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CPOly

Multipitch Sport Technique

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I'm just wondering what the preferred technique is for climbing multipitch sport climbs. Specifically when the leader arrives at the anchor, what's the most common/best method for anchoring in, how to prepare to belay up the second, and the second anchoring in upon arrival at the belay. Thanks for any info.

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I climbed a multipitch sprot route a couple of weeks back and just used the regular ol' ATC-type belay device. What I was sort of wishing for was to have something more like a Gri-gri. By this I mean some sort of locking device that I could attach to the bolts and then could just reel in the slack to the second hand over hand. This might not be much of a concern on harder climbs, but on this one we were just running up it. It was a royal pain in the ass trying to keep up with the climber while bringing in the slack. Also it was a pain when seconding to have to keep stopping and waiting for a reasonable amount of slack to get pulled up.

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Tie off to two lockers with an atomic bowline on the rope. Belay off the anchor or off harness through a quickdraw on one of the hangers. When the second arrives, send 'em off on the next pitch.

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Hi CP,

 

Welcome to cc.com.

 

I think most leaders clip into a two bolt anchor by either girth hitching two slings to their harness and clipping into each bolt with a locking biner on each sling, or by attaching a double length sling to the two bolts (making sure to do the "magic x" thing) and then clove-hitching their end of the main climbing rope to a locking biner on the double length sling. If you know how to tie a "dog-eared bowline" (same thing as B-rock's "atomic bowline" I think) that is also a nice method to tie in and uses less gear (nice for alpine routes).

 

Autoblocks such as a petzl reverso or gri-gri are nice for belaying seconds from above because you can attach the device directly to the anchor and if the second falls/hangs, the weight isn't on you. If you belay with the device attached to your harness, it is a good idea to have the rope run from your harness up to the anchor through a biner (like the quickdraw method that B-rock suggested) and then down to your second. That way if they fall you get pulled "up and in" rather than "down and out". You can use a munter hitch on a locking biner as a belay device (this is a good technique to know in case you ever lose your belay device).

 

Before you start belaying up your second, make sure you are comfortable, that you can effectively pull in rope and lock off the belay device, and that you know what will happen if the second falls/hangs. I got yanked off a ledge and scraped up pretty badly once because my second fell and I was belaying off of my harness and I was above the anchor a bit.

 

As the second climbs up, the leader can stack the rope on rope/sling connecting them to the anchor. This makes for a neat belay ledge. If the ledge is big enough, you can also just make a pile of rope as you pull in slack.

 

I hope that helps. I'm sure others will give you some good advice or point out any errors/omissions I might have made.

 

Here is a good website:

http://www.chockstone.org/TechTips.htm

 

Edited by Alpinfox

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Thanks everyone for the tips and the link. Suppose myself and my partner will not be swinging leads and I will be leading all pitches, what is the best way for the second to anchor in at the belay so that we can swap ends of the rope or re-stack the rope? I would guess slings girth hitched to the second's harness with lockers for the hangars? Thanks again for the info.

 

Oh yeah, thanks alpinfox for the cordial welcome to the board.

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I would recommend NOT swapping ends of the rope. All that untying and retying leaves a lot of room for error and prevents you from being able to use the rope to anchor yourself. On multipitch climbs, I stay tied in from bottom to top.

 

If I'm leading all of the pitches, I usually stack the rope on the rope/sling I'm hanging from and then carefully lift the stack up and transfer it to the second's anchor rope/sling after they are clipped in and comfortable. It USUALLY isn't necessary to restack the rope using this method, especially if you stack with long loops on either side, but sometimes you will have to restack. In that case, just stand there while the second does the stacking across their anchor sling. You can use that time to rerack the gear/quickdraws for the next pitch. After transferring the stack, it may be necessary for the leader to step under/over/behind/etc the second to get the rope running smoothly, but that usually is not a big deal.

