The Dye Clan
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The Joker Method

Description

The Joker method is a rigging option that is very versatile. To rig the Joker method:

  1. Feed the rope through the anchor point until both ends reach the ground.
  2. Connect the Totem to both strands using the "figure-eight-like hole" in the middle and the two necks on the sides. Connect a canyon quickdraw to both ends as a safety measure.
  3. Use a canyon quickdraw to connect the Totem to the anchor. The quickdraw should connect to the webbing and not to the quick link (otherwise it may pinch the rope and prevent the rope from sliding through the quick link during the lower. Note that the picture shows a carabiner connecting to the quick link - this is not recommended.
  4. The rappellers should rappel single strand if you are wanting a contingency rig (i.e. the ability to lower a stuck rappeller). Rappelling double strand is OK too, but this removes the ability to lower a stuck rappeller. 
  5. The last man down removes all the carabiners and the Totem and rappels double strand using the rappel device of his choosing.

Note that if you use the Joker method, you can rappel on either strand (i.e. it isolates strands) and both strands have contingency. This speeds up large groups because the second person can be hooking up while the first person is still rappelling. It also gives each person the option to rappel single or double strand. 

The Joker is very straight forward to convert to a lower. To convert the Jester to a lower (if the rappeller gets stuck on rappel):

  1. Remove the carabiner from the figure-eight side of the Totem.
  2. Un-rig the brake side by taking the rope off the neck, and out the big hole.
  3. The person feeds rope through the Totem until the stuck rappeller reaches the bottom.

Disadvantages

CAUTION: Because the Joker method is relying on friction through the Totem, which is not locked off, there is the potential for the rope to creep through the Totem, or even slide uncontrollably through the Totem. Small ropes, heavy rappellers, or not-smooth rappellers, may all cause the Joker to fail. Please test your combination of gear in a safe environment before taking this method into the field. Additionally, it is crucial to have a belayer (either at the top or the bottom) hold the non-rappel strand in case it starts to slip through the Joker.

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The Jester Method