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addiroids


Feb 5, 2002, 2:31 PM
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Ask Dr. Pee'd On...How to pass a knot on rappel
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Dear Doc,

As someone who has done this, I have my way, but I would like to know The Better Way!!

Basically I got on 2 jumars, moved my rap device below the knot, and down-jumarred until I came tight on the rap device below the knot. Then I got off the jumars and removed them from the rope.

I also have another question. How can I pass a knot while rapping with the PIG. Sure, I do that the better way but what if I have to pass a knot?? Do I set up a "Station" with 1-2 friction knots above the knot to anchor the bag?? I really have no idea. I sure wouldn't want to be on jumars with 250 pounds of geeeer hanging from myself.

So please enlighten us O' Great Master of ThE BiG StOnE.

TRADitionally yours,

Addiroids


beta


Feb 5, 2002, 4:33 PM
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Dear Dr. Pee’d On,

It was with shock and dismay that I read a recent edition of a widely known climbing publication.

There for the world to see was Traditional Big Wall Technology being offered as cutting edge information. AAAAAARRRRGGGGGHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!, MY EYES.

My massive bollocks shrieked in terror and shrivelled to the size of raisins at the mere sight of someone rappelling with a huge swine dangling below them.

Doctor, you have indeed shown us the Better Way, and riding that pig will allow me to provide the requested baby brother and/or sister my daughter has been asking for. As we all know from being devoted followers of the Better Way, working hard and getting dead are not recommended. Also, I would miss my bollocks, as they are bitchin’ and did I mention massive?

Perhaps the Big Wall Theorists that publish such drivel would be better served to replace the technical editor with someone who is at the cutting edge, and can write, Hmmmmmmm Pete?

I was delighted, when re-visiting The thread that enlightened us all to the Better Way, and saw your swift and comprehensive response. It occurred to me as I reflected on the image of someone rappelling with several hundred pounds of swineage hanging off his bollocks, “how the hell do you cross over the knot between two ropes on rappel with so much weight”?

Inquiring minds want to know













[ This Message was edited by: beta on 2002-02-05 17:14 ]


passthepitonspete


Feb 5, 2002, 8:33 PM
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Gentlemen,

Thank you for your well-posed and well-crafted questions.

I will answer this question in two parts:


How to cross a knot while on rappel

How to cross a knot while rappeling with a pig


PART 1

HOW TO CROSS A KNOT WHILE ON RAPPEL

This is the easy bit, and for the most part, you guys "get it."

First of all, let's make a few assumptions:


We are crossing a knot that joins two single ropes

There is no reason you would ever need to cross a knot while rappelling a double rope

We are carrying a very lightweight and easily-managed load

We are ALWAYS attached to the rope by at least TWO POINTS OF CONTACT!


If you are doing the rigging, then you should try to make a few things happen:


You should set it up so you don't have to cross a knot! Crossing a knot sucks! A rebelay is much easier to cross!

You should tie a knot that is easy to untie after it has been weighted

You should tie a knot that has a clip-in point included


A better way way to join two ropes together is to start as usual - join the two ropes together with a figure of eight knot, and back up the ends with a "half a double fisherman's knot.

[Question: Does a "half a double fisherman's knot backup" have a proper name?]

Do NOT tie the ropes together with a double fisherman's knot, or you will spend all your time trying to untie it!

After you tie your regular figure of eight with backups, simply tie an alpine butterfly knot such that the figure of eight is in the middle of the loop formed by the butterfly knot.

Clever, eh?

This knot is both secure and easily untied, even after loaded by your and your pig.

It also provides you with a clip-in loop.

Please click here to see a photo of the BETTER WAY to join two ropes together.

Next, you need to make sure you have all the stuff you need:


Harness, descendeur, and locker (duh)

Cow's tail (cavers' term for a quick draw on your harness - a supplementary clip-in point. The ideal cow's tail is your adjustable daisy

Two of any combination of ascender and/or compound pulley and/or microscender or Tibloc and/or prusik cord, which will allow you to safely attach yourself to the weighted rope, and each with its own crab

If using prusik cord, knowledge of how to tie a Klemheist Knot, which is a prusik knot tied a better way. Dead easy to tie, just wrap the thing around the rope four or five times from bottom up, and pass the long end on the bottom through the short end on top. An asymmetric prusik with superior holding power that you can rig in a pinch with a regular sling

Two aiders, one clipped into each point of attachment to the rope.

If you do not have aiders, then you should make yourself a "ladder" you can stand in, by girth hitching three or four standard shoulder-length slings together. You need a "ladder" to stand in for each of your two points of attachment to the rope.


Note:

A rappel backup is highly recommended by Dr. Piton. This could be one of your jugs or your "prusik".



HOW TO CROSS THE KNOT

Rappel down towards the knot slowly, and look to make sure the knot is indeed there! Don't laugh - people die in the mountains by rappelling off the end of their rope!

Stop just above the knot

Attach your cow's tail to the loop in the knot. If there is not a loop in the knot itself, then you MUST reach down, pull up some slack in the lower end of the rope, and tie a loop into which you may now clip. If you do this, put the clip-in loop about three metres below the knot to give yourself some room in which to work

Connect your two points of attachment to the rope, and remove your descendeur

Remember that you must ALWAYS be attached to the rope by at least two points of contact at all times!

There is NO rule 6!

No poofdahs!

"Reverse jumar" down across the knot - this will involve moving your two points of contact, one at a time, below the knot, and standing in the "ladders" attached to each

Once you are beneath the knot, re-attach your descendeur. Don't forget your backup!

With great fear and trepidation and thought, remove your points of attachment from the rope. Keep thinking!

You are now attached by merely your cow's tail and descendeur. Time to add that rappel backup, eh?

Take one final look, and when you are finished, look again

Unclip your cow's tail

If you reached down to tie a clip-in loop, then you should untie it lest you come to grief

Carry on down


If you've done it correctly, then Bob's your uncle!



Now, ladies and germs, that was the easy bit! Think about how the heck you're going to do that when you are rapping with your two-hundred-and-fifty-pound pig!



Cheers,

Dr. Piton

[ This Message was edited by: passthepitonspete on 2002-12-17 17:09 ]


passthepitonspete


Feb 6, 2002, 1:18 PM
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Part 2

Holy frig. A hundred hits on an unanswered post!

You guys must be hungry, eh?

Thanks y'all. I'll get to this asap! Promise! I'm skiing this weekend, and have this massive quilting project underway, but I'll get to it as soon as I can!

If you're bored, then you may wish to click here and follow the LINKS.


Partner rrrADAM


Feb 8, 2002, 1:57 PM
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Pete,

I'd like to know how to pass a knot on rappel as well. Since I prefer to Trad climb, I don't even own ascenders. How can I safely do this ???


~Adam


reno


Feb 8, 2002, 2:10 PM
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Once again, you'll have to forgive my ignorance....

Couldn't you tie a 1) Prussik, 2) Kleimheist, or 3) Bachmann above the knot, clip into that, and unattach the rap device. Move your rap device (I use an ATC) below the knot, re-secure into that device, un attach from the Prussik/Kleimheist/Bachmann, and continue to rap down?

Or am I once again missing something?

Best,

JRB


beta


Feb 13, 2002, 7:36 PM
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Nice job Pete, waiting anxiously for part 2.

It is also obvious that you were raised on the right kind of television, fanny's your aunt.

by the way rule #16.................



no poofdah's


beta


bshaftoe


Feb 13, 2002, 11:02 PM
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Quote:
Couldn't you tie a 1) Prussik, 2) Kleimheist, or 3) Bachmann above the knot, clip into that, and unattach the rap device. Move your rap device (I use an ATC) below the knot, re-secure into that device, un attach from the Prussik/Kleimheist/ Bachmann, and continue to rap down?


You certainly could rely on a single friction knot, but maintaining at least two points of contact is the better way. (And much more safe, you have to think of every possible thing that could go wrong. At the very least, tie and use the knot passing knot.)

Quote:
After you tie your regular figure of eight with backups, simply tie an alpine butterfly knot such that the figure of eight is in the middle of the loop formed by the butterfly knot.

Clever, eh?

Absolutely brilliant, especially because you can tie the butterfly after the initial knot has been tied. The sometimes overlooked butterfly knot is very useful to know. I use it (and a mule knot) on the dead end of my slackline. If some readers don't know what a butterfly knot is, here are some links:
How to tie a butterfly knot.
Cool double butterfly knot.
Triple butterfly.
Slackline setup with butterfly.

Quote:
[Question: Does a "half a double fisherman's knot backup" have a proper name?]


I believe that half a double fishermans is a half-hitch. (Or overhand?)

