Author Topic: staying upright whilst descending?  (Read 8826 times)

Offline simonsays

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staying upright whilst descending?
« on: February 27, 2012, 12:56:38 pm »
Whilst descending the 75' pitch into Yordas yesterday I reached the conclusion that I'm the wrong shape for srt.... Despite losing 5 stones in weight over the last year I'm still kind of porky. 5'10" and about 15 stone. My centre of gravity is way to high, the hand gripping the petzl stop is also having to constantly fight to hold me in an upright position. Very tiring on the wrists, by the time i was down I had all the strength of limp spaghetti....  If I don't hold on to the stop and just sit in the harness I assume an almost horizontal position.  Neither comfortable nor safe :annoyed:

I'm working on the long term solution. It involves salad :-\

In the short term I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on how to alter my centre of gravity to make my abseils safer and less knackering?  I thought about adding another karabiner between the harness and the stop but this just raises the stop up a bit, it doesn't really address the centre of gravity issue...

Any ideas?
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Offline Speleotron

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2012, 12:58:47 pm »
How tight is your chest tape?
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Offline paull

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2012, 01:12:59 pm »
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Froment-Safety-Fall-Arrest-Harness-Full-Body-HA044-Larg-/220672199411?pt=UK_BOI_ProtectiveGear_RL&hash=item3361168af3#ht_3277wt_1031

i dont know if it will help you much on the way up but would change your centre of gravity on the way down, ive seen a larger caver with something like this down Lancaster hole a few years ago
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Offline owd git

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2012, 01:27:30 pm »
Hi, had the same problem when i changed to a avanti harness, found my stumpy wee legs inadequate to counterbalance me as in my 'loved 'caving supplies  harness,
On discussion with Phil Brown we thought the only real difference was supporting the leg 'loops' to ensure the heighest point of balance,'fulcrum'.
attention to placement did help, additional webbing strap works perfectly. trial& error to find length,
then sewn to possition leg loops NOT to bear load! will photo later if that helps.
I can now let go (when locked off!) and lean back and return upright with no hands, what more would ya want?  :thumbsup: What harness are you using?
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Offline skippy

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2012, 01:28:51 pm »
Hi Simon,

I suspect its more to do with your sit harness....The Petzl one you have appears very 'low slung' at the front and back.....therefore any back support will be low down at the back and you may feel you lean back more.

You could try a Torse chest harness....I asked you to clip mine in yesterday......When you tighten it the belt of the sit harness gets pulled up....therefore giving you higher support at the back.

Just a thought.

Offline Greg L

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2012, 01:32:53 pm »
Slackening the leg loops will allow the waist bit of your harness to sit higher up your body therefore your COG will be lower and hopefully be below your central D.
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Offline Groundhog

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2012, 01:47:32 pm »
Congratulations on that spectacular weight loss. 5 stone in a year must have taken some effort.

Offline JessopSmythe

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2012, 06:16:55 pm »
I had a similar problem, I've got a long back and relatively short legs.

The simple addition of a maillon between the centre maillon and the chest jammer has totally changed my perspective on SRT. After trying it out on a practice trip, I went hunting and found a twisted maillon so everything still sits nice and flat.

http://www.upandunder.co.uk/Outdoor/Caving/Karabiners-and-Connectors/P---Standard-Twist---14429/

I find I get less tired as I'm not using my arms to pull myself upright all the time.
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Offline Amata

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2012, 06:51:25 pm »
At least on racks, you can put an additional teather from around your chest to your descending device. this holds you up right. Next vertical practice is in 2 weeks I can try and get a photo of James' setup like this if you want. If I remember how he did it correctly, you should be able to do it on your stop as well. Comfort on long rappels is nice!
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Offline adz

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2012, 07:14:08 pm »
Buy some of those concrete wellies you see at some garden centres (Look in Gnome section)

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2012, 07:16:13 pm »
Clip your chest harness to the rope above your descender with a climber's quick-draw.

Offline Norris

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2012, 12:03:21 am »
Buy some of those concrete wellies you see at some garden centres (Look in Gnome section)

I too like Simon, am the wrong shape for SRT... My torso is dispropotionate to my leg length, I have short legs  :) consequently on ascending and descending struggle to stay upright.

