The Dye Clan
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Releasable Figure 8 Block

Description

A rope block is a method of preventing the rope from sliding through the anchor rigging in one direction but allowing it to slide through in the other direction.

The releasable figure 8 block functions as a rope block and as a contingency anchor. It functions as a contingency anchor because you can undo the last twist around the figure 8 and lower someone if they get stuck while rappelling. It functions as a block because it lets you rappel single strand and because you don't have to remove the releasable figure 8 block before the last person rappels down.

To rig the releasable figure 8 block:

  1. Thread the rope through the quick link or rappel ring.
  2. Tie a stopper knot in the end.
  3. Lower the rope until it reaches the ground.
  4. Attach a figure 8 to the opposite side of the rigging from the rappelling end.
  5. Take a bight of rope and pass it through the large hole of the figure 8 in the opposite direction as the rope that is already there and put the bight over the small hole of the figure 8.
  6. Attach one end of a quickdraw to the small hole of the figure 8 and the other end to either the rigging (as a safety in case someone tries to rappel on the wrong strand) or the rope (the rope can be retrieved in the position).
  7. If someone gets stuck while rappelling, you can remove the quickdraw and the last loop around the figure 8 and lower the person to the ground.

Advantages

The releasable figure 8 block functions as a rope block and as a contingency anchor.

Rope blocks allow you to rappel single strand, set the length of your rope for swimming disconnects, or rappel down cliffs that are longer than half your rope.

Disadvantages

This method requires an extra figure 8 descender and a quickdraw.

Depending on your rope size, you may have to fiddle around with twists so you get the right amount of friction.

Next

Isolating Strands with a Stone Knot