Safety loops, do you use them?

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18 years 11 months ago - 18 years 11 months ago #125707 by moss
Safety loops, do you use them? was created by moss
Before I took the Basic Tree Climbing Course I never used safety loops. I didn't know what they were. Most of you know what a safety loop is, I'll describe it briefly for anyone that doesn't. A safety loop is a slip knot and loop that's tied in the running end of the rope during DRT climbing. The safety knot stops an uncontrolled descent to the ground in case the friction hitch fails to grab or is accidently grabbed and pulled down by the climber without holding the running end of the rope.

During the course we were taught to tie a series of safety loops as we ascended. It made perfect sense, especially since we were novice climbers. Now that I'm climbing on my own I've gotten out of the habit of using safety loops. I climbed with another rec climber a month ago and he asked "Why aren't you using safety loops?" Hmm, in my mind I was thinking "because they're a pain in the butt, they make it easier to snag my rope on something etc.". What I said was that I have confidence in the friction knot and don't feel the need.

As it turns out that isn't quite true. Recently I've started using safety loops again and find that it improves my confidence especially when I'm at height. But (a big but) I do not use them while I am actively ascending. When I stop ascending for any reason, say to reset a new pitch, I tie a safety loop. If I'm going to be stationary for any length of time I tie a safety loop or two. When I start ascending again I take them out. When I'm tied in on both ends of the rope I do not use them because the two tie-ins are backing each other up.

So what do you think? Is this an acceptable use of the safety loop or am I kidding myself? Do you use safety loops when you climb?
-moss

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18 years 11 months ago - 18 years 11 months ago #125708 by Electrojake
Replied by Electrojake on topic Safety loops, do you use them?
Observation...
As I understand it, some people put a belay on top of a belay when they do SRT, (not me).

My Son climbed at the ISA-ITCC 2004 Kids Climb. They had only one "safety loop" at the very bottom of the line. After he climbed top to bottom he said "what's with the slip knot at ground zero?" I explained to him that in the event of a free fall, the act of stopping just short of the ground due to the safety knot was a lot more forgiving than a splat on the dirt. He then asked me "how could you possibly fall with a Blake's hitch at your waist and a prussic at your feet?" which is how the Kids Climb is done. The answer is "You Cant".

So my observation is...
The safety loop is quite effective and free of charge for any climbing instructor to use. So why not teach full safety at the beginning of the student's tree climbing experience.

Check out the picture on page 24 of the 2004 Sherrill master catalog. The photo says it all! I guess he was wishin' he used a safety loop! :D

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18 years 11 months ago - 18 years 11 months ago #125709 by charlieb
Replied by charlieb on topic Safety loops, do you use them?
Hey fellas. Can you help me out here. I'm not gettin it. Are ya'll saying that you're ascending only with a hitch when DdRT'ing? --Thus the need for safety loops. Or are you ascending with some system that has two points of contact with the rope at all times, at or above the waist? If so, then why would you need safety loops?--since you have a backup already. (i.e. frog sytem, hitch w/ prussik above, etc.)
Can you clarify what you're proposing.

Safe climbin.
Charlie Brown.

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18 years 11 months ago - 18 years 11 months ago #125710 by moss
Replied by moss on topic Safety loops, do you use them?

Originally posted by charlieb
Hey fellas. Can you help me out here. I'm not gettin it. Are ya'll saying that you're ascending only with a hitch when DdRT'ing? --Thus the need for safety loops. Or are you ascending with some system that has two points of contact with the rope at all times, at or above the waist?


Everybody has their own flavor of DRT. In it's most minimal form, there is only the friction hitch holding the climber. Some climbers use a foot loop, either a prusik or an ascender (as EJ pointed out) to help grab the tail when ascending. That adds another point of contact. I've been footlocking the tail on DRT so I don't use a foot loop or an ascender, just the friction hitch. It's standard practice with DRT to climb just on the hitch or with the hitch and foot loop or ascender/foot loop combo.
-moss

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18 years 11 months ago - 18 years 11 months ago #125711 by charlieb
Replied by charlieb on topic Safety loops, do you use them?
Thanks Moss, I got it now.
Didn't realize you were footlocking the tail.
When I DRT, I use a Pantin on foot with a Knut knot for my hitch made of New England HRC(heat resistant cord). This was suggested on Treebuzz by Mark Chisholm and others a while back and the knot works great(grabs and releases easily) and never glazes the rope even on fast descents.
I'd like to humbly suggest, for anyone interested, a simple additional device that can give added comfort and would eliminate the desire for safety loops. That is, to tie-in a Yates Rocker at the waist, below the hitch of course, and just let it rock along both on ascent and descent(even while rappelling). It can be used both in DRT and SRT. I'm not sure if it would mess up your footlocking though.
It works great.
Just my two cents.
Everyone has their flavor though, for sure.