I use a Caving Supplies sit harness, use a one inch tape chest harness pulled really tight when ascending, my current set up is with the chest jammer directly onto the D ring, but previously I have tried a maillon between the D ring and the jammer, and I have also tried it with two maillons between the D ring and the jammer, and none of the variations seems to shift my centre of gravity dramatically.

Just recently been experimenting by clipping my gear bag (weight about 1 - 2 kg?) to a loop around my foot, and this has had the most profound effect on my SRT position. Not a long term solution perhaps, but a useful exercise if you want to prove your SRT position and for free

Two other options I want  explore to the same end would be trying a differant sit harness (cost involved  :(), or the use of a pantin, I was reading on  (I think)the NSS website that some American cavers favour the use of the pantin with a resulting benefit in SRT position (cost involved again  :()

My two pence worth  :)
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Offline TheBitterEnd

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2012, 08:04:05 am »
I too am of the short legs relative to body design and I can confirm that a pantin does help.

I have read a few suggestions that a chest harness is better than a torse and I was just wondering if anyone has any more to contribute on the subject. I hate the fact that I have the Torse so tight when prussiking I am like the hunchback of Notre Dame when I get off the pitch head

Its also worth noting that there was an article in Decent about SRT and body shape a few issues ago.
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Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2012, 08:19:48 am »
Its also worth noting that there was an article in Decent about SRT and body shape a few issues ago.

Worth noting, just. Its conclusion was that different people do SRT differently and more research could be done. 

Offline TheBitterEnd

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2012, 10:35:41 am »
Yeah, but it moved the debate on from me just being slow old fat b*st*rd to "having a less than optimal body shape"   ;D
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Offline simonsays

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2012, 11:01:50 am »
Thanks for all the replies and suggestions :bow:

I'm going to try some of them out this weekend on my SRT-lite practice rig (an aluminium ladder wedged in between a brick outhouse and the wall of my house)

Does anyone think there may be any mileage in using one of these

 http://www.petzl.com/us/outdoor/verticality/harnesses/full-body-/-chest-harnesses/voltige


and rigging it like this

http://www.petzl.com/files/all/technical-notice/Sport/C60-VOLTIGE.pdf

I think must of the load is transferred to the seat harness D ring but it is routed to the rope via the chest harness. That would certainly sort out the centre of gravity issue, but i'm wondering how it would affect the ability to carry out deviations/rebelays

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Offline potholer

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2012, 11:20:40 am »
Yeah, but it moved the debate on from me just being slow old fat b*st*rd to "having a less than optimal body shape"   ;D
I guess it depends whether your body shape was more optimal when you were twentysomething.

I know mine was.

Offline TheBitterEnd

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2012, 12:10:56 pm »
It's always been less than optimal but has got worse since gravity went metric  ;)
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Offline paul

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2012, 12:26:30 pm »
If you are having problems prusiking using the usual "Frog" set up, it may be worth investigating a "Ropewalking" setup. This is quite popular in the US as they quite often don't have rebelays (and passing rebelays with a Ropewalking setup isn't as straight-forward as with the Frog setup), just using rope with freater abrasion resistance and padding any rub points.

There are ways of swapping between a sort of Ropewalking setup and a Frog setup using the same gear.  Try googling for "Ropewalking".

One advantage of Ropewalking types of setup is that the body is much more straighter than when using a Frog setup and closer to the rope. You make upward progress by alternately stepping upwards with each leg while the chest is held close to the rope.

It may be worth having a try if you find your body shape is not optimal for Frogging.
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Offline Alex

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2012, 01:03:24 pm »
I don't see how ropewalking is harder to pass rebelays I sometimes 'rope walk' in a sudo sense by using my pantin on my left foot and my foot loop on the right. The only thing slightly akward is getting the pantin off but that disadvantage is overcome with the fact that it makes it easier to stand up straight at a reblay too when transferring the gear to the other rope.

