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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 Member

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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 Member

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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.
     
  6. Dr. Cornwallis

    Dr. Cornwallis ArboristSite Member

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    I just like buying nice things, I look at this as a good long term investment. I don't mind saving a little longer and getting the best as opposed to buying twice.

    I've been watching a ton of you tube and It's been a very good rescource thus far, I'll keep watching as Ive watched a lot of videos on technique but haven't watched a ton of videos specific to gear.

    I've tried the Swiss seat before in training and while it works and beats death in an emergency, I can't imagine working in one as I found it highly uncomfortable.

    Thank you, I'll look into a multiscender device in place of the 8. I'm not dead set on SRT but it does seem the most simple.

    For a lanyard I was going to use some of the extra rope out of the order I receive from CMC. For a throw line I was planning on using paracord unless that seems like a bad idea? I have a ton of paracord I acquired for free so it seemed like a logical choice for a throw line. I'm sure it's heavier than tree specific throw line, however, our trees here aren't generally too tall. I would say 50 feet is a pretty damn tall oak tree. They grow short and fat here for the most part.

    I'm probably over thinking/over worrying with this but, I know in training at the fire department, they made a big deal about abrasion on the rope and to protect it from anything that can cause abrasive wear etc... how is the tree bark not extremely abrasive to the rope when pulling it over a branch etc... to begin a climb?
     
  7. Jim Timber

    Jim Timber 1/4 bubble off

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    The rope isn't overly abrasive and neither is the bark - not like a shingle or a concrete ledge. The tree takes the worst part of the abuse, thus why limbsaver's exist.

    I'm not opposed to nice kit, but buying everything without knowing how it's used and why one option is at least different than another seems like a poor approach.

    I got a 250' 7/16" KMIII rope in my misc box. Took it to REI to have it measured. :) My longest in the 1/2" box was 142'. I'd love to see a pic of what they send you.
     
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  8. greengreer

    greengreer ArboristSite Operative

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    Paracord might work in a pinch but it's going to have alot of friction and will likely be super frustrating. Since it seems like you have a large budget I would go ahead and invest $100 in a good throwline setup. Buy 2 hanks of zingit, a cube or two, and some weights. 12oz for 2.2 mm and 10oz for 1.7
     
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  9. Dr. Cornwallis

    Dr. Cornwallis ArboristSite Member

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    Good advice, I hadn't thought about it being higher friction than throw line. That's a minimal investment in the long term.
     

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