There are many types of fixed lines. Some climbers use fixed lines to help climb to return to their high point. Some climbers use them on expedition climbs to protect against long, steep slopes. And others simply use them to move up and down the top of a smaller hill.
Each style of fixed rope has its uses, but it is surprising that the most commonly used style is the third style. Short sections of fixed rope are common in rugged areas across the country. Most of these ropes are used to facilitate classes for beginners.
Fixed lanes are designed to protect people who are moving on second, third or even fourth degree terrain. In this program (with beginners) they should not be used for difficult terrain. Instead, such lands may have to be delayed.
Fixed lines are relatively simple to install. Make a 12-point SERENE anchor at the top, then go down and place the equipment along the way. In each gear, the fixed line must be cut with eight knots in the upper hand. It should not pass freely through the carbines as this will cause the target parts to fail. Each rope must be detached.
There are three ways a person might use a fixed line. First, they may simply use it as a guideline. This is the easiest way because there is nothing for climbers but to do the line. Such use indicates that the probability of a fall is low and that an individual or group simply needs a little more security.
Second, they may use the crab claw technique. This is where a person tapes two tapes to their connection point. A locking carabiner is then attached to the end of each chain. A climber can then fasten both slings to a fixed line as they move upwards. Just as a climber can adjust the pieces, he can set the piece aside without completely detaching it from the rope.
The third technique is to place a prussik on a fixed line. Persik offers the most security because it does not allow a person to fall in case of slipping. If you have a section that needs such tactics, it is not a bad idea to prepare the pros in advance so that beginners do not have to expose it to fraud in one area.
It does not matter which line you use, a good rule of thumb is that only one person should be connected to part of the line. You should never have two people in one part of the system.
Fixed lines are great, but they should not replace a real shovel. Make sure it makes sense before putting your novice friends on the fixed line. Rest assured that is the best solution to your problem. And rest assured that everyone knows what to do when moving up or down the line …
-Jason Di Martin