My question is how do you guys keep them from freezing? Invariably when I get to my stand after late October the prusik knot is frozen to the rope. Generally after some prying I can get it free but often it will just slide on the safety line after. Even less fun is when the knot freezes while I am sitting and I have to free it in the dark with numb fingers.
Any of you have any tricks?
Anybody have problems with the squirrels chewing on the ropes, themselves? I was concerned about that being a problem, but so far, it hasn’t been, thankfully.
Hooked up to the rope around the tree when I was in my stand.
I second the idea of bringing your Prusik with you. Just be sure you are clear on how to attach it.
I agree, the harness and rope is by far the safest thing! We used to use one "belt" around the waist - what a disaster that would have been if we fell. We would have been upside down and died.
I had bought mine at Dick's (safety rope/prussik combined). Earlier this year, I got a recall notice for exactly this issue of it freezing (of course they would give you your money back but there isn't a solution/replacement; so it was just a legal notice I guess). I kept mine.
Here's what I do: I use a climber. So I take my safety rope setup and all with me when I leave. When I arrive at my tree, I put the rope around the tree, connect the prussik to my caribiner on my harness and climb up, move the rope up, climb some more... To come down, I reverse the process. I guess it could get wet or freeze if I was out there in the extremes. Usually if it's that bad, I am getting down and heading back to the dry/warmth of my cabin anyway. But if it's just snowing - I live near Buffalo, NY - I stay out and keep my eyes peeled and my hands in my pockets.
For ladder and stick guys... I guess this is more complicated for ladder and latch-on stands. Could you use two safety rope/prussik combos so that you could bring them out with you? What I was thinking was if you have a stick ladder and a latch on:
Loop the first safety rope/prussik around the stick ladder, connect it to your harness and move it a couple rungs up as you go. Once you get to the platform, step on, swing the second setup around the tree and then connect that prussik it to your harness. Then disconnect the first one. You can then leave the first one connected to the stick ladder for when you're ready to climb back down. Just reverse the process (connect to that one, disconnect the one around the tree and climb down)
The lines being black won't warm them enough to melt them.
I'm thinking about looking into an ascender for climbing rather than a prusik knot.