Getting back in the trees

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12 years 2 weeks ago #131862 by treeweasel
Replied by treeweasel on topic Re:Getting back in the trees, w/ a PL...
Thanks Trebuchet,

It sure takes a long time to really get familiar with all the techniques and equipment available, doesn't it.

Yes, I have Jepson's book and have looked at page 37 and 53 concerning the split tail method of switching anchors. That looks very helpful as long as you do it in combo with a lanyard. And I also have used a 2 in 1 lanyard with a prusik adjustment leg.

Thanks for heads-up on the Daisy Rope technique. That's exactly what I was looking for, something longer than a normal lanyard.

Right now my biggest problem is stamina. I get so exhausted humping straight up advancing the hitch by hand that I'm pretty much shot after arriving at my first anchor, especially in summer heat.

However, I'm about to practice an auto hitch advance using a pully and prusik leash setup. I sure hope it makes it easier.

TW

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12 years 2 weeks ago - 12 years 2 weeks ago #131864 by moss
Replied by moss on topic Re:Getting back in the trees, w/ a PL...
treeweasel wrote:

Right now my biggest problem is stamina. I get so exhausted humping straight up advancing the hitch by hand that I'm pretty much shot after arriving at my first anchor, especially in summer heat.


Are you using footloops on the down rope?
-moss
Last edit: 12 years 2 weeks ago by moss.

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12 years 2 weeks ago #131865 by moss
Replied by moss on topic Re:Getting back in the trees
treeweasel wrote:

Up until now, I would have to say I have unequivocally trusted the limbs I've been using. Now I'm going to think seriously about douple anchors. Although, I wonder if it might get dangerously confusing with two full length ropes. Is that what is meant by \"double tie-in points\"?


Do a good tree assessment, don't tie into anything less than 6\" diameter and put your rope at or close to the branch union with the trunk.

Double tie-in or double crotching is used when you advance your tie in point (TIP) in the tree. So there you are, you've climbed to the top of your rope. You want to climb higher or move laterally to another part of the tree. Use the other end of your climbing rope to set the new TIP, either by throwing a monkey fist or a throwbag/throwline to place the rope on the new TIP. Tie in to the new TIP and then put all your weight on the new tie-in by slacking your first TIP. Do not untie the first system until you have completely loaded and tested the new system. If you're doing a lateral movement or horizontal traverse you stay tied in to both systems (double tie-in) until you complete the traverse, then you can take out the first TIP and continue climbing on the second TIP.
-moss

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11 years 6 months ago #133195 by happyhelmet
Replied by happyhelmet on topic Re:Getting back in the trees
Hi everyone,

I got this email and thought I'd share my replies:

At the time of the incident Were you completely self-taught? Where did you learn what you knew? Had you climbed with anyone else? How long had you been climbing? How confident were you in your knowledge and your ability to climb safely? How did you decide when you \"knew enough?\" Could anyone have told you anything that might have made a difference? How well equipped were you at that time? Is there any additional equipment that you feel could have made a difference such as a footloop ascender or throwline or lanyard or water bottle?

I myself am self-taught. I do not have a climbing partner. I do not plan to attend a training class. I do plan to pick the brains of the experienced climbers I can find online. I do plan to use the most cautious methods I can come up with. I'll have to hope that will be enough.


Yes, I was self-taught. Learned from reading books, reading forums, watching videos, and experimenting. I had not climbed with anyone else, and had been at it about 8 months. It took me a few climbs to gain confidence, especially since I have a moderate fear of heights. I started slow and low, but once I got up high I felt very confident. Obviously I was over-confident in some areas. Probably an experienced climber could have told me a couple of things that would have made a difference. I think it's been pretty well said in this thread. Equipment was not a problem. The paramedics confirmed this at the time of the incident.

I started climbing again about a year after my fall. I've had several good climbs, where I've avoided the risky actions I took before, and had a great time. It's been a few weeks, due to winter weather (ice and snow on trees), so I'm looking forward to my next climb!

