Footloop as 'spare' length of rope

CNCC

Active member
Always great to hear that people are finding our workshops useful :)

A reminder that CNCC is always happy to organise workshops based on the needs and demands of cavers. So if your group would like a dedicated workshop... or if you are struggling to get space on a particular workshop and think we need to arrange more... or if you have a suggestion for a workshop theme we currently don't run, then please do get in touch;

Email: training@cncc.org.uk

Or you can probably PM our Training Officer, Ian P (above)

A reminder that we have a couple of workshops coming up in a few weeks with some vacancies:

Pull-through workshop: 16th July (three spaces)
New to SRT workshop: 17th July (two spaces)

Signup here: https://cncc.org.uk/training
 

badger

Member
CIC training is certainly one avenue to learn rescue skills.
However the CNCC workshop’s (which Josh mentions) provide a wealth of knowledge at a very affordable price.
The workshops are aimed at “peer to peer” rescues as apposed to “instructor to client” rescues and aim to give the “recreational caver” a comprehensive “tool box” of skills.

Obviously I am biased 😀.
Ian I completely agree with you, I was basing my view on what I gained from the CIC training, and I am fairly certain the CNCC training would have been equally as useful.
Since I started my LCMLA training it has certainly had me thinking on what little I knew and how often we got away with it.
 

ian.p

Member
I don't recommend using a single length of rope for safety cord and footloop as in general having a third dynamic cows tale with a screw gate on it is very usefull for a huge range of scenarios. Utilising you footloop/safety cord to do a counterbalance is a bit of a red herring from the 90s in my book.
In the event of an emergency you want simple systems that don't involve swearing at knots with cold wet hands when your really stressed. If your going to cary a piece of kit for a counterbalance rescue carry a long dynema sling you can larks foot it into the croll run it through the hand jammer crab and stick your boot in the other end and heave. People like to make SRT rescue complicated it shouldn't be.
 

Ian P

Active member
I don't recommend using a single length of rope for safety cord and footloop as in general having a third dynamic cows tale with a screw gate on it is very usefull for a huge range of scenarios. Utilising you footloop/safety cord to do a counterbalance is a bit of a red herring from the 90s in my book.
In the event of an emergency you want simple systems that don't involve swearing at knots with cold wet hands when your really stressed. If your going to cary a piece of kit for a counterbalance rescue carry a long dynema sling you can larks foot it into the croll run it through the hand jammer crab and stick your boot in the other end and heave. People like to make SRT rescue complicated it shouldn't be.
In my view it’s all about “tools in the box”. Not sure why using a well set up “single rope footloop and safety cord” would cause “swearing at knots” in an “emergency situation “ ?
I generally advocate the carrying of a spare rope (even very thin ones) and also “MR C” (“Micro traxion” “Rolclip” “Cord” (2.5m of 6mm)
Even without the spare rope “MR C” is incredibly versatile.
Using a “releasable pig rig” allows a very light person to “pick off” a very heavy person, something that is extremely difficult, if not impossible using just a sling ?
I completely agree that “KISS” is always best.
I would be really interested in your “3rd Cowstail” and some “tips” in it’s “huge range of scenarios”. A third Cowstail is never something I advocate, but I have a very healthy desire to always learn.
You can never have too many “tools in the box” .
 

mikem

Well-known member
He's swearing because he can't undo his central knot!

3rd cowstail is mainly useful for allowing you two long whilst traversing & a very short for free hanging changeovers - of course if you have a locking krab on your short one, you can clip it back to the harness & use another krab in the loop to create a shorter option.
 

pwhole

Well-known member
I use my '3rd cowstail' to my hand-jammer all the time, so it's a very useful addition. My personal rope-access harness is also set up like this, but it seems I'm usually on my own in that respect. But I don't lose my hand-jammer either - or drop it off a building.
 

ian.p

Member
3rd cowstail: I like to have a long link with a screwgate for awkward traverses or if carrying out a technical pitch head task i.e a haul that I can clip in and forget. I use an easily adjustable dynema cowstail to help with awkward pitch heads/tight rebelays which isn't possible with a single cord set up.

