How many climbers out there are hesitant to start climbing SRT? SRT work positioning (Rope Wrench, Rope Runner, Unicender, etc.) hasn’t been around all that long so I can see why you could be a bit leery about it but SRT ascending has been around for a LONG time and it is well worth it for you to give it a go!
A really easy way to get past the hesitation of SRT work positioning is to use a technique called Single up, Double Down. This is a very simple setup that allows you the efficiency of SRT ascent while still using your traditional DdRT climbing system to work the tree. Ascending SRT has shown to be far more efficient because you are using large muscle groups like your legs to ascend the tree instead of relying on your arms and back muscles to thrust yourself up into the tree.
I prefer to set my rope in my ideal tie in point and then simply tie a running bowline WITH a Yosemite backup. If you are using a bowline or running bowline for life support, it must have a backup or stopper knot tied in the tail. Bowlines have the ability to open up and untie when loaded and unloaded. I tie my running Yosemite Bowline with the spliced end of my rope and pull it up into the tree and to my tie in point. Now I have an SRT access line in the tree and I can attach my climbing system. I usually use a 4 coil Distel hitch attached to the Hitchclimber pulley. I clip into the Hitchclimber and then attach my chest harness to the center hole of pulley. I can then hook up whatever ascent system I choose to use. (Be sure to carry a figure eight like the Petzl Huit or other descent device while ascending up into the tree on just a friction hitch.)
At this point I can use something like a Rope Walker System that I can quickly climb the rope with my legs all the way to my tie in point. Usually I would lanyard in, untie the bowline, set my Pulley Saver and then tie into it with the spliced end of my rope. I could then work the tree however I feel fit on a system that I am more comfortable with instead of having to ascend and work the tree SRT.
Just by utilizing the Single Up, Double Down method will surely knock some time off of your climbing. Anything is faster and easier than body thrusting into a tree and I highly recommend you try this method out low and slow first then start bringing it into your everyday work practices.
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