So, self-education increases risk, and therefore I can't recommend it. Some of my learning was done the worst way possible, but I got real lucky—I'm still alive and can do anything I did before.

Hope this helps.

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11 years 6 months ago - 11 years 6 months ago #133198 by Davej
Replied by Davej on topic Re:Getting back in the trees
Eric, it's very good to hear that your recovery has progressed so well. I had wondered whether perhaps the decision to not climb back up was perhaps due to a lack of water, or perhaps due to the lack of an adequate climbing system. If it was easy to climb back up you would have, right? So it must have seemed arduous at the time. Also what about a throwline? That might have given you alternate choices for a lower TIP in the original tree rather than switching to the other more distant tree. A lanyard might have helped you move down that branch to a stouter section closer to the tree. BTW what was the approximate diameter at the point you tied in? That has been another mystery here. Thanks.
Last edit: 11 years 6 months ago by Davej.

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11 years 6 months ago #133200 by happyhelmet
Replied by happyhelmet on topic Re:Getting back in the trees
Thanks. The reluctance to climb back up wasn't due to lack of water or good climbing equipment. It wouldn't have been too arduous. I was just ready to get down! I had other things to do!:laugh: So much for those plans!

Once up in the tree I don't use a throwline much. I use a spider rig (like Richard Preston wrote about in The Wild Trees, and posted online somewhere), so I'm tossing a 'biner to set my next TIP.

The diameter where I tied in was around five to six inches. The weak spot was close to the tree, where it was bigger.

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11 years 6 months ago - 11 years 6 months ago #133202 by moss
Replied by moss on topic Re:Getting back in the trees
Davej wrote:

BTW what was the approximate diameter at the point you tied in? That has been another mystery here. Thanks.


Glad to see you posting Happyhelmet!

Davej, we did extensive analysis of this accident, to recap here are the key factors leading up to and causing the accident.

By the way there is no holier than thou attitude towards Happyhelmet, climbers should be very grateful that he had the courage and humility to post about his experience.

1. No down check before descent (double the down rope to verify it reaches the ground before going to the ground).

2. Tied into a horizontal limb at significant distance from the branch/trunk union.

3. Did not fully load the new TIP before disconnecting from the first TIP

All of the above contributed to the accident, number 3 was the unfortunate clincher.

The limb had a structural flaw which would've been revealed by pre-loading without committing to the 2nd TIP.
-moss
Last edit: 11 years 6 months ago by moss.

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11 years 6 months ago #133205 by Davej
Replied by Davej on topic Re:Getting back in the trees

moss wrote:
1. No down check before descent (double the down rope to verify it reaches the ground before going to the ground).

2. Tied into a horizontal limb at significant distance from the branch/trunk union.

3. Did not fully load the new TIP before disconnecting from the first TIP


Now I wonder, were all of those tasks still usual practices? Or over the eight months of climbing do methods get streamlined due to loss of fear and increased confidence in \"known\" trees?

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11 years 6 months ago #133206 by moss
Replied by moss on topic Re:Getting back in the trees
Davej wrote:

Now I wonder, were all of those tasks still usual practices? Or over the eight months of climbing do methods get streamlined due to loss of fear and increased confidence in \"known\" trees?


Those practices may not have been learned and integrated into standard operating procedure. The only one that you have a chance of short-cutting through many hours of climbing experience is the down rope length check, many experienced climber's gain an innate sense of whether or not they can reach the ground from the TIP they're currently hanging on. However those kinds of \"intuitive\" assessments go out the window the moment you add stress like dehydration, fatigue etc.

The second two steps around acquiring a new TIP in the tree can never be short-cutted, I don't know any experienced climbers that do. There's no room for streamlining the procedure if you like to stay alive or uninjured.
-moss

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11 years 6 months ago - 11 years 6 months ago #133207 by happyhelmet
Replied by happyhelmet on topic Re:Getting back in the trees
Davej wrote:

moss wrote:
1. No down check before descent (double the down rope to verify it reaches the ground before going to the ground).

