I’m letting the cat out of the bag: we use ropes. Sometimes. Even Alain Robert dons a rope occasionally. That said, Sjoerd sent me a very well researched article on “Industrial Rope Access Protective Equipment“. This article is required reading for anyone who wants to get into buildering, rappelling, or crane swinging.
It’s got very interesting info in it that goes beyond the realm of rock climbing knowledge. Like how pigeon crap affects the strength of a rope, or the effectiveness of carpet as a rope protector — something Petr Kazil should have read before he went bridge swinging. Know what a figure 9 is? Yup it’s 1 better than a figure 8. Figure of 10? Two better.
The article also has a section on backup devices. Turns out my Ushba top-rope ascender cuts ropes clean through at a measly 5.5kN. Jugging a rope can generate up to about 2 kN, still a fair ways off from 5.5 kN but if I weighed 420 lbs I’d be in trouble.
Read it. Just do it. It may save your life some day, or at the very least you’ll be able to impress your buddies at the climbing gym with useful trivia.