Safe climbin.
Charlie Brown.

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18 years 11 months ago - 18 years 11 months ago #125712 by Electrojake
Replied by Electrojake on topic Safety loops, do you use them?
Knut???
Please post a link to some information on this Knut you speak of.

Thanks,
Electrojake

P.S. Yates Rocker, nice item. I love alloy gadgets!
.

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18 years 11 months ago - 18 years 11 months ago #125713 by charlieb
Replied by charlieb on topic Safety loops, do you use them?
EJ or anyone else interested,
You can read about and see how to tie the Knut and other hitches at:
http://www.treebuzz.com/articles.php
Look under the 4th to last article "An Overview of Climbing Hitches". Also check out the first article listed also about hitches.
Another good site for learning knots and anything else is: mytreelessons.com

P.S. I love the Yates Rocker because I don't know of any other device that you can SAFELY put BELOW the rappel device (at the hip) and still allow you to control the brake hand part of the rope without interfering with the rappel.

Safe climbin.
Charlie Brown.

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18 years 10 months ago - 18 years 10 months ago #125737 by docteric
Replied by docteric on topic Safety loops, do you use them?
One thanks and a question.

Thanks for the info on the Knut. I looked it up, tried it on the ground and it seems great. I'm going to do some experiments betwen that, the VT and the distral - see which one works the best for me.

The question is - what's a Yates Rocker? Anyone got a website for one?

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18 years 10 months ago - 18 years 10 months ago #125739 by jimk123
Replied by jimk123 on topic Kids Need a Slip Knot for Safety
In watching Abe at his annual climbing event at Dawes Arboretum in central Ohio, he ties a safety slip knot for each kid. Patrick Dimmer at Arborquest goes to the pain of placing a carabiner through the slip knot loop. The other side of the carabiner is tied around the trunk. My son descended too rapidly on a BH that was arrested by a slip knot.

On rare occasion, I catch myself descending without a slip knot. However, I review each climb and make a serious attempt to hammer out a procedure where that's done routinely.

In my climbing descent this evening, I had a descending device, figure-8 tie off and a slip knot between me and the ground. When I climbed for a tree crew in 1980, I only had a tautline style knot between me and the ground. I like how I climb nowadays.

Regards,
JimK

Keep FIT - Fun in Trees

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18 years 10 months ago - 18 years 10 months ago #125740 by charlieb
Replied by charlieb on topic Safety loops, do you use them?
Docteric or anyone,
The Yates Rocker can be seen at:
http://www.wtsherrill.com/iwwidb.pvx?;multi_item_submit
OR:
http://www.patrollersupply.com/store/cart_item_review.asp?itemID=142

JimK,
Was Abe, your son and yourself all DdRT'ing or was there any SRT? Were any knots used for SRT?

Safe climbin.
Charlie Brown.

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18 years 10 months ago - 18 years 10 months ago #125741 by charlieb
Replied by charlieb on topic Safety loops, do you use them?
If the Sherrill site is not responding properly simply go to wtsherrill.com and type in Rocker under search and it should bring you to ascenders where they have their own ISC version of the Rocker.

Safe climbin.
Charlie Brown.

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18 years 10 months ago - 18 years 10 months ago #125742 by charlieb
Replied by charlieb on topic Safety loops, do you use them?
Also guys,
With the Knut knot, the type of cord you use is very crucial. It must be supple enough to grab easily and stiff enough to release easily and help tend itself with a pulley underneath. Also must be hightly heat resistant.
This is why some guys on the Buzz even had no luck with cords such as Sta-Set or Ultra-Tech.
But the HRC(3/8") is perfect and can be ordered from:(might have to call them since not on site)
www.northeasternarborist.com
or
bishco.com.

Safe climbin.
Charlie Brown.

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18 years 10 months ago - 18 years 10 months ago #125780 by Tom Dunlap
Replied by Tom Dunlap on topic Safety loops, do you use them?
ISC is the company that makes the Rocker. They are labeled for Yates though.

Strong limbs and single ropes!
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