Zipline to send paydirt downhill

Goodyguy

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Anyone use a zipline to send buckets of paydirt downhill to a drywasher?

Hiking up and back down a rocky slope with buckets of paydirt is wearing me out.
I'm either going to have to find a way to set up my drywasher on a steep rocky hillside or come up with an easier way to get the paydirt down to the drywasher which is conveniently set up under a shade canopy on level ground next to my vehicle.

I am having trouble setting up a zipline due to no trees to anchor to. I tried to adapt a roller stand by making it 5 feet tall and use stakes with ratcheting tiedowns to anchor it, and a boat winch to tighten the zipline but the force needed to keep 100 feet of line from sagging to the ground with a 50-60lb load was just too much for my rig and so my first attempt ended in a fail.

Using braided polyester rope was not a good idea because it stretches too much, so wire rope is probably the way I will go for my next attempt.
Also the Harbor Freight roller stand is just too flimsy for the load required. The downhill end of the zipline is anchored to my Jeep so no problem there.

Just wondering if anyone has tried this and could offer any suggestions? I suppose, using 3 gallon buckets instead of 5 gallon would also help out some.

Also any suggestions for setting up a drywasher on a hillside short of digging out a level area. I need to sit next to the drywasher to feed it due to having back issues. Not the option I want, but if I cant get the zipline to work it would have to do.

The repeated hiking up and down the hillside is just too much work and there has to be an easier way that is simple and lightweight. :icon_scratch:
My partner and I trade off the digging and feeding but still a lot of trips up and downhill. We are both in our 70's

All suggestions will be appreciated, except for only mining on level ground or quitting :tongue3:

GG~
 
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arizau

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Adjustable leg extensions is an option that comes to mind for sidehill setup.

Good luck.
 

arizau

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Maybe some bike wheels on the bucket will help elevate the bucket/even out the sag.
 
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Goodyguy

Goodyguy

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Maybe some bike wheels on the bucket will help elevate the bucket/even out the sag.

The terrain is way to rugged for that option. But I like the way you think:icon_thumleft:
 

smokeythecat

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A 1/4" steel cable may be what is needed. Use a roller assembly on each bucket to get the material to go down the hill more smoothly. And you are absolutely putting too much weight on it. I assume you have a secondary line attached to the bucket from the top for a brake to keep it from slamming into your jeep?
 
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Goodyguy

Goodyguy

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A 1/4" steel cable may be what is needed. Use a roller assembly on each bucket to get the material to go down the hill more smoothly. And you are absolutely putting too much weight on it. I assume you have a secondary line attached to the bucket from the top for a brake to keep it from slamming into your jeep?

Thanks Smokey, I am using a snatch block pulley with a hook attached to carry the bucket, then there is a secondary rope with carabiner attached to the snatch block pulley for empty bucket retrieval back up the zipline, that rope is attached to a cord reel and I use a cordless drill to rewind the reel to retrieve the empty bucket. Do you think 1/4" wire rope cable will be heavy duty enough for the zipline?

And yes, I do use that secondary line as a speed control when the bucket descends the zipline. I also have a stop on the zipline to keep the bucket from hitting the Jeep. The stop consists of a piece of heavy rope tied into a knot and ziptied onto the rope zipline. Will have to change that somewhat when I switch over to cable.
I use a hitch mounted bicycle rack with an eye bolt installed to attach the zipline with carabiner to at the Jeep.

The part I'm having the most trouble with is the upper anchor assembly not being heavy duty enough.
I'll try to get a photo tomorrow morning. Right now it's 114 degrees out and I'm staying in next to the ac.:tongue3:

GG~
 
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Kray Gelder

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Would a PVC pipe "chute" work. I don't know what size material you're hauling, but a 4" by 10' pvc sewer drain pipe lists for $12.96. 10 of them jammed together would be somewhat flexible. It would hold itself up, supported in only a few places. The paydirt would need to be dry for it to work, I'm thinking.
 
