Joined: 5/30/2010i broke out in a cold sweat reading that. glad you are okay. you treestand guys have brass balls..they scare the crap out of me. no thank you.
nothing but respect for you guys. and i am not afraid of heights..just treestands
Joined: 6/22/2004Can’t imagine the fright in such a fall, Tim!
I’m thankful that you’re okay. I’d be giving thanks to the Lord 24/7/365 for a long time after making it through that kind of ordeal!
Joined: 2/21/2007You’re very lucky indeed. I fell 15′ in November of 2009 and landed flat on my back. I broke my neck and tore my L5 disc. It took two surgeries, 12 screws, 2 rods, a plate and an H bracket to put me back together.
I always tie a knot at the end of my rope so if the prussic knot doesn’t catch, it will stop at the very end of the rope. However, if you are using a lifeline, the end of the rope is the ground. Just a suggestion, but a great idea for back-up protection and a reason to switch from the lifeline as soon as you get up to the top!
Tie a big knot or a loop at the end of or your rope.
Joined: 9/19/2007I always check my prussic knot once I get in the stand too make sure that is cinched down tight around the lifeline. Having a little slack in the lifeline also helps the knot grab because you create a little vector in the line once weight is shifted to the line. This of course you have the end (ground level) of the lifeline secured to something. I use a screw in step.I’ve had enough issues with Prussic Knot restraint systems to have never gained enough confidence to trust them. My last bad experience was in 2002 with a wet rope that froze up when rain turned to sleet and the lower half of the treestand slipped on the bark. Haven’t used a Prussic Knot restraint since…haven’t climbed an Aspen tree since either.
In fact, OSHA’s position is:
“… due to the significant reduction in strength of the lanyard/lifeline, sliding hitch knots should not be used for lifeline/lanyard connections except in emergency situations where no other available system is practical…It should be noted that the knot must be tied with sufficient tension to preclude its sliding too freely on the lifeline. Failure to use proper tension could render the knot ineffective and it would not be in compliance with the intent of the OSHA regulations. “
I now use a 20′ FallGuy retractor with Go Muddy harness. The only downside to the FallGuy is that it is bulky, but I have much more confidence in it.
Location: OhioI’ve used a couple of hunters safety 30′ ropes with prussic knot for about three or four years now. I usually tie off the top above a good branch and always tie the bottom of the rope to the tree.
Tree selection is critical as well as being aware of weather (freezing or wet conditions).
I don’t usually hunt in the rain in a tree-stand and I will not hunt in one in icy conditions. If I hunt in the snow, the rope and stand have to be free of ice and snow.
That’s why I like early season hunting LOL. Warmer and no ice.
Since the knot uses friction to grab the rope, wetness or ice severely cut down on the ‘grab’ factor.
I’ve normally found that the opposite is true. I sometimes have a hard time sliding the prussic up or down. Once settled in, I always pull down hard on the prussic to be sure it’s grabbing.
Sure hope my confidence in my system is worthy. Apparently OSHA may not agree but they are sometimes overly (and rightly so) fussy.
Maybe a ‘stop clamp’ of some type may be the ‘trick’ on a climbing rope system. On a short tether, I’m pretty sure a good knot is going to arrest the fall.
Joined: 5/7/2008I tie a knot in my lifeline at a location that is easy for me to reach when standing in my deer stand facing the tree and put a second prussic knot hookup above it. The knot is usually on the lifeline about at shoulder height when I’m standing in the stand. Once I get settled in, I simply unhook my safety harness from the hookup below the knot, and reattach to the hookup above the knot. No slipping down the lifeline, and it should catch every time. I realize I do have to momentarily unhook from the lifeline to switch hookups, but it’s just for a few seconds, and believe it or not, you can hook to both at the same time and then unhook one or the other so you stay connected.
I also tie the bottom of my lifeline solidly so that I can just reach it from standing on the ground. This way, IF I fall while climbing and the prussic knot doesn’t catch immediately, it will catch at the bottom of the lifeline where I tied it off before I hit the ground.
Hunting the Hardwoods
Location: MissouriGlad you’re ok. I know what a fall like that can do to a guy and your confidence to be in a tree. I had some scaffolding give way july 2012 and fell 20′. I broke my right arm, had a concussion, two collapsed lungs, a compression fracture of my sacrum, two bulging discs and a puncture wound to my right leg. I have life lines in all my tree stands and wont hardly climb a ladder to this day. I will check my knot as I climb as you mentioned from now on. I have a beautiful wife and 5 ornery kids I don’t want to say goodbye to just yet. Stay safe.MATHEWS SOLOCAM PRO
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