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Caution Notice for Rope Wrench users

Richard Tregoweth - Friday, June 29, 2012

Note the reference to the Figure 8 when climbing SRT - Treetools couldn't agree more!

All the controversy surrounding the Rope Wrench has certainly achieved one thing; users are constantly on the look out for 'red flags' otherwise known as safety concerns.

Marc Powell published his bent Rope Wrench experience last week and earlier this week Gibson Tree Services uploaded a video devoted to the importance of managing your Rope Wrench friction hitch.

The Gibson video is titled "Tight Hitches, Bitches!" and this sets the tone for viewers - check out the international use of Donaghys Armor-Prus friction cord, soft and pliable, perfect for the job.

Treetools has noted another caution; be very careful with the Rope Wrench tether. Anecdotal evidence suggests even small adjustments can effect its performance.

Among other things Rope Wrench designer Kevin Bingham says the following about the tether in the first issue of Arb Climber.

"The length of the tether should be long enough to allow the wrench full motion and not interfere with the friction hitch.

Make sure the tether does not snag on branches or become entangled in the Rope Wrench itself".

If the tether is not precisely configured it can definitely tangle with the wrench.

Entanglement can cause the wrench to invert and drive down onto the hitch sending the climber groundward - in a hurry.

Unlike DbRT the 1:1 ratio of single rope means no amount of pulling upward on the tail of the climbing line can halt the downward slide.

A new Rope Wrench comes with a short knotted tether but many climbers exchange this for an aftermarket option or construct their own - you can see an example in the Gibson video below.

Treetools offer a Rope Wrench quick release tether designed to cinch down tightly on the trialing bolt of the wrench and is short (and stiff) enough to reduce the chance of entanglement.

We advise customers to be very careful with their choice of tether - the 'Not for Primary Life Support' moniker on the Rope Wrench can lull you into a false sense of security.

Whatever you do make sure the tether configuration cannot invert the wrench under any circumstances… or you might be in for a surprise.

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