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Twin Isolated Rope Systems

Canyon Rope Systems

Twin Isolated Rope Systems

Episode 3 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.

Twin rope systems is when both strands are usable but this falls into 2 main categories - ISOLATED and COMPOUND. This 3rd episode discusses the ISOLATED options which also, stay with me here, falls into the static and releasable options like the previous episode did. Let's "dive" into it.

Twin Rope Isolated Systems

Two strands; each capable of rappelling from the anchor.

- Isolated -

This is when one end of the rope is passed through the anchor, set to the pitch length, and then each strand is fixed together by hardware or knot.

Static - Once either rappel strand is weighted it cannot be adjusted.

  • When is this used? - Contingency rigging or when there is a need for increased efficiency.

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

Examples - Stone knot with a fiddlestick, Alpine Butterfly knot with both strands, F8 overhead lock with both strands. Static Twin Rope Systems video by Rich Carlson and article from Adolfo Isassi

Retrieval - Remove the method of Isolation and convert the system to a Single Block or double-strand rappel. Use a retrievable anchor technique (ghosting).

Releasable - One rappel strand can be lowered IF the other strand is unweighted. This is conditional that the other strand is not in use.

  • When is this used? When rappel efficiency is desired inflows.

  • When should you not use this? When a hydraulic or difficult swimming disconnect is present due to the extra rope in the water below.

Examples - Joker, Joker Simple, Mickey, Jester. See the article from Adolfo Isassi for more examples.

Retrieval - Remove the method of Isolation, and convert the system to a Single Block or double-strand rappel.

David Mason posted in Canyon Rigging Facebook Group about a safety alert: do not use contingency 8. It's hard to identify and could release prematurely. I'll hold back the jokes. See the conversation where people oppose him but didn't identify what they were looking at correctly proving him right. HOWEVER, it can be a great tool if you know what you are doing. See the crazy 65 comments on this POST after JOINING the Canyon Rigging GROUP.

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Twin Rope Isolated Systems Rating

Static System

Ease of Rigging - Better

This system is as easy as learning to tie a butterfly knot with both strands or can use a few pieces of gear to rig.

✅Little or no hardware

✅Easy to identify

✅Easy to learn

✅Fast to rig

It does not have to be re-rigged to retrieve