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TOPIC: SRT kits

SRT kits 5 years 7 months ago #4854

  • timwatts
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I know there are a few new members thinking of getting SRT kits......

Kit setup is a very personal thing but if its helps here are my thoughts. I buy most of my gear from Starless River, Very nice to deal with and 99% of the time i don't find kit cheaper anywhere else....

Harness
"MTDE Amazonia sit harness"www.starlessriver.com/shop/harnesses_bel...amazonia_sit_harness they are a few quid more expensive than cheaper ones but in my Opinion WELL worth the extra cost - VERY comfortable. I'm happy to hang in this all day long and having gone down and rigged Titan twice, once in a normal harness and once in one of these i can't sing the praises enough for this bit of kit. Perfect balance between comfort when hanging and low bulk and ease of movement when crawling about.

Chest Harness
Amended Jan 2013: I got myself a www.starlessriver.com/shop/harnesses_bel..._torse_chest_harness a few months ago and have never looked back. What i find really good is that they hold the back of your harness up which is great when walking around when you have loads of rigging gear etc handing off you. They are also really easy to tighten and loosen during the trip. i.e. pull it up tight for ascending and then loosen off for walking/crawling and descending.

D ring
This is the central point of the harness and critical bits of kit. The tradition is for one of these 'Half Circle maillon 10mm, steel - www.starlessriver.com/shop/harnesses_bel...e_maillon_10mm_steel ' which are cheap, and very very strong. But they can be fiddly to tighten up and remove when you have tired and cold fingers. I use one of these instead but they are a bit more expensive. Very easy to 'intentially' remove and put on with cold fingers etc! www.starlessriver.com/shop/karabiners_et...ka_harness_karabiner

Descender
I use a Petzl Stop, a Petzl I.D. and a simple Fig of 8. If i was buying a single bit of kit i'd go for the Petzl Stop (Good balance beween bulk, performance on muddly ropes, simple to operate and safety). www.starlessriver.com/shop/descenders/petzl_stop_descender
you'll need a carabiner to attach it with, something like www.starlessriver.com/shop/karabiners_et...axxis_oval_screwgate will do fine. Buy at least three. One for your decender, one for your hand jammer/footloop/safety and a third one for general use, hanging you kitbag off your harness while SRT'ing etc.

'Hand' Jammer
Personally I use a Petzl Ascension www.starlessriver.com/shop/ascenders/petzl_ascension but in actual fact a petzl basic www.starlessriver.com/shop/ascenders/petzl_basic_ascender does the same job and doesn't have the bulky handle getting in the way when you're crawling through the mud. For this reason, next time I buy one it will be a Petzl Basic ascender - which is also £4 cheaper! Remember that there need to be a length of rope between your hand jammer and your D ring that you NEVER remove. Tied similar to cowstails. The intergrated footloop shown below has this safety line intergrated into the footloop itself so will kill two birds with one stone and is neat/tidy and less bulky.

Chest Jammer
Not much to say here other than to buy a Petzl Croll. www.starlessriver.com/shop/ascenders/petzl_croll_ascender

Foot Loop
you can spend (and waste) a lot of money on foot loops. I'd suggest that for a hardwearing solution that this is your best bet. A 4 or 5" piece of garden hose pipe added to to foot loop part does a nice job of holding it in a 'loop' to make it very easy to get your foot in! www.starlessriver.com/shop/cowstails_foo...ated_footloop_safety

Cowstails
These can be tied yourself from Dynamic climbing rope but chances are you haven't got any of that kicking around so luckily enough you can buy them ready made. Basically a short bit of rope with three knots and two Karabiners. Its the Karabiners i want to talk about. In north wales we have plenty of mud about and I've found that wiregate karabiners are MUCH less prone to clogging up with mud than anything else and for this reason i now only use wiregates. They are just as strong as any other type. Mine are DMM wiregates but Tony at Starless river does a very similar set-up here - it happens to be his budget version but in my opinion is the setup best suited to North Wales use! www.starlessriver.com/shop/cowstails_foo.../cowstail_set_budget

That should be everything you need!

