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New here, curious about what I should be looking for in a rope.

Newb2hanging

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Joined
Sep 21, 2022
Messages
46
I have a predator rope and tried some blue moon I got from wesspurs. The blue is a little heavier, but I think it holds up better if your not using a friction saver. You want to make sure you run a high temp rated cord if your not tieing in a Blake's. I found the Blake's to be hit or miss. I didn't trust it to much. So I went to a cord. I pre tied a friction hitch onto the one end then some kinda knot to keep it from moving. So far I have been able to get it over the limbs I practiced on. Not sure about 5:30 am if it will work like I practiced. The other end of the rope is pre tied ready to clip into my prussic. So I will not be tieing any thing life safety wise in the dark.
These are some things you really need to work out IMO. Trying to be quiet in the dark and get everything right is a chance I don't want to take. We just all read about someone dieing while saddle hunting. No one here wants to read another. I would try and do DRT in the dark until you know how well your rope is gonna grab and on what knot with what devices. IMO
yeah, the blakes hitch seems really easy to tie, but it seems like there are better friction hitchs. the jrb seems pretty slick. it looks a little on the complicated side though. i going to try messing around with it and the michoacan.
That's unfortunate to hear what happened to him?
 

Newb2hanging

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Sep 21, 2022
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If you were to stand up and fall straight back, and hit your head on the ground, without braking your fall in any way, that is enough force to kill you. Some years ago a champion motorcyclist tipped over in the pits while walking his bike without a helmet, knocked his head, and died. Every year we see fatal slip-and-fall accidents on ice and wet floors - I'm talking young, healthy adults here. Which to say nothing of the sort of internal soft-tissue injuries sustained falling on a rope - see https://saddlehunter.com/community/index.php?threads/the-dangers-of-short-static-falls.19967/ for a discussion with lots of citations and references.

Falling out of a tree can kill you. Flipping upside down on a rope and being unable to right yourself in time can kill you.

It's very tempting to practice climbing - say, 1-sticking - by going as high as you can and then figuring how to get back down. Very, very tempting, and I'd guess that most of us have done something similar. It's a terrible idea. Go 3-4 feet up, tie in, take a couple practice shots, lower your bow, and descend. Get lots of reps in sorting out your technique at, and near, ground level. When you have that sorted out, go 6' up, then 10', in a gradual increase. Give yourself plenty of opportunities to have, and solve, problems at less-risky heights, before you climb higher than you're willing to jump down from.

Practice tying friction hitches on the hardware store rope you already have, until you can do it with your eyes closed - or in the dark, after your headlamp batteries have died, and your fingers have frozen. You can start doing that today. Get competent on a handfull of friction hitches - say, Blake's, Michoacan, Distel, Schwabisch, Prussic, maybe even an advanced one like the JRB variants.

If you can't find someone close to practice with - which I strongly suggest - don't be too bashful to post videos of your attempts to get feedback from us.

I'm also assuming that you have a proper saddle that you bought from a reputable vendor, which is an entirely other discussion.
Appreciate the concern. i intend to practice quite a bit before i give it a go hunting. just seems fairly straight forward, but im sure ill run into issues as i get to tinkering with it.
i was just checking out the jrb earlier and it seemed pretty nifty. a bit complicated, but pretty cool too say the least. i broke down and bought a trophyline saddle, so i think were good there.
 

Newb2hanging

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Sep 21, 2022
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46
hm, so did they ever come to a conclusion on what exactly happened to him? i read threw a few pages, but nothing so far other then theories.
 

gcr0003

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War Eagle
@Newb2hanging ok so you are DRT (now known as MRS) climbing on a Blake’s hitch and you notice your hitch starts to slip, you only have a split second to react before you slide to ground, what can you do?

I’ll also ask this to anyone with experience MRS climbing on a Blake’s hitch.

Though there is simplicity to this climbing method, everything relies on that single Blake’s hitch, if it starts to slip (which isn’t uncommon, especially with new rope) you’re gonna want to know what to do.