Maybe I am not rope walking and still prussicking but I don't half shoot up pitches this way and I seem more upright. (40m in under 5 minutes)

 :-[ Oops sorry this is about descending ignore that then, that won't work too well in reverse.
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Offline skippy

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2012, 01:19:38 pm »
Alex...thats the same set up I use(pantin on my left foot).I still find it difficult to 'rope walk' up a free hanging pitch...but fly up stuff when the ropes about 12 inches away from the wall.

Offline langcliffe

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2012, 01:35:36 pm »
I don't see how ropewalking is harder to pass rebelays I sometimes 'rope walk' in a sudo sense by using my pantin on my left foot and my foot loop on the right.

I think that the important word here is "sudo" (or pseudo as it is sometimes spelt). Rope walking with a frog set-up and a pantin is fast, but it is not viable for long free-hanging pitches. Moreover, it reverts back to the orthodox sit-stand system at rebelays.

Proper rope walking systems (e.g. the Floating Cam system, and the Mitchell system with its many variations) are fast and efficient, but tend to be more difficult to get onto the rope, and also to pass rebelays without the fixed chest ascender, and hence are not used much in Europe.

Offline Judi Durber

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2012, 01:41:25 pm »
Quote
http://www.petzl.com/files/all/technical-notice/Sport/C60-VOLTIGE.pdf

Looking at the petzl diagram the first thing that came to mind was that you would have to be very careful not to get hair, chin strap, or nose close to the Figure 8  :o

The next thought was that you would possibly need  an extra cows tail to clip onto the figure 8 before you unclip to make sure it isn't 'lost' down the pitch  :o

The next was I would really have to practice lots to make sure it didn't take me forever to do the changeover  :-[
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Offline big-palooka

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2012, 01:50:27 pm »
I see that this topic, whilst headed "staying upright whilst descending" has discussion about staying upright whilst ascending, which has been a bit of a problem for me.  Seeing the Petzl spec sheet for the Voltige beautifully illustrates the problem.  I am both tall in the body and round(ish).  What everyone refers to as the "chest" jammer is clearly not a chest jammer when fitted direct to my sit harness maillon - it is a "belly" jammer and no amount of tightening the chest strap can get the jammer anywhere near my chest. The picture on the Voltige spec sheet clearly shows the "chest" attachment to the rope, albeit in this case a descender, above the position of the heart and not the navel.
I am ignorant of the historical technicalities - so can someone explain why caving harnesses were designed with such a low central attachment point in the first place and secondly, why it is not thought advisable by some to raise the location of the chest jammer by using an extra maillon to attach it to the D ring, which I was certainly thinking of trying next time out in view of the earlier suggestions on this thread.
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Offline potholer

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2012, 02:15:37 pm »
A low attachment point means the arms can be lower while prussiking, which can be less tiring, and having a longer potential step can improve climbing efficiency.

Being less stable does mean the arms may do more work pulling a person upright, especially if their technique is imperfect, but it also means some more gymnastic manoeuvres (like laying back and reaching for deviations, etc) can be easier.

Even if allowances were made for loop length to stand up in, with a low central maillon, getting past a rebelay on the way down could be easier since it's possible to tilt sideways to get a foot in a loop that's actually above maillon level, whereas if hanging in a more stable position, that would be much harder.

Offline big-palooka

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #26 on: February 28, 2012, 02:32:52 pm »
Ah.  OK thanks Dave, so that's the trade off which I hadn't thought about.
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Offline caving_fox

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #27 on: February 28, 2012, 02:40:27 pm »
Quote
why it is not thought advisable by some to raise the location of the chest jammer by using an extra maillon to attach it to the D ring,

If (unilke me) you're short in the chest, and especially in the arms, you'll end up losing a lot of your prussik space. Although I haven't measured mine, I have long arms and am probably making at least a foot on every prussik. If you're considerably shorter, and then add a maillon in as well, that foot could become as little as a few inches - ie you'd need to make 3x the number of prussik steps that I do. Try it and see - you might find the extra comfort outways the efficiency loss (I do) but it won't suit everyone.

