Ascending the rope in self-rescue: take care when approaching the anchor - Petzl USA
Search

Ascending the rope in self-rescue: take care when approaching the anchor

Warnings

  • Read the technical notice before viewing the following techniques.
  • It is important to fully understand the information provided in the technical notice before using this complementary information
  • Mastering these techniques requires training.
  • Consult a professional before attempting to perform these techniques on your own.

When ascending rope, it is common to climb the wall instead of the rope when approaching the anchor.

At this moment, even if it is possible to make some climbing moves, the rope must always remain taut between the anchor and the ascenders to limit the potential fall distance.

If the climber neglects taking up slack, just a single step can significantly increase the fall factor. The consequences of a slip can be severe, as arriving at the anchor is a time when the climber feels more or less "out of the woods."

A single step can significantly increase the fall factor.
A single step can significantly increase the fall factor.
A single step can significantly increase the fall factor.

Fall tests in a self-rescue situation (ascending rope) close to the anchor.

Warning: second ascender and/or self-belay not shown.

Fall of 0.5 m, approaching the anchor

Fall of 0.5 m, approaching the anchor

Dynamic test - fall factor 0.5

80 kg dummy

Rope Impact force
8 mm low stretch kernmantel 4.3 kN
8.1 mm dynamic 3.4 kN

Dynamic test - fall factor 0.5

100 kg dummy

Rope Impact force
10.5 mm low stretch kernmantel 4.3 kN

Fall of 1 m at anchor level

Fall of 1 m at anchor level

Dynamic test - fall factor 1

80 kg dummy

Rope Impact force
8 mm low stretch kernmantel 5.4 kN Sheath cut, damaged core

Cut sheath

Damaged core

8.1 mm dynamic 4.2 kN Damaged sheath Damaged sheath

Dynamic test - fall factor 1

100 kg dummy

Rope Impact force
10.5 mm low stretch kernmantel 5.5 kN

Warning:

When approaching the belay station, one step is enough to worsen the consequences of a fall. In this example, 50 cm makes the difference between an "average" and a "severe" fall.


Related activities