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What knot for escaping a belay with skinny doubles?
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NoSoup4U


Jul 20, 2009, 3:54 AM
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What knot for escaping a belay with skinny doubles?
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Quick question for practitionners of the double rope technique: what knot do you use to escape your belay, when using a tube device (such as a BD Guide) when you use skinny ropes? I got two Petzl Dragonfly (love them) recently but they are so thin and slippery that I now feel a bit uncomfortable doing a Muenter Mule knot with both strands.
It is hard to cinch nice and tight, and the stopper knot plays to great a role for my comfort level (a stopper knot should just be a back-up - and not be there to help hold the mule together).

What are your suggestions or experience with this? Do you know of a good reference for this?

Thanks!


patto


Jul 20, 2009, 5:54 AM
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Re: [NoSoup4U] What knot for escaping a belay with skinny doubles? [In reply to]
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Doesn't a Munter-Mule requrire you to be belaying with the munter in the first place?

Either way please describe how you are bringing up your second. Without knowing your method we cannot comment.

If you don't trust a mule with two overhands then use three or use a carabiner to attache the loop to the standing end. I don't see why you would want a stopper know.


(This post was edited by patto on Jul 20, 2009, 6:00 AM)


qwert


Jul 20, 2009, 12:44 PM
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Re: [patto] What knot for escaping a belay with skinny doubles? [In reply to]
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What exactly are you trying to say and what do you want to know?
A munter knot is a "belay device". Do you want to rappel with it? Or do you want to join ropes with it? First thing would be possible, but strenuous, to say the least, second thing is not going to work (U R GUNNA DYE 111!!!!eleven!!1).

qwert


tarsier


Jul 20, 2009, 1:12 PM
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Re: [NoSoup4U] What knot for escaping a belay with skinny doubles? [In reply to]
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Try wrapping the bight of rope through the loop that finishes the mule (and also wrapping around the main strand) an extra time or two.

I assume you're talking about using the BD Guide in regular (belaying the leader, not autoblock) mode.


bill413


Jul 20, 2009, 1:13 PM
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Re: [NoSoup4U] What knot for escaping a belay with skinny doubles? [In reply to]
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NoSoup4U wrote:
Quick question for practitionners of the double rope technique: what knot do you use to escape your belay, when using a tube device (such as a BD Guide) when you use skinny ropes? I got two Petzl Dragonfly (love them) recently but they are so thin and slippery that I now feel a bit uncomfortable doing a Muenter Mule knot with both strands.
It is hard to cinch nice and tight, and the stopper knot plays to great a role for my comfort level (a stopper knot should just be a back-up - and not be there to help hold the mule together).

What are your suggestions or experience with this? Do you know of a good reference for this?

Thanks!
I just go with the mule knot - maybe tie an extra backup knot. I would probably do it with just one of the ropes, so the other would be available for whatever use I could make of it. After all, the single rope should be able to support the climber.

BTW - Munter-mule is actually two knots. The mule knot is the one that is actually locking off the belay. And to the other posters, it can be used with any belay device - not just the HMS belay.


Partner cracklover


Jul 20, 2009, 2:23 PM
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Re: [bill413] What knot for escaping a belay with skinny doubles? [In reply to]
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bill413 wrote:
NoSoup4U wrote:
Quick question for practitionners of the double rope technique: what knot do you use to escape your belay, when using a tube device (such as a BD Guide) when you use skinny ropes? I got two Petzl Dragonfly (love them) recently but they are so thin and slippery that I now feel a bit uncomfortable doing a Muenter Mule knot with both strands.
It is hard to cinch nice and tight, and the stopper knot plays to great a role for my comfort level (a stopper knot should just be a back-up - and not be there to help hold the mule together).

What are your suggestions or experience with this? Do you know of a good reference for this?

Thanks!
I just go with the mule knot - maybe tie an extra backup knot. I would probably do it with just one of the ropes, so the other would be available for whatever use I could make of it. After all, the single rope should be able to support the climber.

BTW - Munter-mule is actually two knots. The mule knot is the one that is actually locking off the belay. And to the other posters, it can be used with any belay device - not just the HMS belay.

That^^^

If your mule knot is slipping with doubles, you're doing it wrong.

GO


dan2see


Jul 20, 2009, 2:46 PM
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Re: [cracklover] What knot for escaping a belay with skinny doubles? [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
...If your mule knot is slipping with doubles, you're doing it wrong.

Just to expand on "wrong" --
To tie your mule knot, you make a loop and pass the bight through. If you do the loop on the wrong side of your rope, or if you pass the bight the wrong way through, your "mule" might look right, but it will slip.

