-- Last Updated: Jun-10-13 12:29 PM EST --
The Adventure Rope Gear article should be a must read for anyone thinking about using either ascenders or prusiks for boat retrieval/haul systems.
I'd guesstimate that about 999 out of every 1,000 paddlers won't have to worry about it much. The vast majority of paddlers don't know how to rig a Z drag, and certainly not other more complicated haul systems. And besides, they don't carry the equipment necessary to do so; even if they did know how.
Pretty sure that nobody whose arm or leg is trapped between a canoe and a boulder, in a class 3 rapid, is going to argue with you regarding your choice of a prusik, or a Gibbs ascender. :^) Especially if they have no gear that will facilitate your hauling the canoe off of them. Try to imagine hearing, "If you're gonna use a pruski/Gibbs; I don't want your help"!
I readily accept the results of testing by CMC, and their recommendations; I acknowledge them as professionals.
That means I will change nothing about how I rig a haul system; I'll stick to using using prusiks.
I am an ex vertical caver, and have received professional training in high angle rescue.
Have used jumar, and gibbs ascenders, as well as prusiks on my personal climbing systems. Used all 3 on haul sytems I rigged for 2 of the 3 real rescues that I led. One victim had a broken back, received in a fall(no belay/free climbing) onto a boulder.
I think it is a mistake to totally rule out the use of any piece of equipment. No doubt some equipment is better than others at specific functions/tasks. Oh the other hand; you need to be able to adapt to the situation, and to use what equipment you have available.
There is a difference between adaptation, and ignorance. I was called once by a highway patolman, seeking assistance in removing a "wanna be" caver from the bottom of a 45 foot deep vertical pit. When I inquired about what attempts he & 3 volunteer firemen had made to extricate the wannabe; he infomed me their attempt to use a fence stretcher has failed......miserably. He later stated, "I am never, for the rest of my life, going into another cave"! He was no where to be found when we exited the cave with the wannabe.
P.S. I'd much rather be using jumars or gibbs ascenders on a rope climb than prusiks!
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