Coiling And Carrying The Rope

Use the butterfly or mountain coil to coil and carry the rope. Each is easy to accomplish and results in a minimum amount of kinks, twists, and knots later during deployment.

a. Mountain Coil. To start a mountain coil, grasp the rope approximately 1 meter from the end with one hand. Run the other hand along the rope until both arms are outstretched. Grasping the rope firmly, bring the hands together forming a loop, which is laid in the hand closest to the end of the rope. This is repeated, forming uniform loops that run in a clockwise direction, until the rope is completely coiled. The rope may be given a 1/4 twist as each loop is formed to overcome any tendency for the rope to twist or form figure-eights.

(1) In finishing the mountain coil, form a bight approximately 30 centimeters long with the starting end of the rope and lay it along the top of the coil. Uncoil the last loop and, using this length of the rope, begin making wraps around the coil and the bight, wrapping toward the closed end of the bight and making the first wrap bind across itself so as to lock it into place. Make six to eight wraps to adequately secure the coil, and then route the end of the rope through the closed end of the bight. Pull the running end of the bight tight, securing the coil.

(2) The mountain coil may be carried either in the pack (by forming a figure eight), doubling it and placing it under the flap, or by placing it over the shoulder and under the opposite arm, slung across the chest. (Figure 4-3 shows how to coil a mountain coil.)

Man Carrying Large Coil Rope
Figure 4-3. Mountain coil.

b. Butterfly Coil. The butterfly coil is the quickest and easiest technique for coiling (Figure 4-4).

Figure 4-4. Butterfly coil.

(1) Coiling. To start the double butterfly, grasp both ends of the rope and begin back feeding. Find the center of the rope forming a bight. With the bight in the left hand, grasp both ropes and slide the right hand out until there is approximately one arms length of rope. Place the doubled rope over the head, draping it around the neck and on top of the shoulders. Ensure that it hangs no lower than the waist. With the rest of the doubled rope in front of you, make doubled bights placing them over the head in the same manner as the first bight. Coil alternating from side to side (left to right, right to left) while maintaining equal-length bights. Continue coiling until approximately two arm-lengths of rope remain. Remove the coils from the neck and shoulders carefully, and hold the center in one hand. Wrap the two ends around the coils a minimum of three doubled wraps, ensuring that the first wrap locks back on itself.

(2) Tie-off and Carrying. Take a doubled bight from the loose ends of rope and pass it through the apex of the coils. Pull the loose ends through the doubled bight and dress it down. Place an overhand knot in the loose ends, dressing it down to the apex of the bight securing coils. Ensure that the loose ends do not exceed the length of the coils. In this configuration the coiled rope is secure enough for hand carrying or carrying in a rucksack, or for storage. (Figure 4-5 shows a butterfly coil tie-off.)

Figure 4-5. Butterfly coil tie-off.

c. Coiling Smaller Diameter Rope. Ropes of smaller diameters may be coiled using the butterfly or mountain coil depending on the length of the rope. Pieces 25 feet and shorter (also known as cordage, sling rope, utility cord) may be coiled so that they can be hung from the harness. Bring the two ends of the rope together, ensuring no kinks are in the rope. Place the ends of the rope in the left hand with the two ends facing the body. Coil the doubled rope in a clockwise direction forming 6- to 8-inch coils (coils may be larger depending on the length of rope) until an approximate 12-inch bight is left. Wrap that bight around the coil, ensuring that the first wrap locks on itself. Make three or more wraps. Feed the bight up through the bights formed at the top of the coil. Dress it down tightly. Now the piece of rope may be hung from a carabiner on the harness.

e. Uncoiling, Back-feeding, and Stacking. When the rope is needed for use, it must be uncoiled and stacked on the ground properly to avoid kinks and snarls.

(1) Untie the tie-off and lay the coil on the ground. Back-feed the rope to minimize kinks and snarls. (This is also useful when the rope is to be moved a short distance and coiling is not desired.) Take one end of the rope in the left hand and run the right hand along the rope until both arms are outstretched. Next, lay the end of the rope in the left hand on the ground. With the left hand, re-grasp the rope next to the right hand and continue laying the rope on the ground.

(2) The rope should be laid or stacked in a neat pile on the ground to prevent it from becoming tangled and knotted when throwing the rope, feeding it to a lead climber, and so on. This technique can also be started using the right hand.

Continue reading here: Throwing The Rope

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