New guy - hello all. Prusik Knot quesiton

  • TCups
  • TCups's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Fresh Boarder
More
12 years 9 months ago - 12 years 9 months ago #135563 by TCups
Hello all. New to the forum and looking forward to learning a lot more about climbing in general and tree climbing specifically. After a long hiatus, I have decided to get back into deer stand hunting, and in that process, have become interested in a more technical approach to tree climbing.

Specs: 58M, 6'4", 250#, in pretty good shape but about 30# overweight.

Gear on hand: Black Diamond harness, helmet, rope (ordered-1/2" Arbormaster rope 120'), the usual assortment of rated carabiners, Petzl GriGri & RH ascender.

My past climbing experience has been limited to indoor top rope wall climbing, and that mainly belaying my son, the more active climber. I do a fair amount of fly fishing and outdoor activities. Pretty good with knots.

Goals: ultra-safe tree stand climbing, roped in, and with solid technique to ascend, descend safely, with or without my climbing tree stand, heights 30' or less.

Home ground: The temperate rainforest of Western NC near Zirconia -- one of God's most beautiful places on the planet.

So . . .
Last night, I was practicing some knots on the ropes I had on hand at home. In tying Prusik knots, it occurred to me that I could tie a pair or Prusiks on either end of the same 12' loop of rope to attach to a climbing rope, without cutting the Prusik line in half. I tied the first Prusik around a short cardboard tube. Then, I tied the second Prusik to the climbing rope. Then I passed the lower end of the rope through the cardboard tube and transferred the knot to the climbing rope.

Now, this was just practice, and "for grins" -- for the record, I have never ascended a rope using the Prusik knot technique (yet). But just playing around with this, it appears to me that there could be some advantage in having both ends of a line cinched to the climbing rope, and that with the right length of line, it would be possible to tie loops in the line for hand hold and foot loops. Understand, I am not going to climb anything with this approach. I was just practicing my knot tying skills. I can't see any knot tying reference to the technique of tying a "double Prusik". Anyone ever heard of such a thing?

PS: Here is the view from my back deck:







Cheers.
Last edit: 12 years 9 months ago by TCups.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 9 months ago - 12 years 9 months ago #135564 by 2chops
Hello TCups, and welcome aboard.

Good idea to go low & slow. I'm curious, Are you figuring on using a standard DRT (Doubled Rope Technique) set up, or an SRT (Single Rope Technique)? Judging by your equipment list, I'm guessing SRT. But I would start with DRT. I never climbed with an SRT set up, but I've seen it done. Too equipment intensive for my taste. To each his own. However,...

If you're going to use the DRT system, I would use a blakes hitch instead of a Prussik. By running your rope over a suitable branch/crotch, the standing end which is used to clip into your saddle will have a "tail" that's about 2 1/2' long. Use this tail to tie the Blakes to the running end of your rope, thus creating a "closed" system. It's a proven set up. You can use a 7' piece of accessory cord to make a loop, with which you can use to make a foot loop, using the Prussik, as a foot assist method. This foot loop is placed on the running end of your rope, below the Blakes.

Just my 2cents. I'm trying to see where you're at ability wise.

Ron
Last edit: 12 years 9 months ago by 2chops. Reason: Corrections to my 1st paragraph.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • TCups
  • TCups's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Fresh Boarder
More
12 years 9 months ago #135565 by TCups
Ron:

I am coming at the sport of tree climbing from an old hunter's point of view. 25 years or so ago, I used to hunt a bit from self climbing tree stands, bow and arrow and firearms -- back in the "old days" when most hunters did not make a big deal of safety. Yes, a basic body harness and loop strap for the tree trunk came with my stand, but no, it wasn't really adequate (IMO) if something when wrong seriously. It would stop your fall but just leave you hanging, and I didn't want to just get left hanging.

