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Thread: Fiddlestix Anchors

  1. #41
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Glue on PVC works really well.

    When used.

    Tom

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  3. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by ratagonia View Post
    Glue on PVC works really well.

    When used.

    Tom
    Just be sure it's proper PVC cement and not some random glue. PVC cement is PVC dissolved in a solvent. It creates an all-PVC bond, no interfaces to some other material. Thus the term "solvent welding".

  4. #43
    Bogley BigShot oldno7's Avatar
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    --only canyoneers, could come up with 177 different ways to--"Make a Stick"

  5. #44
    I'm finding all this technical stuff so interesting, I might have to start canyoneering just so I can experience it in person!!

  6. #45
    I have field tested several options as a fiddlestick, and have settled on a Rubbermaid refrigerator coil brush handle. I bought it at Ace Hardware for $7. It is a perfect diameter, about right friction, wont kill you on the way down, won't expand when wet, and has a pre-drilled hole. I am concerned that at some point the hole could be blown out. It is about 14 inches long, but could easily be trimmed down if desired. Has anyone found anything else besides sail batten, PVC or metal that they like?
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  7. #46
    Trail Master RAM's Avatar
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    Sonny Lawrence and friends recently did some extensive testing and analysis of the Fiddlestick and knots, including pictures. Interesting stuff. It can be found here:
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/canyons/message/64998

  8. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by PG Rob View Post
    I have field tested several options as a fiddlestick, and have settled on a Rubbermaid refrigerator coil brush handle. I bought it at Ace Hardware for $7. It is a perfect diameter, about right friction, wont kill you on the way down, won't expand when wet, and has a pre-drilled hole. I am concerned that at some point the hole could be blown out. It is about 14 inches long, but could easily be trimmed down if desired. Has anyone found anything else besides sail batten, PVC or metal that they like?
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    I've been using a section of a carbon fiber ski pole with a wooden dowel snugly fitted inside. No pic handy but it's strong, light, and durable.

  9. #48
    If folks don't belong to the canyons group, I'll repost here:


    Posted by Sonny on the canyons yahoo group:

    Paul Stovall, Mark Binder, Trevor Walton and I did some preliminary testing on
    releasable anchors variously referred to as Fiddlestick, J Rods, toggles and
    pins which acted in concert with a variant of the Stein hitch. It should be
    noted that only a few iterations of a particular system were run. Hence one
    cannot make a statistical evaluation of the results. Rather, the results show a
    trend. Such information would then be used to guide further testing. There are
    many confounding parameters such as new vs. old rope, clean vs. dirty rope, wet
    vs. dry rope, rope diameter, rope material, rope construction, pin construction,
    pin shape, pin diameter, pin coating. Also note that such anchors should be
    considered as advanced. They require a lot of practice in a safe environment
    before being used in canyons.

    For the test we used Imlay Canyon rope, size 9 mm and 8 mm. We used 6 pins:
    nylon 6 tapered, HDPE, aluminum, oak, piton and nylon 6 straight. Paul made the
    "nylon 6 tapered" by drilling a hole through the center and tapering it slightly
    from the center to the ends. That gave it a waist. The oak has been used in
    canyons over the past few years as a pin for a similar system. It originally was
    coated with polyurethane which is partially rubbed off. The piton is from the
    70s. Paul made a pin out of aluminum and flattened the end to attach a cord to.
    The HDPE material was cut as a flat piece. All pins ranged in length from 4 to
    6 inches. Please see photographs.

    The "anchor" was a rapide suspended in air. The rope being tested was passed
    through it to simulate going around an object such as a rock or tree. A fifty
    (50) pound weight was suspended in air on a tether such that when the system
    released, it would not hit the ground. That weight was chosen to simulate the
    forces an anchor would see if an adult was hanging on a rope that had a lot of
    friction where it touched the rock. So for example on a particular rappel the
    force on an anchor from a 180 pound person might only be 50 pounds. In addition,
    the weight was increased to 100 pounds and later 150 pounds. This simulated
    increasingly less friction of rope over rock.

