Minimalist rope walking setups?

TREEfool

Active Member
Location
Minnesota
Break rules guys. I want ideas that are not compliant with your work regulations. I need an ultralight and compact ropewalking setup for multi-day climbs deep in forests. Up to this point I have mostly just used a rapid ascent descent system made of a small ascender (I don't even use a hand ascender, just a wild country ropeman), a grigri, and a small footloop made from 7/64 amsteel. I don't do tree work, my climbing is mostly straight up and down from the TIP.

The problem? Lately I have been taking highline friends into the canopy which requires that I do a lot of up and downs. As you can imagine this gets pretty damn time consuming with a RAD setup. The trickier part is that I usually climb on 9mm ropes (to save even more space). Yes, I know, "Your gonna die."

I remember seeing some pretty awesome minimalist setups from Richard Mumford but I can't seem to locate the videos. Do you guys have any new efficient SRT ideas that minimize gear to the bare essentials and works with small ropes?
 

Jonny

Well-Known Member
Location
Buffalo
There’s a thread about using a wrench on 10mm... on 9mm I guess experiment low and slow, but I suspect that skinny rope is gonna be a major limiting factor for most of the common SRT devices.

You try out Brocky’s sticht hitch yet?
Curious how this will play out for you, I’m all for innovation and what not, and I know this is blatantly obvious already, but your problem immediately vanishes if you just switch to 11mm.
 

JFin15

New Member
Location
Tuscaloosa
I use srt while deer hunting which requires long hikes so I keep it fairly light and compact as well. I use 8mm oplux most of the time when hunting and have also mainly used a rads system. I recently ordered some new stuff to try the 'microfrog' or my variation of it anyway. This includes a kong futura hand ascender (probably with 7/64 amsteel footloop which I've used for years), a kong futura foot ascender, and I also ordered a kong body ascender that I may use as chest or make into a floating knee ascender. Also dont forget a lanyard connecting the ascenders to your bridge for backup. If I ever actually recieve everything in the mail I'll report back but I suspect I'll be super satisfied with this system compared to a handled ascender and safeguard I was using.

I've also ordered 100' of 11mm workpro and contemplating a rope wrench to enjoy more recreational climbing. Idk if I'll use a rope wrench for hunting bc of the bulk and setup time but the thought of not being able to quickly descend is wearing on me, especially after getting attacked by a pissed off beehive a few weeks ago. Let us know what you decide
 

Jehinten

Well-Known Member
Location
Evansville
I have some 11mm patriot that is very light, I'd be surprised if 9 mm would save you much more in weight but I suppose it is possible.

If you don't use a canopy tie with a short rope and a lightweight retrieval leg, then that will likely make the biggest improvement on reducing weight. As for ascenders a SAKA mini and a footlock on the opposite leg would be lightweight and your choice of multicender that will work on that diameter. If a multicender is not available in that rope diameter then perhaps a hitch for progress capture going up and add a figure 8 when coming down.
 

JFin15

New Member
Location
Tuscaloosa
I use a delta link on the end of my oplux and paracord to pull down. You may already do this. Also attach pull rope behind knot! And just for reference, my 45ft of oplux weighs just over a pound and fits in a cargo pocket. It's a technora/spectra rope rated over 24kn. The rope and your choice of ascenders are your main weight. Normal 11mm kern rope is twice the weight of 9mm htp(which I used last year) and oplux is half that (2.8#/100ft). All included, a 6# climbing method cant hardly be beat.
 

TREEfool

Active Member
Location
Minnesota
There’s a thread about using a wrench on 10mm... .

You try out Brocky’s sticht hitch yet?...

Thanks for the link! I have read through the whole thing already and was picking Brocky's brain on the stitch hitch. I have some new hitch cords on order so that I can try it out asap.... Haha, and yes, if I went to 11mm it would indeed solve my problems. But all of my ropes are 9mm or smaller and Im searching for a system that doesn't require I buy a bunch of new ropes.

[richard mumford video link]

Thank you! I swear he has an even smaller kit hiding somewhere in the depths of his YouTube channel but I learn something new from every one of his videos.
 

TREEfool

Active Member
Location
Minnesota
...I recently ordered some new stuff to try the 'microfrog' or my variation of it anyway...

...but the thought of not being able to quickly descend is wearing on me, especially after getting attacked by a pissed off beehive a few weeks ago.

