Frog style

ian mckenzie

New member
Diagrams on this site http://en.petzl.com/ProduitsServices/B02%20PANTIN%20B02500.pdf  show the main footloop/ascender tether running underneath your kneepad.  I've never seen this before... is it common to do so where you guys are?
 
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darkplaces

Guest
I've never seen anyone do this or recommend doing this. Would be a pain when you want to pack some gear away for crawling or tight bits. Infact I would say it would impact on standing vertically up as now the foot loop rope wants to come from the knee or would simply pull the pad off/to one side. Instead if staying parallel with the rope.

I dunno though I only beginner  :confused:
 
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hoehlenforscher

Guest
The diagram shows the use of a foot jammer in combination with the (uk) standard chest and handled jammer in order to make a simple rope walking rig. i have seen this setup demonstrated while on the continent, its advantage supposedly is that one can switch to a frog rig relatively easily if needed. However, due to it all being a bit fiddly on our (european)  genarally shorter pitches with multiple change overs it has never really caught on. The foot jammer itself doesnt really stay on the boot very well we found and you have to take it off between pitches or you can trip up on it or get it full of shite.
 

paul

Moderator
To answer your question, Ian, no - I have never seen anybody here in the UK tuck their footloop into their kneepad nor attach loops around the footloop and their leg as in the Petzl diagram. Normally the top jammer and footloop are attached to the gear loop on the harness in between pitches.

As the PDF document says, this is a suggestion for keeping the footloop handy in between pitches as opposed to assisting prusiking. (I'm the same "paul" on the NSS caves.org by the way).
 
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MSD

Guest
The loops and knee pad do have a purpose when prussiking.

If you are ropewalking, the footloop can fall off the left foot while you are standing on the footjammer on your right foot (unless you manage to totally coordinate moving up the hand jammer so that there is always a small amount of tension in the footloop). Part of the idea of poking the footloop through the kneepad is to hold the footloop in place. I have actually tried this, but it didn't seem to work very well and was a right nuisance to put on and off. Instead I use a snoopy loop on my welly.

I only tend to use the snoopy on longish pitches, because it's still a bit of a hassle and it can be inconvenient when you arrive at some types of pitchhead and can't take your foot out of the footloop without reaching down. But for a long free hanging pitch the hassle of putting it on/off is easily justified, because nothing is more annoying that your footloop falling off and breaking your climbing rhythm.

I have also found that (not surprisingly) a footloop which is only big enough for one foot doesn't fall off nearly as much, making the snoopy less essential. Since I always use a foot jammer except for trips with just a small amount of prussiking, I now only use a foot loop big enough for one foot and just prussik one-footed if I don't have the foot jammer with me.

If the going is easy between pitches I sometimes leave the footloop still attached to my foot and carry the hand jammer in my hand. This saves time but is obviously only appropriate for short distances in easy passage.

Mark

P.S. I can just about squeeze two feet in, not very comfortably. In a self-resuce situation this could be important.
 
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MSD

Guest
hoehlenforscher said:
The diagram shows the use of a foot jammer in combination with the (uk) standard chest and handled jammer in order to make a simple rope walking rig. i have seen this setup demonstrated while on the continent, its advantage supposedly is that one can switch to a frog rig relatively easily if needed. However, due to it all being a bit fiddly on our (european)  genarally shorter pitches with multiple change overs it has never really caught on. The foot jammer itself doesnt really stay on the boot very well we found and you have to take it off between pitches or you can trip up on it or get it full of shite.

A common misconception is that a foot jammer is only useful for rope walking on long free hanging pitches and looses its usefulness when there are more rebelays and short sections. In fact the situation is quite the reverse. The foot jammer is extremely useful in more mixed territory and is often useful when "frogging" rather than rope walking. It is particularly useful in the following situations:

a) At the bottom of pitches or just above rebelays. Because the foot jammer slides without much friction, it means that once you are literally about 1 metre off the floor you don't have to worry about the rope pulling through you chest jammer. No more dropping back 10cm at every cycle, desperately trying to pinch the rope between your toes.

b) Ramps. Sloping pitches are a real pain with a frog rig, because you tend to lose balance and swing around. The only real way to solve this with a normal frog rig is to prussik with one leg, using the other for balance. With a foot jammer, the two feet can work independently. If you slacken off your chest harness a bit and keep your body vertical, you will find that you can walk up sloping pitches as easily as walking up stairs.

