Using hitch with rope wrench for a lowerable basal anchor

Phil

Branched out member
Location
Oak Lawn, IL
Anybody ever use a plain old friction hitch with a rope wrench for a lowerable basal anchor in SRS? Just thinking of how expensive or gear intensive some of the basal systems are. Wondering how the RW would work.
 

Phil

Branched out member
Location
Oak Lawn, IL
Look at the TB Article by Mac Swan, IIRC.

Simple, cheap, effective.
You mean this one?:


Interesting enough he talks about using a friction hitch at the base...minus a RW or any sort of additional friction management.

Edit: I guess the figure 8 setup keeps the rope captured in the carabiner to add extra friction. Misread how he deployed it during a rescue.

That article is 7 years old. Wonder if his opinions of those systems has changed.
 
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Phil

Branched out member
Location
Oak Lawn, IL
Using a rope wrench for a lowerable basal anchor makes a lot of sense. Super clean/simple.
-AJ
I was thinking that was the case, and in the event redirects add plenty of friction, the wrench can be removed without undoing life support components.

I'm getting ready to teach an SRS class so have been going through all my notes, literature and best management practices type materials to help me collect my thoughts and streamline the information. In the course of looking at simple, lowerable base anchors that pass the whistle test, the mini portawrap backed up seemed the best bet due to familiarity other workers would have with the device. It still requires a prusik backup and even the mini has a fair bit of weight that can cause a flop effect if load is removed. Then I thought about the hitch wrench combo but have not seen anyone mention using it. Seems better to me than even the backed up porty in regards to size and familiarity.
 
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Tony

Branched out member
Location
Lancaster, PA
I would make two suggestions For your upcoming course. First, refer to these set ups as adjustable base anchors. The chance of “Lowering” is slim to none. The chance of rescue without aerial assistance is even lower. They do offer some advantages in the ability to adjust rope in the system though.

With that in mind, test the systems for real time use. In my experience a friction hitch is plenty to add or subtract rope from the system. Friction in the tree adds up. How often in SRS work positioning are you only through the PSP? Are not redirects one of the best reasons to use SRS work positioning?

my .02

Tony
 

moss

Been here a while
I would make two suggestions For your upcoming course. First, refer to these set ups as adjustable base anchors. The chance of “Lowering” is slim to none. The chance of rescue without aerial assistance is even lower. They do offer some advantages in the ability to adjust rope in the system though.

With that in mind, test the systems for real time use. In my experience a friction hitch is plenty to add or subtract rope from the system. Friction in the tree adds up. How often in SRS work positioning are you only through the PSP? Are not redirects one of the best reasons to use SRS work positioning?

my .02

Tony

Haha, there are the beautiful theoreticals and there are the realities. A lowerable system could be very helpful to a climber making a rescue. Lowering from the ground is unlikely as we've often discussed.
-AJ
 

Tony

Branched out member
Location
Lancaster, PA
Haha, there are the beautiful theoreticals and there are the realities. A lowerable system could be very helpful to a climber making a rescue. Lowering from the ground is unlikely as we've often discussed.
-AJ
I am with you moss. There is nothing wrong with options, but expectations must be tempered with reality.

Tony
 

Phil

Branched out member
Location
Oak Lawn, IL
First, refer to these set ups as adjustable base anchors. The chance of “Lowering” is slim to none.
I kinda like this differentiation. One of the main points I want to get across is that lowering from the ground is only an option in a small number of perceived scenarios. At the heart of an aerial rescue is the ability to go and get the patient and even having the tools to deploy a separate descent line/system in the event the climbers rig is compromised.
 

Stumpsprouts

Branched out member
Location
Asheville
With that in mind, test the systems for real time use. In my experience a friction hitch is plenty to add or subtract rope from the system.
I was going to ask folks if they have actually lowered a climber on a RW and how that went. I’ve only lowered on a munter (using a munter mule as the adjustable basal anchor), which obviously does not pass the whistle test.
 

southsoundtree

Been here a while
Location
Olympia, WA
I was going to ask folks if they have actually lowered a climber on a RW and how that went. I’ve only lowered on a munter (using a munter mule as the adjustable basal anchor), which obviously does not pass the whistle test.
Simply add a friction hitch with life-support strength.






