CASTLE HILL – 28 May 2017
If you want to canyon or do vertical caves, you have to know how to self-rescue. I’ve been restricted from taking Bailey canyoning because up until now, all he’d done was abseil down the rope. The amazing Beth put on a “Field Day” for MSS to show people how to self-rescue (for canyoning) and also how to go up the rope when we do a vertical cave (and going up is the only way out). So, despite the fact that we were very tired after David’s 40th Birthday Bash in the Hunter, Bailey and I drove down to Castle Hill on Sunday afternoon to do some SRT (Single Rope Technique) skills training.
Talk about organised, Beth had thought of everything … chalk boards with what we were going to do, lengths of rope to practice with, and she’d organised a climbing gym which made the rope work so much easier.
Outside the The Edge climbing Centre, was a bit noisy inside so we gathered around for some pre-training instructions (l-r Bailey, Chris, Jo, Andre & Rod)
Beth showing how to tie a Bow Line
Bailey (and Marcia, Ed & Trish), practicing the Classic Prussic knot
Inside the gym and Beth giving us some more instructions
Bailey’s first effort at prussicing, it’s hard work!
Moving his foot loop up the rope
Rod giving Trish some instruction
Eventually, after hours, we had the whole gym to ourselves, there were lots of ropes set up for us to practice on.
Bailey’s second go at prussicing, this time he’ll be using a Rack to abseil down
Moving the chest loop up
Setting up the Rack descender now that he’s up so he can come back down the rope
Learning how to tie off on the descender so he wont slip down once the chest and foot loops are taken off the rope to descend
Advertising photo op with all the MSS shirts and hoodies
Beth overseeing Bailey on his first attempt at SRT, using mechanical ascenders
He’s up the rope now, all he has to do is put his descender on again to come down.
The end of the night, pizza!
Great night organised by Beth, hoping there’ll be another one so I can do some advanced SRT on some re-belays (sounds complicated doesn’t it!)
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It is a bit hard to see in the provided photos, but it looks like the prussicers are only connected to the rope via a single point (can’t count the foot prussic unless it has a extra loop that clips into the harness – and that is bit I can’t see in the photos). Because a prussic loop is a “soft” item ie not “hard” like a crab or descender it should be backed up with a second point of attachment. The second point can be a descender left on the rope when prussicing and periodically slack removed, or a connection from the foot prussic loop to harness, or something else. The desire to keep at least two points of attachment is also reflected in clipping into rebelays (or know crossings) with cows tail before removing an ascender to go around the obstruction.
Hi Dirk, sorry, only just saw this comment! When we were using the croll/jumar set up for SRT, prussic loop attached to jumar (on foot prussic) and to harness by the cows tail, so two points of contact. With the straight prussic (with the two prussic loops, like what you’d use when canyoning) that didn’t have second point of contact. The canyon prussic set up was only used to make sure that when canyoning everyone could prussic.