c) Tight pitchheads. With a normal frog rig, once your top jammer hits the belay, that's as far as you are going to get on the rope. From that point on it's brute force and a lot of struggle. With a foot jammer you can gain that extra metre which makes all the difference. A classic example of this is the oil drum entrance to Stream Passage Pot. I have sat at the bottom there listening to each person going out cursing and struggling. When it was my turn I simply "levitated" out using the foot jammer until I was sitting on the top, much to the disgust of my companions, who threatened to confiscate my foot jammer and make me do it again "properly".

d) Even in free hanging pitches, the foot jammer increases efficiency when frogging. It increases tension in the rope, keeping your chest jammer properly in line, reducing friction and backlash and helpinging you to put the effort in exactly the right direction. It might only be a 10% saving in effort, but even that justifies the weight and extra complication.

My foot jammer is definitely part of my standard equipment. On rare occasions when I cave without it (if I forget it, or have lent it to someone curious to see whether it is worthwhile) I realise just how much it has changed the way I cave. It feels like a definite step back into the "bad old days".

Funnily enough, the first serious trips I did with it were actually out in Austria. After prussiking 330m up 12 quite technical pitches in one hour and and a quarter I was impressed!

Mark
 

cap n chris

Well-known member
.... and I'm impressed too! Your technical advice MSD is very welcome and your contributions to this forum are excellent.
 

paul

Moderator
MSD said:
The loops and knee pad do have a purpose when prussiking.

If you are ropewalking, the footloop can fall off the left foot while you are standing on the footjammer on your right foot (unless you manage to totally coordinate moving up the hand jammer so that there is always a small amount of tension in the footloop). Part of the idea of poking the footloop through the kneepad is to hold the footloop in place. I have actually tried this, but it didn't seem to work very well and was a right nuisance to put on and off. Instead I use a snoopy loop on my welly.

That's an interesting point. I use my Pantin most of the time in normal "Frog" prusiking, moving both legs up simultaneously and then standing on both at the same time (obviously one foot in the footloop and the other on the Pantin). When I have used the "ropewalk" method as illustrated in the Petzl document I have never had my foot come out of th efootloop. Perhaps I maintain the slight tension as you suggest. I can see where it would be useful having the snoopy loop in use as you say.
 
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Dave H

Guest
paul said:
I have never seen anybody here in the UK tuck their footloop into their kneepad nor attach loops around the footloop and their leg as in the Petzl diagram.

Guilt as charged - or at least very nearly 8)

My rig is very similar to that shown in the diagram on the first page (I can't get the second page of diagrams to display at the moment) The only real difference being that I have two foot loops, that are both round my left foot.

I've been using this technique since I first saw the foot ascenders (8-10?) years ago.

I almost entirely use the rig in a ropewalking type technique, but there are a couple of pitches where I revert back to frog (with a footloop on each foot) - these are the very tight joint type pitches where there is only one part wide enough for your body and a leg has to go either side. :yucky:

I've never felt the need to swap rigs mid-pitch - but reaching down to the foot ascender to swap over on a tight pitch would be a real pain. At the bottom of the pitch I decide which technique to use.

The foot ascender will tend to come off the rope when you are first trying to use it, until you've worked out how lift your foot just right.

You do require a strong arm to help hold yourself upright when using this technique.

The only other difference in my rig is that I don't use a tape chest harness. I just have a piece of 3 or 4mm cord cut to the right length so that I can stand without hinderance with it round my neck as a loop, and attached to my croll with a mallion. Half-way down one side of the loop is a carbine hook (it takes a few attempts to work out exactly where to place this). When I prusik this is connected to the mallion to shorten the length of the loop. - This is NOT a suitable rig for a novice, or on very long pitches where you would want to rest on the way up.
 

Chris J

Active member
hoehlenforscher said:
The foot jammer itself doesnt really stay on the boot very well we found and you have to take it off between pitches or you can trip up on it or get it full of shite.

I might take mine off in a tight rift or very long crawl or a really nuddy section but usually it stays on the whole way out. Never tripped over it and it always stays on my boot. Petzl Pantin - excellent bit of kit. Don't leave home without one (if you are doing SRT).

