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PostPosted: December 10th, 2004, 3:40 pm 
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A lone paddler who depends on the aid of others when calculating risk has one foot in the grave and another on a banana peal.


Love it! Great saying.

I'll read the story. And I'll do some searching for these other pulls I've just now heard about. The extent of my experience is Z-drags & tag lines/lowering rafts, and the extent of my resources is the local club and a few books, like the one by Doug Mckown.

Anyone know of Internet resources on river rescue?

Pat.

p.s. part of my thinking about rescue vs. recovery comes from my BC perspective where the coastal rivers are ice cold year 'round.


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PostPosted: January 14th, 2007, 12:40 am 
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Hi folks,

I posted a topic earlier today (River Rescue Kit in the equipment forum) and have since stumbled across this thread...

Peter K. your kit is pretty much spot on to what I was thinking (except for the length of rope... this i was/am unsure about) - I recently started to read the book "Whitewater Rescue Manual" (here is a link to Amazon for reference purposes - http://www.amazon.com/Whitewater-Rescue ... 0070677905 ) it's a very good book I have been very impressed thus far.

That said I still have the following questions:

(1) When tripping what do you use to store the bits and pieces in?

(2) When tripping where do keep it (i.e. in a pack, loose/attached to the boat, on your person, etc, etc) - intuitively my thinking it needs to be quickly accessible so in a pack is would not be desirable...

and

(3) I think this is inline with the Everest comment made in the post history... what is the ratio of pin/rescue kits to boats on a river trip?

Moreover, if anyone has pictures that would be greatly appreciated too (A visual would be useful)...

Actually having giving this a bit more thought I have a couple more questions re the rope... Peter K. in your bill of matrials you stated 80 m of 9mm static line - what exactly do you mean when you say static line - my assumption is that it is like a North Water Spectra or SpectraX rope with tensile in the 4000 to 4700 lbs range that has minimal stretch to it...

Also what is the configuration of rope lengths and does the 80m include throwbags (i.e. it is an aggregate of the total rope you carry)? Or are Throwbags separate? Help me understand lengths and rope configuration...

Thanks in advance...

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PostPosted: January 14th, 2007, 10:07 am 
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Hi Alan,

I looked up your Northwater Line Across bag... that looks like a very functional/practical bag for storing the bit and pieces.

That said - do you also have throw bags in addition to your Line Across bag?

Thanks,

John

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PostPosted: January 14th, 2007, 11:03 am 
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Wow, this is an old thread, but a very good one.

Yes we do carry extra big water throw bags. When I trip with others I expect each boat to carry a big water bag and I carry a minimum of two bags on our boat. One thing that I have change in my kit was to add a few one locking binners to it.

This reminds me, my STR II cert is up for recert this year.... theres another 4 days I'm going to have to fit in to an already full summer calendar. :-?

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PostPosted: January 14th, 2007, 11:18 am 
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Ok, some answers:


1. static line is line designed not to stretch. This is to be contrasted with dynamic line. Dynamic line has 10-20% stretch, it is used for primary belay line for climbers so it cushens the fall. Imagine falling on a line from 20-20ft with no give....ouch. For rescue purposes you do not want a stretchy line beacause it significantly reduces the effectivness of mechanical systems and puts dangerous 'rubber band' behavoir into your ropes.

2. I keep 1, 15' length of webbing, 2, locking biners, and 1 block, and 2 prussiks in each boat. These are kept neatly with the throwbag clipped to the webbing cage up against the throwbag.

3. I also usually have 1 or 2 biners + a knife attached to my PFD,

I have had the opportunity to retreive a couple wrapped boats in a wilderness setting and found that this system works fairly well.....

I do not have any formal SRT training, but a few years experiance climbing and several years of sailing. One of these years I will do a formal SRT course, but with a lifetime future of professional guidiing getting ever farther from my career path, this seems less and less likely.

Peace,
Dan

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PostPosted: January 14th, 2007, 11:46 am 
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Ah, the iron law of misadventure -- when something goes wrong, it is likely to go wrong in the worst possible way.

