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Old 04-14-2010   #31
North Bend, Washington
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 476
Great video! That was the river that I just did a WRT class on. The gal in the pink drysuit Chris Jonason is the best instr ever!!!!

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Old 04-19-2010   #32
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 18
Thanks to everyone for putting up your experiences! It is very interesting to hear the many bits of advice from everyone, and to see what worked and what didn't

-Kilo Charlie

"Earn more or want less"
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Old 04-20-2010   #33
whip's Avatar
Salida, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 516
Flipped in Zoraster(Grand) last Sept heavily rigged boat. Inner gorge long stretch sheer walls. Would have been ugly without 4 pulleys, 2 prussigs, a jumar and some rock climbing protection to clip to. Kudo's to Steve Conlin for helping a hypothermic brother out.
No amount of money is worth your free time!
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Old 04-20-2010   #34
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 81
My two cents of this subject, I have never taken a swift water class but have pulled 20-30 boats that have been wrapped ,floor pinned and flipped with close to 2 tons worth of gear on it. The reason I have done so many is because I work for a guild company on clear creek which sees a lot of wraps over the season. I have come to the conclusion one must look the water first before deciding on which way to pull it off. Think of a wrap as a seesaw, if water is pushing down on each side 50/50 than chances are you can pull from either side.If the seesaw is 60/40 than pulling it off from the 60% side makes no sense. One thing to take into consideration is deflating the boat , deflating the boat is 10 times faster than setting up a big z drag, I use deflating the boat 90% of the time because its faster and doesn't pull d rings off the boat, chances are if the boat is 50/50 around a rock deflating one side will make the boat come right off because you are using the power of the water to do the work for you. Having gear on your boat changes everything, but remember pick the right angle , after looking at the picture of the yellow and blue boat they set up their z drag on the wrong angle thus making it harder to pull if off. The Yellow boat should of bleed its floor making the boat less stiff on the rock and they should have worked on the blue because it's keeping the yellow boat pinned on the rock, just remember pure muscle doesn't always win use your brain out there and be safe and just because you have taken a swift water class doesn't mean you're automatically the leader .
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Old 04-21-2010   #35
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 18
Both of these are great! I would love to hear more about whips experience and if they tried some other techniques before using mechanical advantage.

-Kilo Charlie

"Earn more or want less"
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Old 04-22-2010   #36
Denver / Coloma / Monterey, CO / CA
Paddling Since: 1971
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 119
Key KC,

Full Tilt speaks wisely: Just because we have the gear and the knowledge of how to use it doesn't mean it's best to pull it all out and set up a Z drag. I said it earlier but I'll repeat; In my experience it's best to access the situation and see if you can use the rivers force to help you instead of jumping right into mechanical advantage.

Remember, when you add all those ropes and metal bits into the scenario, you are increasing the possibility of someone getting hurt via a snapped rope or pulley, entanglement, etc.

That said, in Whips case the mechanical advantage sounds like it worked quite well. I have righted a flipped commercial oar rig in GC before using muscle power, it just took a lot of muscle. I think we had about 10 folks standing on one edge of the raft, pulling on 3 flip lines and over she came. Everyone ended up in the drink but it was in a big, deep eddy on a warm day so all was fine. In fact it was fun and refreshing. On a cold winter day it would have been a different story.

Again, before hauling out all the gear, see if you can't free the craft via weight shift or deflation first. Remember, the mechanical advantage is putting a lot of force on your expensive boat and can do damage if not done correctly (spreading the force over various points).

Good luck and keep her sunny side up!
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Old 04-22-2010   #37
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,408
one more story on z drags.

some years ago, a bud of mine had a pin in his Prijon long kayak.

It was a solid pin but he was sitting upright and not in immediate danger.

We threw him one rope which he attached to the Prijon and then another and got him to shore. If memory correct he was maybe 50 feet off shore.

We pulled and yanked on the rope with 4 or 5 of us. The rope reached shore but just barely. The boat did not move.

We had about given up and were talking about him walking out and coming back when the water was down to the point we could wade out and free the boat.

Just on a whim as I had not been WW rescue trained, I tied on another throw rope and went up the bank to a hi spot.

I was above the kayak maybe 20 feet up.

Gave one pull on the rope and the kayak popped out.

Proving once again that taking time to discuss options may well give you the easy solution as opposed to jumping directly into mechanical solutions. Each situation is different but in this one the direction of pull was the key to easy extraction.
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Old 04-22-2010   #38
Dipshit with the most.
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Bellevue, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,497
Originally Posted by okieboater View Post
Each situation is different but in this one the direction of pull was the key to easy extraction.

it always is.

it's one thing to unpin paddle boats and kayaks with simple pulls etc. and it's another on a fully loaded oar rig with an over-the-top-tube-with-water pin.

I have seen two of those and the z drag was the only way I could see.

With the last one we set up a z on either end of the boat and just started rocking it. There were only two of us there. I don't think we set a brake on either line. We had it there but just kept rocking and then let the water do the work. Every time we would pull the boat would shudder and move maybe an 1/8th of an inch. But it was moving. To even get to the tube that had the most pressure on it ( to deflate ) would have meant getting three to four feet deep in northern rockies October water.

Know all the tools and when to use them.
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Old 04-22-2010   #39
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 557
For Kayakers, 99% of pins should be resolvable without a Z-drag. The important thing is to pull in different directions. For Rafts, you need to pull in different directions, but often will need the force of a Z-drag. If you are pulling more than 6:1 on a kayak, you are likely to break something or just stretch the hell out of your rope. If you do find a good angle to pull, you can add a vector line to the main hauling rope to get some extra force on it. It's best to anchor and tension the main line when you do this. Also, position the vector line downstream of the scene if possible, because it becomes a handy downstream recovery line for when the swamped boat is freed.

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Old 04-22-2010   #40
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 95
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 2
I've seen a photo of a rope that broke with so much force that the end of the rope went THROUGH someone's leg, no joke. I agree with cooljerk's rule of thumb: no more than 4 people on a 3:1.

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rescue, ropes, swiftwater rescue, wraps, zdrag

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