I look forward to your report when your Kong gear arrives. I totally forgot about frog setups! I woke up this morning thinking about how rock climbers jug a rope with two hand ascenders attached to two footloops (and I think the low one is attached to your harness) which is kind of like a frog setup. Except a micro frog setup gets rid of some cord and replaces a big hand ascender with a foot ascender and ropegrab at the harness.

So what do you do for descending midline? I can't imagine having to switch over gear while free hanging and being attacked by bees haha!
 

JFin15

New Member
Location
Tuscaloosa
I look forward to your report when your Kong gear arrives. I totally forgot about frog setups! I woke up this morning thinking about how rock climbers jug a rope with two hand ascenders attached to two footloops (and I think the low one is attached to your harness) which is kind of like a frog setup. Except a micro frog setup gets rid of some cord and replaces a big hand ascender with a foot ascender and ropegrab at the harness.

So what do you do for descending midline? I can't imagine having to switch over gear while free hanging and being attacked by bees haha!
If I'm next to the tree, I'll take my tether and hook off to get some slack. If not, I'll use either a prussic or tibloc with a footloop to stand enough to slip my figure 8 on...granted this isnt the easiest nor fastest way to do it. I hated carrying the safeguard plus it was always jerky for me(9mm htp, oplux).

The multicender is definitely overkill for hunting but I know itll be fun and a heck of alot faster. I hear you on the rope too. I've been wanting a longer one to play with so when I saw 124' of 11mm workpro on sale for $96 I went ahead and got it.

Also, I'll definitely let you know how it goes with the new setup. I'll try to pin a link to a video i found of the microfrog. I do have a sneaky suspicion I'll end up dropping the chest(bridge) ascender and making a floating knee ascender out of it for the ropewalking system. Hopefully I'll know soon and I'll never order from trekkinn again (didnt know it was in spain).


Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
 

TREEfool

Active Member
Location
Minnesota
If you don't use a canopy tie with a short rope and a lightweight retrieval leg, then that will likely make the biggest improvement on reducing weight. As for ascenders a SAKA mini and a footlock on the opposite leg would be lightweight and your choice of multicender that will work on that diameter. If a multicender is not available in that rope diameter then perhaps a hitch for progress capture going up and add a figure 8 when coming down.

YES! This. I always forget about footlocking... cuz I suck at it. But a saka mini plus a hitch is pretty much as minimalist as i can get. I imagine tending the hitch being a pain in my ass when footlocking up but this is seeming like as minimalist as I could get. Add in my grigri for setting up highlines and descending and this isn't much bigger than my current kit.

I used to use a paracord retrieval leg but started using the tail of my rope to span between two trees for a hammock anchor. I'm building a new single point hammock currently (so I don't have to span between branches or two trees) so you have me excited to chop one of my ropes to 80' as this will indeed be a HUGE space and weight saver.

I use a delta link on the end of my oplux and paracord to pull down. You may already do this. Also attach pull rope behind knot! And just for reference, my 45ft of oplux weighs just over a pound and fits in a cargo pocket. It's a technora/spectra rope rated over 24kn. The rope and your choice of ascenders are your main weight. Normal 11mm kern rope is twice the weight of 9mm htp(which I used last year) and oplux is half that (2.8#/100ft). All included, a 6# climbing method cant hardly be beat.

Oplux? googling it now. If your main line can fit in a cargo pocket you've got me sold.
 

Tuebor

Well-Known Member
Location
Here
I look forward to your report when your Kong gear arrives. I totally forgot about frog setups! I woke up this morning thinking about how rock climbers jug a rope with two hand ascenders attached to two footloops (and I think the low one is attached to your harness) which is kind of like a frog setup. Except a micro frog setup gets rid of some cord and replaces a big hand ascender with a foot ascender and ropegrab at the harness.
Sounds like a Mitchell system

This might be the Mumford video you were thinking of:

Climbing system for travel, 7 pounds, 50' SRT, DdRT, RADs, 2:1, 3:1 and 6:1 MA
 

Jehinten

Well-Known Member
Location
Evansville
YES! This. I always forget about footlocking... cuz I suck at it. But a saka mini plus a hitch is pretty much as minimalist as i can get. I imagine tending the hitch being a pain in my ass when footlocking up but this is seeming like as minimalist as I could get. Add in my grigri for setting up highlines and descending and this isn't much bigger than my current kit.

