Thursday, July 23, 2009

Rope Access: the tool comparison

In the name of comedy, two pictures. First, this is the collection of tools I need to repair the leaks in the Artsgarden dome:

Tools for the repair work by you.

And, this is the collection of tools I need to get to where I need to do the repairs:

Tools for getting to the repairs by you.

None of this is optional; I'll use every piece of this before I'm done. The total weight is close to fifty pounds, not counting the tools in the first picture. And, this isn't a complete picture. I'm missing my suction cups, the kind glass installers use. And, for some places on the dome, I'll need an extra rope. The orange one is the safety line, the red dynamic line is my working line, and I'll need an extra positioning line for about a quarter of the repairs. That is, the orange one will (theoretically) never hold any weight. The red one holds me up, and the third rope will pull me sideways into position.


Dan Long said...

You use dynamic rope for your working line? That's not normal. Reason?

Jeff Mountjoy said...

I'm not planning on shock-loading it ever, if that's what you're asking. :-)

It's entirely personal preference; I like the way it feels, and I like that bit of give it has. And it's more flexible than static, which makes tying knots easier and quicker, and also makes it easier to tie off the descender if I need to.

The rope I'm using is also only 10.5mm, so it's lighter than 11mm or 12mm rope. It's still rated for the appropriate weight; it's also sized well for my descender and ascenders.

One of the worries of dynamic is that it's more prone to abrasion over rough edges; that is, the stretch can give it a sawing action. Edge protection is important. I use old 1" tubular webbing; I've got lots of old webbing I've retired, but which is still fine for non-load-bearing use like this.