 

If you make a big pile of rope while bringing up the second, or if the rope is hanging in a big loop down the rock face, it's probably a good idea to restack before leading out.

 

P.S. The second can clip into the anchor with any methods that were described above for the leader. It doesn't really matter. I think most people find the two-slings-with-locking-biners method the simplest, but I like using the clovehitching-the-rope-to-locking-biner method. Either way works.

Edited by Alpinfox

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CPOly said:

Thanks everyone for the tips and the link. Suppose myself and my partner will not be swinging leads and I will be leading all pitches, what is the best way for the second to anchor in at the belay so that we can swap ends of the rope or re-stack the rope? I would guess slings girth hitched to the second's harness with lockers for the hangars? Thanks again for the info.

 

Oh yeah, thanks alpinfox for the cordial welcome to the board.

why would you switch ends of the rope??? I have climbed multi a cupple of times and I was just tied in and stayed on that end.. my figure 8 follow threw was never unddone. do not ask me how this was acomplished I personaly have rope management issues and followed blush.gifgrin.gif

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If you're not swinging leads, have your second tie in with an atomic bowline on his own pair of lockers, or just use two full strength slings on lockers. I would not have him use just a daisy or pair of daisys to anchor. I've used the swap ends technique but (1) I like to tie into the anchor with the rope and that complicates switching (2) I like to be safely tied in the whole climb and don't want to be retying and rechecking my knot constantly (3) it works just as well to 'flip' the rope as mentioned if it's stacked neatly and (4) it takes less time to reflake the rope than it does to swap ends.

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Retrosaurus said:

Oh for cryin' out loud. Just go do it.

 

I wish you would quit crying out loud for a change, and just cry quietly to yourself. hahaha.gif

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Alpinfox said:

Before you start belaying up your second, make sure you are comfortable, that you can effectively pull in rope and lock off the belay device, and that you know what will happen if the second falls/hangs.

 

Emphasis on effectively. It's usually awkward to belay off the anchor with an autolocking device when it's lower than your shoulder, as is often the case at a ledge.

cantfocus.gif

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Retrosaurus said:

MisterE said:

I wish you would quit crying out loud for a change, and just cry quietly to yourself. hahaha.gif

MrE,

Are you E-crying?

 

Shut your trap Retro mad.gif

Stay out of the newbies forum unless you have something constructive to say.

 

Oh yeah, get a petzl reverso, you'll learn to love that beautiful device for bringing up a second and belaying up 2 at a time.

 

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There's no valid reason that I can think of off the top of my head for switching ends of the rope. Perhaps with a weird rock rescue scenario... But even then...?

 

Following is a quick breakdown of what I do on a multi-pitch climb. A multi-pitch sport climb is no different than a multi-pitch trad climb and there are many right ways to do this.

 

1) Climb to your belay station and buid an anchor using a cordellette or a double-length shoulder sling. Ideally this should be built with an overhand eight knot as the powerpoint. I don't do a magic x at belay stations as there is no advantage. (See John Long's Climbing Anchors book for more info on the standard overhand eight SRENE belay station.)

 

The reason I do this instead of clipping into anchor bolts with double runners coming off my harness or a daisy chain into one and the rope into the other has to do with rock rescue. If you want to easily escape your belay, haul your second or any one of a number of other things, having a cordellete or a double length sling anchor is more effective.

 

2) Once the belay is built, I generally tie into the power point with my rope using a clove hitch.

 

I do not use a daisy chain here, in fact I don't use a daisy chain for anything but aid climbing. The reason I tie in with a clove hitch instead of some kind of sling type approach is because I want to be able to adjust my position. With a clove hitch instead of a daisy I can make myself closer or further from the anchor at any point without untying from the anchor. This may be important if you need to adjust yourself to see your second if he is a newbie or something. It simply gives you more flexibility.

 

3) There are two effective ways to belay a second from this type of station. First you may belay directly off the anchor using a reverso, a gigi, a grigri, or a munter hitch. Second, you may redirect the rope from your harness through a caribiner in the shelf and back down to your partner.