The mule shouldn't slip. The keeper is not there to stop the slip, it's to prevent the mule from loosening.

So find the instructions for the mule-and-overhand, and see if maybe you're tying it backward.


trenchdigger


Jul 20, 2009, 2:50 PM
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Re: [cracklover] What knot for escaping a belay with skinny doubles? [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
bill413 wrote:
NoSoup4U wrote:
Quick question for practitionners of the double rope technique: what knot do you use to escape your belay, when using a tube device (such as a BD Guide) when you use skinny ropes? I got two Petzl Dragonfly (love them) recently but they are so thin and slippery that I now feel a bit uncomfortable doing a Muenter Mule knot with both strands.
It is hard to cinch nice and tight, and the stopper knot plays to great a role for my comfort level (a stopper knot should just be a back-up - and not be there to help hold the mule together).

What are your suggestions or experience with this? Do you know of a good reference for this?

Thanks!
I just go with the mule knot - maybe tie an extra backup knot. I would probably do it with just one of the ropes, so the other would be available for whatever use I could make of it. After all, the single rope should be able to support the climber.

BTW - Munter-mule is actually two knots. The mule knot is the one that is actually locking off the belay. And to the other posters, it can be used with any belay device - not just the HMS belay.

That^^^

If your mule knot is slipping with doubles, you're doing it wrong.

GO

Exactly!

http://www.animatedknots.com/muntermule/index.php

If you're worried about being able to control the load on a double rope with just a munter (maybe your partner is a fat-ass?) use a double munter (aka. "monster" munter).

http://www.acmgguides.com/...mviewfaq.asp?faqid=8


(This post was edited by trenchdigger on Jul 20, 2009, 2:51 PM)


moose_droppings


Jul 20, 2009, 3:58 PM
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Re: [NoSoup4U] What knot for escaping a belay with skinny doubles? [In reply to]
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If your worried about it slipping, clip a spare biner into the end loop after its pulled thru.


steady_climbing


Jul 20, 2009, 4:19 PM
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Re: [NoSoup4U] What knot for escaping a belay with skinny doubles? [In reply to]
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Try tying the mule around the long axis of the carabiner and then tie your overhand around the rope itself.

If your using the guide in "guide mode" just tie a stopper knot a foot or so below where it runs through the device.... Plenty safe to go hands free!


NoSoup4U


Jul 20, 2009, 4:39 PM
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Re: [NoSoup4U] What knot for escaping a belay with skinny doubles? [In reply to]
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Damn it! My first try on RC and I let a brain fart find its way in my original post. Yes of course I didn't mean doing a Muenter knot when using a belay device... It's just that locking the belay device or a Muenter knot is achieved by the same same way - a slip knot. In the case of the belay device you let the loop go below the device to help lock it first. But then after that the mule (slip knot) part is the same.

So, I am quite familiar with the technique; but just found that doing the slip knot with these ropes felt a bit too slippery to my taste. I was wondering if anybody had observed the same.

There is already a good bit of advice in some answers above. Thanks to all!


trenchdigger


Jul 20, 2009, 4:52 PM
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Re: [NoSoup4U] What knot for escaping a belay with skinny doubles? [In reply to]
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Check the Mule tie-off in the first link I posted. You can tie that on top of any tube-style belay device and get the same result, or as someone else mentioned, tie the first part of the knot around the spine of the 'biner. The final overhand (make sure you're not just doing a half-hitch) is what secures everything. A carabiner can be used to clip the bight sticking out of the overhand to the working end of the rope for added security.


bill413


Jul 20, 2009, 5:30 PM
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Re: [steady_climbing] What knot for escaping a belay with skinny doubles? [In reply to]
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steady_climbing wrote:
Try tying the mule around the long axis of the carabiner and then tie your overhand around the rope itself.

If your using the guide in "guide mode" just tie a stopper knot a foot or so below where it runs through the device.... Plenty safe to go hands free!

Sorry, bad advice. If that stopper knot gets pulled up against the device, it will be a bear to be able to lower the climber. You'll have to set up some sort of haul to get the device/knot unloaded so you can untie it.

Always use a knot that can be untied while under tension for your primary knot.


steady_climbing


Jul 20, 2009, 7:48 PM
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Right you are.. It was bad advice.


Partner cracklover


Jul 20, 2009, 7:51 PM
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I don't use the guide or reverso, but I'm not clear why you both think steady_climbing posted bad advice? I thought the rope basically couldn't go in that direction, so if your stopper knot is a foot away, that should be fine!