My $0.02

-Shaft

[ This Message was edited by: bshaftoe on 2002-02-14 08:59 ]


gunked


Feb 14, 2002, 1:32 AM
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rrradam, in answer to your question, a few things can be done to mimic ascenders.
1 - using a standard length runner as the good Dr. discussed. Kleimheist or Bachmann knot. As a trad climber, I believe it is imperative to know one of these knots. In case of emergency and you need to escape the belay, knowing how to use one of these knots will save your partner's butt. Who the hell carries ascenders on a trad climb when you're trying to go light? Anyway, use one of these knots in lieu of an ascender and follow the Doc's advice for passing the knot.

2 - Another method is to drop the dough on a mini-ascender. A ropeman or something similar. These little guys don't weigh much (about as much as a medium stopper) and can be invaluable at times.

3 - Yet another method is to have some cord handy for a prusik. I don't use this method, except for a backup on walls, so my measurements may be a bit off as I'm not the most experienced wall rat. I believe the cord should be 5 or 6 mm line and about 8 - 10 ft long. Tie the ends together with opposing triple fisherman's knots. My first time aid-climbing was solo up a fifty foot overhanging face. I didn't have ascenders, so I used prusiks in their place. A bit slower but work beautifully after you get used to them.

ABOVE ALL ELSE : PRACTICE RESCUE TECHNIQUES BEFORE YOU NEED THEM!!! You can practice this in your basement if nothing else, but it's important that you understand the rig before the fit hits the shan! Minutes may count after a bad leader fall.

I hope that helped and I didn't get too side-tracked in my answer.

[ This Message was edited by: gunked on 2002-02-14 01:44 ]


passthepitonspete


Feb 14, 2002, 3:35 PM
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A couple comments:

Unless you have three points of attachement to the rope, you will have to tie a backup knot

Ascenders are mechanical, and DO FAIL from time to time

A single point of attachement is NEVER enough

You do not have to drop much dough to buy a Petzl Tibloc, which will cost you about $19 U.S.

Of course, the Mountain Equipment Co-op is the better way, and sells the Tibloc for $25 Cdn. = ~$15.50 U.S.

The amazing butterfly knot renders the figure eight loop obsolete, is extremely useful on walls, and is fundamental to many of Dr. Piton's systems

The butterfly knot is a pain to tie if done in the traditional method described in the link above

There is a BETTER WAY to tie the butterfly knot, and you can click here to learn how

There is always a better way


Cheers,

Dr. Piton


bshaftoe


Mar 19, 2002, 5:24 PM
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Doc,

I had (as usual) a couple of questions about your knot crossing technique.

How do you maintain two points of contact once you remove your descending device. (And after clipping your cows tail into the loop.) You describe clipping the aiders into the rope, but I can't visualize how you maintain the two points of contact if you are merely standing in the aiders.

Unless you use the method described here:

Quote:
Next you must connect your aiders to your daisy by using your Designated Aider Locker. Assuming you are using two aiders per daisy, then you must make sure that your locker goes through both aiders through the same two loops as your lead carabiner. Note that the carabiners do not connect directly to each other, but simply pass through the same two loops of the aiders.

From: Ask Dr. Piton .... about moving systems

Then you would have a daisy attached to the aiders. Otherwise, losing your balance and falling backwards out of the aiders would only leave you with one point of contact - the cows tail clipped to the loop - right?

(Unless you reached down and tied a backup knot, then you would maintain two points of contact, but wouldn't that require another cows tail for redundancy?)

Thanks in advance,

-Shaft

[ This Message was edited by: bshaftoe on 2002-03-19 19:29 ]


passthepitonspete


Mar 19, 2002, 7:01 PM
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Um, I'm not quite sure I "get" what you "don't get"....

You reach the knot, you clip in with your cow's tail, you have a jug on each aider, and you clip these into the rope, right?

Then you take off your descendeur, right?

You do "get" that each of your aider/jug assemblies is attached to you by a daisy, right? This is a fundamental premise.

So you're attached by your cow's tail, and your two jugs.

You reverse jug down over the knot. At any given time you are attached by [one jug + aider(s) + daisy] and your cow's tail.
Yes, this will involve standing in one foot in your aider as you step down. It is a bit athletic.

I think you're missing something, mate. Have another look. Tell me what you missed.

It's hard to visualize this stuff reading it in prose, so it's easy to misunderstand. It's also possible I didn't explain something properly!

Cheers,

Dr. Piton

dreaming of daffodils....



beyond_gravity


Mar 19, 2002, 7:14 PM
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How do you stop your pig sling from bashing into your testicals?


