Double and Doubled Rope systems


Canyon Rope Systems

Double (DRT) and Doubled (DdRT) Rope Systems

Climbing vs Canyon Rappelling

Episode 5 of 10

This is a free course featuring Brent Roth about different ways to set up rappels through a canyon. This considers ease of rigging, abrasion, ease of rescue and how efficient it is to move people through the canyon.


Our courses are A-Z content in blog format, glued together with an overarching blog we call a textbook. A blog format is easy to read, easy to update, and easy to translate. Be sure to begin at the TEXTBOOK and at the end of each episode we'll point you to the next.


These double and doubled rope systems is when a person is using both strands to progress. These two systems are identified not only by how they are rigged but by how they are used as well. They both of course have a static version and a releasable version.








Double Rope Systems

A system where two strands are equally weighted when progressing aka Rappel Double


Static - When the rope is simply pulled through the anchor to a mid-way point. Both strands must run through the rappel device. The Efficiency is dependent on if a simultaneous rappel is being done or not.


☠️ CAUTION ☠️

Simul-rappels should only be done by two competent people that are familiar with the technique.


  • When is this used? - One of the most common methods of rappelling.

  • When should you not use this? - In considerable flow, Hydraulic or difficult swimming disconnect, when an exact rope length is desired


Examples - Toss ‘n Go, Simul-rappel with two people


Retrieval - Pull either strand when you are off the rope


Releasable - When the rope is doubled over and can be adjusted. This would preferably be done using a stitch plate device.

  • When is this used? - When extreme abrasion exists and can not be avoided by any other means.

  • When should you not use this? - When you don't have a long enough rope. It Requires 4x the rope length needed for the pitch if rigging for rescue.


Examples - These systems can be the same as Twin Compound Releasable systems if both strands are used by the same person to rappel (aka rappel double).


Retrieval - LAPAR rappels using Double Static. Pull either strand.



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Double Rope Systems Rating

Static System

Ease of Rigging - Best!

Easiest of them all


✅Little or no hardware

✅Easy to identify

✅Easy to learn

✅Fast to rig

✅It does not have to be re-rigged to retrieve


Rigged for Rescue - None

Since there is no rope in reserve, the anchor manager needs a second rope to render aid. For self-rescue, the person on rappel needs the knowledge, skill, and gear to ascend double strands.


Easy to self-rescue

Easy to ascend

No additional rigging is required for rescue

Option to lower (Indirect Rescue)

Option to rappel (Direct Rescue)


Efficient - Yes, but use with caution.

The Efficiency is dependent on if a simultaneous rappel is being done or not. Simul-rappels should only be done by two competent people that are familiar with the technique.


✅Two people at a time

✅It does not have to be re-rigged to retrieve


Abrasion Protection - Good

A single person moving on two strands distributes their weight, therefore, putting less tension on each strand. Less tension makes it more difficult to abrade the rope.


One moving strand

✅Two strands for rappel

Two moving strands

Redundancy



Double Rope Systems Rating

Releasable System

Ease of Rigging - It depends…

If a person is using both strands of a Twin Compound Releasable system, it is essentially the same as Double Releasable. Some systems have slight variances so they can be difficult to learn and recognize. Since the rope is doubled over, retrieval is done by removing the hardware and LAPAR rappels Double Static.


Little or no hardware

Easy to identify

Easy to learn

Fast to rig

✅It does not have to be re-rigged to retrieve


Rigged for Rescue - Better

Since these systems are releasable, there is an immediate option for an Indirect Rescue by lowering the person on rappel. In a swiftwater (class C) canyon, more training is highly recommended to identify hazards and how to appropriately use a releasable system. For self-rescue, the person on rappel needs the knowledge, skill, and gear to ascend double strands.


Easy to self-rescue

Easy to ascend

No additional rigging is required for rescue

Option to lower (Indirect Rescue)

Option to rappel (Direct Rescue)


Efficient - Not really

One person at a time on rappel is not efficient for moving a group. Since the rope is doubled over, retrieval is done by removing the hardware and LAPAR rappels Double Static.


Two people at a time

✅It does not have to be re-rigged to retrieve


Abrasion Protection - Best!

A single person moving on two strands distributes their weight, therefore, putting less tension on each strand. Less tension makes it more difficult to abrade the rope. Since both ropes can move, this gives you the highest level of protection.


One moving strand

✅Redundancy

✅Two strands for rappel

✅Two moving strands



 

DoubleD Rope Systems

A system where two strands are equally weighted and moving in opposite directions while a person is progressing. This system can be considered a collapsing loop during ascending providing a 2:1 mechanical advantage or an expanding loop on rappel. Since two strands are weighted and moving during rappel this technique is ideal for managing abrasion.


Static - When the rope is doubled over and can not be adjusted.


  • When is this used? - Setting up a retrievable traverse line, LAPAR to manage abrasion on their descent,

  • When should you not use this? - In considerable flow, Hydraulic or difficult swimming disconnect, when an exact rope length is desired


Examples - Self-belay when building retrievable traverse lines


Retrieval - Untie all knots and pull the strand that is the shortest length.


Releasable - When the rope is doubled over and can be adjusted. This would preferably be done using a second Doubled Rope System as a “dropped loop” from the anchor.

  • When is this used? - This system is not very practical due to the amount of pre-rigging and having to lower a ring/carabiner.

  • When should you not use this? Anytime another system will work for the situation.


Examples - Self-belay rigged on a drop loop system.


Retrieval - Convert system to Doubled Static for the LAPAR. Untie all knots and pull the strand that is the shortest length.

 

HowNOT2 SWAG












 

DoubleD Rope Systems Rating

Static System

Ease of Rigging - Better

This system is rigged with basic knot craft and rappelling knowledge.


✅Little or no hardware

✅Easy to identify

✅Easy to learn

✅Fast to rig

✅It does not have to be re-rigged to retrieve


Rigged for Rescue - Nope

Since both ends of the rope are used by the person on the rope, rescue requires a second rope. For self-rescue, the person on rappel needs the knowledge, skill, and gear to ascend double strands.


Easy to self-rescue

Easy to ascend

No additional rigging is required for rescue

Option to lower (Indirect Rescue)

Option to rappel (Direct Rescue)


Efficient - Good

One person at a time on rappel is not efficient for moving a group. Since the rope is doubled over, retrieval is done by removing the hardware and pulling the rope.


Two people at a time

✅It does not have to be re-rigged to retrieve


Abrasion Protection - Best!

Since one person is on two strands and both strands are moving, this system is great for protection.


Redundancy

One moving strand

✅Two strands for rappel

✅Two moving strands


DoubleD Rope Systems Rating

Releasable System

Ease of Rigging - Nope

There is a lot going on here


Little or no hardware

Easy to identify

Easy to learn

Fast to rig

It does not have to be re-rigged to retrieve


Rigged for Rescue - Good

For self-rescue, the person on rappel needs the knowledge, skill, and gear to ascend double strands and able to pass a “knot”.


Easy to self-rescue

Easy to ascend

No additional rigging is required for rescue

✅Option to lower (Indirect Rescue)

Option to rappel (Direct Rescue)


Efficient - Nope

One person on rappel and a lot of time to rig


Two people at a time

It does not have to be re-rigged to retrieve


Abrasion Protection - Best

The only good thing about this system


Redundancy

One moving strand

✅Two strands for rappel

✅Two moving strands

 


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