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Thread: Pot Shot & Sand Trap Techniques

  1. #81
    Bogley BigShot oldno7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moab mark View Post
    What is the fiddlestick you two are talking about?
    A releasable rigging designed to help eliminate or minimize grooving in sandstone as a result of difficult rope pulls.

    Did you see my conversation about a stein hitch/knot? That is the basis. If you replace my drafting ruler with a piece of fiberglass that is approximately 1/4" thickX 1 1/4 wide and 8-10" long, you have a fiddlestick.

    You rap on a rope attached to ???? with a stein.
    Your pull side, for the last guy only, is the stick, inserted into the stein creating the hitch.

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  3. #82
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    How about if I promise to not ask for pictures???

    I know SA Steve and Jonathan did a stack on Lake Powell, when they were using a flat placement for a guided rappel, and need to put a lot of force on the anchor, even for the last person. They had the advantage of it being the last rap, and being able to use the boat to pull.

    Even in a flat placement with little to no geometric advantage, it seems like you can put the double load of sand on the trap, opened out flat (Tostada style) and achieve the desired result, especially with a hose on the retrieval side.

    When doing the mega-sand Tostada, it helps to make a nice crease down the middle of the trap to help start the pull/dump action.

    I'd be concerned with stacked traps that the sand from the top trap would just end up on top of the bottom trap.

    Seems like we've had a few cases where we wanted to add more weight, but the awkward stance did not make putting more sand in the trap seem like a good idea. So we loaded up some potshots, left the tops open and put them atop the SandTrap; then pulled them off first with a separate rope (or with the pull side, tied off to pull the PotShots first and get them clear before reaching the pull/dump strap.

    I can see the side by side equalized traps in flat terrain, but also just putting that same amount of sand on one tarp might be better. Then again, if you only had mud... maybe the side by side would work much better, as pulling/dumping mud might be very problematic.

    T

  4. #83
    Bogley BigShot moab mark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldno7 View Post
    A releasable rigging designed to help eliminate or minimize grooving in sandstone as a result of difficult rope pulls.

    Did you see my conversation about a stein hitch/knot? That is the basis. If you replace my drafting ruler with a piece of fiberglass that is approximately 1/4" thickX 1 1/4 wide and 8-10" long, you have a fiddlestick.

    You rap on a rope attached to ???? with a stein.
    Your pull side, for the last guy only, is the stick, inserted into the stein creating the hitch.
    Thats what I thought. I have a post on here where I played with that concept quite a bit. I had a hard time getting the knot to collapse when I pulled the rod out.

  5. #84
    Quote Originally Posted by penmartens
    I am getting used to carrying the hose, but am not liking it much. It is, admittedly, an obsessive/compulsive thing on my part.
    If you do not like carrying it, I would be happy to carry it for you. I just started using it this last trip, and don't suspect I will get sick of carrying it for some time.

  6. #85
    Rob,
    If you are carrying the hose, I hope that doesn't mean I am carrying everything else.
    I just talked to Dave last night about doing a trip with you. I have several in mind for this spring. I'll pm you.

    Oldno,
    I clicked every clickable item on the link provided. I guess I have to order the old fashioned way, by phone. I hope to get to that by the end of the day. Thanks. I CAN sew, but I think I'll get one of theirs first.

    Tom,
    A couple of things:
    It has been a few years, but what about the last rap in Foolin' Around as a flat featureless rapping station?

    Also, you said the trap moves 12-24 inches during rappelling. Does it do that everytime? Or are you talking about when it is in a hanging position?

    You said you use some 8 mil rope to extend your retrieval rope from the trap. Canyon Devil had asked about using webbing there instead. What do you think?

    Would someone like to address ascending on sandtraps or potshots?
    I know Tom did when the trap stuck in No Kidding and Spidey did some amazing batman-ing out of the big pothole in Smiling Cricket.

  7. #86
    @penmartens
    Rope protectors like that are used a lot in caving. They are made by many companies. Here are a few I have used:

    http://landjoff.com/product/15/rope-protector.html
    By far the cheapest, but I ordered 3 of them on Feb 8, and just got them today. They are pretty heavy duty PVC.

    http://www.amazon.com/Spiroll-Rope-P...2433014&sr=8-1
    These are an interesting idea, they grab the rope really well so you dont have to constantly check the position.

    http://www.amazon.com/Petzl-Protec-R...2433067&sr=1-1
    The classic Petzl rope protector is also a durable pvc type.

