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Mine Exploration Forum

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Author SRT Advice Wanted
gNick

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Joined: 19/03/2012
Location: Pity Me, Durham

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SRT Advice Wanted
Posted: 19/05/2014 11:17:06
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After a rather laboured ascent of a fairly short (15m) pitch on Sunday I am wondering whether I need to get my gear setup and/or technique improved. I was fairly knackered from digging and some reasonably intense ratching about but even so it shouldn't have hurt that much. It hurt even more when I climbed my shoulder into a peg in the wall but that of course is my own silly fault for not looking where I am going. Roll Eyes

Does anyone have some good advice on how to set up SRT gear and good/bad/indifferent techniques?
Before anyone mentions it, I am working on reducing the ballast but this is taking time and spoiling my beer and pie based lifestyle! Crying

--

“The reservoirs are colder and deeper than you think” Well stop, wait a minute Mr Spokesman, you don’t know what I think
IP: 195.12.27.234
RJV

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Joined: 16/03/2008
Location: Cleveland

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SRT Advice Wanted
Posted: 19/05/2014 11:20:42
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Buy a Rack. Wink

But seriously, borrowed somebody else's kit yesterday afternoon for a similarly sized pitch (albeit in the sun) and it worked fine despite there being a fair size differential between us. Think the main issue is use, amount of, rather than kit assuming that your kit is set up even vaguely right..
IP: 82.19.131.200 Edited: 19/05/2014 11:24:04 by RJV
Willy Eckerslyke

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Joined: 03/11/2011
Location: Anglesey

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SRT Advice Wanted
Posted: 19/05/2014 12:00:57
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RJV wrote:

Think the main issue is use, amount of, rather than kit assuming that your kit is set up even vaguely right..

Personally I find that small variations in the setup have a very big effect when combined with my general inelegance, so "vaguely right" isn't close enough. By practicing in a tree, I managed to get it sussed and it made a world of difference - until I added more junk and bolloxed it up again. Blush
Recently I realised I had too many krabs sharing the maillon with the croll, so have started removing the descender (and hanging it off a side loop), which helps no end.
So I'd recommend lots of practice somewhere comfortable while tweaking the kit until it all comes together.
IP: 147.143.12.75
sparty_lea

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Joined: 26/04/2007
Location: Weardale

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SRT Advice Wanted
Posted: 19/05/2014 12:03:35
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Buy a pantin

and practice alot, keeping yourself as vertical as possible on the rope, any energy not directed straight up is wasted.

The pantin is a great bit of kit, helps keep you upright and makes rope climbing seem easy.... once you get the hang of keeping it on the rope.
IP: 88.110.10.202
burrower

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SRT Advice Wanted
Posted: 19/05/2014 12:06:40
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fitness, gear setup*, technique* (*important because you just make life hard for yourself) and then get underground and use SRT regularly because you can soon get out of practice.

I have always been taught not to be clipping/unclipping descenders just in case you drop it down a pitch... but that's just personal choice

Pantins are amazing....
IP: 79.65.183.164 Edited: 19/05/2014 12:17:16 by burrower
RJV

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SRT Advice Wanted
Posted: 19/05/2014 12:17:24
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Willy Eckerslyke wrote:

[so "vaguely right" isn't close enough.

Well by vaguely right I mean foot loop & hand jammer of a sufficient length to allow a reasonable degree of movement, chest strap tensioned & no funny boxes or unnecessary unfit for purpose junk used in lieu of proven ascenders or descenders. I think that is really enough, particularly for the pitch Nick is referring to & is likely to meet around Nent & thereabouts. Each to their own re placing of descenders when not in use but as long as its to hand in case needed quickly & the rope runs cleanly through the croll it shouldn't really matter a great deal.

Oh & what Sparty says too. Pantins rock!
IP: 82.19.131.200 Edited: 19/05/2014 13:34:10 by RJV
gNick

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SRT Advice Wanted
Posted: 19/05/2014 12:26:41
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Pantin's are amazing although mine does seem to be rather rope-phobic given how quickly it likes to disconnect!
They are also rather difficult to re-attach especially when you're as inflexible as I seem to be )when trussed up in a harness dangling part way up a rope) and you've got a bag hanging on the end of the rope to keep it pulling through the croll.

