Ever cut your rope to Escape?

Tree_Frog

Active Member
Had a fun day today. Got do decide to get stung to death or cut my rope with a 372 w/ 24” bar on the hip. All I can say is that silky’s are sharp. The fall was a 20’ leap of faith. No injuries. Just about 40 stings.

I was doing a “quick” job working on a large live oak (virginanna). Cut one large limb and put 2 50’ cables in. The limb was just over 2500lbs. Upon doing the face cut I noticed honey bees and hoped that I was clear of the hive. I was not. Cut right through the brood chamber. Limb was about 20” in diameter with a 10” void. Bees everywhere.

Since I was about 50’ up and I had a plan to zip down on my line below if the bees were a problem. Upon decent my tail end wrapped up on the large piece and got hung up. I got to 30 feet, freed another 10’ to 20 AGL and had enough. I grabbed my leg saw and slice. I was able to turn and land on my right side missing my chainsaw and got up running.

Needless to say it was an expensive day, but no one stung but me. I am sure a bit sore tomorrow.

Job is on hold until the bees get there honey stolen and move. Felt bad about the bees and not getting some honey that I worked so hard for.

I know having a pouch for the tail end is ideal but not always practical.

Rig was Srt with a Grigri anchor on a Basel rope. Velocity 200 new. More upset about the rope.
 
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evo

Well-Known Member
once! but no falling. I was in a western hemlock covered in dwarf mistletoe (HEAVY limbs) . I had to dice up the outside parts from the witches brooms. Then I took a big witches broom mass, it caught on my rope lanyard stopper knott, sucked in my lanyard which sucked me into the trunk. It was too heavy to hand over hand the tail of my lanyard up to free it, and too high for groundies to help. I was sucked in so tight I couldn't get enough slack to undo my biners from the dee rings. Righteously stuck, so I cut the tail off the lanyard, but remained tied in twice!
 

oldoakman

Well-Known Member
Yeah, bald face hornets. Worked the tree all afternoon, started down to begin clean up. Lowest limb on the tree and some brush lodged in it. Walked out and kicked brush free and started to get hit. Nailed to ground and laid flat in brush pile to no good. Jumped up, started chainsaw and cut rope. Almost put me in the hospital.
 

TimBr

Well-Known Member
@Tree_Frog; Just curious as to what SRT device you were running? Was it a Rope Wrench, and therefore the hung rope caused the wrench to bind up? If so, this would be the first time I've read about an actual instance in which this difference between the Rope Wrench and the Hitch Hiker would have made the difference.

Thanks for posting this story, and I hope you are ok. The shock of smashing into the ground might make you get really sore over the next day or so, I'd be guessing. I hope you walked away with no permanent injuries. You are a tough guy.

Tim
 

Limb It

Well-Known Member
Tried to once. Made a big mistake as a newbie and cut the branch I was tied into. I swung at my climbing line with the 020t but missed it on the way down. Thankfully I had more rope above me than air below me and was secure on the limb with my lanyard.
 

Tree_Frog

Active Member
It was a hitchhiker. It would not have mattered as to which device was used. The tail end was trapped just enough to put the brakes on with my face at hive level.

I got mitten hands from swelling, swelling on my head, face and whole right arm. The swelling is going down now and just a bit sore from the fall. Nothing damaged. Nothing broken.

Thanks for the stories and concern.

IMG_4454.JPGIMG_4453.JPG



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

TimBr

Well-Known Member
@Tree_Frog; Thanks for the answer regarding your use of the Hitch Hiker as your SRT device. I guess I'm confused as to why you got stuck, since one of the Hitch Hiker's advantages is that the device does not put a bend in the rope to create its friction, but pinches it instead. It might just have been run of the mill hitch binding, I guess.

Glad to hear your injuries were not worse, and that you had no broken bones.

Thanks for sharing your story.

Tim
 

evo

Well-Known Member
@Tree_Frog; Thanks for the answer regarding your use of the Hitch Hiker as your SRT device. I guess I'm confused as to why you got stuck, since one of the Hitch Hiker's advantages is that the device does not put a bend in the rope to create its friction, but pinches it instead. It might just have been run of the mill hitch binding, I guess.

Glad to hear your injuries were not worse, and that you had no broken bones.

Thanks for sharing your story.

Tim
Only thing I can think of is DdRT mode? Or his tail was tangled in the tree?
 

TimBr

Well-Known Member
@evo; Oh, man, forgot all about the possibility. But then I got thinking again that he said he was on a basil anchor with the Gri-gri, so I assumed he was climbing SRT.