GO


Partner rgold


Jul 20, 2009, 8:46 PM
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Re: [cracklover] What knot for escaping a belay with skinny doubles? [In reply to]
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It seems that the OP is asking about how to get hands free before anchoring the leaders rope with a Munter Mule.

Personally, I've always been surprised at the elaborate systems proposed in the texts and on the web for freeing your hands. Most of them have you passing bights of the loaded rope back and forth, threading them through biners. There is, in my opinion, a decent chance of letting something slip while doing this, which could end in a total loss of control.

The safest and quickest way to free your hands is to wrap the brake strand around your leg three or four times. After doing this, it may help to clip the remaining rope through a biner on your harness, just so the hanging rope isn't trying to pull the turns down (and potentially off) your leg.


joeforte


Jul 20, 2009, 9:24 PM
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Re: [rgold] What knot for escaping a belay with skinny doubles? [In reply to]
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rgold wrote:
It seems that the OP is asking about how to get hands free before anchoring the leaders rope with a Munter Mule.

Personally, I've always been surprised at the elaborate systems proposed in the texts and on the web for freeing your hands. Most of them have you passing bights of the loaded rope back and forth, threading them through biners. There is, in my opinion, a decent chance of letting something slip while doing this, which could end in a total loss of control.

The safest and quickest way to free your hands is to wrap the brake strand around your leg three or four times. After doing this, it may help to clip the remaining rope through a biner on your harness, just so the hanging rope isn't trying to pull the turns down (and potentially off) your leg.

But this is not escaping the belay, which is what he's trying to do. It's going to be hard to go get help with the brake strand wrapped around your leg.


Partner rgold


Jul 20, 2009, 9:33 PM
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Re: [joeforte] What knot for escaping a belay with skinny doubles? [In reply to]
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After getting hands free, you anchor the brake strand with a munter mule. But this didn't seem to be what the op was having problems with.


bill413


Jul 20, 2009, 10:52 PM
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Re: [cracklover] What knot for escaping a belay with skinny doubles? [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
I don't use the guide or reverso, but I'm not clear why you both think steady_climbing posted bad advice? I thought the rope basically couldn't go in that direction, so if your stopper knot is a foot away, that should be fine!

GO

Well, the reason for the backup knot is in case the rope slips. Otherwise, we wouldn't need the knot (*shudder*). So, if the knot comes into play, you've set yourself up for a bad situation, on top of the bad situation that necessitated escaping the belay in the first place.


bill413


Jul 20, 2009, 10:54 PM
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rgold wrote:
It seems that the OP is asking about how to get hands free before anchoring the leaders rope with a Munter Mule.

Personally, I've always been surprised at the elaborate systems proposed in the texts and on the web for freeing your hands. Most of them have you passing bights of the loaded rope back and forth, threading them through biners. There is, in my opinion, a decent chance of letting something slip while doing this, which could end in a total loss of control.

The safest and quickest way to free your hands is to wrap the brake strand around your leg three or four times. After doing this, it may help to clip the remaining rope through a biner on your harness, just so the hanging rope isn't trying to pull the turns down (and potentially off) your leg.

Before the advent of popularized rescue texts, this was the first step in the methods I learned. Step 2) Get hands free - one way was as rgold says. Further steps were anchoring the rope with a prussik or knot.
BTW - Step 1 was breathe and assess the situation.


(This post was edited by bill413 on Jul 20, 2009, 10:54 PM)


NoSoup4U


Jul 21, 2009, 12:43 AM
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Re: [NoSoup4U] What knot for escaping a belay with skinny doubles? [In reply to]
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Thanks for the answers.

Yes - I was referring to the situation where I am belaying with a BD ATC Guide a leader climbing on doubles, leader who becomes incapacitated and needs help. Hopefully a situation that will never happen.

Maybe I didn't explain the slippery part of the knot well enough. Actually, a simple slip knot is enough to better describe the *problem*. Tie a slip knot with BOTH strands of a pair of double ropes. If you use thicker ropes or if the sheath of your ropes is a bit worn out, the knot will hold relatively well (but it's still a slip knot, obviously!). With these shinny, slippery new 8.2mm ropes, the weight of the unloaded strands is enough to pull the loop through (I barely exagerate - you'll get my point though).
So, I meant to say that I was concerned that the mule knot would come undone NOT because of the loaded strands pulling through the knot, but because of the free strands who seem to move relatively freely.

So, yes, I suppose one of the better solutions is just to clip a carabiner in the loop of the mule to prevent this. I was used to tie an overhand knot as a backup to the mule. By doing so I was concerned (with these ropes) about the overhand knot crawling towards the neck of the slip knot.

