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#219459 - 03/16/11 10:19 PM Re: Surviving a Chair Lift at a Ski Resort [Re: ireckon]
ireckon Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1629
Loc: Northern California
njs...Yes, I too am interested in this rappel device, and not just for the original scenario.
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#219564 - 03/17/11 06:40 PM Re: Surviving a Chair Lift at a Ski Resort [Re: ireckon]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1360
By the way ... I do like the idea of just using a PLB, or a SPOT satellite signalling device. That is by far the most practical solution.

But the suggestion by Chaosmagnet is also really good - shoulda' thought of that one myself. Just take your paracord and tie a bunch of loops in it. Then use these footloops for support as you climb down. Having spent some time ascending and descending ropes, I think you'll find that even if you have foot loops the process is still quite strenuous. And it might be darn scary if you are doing it with paracord. For this reason, tie an extra waist loop around your body (with a separate piece of paracord), and use a carabiner to also clip your waist to the loops as you go down. This prevents a falling accident, and it allows you to hang your weight from your waist every now and then - giving you some rest. That will help a lot.

You need a lot more paracord if you do this. If you've ever tied a bunch of loops into a rope - it takes up a LOT of rope length!

other Pete


Edited by Pete (03/17/11 06:42 PM)

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#219569 - 03/17/11 07:42 PM Re: Surviving a Chair Lift at a Ski Resort [Re: ireckon]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2738
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Respectfully to all, I have to say that IMHO the 'solution' above is too darn close to suicide to be a practical plan. You might just get lucky and get away with it; but based on my work with fall protection in industry, the math is totally against you. The forces involved are ten times what you think they are, and I would hate to have this site implicated in a recovery. You can do what you want of course, but that's my $0.02. Good luck.

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#219570 - 03/17/11 07:51 PM Re: Surviving a Chair Lift at a Ski Resort [Re: ireckon]
ireckon Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1629
Loc: Northern California
This is a good thread to help me think things through...

Carrying 550 paracord would be a good idea for other reasons. This past winter, I've had two friends get caught in sinkholes in fresh powder. One friend hyperventilated because it was dark inside and she had that feeling of doom on her. The situation could have turned out badly. She's an experienced skier, but like many skiers didn't have survival preparation.

Some 550 paracord and a good buddy would have helped the situation and may have saved her life if the sinkhole was deeper. She could have attached a heavy object to the paracord and thrown one end outside of the sinkhole. The buddy on the outside could have used the paracord to help pull her out.

Here's another personal example. A few years ago, I was riding with some buddies in fresh powder off piste. I got caught on the edge of a sinkhole. It was pulling me in. I really did not know where the hole was going. It took about an hour for me to slowly crawl my way out of that situation. Again, paracord and a good buddy would have helped me out. I would just need my buddy to attach the paracord to a tree. I could do the rest.

I'm convinced that I'll be carrying paracord when I go snowboarding. In yet another example, I could use the paracord to help a buddy get out of sinkhole. Getting stuck in fresh powder happens often. At least once a year, the getting stuck is beyond frustrating and is a scary situation.
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#219571 - 03/17/11 08:14 PM Re: Surviving a Chair Lift at a Ski Resort [Re: ireckon]
jzmtl Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/18/10
Posts: 530
Loc: Montreal Canada
Has anyone tried to stick a ski boot into a free hanging paracord loop in very likely windy condition? I'm sorry but that's not happening.

If anyone insists, it's probably much better to just carry some actual climbing rope.

Woah I just checked price on actual climbing rope, god damn they are expensive! Paying $150+ for something that may be useful once in a blue moon is too much for me.


Edited by jzmtl (03/17/11 08:19 PM)

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#219576 - 03/17/11 09:10 PM Re: Surviving a Chair Lift at a Ski Resort [Re: ireckon]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1084
Loc: Channeled Scablands
There are rappelling set ups the ski patrol carries to lower themselves and their avalanche dogs out of the lifts so they can help with any lift evacuation. Get some training before you attempt
anything.

The one I used was a 6mm climbing cord, a locking carabiner and a piece of webbing to make a swiss seat. This was 25 years ago so
protocols may have changed.

Practice first on a short safe overhang till you find the correct
munter hitch or carabiner wrap that produces enough friction.

Don't leave the rope dangling from the chair after an evac or you
make cause more problems for other stranded persons when they get
the chair moving again.

A cord this thin will easily cut over an edge, so be sure to use a
smooth attachment point to double the rope over.

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#219584 - 03/17/11 10:42 PM Re: Surviving a Chair Lift at a Ski Resort [Re: ireckon]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1360
Further good comments from readers. I understand the concern about using paracord that only has a strength of 500 pounds. It might be a lot better - for general survival purposes - to have something thicker in your rucksack ... like 6mm or 7 mm line. I would not personally try to lower off on paracord, unless it was a dire emergency and my life was in serious jeopardy if I stayed in place.

I definitely agree with the comment that the line cannot run over any sharp edges - you would need to pad the support points. That's a good practice to use for any rope work, and it would be vital for thin diameter line.

Paracord might be quite useful if you want to support people on a descent that is not vertical. And it would be excellent as a means for tying in team members who are walking under conditions of very low visibility - just so they don't get separated. People can become disoriented, or lose their mental concentration.

other Pete


Edited by Pete (03/17/11 10:43 PM)

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#219594 - 03/17/11 11:52 PM Re: Surviving a Chair Lift at a Ski Resort [Re: Pete]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1384
I am with Doug on this one. Really think about this. What are the odds of someone getting stuck on a ski hill chairlift and needing to be self rescued to the point you are willing to risk your relatively safe life on the lift and decide to rappel down?

Rappelling down rope from a lift (and definitely not paracord) should never be done by anyone without proper training beforehand and this why ski resorts employ and train people for this specific purpose.

Besides myself, Hikemor and perhaps a few others on this forum who have some moutaineering experience, there are also a few professsional SAR and workplace experienced people such as Doug who have first hand knowledge with rope and harness systems. I would think that all would collectively and strongly discourage anyone from even contemplating such a potential injury ridden or life ending venture.

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#219595 - 03/17/11 11:58 PM Re: Surviving a Chair Lift at a Ski Resort [Re: ireckon]
raptor Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/05/08
Posts: 284
Loc: Europe
This is the first time I have read about sinkholes in the snow. Interesting. I will have to read up on them.

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#219597 - 03/18/11 12:09 AM Re: Surviving a Chair Lift at a Ski Resort [Re: raptor]
ireckon Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1629
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: raptor
This is the first time I have read about sinkholes in the snow. Interesting. I will have to read up on them.


I'd say sinkholes are more common in the snow. It's kind of like the video below but on the mountain during a fresh powder day. If you don't go off piste, you don't really have any worries.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2owkth9TSTA
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