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Thread: Birch Hollow 07/25/2015

  1. #1

    Birch Hollow 07/25/2015

    Birch Hollow, what a fun canyon.
    As far as layout and flow goes, the design and creation of this canyon was well thought out.

    Start with a short hike down a wash, push through a couple of short and scenic rappels, throw in a few tricky downclimbs,
    add a walk through a cool forested section that ends with a big drop, pop off a few rappels with logs at the bottom and finish up with a couple of really fine rappels down a fluted and twisty crack. From there, hike a mile back to some easily spotted vehicles. What could be better?

    Oh! and this canyon is a popular one too! We made contact with four other groups the day we were in there.

    Thanks to my canyonneering partners for a fun time; Jessica, Andrea, Justin, Jeremy, Koda, Lorin, Alijeh

    More photos can be viewed at

    https://picasaweb.google.com/1149702...NPArea07252015

    Doug French

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    Don't believe everything you think.

    -Borrowed from a bumper sticker I believe

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  3. #2
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Having the most difficult rappels first - not such a good design.

    (But still a favorite).

    Thanks for the TR.


  4. #3
    the photo of the little one, number 11, shows the belay device, a Critter, it looks like, almost right up against her head/helmet, with the quik link to give it the 90 degress turn. unless she is wearing a stocking cap, it would be real easy to get some hair caught up in the rappel device, even a little wisp can cause big problems. a short extension might lift it above her head, and out of reach of the hair. while you might say that this might make it hard for her to adjust her tension enroute,, I doubt she is changing tension settings on the fly, and I'm sure you have a fireman below her. along those same lines, her left hand is holding the rope above the device, presumably for balance and not tension, but raising the device moves her hand below it, so a finger on the rope couldn't inadvertantly get sucked into the device, and the hand would then be able to apply a two handed brake if needed, as opposed to it being useless in that regard above the device. not a criticism, just a thought, recently had to deal with a hair incident in my group, 25 ft off the deck, and it was not much fun for anybody.

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  6. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by ratagonia View Post
    Having the most difficult rappels first - not such a good design.

    (But still a favorite).

    Thanks for the TR.

    We didn't find the first rappels that difficult. We did not go down the center of the first one. That one looked way too rocky and crumbly. We moved to the right to the much shorter, safer and less difficult one.
    Don't believe everything you think.

    -Borrowed from a bumper sticker I believe

  7. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by rick t View Post
    the photo of the little one, number 11, shows the belay device, a Critter, it looks like, almost right up against her head/helmet, with the quik link to give it the 90 degress turn. unless she is wearing a stocking cap, it would be real easy to get some hair caught up in the rappel device, even a little wisp can cause big problems. a short extension might lift it above her head, and out of reach of the hair. while you might say that this might make it hard for her to adjust her tension enroute,, I doubt she is changing tension settings on the fly, and I'm sure you have a fireman below her. along those same lines, her left hand is holding the rope above the device, presumably for balance and not tension, but raising the device moves her hand below it, so a finger on the rope couldn't inadvertantly get sucked into the device, and the hand would then be able to apply a two handed brake if needed, as opposed to it being useless in that regard above the device. not a criticism, just a thought, recently had to deal with a hair incident in my group, 25 ft off the deck, and it was not much fun for anybody.
    Good points! My Grand Daughter gets a lot of attention before each rappel by many of us in our group. Proper Jump Mastering is the key.

    Believe me, under that helmet her hair is tightly plastered back with many hair clips. All loose ends are safely tucked tightly away. She really enjoys the attention . Yes I have seen it happen more than once, from a wisp of hair to an improperly tucked shirt getting stuck and that was with adults!

    She knows how to tie off on the Critter and she knows how to adjust tension but she has many years to go before she will really need to do that.. We also always apply the fireman below her. My Grand Daughter has experienced getting the tip of her glove caught in her rappel device so she knows what that is like. She also has about 150 rappels under her belt.

    Extending the rappel device above her is something to consider and I have done that with others. One of the problems with that is it is sometimes difficult to start the rappel when the device is above one's head. Also, once they learn one way it is difficult to suddenly switch gears. For a child with less experience, less coordination, and less focus than what my Grand Daughter has, I would definitely consider those suggestions.

    So how did you deal with the stuck hair in your group?
    Don't believe everything you think.

    -Borrowed from a bumper sticker I believe

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  9. #6
    Great TR, Doug, as always, (but you and Rich T need to learn double paragraph spacing for easier text reading!).