    Most of the testing was done with the pull down rope being less than or equal to
    15 degrees from the rappel rope. That was to simulate both ropes leaving the
    anchor roughly together. This is referred to as "vertical." One test was run
    with the pull down rope perpendicular to the rappel rope. This is referred to as
    "horizontal."

    The Stein used was always tied from an overhand, not a figure eight. It was tied
    in the "up" position, i.e., the doubled rope was looped. The loop was then
    flipped toward the anchor in order to pull through a bite for the pin to be
    placed under. As the testing progressed, it was realized that there was a trend
    for the release force related to how the pin was placed in the Stein. The Stein
    is asymmetrical with respect to the bite of rope pulled through (that the pin
    will be placed under). One can describe it in terms of which side the rappel
    rope is aligned with. Please see photograph for an example. Consequently as the
    test progressed, notation was made as to if the pin was inserted on the same or
    opposite side as the rappel rope. This is called "Stein-pin relation." Also,
    depending on how the Stein is tied, the rappel rope can be just above the pin
    (hence touching it) or it can be above the tail's loop. A distinction was then
    made as to the rappel rope being "high" or "low." This is called "Rap loop
    relation." See photograph.

    The force needed to release the pin was measured with a dynamometer held (and
    then caught) by the person testing.
    Photographs in our Yahoo pictures at: http://tinyurl.com/cl3n26b
    Spreadsheet at: our Yahoo files named stein.xls
    Video at: <>


    Trends
    1) If more weight was used to simulate the person on rappel, much more force was
    needed to release the pin.
    2) Release forces roughly averaged for the following Stein-pin configurations:
    opposite/high 20 lbs
    opposite/low 23 lbs
    same/high 29 lbs
    same/low 34 lbs
    3) Little difference was seen between 9 mm and 8 mm rope.
    4) Different pin materials behaved differently with aluminum requiring the
    highest average release force and nylon the lowest.

    Implications
    1) If indeed there is significant difference in release force depending on the
    Stein configuration chosen, this might be useful at a particular rappel. So for
    example, if in the judgment of the canyon team, the pull down is going to be
    difficult, the configuration of opposite/high would be chosen due to its lower
    release force. Conversely if the pull cord was being influenced by moving water,
    the Stein configuration of same/low would be chosen in order to minimize the
    likelihood of a premature release with the last person still on rappel.
    2) Never allow the last person to deploy the pull cord from a pack upon rappel.
    The release forces are in a range that could easily be obtained with deadly
    consequences.
    3) Keep your full weight on this system while on rappel until you are on the
    ground.
    4) Depending on the Stein configuration, two pins of different materials, say
    steel vs. nylon, may be made to release at similar forces.

  10. #49
    Anywho... Here's my latest incarnation. I l use the tapered section of an aluminum ski pole (haven't test the strength yet, but the taper makes it slick) and a locking clove hitch which will not loosen when unweighted. It's nice because the fiddlestick remains in line with the rope unlike with the stone knot which orients the stick perpendicular, and from what I've read in this forum and others, is one problem with the stone. The locking clove unfurls just like a normal clove hitch when the stick is pulled. I've only played with this in the yard and will do some refining.

  11. #50
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bootboy View Post
    Anywho... Here's my latest incarnation. I l use the tapered section of an aluminum ski pole (haven't test the strength yet, but the taper makes it slick) and a locking clove hitch which will not loosen when unweighted. It's nice because the fiddlestick remains in line with the rope unlike with the stone knot which orients the stick perpendicular, and from what I've read in this forum and others, is one problem with the stone. The locking clove unfurls just like a normal clove hitch when the stick is pulled. I've only played with this in the yard and will do some refining.
    I think you are missing the point.

    A fiddlestick leaves NOTHING behind. Looks like you are leaving a sling with a ring, which is about half of the story.

    Tom

  12. #51
    So how exactly do you leave nothing behind? Are you just wrapping rope around something? Are you tieing the rope to a Rapide on webbing, putting the tail through the other rapide and then just doing the fiddlestix furhter down the line?

  13. #52
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcmault View Post
    So how exactly do you leave nothing behind? Are you just wrapping rope around something? Are you tieing the rope to a Rapide on webbing, putting the pull side through the other rapide and then using the tail and pull side further down to tie the Fiddlestix knot?
    Just wrapping the rope around something.

    With that in mind, you might want to go back and read the thread from the beginning.

    Tom

  14. #53
    Looks like I'm not the only one



    The way that I demonstrated still maintains several advantages over having to pull the whole rope. Does it not? Most of the canyons I do have existing anchors. My method helps to minimize impact (rope grooves in rock); makes for faster, cleaner pulls, and allows me to carry less gear. Do these have no merit of themselves if webbing is left?

    Boots

  15. #54
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bootboy View Post
    Looks like I'm not the only one



    The way that I demonstrated still maintains several advantages over having to pull the whole rope. Does it not? Most of the canyons I do have existing anchors. My method helps to minimize impact (rope grooves in rock); makes for faster, cleaner pulls, and allows me to carry less gear. Do these have no merit of themselves if webbing is left?

    Boots
    It has considerable merit, mostly in minimizing rope grooves. As I said, that is about half of it.

    Tom

  16. #55
    I see this mostly as a really great way to kill yourself. But, at least you guys are puttin' some thought in it.

    Take something safe like rappelling, and, make it as sketchy as you can...what do you get? Canyoneering...

  17. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian in SLC View Post
    I see this mostly as a really great way to kill yourself. But, at least you guys are puttin' some though in it.
    x2

  18. #57
    I have a question: Outside of having to run the rope through a rapide or rap ring or carrying (2) 100' ropes in lieu of a 200' rope for a 90' rappel for example, what advantage(s) would the fiddlestix have over the CEM or Macrame? I can see maybe a smoother disconnect at the anchor which would be nice if you're rappelling into a slot or area where you can't step back to pull the rope. Just looking for other ideas & opinions on advantages to help justify carrying more gear.

  19. #58
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ratagonia View Post
    Big advantages of a Fiddlestick Anchor

    1. Can use anchors you would not otherwise consider. Things back from the edge quite a ways, things that are really big.
    2. You don't leave webbing behind.
    - 2a. Leaving crap in canyons is leaving crap in canyons. Minimizing the crap we leave in canyons is a good thing.
    - 2b. Not leaving webbing in canyons means you don't need to bring as much webbing on explorations as you used to, and manage the gradual diminishment of that webbing.
    3. Not pulling the rope through tends to minimize rope grooves.
    4. Since you are not pulling a rope through, you can tie ropes together to rappel with. In some cases this means you can build fewer anchors.
    5. Leaving a canyon with nothing in it means the next party can also have a first-descent experience.
    6. It is often fast and easy.

    Tom
    Bump.


  20. #59
    Bogley BigShot oldno7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Summit2Sea View Post
    I have a question: Outside of having to run the rope through a rapide or rap ring or carrying (2) 100' ropes in lieu of a 200' rope for a 90' rappel for example, what advantage(s) would the fiddlestix have over the CEM or Macrame? I can see maybe a smoother disconnect at the anchor which would be nice if you're rappelling into a slot or area where you can't step back to pull the rope. Just looking for other ideas & opinions on advantages to help justify carrying more gear.
    The fiddlestick method is a releasable system, there are many.
    choosing the right one for any particular application is the canyoneers job.(mostly what you feel comfortable with)
    Some involve more hardware some less.......
    I never use a cem but have considerable rope time on a macrame as well as a couple others, including a fiddlestick.

  21. #60
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Summit2Sea View Post
    I have a question: Outside of having to run the rope through a rapide or rap ring or carrying (2) 100' ropes in lieu of a 200' rope for a 90' rappel for example, what advantage(s) would the fiddlestix have over the CEM or Macrame? I can see maybe a smoother disconnect at the anchor which would be nice if you're rappelling into a slot or area where you can't step back to pull the rope. Just looking for other ideas & opinions on advantages to help justify carrying more gear.
    I found the macrame to be unreliable. It would get stuck. The release depends on the friction properties of the rope, which vary from rope to rope and from time to time.

    The FiddleStick was developed to create a robust, reliable, non-pull-through, no-trash system. I like that it is turning into a craft project, rather than a product that I would be obliged to produce. Some people will have no use for it - I consider it an esoteric piece of equipment / technique that should probably not become used generally.

    Tom

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