Author Topic: Pro Traxion things to remember  (Read 3736 times)

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Offline lunchbox

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Pro Traxion things to remember
« on: March 18, 2009, 10:41:18 am »
If you haven't stopped by the Taco lately you may have missed this:
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=808440&tn=80#msg810371

Sad news indeed but its sparked a worth discussion.   Here's a couple of thoughts I've had about proper Pro Traxion setup.

It is possible to partially separate the two sides of a ProTrax with a biner clipped into the bottom two holes. There's a considerable amount of play here, enough to allow the ?gold? side plate to rotate and leave that side of the axle unsupported if the side release button gets depressed.

It is absolutely critical that you rig your Pro Trax so it has the ability to self orient as you haul and lower out your bags.  Unfortunately the rope can jump off the pulley wheel and cause the side plate to fail as you haul.  I?ve watched my rope walk up the side of the pulley wheel and nearly cause failure several times because of the angle I was pulling from. 

Center yourself in front of the Pro Tax and pull straight down!


Offline Paulhauser

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Re: Pro Traxion things to remember
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2009, 11:16:15 am »
I'm using a mini traxion. It does not have a lower "hole" for biners to clip in and I' understand correctly it can happen with this as well that the plates are not aligned properly, as the moving one can be off its place. Though I believe if it is loaded and weighted the biner in its central (and only) hole keeps the plates in place.

This story is frightening, to say the least, in more than one aspect. Gets back my attention on all the small details....

I'm using a static line for hauling but would never jug it if it is hanging only by the mercy of a cam of a device.

P

Offline Garbonzo

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Re: Pro Traxion things to remember
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2009, 12:54:12 pm »
I was heading down the road of moving to a pulley and a Petzl Basic combo, and now I'm sold (as will my pro-trax soon as well).

The case I think of a lot is the first pitch of Leaning Tower.  It's very common to fix to the top of pitch 2 (~180' haul) on day one, bivying at the base.  On day two you lower your partner out with the bags while you clean.  Not everybody does this, but it is a common way to do the tower, and it is easiest to pre-rig the hauler.

The general consensus is sort of be:

1.  Don't jug a line held by a single toothed cam, especially if there is extra load on it.
2.  Prussiks are cheap and light, use one as a backup at the very least.
3.  Leave the hauler threaded, cam NOT engaged, jug on a second knot (leaving a chunk of slack on the other side for later use in hauling) and use a mini-haul to engage it after jugging.  A mini-haul can be as simple as a long sling over a biner down to one of your ascenders just to get 6-12" of rope up to get the rig moving.

Offline lambone

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Re: Pro Traxion things to remember
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2009, 02:59:44 pm »
Aside from this tragic accident...

I'm going to have to agree with Pete that the Kong Block Roll is a better hauling device. It's heavy so you pretty much need to tag it up to the leader, but other then that it is a better design.

My Pro-Trax died after just a few years of use. Somehow the whole thing got all bent out of whack and everytime I pulled the load the pulley would shave off a bunch of aluminum. That and the cam only engaged about half the time. It's in the retired bin now.

Still if you are rapping or jugging the haul line either solo or in a team of three there is no reason not to secure the line with a kleimheist knot muntered to the anchor. It only takes a minute to rig.

healjye posted a good picture, replace the figure 8 with the hauler:

« Last Edit: March 18, 2009, 03:04:07 pm by lambone »

Offline hoipolloi

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Re: Pro Traxion things to remember
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2009, 04:13:46 pm »
I know it was stated on the ST thread, and definitely not to undermine the tragedy, but there was definitely an element of user error (we all make mistakes, we just hope to god they don't kill us).

Did anyone find out what type of ascenders and haul line was being used?  I didn't cruise through the thread since it came up and had ~20 posts.  I am curious what ascenders severed the rope when he fell 15ft as well as if it was a static or dynamic line.

I have read some pretty scary tales of the Kong Block Roll being used in heavy hauls where a similar torking happens with it.  The small piece of aluminum connecting the jumar device to the pully can lever sideways and give some real scary bending, I imagine it could snap causing some scary things to happen.  I am not saying its better or worse, just that it too has drawbacks and weaknesses.  I don't have enough experience to say which is better or worse.

It is good to remember to look for redundancy, its what will save you a lot of times.


Edit:  Could a possible solution to the Protrax having freedom of movement to prevent binding be to  connect your Pro-Trax to a swivel?  Either via a permanent loop of cord through the Pro-Trax and swivel or via carabiner to Swivel?

just curious
« Last Edit: March 18, 2009, 04:56:33 pm by hoipolloi »

Offline Paulhauser

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Re: Pro Traxion things to remember
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2009, 12:12:13 am »
I'd be curious about the ascenders, too. Though I think that falling 15' onto any ascender is a hell of a risk, as they were definitely not designed to hold more than body weight. I think even the non-teeth ones like the Shunt of Petzl would damage the rope because of the violent forces.