    Perhaps I'll add this to my canyon "to do" list. Unfortunately, it won't be this year for me...I have other Utah plans.

    Rob

  10. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob L View Post
    Great TR, Doug, as always, (but you and Rich T need to learn double paragraph spacing for easier text reading!).

    Perhaps I'll add this to my canyon "to do" list. Unfortunately, it won't be this year for me...I have other Utah plans.

    Rob
    Thanks Rob.

    Spacing is a good suggestion.
    Don't believe everything you think.

    -Borrowed from a bumper sticker I believe

  11. #8
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by french_de View Post
    Thanks Rob.














    Spacing is a good suggestion.



    Fixed that for you...

  12. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by french_de View Post
    Good points! My Grand Daughter gets a lot of attention before each rappel by many of us in our group. Proper Jump Mastering is the key.

    Believe me, under that helmet her hair is tightly plastered back with many hair clips. All loose ends are safely tucked tightly away. She really enjoys the attention . Yes I have seen it happen more than once, from a wisp of hair to an improperly tucked shirt getting stuck and that was with adults!

    She knows how to tie off on the Critter and she knows how to adjust tension but she has many years to go before she will really need to do that.. We also always apply the fireman below her. My Grand Daughter has experienced getting the tip of her glove caught in her rappel device so she knows what that is like. She also has about 150 rappels under her belt.

    Extending the rappel device above her is something to consider and I have done that with others. One of the problems with that is it is sometimes difficult to start the rappel when the device is above one's head. Also, once they learn one way it is difficult to suddenly switch gears. For a child with less experience, less coordination, and less focus than what my Grand Daughter has, I would definitely consider those suggestions.

    So how did you deal with the stuck hair in your group?
    victim was 100 ft down, and out of sight, but still 25 ft off the deck, on a single 125 ft rope. went down on a second rope, and tried unsuccessfully, to back it out using a counterbalance to lift her. Because it was wrapped around and around the 8, and tight up against her skull, with a giant hair ball, was unable to back it out, so I clipped her to my harness just in case and got out the knife, and even that was time consuming and a difficult challenge, getting it cut free, without hitting the scalp or the rope. In retrospect it might have been easier to have tied the second rope onto the first, and raised her using a mechanical advantage set up to free the (8) block holding her rope, and lowered her using another rappel device set above the knot. But the first reaction when the screaming starts, absent her being on a 200 ft or long enough rope to lower her using the 8 block, is to go to the victim using a second rope. Having no surplus length on her rope to lower her, and not being able to see her, to see how high she was, going to the site seemed like the best idea, but I had no idea how ugly the jam was going to be, and that it was not going to be reversible. An ugly situation (the hair was tied back in a pony tail), which resulted in an awkward and difficult, but safe, resolution. Live and learn.

  13. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by rick t View Post
    victim was 100 ft down, and out of sight, but still 25 ft off the deck, on a single 125 ft rope. went down on a second rope, and tried unsuccessfully, to back it out using a counterbalance to lift her.
    Because it was wrapped around and around the 8, and tight up against her skull, with a giant hair ball, was unable to back it out, so I clipped her to my harness just in case and got out the knife, and even that was time consuming and a difficult challenge, getting it cut free, without hitting the scalp or the rope.

    In retrospect it might have been easier to have tied the second rope onto the first, and raised her using a mechanical advantage set up to free the (8) block holding her rope, and lowered her using another rappel device set above the knot.

    But the first reaction when the screaming starts, absent her being on a 200 ft or long enough rope to lower her using the 8 block, is to go to the victim using a second rope.

    Having no surplus length on her rope to lower her, and not being able to see her, to see how high she was, going to the site seemed like the best idea, but I had no idea how ugly the jam was going to be, and that it was not going to be reversible. An ugly situation (the hair was tied back in a pony tail), which resulted in an awkward and difficult, but safe, resolution.

    Live and learn.
    Wow!! That scenario is one of my nightmares. That would have been my first reaction - to rappel down on another rope and attempt to mitigate the situation.

    Depending on the weight of the one on rappel it might be possible to pull the person back up but with the screaming and all... and pulling up the individual could make matters worse.. The reaction is to get to the person as soon as possible.

    Leaving another rope at the top until everyone is down but the clean up/jump master guy is good practice

    We had a situation happen to us where an individual (adult) in another group became stuck when his loose t-shirt became jammed in his figure eight device, he was stuck free hanging about 20 feet from the top of the rappel and about 60 feet from the ground. His shirt was jammed good pulling it tight around the back of his head.