I’m thinking of two immediate things one could do depending…

When i started climbing and saddle hunting I thought all hitches were different but they all were created equal in that they all held the same. As most of us know, hitches vary widely one from another, and even the most bomb proof hitch can slip if tied improperly, not dressed properly, or if you use the wrong combination of cord to rope material or diameters, and several other factors such as being dirty, wet, and how much weight they are holding. All of this can change from use to use, and while you would be tying the Blake’s hitch each time there are still things to look for each and every time you tie that hitch or any other hitch for that matter.
 

Bowmanmike

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Dec 15, 2019
Messages
1,134
@Newb2hanging ok so you are DRT (now known as MRS) climbing on a Blake’s hitch and you notice your hitch starts to slip, you only have a split second to react before you slide to ground, what can you do?

I’ll also ask this to anyone with experience MRS climbing on a Blake’s hitch.

Though there is simplicity to this climbing method, everything relies on that single Blake’s hitch, if it starts to slip (which isn’t uncommon, especially with new rope) you’re gonna want to know what to do.

I’m thinking of two immediate things one could do depending…

When i started climbing and saddle hunting I thought all hitches were different but they all were created equal in that they all held the same. As most of us know, hitches vary widely one from another, and even the most bomb proof hitch can slip if tied improperly, not dressed properly, or if you use the wrong combination of cord to rope material or diameters, and several other factors such as being dirty, wet, and how much weight they are holding. All of this can change from use to use, and while you would be tying the Blake’s hitch each time there are still things to look for each and every time you tie that hitch or any other hitch for that matter.
You are holding on to the rope anyway,so if the Blake's slips you can slow it down ok. Pucker up for sure but I have never had that happen,maybe once when I didn't dress it good enough,but that was at ground level.
The jrb method is better but more complex. It takes some time to get through the videos and implement it. The redundancy of it is great.
 
Last edited:

NMSbowhunter

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Jan 3, 2022
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1,647
hmm, two tether climbing seems like a real pain in the arse. lol i could see why it would be useful though, if the tree had no branches. ill keep it in mind!
2TC looks tough, and some folks find it difficult or impossible, but to me it is very easy once I learned the technique. 2TC works great on the millions of straight limbless pines and younger oaks we have around here. I got into DRT a couple of years ago and really wanted it to work for me. I loved to climb DRT and still do. Remember those millions of straight limbless trees I just mentioned, lol. They were not so enthusiastic about DRT. Where I hunt it just was not a good way to get in a tree to hunt. I found I was spending my time looking for a good DRT tree and not the best tree to kill a deer out of. If you have the right trees for it, DRT is a great system.

Paracord presets are the way to go. You won't be throwing a throwball in the dark successfully. Also, if you have a 75 foot DRT rope, precut your paracord into 65 to 70 foot lengths. This way when you preset a tree you will know if that 70 foot paracord loop will work over your intended branch or crotch that you will have enough climbing rope to climb the tree. It takes at least 5 feet of rope to tie the Blakes hitch and a tail with stopper knot. Nothing is more frustrating that pulling your rope over a limb just before a hunt and realizing you don't have enough rope to climb.

Ropes. The Sampson Predator is a great rope for DRT. It is 11.4mm and has what they call "good hand" meaning it is well suited to tying knots. Some rope is very stiff and does not tie well. The 11.4mm Bluewater Static line is one of those. I use it for a tether, but I don't think I would want to try DRT with it. I have a shorter practice rope (56 ft) that is 16 strand Arbormaster in the red, white and black color scheme. It is 12mm and is a great rope for DRT. 16-Strand Tree Climbing Rope || WesSpur Tree Equipment

My 56 foot practice rope will get me to 20 feet but it is usually too short to try to hunt off of going into an unknown real world hunting situation. If I were going to try to make DRT work for me again, I would opt for at least 100 feet of Predator, and maybe 120 feet. Here, the load bearing limbs start at over 40 feet most times and that is a no go with 75 feet of rope. For DRT, in my opinion, you want a larger diameter rope like 11.4 to 12mm.

The big learning curve with DRT is not necessarily tying the Blakes hitch, or the hip thrust movements. To me it was mastering the throwball. Scott, the tall arborist guy on the New York Saddler Hunter channel commented that you either hit your mark on the 1st or 51st try and he was spot on. I have walked away from trees several times after trying to hit a limb or crotch with 30 plus throws. Another lesson I learned is that you will probably want a regular tether as well as the climbing rope, The reason is to use the tether as a redirect to put you where you want to be on the tree and not where the limb you climber on put you. New York saddle hunters have a video on this too.