The self-taught method I adopted in those times was to fix a rope about 10 ft above the point where my tree stand would be position and let it drop to the ground. i did this the first time up a new tree to be used as a hunting spot for the season, in daylight, under optimal conditions. I kept an extra carabiner and a figure 8 descender on the body harness, just in case. I never had to use it in an emergency, but I always felt better knowing was there. Another big plus was leaving the fixed rope in place in the tree(s) I hunted in each season. It's one thing to climb in daylight -- another to tromp through the woods before daybreak and climb in darkness. The extra security that comes from having a fixed roped already in a tree is a good thing. So, my "climbing" experience has been very limited -- I know just a few of the basics of self-belay and emergency descent on a single fixed rope. I plan to learn a lot more and approach recreational tree climbing more seriously this time, in conjunction with getting back into tree stand hunting near the end of my 6th decade on the planet. My son, Adam, is the rock climber, and I have, on occasion, gone to the indoor climbing facility with him to belay for him. He has shown me a some of the basics. But climbing rocks and walls isn't my thing.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 9 months ago #135566 by 2chops
Ok. I used to hunt too. But I hated tree stands. I just can't sit still for more than 15 minutes. I was a stalker. I could get ridiculously close to deer. Must be the indian in me. Anyhow,...

1st lets talk about the rope left in the tree. Not a good idea. Squirrels have been known to chew them. Plus the exposure to the elements will wreek havoc on your $100+ lifeline. Try this. Leave a thin piece of cordage over the anchor of choice. That way all you need to do is to use that to haul your lifeline up when you get to your stand. Much safer.

As I stated before, learn DRT. When you get up to your stand, leave your climbing saddle on and stay on rope. If you want to be even stealthier, all you need is the rope. Once your rope is in place, you can fashion a harness with just the rope by tying a bowline on a bight, and then using the tail to tie your Blakes to the running end of the rope. No biners or other hardware to clank around. And since you're only going up 20' or so and then sitting on the stand seat, comfort isn't an issue. I use this method every once in a while and it works just fine for it's intended application. Especially in archery season when stealth is the name of the game.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • TCups
  • TCups's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Fresh Boarder
More
12 years 9 months ago - 12 years 9 months ago #135567 by TCups
OK, understand.

Here's another question: Whereas I have a nice place in the mountains, I live in suburbia Columbia SC. The yard here is treed mostly with large, tall pines plus a few large dogwoods and an ornamental cherry tree or two. None are suitable to throw a rope over a stout limb and practice doubled rope technique in my back yard. The pines have from 12" to 20" diameter trunks with no limbs below at least 30 to 40 ft and the limbs at that level are all too small to be safe, I believe.

What about building a home made limb out of some treated 2x8, 2x6 and 2x4 boards, roping (OK, chaining) it into a trunk at say 15-20 ft and using this to practice some doubled rope technique
Attachments:
Last edit: 12 years 9 months ago by TCups.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 9 months ago - 12 years 9 months ago #135568 by 2chops
Aha, well played sir. Careful with the rig so that you don't wedge into the bark. But looks good. nothing wrong with a home made limb to practice on. Treeman has one in his carport for rainy day rescue practice. I know others do to, and I have plans for a "tree" using a utility pole, legally procured and set of course, with "limbs" strategically attached. I once used an "I" beam for a "tree" for an indoor event earlier this year. No fears of that one breaking.

How about the rest of you? Lets hear your input.
Last edit: 12 years 9 months ago by 2chops. Reason: punctuation error.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 9 months ago #135569 by moss
Interesting idea but... it would be much easier to install a false crotch around the trunk at whatever height you want. You could use rope or webbing to wrap the trunk, secure with a rated delta screwlink and hang a rated pulley off the delta. Leave a haul line running through the pulley, you can use it to install the rope whenever you want to climb.
-AJ

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • TCups
  • TCups's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Fresh Boarder
More
12 years 9 months ago - 12 years 9 months ago #135574 by TCups
OK - have done both now.

Moving on . . .

After a week's practice and experimenting, I plan to ascend with doubled Arbormaster 1/2 in. rope using a modified Blake's hitch, a Petzl RH handled ascender under the hitch with a foot loop for my left foot and with a right foot Petzl Pantin. I have a split tail kit on order, but it isn't here yet. I have also made myself a 2 in 1 safety lanyard with 12 ft of 1/2 in 3-strand rope and a 3/8ths hip Prusik. I tied off the two ends of the rope I used for the Prusik in two anchor hitches, one LH and one RH on a rated delta screw lock carabiner and ran the tag end of the rope from each of the anchor hitch knots through the doubled loops of both hitches. I haven't seen or read that this is a good idea, but it seems to be rock solid. Also, it is tied short, so that if I grab the Prusik in the palm of my hand and hook two fingers through the biner, it is very easy to "squeeze" a bit of slack and re-dress the knot if needed. It hasn't been up a tree yet, but seems to work. What do you think?