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Goodyguy

Goodyguy

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Would a PVC pipe "chute" work. I don't know what size material you're hauling, but a 4" by 10' pvc sewer drain pipe lists for $12.96. 10 of them jammed together would be somewhat flexible. It would hold itself up, supported in only a few places. The paydirt would need to be dry for it to work, I'm thinking.

Nice thought, but to get dry rocky dirt to go down the chute it would have to be at a really steep angle, most likely over 45 degrees and I have no way to haul (10) 10 foot lengths of pipe. The hill in question is only about 30 degrees in places with no unobstructed straight line on the ground. Boulders of various sizes and shapes are strewn all over, not to mention various types of cactus and vegetation. More work than I want to tackle for this project.

Also a jamb up would be near impossible to locate and clear. Thanks for the idea though. Something to keep in mind for future :icon_thumleft:
 
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Ohiogoldfever

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D5D9B852-EF49-45BD-8BAC-E4A1B0821AE4.jpeg

Two A frames with heavy anchor points on each side. Maybe a come along tied on one end so you can tighten the cable as it stretches.
 

smokeythecat

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You know, if you just get more buckets, like 2 gallon, what you have now will probably work. PLUS, if the line ever snaps or pulls free, which it can, getting smacked by a rope will hurt a lot less than getting hit by a steel cable and the rope won't be a lightning magnet. Once upon a time ago in another life I used a primordial zip line of 1/8" aluminum stretched about 200' between trees to attach and fire model (paper) rockets. It worked quite well. I never told my dad or I would have been toast.
 

Phil

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Been there, done that. 1500' of 1/8" cable and no matter what I did, couldn't get the wire tight enough without snapping it. Tried 1/4" but it was so heavy, couldn't get it off the ground even with a 5000 pound winch.

100 feet should be doable though. Is there anything you can attach the wire to on the uphill side? A large rock on the uphill side...........wrap the wire around it and use multiple clamps to keep it from slipping. On the other end, wrap it around the frame on your Jeep and pull forward until it is tight.

Or find something on the downhill side. Wrap a section of wire around it with a pulley attached and tighten it with clamps. Then pull the wire through the pulley and on the loose end, attach it to a winch. Then attach winch to something solid and tighten cable.
 

Phil

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Been there, done that. 1500' of 1/8" cable and no matter what I did, couldn't get the wire tight enough without snapping it. Tried 1/4" but it was so heavy, couldn't get it off the ground even with a 5000 pound winch.

100 feet should be doable though. Is there anything you can attach the wire to on the uphill side? A large rock on the uphill side...........wrap the wire around it and use multiple clamps to keep it from slipping. On the other end, wrap it around the frame on your Jeep and pull forward until it is tight.

Or find something on the downhill side. Wrap a section of wire around it with a pulley attached and tighten it with clamps. Then pull the wire through the pulley and on the loose end, attach it to a winch. Then attach winch to something solid and tighten cable.
 
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Goodyguy

Goodyguy

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attachment.php


Two A frames with heavy anchor points on each side. Maybe a come along tied on one end so you can tighten the cable as it stretches.

Hmmm I like the A frame Idea! I only need one at the top. I'll still use my Jeep with hitch mounted steel pole at the bottom end.
Just need a way to anchor my come-along into a boulder. Or I could use a long stake in the ground to attach it to. A turnbuckle would also work to tighten the zipline.

I have been on youtube studying up on ziplines but havent seen the A frame idea used as an anchor platform but It sounds feasable to me. I know how strong and stable the A shape is. :icon_thumleft:

GG~
 
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Goodyguy

Goodyguy

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Been there, done that. 1500' of 1/8" cable and no matter what I did, couldn't get the wire tight enough without snapping it. Tried 1/4" but it was so heavy, couldn't get it off the ground even with a 5000 pound winch.

100 feet should be doable though. Is there anything you can attach the wire to on the uphill side? A large rock on the uphill side...........wrap the wire around it and use multiple clamps to keep it from slipping. On the other end, wrap it around the frame on your Jeep and pull forward until it is tight.

