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/ Challenge to all gear junkies: Can you name this piece of gear?

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NZClimber12 - on 21 Dec 2017
Saw a clip of an awesome looking piece of kit recently, but can't remember what it was called/who the manufacturer was and no matter how hard I look I just can't find it online (or any photos of it).

It was device for retrieving the rope after a single strand rappel. I can best describe it as an sewn elastic dyneema prussik. Basically you clip it to a bight on the rappel strand and then thread the prussik part over the short end of the rope. As you rappel it holds tight. After getting to the bottom you give the rope several big tugs and the elastic shuffles the prussik off the short end therefore freeing the rope.

Anyone have a clue what I've described above?

Cheers
ben b - on 21 Dec 2017
In reply to NZClimber12:
Can't name it , but on behalf of the really old farts I'd just like to point out that it almost certainly would have been designed by Chris Tan (or, to use his full name,Chris Tan Not Signed In).

Try asking Andy Kirpatrick - he's the only person I can think of who would willingly use one ;-)

cheers

b
Post edited at 02:21
Jonny Allen - on 21 Dec 2017
> Anyone have a clue what I've described above?

Yes.
You’ve witnessed the product of a genius in the Beal Escaper.
Sadly not available yet.

What’s my prize?
rgold - on 21 Dec 2017
AlanLittle - on 21 Dec 2017
In reply to Jonny Allen:

"Sadly" ?
AlanLittle - on 21 Dec 2017
In reply to NZClimber12:

If you're into that sort of thing, there's also this with which nothing could ever possibly go wrong:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1902167602/the-firefly-recover-your-lost-climbing-gear
Chris Harris - on 21 Dec 2017
In reply to AlanLittle:

Also the Pierre Allain "Decrocheur", another pant-filler from the Master....

http://storrick.cnc.net/VerticalDevicesPage/Misc/MostMiscPages/MostMisc0640.html

Davidwi - on 21 Dec 2017
In reply to Jonny Allen:

Sadly?
Imagine, during your abseil you bounce a couple of times.
9.8ms^-2 retreat with a sudden stop.

In reality I love the idea, I’m just not sure I’d feel very confident in it. An I’ve done some pretty questionable abseiled.
AlanLittle - on 21 Dec 2017
In reply to Davidwi:

Although in fairness, it took the world some time to realise Abalakov was a genius.
elliptic on 21 Dec 2017
In reply to NZClimber12:

That looks absolutely terrifying and I think even the bloke in the video agrees. If you watch carefully while setting up he *puts a stopper knot* in the tail of the device which magically disappears when he pulls and retrieves.

I wouldn't go near it if you paid me...
oldie - on 21 Dec 2017
In reply to Chris Harris:
> Also the Pierre Allain "Decrocheur", another pant-filler from the Master.... <

Saw one, or something like it, many years ago in Terrys Festerhaunt, near Harrisons. Quite heavy so it might well get damaged hitting the ground (or damage someone). Also possible adverse result if bouncing or momentarily unweighting rope while abbing!


BlueTotem on 21 Dec 2017
Reminds me of something heinous you can do with a fifi hook and some 2.5mm bungee cord. Bounce on the rope a bit and that'll be your *last* abseil...
gethin_allen on 21 Dec 2017
In reply to elliptic:

> That looks absolutely terrifying and I think even the bloke in the video agrees. If you watch carefully while setting up he *puts a stopper knot* in the tail of the device which magically disappears when he pulls and retrieves.

> I wouldn't go near it if you paid me...

They must have done a great deal of testing to be able to sell this and it's not like beal are some come and go company. The stopper knot was probably there to back things up and then to be taken out by the second.