People need to put as much effort into risk-mitigation across all aspects of work, from prepping at the shop, to the return home, as into base-ties.

How many places does a whistle-stop test fail the day to day activities, such as lowering a limb, driving, etc. ?
 

fall_risk

Participating member
Location
Philadelphia
I have to agree with some of the comments above about the likelihood of actually lowering a climber off of a basal anchor system: slim-to-none. If someone is so incapacitated that they can't get down themselves, they're almost sure to be lanyarded in, pinned underneath something, or redirected somewhere without a straight shot to the ground. I also don't understand why there is so much hoopla about lowerable base anchors when moving/doubled rope systems are and have always been acceptable without that option.

Then there is the issue of training the ground worker to use all these different systems, some of which use techniques that are either not used hardly anywhere else in tree work: Rig/ID, munter mule, figure 8; or may be outside of the ground person's skill set: wrench, life support connection of ropes, "what do I cut", maybe even a hitch.

Because of that, I never used to bother with anything except a choking knot on the stem and an alpine butterfly just above it. Then I realized that a "lowerable" basal anchor is an adjustable-length basal anchor, and it's adjustable on the fly. I hate pulling what feels like miles of tail through a natural redirect, which is, for me, the only "retrievable" redirect worth the time...but that's a whole different discussion. I can use one 200' static line for trees of almost any height without having a ridiculous tail, and if that's not long enough, I can just tie any other climbing line to it without things getting too bouncy. I've gotten pretty good at estimating how much tail I'll need for advancement to my final TIP and my likely large redirects, but with an adjustable anchor, I can have my ground person take or feed slack...and in the unlikely event that it'd be useful, my adjustable basal anchor is also "lowerable". I still usually tie the alpine butterfly above it, because the other problem with this idea of a lowerable anchor is that I'm not interested in schlepping around 300'+ ropes to have enough slack on the running/fixed side of the system to make lowering the climber realistic.

There is still the issue of training my coworkers to use my adjustable anchor well enough that I can trust my life to it. The solution for me is a small port-a-wrap painted red (for no rigging use; if you buy one, buy two, because you WILL be tempted - light rigging gear is great if you can manage to not be an idiot about matching the system to the load).

Learning to use and lock off a POW is first month training, it's a system just about everyone in the industry knows, and it doesn't require learning any knots other than half hitches or a cleat hitch.

The sling doesn't need to be as long as a rigging POW because you can tie a running bowline instead of a cow hitch...I personally won't climb on a timber hitch, even though I've used it for gigantic rigging, it's something about how it looks. The sling also doesn't need to be all that strong, so it can use a smaller diameter rope than a rigging POW - it just has to match the strength of the climbing line.

It's also super easy to back up for "whistle-stop" no-hands compliance, for a new ground person who is all thumbs or an old one who isn't worth much, or those days you aren't feeling it and need the extra peace of mind. All you do is tie any climbing hitch just above the POW and clip it to the top loop of the POW, the same place you'd attach a 5:1 for lifting. You can use a tending pulley, but I rarely bother, just a split tail and a carabiner. If you used a Blake's hitch, you could even skip the carabiner and tie a short piece of rope to the POW, but I usually just use an eye-and-eye and a biner.

That's virtually the only basal anchor I use now except the super-basic one, which I still use if I'm going to switch to moving/doubled climbing. I know, I know, I hear the comments coming: "You know SRT and you still use Ddrt?! #SRTTSOOI, brah! That's so neanderthal!" Well, I didn't cut off my left arm when I found out about my right arm...and I'd rather use a crane when I can...sorry I'm derailing myself again. If anyone is interested, I can post some pics next week.

Sent from my E6910 using Tapatalk
 
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