Can't Hit that Throwline Shot? Try This!
Have you ever faced the problem where you keep on throwing that throw weight, but you can’t seem to get that union that’s in your sight?! For some reason it seems as if the stem of the tree keeps getting in the way of your perfect shot! This is a constant battle for me too. I have developed my own technique for getting over bad throws, but it only works when using a Moving Rope System (MRS).
First piece of advice: shoot just a tad bit lower. It's okay to change your target! Don't be stubborn! Back before I made using throwline an essential for me, I would work my way up the tree. Inspecting every nook and cranny along my way up to my tie-in point. This is the super traditional method and is still practiced by many. Here's how I used to make my way up to my tie-in point.
Some of you may be familiar with where this method came from. If you are still working your way through a Closed Blake’s system, this may be somewhat cumbersome for you to apply, but knowledge is power. You need to know how to tie a Monkey Fist, Open or Closed Gasket Hitch knot, which you can find in Jeff Jepson’s Knots at Work book.
So, you shot low and now you have reached your tie in point. Next, lanyard in and untie that full closed system (this easier said than done). Follow that by tying a monkey fist knot and throwing it into a higher union. (See the video below.) Work that down, re-tie your system and repeat until you get to that higher tie-in. Sounds like a ton of work, right!? It is! But there is a simpler way.
To simplify the process you’ll need to be working with an open system. Wondering what makes a climbing system open? When you add carabiners into your climbing system giving you the ability to open it up, disconnect and re-connect, this is referred to as “an open system”.
In addition to your Hitch Climber System, you will need a mini carabiner and an 8oz throw weight. Repeat the same steps as before: climb up until you reach your point. But now, instead of untying anything, lanyard in and attach the mini carabiner with the throw weight onto the spliced eye of your rope. Use that weighted carabiner to throw the rope up to the next union. The video below demonstrates this technique. This may be much simpler than trying to untie a full closed system while aloft.
It's these easy little tricks like that captivate me the most! What’s your preferred way to ascend to that perfect tie-in-point? Let us know in the comments! Safe climbing, and cheers!