/ Via Ferrata - Self rescue

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alex goodall - on 11 Apr 2019

Hello all,

Have been doing some solo via ferrata in the alps. Today as I climbed a steep section it got me wondering, if someone did have a fall big enough to have the shock absorber come into play and was then left dangling in space, how would you get back onto the wall? 

Assuming you couldn't swing back on/climb the rock etc and are in good enough health to self rescue. Would you have to prusik up the lanyard and hence need to carry that extra gear? I've tried searching and couldn't find anything on UKC.

Or is it the case that you wouldn't ever fall far enough to be left in space? The worst case i'm thinking is the first wire of a vertical section after a horizontal traverse.

TIA, Alex

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Jack B on 11 Apr 2019
In reply to alex goodall:

It's always been my understanding that the shock absorber getting substantially deployed and being uninjured enough to self rescue were not two things which would happen together. 

The maximum elongation allowed by the UIAA standard, if you've used the whole thing, is 1.2m. With mine, I think that means I'd still be able to reach up to the V where the two lanyards join the shock absorber. Pull up on that, and I could reach the wire. If I've fallen off then I'm probably too knackered to actually do that though, even if the 6kN allowed by the shock absorber hasn't jellied any organs.

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hang_about - on 11 Apr 2019
In reply to alex goodall:

I've soled VFs and always thought that I'd need to rely on someone else en route to rescue me if I came off and took a big fall. A considered risk - but I've always been told that falling off is a really bad idea.

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alex goodall - on 11 Apr 2019
In reply to Jack B:

Thanks for the reply. So basically if you fall off you will need to call for help! Not quite as reassuring as I was hoping, but I knew falling off VF was a terrible idea anyway.

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Trangia on 11 Apr 2019
Stone Idle - on 11 Apr 2019
In reply to alex goodall:

Best to have a cows tail ready for hanging pitches, just in case you run out of steam.

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