/ via ferrata leash

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ClimberEd - on 11 Feb 2019

Having never actually done this (I should add I am an experienced climber just not via ferrata itself)

- I understand you want some kind of 'shock absorbing' cows tail rather than a static sling, due to the system if you fall of you sliding down the wire to the last 'fixed point' where you will stop.

- Is there any reason a length of dynamic rope wouldn't work for this rather than a specially designed via ferrata leash that seem to be for sale?

-Anything else I need to know?

Thanks

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summo on 11 Feb 2019
In reply to ClimberEd:

Works just fine. The fancy system can have more shock absorption built in and special krabs, that make clipping in and out easier. But a home made leash will work too. 

A couple of metres of rope, fig8 on each end, larks foot the mid point onto your harness(following the route you would normal tie in on) and job done. A bit rough and ready, but totally functional. 

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Jack B on 11 Feb 2019
In reply to ClimberEd:

A bit of dynamic rope is good for absorbing fall factors of 1, and works OK (but might be a bit sore) on fall factors up to 2.  That's the biggest fall factor you can create if you're tied to something.  In via ferrata, you can fall off something, then slide several meters down a wire, and get caught by your cows tail.  That way, you can create a fall factor of e.g. six.  There isn't enough stretch in a rope cows tail for that. A real via ferrata lanyard can stretch from 10cm to well over a meter (albeit only once).  You need the real thing if you're going out on routes where that kind of fall is possible.

You also want the oversized crabs that VF kits come with, as some via ferattas have quite chunky attachment points. They usually have nice quick release gate sleeves too, which give a lot more security than a snapgate would, without the impossible levels of faff a screwgate would have.

Post edited at 11:17
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d_b on 11 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

It's a bit of a drag having all your vertebrae line up.  Having an intact spine is what lets me walk to work, and I hate my job.

Fortunately summos magic massage lanyard can fix all that.  Just one small fall will guarantee that you never have to walk anywhere ever again!  And all for the cheap cheap cost of saving 20 quid!

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summo on 11 Feb 2019
In reply to d_b:

> It's a bit of a drag having all your vertebrae line up.  Having an intact spine is what lets me walk to work, and I hate my job.

> Fortunately summos magic massage lanyard can fix all that.  Just one small fall will guarantee that you never have to walk anywhere ever again!  And all for the cheap cheap cost of saving 20 quid!

How do you think people did via ferreta 15 plus years ago? You can always add a screamer in yourself or make a Purcell prussik. As i said, it's rustic but will work. 

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d_b on 11 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

I had a shock absorbing lanyard 15 years ago.  People survived before that by not falling off.

The kind of moronic advice you are giving out gets people killed.

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beardy mike - on 11 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

Absolutely NOT totally functional unless you consider having a broken body as functional. The impact forces involved in a VF fall are by far the highest anywhere found in climbing - a minimum of a factor 2 fall.

Karabiners designed for Via Ferrata are considerably strongr than standard climbing carabiners for the simple reason that they can be sideloaded during a fall. If you put a standard carabiner in that sort of situation, loaded sideways over a peg it will snap like a carrot.

A piece of rope simply does not have anywhere near enough shock absorption built in to absorb the sort of forces we are talking about. You MUST have a shock absorber otherwise you risk very serious injury or death. The impact force can easily exceed that required to break your pelvis if not attenuated.

If you go on a VF and fall, you may get away with a very short fall on a lanyard made of rope, but bear in mind that many older routes have pegs with considerable distances between anchor pegs. It's simply not good enough to post on a public forum openly read by thousands of climbers that a lanyard made of rope and any old carabiner is sufficient.

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beardy mike - on 11 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

VF kits have been around for a lot longer than 15 years. And before that you got seriously hurt - thats why they invented kits!

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beardy mike - on 11 Feb 2019
cragtyke on 11 Feb 2019
In reply to ClimberEd:

You can hire VF kit for about 5-10 euro per day from sports shops etc in almost all of the relevant areas in France, Austria, Italy , just ask at the local tourist offices for advice. Where are you thinking of going?