 

The nice thing about belaying off the anchor is that once again rock rescue is simple from here. You do not have to escape the belay to do anything. You were never in it to begin with.

 

For those of you not framiliar, the shelf is the spot above the figure eight in your anchor system. You may clip a carabiner between each of the strands here and have a second powerpoint which is completely equalized.

 

When you redirect, using the shelf is an important consideration. If the climber below falls, both your weight and his weight are on all points of the anchor in this system. If you have only clipped one point of the anchor and are redirecting through that, then when the climber below falls, both your weight and his are on that one point as well. Having both your weights on all points of the anchor is clearly better. But periodically for whatever reason, you have to redirect through one point of the anchor...

 

There are very few reasons to belay directly off your harness to the climber. Clearly if you are at an excellent hanging belay and you are belaying directly off your harness to the climber below and that climber falls, you are getting pulled down and it's quite uncomfortable.

 

The only reason I might belay off my body is if I'm on a trad climb in weird ground at a poor belay station. If I don't trust all the gear in my belay or there is little gear to trust, I might belay off my body because I might be able to position my body in such a way that it becomes part of the system and backs things up to some extent... Clearly this is used only in exteme situations once in a blue moon.

 

4) As you belay your partner up, you may butterfly stack the rope over the line which you are tied in on. This keeps the rope from hanging all over the wall and getting caught on things. It also sets up the rope nicely for the next person to lead out.

 

If you are doing all the leading you may either pancake the rope onto your partners tie in line or restack it over his line so that your end is on top. This is far safer than doing some kind of untying and retying craziness.

 

Hope all this helps!

 

Jason

 

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Here's my highly unapproved, but quick method on multipitch sport, that works if leads are being swung...

 

-Arrive anchor, throw draw on one of the bolts, the one that is to the side that the leader will be starting the next pitch, ideally.

 

-Tie a figure8 with lots of slack between me and the knot, clip it to the top biner of the draw.

 

-Throw a locker on the second bolt and tie in with a clove hitch.

 

-Redirect the belay rope through the bottom of the draw, belay off my harness.

 

-When the second has lead through, and is at the next belay, I can strip half the anchor down as soon as they have gone "Off Belay", and hang from the clove on the locker; ready to rock as soon as I am "On Belay!"

 

When the leader leaves the belay, the rope is already through a draw. thumbs_up.gif

 

Total gear = 1 draw, one locker.

Total time < 60 seconds.

 

Not reccomended, but I like it. thumbs_up.gif

 

It would be major suck if you had to initiate rescue, but it could be done. It is not equalized, and it breaks all the rules. I wouldn't use it somewhere like Smiff where the bolts are questionable, but in Granite, with good bolts, I am happy to hang off one bolt w/ a backup.

 

You can do a variation of this that is equalized, but it doesn't allow you to adjust the length of your tie in, and you hang from the fig8, so it is harder to untie when it is time to leave.

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CPOly said:

I'm just wondering what the preferred technique is for climbing multipitch sport climbs. Specifically when the leader arrives at the anchor, what's the most common/best method for anchoring in, how to prepare to belay up the second, and the second anchoring in upon arrival at the belay. Thanks for any info.

anchor in really really good. belay the second with a device. like a grigri if you are the typical sportie mo-ron. but bring a rap device cause you will fail to get to that bolt a mere 5' away at the crux. when the second arrives at the belay anchor them in really really good too. it is like way bad form to boge and like kill yourself or sumpin. really.

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I actually disagree with the whole concept of tying the whole affair off after equalizing. If there is any side-loading, then the impact point is fixed, putting big loads on few pieces thumbs_down.gif

 

If you keep the equalized cordolette untied, it allows for free movement in case of indirect loads.

 

My $.02.

