How long does it take you to tie a running bowline to a limb? How long does it take for your ground man to untie that knot? Do you know of any ways to make this process faster? A webbing sling is pretty easy to flip around a limb and extremely fast to remove, right?
Knotless rigging is becoming more and more popular because of its ease of use and how quick it is to reset and lower again. This super simple setup consists of a rigging line with a spliced eye, a steel carabiner, and a heavy duty sling. It can be used through a natural crotch or a block (though in my opinion, a block is almost always preferred).
The climber can easily girth hitch a tubular sling around the limb being removed. The steel carabiner is then clipped to the webbing sling. The limb is cut and lowered and all the grounds man needs to do is unclip the carabiner, grab the bridge portion of the sling with one hand and lift, the sling will un-girth itself and be set free. The sling is then clipped to the carabiner and sent back to the climber. Another advantage is the rope will never be sent all the way through the block because the carabiner will always catch!
This setup works well for getting all the brush out of a tree and even most of the wood. Tubular slings are rated to 27kN or 6,075lbs which is more than enough for brush. Steel carabiners like the Big Dan, are rated to 50kN or 11,250lbs. All these components can handle the amounts of loads that are generally witnessed in a normal rigging scenario. Obviously a good knowledge of green log weights will help in determining when to switch over to conventional rigging.
This is a great setup to try out and it will easily save you time at the end of the work week. We all know that time is money! Save some for more gear!