Those of us who have traveled down canyon’s that necessitated the use of deadman anchors have used a simple pull test to check the strength of an anchor, instead of taking the time to dig it up and rebuild it. How effective is this “test”? Well Tom Jones and Hank Moon decided to see just how effective this “test” is. Their experiment and results are written up on the canyon collective forum and should be checked out by anyone who uses deadman anchor’s regularly.
Ever ask a question about rigging and receive the answer “It Depends” well Ben Pelletier has produced a flow chart the does a pretty good job of answering the what should I rig question. You can find the flowchart on Ben’s site here.
The following video captured an extremely rare 60 ft rappel fall that didn’t result in serious injury or death… Many lessons to be learned from this. Not the least of which is if you are going to rely on something as a backup it has to be rigged properly… From the videographer’s notes posted with the video:
NOTE: I did an awful lot of swearing. I’m not proud, but it’s what happened.
At Thalehaha Falls in Rubio Canyon, Altadena, CA. Matt slipped on the mossy waterfall face and let go of his brake line. His autoblock was not affixed properly, as verified by a still frame, and did not grab. He fell 60′. Miraculously he was just banged up and bruised. His helmet certainly served well, as he banged his head on the way down. Truly something.
Obviously the vanity of capturing a video instead of doing a fireman’s belay almost resulted in serious injury or worse.
There is a good discussion of the video here.
Source: Art of Canyoneering
Rich, just posted nice little write up on the versatility of the VT Prusik. Extremely handy for knot passing it also allows you to quickly tie an assortment of friction hitches.
Pop over to the Art of Canyoneering for the full story and video.
If you are interested in getting one of these handy little guy you can get them on Canyons and Crags.
Tom has put together his thoughts on moving large groups through canyons quickly. As he notes its not the only way to do things, but it’s a worth while read for those who go out with large groups.
You can find the thread on the yahoo canyons group, you will have to be a member to read the thread: