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Thread: Pot Shot & Sand Trap Techniques

  1. #1

    Pot Shot & Sand Trap Techniques

    Thanks for bringing up this subject. Potshots/traps seem to not be talked about much, and could to be the most 'mysterious' of anchor types. When should we use them and why? Why this type and not another?
    Perhaps we can get some light shed on dynamic anchors.

    The four considerations for any anchor are:
    1. safety- obvious
    2. pull-can we get our rope back? will we leave rope grooves?
    3. convenience- how easily can we get on rap?
    4.trash- How much and what are we leaving behind? webbing, rapides, rope grooves?

    When planning to use dynamic anchors, should both shots and traps be carried?
    What are the differences/ versatility of each type?
    When is a trap preferred over a shot?

    What can we fill these things with?

    Lets start with this much. Anyone?

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  3. #2
    Bogley BigShot oldno7's Avatar
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    Great conversation Penny, hopefully this can be split off into it's own thread.
    I have some ideas for the sandtrap I was hoping to test this week, I'll post up my ideas and findings when I get back next week.

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by oldno7 View Post
    hopefully this can be split off into it's own thread.
    Done

    Looking forward to seeing what materializes from this thread.

  5. #4
    I use my potshots to carry my bolting kit and G-pick. They're the perfect size!!
    You May All Go To Hell And I Will Go To Texas

  6. #5
    I'm actually really interested in this thread. My friend just bought a SandTrap and we're planning on going to test it out this weekend. Any tips?
    --Cliff

  7. #6
    Here are a few tips from my limited experience with the trap. The larger the group the better. Would recommend at least 4 or 5 guys. The smaller the group the greater the risk for the last guy. Always have the lightest go last if they are a competent rappeler. Always back it up till the last guys goes. If it moves add more sand or readjust where the trap is laying. Rappel smoothly and slide over the lip on your hip. Bring several pot shots to shuttle sand to the trap if necessary. Pulling the trap is pretty easy. Just make sure there is no pinch spot to catch the trap as it goes over the edge. When you use one the first time you think someone has lost their mind. But after several rappels you become a believer. I also attached a picture of a potshot which had been tossed by me to climb out of a pot hole. I had tossed it from where the guy is upstream. The potshot wedged itself in the crack and I was able to climb out. You could also rappel on this concept. To retrieve tie a rope on the bottom of the bag and flip it over to pull it. Could be difficult to pull so may want to double rope so you could at least get your rope back. Recommend also backing up this concept if possible. If the drop is big the bag may explode when it hits the ground.
    Attached Images Attached Images      

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by moab mark View Post
    Here are a few tips from my limited experience with the trap. The larger the group the better. Would recommend at least 4 or 5 guys. The smaller the group the greater the risk for the last guy. Always have the lightest go last if they are a competent rappeler. Always back it up till the last guys goes. If it moves add more sand or readjust where the trap is laying. Rappel smoothly and slide over the lip on your hip. Bring several pot shots to shuttle sand to the trap if necessary. Pulling the trap is pretty easy. Just make sure there is no pinch spot to catch the trap as it goes over the edge. When you use one the first time you think someone has lost their mind. But after several rappels you become a believer. I also attached a picture of a potshot which had been tossed by me to climb out of a pot hole. I had tossed it from where the guy is upstream. The potshot wedged itself in the crack and I was able to climb out. You could also rappel on this concept. To retrieve tie a rope on the bottom of the bag and flip it over to pull it. Could be difficult to pull so may want to double rope so you could at least get your rope back. Recommend also backing up this concept if possible. If the drop is big the bag may explode when it hits the ground.
    Thanks for getting us started and for including clear pics.
    I have rapped off of potshots. I have filled them with sand, rocks, and mud depending on what was available.
    I have used either a pull rope or a rap rope as the pull. Both have been successful. Pots don't always empty when flipped which makes them difficult to retrieve and increases the chances of grooving.
    I have used them in the chock mode, on a flat surface set far back from the edge, and behind a ledge such as a lip of a pothole or a sand dam.

