WOW...is this nasty or what?

5:16 p.m. on July 16, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

I was just having a conversation with a friend of a friend and he told me that this weekend he ended up rappelling off an alpine climb using only a #11 nut. The weird thing is that he said they just threaded a sling through the wire and didn't use a 'biner. Then they threaded the rope directly through the sling. They rapped down on a doubled rope and figured that not using a 'biner was kosher.

I want to know how many of you out there would consider doing this? I'm pretty sure that the wire would slice right through a sling under a dynamic load...and perhaps the rope right through a sling.

How nuts is this? He's a beginning climber and so am I so I need your opinions...

Confused

5:31 p.m. on July 16, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

A little....

"I was just having a conversation with a friend of a friend and he told me that this weekend he ended up rappelling off an alpine climb using only a #11 nut."

That is stupid. Only in desperation would I wrap off of one piece of gear.

" The weird thing is that he said they just threaded a sling through the wire and didn't use a 'biner. "

Would work. As long as you didnt swing around on it and "saw" through the webbing. With that set up I certainly wouldnt be rambo/aussie rappelling on it.


"Then they threaded the rope directly through the sling. They rapped down on a doubled rope and figured that not using a 'biner was kosher."

This is fairly kosher. You see it all the time on more obscure wrap stations. As long as you are not lowering through the webbing, it is fairly kosher, but not recomended.

"I want to know how many of you out there would consider doing this? I'm pretty sure that the wire would slice right through a sling under a dynamic load...and perhaps the rope right through a sling."

Dynamic load might slice through the webbing/wire, but they werent taking wippers on it. The rope on sling is fine as long as they arent loading the system and being lowered off of it from below.


"How nuts is this? He's a beginning climber and so am I so I need your opinions..."

People do all sorts of stupid things to save a buck in gear rather than leave it behind. For the most part it wasnt that nuts except for the lack of redundancy in the anchor. That is the nuttiest part of the story IMHO. I wouldnt personally do what they did, but I dont care about dumping a biner(for all the leavers I have collected over the years) nor do I think my ass is worth not leaving a $60 cam behind(though I have some ex-girlfriends who might argue this point).

matt s

5:36 p.m. on July 16, 2001 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
408 forum posts
Nah, ain't too bad...

Quote:

I was just having a conversation with a friend of a friend and he told me that this weekend he ended up rappelling off an alpine climb using only a #11 nut. The weird thing is that he said they just threaded a sling through the wire and didn't use a 'biner. Then they threaded the rope directly through the sling. They rapped down on a doubled rope and figured that not using a 'biner was kosher.
I want to know how many of you out there would consider doing this? I'm pretty sure that the wire would slice right through a sling under a dynamic load...and perhaps the rope right through a sling.

I recall a story about Jack Tackle bailin' off a climb in Alaska...ran out of pro...so...he unscrewed the lens off his Nikon camera, beat the body into a crack, and rapped off that.

Folks use slings to bail off climbs all the time off of bolt hangers. Compare the radius of a bolt hanger (especially old SMC's and Leepers...eeek!) with the radius of a piece of wire rope on a stopper. Not that I'm suggesting that this is something that I'd care to do, but...if I was runnin' low on biners...in a remote area...I'd bail off just about anything.

Rope might slice thru the sling when you pull the rope after rappin', but not whilst on rappel. I've done this as many as 30 times in a day (no kiddin'! Canyoneering in Zion). When yer faced with a bunch of raps, can you imagine how much booty you'd have to leave if you left a biner at every rappel? Instead of just sling? And the weight!

In high traffic areas, very verboten. But...in situations when yer in an area of low traffic, then, very common to not leave a biner.

I cleaned a cordalette two weeks ago off a leeper hanger which, in my opinion, is much worse than any diameter wire on a stopper.

Shoot, go home, find something to hang on, thread a sling thru yer smallest wire (not good for those #0 rp's perhaps) and bounce up and down on it. Shouldn't be a problem. I'd be very surprised if you damaged the sling to the point where you could actually see a tear. And...rappin' "should" be a static, body weight load (or less if the rope goes over an edge).

If it was me, and I had a spare biner or rapid link, I'd not use the sling but rap directly off the piece. I'm usually as worried about my rope gettin' stuck and jugging back up a fixed stopper ain't my idea of fun. I'd leave a biner if I could afford to.

But...YMMV!

Brian in SLC

12:08 a.m. on July 17, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

yes it is nuts. I would only thread a sling through a wire one time.

Quote:

I was just having a conversation with a friend of a friend and he told me that this weekend he ended up rappelling off an alpine climb using only a #11 nut. The weird thing is that he said they just threaded a sling through the wire and didn't use a 'biner. Then they threaded the rope directly through the sling. They rapped down on a doubled rope and figured that not using a 'biner was kosher.

