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Abseiling!

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Amra, Oct 16, 2006.

  1. Amra

    Amra IncGamers Member

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    Abseiling!

    Or rappeling.

    Some would say crazy.

    Anyhoo, many of you have already seen these pics but I am not too proud to share.

    This weekend I took a "Rope 1" class. This is a primer class for tactical rescue using ropes and such.

    So at 8am Saturday morning, after a hearty breakfast at the local diner, I was down at the fire hall for the classroom part. That lasted about 3-1/2 hours. Then we broke into 3 groups and worked with instructors on various elements such as knots, rigging, technique, and mostly safety.

    8am Sunday we were back at it doing it for real. Here are a few pictures.

    The 5 story parking garage we were abseiling down.

    It may not look that high. But when you get up on that wall and start leaning back, and that rope stretches a bit, and there is nothing but air under you... We do use a static kern mantle with doesn't stretch much but still.

    A view of me going down.

    Notice the fellow on the groud who is belaying me. Should something happen he can pull the rope tight to arrest my decent. We actually practiced that later in the day. I had to let go of the rope, put my hands on my helmet, and let my belay man control the descent. I think my belay man freaked a bit when I inverted on him (my head was below my feet). He seemed to freeze for a moment. Pretty funny.

    A good (I think) side view of me.

    The harness I am wearing (all 24 of us actually) I made out of a piece of webbing. It's like a flat rope. Using some overhand and square knots I built it up to support my thighs and back. Then a carabiner is attached as well as the belay plate. The rope snakes through the belay plate to create friction as seen in the next pic.

    Up close and personal.

    Me belaying a mother and daughter who went down together just for fun.

    The shadow on the wall shows part of the belay plate nicely I think.


    These pics only show a fraction of the whole event.

    All in all a fun two days. Hopefully I can take the more advanced class where things really get interesting. Time will tell.

    Edit: more pics and such on my blog.
     
  2. skihard

    skihard Banned

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    I wish I still knew where the pictures of me rapelling out of a Blackhawk from 90 feet are. Part of my training to be a rappel master certified crewchief was to go to air assault school and do all the “drops†that the grunts had to do. I also had the opportunity to speed rope and that was also pretty darn cool, although the first time I did it I burned the inside of my legs because I gripped the rope wrong. Instead of gripping with my feet and using my legs to lightly pinch the rope (about 4†in diameter by the way) I basically gripped with the inside of my legs. I learned very quick the wrong way to do it. those pictures are very cool and if you are like me you will want to find places to rappel just for the fun. Sadly yet another thing I no longer do now that I’m out of the army.

    I have a question for you, do they train you to tie your own harness or do you have a pre-made harness? We were trained and tested with a harness we had to make from rope but in practice out of training and testing we always used an issued harness.

    never mind I should have just finished reading the post first.

    Hey when you get to do the advance part ask the master instructor if you can learn Aussie style rapelling. It's where you jump off the face first, you have your brake hand out to the side and only bring it in as you start to "swing" back to the rock face, or if you are free decending as you approach the ground. The idea is to have a smooth even "fall" and then slow the decent to a spot right before your feet touch the ground. Lots of practice required, but when you get your timing done it's a sweet looking drop.

    One more thing I notice you only use one rope, why is that? We always had 2 ropes going through our D-rings and our belay man (unless you were first down) would hold one rope in each hand and pull them apart if the person above lost there brake hand and started to fall. Maybe it has to do with the helicopter always moving and getting a tight rope isn't an easy thing to do.
     
  3. HAMC8112

    HAMC8112 IncGamers Member

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    Great stuff! When i was a young man i did stuff like that in the army, buildings, rocks, helicopters, great stuff!

    Aaah, to be young again. :)
     
  4. Amra

    Amra IncGamers Member

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    Ski, I have only ever used one rope. As you suggested, that may be a helo thing. Lots of techniques out there I'm sure.

    All of us had to tie our own class II harness from the webbing. The last hour or so the instructors allowed people to use purchased ones (all of which were class III I think (full body)). I am a poor volunteer though so I didn't have one. :sad2: Actually, some guys said they were less comfortable than the webbing.

    Did you rappel much for fun?

    Edit: I have seen Aussie style done a couple of times. I'd try it.

    Ham, how old are you?
     
  5. HAMC8112

    HAMC8112 IncGamers Member

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    45, so i am probably over halfway.
     
