Dual Gin Pole System Using A Major Tagline
Day 3 of our annual Rope Rescue Team retreat at Smith Rock State Park in Oregon and Team B is looking for a little revenge on Team 1 for yesterday’s challenge of bringing a tended litter up a vertical face with two nasty overhangs and a sharp nose. They challenge the team to lower a litter, move it horizontally at least 25 feet, and then raise the litter.
Team 1 rises to the challenge and finds an appropriate spot (approved by Team B) with two rock promontories 300 feet above the Crooked River, separated by 170 feet of air. The plan is quickly formed to split the six members present into two teams to construct a major tagline (thanks, Pat Rhodes) between two monopods (thanks, Richard Delaney). Given the lack of natural anchors, nearly every anchor had to be constructed with a variety of artificial rock pro (cams, nuts, tricams and pitons). The Terradaptor monopods were stabilized with multiple legs built using adjustable Voodoo hitches.
The major tagline was rigged with two opposing twin tensioned systems through MPDs and tied into a steel ring at the litter bridle. The major tagline works
similar to a highline, except that the litter is suspended between the opposing systems, rather than on a tensioned trackline. The system works by having one side haul in sync with the other side’s lowering to move the litter across the space. By varying the speed of each side’s movement, the leader can vary the litter’s height, speed and position, making this an extremely useful technique.
This is really a great exercise for a team, since there are only 2 people that can see the litter. Everyone else was a bit removed by the terrain. The leader needs to be very specific in their instructions to the two teams, and the team members need to trust their lead and execute as directed.
There was one moment of excitement when a piton on one of the anchors pulled loose. It was holding one leg of a quad anchor, so there was a few inches of extension and minimal effect on the system. Operations were halted and the team used an AZTEK kit to pull the leg back into position and clip it into a new piece of pro. Though unexpected, it was a good reminder of why we build redundant anchors with minimal extension.
A great scenario in a great location to wrap up three great days of training.