So no, i didn't film anything. That would require more planning and i would want to do a good job of it. One of the problems doing this kind of testing is the number of variables in play. I intentionally chose one rope / cord combination so i could compare apples to apples. But i have at least 10 different cords and 10 different ropes and so if we start to vary things, it gets big fast. We also can typically vary the number of wraps around the rope and increase the hold with the number of wraps. The amount of hold is typically proportional to the amount of surface area contact between the cord and rope and so its normal that small diameters like 6mm cord on 8mm rope require more wraps to get an equivalent hold as 8 on 11, for example. And even if it seems to hold, when it's soaking wet, it might creep. Bottom line is that every combination of rope, cord and load needs to be tested by the person using it.
As for the question about mechanicals, no, I am not anti-mechanical. But i wouldn't use one without a backup friction hitch. And i consider it a rule that we have to be tied in for entire climb. I would never put in a mechanical device when I am already in the tree for example. It's droppable. Anything we need can't be droppable. It's gotta be put on before we start the climb. It's been a long time since i used climbing sticks, but i hated the process of managing my tie in as I climbed and a metal device just made it harder.
I believe we can trust our saddle, the tree and our rope, but everything else should be redundant, if possible. Anything that moves should have a backup. 95% of my hunting climbing is on my stationary doubled rope climbing system, and if a friction hitch were to fail completely or my adjustable bridge failed completely, or a carabiner somehow opened up, i won't fall, and I can recover without assistance, and can do it with nothing under my feet. I am not trying to sell anyone on my climbing method. But i do want ya to borrow the idea that you have the same level of resilience in your own system. Bottom line is that if someone wanted a basic recommendation for a friction Hitch, I would give them the Michoacán.
Once that is mastered, I would consider making it automatically tended by putting a Buffalo Hitch under it.
After that, play with other hitches including JRB Ascender.
Buy a 25 foot length of 7mm Sterling cord and cut a 6ft length and do some experiments. It's the best investment you can make. RockNArbor sells it and they gave us all 10% off with the JRB10 coupon code.
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