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ClimberEd - on 11 Feb 2019

Thank you everyone for chipping in.

In reply to cragtyke: I think that may work, I'm actually on a non climbing holiday in the Italian Lakes

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Ridge - on 11 Feb 2019
In reply to cragtyke:

> You can hire VF kit for about 5-10 euro per day from sports shops etc in almost all of the relevant areas in France, Austria, Italy , just ask at the local tourist offices for advice.

+1 Been a few years since I went, just took helmet and harness and hired the lanyard out there. Also had to buy a pair of gloves.

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Jenny C on 11 Feb 2019
In reply to Ridge:

Gloves aren't essential and if you do want them a cheap pair of builders gloves will be just as good as expensive branded VF ones.

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d_b on 11 Feb 2019
In reply to Jenny C:

I tend to go with the ones with the ends of the fingers cut off.  They leave you able to use fingertips on rock but protect palms and the first couple of joints from frayed cable bits.

This is of course a gardening glove mod that takes seconds.

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99ster - on 11 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> Works just fine. The fancy system can have more shock absorption built in and special krabs, that make clipping in and out easier. But a home made leash will work too. 

> A couple of metres of rope, fig8 on each end, larks foot the mid point onto your harness(following the route you would normal tie in on) and job done. A bit rough and ready, but totally functional. 

Congratulations - you win the prize for worst/most dangerous 'advice' posted on UKC!

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Carless - on 11 Feb 2019
In reply to ClimberEd:

In theory on a standard VF you can possibly take up to a factor 6 fall

Normal climbing gear is rated for fall factor 2 so Summo's advice will actually kill or cripple you if you fall off unless it's a traverse section

Of course any experienced climber is highly unlikely to fall off a VF but accidents do happen

have a look round https://www.petzl.com/GB/en/Sport/Via-Ferrata

Post edited at 16:44
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Rick Graham on 11 Feb 2019
In reply to Carless:

Of course you could reduce the fall factor to 1.1 if you used summo's method with a 60m rope

The main drawback is the 66m plus stretch fall !

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beardy mike - on 11 Feb 2019
In reply to 99ster:

> Congratulations - you win the prize for worst/most dangerous 'advice' posted on UKC!


This week.

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Andrew Lodge - on 11 Feb 2019
In reply to ClimberEd:

We were out there a few years ago and in most of the sports shops you could hire a complete kit with harness, VF kit and helmet by the day.

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Darron - on 11 Feb 2019
In reply to ClimberEd:

A quick draw is useful too so that you can clip a rung and rest in your harness if things get a bit strenuous. You should remain clipped onto the wire with your lanyards whilst doing this though.

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WVRox - on 11 Feb 2019
In reply to Darron:

A bit of common sense too goes a long way! Quite a few VF involve traverses, often along bedding planes. If you took a fall, where would you end up? How can you avoid this? Worth thinking about and adjusting the set-up accordingly.

Typically a much lower fall factor, so in addition to the usual shock absorbing lanyard set up, I add in a standard sling, with not much slack between me and the cable. Last thing you want is to slip off and be dangling in fresh air!

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Dave Cundy - on 11 Feb 2019
In reply to ClimberEd:

Having bought one of those (CAMP?) multi-holed plates, I threaded some 10mm dynamic rope through it and tried it with some small falls (of just a few feet).  You need at least three or four loops through the plate and the forces are still high.

Lesson learned?  DON'T fall off.

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The New NickB - on 11 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

You might want to watch this:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7Y2WgtnemY

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TobyA on 12 Feb 2019
In reply to The New NickB:

That's actually pretty reassuring for modern kits. Although falling on the steep bits still seems like a really bad idea!

ClimberEd, where I've done modern via ferratas in France there have even been in some places little kiosks in the car parks in the summer that rented out gear. And if not, signs to which local shops or campsites rented the kits. Not done any in Italy though, so don't know if its the same there.