Oh, yeah, he did. That was what Levi quoted in his post #6, above. I'm still a bit puzzled, except for the hitch binding theory.

Tim
 

tex-moto

Member
His tail coulda been wrapped up or up and over something trapped/twisted/looped around branch where he just couldn’t descend anymore? In other words his tail didn’t have a clear path from his hitch to ground...
 

Tree_Frog

Active Member
Yup. Tail end wrapped up on the branch suspended below me. So basically hit a stopper knot.

The tree was a Multi-layered Live Oak. I was doing a weight reduction on a lower horizontal limb. The limb that i was standing on/ cutting was approximately 20" in diameter and my TIP was another 20' up the canopy. The area below was clear to the ground. The limb that I cut was roughly 18' long and weighted about 2300-2500 lbs.

I was pretty clear of the suspended branch initially at 50'. I was propping off to the side to get the angle with my chainsaw with my TIP directly above the branch. My tail end was clear after the cut and I had time to remove my lanyard and stow my chainsaw on my side before the hive erupted next to my feet. When I pushed out to clear the branch that I was standing on, the rebound pulled the tail into the suspended branch below and wrapped on a limb just enough to stop me in my tracks with my face next to the other side of the hive. I pulled the tail and twisted around for a few seconds to try and get loose as I knew I was a bit high to survive a drop. I dropped another 10 feet and got stuck again as the tail looped back up into the branch. This is where I decided to cut the line as the bees around me were too intense and I had already received too many stings. Luckily the bees were common and not africanized.

I run a Grigri as back up if I get injured, pass out, etc. so my crew can belay me out of the tree. Not quick enough for this situation.

I hope that this help people in the future. I just put a bee suit on the things to buy list.

Thanks for the concern.
 
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Stephen Moore

Well-Known Member
Wow! A 20’ fall with no injuries? Man that’s a boat full of angels! I’ve never severed a rope to escape anything thankfully. I have however, encountered a paper yellow jacket nest face to face at 35’ up a birch tree. The guard wasps were hovering around my body, I froze, I could hear the buzzing over my idling saw... and then I saw it- about the size of a basketball. I had no service line just harness and flip line. My immediate though was this gonna be a painful death. I asked for permission, in a silent but intentional way, to retreat and no harm will come to their nest. Remarkably, I received not one sting and they hovered around me all the way to the ground. I went as slow and methodically as I could to not squish one or piss them off. I guess it worked I’m still here!
 

southsoundtree

Well-Known Member
Bagging your rope is a good way to go, IME. Leaving it for brush to tangle in, and possibly get chipped is no fun. What is not practical about carrying your rope?

Base Ties are usually tied with just enough rope to get to the ground. This helps with the tangling if you don't carry your rope.
 

Stephen Moore

Well-Known Member
Bagging your rope is a good way to go, IME. Leaving it for brush to tangle in, and possibly get chipped is no fun. What is not practical about carrying your rope?

Base Ties are usually tied with just enough rope to get to the ground. This helps with the tangling if you don't carry your rope.
Yes I suppose in hindsight a rope would have been helpful, but that’s hindsight for you. Plus it’s just more gear that I’m too lazy to cart up a small tree.
 

moss

Well-Known Member
Bagging your rope is a good way to go, IME. Leaving it for brush to tangle in, and possibly get chipped is no fun. What is not practical about carrying your rope?

Base Ties are usually tied with just enough rope to get to the ground. This helps with the tangling if you don't carry your rope.
I know for sure a lot of SRT climbers do this but I'll mention it anyway... When I'm preparing to work in a particular part of a tree, I redirect the tail of the rope back through the tree to keep it well clear of the work zone, sometimes doubled or tripled depending how much tail is in play. Doing so pay attention to the way the rope is draped so you know it will come back smoothly when you need it free. This is a constant consideration working through a tree. The payoff is the tail rarely or never gets hung. Glad you got out of there ok!
-AJ
 

southsoundtree

Well-Known Member
Multiple rope lengths. I usually run a 120' rope. Rarely do I go above 120', so I can easily get down at any time, SRT. 120' of half-inch is not that light, nor that heavy. Rarely do I cut using DdRT if I can't reach the ground. Being able to get to the ground is critical for me.

I can tie on a rope if I need it longer, if I want to use my HH. I have 250'-11mm with a Rope Wrench for the occasional tall tree.

120' of 11mm is pretty light. You might even get away with 100'.
 

Stephen Moore

Well-Known Member
The use of a rope depends on the job for me. In the case of the birch tree, I didn’t have room to dump the whole tree but I could lop all the branches off without worry. Were it not for the wasps it would have been a very quick dismantle.
 
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