 

P.S. Scott thumbs_up.gif

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MisterE,

 

Read the John Long book. Or even better, the "Technical Handbook for Professional Mountain Guides."

 

The Magic X doesn't follow all the tenants for a SRENE anchor, which is arguably the best anchor. (Solid gear, Redundant throughout the system, Equalized, with No Extension) The Magic X is usually not redundant and has extension.

 

Sideloading on an anchor already loaded with bodyweight which has been led up to with the rope running through the pieces below is somewhat unlikely.

 

All that said, people do things different ways and though I'm a bit down on the system you describe it's unlikely to fail unless one of your pieces blows, then the extension in the system is going to screw you. But in a multi-pitch sport climbing scenario this isn't going to happen. Thus I don't like your system, but it's not wrong. Your reasoning for using your system however is a little off in most scenarios.

 

Jason

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get one of these for each climber PAS.jpg and clip into the anchor points with it with draws or lockers then get the second to do the same thing when they arrive. thumbs_up.gif

 

since we are talking sport - it can be better for the climber who will lead the next pitch, to clip into the chain links if the anchor has chains, and have the belayer for the next pitch clip right into the anchor bolts, but not all anchors are set up this way so it may not be possible.....

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Swinging Leads: Self-equalizing Figure-8 knot with rope (Falcon: advanced rock climbing). This knot easily self-equalizes 2 or 3 points.

Not Swingling Leads: Two cordelettes or Web-O-lets, preferably. One for current anchor, one for next anchor.

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Jason_Martin said:

I do not use a daisy chain here, in fact I don't use a daisy chain for anything but aid climbing. The reason I tie in with a clove hitch instead of some kind of sling type approach is because I want to be able to adjust my position. With a clove hitch instead of a daisy I can make myself closer or further from the anchor at any point without untying from the anchor. This may be important if you need to adjust yourself to see your second if he is a newbie or something. It simply gives you more flexibility.

 

That's why I like to use the Metolius Easy Aider for sport. It's my first clip when I arrive at the belay, then I clove hitch the rope to the other anchor (If we are talking about 2 bolt anchors) this way I am backed up. It may be redundant, but I like to be redundant for safety reasons, always. And the easy aider is always the backup for the rope, not vice versa.

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Jason_Martin said:

MisterE,

 

Read the John Long book. Or even better, the "Technical Handbook for Professional Mountain Guides."

 

The Magic X doesn't follow all the tenants for a SRENE anchor, which is arguably the best anchor. (Solid gear, Redundant throughout the system, Equalized, with No Extension) The Magic X is usually not redundant and has extension.

 

Sideloading on an anchor already loaded with bodyweight which has been led up to with the rope running through the pieces below is somewhat unlikely.

 

All that said, people do things different ways and though I'm a bit down on the system you describe it's unlikely to fail unless one of your pieces blows, then the extension in the system is going to screw you. But in a multi-pitch sport climbing scenario this isn't going to happen. Thus I don't like your system, but it's not wrong. Your reasoning for using your system however is a little off in most scenarios.

 

Jason

In addition, the Magic X or Sliding Knot does not redistribute loads between bolts as well as one would expect due to friction. It's multidirectional nature is it's only advantage, and it doesn't even do this well.

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Dru,

 

Those things are almost as dorky as hand jammies.

 

Scott,

 

An adjustable daisy is a step up. But you still can't adjust yourself out very far. Sometimes I set myself up ten or fifteen feet down from the actual belay on a clove hitch so that I can look down over a lip to see and hear my second.

 

It's partially a matter of preferance and partially a matter of who your climbing with. If you're climbing with beginners a lot or you have a potential situation where you're going to have to move away from the belay some distance, then tying directly in with the rope is better. If you're climbing with the same guys all the time and you don't feel a need to put in this additional means of manuevering there is certainly nothing wrong with that.

 

Jason

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Speaking of sport routes- check out this route Dwayner, Pope, and I recently put up..........................................bolts.jpg

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