One last word of caution. Many places (Starless river included) sell cheap non rated Karabiners for hanging kit bags, etc etc. They quite rightly come with warnings that they are not to be used for 'critical' load bearing. In my opinion, steer completely clear of them. Firstly someone might pick one up to use it without realising. Secondly if you're going to lug a bit of kit around why not make it a bit of kit that is strong enough for use in the event of an emergency rescue, or use in case you drop other gear etc.

On that topic it might be worth your while ordering a short length of 8mm cord to make a 'donkeys dick'. This is basicly something you tie to your kit bag to form a longish rope loop to either allow you to hang your kit bag down below your feet when SRT'ing or drag your kit bag behind you when crawling along. Ordering a couple of meters of cord would be plenty enough.

To Sum up, heres what 'I' would buy if starting from scratch.

Harness
MTDE Amazonia sit Harness £61
www.starlessriver.com/shop/harnesses_bel...amazonia_sit_harness

Chest Harness
Petzl torse chest harness £16
www.starlessriver.com/shop/harnesses_bel..._torse_chest_harness

D-ring
Cordes Courant Moka harness karabiner £19.00
www.starlessriver.com/shop/karabiners_et...ka_harness_karabiner

Descender
Petzl Stop descender £65.00
www.starlessriver.com/shop/descenders/petzl_stop_descender

Karabiners
Cordes Courant Axxis Oval Screwgate - Buy 3 of these for 3x£9.00 = £27 www.starlessriver.com/shop/karabiners_et...axxis_oval_screwgate

'Hand' Jammer
Petzl Basic £35
www.starlessriver.com/shop/ascenders/petzl_basic_ascender

Chest Jammer
Petzl Croll £32
www.starlessriver.com/shop/ascenders/petzl_croll_ascender

Foot Loop
Integrated Footloop / Safety, 8mm static rope £5
www.starlessriver.com/shop/cowstails_foo...ated_footloop_safety

Cowstails
Cowstail Set, budget £12
www.starlessriver.com/shop/cowstails_foo.../cowstail_set_budget


Which according to me gets you the ultimate kit (i repeat that its just my opinion!) for a grand total of £271.00

I know this seems a bit more than the budget offerings for around £200 for a complete kit but having had a look at them i suspect you may be frustrated when a few months down the road you want to upgrade some of the kit and you end up buying things twice.

I expect that if a few people wanted to do a block order Tony Seddon (starless river) might offer some kind of discount or at very least it would get postage cheaper if a combined order?
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Last Edit: 4 years 8 months ago by timwatts.
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SRT kits 5 years 7 months ago #4859

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I've been having a chat with Tony Seddon from Starless river to ask if he could provide any discount on SRT kits if we as a club made a block booking. I suggest that maybe a block order of 3 sets might be realistic to which he agreed. The details of these are below along with the prices. Assume zero postage. As mentioned this is based on 3 sets, with more discount available with increased numbers......


1. THIS IS A BUDGET VERSION OF MY SUGGESTED IDEAL SRT KIT. Perfectly adequate for getting started, and comfortable enough for short SRT trips.

Its basicly Starless rivers basic SRT kit but upgraded to a Petzl Stop and with some additional leg loop protectors.

This comprises:

MTDE Club harness
Thigh Protect legloop protectors
Lyon 3m tape chest harness
Croll
Basic
Stop
integrated footloop and safety cord
10mm cowstails
Sprint wiregate snaplinks (pair)
Axxis oval alloy screwgates (pair)
Faders oval steel snaplink braking krab
10mm steel half round maillon

Total £215.00

2. THIS OPTION IS AS PER MY IDEAL KIT LIST IN ABOVE POST) An advanced kit, adding a more comfortable harness and easy to use central harness closure (a must in my opinion for those times with cold fingers!, adding an oval screwgate but removing the steel braking krab.

