Schwabisch vs. Valdetain vs. Distel

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13 years 10 months ago #134750 by moss
Replied by moss on topic Re:Schwabisch vs. Valdetain vs. Distel
I think it's the only technique I ever showed Peter before he had a chance to show it to me :-)

One thing to note is you can start out from the ground with your left foot in the loop, lock it (toe down) and you can raise your ascender foot without having to hold the rope below it with your hand. Then raise your left foot with toe up and wiggle your foot to make the slack drop through enough to get your left foot up next to your ascender foot, lock and stand up on both feet. Repeat, you'll see that locking the footloop in the low position makes it really easy to advance the foot ascender. After three rounds of that you won't have to wiggle your left foot anymore to tend the slack. Mileage varies per rope thickness and construction, (16 strand vs. smoother 24 strand etc.). Sometimes I'll hand tend the loop slack for the first two pulls and then the left foot wiggle allows me to go hands free tending until the rope weight takes over.

Is this a new tree climbing technical term "Left foot wiggle"?
-moss

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13 years 10 months ago - 13 years 10 months ago #134751 by greenluck
Replied by greenluck on topic Re:Schwabisch vs. Valdetain vs. Distel
Well I tried the two foot /1 foot ascender trick. It worked nicely after about 8'-10'. It does seem to put less stress on your knee. Looks like a little bit of a learning curve though.

Thanks for the suggestions Moss and 2Chops. I enjoyed the video clip posted by Moss,but I had already searched out all the videos you posted on You Tube. Moss you should really think out coming out with your own how-to-video! I have a feeling there is a market out their for additional videos of tree climbing. It looks like you already have a lot of footage already, add a couple more, do some voice over work and another tree climbing how-to video is born.

Maybe you guys could help me out with this XT hitch. I got it tied/dressed/set and it grabs and releases as it should but the self tending feature does not seem to work. I'm using a new 30" eye to eye beeline which was a gift from a friend on 1/2" cheap Arborplex.

I believe the legs are to long. I tried adding more wraps and braids with no luck. My CMI pulley will just not auto advance the XT hitch. I even tried the VT in different combos of wraps and braids with no luck either.

Is there a hitch that would work better with my 30" eye to eye? The 30" length seem very popular, so it must work with some hitch well. Right?

Should I try different lengths of tied eye to eye cords?

Is it my saddle (which is an old 4"D") which puts the harness attachment point a good bit away from your body? I'm currently waiting on the "new" New Tribe saddle to come out before I update my saddle. I know it not the best but it's what I have to work with.

I would really like to get the hitch to self tend as in Moss's video.
Last edit: 13 years 10 months ago by greenluck.

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13 years 10 months ago #134752 by moss
Replied by moss on topic Re:Schwabisch vs. Valdetain vs. Distel
greenluck wrote:

Is it my saddle (which is an old 4"D") which puts the harness attachment point a good bit away from your body? I'm currently waiting on the "new" New Tribe saddle to come out before I update my saddle. I know it not the best but it's what I have to work with.

I would really like to get the hitch to self tend as in Moss's video.


Yep, the micro pulley has nothing to do with self-tending the hitch, my system would function the same without the pulley. The pulley is there for taking up slack one-handed when coming in from a limb walk or other situations where my feet are on the tree and I want to take out slack by hand.

The hitch self tends because there very little play in the harness attachment, you can see that the hitch is on a biner which is directly attached to my legstrap D on the NT harness. The way to beat that with a non-NT harness is to get a Hitchclimber Pulley, should be able to find it with a Google search. Many arborist climbers have asked me why I don't use a Hitchclimber Pulley, my reply is "don't need it on an NT harness".
-moss

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13 years 10 months ago #134753 by moss
Replied by moss on topic Re:Schwabisch vs. Valdetain vs. Distel
greenluck wrote:

Moss you should really think out coming out with your own how-to-video!


Thanks for the good thoughts Greenluck. I have a demanding day job, and I still want to get in at least a couple climbs a week, no time!

I wish climbers would make videos of their custom climbing setups, I have one particular view, there are many ways out there.
-moss

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13 years 10 months ago #134754 by moss
Replied by moss on topic Re:Schwabisch vs. Valdetain vs. Distel
To clarify further, any decent eye-2-eye hitch can be made to be self tending, it's not particular to the XT. I just happen to like that hitch compared to many others I've climbed on.

