Don't Drop The Rope!

Posted by Professional Tree Climber on 11/8/2016 to Tree Climbing Safety
don't drop the rope

Have you ever been out at the end of a limb, just about to tie it off with your rigging line when the unimaginable happens... you drop the rope! 

You watch in humility and horror as the line zips over limbs, leaves, up the trunk and right through the block. As soon as it hits the ground, the ranting begins from your ground crew as you sit on your limb in complete embarrassment.

So, how do you keep your butterfingers from letting the rope go next time? 

Try a quick and easy slipknot! If you have your rigging line in your hand, pull out 10 - 30 feet and then tie a slipknot. Let the slipknot go and watch as it loads itself right up against the block. Now you can work without the fear of the rope falling all the way to the ground. 

If you're using a larger diameter rigging line, the weight of the rope can become cumbersome, whether it is pulling on your side or trying to free itself from your grip. 

So by tying the slipknot and loading it against the block, you'll only have the weight of 20 feet of rope pulling against you instead of the 100 feet that is running through the block.

Another quick tip is to always have your ground guys tie a slipknot in the rigging line when they are sending it back up to you. This way, if you are working near your rigging point, the rope will always be hanging waiting for you instead of in the groundies hands trying to flip it to you or in a pile on the ground. Once they get in the habit, you will have a streamlined machine from the ground to the sky!

If you're wondering how to get the slipknot out of the rope or if you've never tied a slipknot, it is a one way locking knot. So, when the rope is pulled in one direction it constricts tighter but when the other side of the rope is pulled, the knot easily comes undone. 

When the limb is ready to be rigged out, all you'll need to do is pull on the piece of rope between the slipknot and the limb. The slipknot will pop out and the rope will then slide through the block, quickly and easily!

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