    Using a section of fire hose also works really well.
    "Without the possibility of death, adventure is not possible" --Reinhold Messner

  8. #87
    Trail Master RAM's Avatar
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    Hope no one minds my input. I have used the sandtrap as much as anyone I suspect.
    Some observations and speculations, if I may....in no particular order

    The thing works.
    Those that use it a few times become believers
    I have never seen a place where stacking potshots works, where the sandtrap doesn't
    Knowing how to stack potshots is still a skill worth knowing
    The trap fills a niche. When it doesn't work, something else will
    One trap by itself really works. Confidence in it is gained by use. Stacking or double traps has not been needed after several 100 applications so far. Not saying it may never be needed, but...
    The hose works. Lay something, cloth, pack etc under the rap rope and use the hose for the pull
    Other methods to wrap the rope such as the one Kurt suggests will likely work too.
    The trap will often move forward a few feet before dumping its load, so plan for that
    When the sides of the trap (or where the trap is pulled forward to) don't have at least 1/2 foot on each side for the sand to dump, you may be in trouble
    I fear that adding hooks creates an additional way for the trap to get stuck....hooks catch amazingly well.
    Four people is an ideal number for using it.
    Three folks gets sketchier but still works. More experience recommended then
    Two sandtraps work well with 6 people, with a rotating fourth person moving back and forth and available at each anchor
    There is no reason not to back up the trap every time, except the last person
    Its OK for the big first person, to be somewhat aggressive on rap
    Make sure the back up takes no weight on the rappel. Its no test if you do
    Rap with care, creating a bend in the rope, on the lip, before the weighting of the thing
    Slide down, low weight rapping is the standard
    The system is tested a lot more when the one goes free on rappel. Forces jump
    The sandtrap commits a lot of rope to each rappel. I usually suggest .7 ropes per person in the canyon...or more
    Potshots are usually needed when the sandtrap is used, to transport sand
    The sandtrap fits in a potshot for carrying in your pack perfectly
    Don't have everyone leave the last sand location, when approaching rappels, until other sources downcanyon have been confirmed
    Sand can be brought from below the rappel
    Sand brought up from below the rap is challenging not to leave grooves. Be careful with raising.
    Gravel under a trap can lessen friction a lot
    The dry fluffy sand is best
    Small rocks with sand is less than ideal. Take the time to filter
    If you have rocks in the trap, don't forget to duck when pulling the trap ;-)
    You can figure the trap out on your own. It is faster and safer to have someone seasoned with the thing along to mitigate some of the learning curve.
    There is a lot more nuance to the thing

    I appreciate the discussion of new ideas for the trap and don't want to be classified as "stuck in a rut or mud" as to its applications. But the thing requires depth of experience to really master its basic use. Time spent getting it nuance and gaining that knowledge and confidence on what it does do so well, is wise. From there, one would better know what improvements might improve the trap and its use . YMMV.
    Ram


  9. #88
    Excellent. Thanks Ram.
    Life is Good

  10. #89
    Outdoorsman ghawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Card View Post
    Excellent. Thanks Ram.
    X2 - very helpful. thanks
    - Gavin

  11. #90
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by penmartens View Post
    Tom,
    A couple of things:
    It has been a few years, but what about the last rap in Foolin' Around as a flat featureless rapping station?

    Also, you said the trap moves 12-24 inches during rappelling. Does it do that everytime? Or are you talking about when it is in a hanging position?

    You said you use some 8 mil rope to extend your retrieval rope from the trap. Canyon Devil had asked about using webbing there instead. What do you think?

    Would someone like to address ascending on sandtraps or potshots?
    I know Tom did when the trap stuck in No Kidding and Spidey did some amazing batman-ing out of the big pothole in Smiling Cricket.
    If you have not used a SandTrap on a flat location, it is easy. You pile a LOT of sand on it, until it barely twitches when loaded. This is done Tostada style, and it is important to make a substantial groove down the middle of the sand, to help start the pulling/dumping process.

    If the location is downward sloping, then it is not going to work. The physics just isn't there.