Don't get discouraged. Just realize that there is a good bit to making DRT work. If you have the right kind of trees, learn the throwball, and learn to tie the Blake's well, then it should work for you. The main thing is to be safe. Practice low and slow.
 

Newb2hanging

Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2022
Messages
46
2TC looks tough, and some folks find it difficult or impossible, but to me it is very easy once I learned the technique. 2TC works great on the millions of straight limbless pines and younger oaks we have around here. I got into DRT a couple of years ago and really wanted it to work for me. I loved to climb DRT and still do. Remember those millions of straight limbless trees I just mentioned, lol. They were not so enthusiastic about DRT. Where I hunt it just was not a good way to get in a tree to hunt. I found I was spending my time looking for a good DRT tree and not the best tree to kill a deer out of. If you have the right trees for it, DRT is a great system.

Paracord presets are the way to go. You won't be throwing a throwball in the dark successfully. Also, if you have a 75 foot DRT rope, precut your paracord into 65 to 70 foot lengths. This way when you preset a tree you will know if that 70 foot paracord loop will work over your intended branch or crotch that you will have enough climbing rope to climb the tree. It takes at least 5 feet of rope to tie the Blakes hitch and a tail with stopper knot. Nothing is more frustrating that pulling your rope over a limb just before a hunt and realizing you don't have enough rope to climb.

Ropes. The Sampson Predator is a great rope for DRT. It is 11.4mm and has what they call "good hand" meaning it is well suited to tying knots. Some rope is very stiff and does not tie well. The 11.4mm Bluewater Static line is one of those. I use it for a tether, but I don't think I would want to try DRT with it. I have a shorter practice rope (56 ft) that is 16 strand Arbormaster in the red, white and black color scheme. It is 12mm and is a great rope for DRT. 16-Strand Tree Climbing Rope || WesSpur Tree Equipment

My 56 foot practice rope will get me to 20 feet but it is usually too short to try to hunt off of going into an unknown real world hunting situation. If I were going to try to make DRT work for me again, I would opt for at least 100 feet of Predator, and maybe 120 feet. Here, the load bearing limbs start at over 40 feet most times and that is a no go with 75 feet of rope. For DRT, in my opinion, you want a larger diameter rope like 11.4 to 12mm.

The big learning curve with DRT is not necessarily tying the Blakes hitch, or the hip thrust movements. To me it was mastering the throwball. Scott, the tall arborist guy on the New York Saddler Hunter channel commented that you either hit your mark on the 1st or 51st try and he was spot on. I have walked away from trees several times after trying to hit a limb or crotch with 30 plus throws. Another lesson I learned is that you will probably want a regular tether as well as the climbing rope, The reason is to use the tether as a redirect to put you where you want to be on the tree and not where the limb you climber on put you. New York saddle hunters have a video on this too.

Don't get discouraged. Just realize that there is a good bit to making DRT work. If you have the right kind of trees, learn the throwball, and learn to tie the Blake's well, then it should work for you. The main thing is to be safe. Practice low and slow.
Around here i don't think ill have to much issue. alot of the trees are are real busy so there's usually good limbs to get into. but i think it would be good to have that bottom tether for the 2tc regardless, just cause that could help you alot in certain situations and it wouldnt be much to pack as well.


yeah, the presets are definetly the way to go. wouldnt want to try the throwball in the dark lol. i was considering going with atleast 80ft,maybe even 90. i just dont want i ton of extra rope to manage if i dont ever need the length,ya know? so im not 100% what length i want to go with. i think im going to go 80 and use a split tail so that would give me an extra 10ft. Suppose i should probably just go with the tried and true predator line, but i found an arborist supply store about an hour from me that has some good looking stuff too. 11.8mm All Gear 24 Strand Mardi Gras Rope (endorstreegear.com) this stuff seemed pretty good and was rated to 7,000lbs. thats 1,000 more than the predator line, so im assumeing it would be suitable. not exactly camo though lol but as long as the patter is broke up i dont think it would stan out too much to the deer.