Partner rrrADAM


Mar 26, 2002, 10:40 AM
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Read our very own addiroids' (Paul Addison) letter in the new issue of Climbing. He had to share the better way with the fine people who write Tech Tips.


rrrADAM
p.s. Paul, you gonna sign my copy ???


crazywacky


Mar 26, 2002, 12:27 PM
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I'm not sure if this was answered yet, but a "Half a Double Fisherman's" is Fisherman's Knot.

Used for tying the tackle (swivel, weight, etc.) on the end of your fishing line. It only takes one knot. The Double is for joing two lines together. Of same or differing sizes.

At least that's what I learned form my Dad, Fisherman Extraordinaire.


passthepitonspete


Mar 26, 2002, 1:17 PM
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JEREMY!

Get with the program, dude!

Sheesh.

You can click here to read Paul's letter to Climbing Mag.

Be sure to scroll down on the first link, the one with the squirrel, so you can see what Dr. Piton's response was to the Big Wall Theory purported in Climbing Magazine. It is the post in blue at the bottom.

Cheers,

Dr. Piton,

who is a rather accomplished fisherman himself.


passthepitonspete


Mar 30, 2002, 11:03 AM
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Please click here to see a photo of the BETTER WAY to join two ropes together.

If you think this is the bitchin'est damn knot you have ever seen, then please vote the photo accordingly!

Cheers,

Dr. Piton


passthepitonspete


Apr 9, 2002, 7:34 PM
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Here is a REALLY SWELL DIAGRAM by Bob Shaftoe of how to cross a knot while on rappel.



I guess I have to tell you how to do it, now, while riding a two-hundred-and twenty-pound pig, eh?

[And no, I am NOT talking about my ex-wife....]

[ This Message was edited by: passthepitonspete on 2002-12-17 07:02 ]


fishypete


Apr 10, 2002, 12:52 AM
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Hey Doc,

I dont know about the rest of the climbing world, but I sure have been waiting anxiously for the next installment.....

Give it up man! I dont know if I can wait much longer!

Fishy.

(PS: Good to see that your back in cyber-land again!)


passthepitonspete


Jul 1, 2002, 5:36 PM
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Thanks to philbox for this excellent link showing you

HOW TO PASS A KNOT

while either ascending or descending.

Swell though this entire article is, I draw great exception to using the Traditional double fisherman's knot plus loop to join the two ropes together. You will not be a happy caver when you try to untie it.

Dr. Piton aficionados, however, know The Better Way to join two ropes.



[ This Message was edited by: passthepitonspete on 2002-12-16 21:31 ]


passthepitonspete


Dec 17, 2002, 9:21 PM
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PART 2

HOW TO CROSS A KNOT WHILE RIDING THE PIG

The first thing you will need to do is to refresh your memory. Please click here to Ask Dr. Piton ...... about how to rappel with a very heavy load?

You need to set up your Pig Riding Rig exactly as you see below:



To the list of stuff you need from page one of this post, you must also add the list of stuff you need from the pig riding post.

The most important thing you need to have is the Docking Tether rigged on your pig as you see above.

Remember, both you and your pig will be hanging off of this Docking Tether, so there are a few things you must check:

Verify that your cord is of the correct dimensions. You and your pig are very heavy, and I would highly recommend you beef up to at least 7mm cord, which is what I use

The Docking Tether really does have to be made from a piece of cord at least 5 m long! You very much need this extra length when crossing the knot with your pig!

Very carefully inspect this cord. Your life is attached to it. Check for nicks and abrasions

Very carefully inspect the end of the bight where it attaches to the crab - this is the place that can get pinched, and is the most likely place to abrade


Right then - time to saddle up yer pig, and rap on down to that thar knot. Remember - you are the boss - you control your pig, and your knot is there to help you, and not hinder you.

There is one further thing I would like you to keep in mind during this process:

Be very careful that you never create tension in your jugs, slings, or cow's tail. The only thing that should be under tension is your docking tether, and your attachment to it. If you get tension in anything else, you may end up hosed by the enormous weight of your pig!


Rappel down towards the knot slowly, and look to make sure the knot is indeed there! Don't laugh - people die in the mountains by rappelling off the end of their rope!

Stop with your pig's rap device just above the knot. Remember, it's your pig that's on rappel, not you. It is possible that you may have two rap devices owing to the extra weight. It's important to get your rappel device fairly close to the top of the knot. Whatever you do, do NOT let your rappel device hit the knot! If you do, you are [in Dr. Piton parlance] buggered. You will have a helluva time trying to get your rap device off the rope! By "just above" I mean close to the knot, but not so close that you can't undo your rappel device once unweighted. A foot or so above the knot is about right

Lock off your rap device so it does not slip. This is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT! If you and your pig slip into the knot, you cannot reverse this move!

