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Old 02-09-2016   #21
NIMBY, Oregon
Paddling Since: Womb
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 97
Originally Posted by zcollier View Post
Not all d-ring are worthless.

Getting back to the original discussion - I like weaker prussics. I want the prussic to fail before something more dangerous fails. Since we're not out there with load testing equipment we don't know the actual loads in the system so I prefer to know what the weakest part of the system is and that if it fails it will do so in a fairly safe way.

- If one d-ring pops and you have a self equalizing system then the gear won't fly back at you and therefore still safe.
FYI, I am really enjoying this discussion Zach. It has been a while since I've used any of this and it is jogging a lot of old memories. Obviously it all depends on the situation... but I have never had more than 4 people available to haul on a line. Space being the major problem. Given 10 people, I would still only have 6 pull. This will keep me well within the limits of my equipment.

I agree, some D-rings are awesome and much better than others, but I just don't trust them when I have a tube to wrap around.

I started using 4000lb tech cord for a reason; an old WRT instructor showed me his math, and the tech cord increased the systems capabilities x2 while still keeping things safe if all other variables remained constant. The prusik(just remembered how to spell it) is still the weak point if wrap3pull2 is used. It's just twice as strong as regular dynamic line and will prevent premature failure that a typical prusik would have long before.

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Old 02-09-2016   #22
mattman's Avatar
Fraser, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,046
No teeth on the grigri kayakfrekus, I haven't found them to be the most reliable, think i'd feel better with the prussic, and would be lighter to carry.
Heavyswimmer, sounds like we agree on not over loading the system. Will have to look at some stronger prussic to compare to the rest of my wrap kit, could be good to add strength to the system at the prussic, if it still lets you keep your fail point where you want it.

Ya, definitely good to get the brain working on z-drags again!

" I wish I were a headlight, on a North bound train..."
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Old 02-10-2016   #23
Hood River, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 60

Yes, this is a great discussion. The more we share ideas and talk about this stuff the better. It's nice to have new tools in our tool chest and hear about other's experiences.

A few comments/opinions:

- I've been on a few wraps where we've had 10 people pulling. I've found that any more than 6 people is a disaster. 6 people is marginal. It really depends on who they are and what the terrain is like.

- I'm not a fan of anchoring to raft frames or around tubes because they have too much give. I prefer d-rings since the have a direct connection to the boat. If you move the d-ring the boat is going to move. The times I've wrapped around tubes (or attached to frames) there has been too much give in the system. It's hard to explain in words but personally I've had bad luck with that method of anchoring.

- I don't think (again my opinion) that the system needs to be twice as strong. Once 6 people are pulling at max efficiency the system is within safety limits. I really like knowing what part of the system will most likely fail.

I think it's really important that everyone have the same set of basic knowledge and more or less the same set of gear. If one person has some fancy gear or new technique the rest of the group is unaware of that can cause problems. Rescues are team events so I'm a huge proponent of standard equipment in all shared kits and standard techniques that everyone uses.

I have a small kit with that fancy Petzyl micro traxion and a few other goodies that I only bring on small trips with experienced guides/paddlers who know how to use them. Most of the time I bring a pretty standard set of equipment and use techniques taught in standard swiftwater rescue classes.

There are some great techniques and equipment out there but unless everyone is on the same page they can typically cause problems.
Zachary Collier
Northwest Rafting Company
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Old 02-10-2016   #24
Hood River, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 60
Here's a list of what we bring in our outfitter kits:

Safety Kits: A Handy Checklist - Northwest Rafting Company
Zachary Collier
Northwest Rafting Company
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Old 03-25-2016   #25
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 9
Does anyone have any experience with or thoughts about this pulley from Camp USA?

Camp USA Naiad Pro Mobile Pulley - at

Seems like it might be useful for a Telfer lower.
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Old 05-29-2016   #26
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,931
What do people think about using a polyester 9mm static rope for a rescue kit? I have some and its tempting to use instead of paying for a whole new 150' section. I would obviously need to match my prusiks and pulleys to that size as well. It has a 4500 lb breaking strength which is lower than most of the prepackaged kits I see on rafting sites.

As an added nuance, is being considered for a upcoming rafting trip on the Yampa for which we will only have 3-4 people to help with rescue situations. (It seems like the water will be putting more force on the system than any of us could manage)

Thanks in advance. Its been a while since I have had to reassemble a rescue kit as others have them on most of our river trips.

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Old 05-30-2016   #27
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 114
The thicker the rope, the easier it is to pull. A 9mm rope is getting pretty small.
I am using 7/16 static, rope, that's about 11.1 mm if my math is correct, may not seem like much, try hanging some from a tree and then hanging on it and see if it makes much difference. Or tie it to something heavy and pull it a ways and see what you think.
Small is good if you've always got it, a z-drag in a boat that's stuck that no one can get to serves no purpose. Get something that works and learn how to use it is what I am still doing.
I must say thank you to the contributors on the thread, I've learned quite a bit and am practicing things so if I need it, I'm not learning it then.
Thank you,
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Old 05-30-2016   #28
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,931
We decided to just rent one from the shuttle company. I can't afford to spend the $200-$300 for a new system so $35 seemed like a healthy choice for a better rope and all the other components.

Going to set up a practice system on our local pond. I have all of the rigging training from my canyoneering cert. but I need a refresher. Plus it will be helpful to have my wife practice so she knows the sequence of events, etc.

Agree on the contributors to this thread. Thanks for sharing all of the ideas and knowledge.

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Old 05-30-2016   #29
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 728
I wonder if requiring a Z-Drag in Dinosaur is the best idea. My guess is that most folks are not adept at using one, and this requirement may actually do as much harm as good when inexperienced users feel compelled to give it a go.

I learned the system in a SRT course back in the day, but without ever having to use one nor rehearse setting one up on a regular basis, I'm a little out (okay way out) of practice. I'd also guess I'm not in the minority here, and it seems like NPS could be setting themselves up for just as much trouble as they think they may be avoiding with this requirement.

Nothing like coming around a corner in high/fast water to a shit show with boat(s) and ropes blocking and spanning broad sections of river.

Where else is the Z-Drag required equipment?
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Old 05-30-2016   #30
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,931
That line of questioning is fair. I am not aware of any other river that requires one but my memory has been lackluster this season.

I know I will be hesitant to deploy a mechanical advantage across an open stretch of water. I have tremendous respect for rope in water. I never took a swiftwater class but my guide cert. spent a lot of time using such techniques for Class C canyons and rescue scenarios. Loose or taut rope in technical water is inherently dangerous.

I like to have the tools but prefer to use others first (and second).

Not sure why the Dino NPS takes this particular stance. Each of the NPS units is noticeably different in how it approaches gear and skill requirements in technical environments.


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