I keep my "official" pin kit with my static line, webbing and pulleys in a blue barrel if I'm in a tandem boat and in a dry bag under the floatatiion if I'm solo.

If my boat is the one that is the casualty, then I'd have to improvise. I always keep a biner and a prussic loop in my pfd and most of the people I paddle with also have biners, loops and even some webbing. If we have to improvise, the biggest problem would be rope. There would be lots of throw bags -- but they are mostly dynamic. There would be lots of rope stretching and danger of being "rubber banded" by a breaking rope if we ever had to haul really hard.

Nevertheless, I don't like throw bags with static line in them much. I was safetying with someone from a Montreal club in the first canyon on the R. Rouge this fall. He had a static throw rope and I had a dynamic line. Only about half the boats trying the first drop made it, so we had lots of business. Both people the grabbed my line were able to hold on be pendulumed to shore. Both people that grabbed his held on until the the rope went taut and then were blown off. I'd rather compromise if I have to use the throw bag as a haul line.


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PostPosted: January 14th, 2007, 12:53 pm 
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As we know there is the perfect line for the different rescues that we run into, but given all considerations, the line I perfer is spectraX but not all my bags have been changed yet, but that will happen shortly.

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PostPosted: January 14th, 2007, 3:41 pm 
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Thanks for all the great feeback...

A couple more questions... give me a sense of the type of locking biners and pulleys you have spec'd out for your kit...

Here is a link to MEC Biners:
http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_list ... 8807194660

Here is a link to MEC's Pulleys:
http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_list ... 8807112512

Alan - I noticed on your website you retail the Northwater Products... do you sell the Line Across bag as well as lengths of SpectraX static line? Let me know perhaps I can run this purchase your operation... email me at john<at>thebairds<.>ca (remove the <> of course)

Thanks.

John

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PostPosted: January 14th, 2007, 4:11 pm 
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I'd like to throw out one more question.

I'm having a three-way discussion on Z drag line (not personnel throw bag line).
There are basically 3 lines diameters: 1/4" 5/16" and 3/8" spectra.
One guy is saying 1/4 inch is just fine and more length can be carried and another one saying only 3/8 is strong enough.

So what's the consensus from those that have a lot of experience/training?

cheers and thanks
ted

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PostPosted: January 14th, 2007, 5:46 pm 
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John there are a number of biners you can pick from, just look at the min rating, don't buy anything less than 18Kn. A locking biners with a red indicator would be best. As for the pulleys, you'll want Pursik minding so the pursik loop does not bind up into the pulley. I carry both North Water and Buluga products, it would be best that you send me a email, but I would be glad to help you out.

Ted I would suggest the 3/8" for a kit, although the rating on the other spectra lines will work, you can't measure the force in any one situation. I would rather err with the greater strenght, you can always use a pig rig to extend your line. Also I find the pursik loop bind and slide better on the 3/8".

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PostPosted: January 14th, 2007, 11:02 pm 
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Thanks for all the information folks!

Alan I will shoot you an email later this week!

John

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PostPosted: January 15th, 2007, 9:30 am 
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"Also I find the pursik loop bind and slide better on the 3/8".

The greater the difference in diameter between your prussiks and your rope, the better the prussik knot will hold. If your knots are slipping, retie them with additional loops.

Easier to explain with climbing references, so don't worry about the rope sizes I'm talking about here. I use 5mm Prussiks on 11mm rope (or 10.5) - two loops are all I need for the knot to do its thing. Using 7 or 8mm prussiks, I go to 3 wraps. That's on a doubled rope, so the knot is around two strands of the rope. If I'm rapping down a single line (or wet rope in the rain), I go with 3 wraps even with the 5mm cord.

If you are buying cord for new prussiks, try to find some that dose not feel "slick" to your hand and isn't stiff. Some of the stuff they sell won't hold a knot as well as a not so smoothe cord.

When in doubt, go with an extra wrap on your knot.