This comprises:

MTDE Amazonia harness
Lyon 3m tape chest harness
Croll
Basic
Stop
integrated footloop and safety cord
10mm cowstails
Sprint wiregate snaplinks (pair)
Axxis alloy screwgates (three)
Moka harness triact krab

Total £262.00
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Last Edit: 5 years 7 months ago by timwatts.
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SRT kits 4 years 8 months ago #12719

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NB: Top (original) post amended to reflect my latest 'must have' recommendation regarding chest harness.

As said, it really is just my recommendation based on my own kit and experiences so take it or leave it :-)
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SRT kits 4 years 8 months ago #12725

  • j0nas
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Not a bad list for a basic kit... However I do prefer the Anthron DSD 30 in place of a stop.

Then again I use 10-11mm ropes
Last Edit: 4 years 8 months ago by j0nas.
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SRT kits 4 years 8 months ago #12727

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j0nas wrote:
Not a bad list for a basic kit... However I do prefer the Anthron DSD 30 in place of a stop.

Then again I use 10-11mm ropes


I absolutely love the Anthron on clean ropes, but on muddy or stiff ropes, (pretty much anything in-situ), it's evil and wants to kill you via suspension trauma. I ended up bouncing down the rope in Moel Fferna, and TurboSteve, well, I'll let him tell You. Suffice to say he's not a fan either.

I bring it out for a run sometimes if I'm hanging around for fun, on nice, clean, Marlowe 10.5, but I make sure I have other means of descent on me as well.
You want me to go down *there*? On a bloody *rope*?
Last Edit: 4 years 8 months ago by NewStuff.
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SRT kits 4 years 8 months ago #12729

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You see the anthron can cope well on muddy ropes if it's rigged as a single stop.. You an see a great image of one rigged that way in this document (Page 5)
Last Edit: 4 years 8 months ago by j0nas.
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SRT kits 4 years 8 months ago #12731

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Indeed it can, and I've used it as such (and been frowned at for doing so). I couldn't at that point, be bothered going 3 rounds of arguments with the person, so I just shut up, and bounced down the bloody rope.

I have played with it in Single a lot on practice, but not really on muddy stuff, if It works as well as the stop, I would probably switch back. I'll have to try it.
You want me to go down *there*? On a bloody *rope*?
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SRT kits 4 years 8 months ago #12732

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One thing I will say is watch it on single as you won't have to find the bight to start moving
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SRT kits 4 years 8 months ago #12733

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It's the age old argument, but it's horses for courses!

i have an anthron, a stop and an ID, givin the choice i'll use a fig8, but they are frowned upon by fellow cavers, so i just use the stop. Allways have an 8 with me though, it has got me out of a shitty situation more than once where old ropes wont pass through the stop.

and for the sake of £5 which is what a fig8 costs, i think everyone should carry one and know how to use it, it's such a usefull bit of kit.
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SRT kits 4 years 8 months ago #12735

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Indeed a fig is useful but I wouldn't trust one for a lengthy descent.. Let go or slip and your as good as dead..
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SRT kits 4 years 8 months ago #12738

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no more than with any other device, if you are using it properly you'll use a prusik with it. But as i say, i mainly use a stop, just cos they are small, easy to thread and people dont look at you like you have 2 heads when you get on the rope with one.
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SRT kits 4 years 8 months ago #12746

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Indeed I use a stop when I'm with those who like to think they know best and with rescue
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SRT kits 4 years 8 months ago #12762

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Mad-Dan wrote:
and for the sake of £5 which is what a fig8 costs, i think everyone should carry one and know how to use it, it's such a usefull bit of kit.