Ha! i feel it on the throwball. i made a makeshift one yesterday and was trying to get it over the limb of a tree. i could hit my mark really well, but i think because i was using a heavier paracord it kept getting stuck and i just couldnt get it to come down. any tips on advancing the line? like it was just hung up in the crotch. nothing was obstructing it, it just wouldnt fall no matter how much jiggling and whipping i did.
 

thedutchtouch

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Oct 22, 2020
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Maryland
Around here i don't think ill have to much issue. alot of the trees are are real busy so there's usually good limbs to get into. but i think it would be good to have that bottom tether for the 2tc regardless, just cause that could help you alot in certain situations and it wouldnt be much to pack as well.


yeah, the presets are definetly the way to go. wouldnt want to try the throwball in the dark lol. i was considering going with atleast 80ft,maybe even 90. i just dont want i ton of extra rope to manage if i dont ever need the length,ya know? so im not 100% what length i want to go with. i think im going to go 80 and use a split tail so that would give me an extra 10ft. Suppose i should probably just go with the tried and true predator line, but i found an arborist supply store about an hour from me that has some good looking stuff too. 11.8mm All Gear 24 Strand Mardi Gras Rope (endorstreegear.com) this stuff seemed pretty good and was rated to 7,000lbs. thats 1,000 more than the predator line, so im assumeing it would be suitable. not exactly camo though lol but as long as the patter is broke up i dont think it would stan out too much to the deer.


Ha! i feel it on the throwball. i made a makeshift one yesterday and was trying to get it over the limb of a tree. i could hit my mark really well, but i think because i was using a heavier paracord it kept getting stuck and i just couldnt get it to come down. any tips on advancing the line? like it was just hung up in the crotch. nothing was obstructing it, it just wouldnt fall no matter how much jiggling and whipping i did.
Lots of people use dynaglide or zing it for throw cords because it slides over bark easier. (Regurgitated second hand info, I climb with at least one stick currently)
 

NMSbowhunter

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Jan 3, 2022
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1,647
Around here i don't think ill have to much issue. alot of the trees are are real busy so there's usually good limbs to get into. but i think it would be good to have that bottom tether for the 2tc regardless, just cause that could help you alot in certain situations and it wouldnt be much to pack as well.


yeah, the presets are definetly the way to go. wouldnt want to try the throwball in the dark lol. i was considering going with atleast 80ft,maybe even 90. i just dont want i ton of extra rope to manage if i dont ever need the length,ya know? so im not 100% what length i want to go with. i think im going to go 80 and use a split tail so that would give me an extra 10ft. Suppose i should probably just go with the tried and true predator line, but i found an arborist supply store about an hour from me that has some good looking stuff too. 11.8mm All Gear 24 Strand Mardi Gras Rope (endorstreegear.com) this stuff seemed pretty good and was rated to 7,000lbs. thats 1,000 more than the predator line, so im assumeing it would be suitable. not exactly camo though lol but as long as the patter is broke up i dont think it would stan out too much to the deer.


Ha! i feel it on the throwball. i made a makeshift one yesterday and was trying to get it over the limb of a tree. i could hit my mark really well, but i think because i was using a heavier paracord it kept getting stuck and i just couldnt get it to come down. any tips on advancing the line? like it was just hung up in the crotch. nothing was obstructing it, it just wouldnt fall no matter how much jiggling and whipping i did.
You will have a lot of difficulty in my experience with paracord with a throwball. Others may disagree. The throw line is smaller diameter, has very little stretch and is slick. All this helps with the cord going over the limb and letting the line play out. I would also get 2 throwballs. I found out I needed a second one to help get the other one unstuck and also if I got one thoroughly stuck and had to just abandon it.
 

Newb2hanging

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Joined
Sep 21, 2022
Messages
46
@Newb2hanging ok so you are DRT (now known as MRS) climbing on a Blake’s hitch and you notice your hitch starts to slip, you only have a split second to react before you slide to ground, what can you do?

I’ll also ask this to anyone with experience MRS climbing on a Blake’s hitch.

Though there is simplicity to this climbing method, everything relies on that single Blake’s hitch, if it starts to slip (which isn’t uncommon, especially with new rope) you’re gonna want to know what to do.

