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20

The simple answer is the weight of your rope. When you're at the top of a pitch, you will have the full weight of 60m of static line below you, braking on your device. As you move down the rope, there is less and less rope below you, ergo less weight and friction on the braking end of your device. To avoid this, as well as any possible rope entanglements ...


10

First some general dangers not related to melting: Burning your hands braking on the rope (can also happen with semiautomatic descenders like a grigri due to reflex) Uncontrolled impact on the rock Without a backup knot (e.g. prusik) and with a passive descender (e.g. tuber, eight) you may let go of the rope due to the heat induced pain or when impacting ...


9

Was it safe? Yes, you were not in any danger here (unless your tree was a Charlie Brown Christmas tree). Was it the best thing to do? No, for a couple of reasons, the most important being that it does not comply with leave not trace ethics, and can badly scar the tree. It's also no good for your rope, dragging your rope through dirt and sap can ...


9

Climbing Magazine has an article about this situation. The basic game plan is to build an improvised tube device with four carabiners. The picture from the article is pretty clear: You can also do a carabiner wrap. It really is as simple as it seems you just wrap the rope around the spine of a carabiner until you get the friction you need/want. This will ...


8

Carabiner Braking Device You can make a braking device using only carabiners, which is how things were done before tubular devices, or braking plates: Source: Freedom of the Hills


8

I believe the "commando rappel" was invented by the military (special forces) though I can find no history of this. My understanding of the idea is that it allows you to rappel fast, gives you a free hand (to hold a weapon, handgun, etc) and allows you to see where you're going. So it's basically designed for rappelling into military situations. Unless ...


4

If you have an ice axe, you can make a setup similar to the standard "carabiner braking device" - use the ice-axe instead of the additional carabiner. With this setup, you can get away with using just one carabiner. Also, (not directly related to the question) it helps if you cannot use your braking device because your rope got soaked with water and froze. ...


4

I love these situations "It tried it once, and it worked, must be safe"...... I am so glad aviation and car industry don't work that way. The answer has to be No, its not safe with ropes of different dimensions. Its also not safe with ropes of the same dimension. Which is less safe - I don't know and I don't care and neither should you. There is one place ...


4

An Aussie rappel is useful for when you need to see and work going forward. It's particularly useful on steep slopes, not just down vertical or extreme slopes you are going to run down. You may need to clear brush down a steep slope, working in front of you as you go, something you obviously can't do if you aren't forward facing and able to stand safely. ...


4

You do not say what size tree, but to me big means something like 1/2 meter or more diameter trunk. Presuming a living tree with no obvious movement of the roots the tree was infinitely stronger than your quick draw or chains or bolts holding them to the rocks. "Was it safe" is not the right question "was it safer than what I already accepted as safe enough" ...


3

Short answer: If the tree is a living and thick one, then it was OK. That being said, there are several reasons you should had done a proper anchor with multiple points (trees, in this case) and equalized, and then walked back again to the top. One simple drawback of your approach is, that the friction between the rope and the tree trunk, when you recall ...


2

I think you invented a new knot, or at least one that is decently documented (my non-trivial search came up empty). Regardless, the bigger question (as others pointed out in the comments) is how it handles in various tests, and whether it fares better, worse, or on par with the flat overhand bend. Even if it was previously named, it may not have been tested ...


1

This is basically a supplemental to imsodin's answer. In Marine Corps boot camp about 15 years ago I remember one of the instructors demonstrated in dramatic fashion how safe rappelling on the tower was due to the presence of a belayer below. The instructor took a flying leap off the tower and the belayer was able to stop his fall. Given that free fall is ...



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