    I have tossed potshots and used them to exit potholes either as a chock, on a flat surface far from the edge, or as a counter balance hanging in the next pot.

    Referencing the red words in the quote above, it sounds like Russian Roulette for the last person, i.e. lightest person, i.e. me. This sounds marginal and yet it is what I hear every time in connection with traps.

    Another question would be, aren't traps gear intensive? More rope, more biners (to connect the four corners), and shots to shuttle sand.

  9. #8
    For most situations 2 ropes are needed when using a trap. One to rappel and one to pull. The trap has a piece of webbing that runs through the center, when you pull this webbing it squeezes the center of the trap and the sand falls out of the ends of the taco shell. Hope that made sense. As far as Russian Roulette it isn't much difference then rappeling off of a pot shot or any other retrievable anchor. If it is retrievable it has a higher chance of failure. That is why you want several heavier guys to go prior to the last guy. From my experience it is surprising solid. If you look at the picture I posted with the group of guys. I am the one in the T shirt and the guy behind me is pushing 240 lbs. I come in around 190 lbs. He went first and stood up going over the edge and the trap didn't even budge. The rest went on their hip and I went last. After 4 had gone I felt pretty comfortable but yes it gets your blood pressure up a bit.
    Edit if you look at the third picture you can see the webbing going off to the side with the pull cord tied to it. The last guy tosses that down.

  10. #9
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moab mark View Post
    For most situations 2 ropes are needed when using a trap. One to rappel and one to pull. The trap has a piece of webbing that runs through the center, when you pull this webbing it squeezes the center of the trap and the sand falls out of the ends of the taco shell. Hope that made sense. As far as Russian Roulette it isn't much difference then rappeling off of a pot shot or any other retrievable anchor. If it is retrievable it has a higher chance of failure. That is why you want several heavier guys to go prior to the last guy. From my experience it is surprising solid. If you look at the picture I posted with the group of guys. I am the one in the T shirt and the guy behind me is pushing 240 lbs. I come in around 190 lbs. He went first and stood up going over the edge and the trap didn't even budge. The rest went on their hip and I went last. After 4 had gone I felt pretty comfortable but yes it gets your blood pressure up a bit.
    Edit if you look at the third picture you can see the webbing going off to the side with the pull cord tied to it. The last guy tosses that down.
    Mark -

    In one of those pics, the rope is set up not tied from the end, but somewhere in the middle. Not like it was a problem in that particular situation, but...

    It seems better to always (ie, usually) tie in with the end of the rope. I say this as the 10 feet of rope closest to the SandTrap gets dirty, then chewed up. Better to lose 10 feet off one end, rather than 10 feet in the middle of a rope.

    (Nice lookin' rope, that...)

    Tom

  11. #10
    If you look closely I have about a 15 ft tail to use as the back up. Wanted to sit farther back from the end then my leash would allow.

  12. #11
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moab mark View Post
    If you look closely I have about a 15 ft tail to use as the back up. Wanted to sit farther back from the end then my leash would allow.
    That's a good reason.

    I am a bit uncomfortable calling these "dynamic" anchors. I know what a dynamic anchor is, I did one last November...

    "Ghosting" anchors, perhaps. "Retrievable". "Sand-based"?

    Tom

  13. #12
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Manufacturer's official statement:

    Quote Originally Posted by Imlay Canyon Gear
    SandTrap - Advanced Anchor

    The SandTrap is a new, advanced anchoring system thought up by Springdale’s Steve Woodford; that allows for a solid, reliable and retrievable anchor in many sandstone-canyon environments. Essentially, if you have sand, and a little bit of favorable geometry to work with, you can get an anchor.