I am going to be doing some real tree climbing this week. I am off the whole week and have a nice "wild" oak picked out. It is about 24 in diameter at the base and has good solid branches with crotch locations I can get to. I cleaned away all the underbrush and ground clutter last weekend and practiced inserting the rope over the first crotch at about 20 ft. The second is at about 30 ft and will require some navigation around a bunch of smaller limbs. I don't want to prune anything until this winter if I can avoid it. I have packed up for the weeks climbing activities and I am excited. I won't have anyone else climbing with me and against all sound advice to the contrary, plan to climb alone, but I will have the wife in close proximity aground, watching and probably providing (shouting) insightful critique ("you crazy old fart! Come down from there before you kill yourself!", etc.) of my efforts and technique.
Attachments:
Last edit: 12 years 9 months ago by TCups.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 9 months ago #135576 by moss
Prusik knots tend to seize up when loaded so you'll need two hands free to get things moving again, one to grab the rope and hold your weight, the other to loosen the prusik. Early on I got myself into some pickles with a prusik hitch on my lanyard, I didn't have both hands available and therefore had to work very hard to make what should've been a basic move. That cured me of using a prusik, I recommend a Distel or Schwabisch for a lanyard adjuster hitch.

Good luck with your climbing.
-AJ

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 9 months ago #135577 by 2chops
Tcups, 1. I like the "branch" you devised for climbing practice. In my opinion, this is a better set up for practicing footlocking. It keeps you away from the tree. However, the false crotch around the trunk is ideal for working hip thrusting. So if you rigged both ways up you're good to go.

2. You don't need an ascender under the blakes. But if you want it there, knock yourself out & go ahead.

3. If you want an awsome lanyard set up, ditch the prussik & get a Gibbs micro grab, or it's equivalent. Easy single hand adjustment. Won't seize...and it's sexy as all get out.

Last but certanly not least, 4. Are all the ropes that you're using for rigging, lanyards, prussiks, etc., approved for life support? They look like they're not. I would spend the extra cash & buy a hank of 1/2" Arbormaster for your 3strand rigging rope. And order a spare hank of arborist climbing rope for making your lanyard, or buy one of the pre made ones from whatever catalogue you got the rest of your gear from. Don't skimp on life support stuff.
Ron

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • TCups
  • TCups's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Fresh Boarder
More
12 years 9 months ago #135578 by TCups
Thanks guys.

I have a 120' of 1/2 inch Arbormaster rope and I bough, two end of roll discount, 50' lengths of 1/2" and 3/8ths inch Petzl rope, the trade names of which escape me just now, but all rated, static climbing line. I haven't yet started cutting up the 50' lengths yet to make any rigging as I am still just acquiring my gear and trying to figure out what I need and how to get it right.

As for the Petzl ascender and Pantin, I find it gives my 250# frame a much better mechanical advantage having a secure RH grip, and two foot locks with the LH free to advance the modified Blake's hitch. I have the RH ascender clipped onto the line and, as someone just starting out, find that it makes a reassuring safety stop for the Blake's on the way down. I am moving up and down the rope in incremental steps of about 12 to 15 inches, I suppose. Maybe I will find, at some point, I want to descend more smoothly, but for now, this feels pretty secure and safe. The only glitch I have had so far is learning how to smoothly kick out of the RF Pantin before descending, and I think that is only because I haven't yet been high enough to have enough rope weight under the cam to make it easy. At the end of the day, what is sorest are the small joints in my hands, so I plan to :hang on" to my ascender, thanks, and to heck with the body thrust ascent.

I have been looking at the flip lines and lanyard kits, but frankly, at this stage, don't know how to use one or which would be best for my developing "old, heavy" style of recreational climbing. I absolutely do not plan to put myself in a situation where the pictured lanyard I tied will be a life line. My budget being totally blown for the next month or so, a true rated safety lanyard or flip line will have to wait another month or so and for some more experience. I do have 150' of NE "Fly" rope, 11 mm, coming to use with my GriGri and an assortment of rated screw and auto-locking carabiners and a half dozen 1-inch nylon looped runners of various lengths also on the way.