I’m thinking of two immediate things one could do depending…

When i started climbing and saddle hunting I thought all hitches were different but they all were created equal in that they all held the same. As most of us know, hitches vary widely one from another, and even the most bomb proof hitch can slip if tied improperly, not dressed properly, or if you use the wrong combination of cord to rope material or diameters, and several other factors such as being dirty, wet, and how much weight they are holding. All of this can change from use to use, and while you would be tying the Blake’s hitch each time there are still things to look for each and every time you tie that hitch or any other hitch for that matter.
Hmm, ill have to tinker with this to, im not sure. im thinking either grab the tail of the blakes with to try and tighten the hitch, like joe describes on ny saddle hunters as the brake? that or grab hold of below the blakes hitch to stop it from sliding, but idk i dont think that would work, like i said id have to have it in my hand. ill tinker with this. food for thought, thank you. What other hitch would you recommend? im aware of the distil, michoacan and the jrb and plan to experiment with them.
 

Newb2hanging

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Sep 21, 2022
Messages
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You will have a lot of difficulty in my experience with paracord with a throwball. Others may disagree. The throw line is smaller diameter, has very little stretch and is slick. All this helps with the cord going over the limb and letting the line play out. I would also get 2 throwballs. I found out I needed a second one to help get the other one unstuck and also if I got one thoroughly stuck and had to just abandon it.
i attend to get a proper throw ball and line, i was just tinkering around in the backyard. i went and found some good tips on how to maneuver your throw line,but there wasnt really anything i could find and tricks to jsut advance it when it was stuck in the fashion i had stuck.
 

NMSbowhunter

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Oh, another thing. When using a throw ball and line you will be very tempted to pull the ball back over the limb or crotch and not lower the ball to the ground and unhook it and just pull the line back over. This is the quickest and surest way to get your throwball impossibly jammed in a crotch or wrapped around a limb. Take the few extra minutes to lower the ball. unhook it and then pull the line out. Trust me, I know.
 

gcr0003

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Hmm, ill have to tinker with this to, im not sure. im thinking either grab the tail of the blakes with to try and tighten the hitch, like joe describes on ny saddle hunters as the brake? that or grab hold of below the blakes hitch to stop it from sliding, but idk i dont think that would work, like i said id have to have it in my hand. ill tinker with this. food for thought, thank you. What other hitch would you recommend? im aware of the distil, michoacan and the jrb and plan to experiment with them.
Yep! The first thing I would do is grab below the Blake’s hitch and pull it up, this puts a bend in the rope below the hitch and adds friction, if necessary you could rappel down this way. With your free hand grab the tag end as you mentioned and pull it tight. Simple stuff but it’s good to have some kind of idea of what to do in a situation like that. Like bowmanmike said, this isn’t as common once the rope gets broke in, but I have experienced and have read where other have as well, the Blake’s hitch slipping (however little) on the new rope until it breaks in. It can be a little nerve racking. That’s when I learned that no hitch is perfect, and you’re putting a lot of trust in them.

There’s nothing wrong with the Blake’s hitch, you just need to understand what it does well and what it doesn’t do well. All those other hitches can be great too. Starting out with MRS with a Blake’s hitch is great. You can try out the distal, swabish, Michoacan, on your tether and lineman’s belt starting off. Once you get comfortable there you can think about incorporating them in rope climbing!
 

Fl Canopy Stalker

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@Newb2hanging ok so you are DRT (now known as MRS) climbing on a Blake’s hitch and you notice your hitch starts to slip, you only have a split second to react before you slide to ground, what can you do?

I’ll also ask this to anyone with experience MRS climbing on a Blake’s hitch.

Though there is simplicity to this climbing method, everything relies on that single Blake’s hitch, if it starts to slip (which isn’t uncommon, especially with new rope) you’re gonna want to know what to do.

