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aeray


Dec 29, 2006, 11:08 AM
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Registered: Jul 15, 2003
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desending fixed lines
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While reading ed viesturs new book, I, an experienced trad climber and occasional beginner mountaineer became confused when he mentioned using a figure 8 to self belay on fixed ropes. I have only ever used prusiks or ascenders. What exactly is he talking about? any help appreciated.


angusmacginny


Dec 29, 2006, 2:21 PM
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Re: [aeray] desending fixed lines [In reply to]
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Ascenders work great for going up, they are not so effective going down. Prussiks are a pain in the ass when your hands are really cold and you are wearing big gloves. I cant see anyone using them. A figure 8 if you rig it right will give just enough friction to allow you to catch a fall if you misstep, and will slide fairly easily. I would guess this is what is used on long moderate icy slopes and not near vertical stuff. It wont hold you if you pass out, but it will prevent you from rocketing to your death.


dalfollo


Dec 30, 2006, 1:51 AM
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Re: [angusmacginny] desending fixed lines [In reply to]
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a figure 8 can be rigged on a fixed line with a bight of rope....when both ends are...well, fixed...


aeray


Dec 31, 2006, 12:56 AM
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thanks. would the 8 be rigged as if for rapping/belaying?


dalfollo


Dec 31, 2006, 1:01 AM
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Yes, in the way you would use the figure eight for rapping...not like you might use a figure 8 small hole as a stitch plate...does that make sense?


aeray


Dec 31, 2006, 9:21 AM
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I think I get it. Thanks. As you fall, the 8 rotates to become "parallel" to the rope, just like locking it off while belaying. It seems like it would be a bitch to get it on and off the rope though, and to pass intermediate protection.


aeray


Mar 1, 2007, 10:57 PM
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Just got a e-mail from Ed Viesturs. Yup, thread it just as if for rappel, but only on really steep stuff. On lower angle stuff use an arm wrap. Haven't tried the 8 yet, still seems weird


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