You Might Be Working Too Hard to Install Your FRICTION SAVER!

Knotorious

That Guy With The Face
Joined
Oct 9, 2022
Messages
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Location
Scottsdale, Arizona
Hey everyone!

I was messing around on the internet this morning and I came across a video by one of the biggest arborist YouTube channels (called “Climbing Arborist” - video will be linked at the bottom) which shows the channel owner, Dan, teaching a new guy how to install a friction saver correctly.

The way he shows this guy how to do it is by first isolating a limb with a throwline and throw weight, then he takes the throw weight off and pulls the entire length of the throwline through the big ring, then once he reaches the other end, he puts it through the small ring and then re-ties the throw weight onto it. Then he pulls everything up and flips it over the limb, which sends the weighted end falling back to the ground where a rope can be connected and pulled through both rings (small ring first of course).

It took so long for them to pull this long throwline through the big ring until the opposite end was accessible that the video actually had to be sped up immensely to show the work before getting to the next step. I was immediately amused because the way I install a friction saver is different and much easier as well. I looked at a few other videos for this topic and I was shocked to see that they all also used the method that required pulling one’s entire throwline through the big ring.

I honestly don’t know why I seem to be the only person who has thought of this friction saver installation hack, but here’s how I do it differently. Firstly, before I even throw my throw weight and throwline over a limb and isolate it, I first put my throw line through the big ring of the friction saver. Next, I pull out only as much throwline as I need to get up and over the limb. Then I attach the throw weight, throw it over the limb, isolating it, and then allow it to fall back down to the ground. Finally, I untie the weight, put the end through the small ring, retie the weight onto the end and then pull the friction saver up, flipping it over, causing the weight to fall back down.

By simply pre-installing the large ring before making a throw, you avoid having to pull the entire length of your throwline through the big ring. I have no idea why this hasn’t occurred to anyone making tutorials on YouTube, but you can bet that I’ll be making one as soon as my schedule allows it because that’s a major oversight in my opinion and a huge waste of precious time. I just thought I’d share this with all of you in hopes of spreading the word about an easier, better method.

Climbing Arborist video:
 
You could look at the video's way of doing it as a good opportunity to inspect the line, and remove the twists you put in over the last week or so of using half of it, and folding it back in a cube.

I've never successfully set a R&R remotely. The one time I tried it, I got it stuck in a crotch since I was using knotted rope. I have an electric conduit saver, and recently got a leather one. They both just goes up with the rope.
 
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Knothead, the way you describe it is the way I've always done it too. It is the method described in Jepson's Tree Climber's Companion, 2nd Edition. That's where I learned it 20+ years ago.

I've seen plenty of other climbers use this method over the years since then.
Don't get me wrong: I was certain that I couldn't be the only person who installs a friction saver this way. It's so much easier than the other method that I thought surely I can't be the only one. But, as evidenced by at least three different YouTube instructional videos, there are apparently a significant number of people who either aren't aware of this alternative method, or simply prefer working harder for no apparent reason.

I'll have to check out that book you mentioned. I'm sure I would learn some new things and, as a bonus, get ideas for new content for my channel.
 
the only time i use this technique is for installing a rigging point with a double-rigging-ring-thingy.

often times i am left a little bit wanting by dan‘s content.
 
After fidgeting around with a throw line for as long as I often do, I'm happy to get a rope into the tree, let alone continuously faffing about for a friction saver. I have a Dan House unit, essentially just a rope sleeve, and sometimes I even use it.
 
I use that method but more often another.
Isolate limb with throw line and let weight hit ground.
Untie weight, run throw line through small ring. Retie weight. Run climb line or rigging line through larger ring and secure one end. Feed some line through the larger ring. Now you will pull the system up with the throw line until the small ring is on one side of the limb, large with rope on other with both ends of the rope still on the ground.
Let throw line weight back down and remove weight, tie end of rope you secured with throw line.
Pull rope up and through small ring.
Make sure you have enough belly of rope as the weight can often try to pull the fs back across the limb since your throw line is lighter.
Takes a little getting used to. You have to reverse your tail and working end of the rope to be able to retreive your fs. But, you don't have to feed an entire throwline back and forth to do this.
Since I more work in the woods or woodland interface, sticks, pine needles and other joys that tangle throw line are abundant. This is also simple enough to use.
Clear as mud?
 
Don't get me wrong: I was certain that I couldn't be the only person who installs a friction saver this way. It's so much easier than the other method that I thought surely I can't be the only one. But, as evidenced by at least three different YouTube instructional videos, there are apparently a significant number of people who either aren't aware of this alternative method, or simply prefer working harder for no apparent reason.