2. Tied into a horizontal limb at significant distance from the branch/trunk union.

3. Did not fully load the new TIP before disconnecting from the first TIP


Now I wonder, were all of those tasks still usual practices? Or over the eight months of climbing do methods get streamlined due to loss of fear and increased confidence in \"known\" trees?


1. No excuse, I knew better. I read about doing this, did it a few times, but not this day.

2. This is like driving too fast. Tempting, fun, risky. Didn't work out well for me.

3. Would have changed my life. This was something I had done before, but not this time. Judgement impaired by overconfidence and lack of experience.

Don't get so distracted by the fun you're having that you let your guard down and forget about safety.
Last edit: 11 years 6 months ago by happyhelmet.

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11 years 6 months ago #133211 by treeweasel
Replied by treeweasel on topic Re:Getting back in the trees
Thanks for sharing HappyHelmet,

I keep wanting to see you wearing a new-life helmet hand painted with a happy face! Do you know any artists?

My big cross is fatigue. Although carrying water has helped some. I have good intensions of always trying to have 2 tie-ins, but there are times I'm too damn tired to throw a second one.

I think it is time for a doctor's physical examination, perhaps my ticker ain't tickin right??

Spring's coming, woo hoo!! I'd like to climb more, but like I said the fatigue is wiping some of the fun out. I'll know more after getting a physical.

TW

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11 years 6 months ago - 11 years 6 months ago #133212 by Davej
Replied by Davej on topic Re:Getting back in the trees

happyhelmet wrote:
Once up in the tree I don't use a throwline much. I use a spider rig (like Richard Preston wrote about in The Wild Trees, and posted online somewhere), so I'm tossing a 'biner to set my next TIP.


Well, Moss here knows a little something about that book. It seems clear that a longer rope would have prevented this accident. Does this imply that you were double-ending something intentionally short, like a 60 footer?
Last edit: 11 years 6 months ago by Davej.

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11 years 6 months ago - 11 years 6 months ago #133213 by moss
Replied by moss on topic Re:Getting back in the trees
Davej wrote:

It seems clear that a longer rope would have prevented this accident. Does this imply that you were double-ending something intentionally short, like a 60 footer?


Not being able to reach the ground from the TIP got things started in the wrong direction in this case but it is standard practice to reset in the tree and climb higher than your doubled rope can reach the ground, whatever the length of your climbing rope is. Obviously I think it's all about safe switchover safety protocol.

I guess you could say that you wouldn't have to think about a safety protocol for switching over to a new TIP if you only climbed as high as your first TIP took you and never did switchovers in the tree. But... and it's a big but: knowing and consistently performing a safe protocol for switchovers in the tree is an absolute prerequisite for solo DRT climbing, whether you climb above the length of your rope or not.
-moss
Last edit: 11 years 6 months ago by moss.

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11 years 6 months ago - 11 years 6 months ago #133214 by happyhelmet
Replied by happyhelmet on topic Re:Getting back in the trees
More like 70 foot. And I often use it exclusively on trees with low enough branches, and abandon my initial TIP. That's what I was doing on the day of my fall—switching TIPs to move all over the tree, and descend to the ground in a different place than I'd started. I've even switched trees before. Riskier than staying with the initial TIP, but I think I know how to do it more safely now.
Last edit: 11 years 6 months ago by happyhelmet.

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11 years 6 months ago #133217 by oldtimer
Replied by oldtimer on topic Re:Getting back in the trees
Hey buddy
Nice to see you back in the trees after the fall. I hope that you are \"fully\" recovered and that you are able to enjoy the trees again. B)
Keep us informed of your progress and BE Careful in those transfers and selecting your TIPs :ohmy:

Welcome back :laugh:

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