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d_b on 12 Feb 2019
In reply to TobyA:

It does give the lie to the idea that you are going to be "resetting" one of the friction plate lanyards after anything but the most trivial fall as well.  Something I have been assured was definitely an advantage over the screamer style.

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TobyA on 12 Feb 2019
In reply to d_b:

I think no one makes them anymore do they? My understanding is they just didn't work well enough.

Beardy Mike above is the man to listen to on these things, an engineer who has designed climbing equipment and knows his stuff. Mike, aren't you now surrounded by via ferratas in your part of Italy?

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beardy mike - on 12 Feb 2019
In reply to TobyA:

There are still systems which use a plate made by Kong - you can still buy the plates as an individual item if you look in the right place. The reason they have been mostly withdrawn was that as the rope with wear would fluff up and then would be unreliable in terms of it working - the friction would be increased sufficently that it wouldn't work at all. And yes I've designed VF carabiners yet to be released...

https://www.kong.it/en/2-products/items/f8-ferrata-kit/p326-kisa

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Stairclimber on 12 Feb 2019
In reply to The New NickB:

A picture worth a thousand words.

I really can not understand why the VF topic brings so many questions and strange ideas . USE THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT AND PROCEDURES. STAY SAFE.

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Neil Williams - on 12 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> How do you think people did via ferreta 15 plus years ago? You can always add a screamer in yourself or make a Purcell prussik. As i said, it's rustic but will work. 

Do you also use a waist belay instead of laying out on the extortionate cost of a belay device and krab?  Tie in with a bowline round your waist as harnesses are a bit pricey?

Buy a VF kit and avoid dying.  They cost next to nothing.

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elefantee - on 12 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

After looking at Chris Tans gear website I decided to make my own via ferrata gear based on the properties of polythene.

I found some old dust sheets, twisted them into a rope and put a krab at one end and a maillon at the other.  The maillon has a couple of slings hanging off it that act as a lanyard. 

The snapgates for the cable are looking a bit scratched up but I'm not going to use them on rope again so it's fine.

Only cost 2 quid plus bits I already had.

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Jenny C on 12 Feb 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

Wouldn't be the first time I've seen someone on a VF with a rope tied round the waist and snap gates on the two rope tails.

Not sure what would have broken first (krab, rope, spine), but I wasn't happy climbing under than as it would have undoubtedly been messy. 

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EdS - on 12 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

Purcell prusiks are an adjustable restraint not a fall arrest leash

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beardy mike - on 12 Feb 2019
In reply to elefantee:

When you say dustsheets, what exactly are we talking about? B&Q or Homebase? Heavy duty or basics?

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elefantee - on 12 Feb 2019
In reply to beardy mike:

B&Q.  I have been boycotting Homebase for political reasons.

I was a bit worried about the dried paint cutting into the polythene under tension so I used an extra half sheet.  If you use clean ones you could probably get away with less.

[edit] no point in heavy duty sheets as you can always add more material.

Post edited at 20:00
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beardy mike - on 12 Feb 2019
In reply to elefantee:

Well I think it probably has abot as much merit as a lanyard made of rope. Are you going to use gorilla tape to hold the strands together?

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elefantee - on 12 Feb 2019
In reply to beardy mike:

I went with electrical tape as it will slip and llow the polythene to extend.  It also has similar elastic properties so I can run strips up and down the lanyard.  I can also cut bits off for marking gear.

The main downside is that it is heavy.  Do you think its worth switching to wire gates to save weight?

Post edited at 20:07
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beardy mike - on 12 Feb 2019
In reply to elefantee:

Probably worth cutting down on the amount of polythene you're using.

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elefantee - on 12 Feb 2019
In reply to beardy mike:

That should reduce shock loading too.

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beardy mike - on 12 Feb 2019
In reply to elefantee:

Would probably give you a more dynamic catch.

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elefantee - on 12 Feb 2019
In reply to beardy mike:

I appreciate the advice.  It's always good to get input from someone who really knows what they are doing.

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beardy mike - on 12 Feb 2019
In reply to elefantee:

Good luck with your nomination.

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