Many times when
rigging down limbs and logs, we as climbers can get into situations
where we wished we had a rigging point where one doesn’t exist –
a climber’s limbo. Personally, I’ve had many instances when I
wished I had a rigging point where one doesn’t exist to aid me in
getting material into the only open area around, or so branches
wouldn’t have to swing near me in tight quarters. One rigging
technique I’ve found that has worked very well for this situation
is Span Rigging. Span Rigging consist of using the tree you are in
and another tree to create a rigging point, as well as a slight
mechanical advantage for lifting or moving brush.
Setting Up Span
Let’s start with
the set up. The first thing that needs to be accomplished is the
installation of a block and rigging line in the adjacent tree. One
thing to keep in mind with setting this block is that there will be
an increased load and, in some situations, a side load on this
rigging point. Make sure you choose a substantial rigging point for
Once the adjacent
tree is set and you are in the tree to be rigged down, the rigging
line can be tied to this tree in a high and substantial rigging point
with a running bowline. A bight of this rope can be run down to the
limb you are planning on removing. Next, install something like an
Omni Block Sling on the limb and clip it into the bight of the
rigging line. When the working end of the rope is pulled, it will
create a slight mechanical advantage depending on the angle created
by the legs of rope.
Now when the limb is
cut it will move to the center point or apex between the block and
running bowline. Since the Omni Block is moving along the rigging
line, most times this takes quite a bit, shock out of the system –
if not all of it. If limbs are tip-tied in this setup, they can
easily swing slowly until they are equalized between the two points.
experience, this technique actually decreases the load on the tree
with the running bowline tied to it because there is no block in that
tree to increase the load on the rigging point. The best way to help
illustrate this is to always remember that pulleys and block are
force multipliers when rigging. The running bowline tree sees far
less movement when rigging out logs in this setup as well, which can
be highly beneficial when rigging in compromised trees or dead trees.
As we all know, a good rope guy can be even more beneficial in those
situations as well!
Have you ever used Span Rigging on your jobs? I personally love it because of the reduced load on the tree I'm in and the ability to get wood and brush away from me. I'd like to hear your thoughts on this as well as some of your experiences with it! Shoot us some of your thoughts in the comments below!