    As an ADVANCED anchor system, the SandTrap requires careful judgment and execution to use safely. PRACTICE will be required to get a feel for how much sand is required, and how much favorable geometry is required to produce a safe anchor. Please, BACKUP the SandTrap EVERY TIME until it has proven itself secure in the given circumstance. For this reason, it is suggested that the SandTrap will work better with sufficient people available to allow thorough testing of the Trap’s security before the final, ‘last man’ rappels from it without backup.

    USING THE SANDTRAP
    1. USE A CARABINER OR RAPID LINK to connect the rope to the SandTrap – both for the rappel rope and for the retrieval rope. Rope-on-webbing action will quickly wear out the tie-in points, so use metal for this vital link.
    2. INSPECT the tie-in points and the retrieval strap on a regular basis, perhaps after every rappel. If either of these critical components are damaged, carefully evaluate the severity of the damage and whether continued use is safe.

    SANDTRAP PARTS

    The INSIDE of the SandTrap is smooth – this is where the sand goes.
    The OUTSIDE of the SandTrap has several straps and belt loops on it – where all the action takes place.

    The TOP EDGE of the SandTrap has the “Imlay Canyon Gear” label, and the retrieval strap sliding through a belt loop; the BOTTOM EDGE of the SandTrap has the retrieval strap sewn to the tarp near its center.

    FOUR TIE IN POINTS are found at the corners of the tarp. Use a locking carabiner to clip all four of these to the Rappel Rope.

    ONE RETRIEVAL STRAP runs up the center of the SandTrap through 4 belt loops and out the top. Use a locking carabiner to attach this to a retrieval rope.

    A BACKUP RETRIEVAL TIE-IN POINT is sewn at the center of the bottom edge, allowing attachment of a retrieval strap should the primary retrieval strap fail.

    PREPARING THE SANDTRAP

    Place the SandTrap on the ground, with the OUTSIDE of SandTrap facing down, the smooth INSIDE facing up. Orient the SandTrap with the BOTTOM EDGE facing TOWARD the drop. Pile sand on the center of the SandTrap. Pull the TOP EDGE over the sand and toward the drop to roughly line up with the BOTTOM EDGE.

    Clip the FOUR (4) TIE IN POINTS to the rappel rope using a locking carabiner.

    Place the SandTrap into a pothole, depression or dug pit close to the edge of the drop. Make sure that the “runout” is clear of objects and constrictions that could snag the SandTrap, or behind which the SandTrap could become jammed.

    Clip the RETRIEVAL STRAP to the retrieval rope using a locking carabiner.

    Set up a BACKUP SYSTEM to allow safe testing of the SandTrap as rigged without risk to the rappellers.

    RAPPELLING FROM THE SANDTRAP AND RETRIEVAL

    Rappel using minimum-force rappelling techniques. Observe the SandTrap as canyoneers rappel and add more sand or reposition the SandTrap if it appears sketchy. If concerned about retrieval, do a test pull to make sure the people below can successfully retrieve the SandTrap.

    After everyone has rappelled, retrieve the SandTrap by pulling hard on the RETRIEVAL CORD. The cord bunches the center of the SandTrap and pushes the sand out the sides, at which point the empty SandTrap is pulled down to the waiting canyoneers. It may require a lot of pulling from below to get the retrieval process started, but generally once it starts, the retrieval proceeds with less force.

    NOTES

    Both the rappelling rope and the retrieval rope get very beat up in this process, especially the part near the SandTrap. Inspect these ropes often and change them out to spread the wear and tear around.

    EVEN WHEN USED CAREFULLY, USE OF THIS ANCHOR SYSTEM CAN RESULT IN DEATH OR SERIOUS INJURY. STUDY EACH SITUATION CAREFULLY, MAKE SMART DECISIONS, LIVE TO CANYONEER ANOTHER DAY.
    To which I might add:

    1. Testing and backing up is REAL important. A good reason to treat this as a TEAM event. Even once you have used it for awhile, it can surprise you, so it is essential to always always always carefully back up and test.