Moving on . . .

I played with my new 1/8" throw rope and weights (8 and 16 oz) for the first time today in a "real" arborist situation. If there had been more than one of me, it might have looked like a Keystone Cops movie. I did finally manage to get a secure anchor over a solid. natural crotch in a wild hickory tree at 30 ft with a cambium saver in place. I have pictures but can't post yet as I am on a slow connection. Since the wife didn't make it up today and I am here with only my German Shepherd dog, who also does not climb trees, my feet didn't leave the ground today. In fact, in the wife's absence, I have decided to bed down on the back deck in a sleeping bag, on a reclining deck chair under the stars (and rising full moon) tonight. That is where I am right now. Low 58 deg and a beautiful evening ahead. Just me, my dog (Annie) and Jack (Daniels). Life is good. Time to shut off the lap top and enjoy it.

Later.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 9 months ago #135579 by 2chops
I know your throw line frustration. I'm a lot better @ placing it than I was 6 years ago when I started wrking with one. But for me it's still about 60% luck. Throw line rescues are not too uncommon for me. I've come to expect it and accept it as part of the game.

I think you're right about the Pantin kickout being easier with more rope under you. I've only used a foot ascender once & they are the cats meow. One of these days I'll let go of my moldy money & get one. But for me I like the process of fot locking.

Sounds like you've got a good start going. Keep us posted

Ron

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • TCups
  • TCups's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Fresh Boarder
More
12 years 9 months ago - 12 years 9 months ago #135580 by TCups
Here's the tree. Went up to about 24 ft three times today, by far the highest I have climbed, and the first time I have tied more than one safety knot in the line behind me. It was interesting as it was high enough to get a rhythm to the action of climbing. I discarded the fool loop and used on ly the Pantin today. Much smoother with some rope under it. It means the safety knot has to go underfoot, though, but his is offset by the use of a RH ascender which acts as a safety just below the Blake's hitch.

I am keeping the ascender clipped on to the line and using the carabiner that locks the ascender to the line as a LH hand hold on the downstroke, with my left hand over the outside of the carabiner, not through it. The climbing motion with two secure hand holds and the Pantin feels very solid and natural. The climbing rhythm is a simple 1-2 3-4: R knee up, pull down with both hands while standing, LH slides up, advancing the hitch, RH slides up, advancing the ascender.

I tied the gate longer than most I have seen. It is just a slight stretch to reach the top of the knot, but not unsafely or uncomfortably so, particularly with the RH ascender in place. As i am 6' 4", this seems allows a longer, more natural "stride" of about 15" with each cycle, without the tendency to jam the ascender under the Blake's hitch. After 8-10 cycles, I stop, tie a safety knot and rest a minute if I need to.

On the descent, I am clipping the RH ascender cam open with the thumb latch while the ascender still locked on the line. I slide the ascender down and use the line-locking carabiner down to the large oval on the saddle, and clip the ascender's carabiner to the saddle's carabiner. The rope runs freely through the open-cammed ascender and doesn't seem to cause any difficulty when I handle the line below the hitch. The only variation I see is that if you slide down to a safety knot, the knot would jam to the underside of the ascender and the ascender via the carabiner would load the tie in carabiner on the saddle, not the Blake's hitch.

I suppose there is another possibility -- the thumb lock on the cam could accidentally close, again with the same result -- the saddle will load the locked ascender, albeit at the top hole, not the bottom. I suppose I could keep a second carabiner on the bottom hole and use that to clip in to the saddle. This would keep the load "in line" with the ascender if the cam accidentally closed.

I know someone here will advise if the action of clipping an unlocked ascender to the climbing saddle is a BAD idea, but it seems OK, and means I never have to dettach it from the rope and can never drop it further than Pantin or my last safety knot, at worst. And it then only takes one hand to engage or disengage the ascender.







