Author Topic: Beal Escaper - Retrievable Abseils  (Read 695 times)

Online aricooperdavis

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Beal Escaper - Retrievable Abseils
« on: June 07, 2019, 10:32:50 am »
I stumbled across an interesting bit of gear this morning - the Beal Escaper. This sells itself as a detachable abseil system, allowing you to abseil down the length of your rope then retrieve it with some gentle tugs once you reach the floor.



It suggests that it's suitable for canyoneering, is rated for ropes >7.3mm, and will only begin to release once the mass on it is less than 10kg. I have no idea what the minimum force on an anchor can be on a really bouncy abseil, but I'd guess that it doesn't get that low. I'd feel much less happy about ascending the rope again if I had to.

Personally I don't see a good enough reason to ditch the traditional pull-through technique, but I'd love to have a play with one and see how they work.

Thoughts?

Offline Speleotron

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Re: Beal Escaper - Retrievable Abseils
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2019, 10:59:44 am »
This has been discussed a lot on UKClimbing and the consensus is that its dodgy! This is partly due to the fact that a lot of climbing abseils are quite ledgy, so you risk un-weighting the rope too many times.
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Online nobrotson

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Re: Beal Escaper - Retrievable Abseils
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2019, 11:05:02 am »
I don't think it is good for caving. Its a good back-up for if you are multipitch climbing with a single rope and need to abseil down pitches that are longer than half your rope length, rather than just climbing ho the top. Otherwise I see no use for it climbing, as when mountaineering I would be using half or twin ropes. Also it could jam and be a twat a lot more than just using a pull cord alongside a single rope. 60m of 5mm pull cord obviously weighs more than the escaper but unless you are performing at a very high level where taking the risk of only carrying one rope and possibly getting it jammed then the escaper is less safe and less useful. Can't be prussiking up a rope using the escaper...

In relation to threading it through 2 bolts with caving or canyoning, I think it would really depend on the orientation of your bolts. If the angle between them was very acute, say 30 degrees or less, then it might pull through, otherwise the resistance would likely be too high. The angles you get from the bolts places in most caves in the dales are much greater than this.
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Online andrewmc

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Re: Beal Escaper - Retrievable Abseils
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2019, 11:26:08 am »
I'm sure its safe enough, just not that useful.

Offline george

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Re: Beal Escaper - Retrievable Abseils
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2019, 11:28:16 am »
It's a brilliant bit of kit that works by application of witchcraft.
It's great fun to use but I've only done so for 'play'...

Online Oceanrower

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Re: Beal Escaper - Retrievable Abseils
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2019, 11:43:16 am »
I'm sure its safe enough, just not that useful.

I'm sure it's useful, just not that safe...

Offline Tseralo

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Beal Escaper - Retrievable Abseils
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2019, 02:51:58 pm »
Every climber I know including a relatively bold MIC all looked at it and said “Fuck that”.

For me it’s an emergency tool I would never plan to use it and perhaps just carry it for multipitch routes incase I ever had a rope get stuck and needed to be chopped but also had to do a long drop.

As for caving I don’t see a use even for a pull through. Cavers tends to bounce a bit more than climbers as we descend free hanging stuff more and I would worry the bounce would pull it through.

If you really want to save weight to size on a pull through take a 6mm tag line and use that as the pull through cord.

Online ALEXW

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Re: Beal Escaper - Retrievable Abseils
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2019, 03:20:33 pm »


Online mikem

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Re: Beal Escaper - Retrievable Abseils
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2019, 03:46:55 pm »
Not great for the karabiner either ...

Offline Alex

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Re: Beal Escaper - Retrievable Abseils
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2019, 04:24:12 pm »
I would hate to abseil anything with ledges on it with that thing, Jesus! Nope, not for me.
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Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Beal Escaper - Retrievable Abseils
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2019, 10:05:18 pm »
Nope.
&
Nope.

Summary: Nope.

Online aricooperdavis

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Re: Beal Escaper - Retrievable Abseils
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2019, 03:30:14 pm »
Well that's a pretty clear consensus! The multi-bolt concern is a very clear constraint for caving scenarios - it would be solvable with a short bit of rigging rope but that's just more hassle.

I'd have to have a play with it with ropes in different states of muddy/wet/new/old before I could pass judgement on whether it'd be safe to do ledgy-abseils with it, but I understand the concerns.

Offline Speleotron

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Re: Beal Escaper - Retrievable Abseils
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2019, 07:16:36 pm »
I would hate to abseil anything with ledges on it with that thing, Jesus! Nope, not for me.


"I know what you're thinking: 'Did he go over six ledges or only five?' Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I've kinda lost track myself. But being this is a beal escaper, you've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do you, punk? "
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