Or find something on the downhill side. Wrap a section of wire around it with a pulley attached and tighten it with clamps. Then pull the wire through the pulley and on the loose end, attach it to a winch. Then attach winch to something solid and tighten cable.


Pretty sure I can drive a 3 foot long steel stake in behind a boulder as an anchor at the top end. I think I'll build a 6 foot tall tripod to hang the upper pulley from and tie off the zipline to the stake. Then pull the Jeep forward to tighten the cable.

I just have to decide what to build the tripod out of thats strong but not too heavy. :icon_scratch:
Wonder if 2" dia. EMT conduit would work?
* (ouch I just priced it at Home Depot)
Wonder if 1" would be strong enough?

I may use 6' x 1-5/8" galvanized 16 ga. chain link fence posts, any reason they wouldn't work?
 
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arizau

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Just me being utilitarian or cheap......Maybe 2x4's edge on with plywood triangle plates front and rear to join will work. Two or three 5 or 6" through bolts can make the frame collapsible for portability.
 

Phil

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Pretty sure I can drive a 3 foot long steel stake in behind a boulder as an anchor at the top end. I think I'll build a 6 foot tall tripod to hang the upper pulley from and tie off the zipline to the stake. Then pull the Jeep forward to tighten the cable.

I just have to decide what to build the tripod out of thats strong but not too heavy. :icon_scratch:
Wonder if 2" dia. EMT conduit would work?
* (ouch I just priced it at Home Depot)
Wonder if 1" would be strong enough?

I may use 6' x 1-5/8" galvanized 16 ga. chain link fence posts, any reason they wouldn't work?


To get the cable off the ground, it requires pulling the cable VERY tight, so I'm skeptical a stand would hold up. Instead, I would go uphill from where you are digging and find a boulder to wrap around. If it is high enough (Up the hill), it will be at eye level near your digging area.
 

1637

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i think 3 2x4s with the jeep keeping it tight is your best bet. is someone at the bottom to dump the buckets?if not ,maybe a second rope mounted to to bottom of the bucket to help dump it.also mount the top mount half way down the bucket so its easier to dump.or can you take a drywasher apart and pull it up up the zip line.? must be good gold up there.
good luck take care
brad
 

1637

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well i just woke up thinking about this. do the line and tighten it with a come a long.put a pully at the top and use the jeep to pull stuff up the line to the top.build a small wooden platform out 2x4s and plywood for the drywasher or a bigger one so you would a little flat work area to work on.i think sending buckets up a down would be a pain and a lot of wasted time.you could even haul a small easyup up there. oh well going back to bed now.
brad
 

russau

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I think 1 1/2 - 2 inch EMT would be too flimsy to be used (not made to handle weight) unless it would be short and use several leg's on the down hill side and dig a dead man for the upper hill side to keep it there while moving material down hill . and to move the cable and upper rigging ,I'd drag it up hill using a rope line to keep the weight down to a roar ! Find a job site that is remodeling or tearing down a old building and ask the job foreman if you can have some of the old EMT from the dumpster ! Priced right ! This way you can keep the weight and the cost down to a minimum !
 
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Goodyguy

Goodyguy

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well i just woke up thinking about this. do the line and tighten it with a come a long.put a pully at the top and use the jeep to pull stuff up the line to the top.build a small wooden platform out 2x4s and plywood for the drywasher or a bigger one so you would a little flat work area to work on.i think sending buckets up a down would be a pain and a lot of wasted time.you could even haul a small easyup up there. oh well going back to bed now.
brad

Thanks Brad,

Digging and filling and carrying two buckets at a time down a hillside to process the dirt gets old fast and is time consuming not to mention the hike back up which seems to get harder each time.

The plan is to have my partner empty the bucket and feed the drywasher while I work at the top filling and sending the next bucket down. Then we can trade places whenever I need a break from digging.

It's just so much easier to have the drywasher set up under a shade canopy on semi level ground by the jeep where everything is more convenient.
The less stuff to be carried up hill the better.

GG~
 
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