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TOPIC: Munter mule, why not?

Munter mule, why not? 13 years 1 month ago #126435

  • mateo12
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I've been climbing for a little while now, and I've co-led a few climbs for an outting club I belong to. What we generally do is set up a Munter Mule at the TIP for ascending SRT (since we haven't had the funds to purchase an arborist line, all our work is SRT). However, I have yet to see this in any literature about SRT. If you tie the end to the same tree or another with a running bowline or the like, you won't be able to get that knot undone if there is an emergency. Or if you are climbing a 100' tree with a 200' rope. So why not set up a munter mule at the tie point so if need be, someone needs to get another rope and explode the mule and belay you.

One question on SRT, is it better to tie the line on a neighbowing tree, or the same tree? I would figure the tension on the branch caused by a neighboring tree tie off would be much greater, but I could be mistaken. Let me know what you think!

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13 years 1 month ago #126441

You're saying to put the munter up in the tree? Why not put it at the base of the tree so it can be undone if need be.

Would you like a lanyard spliced up, or anything else for that matter??? Give me a call- 323-384-7770 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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13 years 1 month ago #126442

  • Patrick
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Here is a link that shows how to do the Munter Mule (Munter hitch with the Mule as a tie off). Mateo, is this what you are using?

On Rope discusses tying off to a nearby tree. A nearby tree should produce less force than tying to the same tree. When on the same tree, the "tied" (versus the "climbing") side of the rope is pretty much vertical. Thus, all of the "tied" side's force is pulling straight down. If you can get the "tied" side of the rope less vertical by tying it to a nearby tree, less of the force is vertical and more of it is horizontal. (For our purposes, we don't really care about the horizontal force right now.) So, there is less downward force on the TIP.

You also have to remember that the branch is subjected to about twice as much weight when it is tied to the base of the tree or to another tree. When the rope is secured at the TIP, the branch only experiences your weight. You can search for prior discussions about this topic.

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11 years 4 months ago #130467

  • ClimbinMontreal
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I also set up a Munter at the anchor of an SRT installation so that I can lower someone who is having trouble ascending, changing-over, etc. What I don't like about the Mule lockoff (and the Half-hitch lock-off as well) is that alarming little jerk as the slipknot comes undone. Does anyone use another sort of load-releasing hitch such as a Mariner or Radium for this application? My next time out I'm planning to install a biner on a prusik on my working line near the anchor, and then lock off the munter with a few wraps through this biner and the anchor... something like a Radium hitch but using the working line instead of a separate cord.

Thoughts? The munter in any form is pretty much fine for a one-person lower -- but I like to tinker, what can I say!
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Re:Munter mule, why not? 11 years 3 months ago #130655

  • ron
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From what I've seen, load releasing hitches such as the Radium are to release loads, not lower them, well, not lower them far at least.

There are a couple of really interesting ways to set up rope so a climber could be lowered from the ground, conditions in the tree permitting. One way is to cinch the trunk of the tree with a short piece of rope. One end of the short rope would have a F8 with a bight (a loop knot) in it and a biner clipped in to the bight. Wrap the rope around the tree and clip the biner on to the rope to form a cinch. Tie another F8 with a bight just above the biner and clip either a Grigri, even better an I'D, or a micro-rack to the second F8 loop with a biner. If you use a micro-rack you have to tie it off, but it shouldn't 'bump' when you untie it.

The climbing rope goes over the TIP, back down to the ground and through the grigri, I'D, or rack. This method allows a climber to be lowered all the way to the ground, from the ground, IF the climbing rope is long enough. E.g. If the climb goes 50' high, you'd need at least 150' of rope. 100' to go up and back down the tree, and another 50' in reserve to use for lowering.

I've even tied two ropes together (just above the friction/locking device) to form a 'longer' rope from two shorter ropes. Of course, if the climber has gone over/around limbs, it is possible that he could come down on the wrong side of a limb or get hung.
Last Edit: 11 years 3 months ago by ron.
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