Your 30" split tail is fine, will work a for a variety of hitches.
-moss

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13 years 10 months ago - 13 years 10 months ago #134755 by greenluck
Replied by greenluck on topic Re:Schwabisch vs. Valdetain vs. Distel
I messed around with the VT and XT last night some more.

It seems that I have the combo right again. By adding a few more wraps I was able to get everything to work. I tried the VT hitch some time ago with no problems, but recently upon trying it again I had a little issue with it self tending. I guess I just had to spend sometime on fine tuning it just right. For the next couple climbs I do, I will use the XT or VT to get a better feel for the set up.

Having the standing and running parts of the rope so close together is something to get used to. Also putting your hand above your hitch to pull your self up is a little different then the pushing up motion of the 4/2 blakes.

Does anyone use the extended VT or XT set up for long ascents? Such as installing a 24" (I'm guessing on the length) sling between the harness and the knot as featured in the Working Climber. It is my understanding this set up allows the climber to push up the VT or XT just like the 4/2Blakes.
Last edit: 13 years 10 months ago by greenluck.

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13 years 10 months ago #134756 by 2chops
Replied by 2chops on topic Re:Schwabisch vs. Valdetain vs. Distel
Hey moss, I think the "left foot wiggle" shuld be coined and made official. Although Treeman may have a head start on it. I happened to find out a few months ago that he has another nick name that he's known by in certain close company. ;) Ask him about it.
My wife and I go up to Keuka Lake, N.Y. often and they have a thing up there that they call the Keuka wiggle. I'm pretty sure it has nothing to do with tree climbing. So the "left foot wiggle" should be safe from the copyright police. B)

Ron

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13 years 10 months ago #134758 by moss
Replied by moss on topic Re:Schwabisch vs. Valdetain vs. Distel
greenluck wrote:

Does anyone use the extended VT or XT set up for long ascents? Such as installing a 24" (I'm guessing on the length) sling between the harness and the knot as featured in the Working Climber. It is my understanding this set up allows the climber to push up the VT or XT just like the 4/2Blakes.


Yep, many climbers put their hitch on an extension so they can pull under it. There is a point where you have to balance out system complexity vs. how much it's actually helping you climb. If I want to pull below the hitch I'll use a Blakes on a split tail. Usually when I climb Blakes I set the bridge (traditional) or split tail short, one hand pulls above the hitch, the other below (also moves the hitch up), works nice for Blakes climbing.
-moss

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13 years 10 months ago #134761 by 2chops
Replied by 2chops on topic Re:Schwabisch vs. Valdetain vs. Distel
Interresting that you sometimes put one hand above the Blakes and one below. I've done this for years. What I do with this is, the hand that's above the hitch is the one I advance the knot with. For me it's my right hand. With my fingers around the rope, I cradle the tail in the web of my thumb. I pull down on the rope, hold it with my left hand, and advance the Blakes with my right. The fig.8 stopper on the tail makes it easy to grip with the thumb.

I was at a climbers clinic a few years ago and the instructor looked real close at what I was doing. I told him, "Yes I know that you're not supposed to have a hand above the knot, but that's what I do. Besides if I did happen to start sliding down the rope for whatever reason, the tail was already in my hand and all I had to do was give it a tug." He left m alone after that. I wasn't trying to be smart with him. But he knew I was right. It helped to that I said it in a respectful mannor.

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13 years 10 months ago #134762 by moss
Replied by moss on topic Re:Schwabisch vs. Valdetain vs. Distel
2chops wrote:

Interresting that you sometimes put one hand above the Blakes and one below. I've done this for years. What I do with this is, the hand that's above the hitch is the one I advance the knot with. For me it's my right hand. With my fingers around the rope, I cradle the tail in the web of my thumb. I pull down on the rope, hold it with my left hand, and advance the Blakes with my right. The fig.8 stopper on the tail makes it easy to grip with the thumb.

I was at a climbers clinic a few years ago and the instructor looked real close at what I was doing. I told him, "Yes I know that you're not supposed to have a hand above the knot, but that's what I do.


To clarify, when I climb on a Blakes I always have one hand above and one hand below. I don't like pulling with both hands below the hitch, it tilts me back too far, creates more work. I try to remain as vertical as possible during the climbing motion. Grabbing high on the rope provides better leverage and helps the climber keep a more vertical body position as they stand up and advance the hitch. This assumes the climber is using some method to lock the tail with their feet, footloops, Pantin, footlock, whatever.