I'll agree. I always have a Fig8 hanging off the gear loop with it's own krab.
You want me to go down *there*? On a bloody *rope*?
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SRT kits 4 years 8 months ago #12766

OK - now comes my opinion :

sit / SRT harnesses for club kit - a high prioroty should be " ease of adjustment " - i hate adjusing my harness - but have to as i have 4 " confugurations " of undesuits - for various wet / cold / long trip options ,

people in baddly fitted / ill adjusted harnesses - are simply being " task loaded harder " by having an incorrectly adjusted harness - this is worse for novices as they are already on a steep learning curve

plus - if a harness is incorrectly adjusted - it increases the risk of injury in a fall

i dont know what the adjustment characteristics of most harnesses are - but - the singing rock digger - reputedly becomes an adjustment nightmare after 12 months use

if you are using kits as loans / novice training - you need to know that it can be easily adjusted for the next victim


anthron descenders : they are a good bit of kit - and have thier uses - esp for novices - as they cannot plumet usng one - they will desend at a safe rate - or stop dead if they have an episode - and from thier can either self recover and proced or be assisted

antron descenders have [ IMHO ] one major flaw - thier " mode " of taking out slack @ a pitch head - they simply cannot feed rope "up " , the friction up is grater than the friction dowen

the only way to feed an anthron up rope is to pull out a bigh and draw it through - that creates a oportunity to get your finger in the loop - and if you fall mid manouvere - say good-bye to your finger

try this on a free hang rebelay - i struggle with them using a stop - i would never use an anthron

but novices should not be introduced to free hang rebelays while they still need the saftey features of the antron


fig-8 descenders : NO NO FOOK NO !!!!!!!! - they put a twist in the rope , they can be replaced by a steeel HMS and munter [ it nothing else is availiable ] , on dirty muddy riopes - a alloy fig -8 will be scrap after 150m of descent

[ for the above assertion - i have seen a petzl pirahna that was scrap after one trip

i use a steel HMS or pear mailion - with a munter - and i can tie off with a mule

why do i need a fig 8 ? - it puts a snigle twist in the rpe - just as a munter - but requires another peice of metalwork
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SRT kits 4 years 3 months ago #18252

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I've pretty much gone with Tim's list and ordered my SRT kit. I've gone for the follwing:-

1 x Petzl Stop descender
3 x Cordes Courant Axxis Oval Screwgate
1 x Cordes Courant Moka harness karabiner
1 x Petzl Torse
1 x MTDE Amazonia sit harness
1 x Petzl Basic 2013
1 x Petzl Croll 2013
1 x Integrated Footloop / Safety, 8mm static rope
1 x Cowstail Set, advanced
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Last Edit: 4 years 3 months ago by WelshSossy.
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SRT kits 4 years 3 months ago #18269

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Gone for the Picos harness as Amazonia's out of stock. Have to say The quality of service is fantastic. Tony Seddon provides great communication (even at 11pn). Thx for the recommendation Tim.
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SRT kits 4 years 3 months ago #18280

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yer to be fair he's a top fella to deal with. I've always been totally blown away by his customer service and his prices are always right too.
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SRT kits 4 years 3 months ago #18281

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from above - r.e. fig 8. I've got several and have used them often enough in certain circumstances but other than wearing themselves out at an alarming rate on muddy/gritty ropes and getting stupidly hot (melting sheaths) on long descents, the other major issue with them is that they twist the rope like crazy right the way along its length which it a major headache and is in my opinion the biggest reason they are frowned upon for srt - particularly where the rope is tied into a rebelay etc below the decent making the twist that much more of an issue.
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SRT kits 4 years 3 months ago #18283

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timwatts wrote:
from above - r.e. fig 8. I've got several and have used them often enough in certain circumstances but other than wearing themselves out at an alarming rate on muddy/gritty ropes and getting stupidly hot (melting sheaths) on long descents, the other major issue with them is that they twist the rope like crazy right the way along its length which it a major headache and is in my opinion the biggest reason they are frowned upon for srt - particularly where the rope is tied into a rebelay etc below the decent making the twist that much more of an issue.

its more of an issue than peeps think . if your on a 50 metre pitch to a re-belay, by the time you get with-in 2 metre's of the re-belay the rope will be that twisted you would be hard pushed to reach the re-belay, you would have to push the rope through the 8to try and get rid of the twist.
ok-ish on small pitches
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SRT kits 4 years 3 months ago #18284

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yer exactly.... :-)
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