  6. skihard

    skihard Banned

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    I did rappel for fun but that’s because finding a place to rappel was easy in upstate NY. Back here in Michigan I can’t think of anyplace I’d go that isn’t man made. We did have the rappel tower available to us on base, but we had to be in uniform to use it so a lot of us had places off post we’d meet for the day. Only one free fall area though and it was usually always packed so most of the rappelling I did was cliff side and I think 70’ was the highest. 120’ rope was what I had with a full harness. One of the guys I went with had a 300’ rope, but he enjoyed climbing then tieing off and rappelling down as his “reward†for the climb then he’d hike the backside to get his rope. That was too hardcore for me, I wanted the fun without the work.



    I did Aussie only enough times to get the idea, not perfect it, brake wrong and you splatter so wasn't something I wanted to try on a cliff face, so only free fall for me.
     
  7. Amra

    Amra IncGamers Member

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    That made me chuckle.


    Can you be belayed when goine Aussie?

    Although I suppose if you are making a military assault (which I understand the original purpose to be) then you wouldn't have a belay man.

    So I guess I am asking if you are doing it for fun can you have a belay?
     
  8. {KOW}Spazed

    {KOW}Spazed Banned

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    I love repelling, alas there are only a few places around here that I haven't done a million times at Scouts. There are caves. . .but if something goes wrong there it would take a very long time to get to you if even possible.

    I hate making my own harness out of webbing, I trust my knots and all. . .but the loosening as the knots tighten and such. *shiver*
     
  9. Dondrei

    Dondrei IncGamers Member

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    I didn't know we have a style of rappelling.
     
  10. Bortaz

    Bortaz Banned

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    I trained to do it as a member of the Texas Dept. Corrections SORT team in the early 90s, and got to do it twice off of a 5 story prison housing complex, to enter through windows into a cell block. It rocked, but it scared me badly, as I'm scared of heights. But, the rush of entering a window into a full riot made up for it. :p
     
  11. Dondrei

    Dondrei IncGamers Member

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    I went abseiling once, in a foolhardy show of bravado; I'm deathly afraid of heights. I was fine until I was halfway up the ladder, then suddenly I was scared out of my mind. But of course there were people coming up behind me so I couldn't go down. The worst bit was when I got to the top of the ladder and had to climb over the rim. Once there I was too scared to go near the edge, in the end the guy running the thing strapped me to his back and carried me down.

    Man, I hated being sent on those stupid camp things as a kid.
     
  12. HAMC8112

    HAMC8112 IncGamers Member

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    Come on dondrei, that happened 14 days ago. :laugh:
     
  13. Bortaz

    Bortaz Banned

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    Haha. Sissy.
     
  14. {KOW}Spazed

    {KOW}Spazed Banned

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    *Jumps off an overhang head first and spidermans it to the bottom*

    Donny, suck it up. It isn't like the fall is going to hurt.
     
  15. Dondrei

    Dondrei IncGamers Member

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    I contend that a fear of heights is far from irrational.

    I think I was about 13. These days I'm smart enough not to put myself in that position.
     
  16. skihard

    skihard Banned

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    I've never seen a person use a belay while going Aussie but I'm also not an expert so probably not the best to give a definative answer on the subject. generally when we did the air assault training lifts the instructors would load onto my helicopter and we'd fly to the DZ where all the students were and they all would go Aussie as sort of a speed / show off thing, the students always had a belay and in combat there was no such thing as a belay becuase once you reach the ground the grunts were taking cover and providing cover not making sure a rookie had an extra brake.


    Dondrei sometimes I have to say you remind me of such a wuss, not meaning to be offensive there sorry.
     
  17. ModeratelyConfused

    ModeratelyConfused Banned

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    Knowing how to make your own harness is a good thing. There are other uses for a harness. :wink2:
     
  18. Dondrei

    Dondrei IncGamers Member

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    You know, acrophobia is very common.
     
  19. Amra

    Amra IncGamers Member

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    A bunch of us were standing around talking after our business meeting on Wednesday night. Some of the guys were saying how much their hands hurt in the days afterwards. lol.... they were holding the rope too tight all day.

    For those who haven't done it, it's not really a matter of strength. It's more technique.

    It's all good though. It can be rather scary your first time. But once you do it a bit you learn it's not about strength.


    You should have just swung around to the backside of the ladder and went down.
     
  20. HockeyChic

    HockeyChic Banned

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    If I were you, I definitely wouldn't waste my breath arguing phobia’s with Ski. He claims to not have fear of anything…except of course some of the idea’s swimming around in my head.

    I personally have no fear of heights, and think this would be lots of fun.
     

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