loose clothes before rappelling, but sometimes .... well, kids will be kids). If they are too panicked, you can lower them on just the belay line or simultaneously on both rappel and belay lines. If it's a fairly long rappel (so you don't have much spare rope at the top), we just have them untangle, then undo the rappel device, and lower them on the belay line. There are other alternatives, of course, like having an instructor rappel or get lowered beside them, but the releasable rappel is the easiest and fastest way, and allows quick re-set for the rest of the rappellers.

The releasable rappel is done by attaching the rappel line at the anchor with a Munter mule. See "Climbing Knots" and "Self-Rescue" for hw to do this, if you don't know how.

11:54 a.m. on November 2, 2001 (EST)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Brandon, Brandon Lampley

Quote:

Quote:

Q2: Do you carry a knife as a rescue tool to cut your rope setup? What is your actual rescue experience in using the knife and what brand/model of knife did you use?

Thanks and climb safe. :-)

At least one rescue manual recommends a pair of EMT shears in lieu of a knife - much safer, will easily cut a loaded rope, very lightweight, but,alas, badly deficient in the macho factor. I have no idea how they would perform on pepperoni...

For maximum Macho Factor go for the Seat Belt Cutter.

We used trauma shears on our ropes course, cuts webbing and rope no problemo, and hard to goof up and cut yourself or unintended other things.

1:07 p.m. on November 2, 2001 (EST)
(Guest)

Re: Both Hands

": .....WFA and weak hand rope tying in my opinion will come in orders of magnitude more useful than urgent knife manuevers."

AGREED....I was referring to the "trauma" aspects of FA, rather than the prevention side. Also, since I have the knife on me so that I can mainly spread the peanut butter and cut the sausage, I figure may as well make sure I can use it for "urgent knife manouvers"

Cheers,

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D

1:09 p.m. on November 2, 2001 (EST)
(Guest)

Re: EMT shears - good point!

..you know, this is odd because I scuba dive with a pair of EMT shears, but I carry a knife when not underwater....just hadn't thought of it..

great heads-up!
D

10:01 a.m. on November 6, 2001 (EST)
(Guest)

Re: EMT shears

emt shears work great for everything, but alas, they will only cut pepperoni skinier than an inch with some effort.
to redpoint or flash a good thick stick of pepperoni with emt shears requires years of honing and skill acquisition and a dedicated partner. summer sausage is an entirely different story, where shears work like a hot knife through 3mm perlon.

2:33 p.m. on November 20, 2001 (EST)
(Guest)

Plenty many thanks for your input. Happy Turkey Day. nm

Thanks folks for sharing your experience. Happy Thanks Giving.

8:05 p.m. on December 1, 2001 (EST)
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belay knife

I carry a Gerber Gaitor serrated knife on my climbing harness to cut the leader loose in case of a fall... (;->)
Jim S

April 17, 2014
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