--

“The reservoirs are colder and deeper than you think” Well stop, wait a minute Mr Spokesman, you don’t know what I think
IP: 195.12.27.234
RJV

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SRT Advice Wanted
Posted: 19/05/2014 13:13:17
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The pantin should only really disconnect from the rope if its pushed away from the natural hang of the rope I think. Maybe trying to keep the pantin on the rope will lead to a general improvement of posture/technique?

One of the best things about the pantin is that it should do away with the need to have somebody (or a bag) tensioning the rope below you at the start of a pitch.
IP: 82.19.131.200
sparty_lea

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SRT Advice Wanted
Posted: 19/05/2014 13:46:01
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Agreed with RJV, the key things are:

Chest harness tight enough to keep your top half close in to the rope
Croll not obstructed so that the rope runs cleanly through it
Feet kept underneath you.

The last one is where the pantin helps so much once you get the hang of keeping it on the rope that makes you keep your feet under you.
IP: 88.110.10.202
Drillbilly.

Joined: 09/12/2013
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SRT Advice Wanted
Posted: 19/05/2014 14:16:44
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Agree with getting a pantin and a rack. Preferably a J rack, because they are better.

What constitutes a correctly set up rig in my eyes is this.

Get a foot ascender which is the opposite of your hand ascender. I prefer a Basic as it is shorter. I also like the way the basic is a left hand device with a right hand friendly catch. I am right handed and it's good to be able to mess around with the fiddly bits with my right hand. The left handed hand ascender has a weird backwards catch. Point your foot with your pantin, then it won't come off. (the pantin, not your foot). You want your hand ascender to be on a long lead, so you can really shove the thing up a good arms length if necessary. You also want it to pull down so the bottom of it is a fraction above the top of your croll.

I am a big gorilla and I have not experimented with raising my croll on a maillon. I like the idea of having everything down as much as possible so I can do a big "stride" if I need to. I use a maillon on top of the croll, so it doesn't foul my chest tape. I have bought a Y chest harness, but not used it.

Any person who can walk up stairs should be able to SRT out of a large hole. It's totally about correct setup and correct technique and not strength. I remember my first ever pitch on caving club gear which was set up for a dwarf and I nearly pulled myself out by my arms alone. It was knackering and a frightening experience.

If in any sort of doubt, get someone of similar build to set you up properly. Get a set of familiar equipment and religiously stick to it.

There is only one god and his name is J Rack.
IP: 109.150.48.213
gNick

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Joined: 19/03/2012
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SRT Advice Wanted
Posted: 19/05/2014 14:48:52
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I don't need a rack, I currently worship at the altar of the devil incarnate (as some would have it) which is fine for the short pitches I am doing in the Nent. Descending fine if mildly temperamental, ascending misery!

I will have a practice with the Pantin, yesterday was only my second go.

I obviously have the setup wrong as I have a tendency to use my arms too much and have to spend a lot of time hanging around waiting for them to recover a bit!
I think that the footloop is probably too long as the hand jammer is getting nowhere near the croll, adjustment here we come...

--

“The reservoirs are colder and deeper than you think” Well stop, wait a minute Mr Spokesman, you don’t know what I think
IP: 195.12.27.234
Drillbilly.

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SRT Advice Wanted
Posted: 19/05/2014 15:14:01
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It sounds like you need much longer lengths on your hand ascender everywhere. It'll make you lean back and then you'll be hanging on with your arms.

I'm convinced a handled ascender also encourages poor technique.
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RJV

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SRT Advice Wanted
Posted: 19/05/2014 15:19:25
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Easiest way I found to get the foot loop the right length was to have it too long then tie an overhand knot or two in it whilst going up a pitch until you get it the right length.

Once you have an idea how long it needs to be you can then re-tie it. Or as I got away with perfectly well, leave the knots there for a couple years...
IP: 82.19.131.200
christwigg

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SRT Advice Wanted
Posted: 19/05/2014 16:12:38
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I think this is the generic advice on footloop length.

Ascender should be just above the croll when standing in footloop and within arms length when not.


IP: 145.8.104.65
Mr Mike

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SRT Advice Wanted
Posted: 19/05/2014 18:03:10
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As mentioned, key things are getting your gear set up right for you and practice on your technique.

We could all advise until the cows come home, but if your not shown the right technique you might be going down the wrong alley.

If you could get someone who knows what they are doing for a few hours that would pay dividends. Then practice regularly on the surface with a friend.

Once you have that, its practice and practice to build your technique and the relevant muscles.

When you get your pantain pro v rope walking conditioner running nice and smoothly, you will be amazed at some of the speeds you can get up to.

I'm sure there must be people with too much time on their hands that have done instructional videos on Youtube - another avenue, assuming they are compentent.

--

Mr Mike www.mineexplorer.org.uk
IP: 79.70.72.24 Edited: 19/05/2014 18:04:52 by Mr Mike
burrower

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SRT Advice Wanted
Posted: 19/05/2014 18:09:43
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Mr Mike wrote:

As mentioned, key things are getting your gear set up right for you and practice on your technique.

We could all advise until the cows come home, but if your not shown the right technique you might be going down the wrong alley.

If you could get someone who knows what they are doing for a few hours that would pay dividends. Then practice regularly on the surface with a friend.

Once you have that, its practice and practice to build your technique and the relevant muscles.

When you get your pantain pro v rope walking conditioner running nice and smoothly, you will be amazed at some of the speeds you can get up to.

I'm sure there must be people with too much time on their hands that have done instructional videos on Youtube - another avenue, assuming they are compentent.


Does Bumble fly do videos on you tube?
IP: 79.65.183.164
Mr Mike

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Posted: 19/05/2014 18:12:14
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You think your funny, but your not.

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Mr Mike www.mineexplorer.org.uk
IP: 79.70.72.24
burrower

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Posted: 19/05/2014 18:19:34
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haha Smile IP: 79.65.183.164
sinker

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Location: North Wales.

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SRT Advice Wanted
Posted: 19/05/2014 18:34:52
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christwigg wrote:

I think this is the generic advice on footloop length.

Ascender should be just above the croll when standing in footloop and within arms length when not.




Yep. I had mine set up for me about 3 years ago (by an SRT instructor) after much struggling and it revolutionised my ascending. The other factor that I found essential is to have my chest harness (Petzl Torse or Serpantine) pulled as tight as possible! Before I step onto the rope I tighten the Torse right down to the point of being bent double and uncomfortable. As soon as I step onto the rope and take the weight on the harness then I'm comfortable and fly up the rope.
Also, echoing someone else's earlier comment, the Petzl Ascention "handed" ascender definitely promotes bad practice, causing people to pull themselves up by the arms. I use a basic ascender and just interweave my fingers behind the ascender and let my legs do the work. Once the hand ascender has slid up the rope my hands are not pulling me up, they are just keeping me close to the rope. When I'm ascending, the rope is rubbing on the lens of my lamp, and if my right leg looks like I'm kick-starting a motorbike then I'm correctly aligned. Laugh I can climb all day when I'm set up properly but was conking out every 20' before. Thumb Up

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Agent of evolution. IP: 86.150.173.29
gNick

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SRT Advice Wanted
Posted: 19/05/2014 19:15:11
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Interesting comments about the handled ascender, one of my colleagues said something similar - 'swap that handled ascender for a no-handled one, even one with all the anodising worn off' was the actual line IIRC! I do have one but have replaced it with a new basic because the basic is so much smaller.

It looks like I will be enjoying myself next weekend getting all tied up and then I'll get the SRT sorted! Wink

--

“The reservoirs are colder and deeper than you think” Well stop, wait a minute Mr Spokesman, you don’t know what I think
IP: 86.185.180.209
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