Insights Into Gear: English Reeve System Control Side

Written By: Mark Pfeifer

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Thank you Mark Pfeifer of Ronin Safety and Rescue...

In this video, we are looking at the control side of an English Reeve.  The video shows four control descent devices and our riggers putting them into use to both have tension, the tension line and to be operating the English Reeve system.

Now starting from the tree on the left of your screen, you’ll notice that we’ve deemed this tree to be bomber. From there we’ve used two slings with two carabiners into a rig plate. For us, we consider this to be a redundant system.  If we’ve got a bomber anchor, which we do, and we have redundant system with the two slings and the two biners, we are happy rigging all of our control descent devices to that rig plate.

Starting from the top, we’ve got a Petzl Rig, then we’ve got a (Climbing Technology) Sparrow, from there we’ve got an CMC MPD and on the bottom we’ve got a Grigri Plus.  The Rig and the Sparrow are being used to tighten the control lines, simply with a three-to-one and capture devices. We’ve also got a catastrophe knot tied into the end should something occur.

Our reeves lines are being controlled by the MPD and the Grigri Plus. We’ve purposely used these devices in order to show the range of devices that are available. These devices are all panic stop. They will all pass a whistle test. They are all bi-directional devices. And they are all certified with 11 millimeter rope.

From here, we’ve now changed over, put a three-to-one onto the MPD. We’ll be hauling up on one of the reeve lines and simply using the Grigri as a belay, which it is intended to use in order to raise the rescuer and/or the patient up and out of the space.

Petzl Rig: Ease of use:- easy rope installation, thanks to the rope guide and markings- ergonomic handle allows the rope to be released and enables convenient control of the descent- two possible descent modes: on the side plate or in the V-shaped friction channel- AUTO-LOCK system allows users to easily position themselves at the work station without having to manipulate the handle or tie off the device: as soon as the user releases the handle, the rope is automatically locked in the device The automatic return system on the handle limits the risk of the device getting accidentally snagged- once blocked, the rope can be taken up without having to manipulate the handle, allowing for easy short ascents, for example (by adding a FOOTAPE or FOOTCORD foot loop and an ASCENSION handled rope clamp)- cam can be manipulated for taking up slack easily or for belaying a lead using climbing techniques- safety gate on the moving side plate allows the rope to be installed while the device remains connected to the harness, facilitating the passage of intermediate anchors- handle automatically switches to storage position when the rope is removed from the device, reducing the risk of accidental snagging when the descender is carried on the harness

CMC MPD: This patented multi purpose device features a high-efficiency pulley with a built-in rope grabbing mechanism that allows the device to be used not only as a variable friction descent/lowering-control device on the main line of a belay system, but with a few simple steps, can be turned into a powerful ratcheting raising system without a hardware change. The MPD offers a becket for cleaner more efficient rigging, the main line and belay line to be mirrored or twin-tensioned, and can function as a lowering brake.  This multi-use hardware allows for a valuable decrease in rescue time and simplifies the systems needed in a rescue or rigging scenario. The CMC MPD is a UL Classified pulley, descent control device and belay device. This device also includes a padded Cordura Nylon storage bag and users manual. The CMC MPD comes in two rope sizes a 13 mm version and a 11 mm version. The 13 mm version is designed to be used with 12.5 -13 mmm rope and is NFPA “General Use” for both Pulley/Belay and Descent Control. The 11 mm version is rated “Technical Use” in descent control and “General Use” in Pulley/Belay systems. The MPD weighs 2 lb 10 oz (1.2 kg) and Pulley rating of 3 sigma MBS 44kn (9,891 lbs) while as a Descent Control Device the 13 mm is rated 23 kn (5,170 lbf) and the 11 mm is rated 20 kn (4,496 lbf). The 11 mm comes in Slate and the 13 mm comes in Red.

Petzl GRIGRI 2: is a camming belay device. Equally well suited to lead climbing and top-roping, this device will accommodate most 8.9mm up to 11mm ropes. Compact and ultra-light, the GRIGRI comes complete with safe loading diagrams on the side of the device. The extendable control lever allows for easy lowering when used in conjunction with proper break hand technique. The cam and friction plate are made from stainless steel to ensure longevity of the device.

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