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Chockstone Forum - Accidents & Injuries

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Topic Date User
Totem Pole accident 15-Jul-2020 At 11:44:27 AM gfdonc
On 15-Jul-2020 capt_planit wrote:
>What type of brake does one use in this situation?

As the description implies, you need to 'rap' into the void, not just slide. So you'll use your normal abseiling device, on a second rope.
As noted, they tensioned both ropes meaning it was impossible to rap on one of them. In my pic you'll see the green rope is untensioned. We slid down the grey rope and rapped on the green (as a single).

Me being first, I think I was lowered on the green instead of rapping (safer, and it means you're not dropping 60m of loose rope into a windy void).

For the last person (best I can recall) the green+grey were tied together so they were threaded through the far anchors and tensioned. Dave being last then rapped into the void on a doubled third rope, tied into one end. At the 30m mark he got to pull that third rope through the anchors. (By then of course he was sitting at the low point of the Tyrolean with no risk of an uncontrolled slide.)

The major risk at that point is getting the tail of the third rope rapped around something below you. Hard to avoid this, although since you're well out from the cliff it will fall away from it, so normally you'd be fine. The complication is a little pinnacle in the middle of the void called the Totem Pole, which did in our case try to hang onto the rope.

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