Ryan called me up asking if I had any VT Prusiks to do some testing with. I said, "yep, what size?" He responded, "there are different sizes?" I laughed and said, "yes, 7 and 8mm." He said, "bring em both!" And then said, "would you be interested in doing a video about VT's?" So here we are...
I was introduced to the VT in a canyoning course I did with Rich Carlson and since then have seen the VT showing up in multiple rope disciplines. Arborists have been using it for a while and the SAR community is using it more and more. By weight, I think it is the single most useful piece of kit you could have on your harness. With a VT and the knowledge of a few knots, you can be a very capable rope technician.
We pulled the 8mm and 7mm Bluewater VT Prusiks on 10mm, 8mm, and 6mm diameter semi-static nylon ropes. As a bonus, we pulled it on a Dyneema-sheathed rope that had very interesting results. I was particularly interested in how much force could be on the VT and still be able to release it. This is useful to know when using the VT in load-releasing situations. Secondly, I really wanted to know the limitations of the VT performance on different ropes.
I demonstrate a use for it in canyoning and Cory Grossman showed us a few tricks that arborists do with it.
Behind the Scenes
Ryan tried rappelling with a VT (on the auto belay of course) and found it is not that easy to get right the first time. Practice really does make better. 😂
After Posting Thoughts
We did do all these same test with the VT tied in the Distal Hitch and Schwabisch Hitch. Hopefully these videos will be released here...
Comment from Rich Carlson -
Here is a link to his VT video on Canyons & Crags - VT Prusik - versatile tool for ropework