Somebody also mentionned tying the mule only with the loaded rope. Interesting.


Partner rgold


Jul 21, 2009, 1:41 AM
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Well I, for one, didn't understand the question.

The situation you describe is (or should be) pretty rare, since the rope you are belaying with shouldn't be hanging down the cliff. Either you've got it piled on the ledge you're belaying on or it is stacked in some kind of coil. If the rope is properly arranged to begin with, there isn't going to be any substantial rope weight tugging on the slip knot part of the Munter Mule.

In any case, the overhand in a bight tied above the slip knot protects the slip knot from any effects of a weighted rope below it. It doesn't matter at all if the rope weight snugs the overhand down on the knot.

If, for some reason, you are still concerned about the effects of rope weight, just clip the weighted strand to the anchor (some texts recommend this as a backup to the Munter Mule anyway). Once this is done, there is virtually no rope available to weight the slip knot.

As an aside, in my opinion, you shouldn't be escaping the belay in most leader emergencies, you should be lowering the leader back to the belay ledge if at all possible, at which point escaping the belay is relatively simple since the lead line is no longer weighted.

An escape of the sort mentioned in this thread only makes sense if the leader is too far away to be lowered to the belay ledge and cannot, in fact, be lowered to any ledge. Leaving a leader hanging while carrying out the complicated steps of most so-called self-rescue procedures is probably going to kill them anyway.

I say this because one of the things that makes these self-rescue procedures so impractical is, in fact, the anchoring of the leader's strand with the now much-discussed Munter Mule. This means that self-rescue procedures involve ascending and descending and then reascending the lead line again, not to mention the potentially complex transfer of the hanging leader to another anchor. Hours will go by, and the leader will likely die from suspension trauma---harness hang syndrome.

If the second has reason to believe that the top anchor is good enough to take leader and second weight and the various small shocks that will necessarily be imposed, than by far the most practical thing (even though it is never mentioned in the self-rescue tomes) is for the belayer to ascend the lead line without anchoring the lead line (there goes yer munter mule setup), using the belayer's weight as a counterweighted to the leader's. In other words, the belayer prussiks straight out of the belay after getting hands free. This at least means that when the belayer reaches the leader (or perhaps just gets a little higher) they will have a free leader line to use for lowering.

Don't get me wrong, I think it is good idea to know all the techniques covered in the various accounts of self-rescue, and then to realize that without some element of luck and without a very considerable ability to improvise beyond the the content of any of the accounts, you won't be able to get a severely incapacitated leader up or down, at least not alive.

In populated areas, screaming for help is by far the best bet in the dire circumstances mentioned here. In remote settings where no help is available, you are really up the proverbial creek.


joeforte


Jul 21, 2009, 2:30 AM
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rgold wrote:
After getting hands free, you anchor the brake strand with a munter mule. But this didn't seem to be what the op was having problems with.

I'm still having trouble seeing how you would tie a mule after doing a leg wrap? The brake strand would be tight between the device and your leg. How do you get the slack to pull the bight through?


bill413


Jul 21, 2009, 2:40 AM
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rgold wrote:
If the second has reason to believe that the top anchor is good enough to take leader and second weight and the various small shocks that will necessarily be imposed, than by far the most practical thing (even though it is never mentioned in the self-rescue tomes) is for the belayer to ascend the lead line without anchoring the lead line (there goes yer munter mule setup), using the belayer's weight as a counterweighted to the leader's. In other words, the belayer prussiks straight out of the belay after getting hands free. This at least means that when the belayer reaches the leader (or perhaps just gets a little higher) they will have a free leader line to use for lowering

Thanks, I hadn't thought about this much. The overwhelming teaching of "anchor the line" and then ascend it does seem to make less sense in light of this.

In reply to:
In populated areas, screaming for help is by far the best bet in the dire circumstances mentioned here. In remote settings where no help is available, you are really up the proverbial creek.

By far the best. Tying off is so you don't have to hold them up there until the rangers arrive.


bill413


Jul 21, 2009, 2:41 AM
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Re: [joeforte] What knot for escaping a belay with skinny doubles? [In reply to]
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joeforte wrote:
rgold wrote:
After getting hands free, you anchor the brake strand with a munter mule. But this didn't seem to be what the op was having problems with.

I'm still having trouble seeing how you would tie a mule after doing a leg wrap? The brake strand would be tight between the device and your leg. How do you get the slack to pull the bight through?

Yes, but doing the leg wrap allows you to work with both hands. Doing the wrap may be a step you wish to reverse if you decide the mule knot is the way to go...but it allows you to go hands free & formulate a plan.

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