cowstails

ian mckenzie

New member
Question: which is most popular - using your long cowstail as your upper jammer safety, or keeping your safety and cowstails separate?
 
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George North

Guest
Separate cowstails/safety cord is definitely the prefered setup in Yorkshire. I can't really imagine why anybody would combine them for the sake of 2 feet of rope. Do they javascript:emoticon(':?')
Confused
 
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George North

Guest
Separate cowstails/safety cord is definitely the prefered setup in Yorkshire. I can't really imagine why anybody would combine them for the sake of 2 feet of rope. Do they :? (That's better)
 

Rachel

Member
'scuse me for sounding thick, but if your hand jammer is on the end of your long cowstail, how on earth do you go about clipping in when you get to the top of the pitch? I suppose if your short cowstail was long (contradiction there!) it'd do the job, but otherwise you'd have to take one jammer off the rope - not for me, thanks.

Rach
(who likes to be attached by both jammers, cowstails and teeth)
 
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Neil B

Guest
Rachel said:
'scuse me for sounding thick, but if your hand jammer is on the end of your long cowstail, how on earth do you go about clipping in when you get to the top of the pitch? I suppose if your short cowstail was long (contradiction there!) it'd do the job, but otherwise you'd have to take one jammer off the rope - not for me, thanks.
I could be wrong, but I imagine he'll have a krab on the end of his long cowstail as per usual, and he'll just unclip it from his hand-jammer when he's near the top of the pitch so he can clip in, still leaving the hand-jammer on the rope. Personally, I prefer the luxury of having the permanent safety connection - at least if it's permanently attached to your person, then there's no risk of having to abseil back down the pitch, to retrieve the hand jammer you inadvertently dropped from the top of the pitch!

Has anyone ever tried using cowstails made from purpose-made webbing as opposed to rope, a lot of French cavers use them? They're supposedly longer lasting and generally more hard wearing.
 

bubba

Administrator
Having a combined system seems crazy - seperate cowstails are surely the way to go :?

I prefer to use dynamic rope for my cowstails as opposed to static rope or webbing. That way, if you accidentally fall onto your cowstails (eg you slip at a pitch head) then there's much less shock to the system.....and your back, etc.
 

SamT

Moderator
Yup - pretty much tried and tested system in UK is 2 cows tails - 1 long/one short - dynamic climing rope - for shock loading reasons (although over such a short length of rope the 'dynamic effect' is not great)

Seperate system for top jammer with footloop and saftey line on to central mallion. Can be static as you should never get yourself in a situation where you shock load your jammer (very bad for ropes).

I personally have a very small 3rd cows tail (phnarr) for getting right up on bolts for aiding and such.

I have in the past put my stop on the long cows tail - once to abb through a very thin slot (nettle) and then once cause the end of the rope was about 6 feet short of the floor.
 
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Titch98

Guest
Yup - pretty much tried and tested system in UK is 2 cows tails - 1 long/one short - dynamic climing rope - for shock loading reasons

Agree with SamT. This is the system I was taught and the system I teach. At the end of the day, although not the norm, I suppose it is a viable method, by why risk the chance of dropping your jammer whilst the cowstail is off when half way up Leviathan in JH? :oops:

You would want a safety cord to your jammer anyway to stop something like this happening and also, to stop your "mates" laughing at you when you've got to 'sail all the way back down to pick it up, so why not put it on a permanent safety cord (like the majority of other cavers) and be done with it!

:D Ignore me..........just in a silly mood!!
 
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Huw Groucutt

Guest
It would make rebalays a bit interesting wouldnt it? I spose its mainly the short cowstails you need for that, i tend to clip the long cowstails to the loop of rope coming down to the rebelay for a bit of extra safety, particularly so you can ab for a bit to check its set up right and have some pro.
 

Johnny

New member
At least two cows-tails, I have three as Sam T described, and a hand jammer permanently attached to my harness.
The hand jammer and footloop can be used for other purposes than just ascending a pitch and, in my view, should be available for this.
One example is the head of a pitch where you have not got enough rope to rig a loop to stand in whilst changing over. If the change over is awkward it can help to attach hand jammer & footloop to long cows tail. This gives you something to stand on whilst you get sorted.
I have ended up in situations where I had to use my hand jammer horizontally, clipping the krab into the rope, whilst trying to reach out and clip my long cows-tail. You wont have this versatility with only one cows-tail available and your jammer attached to the other.
I also agree with Rachel,
who likes to be attached by both jammers, cowstails and teeth
There are some places where I want as much stuff attached as possible, especially when I am feeling a bit hungover :wink:
 

Brendan

New member
I have 2 cowstails seperate, and a third snapgate on my hand jammer cord (which is also dynamic) to use as an extra cowstail when traversing/rigging etc. I find it quite useful, as you don't always want to be as close to a traverse line as your short cowstail requires, but still want 2 cowstails on the line.
 
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Huw Groucutt

Guest
yeah i normally have an extra krab from hand jammer, been told its sometimes useful to have a third cows tails.
 

paul

Moderator
If you have a look in "Alpine Caving Techniques" by Marbach & Tourte (the 2002 English translation anyway) they recommend clipping the krab of the longcowstail to the top jammer instead of a separate safety link. The only reason they give is to save weight.
 
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Titch98

Guest
The only reason they give is to save weight.

?????????????????????????????????

What weight?

The safety is made from rope, not steel cable!

:?
 

paul

Moderator
Titch98 said:
The only reason they give is to save weight.

?????????????????????????????????

What weight?

The safety is made from rope, not steel cable!

:?

Exactly. It seems that they (the "Alpine Speleology" book) use the short cowstail only for both upward and downward rebelays, etc while the long cowstail plays the role of security link to the top jammer. The long cowstail is only used when the jammer isn't being used, on traverse lines, etc.

I personally use the usual footloop/security link (8mm accesory cord) and 9mm dynamic rope as short/long cowstails.
 

Brendan

New member
If you want to save weight you could always use 4mm and 5mm cord to attach your cowstails :D
And skyhooks instead of crabs :shock:

Or maybe not....
 

Stu

Active member
two cowstails for me + safety line to jammer and loop down for stirrup. use 6mm spectra for this.
 
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