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#102688 - 08/15/07 08:21 PM Re: How do you Repel Using Paracord? [Re: Enter_Narne]
KarenRei Offline
Newbie

Registered: 05/29/07
Posts: 28
This is a bit old, but any rope can be made stronger (albeit shorter) by a good, old-fashioned reverse wrap. Very old fashioned -- as in paleolithic wink Grab the middle with both hands, and twist your hands in opposite directions until it kinks. The kink will be your new rope. Keep twisting. When you run out, knot it off, and you're done.

Of course, if you're in a burning building or whatnot, you don't really have time for that.

I did the calculations on the safety of abseiling with 550 cord over here, in case you're curious:

http://www.daughtersoftiresias.org/bearwiki/Using_parachute_cord_to_abseil_down_a_cliff

A 100 kilogram person slipping 2 1/2 feet and stopping in a quarter second should reliably break 550 cord. And that assumes that you haven't abraded it first, since it's not really that abrasion resistant.

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#187008 - 10/30/09 09:01 PM Re: How do you Repel Using Paracord? [Re: Enter_Narne]
duckbill Offline
Stranger

Registered: 08/16/07
Posts: 5
Hi Enter_Narne:

Get the training first. I agree with the experts that you should have the proper gear. You could put a pretty small rappel setup together. For example the NY fire department uses a small emergency setup called the Petzl ECO system.
http://www.firerescue1.com/fire-products...esaving-device/

This setup is basically a small Gri-gri and carabineer attached to 7.5mm Technora rope, of which I’ve seen in 25’ and 50’ packages.
There is another version called the Petzl Tactical EXO Eashook.
http://www.itstactical.com/2009/08/20/petzl-tactical-exo-eashook/

FYI - You might also be interested in watching and episode of the TV show Surviving Disaster: Surviving a Building Fire. It’s on Spike TV. In that episode Courtley twisted six strands of Ethernet cable together and repelled. A few different methods were shown included creating a Swiss seat (harness) and using a German technique to rappel without a harness.



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#187022 - 10/30/09 11:31 PM Re: How do you Repel Using Paracord? [Re: duckbill]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6770
Loc: southern Cal
It is amusing to read this thread and realize that in an emergency everyone is fiddling around with harnesses, carabiners, and rappelling devices. Back when the earth had just cooled and climbing was in a more primitive state, everyone learned the dulfersitz. It is very simple and quick. All you need is a well anchored rope and your (hopefully well padded) bod. You can finish a 100 foot rappel before the average person has donned a harness and rigged up. I dulfered back in the day and I had the scars to prove it, but still used it from time to time on SAR operations in subsequent years. When I taught rappelling, I made sure the student was at least aware of the technique and the situations in which it might be employed. If I recall the Surviving Disaster episode, the dulfersitz was briefly demonstrated.

Rappelling on para cord is insane. An edition of Accidents in American Mountaineering sometime around 1954 unequivocally stated that para cord had no place in climbing (well, maybe shoelaces). That statement was based on analysis of several climbing accidents that occurred that year.

If I were in a tall building and considering emergency rappelling,I would stash the right amount of proper rope, consult the revised edition of On Rope, by Bruce Smith and Allen Padgett, 1996, and get TRAINING and then PRACTICE. I would figure out how to rig my anchor (a pretty critical step) and get through the window. Proper padding of the edge would be critical.

Rappelling looks easy, and while it doesn't require any significant physical strength, a lot can go wrong, and the results of an accident are nightmarish. Trust me.
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#187032 - 10/31/09 02:13 AM Re: How do you Repel Using Paracord? [Re: hikermor]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1361
Enter_Narne

Interesting question. I happened to be idly sitting around and wondering the same thing this week. But it was more along the lines of casual speculation. "Out of the box" if you like.

Just as background, I climbed and rapelled for many, many years.

Something about your question seems to imply that you have not (or don't regularly) rappel. Normally the smallest diameter rope used for raps is 9 mm rope. It works fine - but you need to watch your setup a little bit to make sure you've got enough friction in the system. Obviously you don't want to get into a run-away situation while descending. Cave explorers have the most elaborate rappel gear - quite nice stuff!

If you have not rapelled - learn that method first using standard techniques and equipment.