I'll take a "contrarian" stand on biners. I don't bother taking lockers in my pin kit. All climbing biners are locking biners when under a load. Look at how the gate works - a wire across the end of the gate fits into the notch in the end of the main body of the biner. Yet, it does not engage, and looking at it, the wire is maybe 2 or 3 mm too "high". Under a load of about 250 to 300 lbs, the biner actually stretches like a rubber band, and the gate pin gets pulled into the notch and "locks" the gate into position. (You can actually see a biner stretching if you just pull strongly on it with both hands) In fact, a so-called "locking biner" works exactly the same - it too must be stretched under a load for the locking pin to engage the notch. Until that happens, you only have the "gate open" strength. Once the pin is in the notch, you have completed the Loop of metal, and now you have the full "gate closed" strength.
All the "nut" or "sleeve" on a locking biner does, is to keep the gate closed until the pin is engaged in the notch. In other words, it keeps the gate from opening accidentally when the biner isn't loaded. That is a major consideration when you are anchoring in at a belay while rock climbing, but really doesn't come into play when setting up a z-drag to pull a boat off a rock.
(yes, I know about Murphy's law)

One of the reasons I like my regular non-locking biners is that I have some rescue pulley wheels that slide over the nose of the biner - cost about $3 at REI, and I can carry several of them with minimum weight - work best on ovals. This is all the stuff I use in climbing rescue exercises, when hauling up an injured climber (using a z-drag) It works then, and will work with a boat.

Now, if you are setting out to "build" a pin kit from scratch, go ahead and buy locking biners, there is certainly no reason not to except cost. Since I already have all of my climbing gear, I'll just stick with what I have. Also, a word to the wise, some carabiners have rather large noses, and may not fit into the holes in your pulleys - check that out before you finish building your kit.

as to rope diameter, I carry a 3/8" static line (only 45 meter). Aside from being stronger, the larger diameter is easier to grip by hand if you are also using the rope for lining, or hauling up your food bag, or whatever including hauling on a rope to free a boat.


p.s. IF you have some regular climbing biners, but doubt what I have said about thier safety, you can easily convert them into "lockers" with a few pieces of the appropriate sized shrink tubing, (or plastic gas or water line of the right inside diameter). Just shrink a 1" long piece of the tubing to a snug fit on the gate. Snug, but not too tight, just loose enough so that you can slide it up over the locking notch - and guess what you wind up with.


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PostPosted: January 16th, 2007, 10:45 pm 
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Hi folks - thanks for all the great information todate!

A couple of more questions as I process my way through the pin kit... yes I know I think to much about things... : ))

1) So the recommended diameter for static line is 3/8" ... what is the recommended diameter of line for a throw bag - 1/4" or 3/8"?

2) This is perhaps a dumb question but I am going to ask anyway - my assumption is that your static line should float - Please confirm as there are many "9mm / 3/8" static/rescue lines" which do not explicitly state this as an attribute so I assume they don't float and will sink...

3) On the topic of prussik loops - assuming a 5 to 6mm diamater the tensile of the prussik cord I am seeing online appears to max out at approximately 2000lbs (+/-)... that being said this would appear to be a significant weakness in the system as a whole as most of the other components has strength ratings in the 22kN/~4800lbs range (or greater). Thoughts/comments??

4) Where you buy your components? Does everyone suck it up and go to MEC (which appears to be the most expensive) or are there some hidden gems (i.e. rescue supply stores) that you procure your gear from?

Rope seems to the most expensive component - I have been quoated upwards of $1.96 per foot for SpectraX in Canada (I think that was MSRP not necessarily market price)... online there are a number of US wholesaler dumping stuff in the .65 to .90cent range per foot. In fact New England Ropes have a floating static line (KM-III series) which is .73cents US per foot - it is 7/16 diameter... a wee bit bigger than 3/8"

See page 31 in the following .PDF link for details:
http://rescuesource.com/Res%2006%20Cat%2017-35.pdf

That said I am not a fan of spending my money in the US - I am a very pro-Canadian kind of guy - if there are some cost effective outlets in Canada please let me know...

As always thoughts and comments greatly appreciated...