I'll have to check out that book you mentioned. I'm sure I would learn some new things and, as a bonus, get ideas for new content for my channel.
This is another one of those instances when we are reminded that just because someone is adept at making and posting a YouTube video, it does not necessarily follow that they are as adept at the subject they are posting about.
 
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This is another one of those instances when we are reminded that just because someone is adept at making and posting a YouTube video, it does not necessarily follow that they are as adept at the subject they are posting about.
I'm not sure where this came from. What exactly about this thread, and the discussion we had within it, has led you to believe (or "reminded" you) that I am not adept at the subject of tree climbing? Several people seem to agre with you, but I'm not entirely sure why you made this comment.

What I do know is that nothing about my original post for this thread hints at me lacking an understanding of the subject matter I chose to bring up. I also know that I am quite knowledgeable about tree climbing, equipment, knots and climbing techniques. Am I a professional-grade tree climber? Of course not. I do this for fun...it isn't a job for me. Do I know everything? Of course not. Nobody does. However, I do possess more than enough knowledge to create videos which show people how to tie a huge amount of knots/hitches and to instruct individuals how to safely climb trees using arborist techniques and gear.

Most importantly, I don't just create and post videos to YouTube, but every video I make is not only extremely helpful and well made, but the information I provide in every single one of my videos is completely and entirely correct and accurate. Additionally, 90% of the time I do not have to do any research whatsoever because all of the information is readily avaiable within my mind as a result of having discussed and utilized that knowledge and each method many, many times throughout the years that I have spent focused on tree climbing. That isn't a flex, it's me emboldening my point.

Am I more knowledgeable about the production side of tree climbing than you, @Burnham? Absolutely not, and I've never claimed to be. I would bet that the majority of everyone on this forum knows more about production climbing/rigging and using and maintaining a chainsaw than I do; and more than I ever will, too. Why is that? Because, although I've performed several removals, and although I know how to use a saw, I prefer to focus on the recreational aspect of tree climbing. I have chosen to mostly limit my knowledge to that area of the topic.

To be fair, if I had to guess, you probably haven't gone to my YouTube channel and spent time looking through my videos, never mind watching enough of them to accurately know what the true extent of my knowledge is. Naturally, you are certainly able to partially gage my understanding through our interactions on this forum - but even still - your understanding of my knowledge at the Tree House is limited to the topics of various threads.

Anyways, I'm not sure what it is about the post I made in this thread that led you to believe that I am not "adept" in the area of tree climbing because nothing I said was factually inaccurate. All I did was seek to let other's who use friction savers know that there is more than one way to go about installing it. I have spent my entire tree climbing career doing everything completely alone and by myself, so pardon me for not knowing that others were already very much aware of the method I said is better (although I anticipated that I couldn't possibly be the only one who knew about it). But considering that there exist people who clearly do not know about the method I shared, this thread and post that I made undoubtedly has the potential to help those people discover a new, easier method for installing a friction saver. Just because it ddin't help you doesn't mean that my post isn't helpful.

If my efforts to help others learn a (potentially new to them) correctly discussed technique makes me appear inept, and not adept, then so be it.

EDIT: Also, I'm not sure how me looking into a book that you mentioned with the hopes of discovering new ideas for content for my channel makes me look like I'm not knowledgeable. I may already know much of what is in that book, but I also might learn a thing or two. The point was to see if I might come up with new topics that can help the new, newer, and intermediate climber improve their skills.
 
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I was addressing the shortfall in technique you yourself pointed to in Climbing Arborist's YouTube offering that you posted.

Nothing to do with you or your "adeptness" one way or the other. Take a deep breath, friend :).
 
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Step 1. Assess the tree
Step 2. Faff with cube, then the line, then the bag
Step 3. Finally get throwline in decent place
Step 4. Stop pushing your luck, before you hit the neighbor's Chihuahua with 12oz of lead.
Step 5. Put the fricken friction saver back in the truck!
Step 6. Secure the climb line.
Step 7. Enter the tree
Step 8. Enjoy your time in your now elevated state.

Rope is cheap, time is money, therefore rope<time.

For cereals though, DO NOT brain the neighbor's Chihuahua with the throw bag. Damn thing will remember that crap long after you've forgotten.
 
@Knotorious it's cool that you're very passionate about tree climbing, and like experimenting with friction hitches. Everyone here likes climbing trees and using ropes, that's why we're all here. I think it's cool you like making videos to post on YouTube, that would annoy me to no end doing video production for fun, it's not something i enjoy or even know how to do, but i like watching videos from time to time. YouTube is kinda neat, it democratized video production so anyone can make videos about anything which can spread info in a different way than before. The problem with YouTube for trying to learn different stuff is that at some point some people making videos don't really know what they're talking about because they lack experience, but they like it and they like making videos, but someone who doesn't know better can't tell what's fact. Not saying that's you by any means, I'm simply saying that's the limitation of YouTube and other forms of passive learning in general.