Now back to your question. Could paracord be used? It would be a very risky thing to try to do. It would require that you weight the paracord carefully and that you do not bounce at all going down. It would also require that the cord should not snag or rub over any abrasive surface. You could not afford to lose any strength from the cord at all. But the main thing would be to figure out some sort of rappel rig that would create a LOT of friction with a very small-diameter cord. NONE of the normal rappel techniques do this. You would have to take time to develop something quite new (or nonstandard). The whole maneuver would fall into the category of an emergency high-risk operation. It's pushing the outer bounds of safety.

Let us know if you ever succeed - without killing yourself!

And if you do actually do experiment with this - for goodness sake set up a safety line with a proper rope (11 mm) and a harness on your body ... so you don't ground out if you screw up - or something breaks.

Pete

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#187034 - 10/31/09 02:36 AM Re: How do you Repel Using Paracord? [Re: Pete]
comms Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Mesa, AZ
I haven't read any of the earlier posts, (that I can remember). I rappelled a couple times from my 3rd floor balcony using 550 cord for the rope AND the swiss seat.

Um, yes, i absolutely bruised everything but it worked just fine.
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Don't just survive. Thrive.

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#187037 - 10/31/09 02:47 AM Re: How do you Repel Using Paracord? [Re: Pete]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6770
Loc: southern Cal
To paraphrase, there are bold rappellers, and there are old rappellers, but there are no old, bold rappellers.

It isn't clear what the potential advantage of using para cord might be. Right at my desk is a stuff sack containing 30 meters (roughly 100 feet)of 8mm kernmantle which I purchased to use on a favorite climb of mine. With a few slings and odds and ends, it is about the size of a loaf of bread and weighs maybe two pounds max. It can be easily carried anywhere and could be readily stashed in a desk or locker. With care, it will rappel nicely. So why mess with anything incomparably more dangerous?
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Geezer in Chief

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#187044 - 10/31/09 04:13 AM Re: How do you Repel Using Paracord? [Re: comms]
Desperado Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
One word:
LUCK
_________________________
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.

RIP OBG

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#187046 - 10/31/09 04:56 AM Re: How do you Repel Using Paracord? [Re: Desperado]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2741
Loc: Alberta, Canada
I'm grateful that I've never had to test this out. It represents the most desperate scenario (i.e., immediate and certain death is the other option).

From the work I've done with industry, dealing with fall protection and fall arrest, 550 lb. is a joke.

Even with an absolute static load of 200 lb., you are at redline. The slightest swing or bounce puts you at or above 550.

With a very small drop (a foot or more), the shock load on the line magnifies as much as tenfold -- the weight of a full-size pickup truck.

The bottom line is: you have no margin whatsoever for movement, error, anything, using paracord.

(This is assuming, of course, that you have fresh, genuine, tested-quality paracord. There are lots of very close-looking clones out there, made in China. Fine for lashing down a tarp, but will they hold half of 550?)

P.S., I'm not beating up on the OP in any way. It's a good question, worth asking. That's what this forum is about IMO.


Edited by dougwalkabout (10/31/09 05:00 AM)

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#187054 - 10/31/09 12:25 PM Re: How do you Repel Using Paracord? [Re: duckbill]
Matt26 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/27/05
Posts: 309
Loc: Vermont
The only issue with the Petzl system is that they will not sell it unless you have a cetification number from their required training program. You have to be certified by them to even buy the system. Great racket in my mind. I understand it's for their protection but no other climbing gear company requires training before purchasing their equipment. I suspect it has something to do with the joint development of the system with the FDNY.
_________________________
If it ain't bleeding, it doesn't hurt.

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#187055 - 10/31/09 01:12 PM Re: How do you Repel Using Paracord? [Re: Matt26]
Desperado Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
Originally Posted By: Matt26
The only issue with the Petzl system is that they will not sell it unless you have a cetification number from their required training program. You have to be certified by them to even buy the system. Great racket in my mind. I understand it's for their protection but no other climbing gear company requires training before purchasing their equipment. I suspect it has something to do with the joint development of the system with the FDNY.


It may also have something to do with their liability insurance.

In our tower rescue schools the Fisk Descender is the only device taught, even though there are better rescue and descent devices available. When I once asked, the powers that be stated the Fisk device had no moving parts and the training company's insurance liked it better. Even though the insurance company has exactly ZERO high angle experience.
_________________________
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.

RIP OBG

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