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Thread: Vector the line

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    Forum Member MichaelXYZ's Avatar
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    Default Vector the line

    I was taught how to unjam tandem prusiks on the belay line. One of the methods was called vector the line. We only covered it briefly so I am not sure I remember how. I put this image together in what I think how it is done. My thinking is you pull the load part of the line to get the load off the prusiks. Is my drawing correct? The other way was using a 3:1 pulley but I am still trying to recall.

    Thanks

    Name:  linevector.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelXYZ View Post
    I was taught how to unjam tandem prusiks on the belay line. One of the methods was called vector the line. We only covered it briefly so I am not sure I remember how. I put this image together in what I think how it is done. My thinking is you pull the load part of the line to get the load off the prusiks. Is my drawing correct? The other way was using a 3:1 pulley but I am still trying to recall.

    Thanks

    Attachment 22715
    Good morning again Michael,

    No, your drawing is not correct. If the prusiks are jammed up then you have to raise the main line to create enough slack in the belay line to free up the prusiks. Step #1 - Say STOP!. You will never free the prusiks if the main line keeps trying to lower the load. Step #2 - lock off the main line lowering device. Step #3 - vector the main line to create slack in the belay line. Step #4 - free up the prusiks, unlock the main line and continue the lower.

    You can also put a single pulley in the main line between the lowering device and the rope bag and attach it to the main line between the lowering device and the load with a prusik. This will give you a 2 to 1 hauling system to create slack in the belay line. It is a 2 to 1 instead of a 3 to 1 because the rope will not move through the lowering device.

    Mike Dunn

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    Forum Member MichaelXYZ's Avatar
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    HI Mike, thanks for correcting me. I think I got it, vectoring part, still working out the pulley method. Does this drawing look correct?
    Thanks

    Name:  linevector1.jpg
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    Is this right for the pulley method?

    Name:  vectorpulley.jpg
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    Forum Member MichaelXYZ's Avatar
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    Default One other Question

    Is there a way to jam up the prusiks on purpose for training use?

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    Yes that's the correct pulley method as described.

    To lock up the prusiks during training, keep lowering on the main line and stop minding the prusiks. Let them grab the belay line until all of the weight is supported on the belay.
    I used to be DCFDRescue 2. Forum changover locked me out.

    www.rescue2training.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelXYZ View Post
    Is this right for the pulley method?

    Attachment 22734
    Everything is correct except you would not use prusiks on the main line. It is just a very short haul to release the belay prusiks so no need to try to reset the main line.

    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelXYZ View Post
    HI Mike, thanks for correcting me. I think I got it, vectoring part, still working out the pulley method. Does this drawing look correct?
    Thanks

    Attachment 22732
    You have a load releasing hitch drawn into your system. You would not need to vector anything, only let out on the LRH and loosen the prusicks.
    ~Drew
    Firefighter/EMT/Technical Rescue
    USAR TF Rescue Specialist

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    Quote Originally Posted by FiremanLyman View Post
    You have a load releasing hitch drawn into your system. You would not need to vector anything, only let out on the LRH and loosen the prusicks.
    The LRH is would work if it is in place, but a vector is quick and requires no extra hardware/ software, etc... The picture in the original post did not have them. If a system were setup as in the original picture, a vector would probably be the easiest way to unstick the belay prusiks. Even with an LRH in place on the main line, for whatever reason, I'd still attempt a vector first.
    I used to be DCFDRescue 2. Forum changover locked me out.

    www.rescue2training.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue 2 Training View Post
    Even with an LRH in place on the main line, for whatever reason, I'd still attempt a vector first.
    Absolutely. Vector first then LRH if vectoring didn't work. Unless you have a second LRH rigged and ready to drop into place you will have to re-tie the first one which takes time the patient may not have. It is not unusual for the prusiks to jam up during a lowering operation.....inexperienced belayer, belayer can't keep up with speed of lower, belay line sheath bunching up in front of the prusiks, etc.

    Mike

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    MichaelXYZ If you ever want to come by and play with rope systems let me know we can set up a day and go over what ever you would like. this Brian out at station 10 here is my Email Cpfdmiller94@gmail.com

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    Not to sound like a Dick, But have you worked with the 540 by CMC? I understand the theory behind prussick belays, and have worked with them but to me it seems like a pain.
    Courage, Being Scared to Death and Saddling Up anyways.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhacker View Post
    Not to sound like a Dick, But have you worked with the 540 by CMC? I understand the theory behind prussick belays, and have worked with them but to me it seems like a pain.
    Not sounding like a dick at all. I've used and teach prusiks, 540 and mpd for belay. They all work reliably. They all require a proper skill level which only comes with training and practice. Strictly for belay I lean towards the 540. For maximum versatility I go with prusiks. For ease of operation and training I like the mpd.

    Even though the prusiks can be a pain to operate at times, when your mechanical belay device craps out, the prusiks always work. Stay competent with prusiks and you will always have a good back up plan.

    Don't forget. Thank a Vet this weekend and every other day too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhacker View Post
    Not to sound like a Dick, But have you worked with the 540 by CMC? I understand the theory behind prussick belays, and have worked with them but to me it seems like a pain.
    In a private fire service, our budget does not afford us the nicer pieces of gear you metro guys get to enjoy. I would love to try a 540 and the MPD would be the cats meow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelXYZ View Post
    In a private fire service, our budget does not afford us the nicer pieces of gear you metro guys get to enjoy. I would love to try a 540 and the MPD would be the cats meow.
    I definitely understand financial constraints but if you have a mastery of the basics you can perform most any rescue needed. Don't have a 540? Master tandem triple wrapped prusiks. They have worked as an effective belay system for many years. Short on carabiners? If you master a couple of simple knots you can replace most of your carabiners with rope and get a higher lift if overhead space is critical. What is a 540 except a newer "tool" to use for belay. What is an MPD? Another "tool" to use for lowering, belaying and hauling.

    The point being.....there are always new and expensive tools coming around. Sometimes they can make your operations simpler and safer, other times they are just a pain in the butt. Do your research, choose one or two new "tools" and budget for them in the future. And most importantly, even if I buy a bunch of new "tools", I'm not going to throw out all of my old reliable "tools".

    An advanced technique is nothing more than a mastery of the basics. A Z-rig is a Z-rig no matter what "tools" you use to build it.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Mike Dunn

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    That is sound advice Mr. Dunn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rsqman View Post
    ... Master tandem triple wrapped prusiks. They have worked as an effective belay system for many years. ...
    The gold standard in untensioned belays which transitions from lower to raise instantly. With very cost effective equipment (2 carabiners, 33 foot of cordage, a prusik minding pulley and a set of prusiks) that does not break the bank. Down side, while most monkeys can figure out a 540 or MPD the setup and use of the TTWP belay is a skill that needs to continued practice to stay profficent.
    ~Drew
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    USAR TF Rescue Specialist

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    Quote Originally Posted by FiremanLyman View Post
    The gold standard in untensioned belays which transitions from lower to raise instantly. With very cost effective equipment (2 carabiners, 33 foot of cordage, a prusik minding pulley and a set of prusiks) that does not break the bank. Down side, while most monkeys can figure out a 540 or MPD the setup and use of the TTWP belay is a skill that needs to continued practice to stay profficent.
    I'm one of those monkeys who's had an easier time mastering the TPB. I find the 540 difficult to work with, even with the recommended techniques that address its main shortcoming - a tendency to lock up when you don't want it to.

    The 540 does perform impressively though - somewhat better than the TPB from the testing data and videos I've reviewed.

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