I want to know how many of you out there would consider doing this? I'm pretty sure that the wire would slice right through a sling under a dynamic load...and perhaps the rope right through a sling.

How nuts is this? He's a beginning climber and so am I so I need your opinions...

Confused

12:08 a.m. on July 17, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

yes it is nuts. I would only thread a sling through a wire one time.

Quote:

I was just having a conversation with a friend of a friend and he told me that this weekend he ended up rappelling off an alpine climb using only a #11 nut. The weird thing is that he said they just threaded a sling through the wire and didn't use a 'biner. Then they threaded the rope directly through the sling. They rapped down on a doubled rope and figured that not using a 'biner was kosher.

I want to know how many of you out there would consider doing this? I'm pretty sure that the wire would slice right through a sling under a dynamic load...and perhaps the rope right through a sling.

How nuts is this? He's a beginning climber and so am I so I need your opinions...

Confused

7:48 a.m. on July 17, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

Experiment for yourself

Create the same setup just a few feet off the ground and see how much it takes th cut through the webbing. It will only cost you $.50 worth of webbing. I think you will find it takes a lot of work.

This is certainly not an ideal rapel anchor, but it is far from a death sentence.

-Arms

11:55 a.m. on July 17, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

Quote:

How nuts is this? He's a beginning climber and so am I so I need your opinions...

Well I'll throw this query out there:
Really how worried would you be rapping off one pin (kb) that you placed yourself, deemed bomber, and spent 20 minutes without luck trying to find another piece that was even placeable?

After jump testing it and it laughing back, I feel pretty good rapping off of it, especially when it's all you got and you heard that reeealy nice bing bing bing sound.

Love that sound,
Christian :?)

3:22 p.m. on July 18, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

Re: WOW...

Obviously a "beginner". If he had room for a "#11 nut", he had room to jam a knot in the sling and save the nut.


chris

3:35 p.m. on July 18, 2001 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
408 forum posts
Good point...!

Quote:

Obviously a "beginner". If he had room for a "#11 nut", he had room to jam a knot in the sling and save the nut.

I did a free air rappel off a single knot in a sling earlier this year! Was bomber (sort of...). Glad it didn't rip, but...was so focused on it that when I dropped over the edge, I didn't notice how sharp the rock was on said edge...'bout pee'd m'self...

Brian in SLC

10:53 a.m. on July 22, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

heard about a lucky epec....

The people at Neptunes would know more about this than me, but the story goes that just recently a couple were going up the first Flatiron here in boulder and were arguing the whole way---and going real slow. when they finally got to the top, they could not find the rapel anchors (these two HUGE bolts at the very top. After much searching, they find one in the dark, make their rapel, and pull their rope--but it gets stuck. They leave it 'cause it is late and they tell/leave a note at Neptunes that if someone retrieves it, please return it to them. When someone goes up the next day, they find the stuck rope---instead of threading it through the rapel anchor, they threaded it through the cable that holds the top on the summit register cap!!!! lucky, lucky, lucky....

4:09 p.m. on July 24, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

Depends on your point of view

Was it safe? Sure. (Assuming good placement and healthy sling!) We've all done something similar.

Was it nuts? Consider a few things and then tell me what you decide. 1) Rappelling accidents are always fatal (this is close enough to true that I use it as a mantra.) If you make the wrong decision you don't get to learn from your mistake. 2) How much is your life worth? When I was young, I had very little money and fewer brains. I'd down climb 5.6 unprotected to find a rap site where I wouldn't have to leave a piece behind. But in those days the consequences of my death would not have been very far reaching. Nowadays I think I can afford to sacrifice a piece and a biner EVERY time I rap if I need to (Brian's example excluded.) And besides... I've resolved to outlive all those SOBs who've promised to piss on my grave. 3) How confident of the anchor are you? Have you done it or seen someone do it before? I wouldn't drive a car or fly a plane or jump out of an airplane or do anything where I put my balls on the line without first having been walked through it detail.

The way I see it (and climbing in general) is that we all fit somewhere on this sliding scale of balls vs. brains. Only you can decide where on it that you belong.

12:42 p.m. on July 25, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Hans Bauck
Not as bad as what I saw

My girlfriend and I were rapping off of Mt Habrich (near Squamish) on the weekend and I saw a station, obviously well used as it had a lot of slings on it, that consisted of a dead stump growing out of an 18" ledge. The stump was maybe 6" in diameter. It looked a little iffy to me, so I gave it a wiggle and it moved. A lot. I mean REALLY a lot.I think I could have broken it off with a decent kick. Perhaps even a wimpy kick yould do. One of the slings was really fresh looking so I suspect that someone rapped off it in a condition similar to how I saw it.