For the OP
I'm not sure I understand the problem. I probably descent at something like 45deg angle (when there's space) arms comfortably held in front of me. elbow approx at waist. Yes finger might get tired holding Stop lever, but not arms.
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Offline Amata

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #28 on: February 28, 2012, 03:43:23 pm »
I don't see how ropewalking is harder to pass rebelays I sometimes 'rope walk' in a sudo sense by using my pantin on my left foot and my foot loop on the right.

I think that the important word here is "sudo" (or pseudo as it is sometimes spelt). Rope walking with a frog set-up and a pantin is fast, but it is not viable for long free-hanging pitches. Moreover, it reverts back to the orthodox sit-stand system at rebelays.

Proper rope walking systems (e.g. the Floating Cam system, and the Mitchell system with its many variations) are fast and efficient, but tend to be more difficult to get onto the rope, and also to pass rebelays without the fixed chest ascender, and hence are not used much in Europe.
Frogging with a pantin/foot ascender so alternating steps is "Frog Walking" here. Much harder than rope walking itself. Get yeself a chestroller, it does WONDERS. with that if you already have a pantin you can set up a single bungee ropewalker (my current system I just made and LOVE). Its not any harder to pass things than a sit-stand. Basically same as a frog. Your weighting on rope is a little different is all. QAS (upper ascender) croll is the knee ascender (basic is the typically knee ascender but this prevented me from needing to buy one) on left knee with a waist teather (this prevents a heel-hang scenario) and the I use a CMI foot ascender (pantins are hard to use in a ropewalking system because of how easy they pop off rope, it is hard to keep your foot in the right position for it not to do this in a ropewalker). The foot ascender is still not considered a "life support" though, that is your knee and upper ascender. Carry a separate upper ascender to pass knots and crap with, or changeover.

I also know people make psudeo chest rollers by using webbing for a chest "bra-like" harness  with a 'biner clipped through it in the front with the rope through it. The round biners like petzl attache seem to work better for this. I wouldnt know firsthand as I just got a chest roller. For passing belays and stuff you just pop it off rope easypeasy.

double bungee ropewalkers are a little trickier for doing on rope manovours with but you might want to look into the single bungee setup. It's basically frogwalking, just move the croll to the knee and add a chest roller.

Another system to look into would be a Mitchell. You can do a bungee mitchell system which is basically as easy as a ropewalker but some say easier to do the on rope manouvers with. You could also make a frog-to-mitchell system....ah the combos are endless!

tl/dr there are a LOT of ways to ascend...PLAY at vertical practice! I guess that might be harder there if "everyone" uses a frog. But read up on the other stuff and play with it, and there have to be some people there who use a real Ropewalker or Mitchel....

Or...you know...buy me a plane ticket over and I'll come teach you about all our wide and varied systems there ;) :D

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Offline langcliffe

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #29 on: February 28, 2012, 05:07:28 pm »
tl/dr there are a LOT of ways to ascend...PLAY at vertical practice! I guess that might be harder there if "everyone" uses a frog. But read up on the other stuff and play with it, and there have to be some people there who use a real Ropewalker or Mitchel....

When I started SRT in 1972 I played with a variety of set-ups, including various variants of Mitchell, and finished up with two foot-loops attached to Clog ascenders which were held in place by a home-made bra chest harness. It was very fast, and very effective (I remember doing one 200 m pitch on it). As techniques and equipment improved, I moved over to the classic frog system for ease of use and for improved safety, and I've been very happy with it ever since. The relatively recent arrival of the pantin made it even more effective.

I can imagine going back to ropewalking if I were ever to do a mega pitch with a single hang (like Sotano de las Golindrinas), but not  for European caves.

What does "tl/dr" mean?

Offline potholer

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #30 on: February 28, 2012, 06:11:06 pm »
What does "tl/dr" mean?
It's what the Youth of Today use as an abbreviation for 'too long, didn't read' (often expressed as tldr or tl:dr)
Though there are times (not here) where it seems to effectively mean 'too lazy, didn't read'.

Offline langcliffe

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #31 on: February 28, 2012, 06:27:10 pm »
It's what the Youth of Today use as an abbreviation for 'too long, didn't read' (often expressed as tldr or tl:dr)

Thank you for that. I cannot get the expression to make sense in the context that Amy used it, but that's probably because I am not a yoof.

