"Ghosting" using rock-pile cairn anchors

Post Reply
User avatar
T2
Site Admin
Posts: 309
Joined: 15 May 2018, 10:33
Full name: Tim Vollmer
City: Blaxland
State: New South Wales

"Ghosting" using rock-pile cairn anchors

Post by T2 » 10 Mar 2020, 14:05

Some useful information for people interested in ghosting techniques, particularly in more remote wilderness areas where leaving nothing behind is the preferred ethic. This post is a reproduction of a Facebook post by American canyoneer Scott Swaney.

HOW TO LEAVE A ROCK CAIRN ANCHOR WITHOUT PUTTING IN WEBBING OR RAPPEL RINGS

"Ghosted": in canyoneering (canyoning) the term means to get down a canyon and leave nothing behind; leaving the canyon in a pristine state.

This album is for canyoneers who may be interested in putting in canyon anchors, and leaving nothing behind in the canyon (no man-made materials), and also anywhere else where canyons are found around the world. Leaving no webbing or rappel rings.

Many canyons in many places, you can put in bolts, pitons, climbing nuts, etc, but in some parks like Death Valley you are required to only use natural material found in the canyons. Nearly all cairn anchors have webbing wrapped around a rock, and then additional rocks are added for additional weight for strength.

Many other natural anchors can be done by making Rock-Chocks or Knot-Blocks, but they also have to use webbing to leave behind & usually also leave a rap ring as well. Cairn anchors are hard not to leave something behind on.

Using Retrievable tools like a Fiddlestick, you can drop the rope down without using webbing, but the cairn has to be constructed in a certain way where the rope can easily be pulled around a smooth "pull-rock" and not hang up on anything.

Leaving just the rocks you found there as the only thing left behind, these techniques allows you to get down a canyon and cost nothing in man-made materials.

I have spent a lot of money building many hundreds of Cairn Anchors, having to carry spools of webbing and rappel rings, leaving behind webbing that will eventually turn to trash in a year or so out there in the desert heat & sun.

Also being shown are Fiddlestick retrievable tools used on boulders and natural rock horns found there.

All these points will leave the canyon in a much more pristine state for others going through in the future, with no litter/trash when the webbing deteriorates and has to be replaced.

NOTE: Also being shown here is an additional rope temporarily used as a back-up anchor to be taken off for the last person down at risk (LAMAR). Usually tied with an alpine butterfly knot on the rappel line.

87952803_10158148094572930_3436094095884288_o.jpg
87952803_10158148094572930_3436094095884288_o.jpg (471.64 KiB) Viewed 13109 times
88273037_10158148093072930_1558210007525228544_o.jpg
88273037_10158148093072930_1558210007525228544_o.jpg (204.7 KiB) Viewed 13109 times
88054976_10158148096962930_5308929570445983744_o.jpg
88054976_10158148096962930_5308929570445983744_o.jpg (554.58 KiB) Viewed 13109 times


A hand-built rock horn from the boulders found there and set up to work and blocked by other rocks in front for additional weight and strength

88246877_10158148097442930_5570946777642696704_o.jpg
88246877_10158148097442930_5570946777642696704_o.jpg (602.64 KiB) Viewed 13109 times

Artificial rock horn built from the rocks laying around. Stood the tall one up on end to make a horn. Blocked it with other rocks added for strength. Showing the additional rocks set in front to strengthen the horn from being pulled over.

88248396_10158148091537930_7384581346414297088_o.jpg
88248396_10158148091537930_7384581346414297088_o.jpg (278.41 KiB) Viewed 13109 times
88236481_10158148094742930_2194606375609303040_o.jpg
88236481_10158148094742930_2194606375609303040_o.jpg (137.69 KiB) Viewed 13109 times

Addtional weight added on top as a bridge for more weight, but no interfering with the pull-line.

88032662_10158148095497930_44872976495017984_o.jpg
88032662_10158148095497930_44872976495017984_o.jpg (530.97 KiB) Viewed 13095 times

NOTE: Green line is a temporary back-up rope to be taken off by the last person at risk

88055853_10158148099062930_3297011905104707584_o.jpg
88055853_10158148099062930_3297011905104707584_o.jpg (716.47 KiB) Viewed 13095 times
89233818_10158148095177930_2194013227740823552_o.jpg
89233818_10158148095177930_2194013227740823552_o.jpg (166.68 KiB) Viewed 13095 times
88085744_10158148095302930_2135980716263997440_o.jpg
88085744_10158148095302930_2135980716263997440_o.jpg (596.6 KiB) Viewed 13095 times



User avatar
T2
Site Admin
Posts: 309
Joined: 15 May 2018, 10:33
Full name: Tim Vollmer
City: Blaxland
State: New South Wales

Re: "Ghosting" using rock-pile cairn anchors

Post by T2 » 10 Mar 2020, 14:14

Scott also shared some good photos showing how a Fiddlestick can be used to anchor off larger rocks, fixed boulders, and rock flakes.

88155913_10158148097677930_5569653618824445952_o.jpg
88155913_10158148097677930_5569653618824445952_o.jpg (583.76 KiB) Viewed 13093 times
89103783_10158148097857930_8598909317007015936_o.jpg
89103783_10158148097857930_8598909317007015936_o.jpg (624.06 KiB) Viewed 13093 times
87954267_10158148098817930_6789224876902187008_o.jpg
87954267_10158148098817930_6789224876902187008_o.jpg (159.35 KiB) Viewed 13093 times
87990963_10158148098757930_1202349792135479296_o.jpg
87990963_10158148098757930_1202349792135479296_o.jpg (166.56 KiB) Viewed 13093 times
88166312_10158148097057930_8137061566588649472_o.jpg
88166312_10158148097057930_8137061566588649472_o.jpg (421.94 KiB) Viewed 13093 times
88212715_10158148099112930_8585038793139027968_o.jpg
88212715_10158148099112930_8585038793139027968_o.jpg (187.53 KiB) Viewed 13093 times
88974649_10158148098092930_2652629736823455744_o.jpg
88974649_10158148098092930_2652629736823455744_o.jpg (200.81 KiB) Viewed 13093 times
89010704_10158148096792930_1873937344126517248_o.jpg
89010704_10158148096792930_1873937344126517248_o.jpg (654.65 KiB) Viewed 13093 times
88325772_10158148092332930_5189244800594870272_n.jpg
88325772_10158148092332930_5189244800594870272_n.jpg (211.36 KiB) Viewed 13093 times
88009603_10158148097187930_5017770464685064192_o.jpg
88009603_10158148097187930_5017770464685064192_o.jpg (217.23 KiB) Viewed 13093 times

Post Reply