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Thread: Long rappel spinning issue

  1. #1

    Long rappel spinning issue

    I've done a number of long (300+/- ft) free hanging rappels and only had the issue of spinning one time, the time I went first on a Sqwurel. I watched the video and counted 19 total full 360's. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can prevent this in the future?

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  3. #2
    I've considered not using the Sqwurel and instead extending an ATC out with a couple carabiners, using a chest harness to keep my torso upright and then having two hands on the brake strand. Thoughts on this being a solid solution?

  4. #3
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcweyen View Post
    I've considered not using the Sqwurel and instead extending an ATC out with a couple carabiners, using a chest harness to keep my torso upright and then having two hands on the brake strand. Thoughts on this being a solid solution?
    Long rappels generally require (almost a rule) an adjustment to friction while on the rappel. How do you intend to increase your friction?

    Tom

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  8. #5
    Maybe I'm wrong in this thinking, but since my long rope (330ft) is 10.5mm, maybe I could get away with using the low friction side of an ATC if I had two hands to control the brake strand? Has anyone tried this?

  9. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by mcweyen View Post
    Maybe I'm wrong in this thinking, but since my long rope (330ft) is 10.5mm, maybe I could get away with using the low friction side of an ATC if I had two hands to control the brake strand? Has anyone tried this?
    Not something I'd recommend. I'm still a big ATC fan and that is what I still use most the time mostly because it's small and I'm comfortable with it.

    Anyhoo... The problem is the weight of the rope and larger ropes actually make the problem worse. To start the rappel you literally have to lift the rope and feed it through. And at the end of the rappel you just don't have enough friction.

    It's easy enough to test on a short rappel. Just coil the long rope and hang it so it doesn't touch the ground and try it. And then just do a short rappel using the end of the rope and you'll know the two extremes.

    FWIW - if I was doing a lot of really long free hanging rappels I'd use a rack.

  10. #7
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcweyen View Post
    Maybe I'm wrong in this thinking, but since my long rope (330ft) is 10.5mm, maybe I could get away with using the low friction side of an ATC if I had two hands to control the brake strand? Has anyone tried this?
    "maybe I could get away with..." ===> a week in the hospital (if you are lucky)

    Tom

  11. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ratagonia View Post
    "maybe I could get away with..." ===> a week in the hospital (if you are lucky)

    Tom
    ...

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    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceaxe View Post
    ...
    Thanks Shane. Always looking for new things to read. Did it work for you???

    Tom

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  15. #10
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ratagonia View Post
    "maybe I could get away with..." ===> a week in the hospital (if you are lucky)

    Tom
    Example:

    http://www.bogley.com/forum/showthre...ght=Englestead

    Tom

  16. #11
    Using an ATC instead of the newer devices like the CRITR is like using a flip phone instead of a smart phone. Yes, it will work, but why?


    With the ability to change friction before and after starting the rap and the ability to tie off quickly for free hands use and you don't run the risk of dropping it in the water it is a no brainer to upgrade.

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  18. #12
    So now the question, which I'm not finding a sufficient answer to elsewhere on the web. Does the CRITR2 twist the rope significantly less than the Sqwurel? The Sqwurel twists rope badly enough that I don't like using it unless the rope doesn't have any excess on the bottom, which I can't guarantee if it's a long rappel that I go first on.

  19. #13
    All rappel devices based off the figure-8 design twist the rope equally. It's just part of the basic design.

    Which is the other reason I still like my flip phone (ATC), but I do know I'm in a small minority of those still using an ATC.

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  21. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by mcweyen View Post
    Does the CRITR2 twist the rope significantly less than the Sqwurel?
    @mcweyen I have used both devices extensively, and the answer is Yes.

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  23. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Iceaxe View Post
    All rappel devices based off the figure-8 design twist the rope equally. It's just part of the basic design.
    While it is true that all 8-based devices tend to twist the rope more than a (properly used) ATC, the degree of twist among such devices is not equal. For example a std. 8 used in "rapide" mode twists less than "normal" mode. A CRITR twists less than a SQWUREL, etc.

    Note that it is easy to make an ATC twist the rope.

    Attachment 88482
    @mcweyen - PM sent.

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  25. #16
    The CRITR will still get some twist in the rope. It's really hard to predict when you are going to spin and when you're not. I've had it happen randomly no matter what device. Once you start spinning the only way to stop it is to receive a bottom belay and get all the twists out of the rope below you.

    We almost exclusively use rope bags which are stuffed and I've had very little spinning problems. I wonder if there is any correlation with spinning being associate with coiling ropes and throwing them as opposed to being stuffed. Not sure as I've never really thought about it.

    Is there any correlation with the speed in which one rappels as to what is causing the spin also?

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  27. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by ratagonia View Post
    Thanks Shane. Always looking for new things to read. Did it work for you???

    Tom
    Now that is friggin' funny! Gold star goes to Tom with the quick wit.
    "Unfortunately she's playing chicken with a dude that has no steering wheel"
    Lifted from Rockgremlin.

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  29. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by 2065toyota View Post
    Using an ATC instead of the newer devices like the CRITR is like using a flip phone instead of a smart phone. Yes, it will work, but why?


    With the ability to change friction before and after starting the rap and the ability to tie off quickly for free hands use and you don't run the risk of dropping it in the water it is a no brainer to upgrade.
    BINGO! I was climbing before rappelling in canyons, too...so I have been an old school ATC user as well. Works fine for me, but I'm only 150 lbs.

    I've been canyoneering lately with some folks that are very hardcore...they've been doing it nearly every weekend for years. They all use the big CRITR and insist that it's the only way to go.

    So I recently bought a nice, pretty new one and look forward to messing it up.

    That device also works best with 8mm ropes..."Like bread and butter", I was told.
    "Unfortunately she's playing chicken with a dude that has no steering wheel"
    Lifted from Rockgremlin.

  30. #19
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcweyen View Post
    So now the question, which I'm not finding a sufficient answer to elsewhere on the web. Does the CRITR2 twist the rope significantly less than the Sqwurel? The Sqwurel twists rope badly enough that I don't like using it unless the rope doesn't have any excess on the bottom, which I can't guarantee if it's a long rappel that I go first on.
    Details matter, in this case the details of the rope path. Critr has the LEAST twisting I have seen on a Figure-8 based Device, Sqwwurrellll about the most.

    Tom

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  32. #20
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2065toyota View Post

    Is there any correlation with the speed in which one rappels as to what is causing the spin also?
    When you rappel faster, you generate less friction, definitely less friction per foot along the rope traveled.

    In theory, this should decrease the amount of twist generated. In practice, this definitely seems to be the case.

    Tom

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