2018 Winter Gear Review
December 2018. Norio Sasaki at Maruichi worksite using the Edelrid ‘Talon’ spur, Silverbull ‘E-Vac Pack’
and Arb-Pro ‘Evo 2’ boots.
Treeworker major injuries will usually be electric, a hit by a falling object or cuts from chainsaws, all of which
are very serious and life threatening. Risk assessing work next to electric lines should be done with advise
from experts. Falling objects are controlled by team building and communication. Chainsaw cuts should be
controlled by the climber having a history of use with ground saws in order to fully understand the movement
and energies of a running chain coupled with a solid understanding of rope work positioning techniques
before they begin to use a chainsaw from a rope and harness. Chainsaw cuts are violent, dirty and life
threatening. Prepare yourselves well, prepare rescue systems well and lastly have adequate emergency
tools to deal as well as you can with an accident.
Trauma Kit - wound dressing/tourniquet/celox
Harness pouch that is designed by Mike Storey specifically for wound dressing and tourniquet. Recent data taken from the Iraq wars show that up to two hours with a tourniquet is not detrimental (please check local emergency services for current best practice). Either way it is always advisable to be prepared for severe cutting injuries. The Israeli style bandage has a built in clip that aids in a secure fit over the wound. It is best to buy a spare as practice strapping it on by yourself while in a harness can be quite a challenge.
Homeostatic agents like CELOX act to quickly clot large wounds, they are available in granular or bagged options. The granular can be difficult and time consuming to clean so the bag type is
recommended and preferred by emergency services.
Designed by Mike Storey to compliment the emergency training workshops at Treekit, the E-Vacpack is a compact and waterproof ruck style bag capable of holding a rescue kit, including compartmented pocket for throw-line. I use it to hold my access rope and for mountain sites it works well carried on front or back. Softwood tree spur removals are best planned with rope stored on the back or harness and the E-Vac’s compact shape is perfect for this. Highly recommended.
Low friction anchors are not just for Dynamic systems, SRT climbers can use the constant low friction for easy retrieving and if the anchor is well enough designed it will flow seamlessly between a number of configurations. Climbers should be allowed an anchor platform transparent enough in the design to allow unconditional setting of system ideas and the Twin Line with Stopper Gate, more than any other available anchor, integrates system ideas for working and rescue on Dynamic and Stationary rope systems. The Rope Guide is a well established Dynamic system anchor and with the Twin Line a rope may be blocked either side of the Cocoon Pulley (recommended Alpine Butterfly) for SRT access or working. When blocking on the Trapeze side the Stopper Gate must be used. The system may be set from the ground by integrating a 10.5mm access line or used in the more common deadeye setting. Again, this flexibility is fantastic and gives the climber a huge amount of choice.
ART’s low friction belay tool for dynamic systems has been updated, please check here for my first review. I am including it in my recommendations as my device has had over six months of use and is still very fun and interesting. Nearly all at Maruichi have been hit by the SJ3 bug so we are seeing investigations into DdRT systems, which is a great thing. Joe Harris talked about and praised the great ergonomics of the SJ3 while he visited Owase’s Tokushubasai Workshop.
A couple of points:
• Do not combine it with a Rope Wrench and use it for SRT work positioning as the design parameters do not allow this. It can be rigged into a safe ascent configuration for SRT, please contact Paul for an explanation.
• The rope must enter the device parallel for the cam to engage which means that the device will not work on wide anchors or in a Side-D Lanyard configuration.
A lightweight dyneema cored sling. Very useful for a number of re-direct configurations.
Snakeanchor and Petzl RIG
Longer version of the Snaketail that is excellent for a trunk anchor if you choose to run a rescuable access system. Easy, simple and convenient anchor which is best paired with Petzl’s RIG (or similar device).Photo
Is there a better mechanical lanyard adjuster? Well, is there??! My Positioner is nearly ten years old and still functions well……perhaps I should check the recommended service life !
Stiffline has been a best seller at Shop K for a while and it is recommended that the Falteimer cube be not folded but stored flat to avoid a memory being held in Stiffline’s plastic core. FTC, who manufacture Stiffline, have their own throw line storage based on the famous Russian Matroshika doll. I have used the original design for a year and will not use anything else now. The throw-line stores easily and when throwing on slopes and heavy wind the Matriosac does not tumble around. It is also easy to use while in the tree. The design has been updated recently with a slight size increase and more robust parts used in the manufacture.
Compact Bulldog Bone
Gordon’s Bone can be updated, with this amazing adjustable top arm, perfect when you have a
variety of rope diameters - it works from 10.5mm - 12mm
The LOV2 is a new ascender/descender/fall arrest device from France. It is the most flexible of these lever style tools because the rope runs through it in a straight line, which means that ascent can be done with Pantin and Knee Ascender. It is has been tested to a European standard and can officially be used by itself on a single line, no back-up needed. If you are using the Twin Line anchor or SRT bottom anchors you can save a lot of unnecessary weight if you go down a rope size to 10.5mm, and the LOV2 is a great tool to pair with it.
The design of these lightweight climbing spurs made of durable steel is oriented at the human leg. The Talon allows a finely graduated setting of the length, the lower binding offers three directional adjusting and avoids pressure points due to its form. That makes the spurs individually adaptable and comfortable. For a better breathability the padding is made of ventilated mesh. The plastic frame is made of recycled Edelrid ropes. All textile parts are easy to remove and wash. Still waiting for an ascender to be produced by Edelrid but until it arrives the Kiwi Klimber ascender may be used with a slight modification, please contact the shop for setting details.
At last a rope designed for SRT and DdRT…and it does both very well. drenaLINE has a parallel core so can be used with toothed ascenders, is soft to knot, has little stretch but enough that it passes the EN1891 standard, has a Slaice termination and as if by magic changes colour when you use it……eh, changes colour??? You should try it to see what I mean!!
Clip n Step, Evo2 and Quick Step are a range of well made boots for tree climbers. They range from approach style softness to mountain style firmness and all designed for use with a SAKA style ascender system. If you fancy a strapless foot ascender the Quick Step offers a plate for you to attach the ascender directly to the boot. I have used the Clip n Step and recommend it for lighter pruning works and the firmer Evo2 for use with spurs.