    Webbing tends to have more friction on rock than rope. So you can use webbing to extend the pull side, but it will increase the force.

    Before ascending on something that is stuck, I consider it REAL IMPORTANT to make sure it will not come undone while I am jugging. Two people pulling real hard and bouncing up and down is required to make sure it is true and securely stuck. Jugging up gently is also a good idea. Being very careful at transitions is especially important. Moving aggressively over the top edge could change the loading on the 'stuck' anchor and cause it to instantly become 'unstuck'; which could result in you becoming 'unalive'.

    Before ascending anything, one should consider the consequences. Is it really NECESSARY to do that? If I got my rope stuck on the last rap in Behunin, I would not jug it - I would do the canyon again the next day to retrieve it. If my rope got stuck in Lodge Canyon, I would not jug it, because I was smart enough to bring an extra rope because they get stuck there all the time!

    Tom

  12. #91
    ndonaldj--thanks for the other links

    Tom, tell me more about this crease, or groove, in tostada mode. Does it run lengthwise in the direction of the pull, or crosswise?

    I think everyone would agree that jugging on a trap would be a last ditch effort and mighty scary.

  13. #92
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by penmartens View Post
    ndonaldj--thanks for the other links

    Tom, tell me more about this crease, or groove, in tostada mode. Does it run lengthwise in the direction of the pull, or crosswise?

    I think everyone would agree that jugging on a trap would be a last ditch effort and mighty scary.
    If you imagine pulling the SandTrap, the pull strap first goes tight, then starts by making a groove, then squeezes it up to start dumping sand. The part that takes the most force is when it starts making a groove. If you make the groove ahead of time, it decreases the force required to start the pulling process.

    Tom

  14. #93
    Our group did No Kidding on 4/3 with completely dry conditions, lots of sunshine, and wind. We didn't notice the wind much once we dropped in. It was a perfect day to spend time experimenting and playing with potshots/sandtraps.
    We used a sandtrap for the very first rap. We all were impressed with the ease of use. We made a small berm at the front edge to assist with geometry. It worked very well. It didn't move at all. To protect the pull, we slid two sections of webbing over the pull cord (I hadn't had time to order a rope protector) and positioned them at the two contact points with the rock. This worked very well. The rope slid nicely through.
    That is the only place we used the trap. Unfortunately, the other places seemed less than desirable for a trap. From our understanding of traps, we felt the stations were too narrow to allow for dumping. It is obviously incorrect since both Spidey and Tom have used traps in those places, but we were not willing to give it a try.
    We used one traditional deadman and retrieved that rope at the end of the day. We dismantled the anchor so others can enjoy playing.
    We used a releasable knot chock at the last rap. It would have been a good place for a trap, but it also had a crack that the releasable knot worked well in.
    The rest of the raps we used stacked potshots. They were all solid placements with no movement, except for one rap. It was into a semi-keeper pothole (Canyondevil had done a magnificent imitation of Spidey throwing a potshot across the pothole), but we just couldn't set the shots firm. They slid each time and Luke had to put a knee down to brace them when people went over a lip that was about halfway down. After much finessing, the only other thing we could think to do different was to move the shots and clean the sand from under them to give more friction. Luke rapped next and they still moved. I, as one of the lightweights and most experienced rappellers, had opted to go last. I rapped as gently as I ever have, didn't hesitate at the lip, and was down without anything moving. I guess that is the 40 pound difference between Luke and I.
    Some of our observations:
    Potshots seem to work well when hanging or almost hanging off the back side of a lip. They aren't so great on even slightly downsloping rock.
    Potshots with pinky sized holes are not so good for holding sand.
    Potshots should have some kind of sheath to protect the rock.
    More shots partially full is better than fewer completely full.
    It is truly mesmerizing to pull gently on a rope and watch shots come over the edge, colorful and swinging free like scarves out of a hat.
    We were safe, but came away feeling less than proficient in shot placement and no further along in trap placement but sold on its use.
    We are ready to go again for more experimenting and fun.
    Penny

  15. #94
    Quote Originally Posted by penmartens
    Potshots should have some kind of sheath to protect the rock.
    What do you mean by this? Are you talking about the pull, the rappel rope, or the potshots themselves?

  16. #95
    Sorry, about that. I had too many interuptions while trying to compose. I meant to say some kind of sheath to protect the rope, specifically the pull.