Thanks in advance...

John

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PostPosted: January 16th, 2007, 11:11 pm 
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Oh yeah - one last thing (for now anyway) - I need this community to help me with a bit of a sanity check...

To a certain extent ignorance is bliss but we all know knowledge is power. My struggle is this... the more you know about "something" the more you realize you what you don't know on a particular topic/subject.

Historically when river tripping we would have a couple of throw bags (1/4") line a couple of biners and thought we were prepared for "adversity" should it ever arrive... that said over the years the difficultly and remoteness of the rivers we paddle incrementally increase year over year.

So this year I start reading about Whitewater Rescue techniques (the book posted above) and my eyes have been opened and I have had this kinda of eureka moment and all of a sudden I feel exposed to level of risk which I am not comfortable accepting by not having an appropriate river rescue kit.

My perception is that there are probably more wilderness river trippers who don't have a pin kit than those that do (playboaters and creekers I would assume is a different story).

My question is this - do I really need to spend a couple of hundred bucks or can we make do with throwbags and biners?

The reality is I guess I should look at the rescue kit as insurance - you never know when it will be required, and god willing hopefully no one from my crew will ever require it's use, but it's one of those things that now being "informed" on the topic how could you ever forgive yourself - if you were part of an incident or came across another group which required it's use but didn't have all the required components...

Thoughts on the rationale?

John

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PostPosted: January 17th, 2007, 8:53 am 
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oC3 askes -

2) This is perhaps a dumb question but I am going to ask anyway - my assumption is that your static line should float - Please confirm as there are many "9mm / 3/8" static/rescue lines" which do not explicitly state this as an attribute so I assume they don't float and will sink...

It would be nice if that were so, but its not necessary. Just pay attention to what you are doing with the rescue rope and keep it out of the water as much as you can (so it doesn't get hung up on the rocks) - use a throw rope for throwing, and attach the rescue rope to it, and pull it over if you need to do something like that.

Can't speak about the newer spectra type of throw rope, but the standard throw rope is made of a plastic material that floats - they are designed to float.
( I'm guessing the spectra are a blend of materials, including spectra)
Rescue ropes/static ropes come from climbing background. Some may have a water repellent finish, but they aren't designed to float. Choice of material is something a lot stronger than polywhatever. Its probably possible to make a rescue rope with a poly core and nylon sheath, but you would lose much of your material strength, so would have to make it much fatter. Rescue ropes are typically of "kernmantle" construction. A core of nylon which is where 90% of the strength is, and a mantle/outer sheath (also nylon) which is there primarily to protect the core from cuts, abrasion, and UV damage. Perhaps a nylon core with poly sheath is available, which might float. The desired characteristics of a rescue rope are primarily strength, low stretch, and abrasion resistance - that "forces" the choice of materials, which most likely don't float.


3) On the topic of prussik loops - assuming a 5 to 6mm diamater the tensile of the prussik cord I am seeing online appears to max out at approximately 2000lbs (+/-)... that being said this would appear to be a significant weakness in the system as a whole as most of the other components has strength ratings in the 22kN/~4800lbs range (or greater). Thoughts/comments??

That's sorta right, but not complete. The given strength for ropes and cords is for a straingt piece, without knots. With a prussik loop, you are more or less pulling on two strands of the cord, so the strength is roughly double - except that the knot reduces the strength by anywhere from 20 to 50 %, depending on the knot used, and on the material and diameter. So your 2000# material, tied into a prussik loop is more realisticlly 2 x 2000 x 70%, or 2800 # or thereabouts. The same with the rescue rope, except that you are using only one strand, but it will have a knot somewher, so you are looking at 4800 x 70% or maybe even only 50%. For a guestimate, use about 2/3 so 4800# x .66 = 3200#. So your prussik loop isn't that much weaker, depending on a lot of different factors. The "weakest link" is probably the attachment at the boat.

that's my take on your questions, other's may vary.


for your enlightenment, should you care do do some reading
http://www.caves.org/section/vertical/n ... trope.html


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