I think i can speak for at least some here when i say teaching people how to do risky activities on a platform like YouTube has a certain cringe factor to most guys/gals that have experience, because watching a video doesn't make sure the audience understands the material before they go attempting it. Now granted if they're learning how to do a dangerous activity on YouTube and it goes south that's evolution in progress since they didn't do their due diligence, but most everyone here knows people who have died and/or been seriously injured doing tree work and climbing, and they weren't newbies at all, they were very experienced and knowledgeable tree workers. World class rock climbers die all the time too, so even the idea of sharing knowledge that could get someone killed without vetting the audience first leaves most people here somewhat uneasy. Sharing knowledge is a lofty and admirable thing, but since YouTube leaves the determination of the skill level of the teacher up to the viewer and doesn't allow the teacher to stop something bad before it happens, it's a minefield for learning dangerous stuff like climbing. A simple omission or misunderstanding can get someone killed.

I'm not a really good climber, decent but nothing spectacular since i do trees as a side business, my main job is being a steamfitter. I weld pipe for money, and i don't consider myself especially good at that even, simply because i know a bunch of people with far more skill than I'll ever be able to obtain. But I'm better than the vast majority of people on the planet who have tried it, or even who make a living welding. I got that way by 10s of thousands of hours under a hood looking thru a 2x4 shaded window, doing complicated, dangerous, and critical work, obtaining training in how to do it and continuously working to improve, and it's that time and effort invested that has earned me my knowledge. There's lots of people on YouTube making videos about welding, and i can honestly say without bragging that the vast majority of them couldn't even run a grinder for me on a job. It's cool that they make videos about welding, and that's awesome that they enjoy it, but they don't have that experience or knowledge and i can't help but see it, but the average person doesn't know so they can't see it. If I'm hanging out at a bar and a guy and i start talking about welding that's super cool since i love it too, but when the guy has a baby mig setup in his garage and feels the need to educate me on welding my patience and desire for further conversation is going to evaporate pretty quickly.

There's a disproportionate amount of people here who are in the upper echelon of tree workers and climbers in the entire world. Like invented the tools and techniques that the rest of us use good. Like are on stihl posters topping out trees bigger than I've ever seen good. Like made most of the money they have in their life by doing it good. Like worked for usfd for decades good. Like trained lots of people to do this for a living good. They have the expertise and experience, and have had to do it when it isn't fun and games. Recreational climbing is one thing, it's another when you have to climb and dismantle broken hazardous trees because no one else can and that's your job.

We all love that you climb and stuff, but please remember that this isn't your audience on YouTube, this is where people who have tons of experience hang out and others come to listen and learn from them. If you want to make videos about how to climb and stuff that's great since you know how and you like it, but you need to change your mindset that assumes everyone is going to like the premise of teaching people these skills on YouTube at all, or that everyone will be impressed by your experience level. Many here were more or less self taught too, and most learned stuff here no matter their experience level. By having humility of your skill set you might be able to learn even more, which can only improve your ability to follow your passions. I love your dedication to all this and like seeing your new knot constructions, but i fear your defensiveness may be blocking your potential progress. Let other people tell you how good you are, never the other way around, always go with heres what i do any suggestions? The most skilled people in the world in anything are usually very humble about it, the least skilled are dying to tell you how great they are and so no one ever helps them with learning new stuff so they just stay at that skill level. I assume you're like me and would like to learn even more hanging out here saving you time to get even more knowledge, so that's my advice. It hasn't always worked for me tho, I'm still a mediocre climber at best :lol:
 
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@Knotorious

I think i can speak for at least some here when i say teaching people how to do risky activities on a platform like YouTube has a certain cringe factor to most guys/gals that have experience, because watching a video doesn't make sure the audience understands the material before they go attempting it. Now granted if they're learning how to do a dangerous activity on YouTube and it goes south that's evolution in progress since they didn't do their due diligence, but most everyone here knows people who have died and/or been seriously injured doing tree work and climbing, and they weren't newbies at all, they were very experienced and knowledgeable tree workers. World class rock climbers die all the time too, so even the idea of sharing knowledge that could get someone killed without vetting the audience first leaves most people here somewhat uneasy. Sharing knowledge is a lofty and admirable thing, but since YouTube leaves the determination of the skill level of the teacher up to the viewer and doesn't allow the teacher to stop something bad before it happens, it's a minefield for learning dangerous stuff like climbing. A simple omission or misunderstanding can get someone killed.

I understand your concern about people on YouTube thinking they can just take people's word and try out dangerous activities based on what they learned on YouTube, which is why I post a disclaimer on most of my videos that reads as follows...