    2. Good first SandTrap Canyon: No Kidding. Lots of placements, not too long or strenny, not pressed for time. Last time I went in to do it, it was really muddy, and we exited after the first rappel and taking an hour to get past 2 little potholes. Glad it had the exit available...

    Tom

  14. #13
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Setting up your SandTrap for most efficient use and least rope grooves

    I "set up" my SandTrap with 3 x 7mm Aluminum Rapides. One on each pair of anchor points, and one on the retrieval point. Then I clip the rope to these with a small locking carabiner. This seems faster than clipping the webbing each time with the carabiner.

    On the retrieval side, I tie on a 10' length of 8mm rope, with a 3' piece of hose on it. When using, I tie the retrieval cord to the end of this. The hose decreases the force required to retrieve the SandTrap rather significantly, and helps considerably in avoiding making rope grooves. Using a piece of hose on the rappel side can help with the grooving, but with the loss of friction the forces on the trap are higher, so care must be taken to compensate for this and make sure the trap has more sand than without the hose.

    I've gotten the trap stuck once, and Dan has gotten it stuck once. In the picture below, the trap got stuck on the chockstone, and Dan had to go back up and get it. The one I got stuck was on the last little drop in No Kidding, where the trap clenched around a little pinnacle. had to jug back up, refill and reposition the SandTrap, then had my partner test it from below, before carefully using it.

    Tom
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  15. #14
    Tom,
    Thanks for your input. It is invaluable. Again, thanks on the pics.This one shows how little an obstacle with which a trap can get caught.
    Thanks also for posting the manufacturer's statement. It will serve as good background.
    I can agree to call potshot/trap anchors 'retrievable', although not all retrievables are created equal. It is probably a different topic.

    Mark,
    Thanks for clarifying why the long tail. That is a very good way to back up any anchor without using extra equipment.
    I feel comfortable with other 'retrievable' anchors once they have been adequately tested with backup, so traps shouldn't be any different.

  16. #15
    2. Good first SandTrap Canyon: No Kidding. Lots of placements, not too long or strenny, not pressed for time. Last time I went in to do it, it was really muddy, and we exited after the first rappel and taking an hour to get past 2 little potholes. Glad it had the exit available...
    Tom - Funny you mention mud in No Kidding. I am going there on Friday, and that is why I originally posed the question about mud in the shots and trap.

    Rob

  17. #16
    Great discussion - especially for us since we just bought a couple of potshots and want to start learning to use them. The photos are great - "a picture is worth a thousand words." Thanks for starting this, Penny. Looking forward to getting the potshots, Tom. The sandtrap will be next on our purchase list.
    "Beaten paths are for beaten men."

  18. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by penmartens View Post
    Referencing the red words in the quote above, it sounds like Russian Roulette for the last person, i.e. lightest person, i.e. me. This sounds marginal and yet it is what I hear every time in connection with traps.
    On that note, I think I will have another donut!

    Instead of connecting the pull rope directly to the Trap, has anyone tried tying a section of webbing between the Trap and the pull rope so that the webbing extends past the lip to avoid grooving? This will no doubt make the pull more difficult with the extra surface area on the rock, but the webbing should not groove near as much as a rope.

  19. #18
    Goofball and No Kidding is one of the great mud stories around--a classic.
    North Wash has had a very dry winter this year. Canyons are pretty dry. There was a wet snow storm a couple weeks ago, but I think its effects are gone.
    I would expect No Kidding to be dry, but remembering Jason's descent I think I would take some potshots, also. They are more forgiving in mud. I believe there is a thread here about using potshots in a series. Forum Fox posted it, I think.
    Good luck. Have fun.

  20. #19
    Thanks Penny ... I am planning on taking both a sandtrap and potshots. I regularly use both. It was partly because of that story (Goofball) that I originally started the thread: [Help] Potshots/Sandtrap with mud???

  21. #20
    Here is some great info with pictures on using Potshots in No Kidding... How many people use a board to stack them on?

    http://www.bogley.com/forum/showthre...-TR-No-Kidding

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