Offline Amata

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #32 on: February 28, 2012, 06:40:58 pm »
It's what the Youth of Today use as an abbreviation for 'too long, didn't read' (often expressed as tldr or tl:dr)

Thank you for that. I cannot get the expression to make sense in the context that Amy used it, but that's probably because I am not a yoof.
Haha sorry, it is usually just put at the start of a sentence that basically sums the entire post here, almost like "in conclusion" but not really conclusion rather than a summary because people are lazy to read an entire post sometimes.
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Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #33 on: February 28, 2012, 07:09:38 pm »
Clip your chest harness to the rope above your descender with a climber's quick-draw.

 :read:

Or if you're penny-pinching, use three krabs in a chain.

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Offline TheBitterEnd

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #34 on: March 02, 2012, 06:49:04 pm »
I had a similar problem, I've got a long back and relatively short legs.

The simple addition of a maillon between the centre maillon and the chest jammer has totally changed my perspective on SRT. After trying it out on a practice trip, I went hunting and found a twisted maillon so everything still sits nice and flat.

http://www.upandunder.co.uk/Outdoor/Caving/Karabiners-and-Connectors/P---Standard-Twist---14429/

I find I get less tired as I'm not using my arms to pull myself upright all the time.

I was intrigued by this idea so, having a few hours spare this afternoon I thought I'd go and try it out. I actually made two changes to my normal set up, a 7mm long reach maillon between the D and Croll and I used a chest strap rather than a torse (since the Croll is higher it seemed to me that a chest strap would be better at pulling me into the rope).

The result was quite interesting, on the plus side I was more upright and it didn't knacker my arms as much as the old set up but on the down side it did feel less efficient. I was still able to get a decent step up, may be 8" to 10" but for some reason that I couldn't figure out, at the top of every step up the Croll kinked forward (yes, the chest strap was tight) and so a few inches of the step was lost.

With some fine tuning I can see that having the Croll higher could be better overall, since a little loss of efficiency is more than offset by not having to stop every 5 steps to rest my arms.
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Offline owd git

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #35 on: March 02, 2012, 06:59:08 pm »
I thought the topic was re- decending.? :doubt:
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Offline JessopSmythe

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #36 on: March 02, 2012, 08:29:44 pm »
for some reason that I couldn't figure out, at the top of every step up the Croll kinked forward (yes, the chest strap was tight) and so a few inches of the step was lost.


Were you using a standard maillon or a twist?
With the standard, the croll is not sitting flat against your chest so it'll try to turn through 90° under tension. Using the twist maillon flattens everything out and the croll sits at the same angle as it normally would on your central D-ring.
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Offline owd git

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #37 on: March 02, 2012, 10:46:11 pm »
Who is decending with a croll????
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Offline Fulk

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #38 on: March 02, 2012, 11:07:52 pm »
ow git's got a point here – this thread was originally about going down, but it now seems to be more about going up – but Bitter end says he gets a decent step-up of 8–10 in; I find that using a low attachment point I can get a fair measure of the length of a pitch by counting steps (if I can be bothered) insofar as 10 of my steps = roughly 4 m . . . so 1 step = 40 cm, or ~ 16 in.

Given that using the Frog system, you flop back by . . . what, say 3 in every step? – then 3 out of 16 isn't good, but 3 out of 8–10 is even worse, hence my advocating a low attachment point for the chest jammer.

Offline owd git

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #39 on: March 02, 2012, 11:54:52 pm »
This 'frog system' Q. up, or down?
 :thumbsup:



Me backs bad, I'm bored 'kin stupid wi ' not being able (allowed by my beloved  :thumbsup: )
to be doing meccano wi Zomjon & the boys. So I shall temporarily wear my 'pedants' hat.

I refer to my post re-keeping the fulcrum high. waistband is not as important as the legs. (taking more more load.) loading the chest strap is putting a greater load on a weaker piece of kit.
Look for 'balance' not load transfer. Is my humble opinion.