Attachments:
Last edit: 12 years 9 months ago by TCups.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 9 months ago - 12 years 9 months ago #135581 by moss
Problem with a bridge a little too long is that when you stretch to reach it you're going to have difficulty belaying the down rope properly. In early 2011 a climber had an uncontrolled slide down the rope when they tried to reach a Blake's hitch too high and accidentally transferred their weight to it, pulling down too hard. They got moving too fast and couldn't control the down rope with their belay hand. Good rule is to set bridge length so that you can reach it comfortably AFTER you've tied and loaded it (it will stretch longer when the knots get loaded up).

I'll have to post photos or video to explain but I like tying bridges short, one hand above and one hand below the hitch, climber gets just as much reach per pull as with a long bridge. As they stand on the down rope (footloops, footlock, Pantin, whatever) they inch the hitch up with the lower hand as they stand up. with this technique there is always one hand on the rope under the hitch to stop it if the upper hand accidentally pulls the hitch down.

If a climber is using an ascender for the footloops there is no need (in my opinion) for safety knots below the hitch. The hitch cannot get past the ascender holding the footloops. If the climber takes the ascender off the down rope they can place a safety knot under the ascender before removing it.
-AJ
Last edit: 12 years 9 months ago by moss.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • TCups
  • TCups's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Fresh Boarder
More
12 years 8 months ago #135591 by TCups
Replied by TCups on topic Just checking in again.
So here is where I am . . .

Read and re-read (some sections multiple times) "The Tree Climber's Companion" -- definitely the place to start.

Almost completely read "On Rope" -- good stuff here, but short on arborist's techniques and, in general, knots. Strong on rigging and vertical climbing/descending techniques for rock and cave dwellers -- not so much for arborists. Very detailed information on anchors and rigging lines. More to digest here.

Watched (multiple times) the $20 Basic Video DVD on tree climbing -- another good place to start.

Have all the hardware I need with perhaps the exception of perhaps a Prusik MicroGrab and perhaps a double-ring rope saver (not smart enough yet to know which length(s) would be best for my uses.

Have 4 ropes -- Arbormaster, 1/2" x 120' and NE Fly, 11mm x 150', with storage bags and a good throw line with 8 and 16-oz throw weights and bag. I also have 50' lengths of Petzl 12.5mm Vector and 8 mm Vector on hand.

Have throw line with 8 oz and 16 oz bags and a small storage bag. Have practiced and become somewhat proficient with the throw weights, positioning the throw line over the target limb, and hauling the climbing rope and cambium saver in to and back out of place on secure limbs (much harder and more time consuming than the climb, at least so far)

Using a New Tribe Basic saddle -- wish, perhaps, that I had spent more money and bought a model with two rated D-Rings instead of accessory O-Rings on the side, but in reality, have yet to climb with any sort of lanyard or flip line and may or may not ever need to. Did get a Petzl Paw, small (3-holer) that I believe would work just fine for securing a lanyard or flip line to the primary anchor, if needed. More to learn there.

Have repeatedly climbed a few trees to a max height of about 25' staying well below my anchor point and practicing, for now, just ascent and descent techniques.

Have climbed a 16" dia hardwood up to about 20' with my self-climbing tree stand using both the supplied safety harness and strap and using (in addition) a climbing rope with ascender knot and self belay device in place. It is my feeling that with the right tree, I will abandon the full body harness and climb instead with a rope and my NewTribe harness. May add a Petzl shoulder harness to my gear. More to learn about there. I can say I feel much more secure in a saddle harness with a doubled rope in place than relying on the OEM tree stand harness and strap with the back-up descending strap in a pocket. I also don't like that the teeth on the Summit climbing stand under my 250#s dig deeply into the tree's bark, unlike my old Loggy Bayou stand. It relied on a hard rubber padding against the tree and a Woopie loop sing to secure it when in place. I may actually try the old Loggy Bayou using only the stand platform with my NewTribe saddle as the climber and seat to see what that feels like. I will need to replace it's woopie sling first, I believe.

Have purchased both pre-sewn and bulk tubular nylon slings and strapping material as well as some rated strap hardware, sewing awl, and a spool of thread to try my hand at some slings and strap anchors.

I go to bed every night tying and re-tying various anchor knots, midline knots and friction knots and try to do the most basic ones -- bowline, doubled fig 8, anchor hitch, Blake's hitch -- in the dark a few times as well. My wife, of course, thinks I am crazy.

Later.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Time to create page: 0.212 seconds
Powered by Kunena Forum

Join Our Mailing List