Newbie climbing question

Berwick

Berwick

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I'm not an arborist but need to ask you experts.... For a few years I have climbed the mast of my sailboat by using a spare line hauled to the top to which I attach a ratchet block (resistance in one direction) and a line running through it. I then pull myself (attached to harness) up (2:1 ratio) on this line and tie myself off to do any work. I also have a separate tight static line attached to the deck which runs to the top of the mast which I attach a Gibb ascender to for safety. Now that I am over 60 I was looking for an easier way to get myself up and still have a spare line for safety.
What I have now is a knee and a foot ascender which is attached to an 11mm static climbing rope which I pull to the top of the mast. Also attached to the harness is a Grivel ascender/descender. I still use the gibb ascender on a spare line for a safety if there is nobody around as a safety line. The problem I'm having is changing the Grivel to descend mode as I have to unweight this rope and the only way I can do that is to put my weight on the Gibb on the safety line. Then of course I cant seem to release the tension on the Gibb to descend once the Grivel is switched. Would a Prusik work better and easier to release on the safety line or is there a better way to have a safety that I can go on so I can switch the Grivel to descend mode. When I bought the Grivel I thought it could switch under load but no way. Thanks for any help

Richard
 
EchoRomeoCharlie

EchoRomeoCharlie

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I'm not 100% sure I understand your system as I do not know what some of the more boat specific terms are, however, I think I can help.

If you're using a DRT (doubled rope technique) which means the rope you are tied off to goes up to the top of the mast and back down, then using a prussic system would be of value to you. You could still use your foot ascender to help you climb. Then, when you get to the top, you can weight the prussic and sit there as long as needed to do whatever work you need to do at the top of the mast. Once you're done, you can unhook any safety style ropes you may have attached for extra security and descend on the prussic without issue. I would suggest looking into the VT style prussic. Also look into getting a hitch climber pulley for easy tending and extra spots to hook up other climbing systems. Depending on your harness, you may or may not find those extra clip in positions handy. Lots of video's on YouTube on how to set up and use the hitch climber.
 
Berwick

Berwick

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I'm not 100% sure I understand your system as I do not know what some of the more boat specific terms are, however, I think I can help.

If you're using a DRT (doubled rope technique) which means the rope you are tied off to goes up to the top of the mast and back down, then using a prussic system would be of value to you. You could still use your foot ascender to help you climb. Then, when you get to the top, you can weight the prussic and sit there as long as needed to do whatever work you need to do at the top of the mast. Once you're done, you can unhook any safety style ropes you may have attached for extra security and descend on the prussic without issue. I would suggest looking into the VT style prussic. Also look into getting a hitch climber pulley for easy tending and extra spots to hook up other climbing systems. Depending on your harness, you may or may not find those extra clip in positions handy. Lots of video's on YouTube on how to set up and use the hitch climber.
My system is strictly a single rope climbing system but have a totally separate rope which I would like to use as a safety. Isn't a hitch climber pulley only used for DRT?
Richard
 
EchoRomeoCharlie

EchoRomeoCharlie

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My system is strictly a single rope climbing system but have a totally separate rope which I would like to use as a safety. Isn't a hitch climber pulley only used for DRT?
Richard
DRT is a single rope, but it's up over something and then attached back to your saddle. So you have two lines. One end of the rope is attached to you, and the other what you're using to climb. That's the only way you're going to get the 2:1 climbing mechanical advantage you were talking about. Hitch climber pulley can be used for DRT by itself and a prussic, or SRT along with a rope wrench or other friction device to reduce load on the prussic.
 
Berwick

Berwick

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DRT is a single rope, but it's up over something and then attached back to your saddle. So you have two lines. One end of the rope is attached to you, and the other what you're using to climb. That's the only way you're going to get the 2:1 climbing mechanical advantage you were talking about. Hitch climber pulley can be used for DRT by itself and a prussic, or SRT along with a rope wrench or other friction device to reduce load on the prussic.
 
Berwick

Berwick

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Yes I am on the single rope system now with the 2 ascenders and it works well, my real only issue is how to have a way to attach a safety to my second line that I can hang off and then put the Grivel in descent mode and then be able to release the safety and use it and the Grivel both for descending.
 
EchoRomeoCharlie

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Ok, well, what I would do is tie a solid loop in the safety line, like a alpine butterfly, clip into the loop with a carabiner to your saddle. Set your weight into the safety line, then you should be able to swap the device into decent mode without issue.

Or, you could run the hitch climber with a rope wrench. Then you don't need to switch anything, you can descend on the prussic without swapping anything.
 
Berwick

Berwick

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Ok, well, what I would do is tie a solid loop in the safety line, like a alpine butterfly, clip into the loop with a carabiner to your saddle. Set your weight into the safety line, then you should be able to swap the device into decent mode without issue.

Or, you could run the hitch climber with a rope wrench. Then you don't need to switch anything, you can descend on the prussic without swapping anything.
Ok thanks that might work
 
Oldtoolsnewproblems

Oldtoolsnewproblems

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I've never used a grivel so I have no experience with it, but that video shows using a carabineer to get a little extra leverage to help unlock a stuck grivel.
Also I think I understand your switch to descent problem, what if you tried this instead:
Put all weight on the grivel
Put the rope and descent carabineer into the slot on the carabineer as it's slack now
Stand on the foot/knee ascender to unload the grivel
Use the carabineer trick from the video to go into descent mode

I'm just basting that on the video there, I have zero experience with that hardware, so I could be way off base
 
EchoRomeoCharlie

EchoRomeoCharlie

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After watching that video, I would definitely be looking into a prussic/hitch climber/rope wrench setup for SRT climbing. OR a hitch hiker friction devise and a prussic. About same price, but possibly simpler and more compact. Being on a sail boat, I'm sure you're comfortable wit tying knots. So that won't be an issue.


You can still use your knee/foot/hand ascenders to make climbing easy, but a prussic is SO much simpler as far as descent is concerned.

If you ARE going to use the Grivel, make sure you have several carabiners tethered to your saddle. You could easily become stuck if you drop your carabiner that is necessary for descent or unlocking the Grivel from the rope.

To be completely honest, I would NOT use that device for descent personally. I do not like that solution to ascent/descent. It 'works' but it's complicated and I'm not a big fan personally.
 
Berwick

Berwick

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Thank you for all the replies, today it worked fine by weighting up the Safety line with Gibb, putting the Grivel in descent, then reattaching the knee and foot ascender and going up a little to free up the Gibb, then undo the ascenders and go down. Eventually I may go for a proper ascent/descent device though.
 
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