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CMC Rescue Harness and other new guy questions

Discussion in 'Recreational Tree Climbing' started by Dr. Cornwallis, Apr 7, 2017.

  1. Dr. Cornwallis

    Dr. Cornwallis ArboristSite Lurker

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    I'm new to recreational tree climbing and climbing in general, however I am familiar with ropes, knots and descent techniques from my job at the fire department. I'm looking to learn to climb partly for fun and also partly to trim some large oak trees on my property.

    1. I am familiar with the CMC Rescue harness as we use them at work, would this be a suitable harness for tree climbing? I feel like it would as it's rated for serious hard use rescue applications and is intended to be sat in for long periods of time.

    2. What is the best rescource for learning ascent techniques? I'm interested in SRT as it seems the most simple to me.

    3. Because I'm more familiar with the use of ropes for emergency egress from structures, are there any unique aspects to tree climbing that may be vastly different than techniques used in the Fire Rescue application? Looking around a little here and elsewhere online it appears that all the basic stuff is the same such as the use of carabiners, 8 plates, various knots and anchors. For example, I see that one way to anchor a rope for SRT is with tubular webbing wrapped around the tree. I actually carry two pieces of tubular webbing in my bunker gear for many uses, one of which is as a means to anchor my rope to something in case of emergency egress.

    4. Am I a retard for trying this stuff alone without serious formal instruction? I would obviously mess around at low heights before getting serious but, sometimes you don't know what you don't know. I am very methodical and never rush things but I don't want to bite off more than I can chew and swallow.
     
  2. Jim Timber

    Jim Timber 1/4 bubble off

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    CMC has the best deal going on rope. Get their 50# box for $115 shipped and never need another one. :laugh:

    My 1/2" box:

    [​IMG]
    All of these are Static Pro lifeline. Orange one is 135' or so (calculated off 11# actual weight), blue is 100' (measured), the three longer red ones are 22# combined and are likely 125', 75', and 50' (just a guess, but I have a 12.5mm static line that's 75' and it's very close to the middle one). my two shorties are 25' and 27' (measured).

    That purchase was so awesome I couldn't help but find out what the "misc" box might contain, so I ordered up one of those too. :yes:

    [​IMG]
    I put a note on my order letting them know I had plenty of 1/2" per my last box and to bias this one towards smaller diameters if possible. Whether or not they took that comment to heart or not - I have no idea (this could've been on the shelf waiting for a buyer and they just slapped my name on it). None the less, I got nothing over 7/16". The orange rope on the left is 7/16" KM-III and probably 200' long. :rock: The (4) blue ropes are 7/16" Static Pro around 60' each. There's some 9mm prussic cord (orange), the red and green are 8mm prussic cord (averaging 50' per short hank, with a couple long ones I haven't measured). And there's some other misc stuff like 1" high strength webbing and heat resistant cord too.

    The boys on Arfcom posted this deal up back when it was $65 shipped, and they cleaned CMC out for months (resulting in the deal being removed off their website), and then again a year after that. I mention this because you can search CMC on ar15com and see pics of what some other guy's boxes contained to see if it's worth the risk. Mine are recent (the misc box was delivered today), but every box is going to be random and luck of the draw.

    For a guy just getting started, these two boxes are more than I can possibly need - all for $230.

    http://www.cmcrescue.com/equipment/rope-sections-miscellaneous/
     
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  3. Dr. Cornwallis

    Dr. Cornwallis ArboristSite Lurker

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    Jim, thanks for heads up on the CMC rope. That sounds like a pretty sweet deal.

    Here's where I'm at so far, let me know if there is anything I'm missing.

    Climbing Equipment

    (1) CMC Helix Harness $450.00
    (1) Petzl Handled Ascender (left) $85.00
    (1) Petzl Handled Ascender (right) $85.00
    (1) Petzl CROLL Chest Ascender $70.00
    (1) CMC Rescue 8 $73.00
    (1) Climbing Technology Roll N Lock $75.00
    (1) CMC Rescue
    (5) PRO SERIESĀ® ALUMINUM KEY-LOCK CARABINERS (screw lock) $45.00
    (1) CMC 29L Rope Bag $78.00
    (1) CMC KASK Super Plasma Hi Viz Helmet $145.00
    (1) CMC Visor for helmet $61.00
    CMC Rescue
    (1) ROPE SECTIONS, MISCELLANEOUS $115.00
    (2) Sections of 1in tubular webbing


    My plan is to attach a piece of webbing to each hand Ascender with a foot loop at the bottom to form what I believe would be considered a rope walking system? I run the rope through the hand ascenders for climbing and then through the chest Ascender to keep me upright (and as a backup) and then finally through an 8 plate for tying off/working/repelling.

    Thoughts and critiques are much appreciated.
     
  4. Jim Timber

    Jim Timber 1/4 bubble off

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    You can use two prussic loops to serve the same function as your ascenders. That list looks like you're trying to spend the most money possible. :)

    Look at some of the SRT (single) and DRT (double rope technique) videos on youtube and see what those guys are using and their reasoning for them, then look at your equipment list again.

    I've tied more swiss seats than I care to try to count (I helped run a camp zip line and climbing wall - we didn't have money for harnesses for all the kids), and it got the job done at the time. A saddle is a big improvement, but my climbing harness doesn't bother me either so I'm still going cheap.
     
  5. greengreer

    greengreer ArboristSite Operative

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    Going up on just ascenders and having to switch over to a figure 8 is not only going to be a huge pain in the ass but it is in my opinion dangerous as you will not be able to quickly descend in case of an emergency.
    You need to be climbing on a friction hitch or multiscender. You can still use all your ascenders and whatnot to ascend but work positioning and moving laterally through the tree is going to be extremely difficult without something the can go up and down without changeover.
    If you are dead set on srt, use it to ascend and then switch over to ddrt to work the tree. Or if you wanna buy some more shiny stuff pickup a ropewrench, hitchhiker, roperunner, etc.

    Also, you made no mention of a lanyard or throwline or alot of other critical items for tree climbing. I would highly recommend the book Tree climbers companion.
     

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