    We learned about it when his buddy came running over asking for a knife to maybe toss to the guy so he could cut himself free.

    When we got over to the situation and took sight of the guy, he was so freaked out that he was unable to help himself - he was just hanging on the rope as tight as he could and saying his prayers - I think he was anyway, he was saying God a lot. The fireman in our group was able to climb over to his rope below and give him a fireman from below which calmed him down a tad. We ended up lowering to him some connected pieces of omni sling and he attached the end with a carabiner to his belay loop. We didn't not have an extra rope up top.

    The two of us up top were able to pull this guy up about 6 inches which took the strain off his belay device. It then took us ten minutes to talk him in to letting go of the rope with both hands so he could pull out the jammed t-shirt.

    It took awhile to get the thing out but once he was free he was able to safely continue the rappel.

    Live and learn is right.
    . .
    Don't believe everything you think.

    -Borrowed from a bumper sticker I believe

  14. #11
    Bogley BigShot
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    Wonderful photos!

  15. #12
    My boys loved the funny faces pics! The rest of the pictures were excellent as well.

    Does your granddaughter like the Critr better than other devices? Does she have any issues with too much friction? My youngest wants one and wondering if version#2 would work for him...

  16. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Sandstone Addiction View Post
    My boys loved the funny faces pics! The rest of the pictures were excellent as well.

    Does your granddaughter like the Critr better than other devices? Does she have any issues with too much friction? My youngest wants one and wondering if version#2 would work for him...
    Yes, there is some competition within this group to out do each other with crazy canyon selfies.

    My granddaughter started with the pirhana a couple of years ago and recently graduated to the Critr. She is Ok friction wise on single rope rappels, ....double rope is another story....We had a couple of the Critr2 users in Birch who had been using the original Critr and they liked the smoother, less friction action. I think your youngest will find the Critr2 to be a smoother performing device..
    Don't believe everything you think.

    -Borrowed from a bumper sticker I believe

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  18. #14
    Bogley BigShot oldno7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rick t View Post
    victim was 100 ft down, and out of sight, but still 25 ft off the deck, on a single 125 ft rope. went down on a second rope, and tried unsuccessfully, to back it out using a counterbalance to lift her. Because it was wrapped around and around the 8, and tight up against her skull, with a giant hair ball, was unable to back it out, so I clipped her to my harness just in case and got out the knife, and even that was time consuming and a difficult challenge, getting it cut free, without hitting the scalp or the rope. In retrospect it might have been easier to have tied the second rope onto the first, and raised her using a mechanical advantage set up to free the (8) block holding her rope, and lowered her using another rappel device set above the knot. But the first reaction when the screaming starts, absent her being on a 200 ft or long enough rope to lower her using the 8 block, is to go to the victim using a second rope. Having no surplus length on her rope to lower her, and not being able to see her, to see how high she was, going to the site seemed like the best idea, but I had no idea how ugly the jam was going to be, and that it was not going to be reversible. An ugly situation (the hair was tied back in a pony tail), which resulted in an awkward and difficult, but safe, resolution. Live and learn.
    So the person is down 100'/25' off the deck.
    You say you had no surplus rope to lower, yet you rappeled 100' to cut her hair?
    Didn't you only have to lower 25'?
    Boycotting imlay canyon gear because I value access

    Professional Mangler of Grammar

    Guns don't kill people--Static Ropes Do!!


    Who Is John Galt?

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  20. #15
    Bogley BigShot oldno7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rick t View Post
    In retrospect it might have been easier to have tied the second rope onto the first, and raised her using a mechanical advantage set up to free the (8) block holding her rope, and lowered her using another rappel device set above the knot. But the first reaction when the screaming starts, absent her being on a 200 ft or long enough rope to lower her using the 8 block, is to go to the victim using a second rope. Having no surplus length on her rope to lower her,
    This is confusing---so you had a contingency 8 set up, but below the knot used to connect your 2 ropes?

    If a contingency 8 was jammed against the rapide, I've always been able to free them by connecting a tether and lean back.

    Sorry, Doug for the hijack, this should be moved but what rickt is saying, is not clear and it involves a rescue technique,

    that needs to be done correctly. Rappeling next to a victim and pulling out a knife to cut hair, seems like the wrong idea.(hair is entangled in ROPE)
    Boycotting imlay canyon gear because I value access

    Professional Mangler of Grammar

    Guns don't kill people--Static Ropes Do!!


    Who Is John Galt?

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