Only time they can be a pain is when you end up prussiking up your donkeys dick (haul cord for bag) when in a crawl.
 

ian mckenzie

New member
Hate to be a bore by going back on-topic, but... I take it then that no one here actually threads their leg cord under their kneepad.  Anyone know a French caver we could ask?  There must be something to it...
 
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MSD

Guest
I don't know anybody that has that set-up. As I said, I tried, and didn't like it. If you think about it, when your knee is bent, you want the foot loop to go direct from foot to jammer. You don't want it to go via the knee, which is probably why I found it to be a crap idea. Like you I was curious about the picture Petzl show, so I tried it out for myself.

Mark

 
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twllddu

Guest
OK I confess, bought the foot jammer, read the book, tucked the footloop cord through the knee pad and found it works absolutely fine for me.  I find it a useful discipline that keeps my foot tucked underneath me as I stand and seems (to me anyway) to improve my efficiency.  One other thing I have found is that between pitches you can leave the footloop attached and just clip the jammer to your harness and it stays out of the way.  I agree the Pantin is an excellent bit of kit and that you shouldn't leave home without it.
 

Cave_Troll

Active member
well i've been rope walking since long before this peice of petzl rubish was invented. I use a Basic (non handled jammer) attached to my left foot. works just as well and can also be used for other things like hauling, rescue, spare jammer etc.
Its attached to my foot using a belt and on the way down the cave it fits round my tummy quite nicley. AFAICS the deicated petzl foot jammer either stays on your foot as soon as you leave the carpark, or gets clipped to a gear loop.

most of the time i can't be bothered using a foot jammer. maybe i'm getting old but foot jamming is great when  you want to do 30m in 51 secs but most of the time i like to take my time.

Don't beleive everything Petzl tell you. If you look at the same diagram you'll see one of your cowstails is actually the safety cord for your hand jammer. most people in the UK seem to use a safety link and then two or sometimes three cowstails.
 
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MSD

Guest
On the other hand in France nobody uses an extra safety loop to the ir top jammer. In certain circles this piece of equipment is known as a "cord of shame".  :)

Mark
 

Cave_Troll

Active member
sorry what do you mean as "an extra safety loop"

I have a footloop connecting my foot to my hand jammer, a safety loop connecting my hand jammer to me and two cows tails.

The petzl diagram has a footloop connnecting foor to Hand jammer and the two tape cows tails, one of which is taken up as a safety loop.

I feel no shame in wanting a safety loop after my chest jammer detached itself 30m above the floor and i was left hanging, clinging onto my hand jammer.
 

potholer

New member
I don't do the kneepad thing either - I use a chicken-loop made from shockcord around my left ankle, and pass the footloop through that.
I'd have thought that the kneepad idea might end up with the footloop cord possibly pulling/wearing against the kneepad strap in some orientations, and a chicken-loop seems like a generally better solution, but possibly our cross-channel-cousins' seeming urge for ultralight kit rules any extra bulk, however small?

For brief sections of walking between pitches, I also sometimes leave the footloop in place on my foot, and clip the maillon at the base of my hand-jammer to a krab on my left hip, which does seem to keep things fairly tidy - the footloop neither tightens up, nor is baggy enough to catch on obstructions.
 

potholer

New member
On the other hand in France nobody uses an extra safety loop to their top jammer. In certain circles this piece of equipment is known as a "cord of shame".
However, to a Belgian I was caving with who dropped his hand-jammer right down Lancaster Hole after derigging, and who then had to re-rig and descend to get it back, it could have been a "cord of avoiding embarrasment".
When chatting later about *why* they used the rig they did, the general idea seemed to be (like presumably is the case here) that it was just the way they'd learned - no huge logic or principles involved.

Mind you, I do know of another guy (then a novice, now a damn good caver) with a British-standard setup who still managed to drop his hand jammer from mid-rope whilst climbing with it some considerable way up an 80m pitch, and no-one, him included, seems to understand how, so even our system isn't entirely foolproof.
 
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hoehlenforscher

Guest
When I first caved in the Alps with my German club I was shocked to see they had no saftey loop from the handled Jammer to the main attachment point. They all used the spare cowstail as mentioned above to link in to the jammer when prussiking. The stop was universally shunned too, with most people using a simple and shunt (or just a simple :eek:).
 
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