Purcell Prussik

Source: Various Internet sites         Rigging for Rescue, Ouray, CO.         

                                                          "Climbing Self Rescue", Andy Tyson

Contributed by: Marty Comiskey (martycomiskey@yahoo.com

Best useful for: Top rope:       Trad: X        Mountaineering: X     Sport: X                Ice: X         

Description (limit to 200 words): In the dozen or so years that I have been seriously climbing, I have tried several systems as personal restrainst lanyards (also called QAS - Quick Attachment Safety); Daisy chain, standard shoulder length sling, knotted double length sling, several girth hitched small slings (i.e. poor man's PAS) and the Metolius PAS (Personal Anchor System). Each system has its pros and cons.

Some climbers don't use any system (and that has its advantages as well). In any case, if you like to use such a system to quickly tie into an anchor while climbing (before using the climbing rope to tie in) or to attach to a rap anchor while waiting to rappel, there is another system that has gotten a lot of favorable reviews by professional rescue organizations. It is the Purcell Prussik.

I have included two pages from Tyson's book that briefly outline the system.

Briefly, the Purcell Prussik (tied with 6mm or 7 mm nylon cord) is a prussik knot loop tied on itself that is girth hitched to your harness. The prussik knot allows the lanyard to be adjustable (i.e. short or longer tie in). The nylon cord unlike spectra has greater energy absorbtion characteristics and testing done by Rigging for Rescue has shown that in the event of a fall on the lanyard, the potential sliding of the prussik will also allow for energy dissipation.

In addition, the Purcell Prussik can quickly convert into a foot prussik for jumaring up the rope (if necessary) without any re-tying or modifications to the purcell prussik sling.

Also, in a pinch the nylon cord can be cut up and used for leave behind rap anchors in an emergency (a lot cheaper than leaving behind the Metolius PAS.)

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