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#857 - 07/03/01 12:51 PM emergency rapelling, what to use?
Anonymous
Unregistered


I'm putting together a survival kit for my office. Really it's more like a disaster kit. It doesn't need to be pocket sized, but I want to keep the entire kit small enough to fit in a desk drawer due to my workspace requirements. One area I thought about covering is the possibility of rapelling out of the building in case of a fire that might block the exits. I donít feel like I have the space for a real climbing rope, but a bundle of 550 cord would fit nicely. Does anybody know if/how it is possible to rappel on 550 cord or is this crazy? Any other ideas? I currently work on the 4th floor. A compact and light rapelling system might also be good to take when staying in a high-rise hotel.<br><br>

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#858 - 07/03/01 02:37 PM rescue belt
Anonymous
Unregistered


On a related note, I found a page about how to weave a belt out of paracord in a way that you can quickly unravel it to gain access to the cord for rescue/escape/whatever. It's here.<br><br>

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#859 - 07/03/01 03:47 PM Re: emergency rapelling, what to use?
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
Are you the only person that will use this egress?How many stories are there total? Usually it is safer( if possible) to make your way to the rooftop for helicopter medivac or to simply stay put until rescue.The fourth floor is reachable by most large ladder trucks.Theoretically paracord could hold an experienced and conditioned climber;something most of us emphatically are not! I've used paracord with spaced knots To climb down blocked trails,usually 50' max. Gracefull I wasn't. Id go with regular line or a full on rope ladder,learn my knots and remember the old adage"be nice to people on your way up the corporate ladder,you may meet them on the way down." The safest floor in a motel is the second.You can jump successfully,and burglars tend to hit just the first floors for rapid escape.<br><br>

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#860 - 07/03/01 04:10 PM Re: rescue belt
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
Serendipity! I found that site last night and was about to post it! We used to tie this in the Coast Guard along with MacNamara's lace. You realize it will be in all the Boutiques @ $250 and paracord will be impossible to buy? Im ordering a new 300'spool now! Let me know if you get into a "cat's cradle" Ill help untangle you!<br><br>

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#861 - 07/03/01 04:14 PM Re: emergency rapelling, what to use?
AndyO Offline
Member

Registered: 05/25/02
Posts: 167
Loc: Jawja
Peter Croft is a legendary climber and the author of a book on ultralight alpine climbing. He writes that he usually leaves his harness at home unless he expects extensive hard rock climbing. For general rappelling, he simply uses a double runner (a sewn webbing loop that is 48" long, made from about 10' of webbing). When held from behind, one loop is brought up between the legs and two others from around the waist, hence its name "diaper sling". The three loops are secured with a locking carabiner (I prefer the Petzl Attache- light, compact and has the correct pear shape). As for rope, 7mm perlon accessory cord would be acceptable for single rope rapelling whereas 6mm might suffice for double line rapelling. Instead of the added bulk of a figure 8 or other brake, use a munter hitch. All of this information is available in any general mountaineering book such as Freedom of the Hills. The gear could be purchased at www.rei.com or at mountaingear.com. Of course, proper training in the use of climbing and rappelling gear is the responsibility of the user to obtain and I, Andy Osborne assume no liability or responsibility for the information contained here. It is simply offered as information for discussion. Let me state that this disclaimer is not aimed necessarily at the normal registered posters but at the countless bozos out there that might stumble upon this from a yahoo search and go out and get hurt and sue me or Doug or you. Andy<br><br>
_________________________
Two is one, one is none. That is why I carry three.

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#862 - 07/03/01 07:10 PM Re: emergency rapelling, what to use?
Anonymous
Unregistered


