Reference Suggestions


The following is from Terry Bliss in an email from 20130413 following the April 2013, COPE/Climbing Program Manager course, NCS, Camp Ockinickon, PA. Terry is the Climbing Program Manager (PM) for the Del-Mar-Va council: Hello everyone, thanks for all the valued info and interaction this past weekend. Here are the files and other info I said I would send out: 1) Woods, J., "Typecasting the Vertical Caver" NSS News Aug 2012 14-17. This is all about body shape and weight distribution in the context of harnessing. 2) Hinkle, A., "Vertical Caving and the Curvy Caver", NSS NEws Mar 201316-17. This is specific to female body shapes and balance points in the context of harnessing, including chest harnesses. Worth reading to better understand the unique challenges of the top heavy folks of this world. Amy's videos (also referenced in the article) are worth watching. 3) Pangaea Vertical Caving Systems contact info. Pangaea is a semi-custom harness maker that is heavily used by the VBATS rappelling team, including Amy Hinkle, author of the "Curvy Caver" article. They make a harness with a 3" higher rise which can make all the difference in the world for balance point. I plan to buy one myself very soon. I also plan to add an upper hyperbar with a Hobbs hole on my long rack to give myself a high attachment point to my chest harness for more upright rappelling. 4) Highline Ropes and Accessories contact info. This company is run by Andy "Danger" Harasymczuk, who was one of the original partners at PMI. He returned to his native Canada many years ago, taking one of the rope machines with him. He makes a rope comparable to the PMI Maxiwear or PMI Pit rope (very stiff, but great for high wear apps) and also a softer, more flexible type comparable to PMI EZ Bend. He sells either for $0.40/foot, which is half what you can get it for from anyone else, in white only, 11 mm only. He has no website. Contact him at, or 705-435-4300. He is based in Alliston, Ontario, but he often comes to caving events in the US with a truckload of rope spools. He recently emailed me to let me know he will be passing through in May. He will ship but I usually buy at events to save the cost of shipping. 5) "How Strong Is It?" This is a handout I made to compare the breaking strength of various diameters of ropes, webbing, accessory cords, and metal protection pieces (including bolted hangers). All info is from manufacturer's websites. I decided I much prefer to stick with webbing around huge rocks or large trees rather than use 3 or more pieces of metal protection for a single anchor. Terry Bliss

20140611: Andy "Danger" Harasymczuk (Highline Ropes) confirms he'll manufacture a 600' spool of static rope this week and ship to me. $320USD 20140615: No one was available to belay me yesterday, so didn't get to use cordless sawzall to remove old links from Flying Squirrel. Might have been good thing since I've not completely determined step-by-step process. I've got two 85' lengths of 11mm, some 8mm cord for Prusiks, old water hose (could act as abrasion relief, and suggestions for friction hitches (video is also on YouTube and other sites). Includes demos of Valdetain Tresse, Schwabisch, Distel, Michoacán, and Knut friction hitches. Be sure to check out Blake's hitch, Klemheist, and Prusik. FWIW, the last time I was hanging from the Flying Squirrel wire, I was thankful I knew the Klemheist. A LOT easier to tie and dress when you're in a semi-panic mode (not that I would every be stressed).