Ascenders can be scary enough, a lot of things can go wrong and since it was mentioned here that some uses grigri as a backup, I integrated this in my system as well. But of course no backup knot or grigri saves my ass if one of the ascenders above sever the rope during such a fall....

Offline johnmac

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Re: Pro Traxion things to remember
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2009, 10:46:57 am »
I use a short sling on top of the protrax to ensure that it has the ability to move about without restriction. Backup with a prussik or tie off directly with the rope below the device and then use a mini haul... I generally prefer the later. I've hauled on it a lot and never had an issue with it hauling up to around 100 pounds at a time.

The Kong Roll Block is heavy as hell and I'm not convienced it is the answer to all the issues that are being expressed. I would rather go with a big 3 pulley and a clamp than the KRB. It just doens't look that well made.... Its old technology, and there should be a better device out there. I wish BD put their thinking caps on and designed one.

There seems to be quite a few mitigating factors involved with this accident, with the lack of familiarity of using a protrac being one of the key points. If it was rigged correctly who knows what the outcome would have been...

We assume so much when climbing with partners, even ones that we have done walls with before, that they know every piece of equipment and know how to use it correctly. Likewise for us as well. Often we think we are using a piece of equipment correctly but later find out we weren't. Take a look at clean walls dvd, the protrax is set up incorrectly. Its not a case of competence but rather just plain simple unfamiliarity of the device....

I'm probably ranting a bit but I'm really getting really tire of people blaiming the equipment rather than critically looking at the processes.. End of Rant.


Offline marde

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Re: Pro Traxion things to remember
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2009, 08:13:57 am »
...there is no reason not to secure the line with a kleimheist knot muntered to the anchor. It only takes a minute to rig.
I couldn't agree more.

I did it the same way but without the munter, with the rope tied to the anchor as a backup.
(our hauling slave brought up the hauling device)
When the prussik / klemmheist is long enough its easy to set up the hauling.

Just one question, whatfor do you need the munter mule here?

Offline lambone

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Re: Pro Traxion things to remember
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2009, 10:59:31 am »
The Munter-Mule just facilitates lowering the bag off the kliemheist knot and onto the hauling device. It allows you to keep minimal slack between the Kliemheist and backup knot to the anchor. If you don't have the Munter Mule you need to have enough slack to rig the hauler.

I supose you could do without it and just haul the knot up into the device to release the tension, but I like load release knots because they offer an easy way out incase something doesn't go as planned.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2009, 11:09:59 am by lambone »

Offline johnmac

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Re: Pro Traxion things to remember
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2009, 12:48:04 pm »
Quote
You could do without it and just haul the knot up into the device to release the tension, but I like load release knots because they offer an easy way out incase something doesn't go as planned.

Unquote


Thats the key statement there... it gives  you options!

Offline marde

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Re: Pro Traxion things to remember
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2009, 01:04:58 pm »
thanks lambone, johnmac
looks like a good trick to know the next time.

Maybe I just didn't notice that because I used a fairly long cord for the prussik and some slack,
so I was able to put the hauler inbetween without lowering or hauling over the knot.

Offline lambone

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Re: Pro Traxion things to remember
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2009, 01:38:16 pm »
I use this method rappeling the hauline when I solo walls, so I don't have to rap on a cammed pulley.

Offline lunchbox

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Re: Pro Traxion things to remember
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2009, 07:00:57 pm »
I like load release knots. 

Offline passthepitonspete

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Re: Pro Traxion things to remember
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2009, 09:49:25 pm »
In light of this, anyone who continues to use a ProTrax is both a fool and a cheapskate. 

Or a lawyer.  Petzl ought to pay for manufacturing such a piece of shit.  This is very uncharacteristic of them, as most of their stuff is pretty good. 

I have one Kong available for sale. 
Dr. Piton says, "There is always a Better Way!"

Offline Mike.

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Re: Pro Traxion things to remember
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2009, 12:03:49 pm »
Mountain Works in Provo UT has been the US distrib for Kong for awhile. $125 hookup on Block Rolls. Talk to Adam. Ultra service oriented group. A+
Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

Offline johnmac

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Re: Pro Traxion things to remember
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2009, 01:48:17 pm »
pete,

Every time I look at one of those Kong devices I just think I'm better off using a large pulley and a a jug if I was to haul large loads.

The Kong seems just too heavy to me and I wasn't impressed with the way the jug is attached to the plate... Seemed real old school in the design.

If you have a picture of a new one that you or someone else could post to show how wrong I am that would be great.

Thanks.

john

Offline Rags

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Re: Pro Traxion things to remember
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2009, 12:58:09 am »
So while this topic has come up again, there was some good input back in Feb. 2008

It's worth a read - http://www.bigwalls.com/forum2/index.php?topic=324.0
Be Safe, Live Long, Climb Hard!

Rick

Offline johnmac

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Re: Pro Traxion things to remember
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2009, 09:54:58 am »
What a great link... don't know how I missed that discussion. excellent!