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traversing with a pig
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skloppen


Jul 22, 2002, 5:13 PM
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traversing with a pig
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I am new to aid climbing. I am wondering how one hauls the pig after leading a pitch that includes a lengthy traverse.

thanks

from Stefan


hollyclimber


Jul 22, 2002, 5:27 PM
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Before the leader starts hauling the pig, the follower would lower the pig out. Classic example..the king swing on the nose. There are a lot of ways to do this lower out, and the method you use depends on personal preference and the length of the lower out.

Its probably explained on this site somewhere, and its definitely in the "How to Climb Big Walls" book.

Once the bag has been lowered out so that it is directly below the new station, the leader can start hauling. If you choose to let your bag rip across the wall, you risk losing the contents of your bag and possibly the climb.

hgb


bigdan


Jul 22, 2002, 6:19 PM
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When lowering the pig across the traverse to be hauled, you can use a couple of things:

- If you have a spare rope with you, that works, or...

- I usually use a smaller cord, a 6 or 7mm line for just that purpose

A predicament to consider:

If you clip/tie one end of the rope to the pig and lower it out, you'll be stuck holding a rope that's attatched to the pig, with no immediate way of untying it! If you let the rope go, you risk it getting stuck somewhere far below the hanging pig, hundred of feet below the leader at the belay station! This would violate Pete's accurate assertion that you never let ropes blow horizontally in the wind! This is not the Better Way!

This situation is not always a problem. If the pitch is free of rope-snagging features that could gobble up the slack in your rope (unlikely), just clip it to your harness and clean the pitch, keeping it draped between you and your beloved pig.

I do not recommend this, as it creates an unneccesary tangle to mess with.

On the vast majority of traverses, the total horizontal length traversed will be half a rope-length or less (i.e. 100 feet if using 60 m).

I put the middle of my lowering cord through the bag, keeping both ends with me. When the pig is in position, just pull one end to retrieve the rope.

Of course, when you use my method, you risk a similar "stuck-rope situation" with the free 100 foot end of the lowering line. I've never had a problem with this. If there's a snaggable feature beneath/between me and the pig, I just clip it to my harness as described above and deal with it.

Is there a better way to do this?

Also, if the pitch traverses more than half a rope-length, I'd imagine you could tie two ropes together (like you would on a double-rope rappel) and proceed as usual.

Since I've never actually encountered a pitch that traverses horizontally more than 100 feet, I haven't had the need to find a better solution to that problem.

-BigDan


apollodorus


Jul 22, 2002, 6:33 PM
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Usually, you don't need a separate line to lower the pig out. After the leader is ready to haul, you tie a butterfly knot in the haul rope and clip the pig to that. The free end of the haul line is used to lower the bag out. You can either do it by hand, or set up some sort of rappel-type brake. You make sure there is no knot in the end of the haul line, and then toss it after lowering the bag out. Sometimes you'll want to keep the end of the haul line, so you can tug at the pig to free it when it gets stuck under roofs and such. A Petzl swivel is a good idea, to prevent the haul line from getting twisted as the bag rolls across the face.


bigdan


Jul 22, 2002, 8:38 PM
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I agree, if the distance traversed is the same or less than the amount of haul line left over. But what if the pitch is 150 feet long, and traverses 100 feet? You'll only have 50 feet of haul line left over with which to lower the bag out 100 feet. That's why I bring a separate smaller lowering line (only if I expect a big traverse, of course).

Any thoughts?

- BigDan


passthepitonspete


Jul 23, 2002, 2:51 PM
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I think you guys "get it."

There are two ways to lower out the pig - using the haul line as a lower-out line, or using a separate lower-out line.

When Tom and I climbed Excalibur, there were no "long" traverses to lower the pig out on. We used long haul lines, in the order of 62 m, so that we could do as Tom describes. You can do this with a partner, or while soloing. Simply tie the pig in with a butterfly knot as high on the haul line as possible, and use the excess haul line as lower-out line.

There is some risk in the event of heavy winds, since the excess haul line is simply left dangling. Make sure there is no knot in the end of it!

If your haul line is not long enough, or if the traverse is very long, you might need a separate lower-out line. The need for a separate lower-out line is rare. In some instances, like the Knifeblade Traverse on Iron Hawk, you can haul from the station above, thus reducing the need for a big lower-out.

Sometimes, though, you will need a separate lower-out line. There are two ways you can rig this - one where you recover the lower-out line, the other when you don't.

If you don't recover it, then it is attached to the pig, and the free unknotted end dangles in space after being lowered out.

If it is windy, then you may wish to consider recovering the lower-out line.

Have your partner take up the excess haul line, or if soloing, coil it and bag it on the pig.

Next, lower the pig out using a 2:1 lower-out. One end of the lower-out line is attached to the anchor, the other end runs through a rappel device also on the anchor.

Here is your Dr. Piton Tip of the Day for lowering out using a 2:1 - put a carabiner, and nothin' but a carabiner, directly on the haul line above the pig and above your ledge if it is flagged. This way, when you lower the pig out and the pig twists and rolls across the wall, the lower-out line does not tangle. If the lower-out line were to tangle, you could end up with a wind-prone clusterf*ck, which is NOT the Better Way.

I am Dr. Piton,

and sometimes when I "get it," I get it good.

And this is one of those times.

[Intentional misuse of adjective in place of adverb for emphasis]



spiffdog


Jul 23, 2002, 8:59 PM
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Just wondering on the butterfly knot, which I still can't seem to tie with any consistency, is there an advantage to it over the inline eight pictured below?



Partner philbox
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Jul 23, 2002, 9:38 PM
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The inline knot as depicted is a directional knot whereas the alpine butterfly knot is a multi directional knot. Therefore the alpine can be pulled in any direction and not suffer a loss of strength. Definitely a better knot than the inline eight. You`ll really have to hunt somebody up to show you a simple method of tieing an alpine butterfly knot as it`s really too hard to explain.
...Phil...


rmiller


Jul 23, 2002, 9:47 PM
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Just cut the thing loose! I have stopped using lower out lines, as I find them to be a hassle. They always seem to get tangled. The cut away method has worked great. I used this method on the Knife Blade Traverse on Iron Hawk, what a sight to see!! Usually, traverses are not that long, so the bag skipping a few feet doesn't hurt it. Yet, I assume some will "freak" out after hearing this and say never to just cut the bags away. What ever.
Ronnie


tenn_dawg


Jul 24, 2002, 8:10 AM
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Spiff,
Another advantage to the alpine butterfly that I have noticed is that no matter how much you load it, it will not tighten down and become dificult to untie.

I used to use a figure eight variant with a loop to join ropes on long fixed rapells, but by the time you got off of it, the damn thing was so tight, it took 20 minutes to get it loose.

I'd suggest setting down with a length of rope while you are watching TV or something, and tie the butterfly over and over again. There is a great thread on this site called "The Amazing Alpine Butterfly, and the BETTER WAY to Tie It" Look it up, it's the best info on this subject avaliable.

Travis


passthepitonspete


Jul 24, 2002, 8:45 AM
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Spiff,

Unless you want to spend the next ten minutes trying to untie that figure of 8, I highly recommend you learn how to tie the Alpine Butterfly.

You can click here read about the amazing BUTTERFLY knot, and the BETTER WAY to tie it.

While Ronnie's method is perfectly fine on overhanging routes where your pig won't hit anything, it is not exactly a good idea if your pig will go crashing into a dihedral and disembowel itself.

Using a long haul line tied short with a butterfly, and then lowering out, is actually an extremely fast and easy operation that you will do again and again in less than two minutes.

It's cheap insurance.


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