I used to use a paracord retrieval leg but started using the tail of my rope to span between two trees for a hammock anchor. I'm building a new single point hammock currently (so I don't have to span between branches or two trees) so you have me excited to chop one of my ropes to 80' as this will indeed be a HUGE space and weight saver.
the one or two times that I've tried footlocking, I was terrible as well. I should have called what I was referring to the "one foot footlock" which replaces the need for a foot ascender. I'm not great at this one either, but it's good to know if I forget my Pantin. Here is a post where @moss Talks a little about it. I think he may have a video somewhere as well.

Post in thread 'First night climb - mixed results!' https://www.treebuzz.com/forum/threads/first-night-climb-mixed-results.39951/post-595989
 

JFin15

New Member
Location
Tuscaloosa
@TREEfool Oplux is widely used in the saddle hunting community. You can look it up via Google on the saddlehunter forum. Theres also another, identical, version of it called rescue tech I believe. The specs can be found under the canyoning ropes on sterlings site. Also, if you buy it, check eastern woods outdoors site, good prices, great service, and an amazing guy. It's very flexible compared to htp and the stretch isn't that bad at all.

Also, can someone tell me if any version of the stitch hitch is self tending? From my understanding, it is possible if the right combo is found. JW how efficient it is on ascent.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
 

Brocky

Well-Known Member
Location
Michigan
All versions of the Sticht are self tending, adding the wedding band makes it easier, the friction from the twist isn’t needed for grabbing.

Trekkinn does take a long time but sometimes they are the only ones with stock, I’m waiting for a Screamer to reach our shores.
 
Last edited:

TREEfool

Active Member
Location
Minnesota
All versions of the Sticht are self tending, adding the wedding band makes it easier, the friction from the twist isn’t needed for grabbing.

Trekkinn does take a long time but sometimes they are the only ones with stock, I’m waiting for a Screamer to reach our shores.

Did you make a post anywhere that gives more details of the Stitch? You posted a photo for me in the "rope runner on 10mm" thread but I'd love to see what hitch sizes and hardware you use for best results.
 

Brocky

Well-Known Member
Location
Michigan
Beat me to it! It’s in the Stationary Rope Forum. A lot of the beginning is just how it evolved over time, the current stuff is at the end. The hitch is adjustable so just about any cord and rope would work. Coppa 5000 from Robline is my fav, for now. Notch’s Wrapstar is also good, and something non heat resistant is Warpspeed II.
Iliked and used the 9mm HTP also, but didn’t like the cabling, or hardening that happens. Just started using Edelrid’s Swift Protect Pro, the first dynamic rope with aramid in the cover. 8.9mm, firm, stays round, and stays flexible, a big plus for me.
 

LordFarkwad

Well-Known Member
Location
Chatham Co.
I have some 11mm patriot that is very light, I'd be surprised if 9 mm would save you much more in weight but I suppose it is possible.

If you don't use a canopy tie with a short rope and a lightweight retrieval leg, then that will likely make the biggest improvement on reducing weight. As for ascenders a SAKA mini and a footlock on the opposite leg would be lightweight and your choice of multicender that will work on that diameter. If a multicender is not available in that rope diameter then perhaps a hitch for progress capture going up and add a figure 8 when coming down.
Went out and tried a figure 8, hitch cord (prog cap on ascent), and foot/knee ascenders last night - wayyyyy more minimalist than I'm used to. Just pushed the prusik up the line on ascent, then removed ascenders, added the f8, and repelled down while collapsing the prusik. Very neat little system.

I was thinking of using this while saddle hunting.
 

Jehinten

Well-Known Member
Location
Evansville
Went out and tried a figure 8, hitch cord (prog cap on ascent), and foot/knee ascenders last night - wayyyyy more minimalist than I'm used to. Just pushed the prusik up the line on ascent, then removed ascenders, added the f8, and repelled down while collapsing the prusik. Very neat little system.

I was thinking of using this while saddle hunting.
If your not opposed to a little more gear, a pulley to advance your hitch and a way to tend it just like a normal work climb would make it much nicer I'd think, than manually pushing it up the rope. A chest harness or using your lanyard over the shoulder is lightweight and I assume you'd have a lanyard anyways for a more stable shooting position.
 

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