The device seems solid enough, once there's a bit of rope between you and the anchors any bouncing will be taken up by the rope so the anchor won't become slack. The biggest problem I can foresee would be not being able to release the rope on abseils where the decent isn't direct and then the device getting snagged on stuff on the way down.
HB1 - on 21 Dec 2017
In reply to rgold:

Perhaps Bear G could be tempted to give it an airing live on C4 at some time? Bounce about a bit, like he does?
elliptic on 21 Dec 2017
In reply to gethin_allen:

> The stopper knot was probably there to back things up and then to be taken out by the second.

Well yes... presumably the cameraman took it out and came down afterwards without it. But there's no mention in the commentary and it's really not a great look in a promotional video when the bloke demonstrating the thing won't actually trust it without quietly backing it up.

> The device seems solid enough, once there's a bit of rope between you and the anchors any bouncing will be taken up by the rope so the anchor won't become slack.

Fine until you unweight the rope for any reason.
airborne - on 21 Dec 2017
In reply to AlanLittle:

Although apparently Jeff or Greg Lowe originally developed the technique, Abalakov just appropriated it.
rgold - on 21 Dec 2017
In reply to elliptic:

If you unweighted a Decrocheur Allain, it really would come crashing down, and adding insult to injury, might well fracture your skull if you weren't already falling to your death.

To be fair, the Beal gadget took twelve unweightings to release, so it would be very unlikely that a single unweighting would be catastrophic. If you are faced with multiple full-length rappels, only one rope, and otherwise probable death, it would start to look like an attractive option.

I actually think a more likely problem is that rope friction along the length of the rappel might blunt the force of the tugs on the Escaper and result in a failure to release.
Paz - on 21 Dec 2017
If this thing is only any good in extremis, and only recommended for metal chain / ring anchors, why would anyone plan to carry one up, let alone buy one, as opposed to simply taking a second rope?

The second rope could even be super light non rated tat, just used to pull a slip knot loop down (Petzl Gri-gri abseiling technique).

Even if I detest some of their other attributes, I've got to admire the balls and persistence of the person who took this through product development and brought it to market - I wonder if they've talked it through with Beal's PI providers and legal team - it's going to come with a hell of an instruction manual.

Surely any company must ask themselves, OK, what do we do and where do we stand if this goes wrong, someone dies and we get sued?
rgold - on 22 Dec 2017
In reply to Paz:
> If this thing is only any good in extremis, and only recommended for metal chain / ring anchors, why would anyone plan to carry one up, let alone buy one, as opposed to simply taking a second rope?

I'm not anywhere near advocating for it, but it should be bashed on the merits. It will obviously function on any anchor that has a ring for the rappel ropes, which would be just about every anchor. It doesn't matter if the anchor material is webbing, rope, or chain.

As for why it might reasonably be carried for emergencies, it is far lighter and more compact than a second rope (even non-rated tat---you still need 60 meters of that, or actually maybe 70 meters to stay even with a single strand of 60m dynamic rope). You would plan to carry it for the same reason you might carry a first aid kit, which is to be able to cope with some type of emergency.

Like it or not, more and more climbers are going super light in an attempt to go super fast, and my guess is this will be an attractive addition to their underfilled packs.
Post edited at 03:31
Tricadam on 22 Dec 2017
In reply to NZClimber12:

On a related subject, this has got to be one of the most pointlessly elaborate/wasteful techniques ever: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7vFE1wlUK4 Hilarious.
Tricadam on 22 Dec 2017
In reply to BlueTotem:

> Reminds me of something heinous you can do with a fifi hook and some 2.5mm bungee cord. Bounce on the rope a bit and that'll be your *last* abseil...

Another hilarious video, complete with health warnings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8Ute5c2BVk
Dave Cundy - on 22 Dec 2017
In reply to Tricadam:

Fantastic. So the guy has set up a retrievable abseil, minus the skinny rope used to retrieve it. Why didn't he just clip the figure of eight knot directly into the anchor???

Just shows you the downside of the electronic revolution. Any old fool can now publish information online, even if it's complete rubbish.