"DISCLAIMER: I am NOT an expert. The activities discussed in this channel are inherently dangerous and a climber must fully understand how to use their equipment, and understand basic climbing techniques, prior to ascending. My videos are NOT a substitute for professional guidance, teaching and/or direction. Be sure to get instruction from a trained professional before even considering climbing a tree of any size. Always begin "low and slow." You take my advice at your own risk and I cannot be held responsible for any injury (or death) you may incur. Tree climbing takes practice, patience, and stringent inspection protocols in order to generate an acceptable margin of safety. Avoid climbing alone. Have backup plans! Enjoy!"

As to my reaction to @Burnham, I apologize. I completely misunderstood you. Just disregard what I said. It thought you were being almost rudely critical of me for some reason. That's a me problem.

@Knotorious

There's a disproportionate amount of people here who are in the upper echelon of tree workers and climbers in the entire world. Like invented the tools and techniques that the rest of us use good. Like are on stihl posters topping out trees bigger than I've ever seen good. Like made most of the money they have in their life by doing it good. Like worked for usfd for decades good. Like trained lots of people to do this for a living good. They have the expertise and experience, and have had to do it when it isn't fun and games. Recreational climbing is one thing, it's another when you have to climb and dismantle broken hazardous trees because no one else can and that's your job.

Firstly, I am fully aware that this forum isn't the audience for most of my videos -- especially ones with climbing and technique instructions...which is why I hardly ever share those videos with anyone here. I effectively limit my posts here to videos pertaining to friction hitches and knots. I don't have a complex; I don't actually think I'm better than anyone here and I already admitted in my previous message that everyone here is likely more qualified than I am in every area of production tree work. The ONLY reason I tried to highlight my experience and knowledge is SOLEY BECAUSE I misinterpreted what Burnham said, which resulted in me becoming offended and feeling like I had to defend my honor. Under ANY OTHER CIRCUMSTANCE, I will not and do not brag about my abilities.

I don't need other people to tell me I'm talented or intelligent. I'm fully aware that I am both. I also have no desire to prove it to anyone; you either agree or your don't. I'm also definitely not interested in trying to get compliments or praise from anyone unless it's purely organic and naturally occuring.

@Knotorious If you want to make videos about how to climb and stuff that's great since you know how and you like it, but you need to change your mindset that assumes everyone is going to like the premise of teaching people these skills on YouTube at all, or that everyone will be impressed by your experience level. Many here were more or less self taught too, and most learned stuff here no matter their experience level. By having humility of your skill set you might be able to learn even more, which can only improve your ability to follow your passions. I love your dedication to all this and like seeing your new knot constructions, but i fear your defensiveness may be blocking your potential progress. Let other people tell you how good you are, never the other way around, always go with heres what i do any suggestions? The most skilled people in the world in anything are usually very humble about it, the least skilled are dying to tell you how great they are and so no one ever helps them with learning new stuff so they just stay at that skill level. I assume you're like me and would like to learn even more hanging out here saving you time to get even more knowledge, so that's my advice. It hasn't always worked for me tho, I'm still a mediocre climber at best :lol:

What makes you think that I "assume that everyone is going to like the premise of teaching people these skills on YouTube at all, or that everyone will be impressed by my experience level?" That amounts to an assumption about me having an assumption. As previously stated, I honestly don't care whether or not someone is impressed with my YouTube videos or my experience level. I'm just a guy making helpful content for the tree climber, whether they be recreational or industry climbers. I don't really care if some people, or if even everyone, hates the videos I share. I share my videos because I know my content is educational and my hope is that some of you find my knot and hitch videos to be interesting. The majority of people who read this forum aren't members...so let's not forget about them. If certain people don't like my videos, that's perfectly alright. Not everyone likes chocolate ice cream or sushi, but I wouldn't lose a wink of sleep if I loved sushi but my friend didn't. This is no different.

It's already blatantly obvious that the vast majority of people on here DO NOT ENJOY, or even ENTERTAIN, watching my videos. I know this because I can track the view count from this website after I post them. I'm lucky if 3-6 people from here watch any given video that I post. So trust and believe that I KNOW a lot of you don't seem enthused about the videos that I post from my channel. But I continue to post them anyways for those few of you who actually like checking them out.

My ego is very small. In fact, truth be told, despite having a substantial amount of potential and capabilities, I've long suffered from disproportionately severe low self-esteem. So I maintain a serious amount of humility at pretty much all times because I legitimately believe I suck at life -- and yes, it's depressing. TMI? I'm a very honest person, though. I hope that clarifies your incorrect assumptions and observations about me. Lastly, the ONLY reason I made a point to respond to Burnham with my best effort to defend my honor was because I, again, believed he made a snide comment (which he obviously didn't; again, that's my problem)...and I'm not a bitch. :D
 
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