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PETZL ROPETRIP 2016 - Competitions

The Petzl RopeTrip Competition consists of a series of challenges designed to mimic real world situations found in the rope access community. These include moving delicate objects through a vertical environment, performing emergency rescue, preparing a worksite, assembling objects while free hanging, personal positioning and three dimensional positioning. The competition allows these professionals to demonstrate their skills and competency in a competitive international environment. Three judges from Petzl monitor each station for safety, and award penalties or disqualifications should one fail to adhere to one or several safety standards. A single member of each team competes in the Climb'Up, Waterworld, Flying Carpenter, and Over The Edge competitions and then the entire team competes together in the Team Gravity Challenge. The scores in these competitions award entry to the finals set on the outside of the Salt Lake City Public Library.

April 3 2016

Rope access and confined space



Designed to test a team's communcation, prepartion, and ability to move through a three dimensional space, the Team Gravity Challenge is one of the most aesthetic. Simply put, the team must manuever one of their members across the arena, first by removing the balloon obstacles from the space, and then by swinging their hanging teammate like a human claw, before finally lowering their partner down to the "bulls eye." The two team members controlling the third do this from suspended positions using improvised haul systems; a true test of ingenuity and communication.  



Over The Edge is a simple competition. Competitors first ascend rope lines, making big moves through rebelays before reaching the Petzl Tecnical Institute training ledge. Here they are faced with a real world scenario. Below them is a barrier, neither they nor their ropes should touch the barrier as they descend. In order to bypass this, each technician must assemble a bipod to be used to position themselves and their lines out in space, away from the barrier. As weith every challenge, this tests each competitor's ability to quickly ascend a rope in a head-to-head format, and then have to think technically as the adrenaline pounds, racing to assemble their bipod and safely lower themselves back to the ground. 




This is a multi-stage challenge that incorporates the wide variety of skills used by rope access technicians around the world.The first task of the Flying Carpenter mimicks real life. Competitors find their allotted, if minimal, gear laid out below a worksite. They must prep the equipment, choose what equipment to take with them, and prepare the remaining equipment to be hauled up to the site later. Efficient organization at the beginning will bear fruit much later on the course, just as in real life. 

After preparing their equipment, competitors turn and are immediatley faced with a rescue scenario. A hanging "victim" is suspended in mid air. The task is to set up a rope to reach the line hanging from the "victim", transition off the first line to the second, unweight the "victim" from their line using a haul system or JAG, and then safely lower the "victim" down to the ground.  


The Flying Carpenter is not over yet. Now competitors have to continue ascending higher, transitioning across different lines to traverse the arena, and then descend to the Petzl Technical Institute EXO Tower. The tower's bailout windows have been equipped with shutters for this event. The rope access techs now have to pull up the equipment they prepared at the very beginning of the competition and manually replace the pair of shutters with a second pair, as fast as they can, and without dropping any equipment or screws. Only then is this timed scenario over. 



Waterworld makes its appearance at Petzl RopeTrip 2016. Competitors begins on the ground with nine kilograms of water in a simple bucket. The goal is to keep as much of the water as possible from spilling out of the open bucket while navigating a rope access labyrinth. 

First, each competitor ascends a steep overhaning wall with mandatory redirectionals, before entering the open structural maze at the back of the Petzl Technical Institute training wall. Scattered across the wall are blinking white lights the competitor must reach and change to red. The danger here is that the water bucket bump against one of the support beams causing a catastrophic spill. 

Once through the structure competitors reach the manual construction phase. They must position a second bucket at the base of a piping element, assemble the pipe to make sure there are no leaks, then pour their precious water through the piping down into the second bucket. 

The task is not over yet. Next, the rope access techs must descend, recover their water, properly transition to their main and backup lines and then make a pendulum swing across the arena, while keeping their bucket of water level during the swing. The end is close. A simple tyrolean traverse brings them within sight of the finish. They negotiate their way through a window, transition their lines, and then enter a vertical confined space with their buckets. Finally at the base they are allowed to unrope and carefully walk their bucket to the scales to weigh what is left of the water and obtain their score. 

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