  17. #96
    This is the one that gave us the most trouble. It is the drop that dumps into the big KPH. We probably could have done a pack drag, but wanted to play with the shots and trap. The geometry didnt look like the trap would allow it to dump before it went into the pinch (which is difficult to see from the picture). We ended up digging the sand out down to the bare rock and the shots held. Rob, do you remember this one? Would the trap have dumped suffiently enough to pull through the pinch?Name:  P1020637 (Large)..jpg
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  18. #97
    Quote Originally Posted by canyondevil
    Rob, do you remember this one? Would the trap have dumped suffiently enough to pull through the pinch?
    Sorry... We downclimbed that one. I don't exactly remember, but I think there was a fairly wide ledge (4-5 feet) that sloped to the left. It was about a 12-15 foot drop right? I think there would have been enough space RDC (bottom in the picture) to set up the sandtrap in tostada mode and have a clean pull.

  19. #98
    Yes, it was about 12-15 ft into the KPH. It certainly didnt have to be rapped. The wall on the right got steep in a hurry too at the lip although the perspective in the picture doesnt show it well. We were afraid we would have to pull the trap through where our ropes go over the edge and get all jammed up in there full of sand. We didnt think about it in tostada mode, that might have worked. Dang, I guess we have to go back and do it again!

  20. #99
    Quote Originally Posted by penmartens View Post
    Our group did No Kidding on 4/3 with completely dry conditions, lots of sunshine, and wind. We didn't notice the wind much once we dropped in. It was a perfect day to spend time experimenting and playing with potshots/sandtraps.
    We used a sandtrap for the very first rap. We all were impressed with the ease of use. We made a small berm at the front edge to assist with geometry. It worked very well. It didn't move at all. To protect the pull, we slid two sections of webbing over the pull cord (I hadn't had time to order a rope protector) and positioned them at the two contact points with the rock. This worked very well. The rope slid nicely through.
    That is the only place we used the trap. Unfortunately, the other places seemed less than desirable for a trap. From our understanding of traps, we felt the stations were too narrow to allow for dumping. It is obviously incorrect since both Spidey and Tom have used traps in those places, but we were not willing to give it a try.
    We used one traditional deadman and retrieved that rope at the end of the day. We dismantled the anchor so others can enjoy playing.
    We used a releasable knot chock at the last rap. It would have been a good place for a trap, but it also had a crack that the releasable knot worked well in.
    The rest of the raps we used stacked potshots. They were all solid placements with no movement, except for one rap. It was into a semi-keeper pothole (Canyondevil had done a magnificent imitation of Spidey throwing a potshot across the pothole), but we just couldn't set the shots firm. They slid each time and Luke had to put a knee down to brace them when people went over a lip that was about halfway down. After much finessing, the only other thing we could think to do different was to move the shots and clean the sand from under them to give more friction. Luke rapped next and they still moved. I, as one of the lightweights and most experienced rappellers, had opted to go last. I rapped as gently as I ever have, didn't hesitate at the lip, and was down without anything moving. I guess that is the 40 pound difference between Luke and I.
    Some of our observations:
    Potshots seem to work well when hanging or almost hanging off the back side of a lip. They aren't so great on even slightly downsloping rock.
    Potshots with pinky sized holes are not so good for holding sand.
    Potshots should have some kind of sheath to protect the rock.
    More shots partially full is better than fewer completely full.
    It is truly mesmerizing to pull gently on a rope and watch shots come over the edge, colorful and swinging free like scarves out of a hat.
    We were safe, but came away feeling less than proficient in shot placement and no further along in trap placement but sold on its use.
    We are ready to go again for more experimenting and fun.
    Penny

    Life is Good

  21. #100
    Quote Originally Posted by PG Rob View Post
    Sorry... We downclimbed that one. I don't exactly remember, but I think there was a fairly wide ledge (4-5 feet) that sloped to the left. It was about a 12-15 foot drop right? I think there would have been enough space RDC (bottom in the picture) to set up the sandtrap in tostada mode and have a clean pull.
    Rob, I think you are correct. The trap in tostada mode might have been just what was needed there. I think the extra area of friction plus being able to dump out the back and sides instead of just the sides would have solved the problem.

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