Next please. :thumbsup:
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Offline owd git

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #40 on: March 03, 2012, 12:11:08 am »
It's always been less than optimal but has got worse since gravity went metric  ;)
Only just read through (properly)
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Offline paul

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #41 on: March 03, 2012, 08:38:42 am »
I thought the topic was re- decending.? :doubt:
O. G. :thumbsup:

Surely if you have a body shape which causes problems while descending, it may not be totally unrelated that you may also have problems with prusiking as well, so not totally off-topic.
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Offline owd git

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #42 on: March 03, 2012, 10:49:07 am »
I take your point Paul, however climbing,  balance is slightly less of an issue as one hand is usually on jammer  helping upper body to stay 'upper', dont you think?
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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #43 on: March 03, 2012, 11:49:35 am »
I take your point Paul, however climbing,  balance is slightly less of an issue as one hand is usually on jammer  helping upper body to stay 'upper', dont you think?
O.G.

It's still an issue though. I remember one caver who was short and very top heavy having real problems when trying to prusik when I was trying to give hime some SRT instruction above ground.

He found it impossible in a normal Frog setup to prusik at anything approaching an efficient position and was soon getting knackered as he had to use his arms much more than you would in a more efficient postion.

It wasn't just me having problems sorting out his problems, even a "professional" caving instructor explained to him that given his body size and shape, he was always going to have a struggle and losing lot of weight would be a good starting point.
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Offline TheBitterEnd

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #44 on: March 03, 2012, 06:49:01 pm »
JessopSmythe - I was just using a standard maillon and you are probably right that this contributed to the problem.

Fulk - 16" seems like a pretty big step to me (I tried a measured step). I could have taken bigger steps if I had bothered to adjust my foot loop but obviously my hands would be higher.  Also do you really think you loose 3" per step? With my normal set up (especially when using a Pantin) my impression is that I loose next to nothing.

It still seems to be an interesting trade off, yes it's less efficient but I can go faster and longer. So the question is, does the loss of efficiency out weigh the gains from being less knackered?
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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #45 on: March 03, 2012, 07:33:33 pm »
Quote
It still seems to be an interesting trade off, yes it's less efficient but I can go faster and longer. So the question is, does the loss of efficiency out weigh the gains from being less knackered

I guess it's all down to personal preference; what's right for one ain't necessarily right for all. But be open-minded and prepared to accept change, rather than stick rigidly to what an 'expert' showed you.

Offline Amata

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #46 on: March 04, 2012, 06:27:58 pm »
I take your point Paul, however climbing,  balance is slightly less of an issue as one hand is usually on jammer  helping upper body to stay 'upper', dont you think?
O.G.

It's still an issue though. I remember one caver who was short and very top heavy having real problems when trying to prusik when I was trying to give hime some SRT instruction above ground.

He found it impossible in a normal Frog setup to prusik at anything approaching an efficient position and was soon getting knackered as he had to use his arms much more than you would in a more efficient postion.

It wasn't just me having problems sorting out his problems, even a "professional" caving instructor explained to him that given his body size and shape, he was always going to have a struggle and losing lot of weight would be a good starting point.
I would have punched the "professional". There are PLENTY of systems and options out there for those of us who are shorter and large-chested that frogging NATURALLY wont work well for. I can frog about 100-150ft. After that I'm totally, as ya'all say, "knackered". Its nice for in-cave stuff and short pitches and multidrops type stuff but I love my single bungie ropewalker. If it weren't for moving the QAS up with my hands i could walk up the rope hands-free, just like I'm walking up stairs. Easy as that. Passing lips, changing over to pigtails, passing knots, etc isn't any harder than on a frog, just a little different technique and like with anything what you train & practice is what you get used to and excel at.
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Offline Les W

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #47 on: March 04, 2012, 06:40:20 pm »
Problem is Amy, we only use Frog or a derivative here. Most of our caves have short(ish) pitches and are generally rigged Alpine style (rebelays everywhere) rather than the US style of just chuck the rope over the lip. We don't do "passing lipps" as the rope is never hanging over a lip. It is an anatheme here to allow the rope to ever touch the rock.

Frog is ideal for multi pitch rebelays Alpine style but Rope walking is a PIA to use except on big freehangs.