I’m thinking of two immediate things one could do depending…

When i started climbing and saddle hunting I thought all hitches were different but they all were created equal in that they all held the same. As most of us know, hitches vary widely one from another, and even the most bomb proof hitch can slip if tied improperly, not dressed properly, or if you use the wrong combination of cord to rope material or diameters, and several other factors such as being dirty, wet, and how much weight they are holding. All of this can change from use to use, and while you would be tying the Blake’s hitch each time there are still things to look for each and every time you tie that hitch or any other hitch for that matter.
The Blake’s slipping is usually 1 of a few things:
The new rope wasn’t properly milked before using it, the hitch isn’t properly tied or dressed, or the area it’s tied may have some glazing from friction that wasn’t found (perhaps a proper rope inspection wasn’t done. You always check the hitch for grab at ground level. Adding an additional wrap on top 5/3 will make the hitch much better at biting but not as easy to break.
And since they rope is doubled, you hold the rope and you can lower your self to the ground it’s just tough. The quicker shorter answer is to grab the exiting tail of the Blake’s hitch and pull up hard as you can. That will cause the hitch to dress down and securely grab (it’s like a brake). I would trust that single Blake’s hitch before I’d ever trust a JRB hitch. That’s me personally and apparently Cornell Climbing college since that’s their beginning system. It is a simple and safe system otherwise it wouldn’t be every major tree climbing programs initial entry into rope tree access.
 

gcr0003

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The Blake’s slipping is usually 1 of a few things:
The new rope wasn’t properly milked before using it, the hitch isn’t properly tied or dressed, or the area it’s tied may have some glazing from friction that wasn’t found (perhaps a proper rope inspection wasn’t done. You always check the hitch for grab at ground level. Adding an additional wrap on top 5/3 will make the hitch much better at biting but not as easy to break.
And since they rope is doubled, you hold the rope and you can lower your self to the ground it’s just tough. The quicker shorter answer is to grab the exiting tail of the Blake’s hitch and pull up hard as you can. That will cause the hitch to dress down and securely grab (it’s like a brake). I would trust that single Blake’s hitch before I’d ever trust a JRB hitch. That’s me personally and apparently Cornell Climbing college since that’s their beginning system. It is a simple and safe system otherwise it wouldn’t be every major tree climbing programs initial entry into rope tree access.
Good tips. I have no beef with the Blake’s hitch. That’s what learned on. Like you said and I already said, dressing the hitch, tying the hitch, securing the hitch and knowing how it responds is important. These are minor things that youll likely find out yourself, but nice to know ahead of time.
 

Newb2hanging

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Sep 21, 2022
Messages
46
The Blake’s slipping is usually 1 of a few things:
The new rope wasn’t properly milked before using it, the hitch isn’t properly tied or dressed, or the area it’s tied may have some glazing from friction that wasn’t found (perhaps a proper rope inspection wasn’t done. You always check the hitch for grab at ground level. Adding an additional wrap on top 5/3 will make the hitch much better at biting but not as easy to break.
And since they rope is doubled, you hold the rope and you can lower your self to the ground it’s just tough. The quicker shorter answer is to grab the exiting tail of the Blake’s hitch and pull up hard as you can. That will cause the hitch to dress down and securely grab (it’s like a brake). I would trust that single Blake’s hitch before I’d ever trust a JRB hitch. That’s me personally and apparently Cornell Climbing college since that’s their beginning system. It is a simple and safe system otherwise it wouldn’t be every major tree climbing programs initial entry into rope tree access.
Good to know. I’ll experiment with the extra hitch at the top. Currently hanging in my saddle. Lol so I’ll give it a go.

Why do you think the jrb is a no go? Seemed like it worked pretty good to me. Just complex.
 

Newb2hanging

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Sep 21, 2022
Messages
46
Yep! The first thing I would do is grab below the Blake’s hitch and pull it up, this puts a bend in the rope below the hitch and adds friction, if necessary you could rappel down this way. With your free hand grab the tag end as you mentioned and pull it tight. Simple stuff but it’s good to have some kind of idea of what to do in a situation like that. Like bowmanmike said, this isn’t as common once the rope gets broke in, but I have experienced and have read where other have as well, the Blake’s hitch slipping (however little) on the new rope until it breaks in. It can be a little nerve racking. That’s when I learned that no hitch is perfect, and you’re putting a lot of trust in them.

There’s nothing wrong with the Blake’s hitch, you just need to understand what it does well and what it doesn’t do well. All those other hitches can be great too. Starting out with MRS with a Blake’s hitch is great. You can try out the distal, swabish, Michoacan, on your tether and lineman’s belt starting off. Once you get comfortable there you can think about incorporating them in rope climbing!
What is milking the rope?
 
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