Take one of your jugs off of its designated sling or adjustable daisy, and attach the jug to the rope about a foot above your rappel device. You can't have the jug on a sling, or you will later hose yourself - see below. Keep your other jug with you as you will need it. It's best to use the lower ascender [usually]Croll
] for this purpose - you will need to use your other jug [the one with the footloop] below

Put a crab directly on the jug

Take the Docking Tether and tie a load release knot into the crab on the jug, thus securing you and your pig to the jug. Be sure to tie this as short as possible, and make sure that the munter is in the correct orientation so it doesn't "flip" under weight. There should be no slack in your Docking Tether

Attach your cow's tail to the loop in the knot. If there is not a loop in the knot itself, then you MUST reach down, pull up some slack in the lower end of the rope, and tie a loop into which you may now clip. If you do this, put the clip-in loop about three metres below the knot to give yourself some room in which to work

Take a really close look at everything - you are about to remove your rap device from the rope! Be certain you are happy about this. Do note that the weight of you and your pig are now secured to a single jug

After checking again, undo the backup on your rappel device and "continue rappelling" the few inches it takes to unweight the rap device, and to transfer all of the weight to the Docking Tether

Pull up a bit of slack in the rope, and disconnect your descendeur from the rope

Remember that you must ALWAYS be attached to the rope by at least two points of contact!

There is NO "reverse jumaring" down across the knot - you can't do this with a pig!

Reach down beneath you, pull up some slack in the rope, and re-attach your rappel device to the rope DIRECTLY BENEATH THE KNOT. Do not attach it any lower!

Now that your rap device is attached to the rope beneath the knot, LOCK IT OFF! Remember, you are about to put a lot of weight onto it, and you don't want to have it slip, and have you end up sliding down and becoming hosed on your cow's tail!

With great fear and trepidation and thought, carefully undo your load release knot, and slowly lower yourself and your pig onto your rap device. Keep thinking! Use the munter to slowly lower yourself down. It should become apparent at this point why you need a long Docking Tether

The weight of both you and your pig should now be hanging from your descendeur. Your cow's tail provides backup

At this point you should now be staring upward at your jug which remains attached to the rope above the knot, presumably completely out of your reach of you hang helplessly from your pig beneath.

You will have to lengthen your attachment to the pig - which is easy if it's your adjustable daisy - or else you will have to attach a separate longer sling

Next, clip your other jug [the one with the footloop] onto the rope somewhere so you can use it to stand up and remove the upper jug
Take one final look, and when you are finished, look again

Unclip your cow's tail. Do not forget to do this or you will get hosed!

If you tied a loop in the rope because you couldn't clip your cow's tail into the knot, then you should untie the loop lest you come to further grief

Carry on down, slowly and in control



Does this sound complicated?

Well it should, because it is. It is one of the more difficult rope tricks you will ever perform.

But hey, look at the bright side - you can learn how to do this right now.

*I* had to figure it out three hundred feet in the air when taken by surprise halfway down the East Ledges descent of El Cap!



I am Dr. Piton -

don't do as I do - do as I say


dirko


Dec 17, 2002, 10:03 PM
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Dear Dr. Piton: About step 22...


Correct me if I am wrong here, but won't it be a wee bit difficult to untie the knot you theoretically tied on a bight if you are under that knot (and consequently weighting the rope)? How do you remedy this situation?


Also, instead of tying a bight in the rope for your cow's tail, could you just clip into a 3rd jug? Because this seems like a removable option to me.


Hope I haven't missed something blatantly obvious...


curt


Dec 17, 2002, 10:30 PM
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OK Pete,

I understand all about passing the knot on rappell. But, as I am entering my geriatric climbing years, I really need to know the proper way to pass a kidney stone on rappell. Any advice?

Curt


passthepitonspete


Dec 17, 2002, 11:07 PM
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Dirko:

You missed step 7. The backup knot is tied three metres below the knot attaching the two ropes.

But your second comment is valid - an extra jug would certainly be easier.

Curt:

Use your belay knife. It'll put a quicker end to your suffering.


taxexile


Dec 18, 2002, 12:36 AM
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What! Something useful on the site? [Sean Connery Goldfinger voice] "I must be dreaming."

However, being a lazy bastard, I'm not sure I have the concentration to make it all the way to Step 237. Isn't the better way just to undo the munter and let the pig fly - especially when it isn't your's?

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