Yet another difference between our two countries...
(Obviously our way is the best...  :tease: )
« Last Edit: March 04, 2012, 06:50:35 pm by Les W »
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Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #48 on: March 04, 2012, 06:44:18 pm »
given his body size and shape, he was always going to have a struggle and losing lot of weight would be a good starting point.

Appears to be a statement of fact, rather than opinion.

Pretty spot-on advice and would definitely confer an advantage as a result.

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #49 on: March 04, 2012, 06:44:43 pm »
I take your point Paul, however climbing,  balance is slightly less of an issue as one hand is usually on jammer  helping upper body to stay 'upper', dont you think?
O.G.

It's still an issue though. I remember one caver who was short and very top heavy having real problems when trying to prusik when I was trying to give hime some SRT instruction above ground.

He found it impossible in a normal Frog setup to prusik at anything approaching an efficient position and was soon getting knackered as he had to use his arms much more than you would in a more efficient postion.

It wasn't just me having problems sorting out his problems, even a "professional" caving instructor explained to him that given his body size and shape, he was always going to have a struggle and losing lot of weight would be a good starting point.
I would have punched the "professional". There are PLENTY of systems and options out there for those of us who are shorter and large-chested that frogging NATURALLY wont work well for. I can frog about 100-150ft. After that I'm totally, as ya'all say, "knackered". Its nice for in-cave stuff and short pitches and multidrops type stuff but I love my single bungie ropewalker. If it weren't for moving the QAS up with my hands i could walk up the rope hands-free, just like I'm walking up stairs. Easy as that. Passing lips, changing over to pigtails, passing knots, etc isn't any harder than on a frog, just a little different technique and like with anything what you train & practice is what you get used to and excel at.

Maybe, but it's passing rebelays that's the problem with most ropewalking (not a Frog setup with the addition of a Pantin but the Mitchell or Texas setp for example). And we have plenty of rebelays in Europe unlike many areas in the US so the Frog setup is the preferred one.
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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #50 on: March 04, 2012, 07:28:27 pm »
Quote
Problem is Amy, we only use Frog or a derivative here. Most of our caves have short(ish) pitches and are generally rigged Alpine style (rebelays everywhere) rather than the US style of just chuck the rope over the lip. We don't do "passing lipps" as the rope is never hanging over a lip. It is an anatheme here to allow the rope to ever touch the rock.

Not entirely true, we do pass lips sometimes here sometimes but if that is the case such as Rowton (window) and cow pot for example there is normally a rebelay immidiately after. Oh cant forget Croaser, now that is a lip pass no re-belay either (second pitch).
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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #51 on: March 04, 2012, 07:38:54 pm »
I understand that there rigging is different, but I still say it's what you are used to and practice...perhaps the difference for me is I'm on a single bungee ropewalker (this is not a mitchell or texas...) so *i personally* do no find it harder than a frog for various rope manovours, in fact, I *personally* find it easier. Even there are frog-to-mitchell which surely would work better for rebelays if you want to stay basically frog? Everyone is different, being open and able to play with various systems, even creating your own mosh of one, can be important and the difference between comfortable and horribly uncomfortable on rope.

And yet, I still prefer frog with short multi-drops, and tight entrance pits that can make a chest roller hard to deal with. Nice thing about my single bungie ropewalker is it converts right back for those caves.

Having options FTW!
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Offline Les W

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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #52 on: March 04, 2012, 07:39:53 pm »
Alex, there are always exceptions but the generalisation hold true.

Would you bother with a rope walk system to climb the second pitch at Croesor? Most people only go down anyway...
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Re: staying upright whilst descending?
« Reply #53 on: October 26, 2019, 10:09:15 pm »
An old thread but interesting as this problem has affected me couple of times... reasons for low attachment point (faster pursuing, better side reach..) seem to be outweighed by 1) risk of going upside down on a slip or fall... 2) need for chest  clip harness to prevent such... 3) need to use maybe tired hands to maintain upright position... Compared to say a std construction harness fall must be safely arrested in upright position . So it seems to me that a good test is to hang off the harness hands free if you aren't upright the centre of gravity /attachment point is too low...??