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Tech Tip: Rapping

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Tech Tip: Rapping

Postby TomPierce » Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:52 pm

http://www.rockandice.com/lates-news/surviving-climbings-diciest-business-rappelling?page=2

All: I just now ran across the article above on rappel safety and thought it did a really good job discussing the merits of various rappel back-up systems, esp. the perennial prussik above or below the rap device debate. Some important tips there, including where to tie in the below-rap-device prussik, e.g. one attachment option led to failure 100% of the time. Perhaps worth a look. Climb safe!
-Tom

Re: Tech Tip: Rapping

Postby its_not_a_tuba » Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:29 pm

All good advice I'd say. I am surprised they didn't talk about the bigger debate right now which would be how best to tie two ropes together. Personally I am becoming convinced that European Death Knot is the way to go, I just haven't had the need/opportunity and the cajones to use it yet!!!!
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Re: Tech Tip: Rapping

Postby TomPierce » Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:49 pm

Yeah, Tuba I know. Always debates in tech circles, no? I'm familiar with the EDK and have rapped off a couple but not ones I've tied. I use the double fisherman's still; it's just so familiar to me, I can evaluate it quickly, etc. Old school, I know, but hey...whatever works and is safe.

Re: Tech Tip: Rapping

Postby its_not_a_tuba » Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:22 pm

From everything I have read the EDK is perfectly safe as long as you allow plenty of length on the tails. It just seems so freaking wrong to trust your life to half of the knot we use to tie shoelaces together! The simplicity of the knot, ease of tying / untying it and purported decreased likelihood of it getting hung up as you pull your threads are good arguments though. Still...
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Re: Tech Tip: Rapping

Postby climbingaggie03 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:25 pm

I've used the EDK for thousands of rappels with no problems, and it is more jam resistant than the double fishermans as well as easier to untie. I leave like an 8 -12 inch tail. I know it's a simple knot, but KISS works for knots too, I like clean simple knots, they're easy to inspect and strong.

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Re: Tech Tip: Rapping

Postby TomPierce » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:26 pm

Still...don't ya think they could have come up with a better name? European Death Knot?!? I mean, c'mon people, basic marketing... :lol:

Re: Tech Tip: Rapping

Postby its_not_a_tuba » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:38 pm

climbingaggie03 wrote:I've used the EDK for thousands of rappels with no problems, and it is more jam resistant than the double fishermans as well as easier to untie. I leave like an 8 -12 inch tail. I know it's a simple knot, but KISS works for knots too, I like clean simple knots, they're easy to inspect and strong.


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Re: Tech Tip: Rapping

Postby Scott P » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:45 pm

I've used the EDK for thousands of rappels with no problems, and it is more jam resistant than the double fishermans as well as easier to untie.


+1. It also creates less wear on ropes because no matter how you pull your rope after rapping, the knot always turns itself away from the rock (thus the knot itself is never dragged over corners and projections). Try it over a corner, such as on a wall or counter. In this manner, it's safer than the double fisherman's because the chances of a core shot are drastically reduced.
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Re: Tech Tip: Rapping

Postby Stone_man » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:54 pm

climbingaggie03 wrote:I've used the EDK for thousands of rappels with no problems, and it is more jam resistant than the double fishermans as well as easier to untie. I leave like an 8 -12 inch tail.


+1 here as well. I've done lots of full-length double rope raps off the EDK knot with the same length tail and had zero issues. Knot has never shown any inclination of inverting, but this is the rationale for leaving long tails. I consider myself very cautious-minded too, so I actually tie a back-up overhand knot right behind the first one just for good measure...but long tails are probably well sufficient.

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Re: Tech Tip: Rapping

Postby TallGrass » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:03 am

TomPierce wrote:Still...don't ya think they could have come up with a better name? European Death Knot?!? I mean, c'mon people, basic marketing... :lol:

Agreed. Continental Death Knot... much better. :)
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Re: Tech Tip: Rapping

Postby Brian C » Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:54 am

I always used to tie the EDK and before that the double fisherman, and have made many happy rappels off of both. These days (and for the last 2 years), I've been using a flemish bend (figure 8 ) and have found that I prefer it. It looks and feels more "secure" and lays very flat for the pull. I know that simply looking safer doesn't make it safer, but it gives piece of mind to partners who are not used to using the EDK as it is familiar and easy to inspect visually. Uses a bit more rope, but also doesn't have to have mega-tails like the EDK. Also, it seems to work better on tying different diameter ropes together, which for some reason seems to be what I'm always doing.

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Re: Tech Tip: Rapping

Postby ElFuegoDelaMuerte » Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:04 pm

I never realized it was called the European Death Knot. That name sucks, but it's the only knot I use these days. As many others have stated, in the past I used the double fishermans knot but moved on several years ago to what I now know is the EDK (I just called it an overhand knot). I leave long tails with smaller overhand knots in each one. Much much easier to untie.

But then again I've rarely used a backup break when rapping. I don't remember having used one since the second year I was climbing... So maybe I'm not a very good resource (or climbing partner for that matter since according to the article I have made many many "unnecessary withdrawls from my karmic savings account").

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