Climbing techniques are constantly evolving and experienced instructors need to reevaluate accepted concepts (no hands above the hitch for instance). I recently ran a group climb for aboriculture students with their instructor observing, he was all eyes and ears, was seeing technique totally new to him. The students were a little confused at first, I asked them to put aside body thrust for the day, by the end of the climb they were appreciative.
-moss

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13 years 9 months ago #134882 by greenluck
Replied by greenluck on topic Re:Schwabisch vs. Valdetain vs. Distel
Well the day has come to do a full switch from the 4/2 split tail Blakes to the VT hitch set-up.

After working with different wraps, braids, hitch cords and hitch cord lengths for the last couple months I've decided that a VT hitch will be my new everyday climbing system. The new set-up will contain a CMI pulley that I hope to replace soon with a Hitch Climbers Pulley (I like the idea of everything on one connector). I'll also be using a 5/16" 30" beeline eye to eye for the cord.

In most cases I'll be using the CMI foot ascender to help pull line through the friction hitch.

This takes longer to set up initially but it really gets you up in the tree quickly with reduced effort compared to the Blakes.

Thanks to everyone for your help.

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13 years 8 months ago #134942 by slingshot
Replied by slingshot on topic Re:Schwabisch vs. Valdetain vs. Distel
OK, I've lurked about, but now I just want to thank the members of this forum for the wealth of information they so readily supply.

Years ago (1977-78) I worked as a climber with manilla rope and a tautline hitch. I moved on to other ways of making a living, but kept the saddle.

About 9 years ago I bought a new climbing rope (safety blue) and a lowering line to use for my own trees. At that point I switched to a Blakes hitch.

Now, this year, I had reason to do more of my own tree work, but the old saddle was pinching my hips & causing pain, so I bought a New Tribe Pro Gear saddle.

This got me going looking into the current techniques via this and other forums. This particular thread proved most useful.

Gone is my Blakes. I'm now using an XT hitch and foot ascender. What a pleasureable difference! I also ditched my old flipline in favor of a 20' auxilliary climbing line that also uses an XT hitch.

For initial tree entry I now have a slingshot (ergo my forum name) with an open-faced fishing reel attached. I can get it over the 80 foot oaks in my yard and set a climbing line with friction saver in no time.

It's great to learn new stuff & put it to use. The tree tops are like my man-cave in the sky.

Thanks again.

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13 years 8 months ago #134944 by greenluck
Replied by greenluck on topic Re:Schwabisch vs. Valdetain vs. Distel
slingshot wrote:

I also ditched my old flipline in favor of a 20' auxilliary climbing line that also uses an XT hitch.


Welcome Slingshot.

Sounds like you have years of climbing experience to share...

Questions.....Do you attach the aux. climbing line to your side Ds? Or do you use it by attaching to the main tie in point in the saddle? Or a combination of the two? 1/2" or smaller line?

I would have a hard time quiting my traditional flipline usage cold-turkey. But your set-up sounds very interesting.

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13 years 8 months ago #134949 by slingshot
Replied by slingshot on topic Re:Schwabisch vs. Valdetain vs. Distel
[img][IMG]http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff107/russiet/HullFlyMidRes.jpg[/img]Years of experience with lots of big gaps. I work as a mechanical designer now.

The aux climbing line I can use as either a flip on the D's or (more commonly) on the front so I can have a second TIP.

I don't use or even have spurs because on my own property I haven't needed them. So the side D's I use only when I want to lean back for comfort or positioning.

A side note of interest (at least to me) is that I used to sail/race a Hobie Cat. On boats like that you trapeze in a sailing harness to help counter-balance the boat in windy conditions. Between that & tree climbing I'm very used to the trust one builds up in the right equipment. [img/]

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13 years 6 months ago #135009 by gerhard
Replied by gerhard on topic Re:Schwabisch vs. Valdetain vs. Distel
Hi,

I climbed for years with distel. I like the distel because you could make this knot very short. But sometimes when i climbed with heavy chainsaws and much of gear and an older knot, the distel could be a little bit thight. At the moment I use a NE Tachyon, HiVee, XTC for DRT and the Samson Tenex and NE Ocean Polyester as splittail. But be careful with the Tenex, it is melting very fast. But I like Tenex because it is very easy to make spliced eyes. Ocean Polyester has a very long lifetime, but it is difficulter to splice it.

If the distel wouldn't have the problem with heavy loads I would climb the distel. My mind it is safer like the VT. The problem with the VT is, he doesn't close everytime if the knot is not perfect made!

Rec treeclimbing is no competition, so wy should we use the VT?

Regards
Gerhard


(sorry for my english I'm Austrian)

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