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Tying In to the Middle of a rope team

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Tying In to the Middle of a rope team

Postby plants1 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:06 pm

Hi everyone, I'm very new to this. In fact I havn't been on a rope team yet. I just purchased a Black Diamond Couloir Harness and was reading the included instructions. It gives directions for tying in directly to the rope directly and not to use a locking carabiner.

I sent an email to Black Diamond asking, "How should I tie in directly if I am in the middle of a rope team for glacier travel? How
will I then detach myself from the rope in case of a crevasse rescue?"

The response I got was: "Hi [plants1], thanks for the email, we can really only recommend tying in as the directions state for liability reasons. Questions like this should be posed to a certified mountain guide. For sure you will come across situations that require you to do something outside of what we recommend, that is the nature of climbing and mountaineering, but I cannot comment on these uses, it would be best to pose a questions like this to a mountain guide who is qualified to answer technique questions like this."

It seems pretty unsatisfactory that the designer, tester, and producer can't suggest a way to tie into the middle of the rope team safely. I've done some digging around and it looks like the reason could possibly be incorrectly loading the carabiner as shown in this Petzl diagram shown in the middle of page 4 http://www.petzl.com/files/all/all/cara ... rience.pdf .

Should I consider a different type of harness? Should I use some other connector to attach myself to a rope like a mallion or piece of webbing? How do you connect to the middle of a rope?

Thanks you!
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Re: Tying In to the Middle of a rope team

Postby asmrz » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:13 pm

Butterfly Knot is the way for alpine climbing and glacier travel... Try to Google it for more info and how to tie it...
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Re: Tying In to the Middle of a rope team

Postby plants1 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:20 pm

Asmrz wouldn't that still need to be binered into your harness?
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Re: Tying In to the Middle of a rope team

Postby plants1 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:21 pm

On closer inspection that Petzl link on page 4 gives some suggestions for connecting to the harness without directly tying in. Still I'd like to know how it's commonly done. Thanks!
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Re: Tying In to the Middle of a rope team

Postby 96avs01 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:01 pm

Butterfly + opposed lockers. Butterfly is easier to untie vs. fig-8 on a bight once weighted.
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Re: Tying In to the Middle of a rope team

Postby mrchad9 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:05 pm

Yeah page 4 also says to use two locking carabiners to tie in (when top ropped or for glacier travel... basically any time you are in the middle).
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Re: Tying In to the Middle of a rope team

Postby sharperblue » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:07 pm

butterfly:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fZrH7GWthg

and yes, use a locking carabiner to attach it to your harness regardless of the knot used - tying in directly with the rope when in middleman position makes escaping the system darn near impossible without cutting the rope
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Re: Tying In to the Middle of a rope team

Postby asmrz » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:47 pm

For the OP, as others stated here, when in middle of the rope tie in with butterfly knot and a locking biner connected to your belay loop. Two locking biners seem like an overkill. We use butterfly knot because it is multidirectional and can be untied easily, not so with other frozen or weighted knots (fig 8 4ex).

Glacier travel set up for three people is different than tying into a rope when climbing in pairs. On glaciers,the first and third person still tie directly into the rope, the middle person uses the above combination. It is not accepted practice for two people to tie into the ends of the rope with biners, figure eight follow through knot is the most generally used method. Rope is the strongest part of our system, so we tie directly into rope when climbing in pairs.
Last edited by asmrz on Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tying In to the Middle of a rope team

Postby rgg » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:49 pm

plants1 wrote:Hi everyone, I'm very new to this. In fact I havn't been on a rope team yet.


I think that the previous responders are missing the point. If you've never been on a rope team, then you should go out with people that have. And then there is no problem anymore, they will explain it.
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Re: Tying In to the Middle of a rope team

Postby asmrz » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:51 pm

Re the post above, very true, learning how to cross crevassed terrain requires specific knowledge, you will not get it here on this forum...
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Re: Tying In to the Middle of a rope team

Postby plants1 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:56 pm

Thank you all for the info!
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Re: Tying In to the Middle of a rope team

Postby Wastral » Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:37 am

asmrz wrote: learning how to cross crevassed terrain requires specific knowledge, you will not get it here on this forum...


Can I give a negative thanks to asmrz... Got up on wrong side of the bed? Ate prunes this morning with an extra dosage of salt?

Learning is fastest when someone shows you the basics and you actually pay attention and watch/listen. This generally requires either $$$ or someone who wants a competent partner.

Learning is Best when the above is combined with you yourself and your best buddy go out and practice the basics OUTSIDE of a group. Groups are not good for learning as you mostly just stand around and watch as 1 or 2 actually learn. If you aren't doing the "doing" yourself, you aren't learning as well or at all as you could/should be.

This book in link below is the best and SHOWS you what/when to do especially as a beginner. If you wish to switch it up after you have master what Andy describes, OK.

http://www.amazon.com/Glacier-Travel-Cr ... B000YU8PP8 $15 for crying out loud. A "crevasse rescue course" will set you back probably $250 and the book is vastly better than any course I have ever seen. I have seen 2 different mountaineers basic courses and both times were complete cluster... I couldn't believe people were actually paying for it as the "instructors" obviously didn't know what the Heck they were doing. Anyways, back to:

Practice on the snow piles in a ski parking lot. Or find the steepest snow section you can. Or a mini cliff . Likewise practice stopping each others falls where there is a lot of run out at a mountain near you. You will quickly understand that the best option for stopping a fall is for 1) it to never happen, and 2) for the person who slipped to self arrest themselves, as 3) your partner has a pretty lousy percentage chance of actually stopping your fall.

For stopping #1, be in good shape + experience
For stopping #2, be in good shape and practice self arrest in ALL positions even with a pack on
For stopping #3, know when to unrope or place lots of pro(experience) + a little practice
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Re: Tying In to the Middle of a rope team

Postby mrchad9 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:42 am

When navagating around a glacier just identify and avoid the hidden crevasses as you go. Then you don't even need to rope up!
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Re: Tying In to the Middle of a rope team

Postby Wastral » Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:46 am

mrchad9 wrote:When navagating around a glacier just identify and avoid the hidden crevasses as you go. Then you don't even need to rope up!


:mrgreen:

And when you can't navigate around switch on your antigravity boots and float over :wink:
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