From this anchor to the ground is about 3-400 hundred feet, straight down.

Yuck. Anyway, I scrambled up about 15 feet and set a new sling off a PAIR of living solid trees of about the same diameter. Totally bomber. And new slings don't break from rappeling.

I don't know what those guys were thinking. A quick look around would have yielded a much stronger anchor.


Back to the #11 nut rap anchor:

I'm pretty cautious so I would have wanted to back up the nut, but I would have no problem at all with the sling around the wire. And for all I know, maybe the anchor WAS backed up, and the last guy down took the backup because he was reasonably sure the nut was good. Ask your friend if this is what he did.

 

Quote:

I was just having a conversation with a friend of a friend and he told me that this weekend he ended up rappelling off an alpine climb using only a #11 nut. The weird thing is that he said they just threaded a sling through the wire and didn't use a 'biner. Then they threaded the rope directly through the sling. They rapped down on a doubled rope and figured that not using a 'biner was kosher.

I want to know how many of you out there would consider doing this? I'm pretty sure that the wire would slice right through a sling under a dynamic load...and perhaps the rope right through a sling.

How nuts is this? He's a beginning climber and so am I so I need your opinions...

Confused

1:11 a.m. on August 7, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

A friend of mine once rapped off a single nut. It popped. He fell about 30 metres. Broke vertebrae in his back, among other things. No matter how "bomber" it looks, I'd not rap off a single nut.

I once saw a climber double the rope and slip the loop over a broad, smooth bollard about 1 inch high, then proceed to abseil off it. This was done purely for convenience since there were dozens of good placement opportunities. I even offered to backup his "anchor" from my own nearby, but he refused. I watched the rope flex and shift so close to popping off that smooth bollard, as he descended, that I thought for sure it was all going to end in tragedy. However he made it down without incident.

9:57 p.m. on December 19, 2001 (EST)
(Guest)

Quote:

I was just having a conversation with a friend of a friend and he told me that this weekend he ended up rappelling off an alpine climb using only a #11 nut. The weird thing is that he said they just threaded a sling through the wire and didn't use a 'biner. Then they threaded the rope directly through the sling. They rapped down on a doubled rope and figured that not using a 'biner was kosher.

I want to know how many of you out there would consider doing this? I'm pretty sure that the wire would slice right through a sling under a dynamic load...and perhaps the rope right through a sling.

How nuts is this? He's a beginning climber and so am I so I need your opinions...

Confused

Dear Confused (no I'm not Dear Abbey)

On descent from Bugaboo spire for eg, the guys ahead of us wouldn't rap on a single knotted sling in a bombproof crack. They set 3 peices which I retreived/kept (mmmm nice!!) They however didn,t bother to change the old ratty slings on subsequent raps or in one case to check the 2 fixed pins which my partner subsequently pulled with his fingers and we reset c/w new sling which we gladely rapped on. No sustitute for judgement based on experience.

Univercity Of Calg research indicates that the static load of a rap does virtually no harm to the sling but the cutting action and heat generated of pulling the rope through can seriously degrade the sling but with no visible sign of wear. 2 weeks of UV can also seriously degrade a sling again with little visible sign of wear. Lack of failure in actual feild conditions I think is explained by the relatively light static load of a rap compared to the incredible load of a fall factor of 2 when holding a leader fall directly on to the belay which new slings are made to withstand (c/w biner). A past but not deceased climbing partner used to "collect" old slings and add them to his rack. I found out 1/2 his slings were "retreived" used rap slings $^%*%^%$&%&%###. I don't think so!!!!

Never, Never, ( did I say Never? mmmm yes definitely never)lower another climber with the rope threaded through the sling. I have seen this on several occasions at various locations in NA. ( I suppose they saved a biner) If it is important, fix to the anchor, pull up the rope and rap.

You mentioned that it was an alpine climb. Well lets say you are 10 full 150 foot pitches up an alpine climb with no established fixed raps and 1, 165 foot 11 mil rope (20 raps). You are in a situation where you must rap. If you have 25 peices on your rack, whats the chance of a successful retreat? I would suggest that economy of gear on rap placements would be a wise choice.

Actual experience; late October Rockies snowstorm. bare rock, no placement possible. snow covered rock impossible to downclimb from. 200 feet up w 2 double ropes. No problem untill the bolt kit broke 1/2 way through the first hole. Mike pounded a baby angle 1/4 way in to the bolt hole and we rapped on a tied off sling. Oooooeeeee Son.????!!!

July 25, 2014
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