National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) approved personal escape kits for firefighters. One supplier of such a kit is Rescue Technology www.reqtek.com. In their 1998 catalog they list a product they call EscapeLine which is special purpose rope. The catalog description follows:<br><br>An 8mm personal escape rope that offers a greater degree of safety for rescurers and firefighters. This compact escape line is designed to meet the NFPA 1983 standard for Personal Escape Ropes. Additionally, it offers fire and heat resistance not found in standard nylon escape lines. Special fibers are used in this single use rope to insure that the heat generated in pouches or turnout coat pockets do not degrade the strength of the rope. Manufacturer certified. SEI certification pending. Color: White with contrasting core. Sheath Yarn Melting Point: 700 degrees F. Core Yarn Melting Point: None* (retains strength during long-term exposure to 160 degrees C.) Strength: 3,500 lbf.<br>525800 Escapeline by ft. $1.90<br>5258050 Escapeline, 50 ft. w/ snap $120.00<br>5258070 Escapeline, 70 ft. w/ snap $156.00<br>800501 Replacement Kevlar Pouch Call<br>601205 Replacement Descender $11.25<br><br>They also offer kits they call Escapeline Kits<br><br>Escapeline kits are packaged in a security pouch that is placed into a fire and heat resistent Kevlar outer pouch. To use, simple open outer pouch, grasp tear tape and open inner pouch. A permanently attached autolocking rope snap in the end of the Escapeline can be attached to a rigging point or clipped back on the Escapeline. Kits come complete with Escapeline with autolocking snap, descender and carabiner, and Kevlar carrying pouch.<br><br>5258150 Escapeline Kit, 50 ft. $250.00<br>5258170 Escapeline Kit, 70 ft. $300.00<br><br>For comparison purposes normal nylon used for kernmantle style ropes melts around 425 degrees F. You will not be carrying the escape kit with you in your turnout coat repeatly exposing it to 500+ degree heat in burning structures so you probably don't need the Kevlar pouch and inner pouch.<br><br>If you are planning on rappelling out your window, I would make sure to get a window punch (about $8) to ensure you can break out your window. I would plan on some way of padding the window sill so the escape rope is not cut on remaining glass shards or rough edges of building. I would preplan an anchor source. Don't forget some double/triple palm gloves to protect your hands while rappelling. <br><br>One caution mentioned in the catalog is that smaller diameter rope does not provide the same amount of friction as larger diameter rope so you will descend faster. So you need to preplan how to provide additional friction by either double wrapping or other means. <br><br>I don't think I would trust my life to paracord. Some 7/8mm accessory cord or prussic cord sounds much better and is relatively inexpensive. 7mm accessory cord has a breaking strength of 2,600 lbs while 8mm is 3,100 lbs. I would think maybe tying a Figure 8 on a bight in one end and leaving a locking carabiner through the bight could be used to anchor the rope. Figure 10' ceilings in a commercial building with additional 1' for floor joists. 4 stories you would need a minimum of 44 feet to reach the ground if you anchored to the outside of the building. Another 3' for knot and bight. Probably at least 15' feet to run across the room to some anchor. The absolute minimum for your case would be 60' I would rather have a little extra just in case.<br><br>I second the idea of a seat sling made of 2" tubular webbing. A loop about 15'-20' in circumfrence and a carabiner makes a fine sling. As noted earlier, place top of loop along your waist in the back allowing the loop to droop. Pull the sides next to your hips to the front while also pulling up a loop from between your legs. Place the loop from your legs over top of the two loops coming from your hips. As you continue to pull the two hip loops through the crotch loop, the slack will be taken out and cinch around your waist and thighs. The two loops become your attachment point. Universal sizing, no hardware, inexpensive, colorful. You could use 1" webbing but it will cut into your body in a very painful manner. 2" webbing will be lots more comfortable. <br><br>The military uses a carabiner wrap as a descender instead of Figure 8 plates or break bars. For an emergency descent I would think that at least 4 wraps around the long axis of the carabiner would provide enough friction for a 150lb person. More weight, more wraps.<br><br>As others have mentioned, rappelling is inherently dangerous activity. Make sure you get adequate training before attempting on your own. The information described above has not been tested and is only for ideas about an emergency situation and should be used for normal rappelling activities.<br><br>Also as mentioned in other replies, most fire departments have at least one ladder truck. Most ladder trucks are either 85' or 100'. That means the highest floor a ladder truck can reach is about 7. That assumes that there is adequate parking in the area below the window you want to exit from.<br><br><br>

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#863 - 07/05/01 12:51 PM Re: emergency rapelling, what to use?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thanks for the reply. I did a fair amount of climbing a few years back and had familiarized myself with the munter hitch as a back-up belay method. I was thinking that standard braking devices would would be too large and therefore ineffective with undesized rope, but I like your suggestion of the munter hitch. And the sling. That would make a very compact package of equipment, yet very functional.<br><br>

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#864 - 07/05/01 01:00 PM Re: emergency rapelling, what to use?
Anonymous
Unregistered


That's good advice. I am thinking primarily about using this for myself or maybe myself and one other person (once I'm out, anyone else who wants to follow my example is welcome to). The building I'm currently working in is 6 stories, but I would like a solution that would be practical in a variety of buildings since my work will be changing soon and will probably take me to a variety different worksites. I also wan't something for hotels, so flexibility would be good.<br><br>

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#865 - 07/05/01 02:09 PM Re: emergency rapelling, what to use?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Great information. The link is actually http://www.resqtek.com. They still offer the bare line, but don't seem to offer the kits any more. No matter. I can assemble a kit myself cheaper. You made some great suggestions. Thanks.<br><br>

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#866 - 07/05/01 05:22 PM small-rope rapelling article
Anonymous
Unregistered


Here's an interesting article on emergency rapelling on small-diameter rope. It discusses/illustrates the use of the munter hitch. http://www.kurious.org/cpc/treeres.html<br><br>

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