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Thread: Retieing Mule knot after lowering

  1. #1

    Retieing Mule knot after lowering

    I am working on adding the Munter Mule contingency anchor to my "tool box". Once I remove the Mule knot and lower someone a couple feet, I would like to redeploy the Mule knot and allow them to continue to rappel normally. However, there isn't any slack in the line from which to retie that knot. For those of you who use this type of anchor, how do you do it?

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  3. #2
    The cool thing about a Munter Mule, is that it flips. Once someone is lowered, you take the other strand of rope and rig the next person to it and send them down. :)
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  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by wrldtrvlr84 View Post
    Once I remove the Mule knot and lower someone a couple feet, I would like to redeploy the Mule knot and allow them to continue to rappel normally. However, there isn't any slack in the line from which to retie that knot. For those of you who use this type of anchor, how do you do it?
    I might wait until they finish the rappel.

    Kinda depends on how much tension you feel and if you think you can control the brake strand of an actively deployed munter.

    This guy kinda does it:



    Try it on yourself on a short rappel. Ie, rappel with a munter hitch, and, tie off that hitch with a mule knot. Be close to the ground (a foot or two away) just in case you lose control.

    I really think its easier to lower off a figure eight at the anchor, then, tie that off, than to tie off a munter hitch that's actively weighted. Autoblock backup at your harness might also be prudent...

  5. #4
    I found this video where he kind of shows it as well. With my wife on the rappel side, I can tie it off now if I put some muscle into it. With the roles reversed and me being twice her size, there is no way she can get anywhere close.

    We do utilize an autoblock, by the person providing the belay, so in effect that person could also eventually just act as a meat anchor after they have stopped lowering. In this scenario, once we commit to the contingency, we are all in and it forecloses most other options in the event something else comes up. Not sure I am a fan of that

    Last edited by wrldtrvlr84; 11-24-2015 at 05:39 PM. Reason: update video link

  6. #5
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Uh, well...

    you just tie the mule knot. nice thing about it, you can tie it easily when the rappel strand is loaded. You will probably let the rappel strand slip 2-4" while snugging the mule knot up tight.

    I suggest practicing at home, with controlled conditions, before having to do so in the field. Alternatively, can just stand their holding it until that person is off rappel... but seriously, it is easy to tie with the rappel strand under load.

    Tom

  7. #6
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrldtrvlr84 View Post

    We do utilize an autoblock, by the person providing the belay, so in effect that person could also eventually just act as a meat anchor after they have stopped lowering. In this scenario, once we commit to the contingency, we are all in and it forecloses most other options in the event something else comes up. Not sure I am a fan of that
    Not sure what you mean by that wrldtrvlar 84. I realize it might seem that you are committed, but surely you can escape the autobloc...

    Tom

  8. #7
    How do you create enough slack in the line to start the loop for the mule? I am the rapper at 220+ and my wife is 110 when soaking wet.

    Quote Originally Posted by ratagonia View Post
    Uh, well...

    you just tie the mule knot. nice thing about it, you can tie it easily when the rappel strand is loaded. You will probably let the rappel strand slip 2-4" while snugging the mule knot up tight.

    I suggest practicing at home, with controlled conditions, before having to do so in the field. Alternatively, can just stand their holding it until that person is off rappel... but seriously, it is easy to tie with the rappel strand under load.

    Tom

  9. #8
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrldtrvlr84 View Post
    How do you create enough slack in the line to start the loop for the mule? I am the rapper at 220+ and my wife is 110 when soaking wet.
    The loop is made on the slack side.

    Just to be clear, when I do it, just below the munter, I grip both strands together with my left hand, then make the loop and hold it with the lowest fingers of my left hand; then complete the knot with my right hand. When I get my left hand out and the knot cinches, the victim drops 2-4".

    Tom

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by ratagonia View Post
    The loop is made on the slack side.

    Just to be clear, when I do it, just below the munter, I grip both strands together with my left hand, then make the loop and hold it with the lowest fingers of my left hand; then complete the knot with my right hand. When I get my left hand out and the knot cinches, the victim drops 2-4".

    Tom
    Thanks! The description of how you tie it is really helpfull.

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  12. #10
    Another option is to slap a loose prusik tied back to the anchor on the rap side, lower your partner to your goal,, cinch the prusik and then allow the load to transfer to the prusik. This then affords you with unweighted rope for retieing the mule.

    From there ya got all sorts of options.

    The easiest is to allow the current descent to be fully completed with the prusik in place (tensioned) and the munter mule as backup. Remove the prusik upon completion of the rap in question, and resume loading for subsequent raps directly on the munter/mule configuration.

    OR, if you don't want to rap on a prusik held rope:

    You can rig a 2 to 1 or Z pulley and ratchet the loaded prusik up a bit, tie your mule, then relax the load onto the munter, thus allowing you to free the prussik. This option is a pain in the rear, requires foresight, is difficult when you're at the anchor alone, and the original anchor configuration plays a huge role. Ugh!
    Last edited by tdoughty; 11-29-2015 at 10:35 PM. Reason: Initial prusik sequence

  13. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by tdoughty View Post
    Another option is to slap a loose prusik tied back to the anchor on the rap side, lower your partner to your goal,, cinch the prusik and then allow the load to transfer to the prusik. This then affords you with unweighted rope for retieing the mule.

    From there ya got all sorts of options.

    The easiest is to allow the current descent to be fully completed with the prusik in place (tensioned) and the munter mule as backup. Remove the prusik upon completion of the rap in question, and resume loading for subsequent raps directly on the munter/mule configuration.

    OR, if you don't want to rap on a prusik held rope:

    You can rig a 2 to 1 or Z pulley and ratchet the loaded prusik up a bit, tie your mule, then relax the load onto the munter, thus allowing you to free the prussik. This option is a pain in the rear, requires foresight, is difficult when you're at the anchor alone, and the original anchor configuration plays a huge role. Ugh!
    I had previously tried the prusik approach and it actually works well. At least up to the point where I need to break it after retieing the Mule . I don't yet know how to setup a leveraged haul system.

    Today we worked on using Tom's description to retie the mule and were successful in completing it with with minimal issues. We have to try it a bunch more times in practice before we use it on a real rappel but it's starting to feel pretty solid to me now.

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