As mikem says I suspect the majority of people who use a single integrated cows tail / safety cord will find that when it comes to the crunch getting rid of the central knot will not be as easy as it theoretically could be. I don't disagree if you've religiously retied your safety cord knots for every outing, the knot isn't caked in gloopy mud and your hands aren't cold then you might be able to fashion something really clever out of it but accidents generally happen when your tired and in adverse conditions.

For short light people I find a croll to croll rescue is generally the best option as it is fast, simple, doesn't rely on arm strength and requires no additional equipment. People with long legs tend to struggle with croll to croll as their knees tend to overshoot the arse of the person they need to lift so the levers don't work and the casualty ends up sat in their lap so for long legged people I find counterbalance is usually the best option however these long legged people tend by definition to be bigger and heavier which is convenient.

I'm on the small and light end of the spectrum and I've not found someone I cant lift with either a croll to croll or straight forward counterbalance lift and that includes some very heavy rig workers on IRATA assessments!
 

Ian P

Active member
Using the very nice 8mm green “rope” from Mr Seddon as your combined “footloop safety cord” and tying a very small overhand knot to connect your hand jammer with an oval Carabiner means you don’t need to untie any knots to convert to a “counter balance” system for various uses.

Using 2 long cowstails with a snap gate carabiner in an Alpine butterfly knot on one of the Cowstails gives a lot of flexibility.
For “pick off” rescues my preference is to absolutely avoid a situation where the “rescucer” is potentially at risk of becoming “stuck”. Finding out you are not quite strong enough or the wrong size legs and then becoming low on options is not an ideal situation (in my opinion, appreciate we all have different and very valid opinions).

Healthy discussion is really good in these cases.

If anyone has experience (absolutely no qualifications needed) and a desire to pass this experience on, the CNCC welcome people to “shadow” on workshops and help provide suitable input.

List here.
 

ian.p

Member
Using 2 long cowstails with a snap gate carabiner in an Alpine butterfly knot on one of the Cowstails gives a lot of flexibility.
For “pick off” rescues my preference is to absolutely avoid a situation where the “rescucer” is potentially at risk of becoming “stuck”. Finding out you are not quite strong enough or the wrong size legs and then becoming low on options is not an ideal situation (in my opinion, appreciate we all have different and very valid opinions).
Just to be clear neither counterbalancing using a sling or croll to croll rescues commit the rescuer into becoming stuck these are standard methods.
 

Ian P

Active member
Just to be clear neither counterbalancing using a sling or croll to croll rescues commit the rescuer into becoming stuck these are standard methods.
Apologies if I have misunderstood. My experience is that pushing jammers up against each other requires the top jammer to be removed first to release the bottom one, which could be problematic, also having got someone hanging onto your harness, to descend requires a change over with a weight on you. This could again be problematic. Any input on this will be gratefully added to the “tool box”.
 

Benfool

Member
C2C_1.jpg

C2C_2.jpg


From Alpine Caving Techniques. The Croll to Croll method does not require you to get stuck as you are hanging of the casualties harness, instead of the other way around. If you need to escape you simply put your descender on underneath and use handjammer to remove your cowstail from the casualties D-mallion.

B
 

Ian P

Active member
View attachment 13590
View attachment 13591

From Alpine Caving Techniques. The Croll to Croll method does not require you to get stuck as you are hanging of the casualties harness, instead of the other way around. If you need to escape you simply put your descender on underneath and use handjammer to remove your cowstail from the casualties D-mallion.

B
Cheers Ben.
The theory in all these ideas is sound, I just feel the variables and possible issues (weight difference, jammers butting up against each other etc etc) in a potentially hostile environment, lends itself to look at and promote a different approach.
A very healthy discussion all the same.
Thanks for your input
 

ian.p

Member
I’d give it a go you might be surprised. With all SRT rescues the rescuer should have practiced the manoeuvre before attempting in a live scenario so will have an idea of what they can achieve given their dimensions and strength. Anyone with only a theoretical knowledge of the manoeuvres would be better going for help than attempting a rescue and becoming a second casualty.
I’d always start with fast and simple and work up as opposed to assuming a need for a complex solution that might lead to the casualty being suspended for longer than needed.
 

ian.p

Member
You are right though you don’t want to jam your croll right into the casualties you should leave a few centimetres of rope between the crolls incase you need to abort in a similar way as to how you would approach a knot at the top of a pitch.
 
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