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Pat became exhausted and had to be hoisted out.  It was lucky that I had the pieces in my pack at the entrance to the cave to make up a haul system.  I ended up with a 5:1 haul system using a double and two single pulleys, 60 feet of 8 mm rope and two toothed ascenders.  I must say, it worked.  We got Pat out.  However, I should not have used toothed ascenders in the haul system.  These ascenders could have shred the outer rope sheath at 1215 pounds pull (5.4 kn) (see's Technical notice MINI TRAXION (444,777 Ko).  A two foot drop with a fall factor of two would have exceeded that amount.  The alternative to the toothed ascenders was to either use Petzl Rescucenders or triple wrapped double prusik knot loops.  Both the Rescucenders and prusik knot loops will slip when too much force is applied without breaking the rope.  After the event was over, I also found I had another pulley in my pack.  Had I realized it was there during the incident, I could have rigged up a 5:1 haul acted upon by a 3:1 haul resulting in a 15:1 haul system.  That would have been much easier for Rita, Betsy and I to work with, a little slower, but much less exhausting.  I have now purchased two Petzl Rescucenders and have tied matching short and long Prusik knot loops for any future haul problems.

I would like to thank Dano McConnell of the NCRC and Triangle Rescue Group for pointing out improvements to this haul system.

15:1 Haul System Pictures

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Yellow Anchors are wrap 3, pull 2 with a water knot and overhand follow up knot.  The rappel rack provides the resistance of someone being hauled out of a hole for this example.


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Note:  All carabiners should be locking or doubled up, not as shown in these pictures.  I ran out of locking carabiners.  The top right hand portion of this picture shows a triple wrapped prusik hitch acting as a PCD (progress capture device).  The length of this loop should be a little shorter to where the wraps are close up to the pulley.  Midway are tandem triple wrapped prusik loops on the 3:1 haul portion of the 15:1 system.

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The PCD is shown a little better here.  Below is a Petzl Rescucender.  A substitution for this would be double prusik loops or a munter hitch tied off.


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