As to the Beal, sod that for a lark. I'd rather do shorter abs, or carry 30m of 5mm to do the retrievable abseil properly. Like you do in some caving pull-through trips....
gethin_allen on 22 Dec 2017
In reply to Tricadam:

> On a related subject, this has got to be one of the most pointlessly elaborate/wasteful techniques ever: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7vFE1wlUK4 Hilarious.

This is a method used by people who want to carry a single rope and a light weight (non load bearing) pull rope, you keep a 60 m length of 3 mm cord (weighs about 240 g) and tie it to the carabiner clipped back to the rope and then pull that to retrieve your rope. This setup means you can do full length abseils with very little weight.

Not really pointless, elaborate or wasteful if you know what you're talking about.
oldie - on 22 Dec 2017
In reply to gethin_allen:

> This setup means you can do full length abseils with very little weight. <
> Not really pointless, elaborate or wasteful if you know what you're talking about. <

But the video didn't even mention the use of a pull cord so completely useless in itself.

Incidentally the method is obviously also useful if the single rope ab is not full length but more than half, when the very long tail would mean that linked slings, nuts, tat (even trousers etc !) would avoid the need for a pull cord.

gethin_allen on 22 Dec 2017
In reply to oldie:

> But the video didn't even mention the use of a pull cord so completely useless in itself.

> Incidentally the method is obviously also useful if the single rope ab is not full length but more than half, when the very long tail would mean that linked slings, nuts, tat (even trousers etc !) would avoid the need for a pull cord.

It does mention the pull cord in the video title "Climbing tips: Biner Rope Block (single strand rappel then retrieve with a pull cord)".
That's a brilliant image I have now of someone trying to take their trousers off while dangling around on a rope.
Tricadam on 22 Dec 2017
In reply to gethin_allen:
> This is a method used by people who want to carry a single rope and a light weight (non load bearing) pull rope, you keep a 60 m length of 3 mm cord (weighs about 240 g) and tie it to the carabiner clipped back to the rope and then pull that to retrieve your rope. This setup means you can do full length abseils with very little weight.

> Not really pointless, elaborate or wasteful if you know what you're talking about.

Like other posters, I recognised the technique - and the complete lack of mention/demonstration in the video of any retrieval cord, hence my comment! Hilarious!

At least the Spanish nutters got their rope back ????
Post edited at 14:17
rgold - on 22 Dec 2017
In reply to Tricadam:

> On a related subject, this has got to be one of the most pointlessly elaborate/wasteful techniques ever: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7vFE1wlUK4 Hilarious.

Maybe, depending on what the intended use is. It is the standard way of setting up a Gri gri rappel with just a single rope.
gethin_allen on 22 Dec 2017
In reply to Tricadam:

> Like other posters, I recognised the technique - and the complete lack of mention/demonstration in the video of any retrieval cord, hence my comment! Hilarious!

> At least the Spanish nutters got their rope back ????

Well it does mention the pull cord in both the video title and description so it's not exactly hiding anything, and anyone planning to use this method would think "now how do I get my rope back" and then they'd read the title and work it our.
Otherwise if they are too stupid to do so then they shouldn't be learning climbing techniques from youtube. And if they get as far as setting this up and lowering off before realising they need a tag line then they can have a look on youtube for the billions of videos on how to ascend a rope.

We must have a different definition of the term "Hilarious"
Tom Last - on 22 Dec 2017
In reply to NZClimber12:

You can do this with a sheepshank too, if you're off your head.
Tricadam on 23 Dec 2017
In reply to gethin_allen:

> Well it does mention the pull cord in both the video title and description so it's not exactly hiding anything, and anyone planning to use this method would think "now how do I get my rope back" and then they'd read the title and work it our.

Except it doesn't *show* this which, after all, is the raison d'être of the video medium. What it *does* show is some poor idiot sacrificing an extra karabiner and an extra 10 seconds. Which I did indeed find hilarious.

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