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Singles vs. doubles

Do you use single or half ropes?  

126 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you use single or half ropes?

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I'm a new leader and have really fallen in love with alpine climbing. Recently, I've started climbing with friends who are into half-ropes, and I've becomed a bit enamored with them. But I've never lead on halves, and wanted to know what your thoughts were before I invest in a new rope (or ropes).

 

I'm into halves for all the usual reasons. But how much of a learning curve is it to lead on them? As a leader, will it be harder for me to find agressive belayers who are confident managing doubles? I already know the pros/cons of both systems, but what are your recommendations? Some of my friends have recommended sticking to singles until I'm a more confident leader, and then switching. Others have said that's crap, and they started on halves from the beginning.

 

Thoughts?

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WTF is an "agressive belayer"? Is that a partner that kicks your ass if you don't send a pitch the first time? Intimidates you into carrying the rope *and* rack to the crag?

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next time your belayer gets too aggressive, just ask them to smoke a bowl and calm down, works every time

 

And if you dont know how to smoke

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I'm a new leader and have really fallen in love with alpine climbing. Recently, I've started climbing with friends who are into half-ropes, and I've becomed a bit enamored with them. But I've never lead on halves, and wanted to know what your thoughts were before I invest in a new rope (or ropes).

 

I'm into halves for all the usual reasons. But how much of a learning curve is it to lead on them? As a leader, will it be harder for me to find agressive belayers who are confident managing doubles? I already know the pros/cons of both systems, but what are your recommendations? Some of my friends have recommended sticking to singles until I'm a more confident leader, and then switching. Others have said that's crap, and they started on halves from the beginning.

 

Thoughts?

I've worked with both and haven't found one way more difficult to learn than the other. I haven't experienced an "agressive belayer" so I don't know what you mean there. But I think you'll find most folks to be pretty flexible and willing to do what will make you most comfortable. Good luck to ya!

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The key to the half-rope belay that I've found a few others lacking in is being able to feed one rope (the clipping rip) while keeping the other stationary. The idea being, while you're clipping, the rope not being clipped should catch you since it's not being paid out.

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Go doubles!!!! but youll need three sets of ropes anyways

 

youll want an ok single for cragging, sport climbing, twins for alpine, and Doubles for ice and wandering routes. Managing doubles is nothing to worry about.

 

Leading on them is no different than leading on singles, just place and clip whatever rope you want to.

 

Note on WC post, just pull whatever rope the leader is clipping with your free hand, while your brake hand hold on to both ropes.

Edited by jmace

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Feeding one rope at a time is only really necessary on sketchy clips. If the climber is looking solid, treat the two ropes like one rope.

 

When feeding one half rope, I will feed the clipping rope, then as soon as it is clipped I take in a little slack. Then I will feed an apprx same amount of rope from the unclipped side side. Now I can treat both ropes as one again as the climber climbs past the protection.

 

In general I prefer half ropes for everything except sport climbs and plumb crack climbs. The extra redundancy gives me a huge boost in confidence. On alpine routes the only time I would prefer a single is for a longer approach with a walk off. I will also use a single if my partner insists/prefers.

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hmm, aggressive belay...energetic? lively? attentive? paying attention, listening, handling the rope energetically and actively, etc.

 

It's a silly way to describe it, I guess. I guess I see an agressive belayer as someone who considers himself part of the climbing process and is engaged in the moment, rather than someone who kinda belays without any heart, spaces out, etc. I guess I'm a weirdo?

 

Anywho, that wasn't my point....

 

The key to the half-rope belay that I've found a few others lacking in is being able to feed one rope (the clipping rip) while keeping the other stationary.

 

This is our concern, Dude. :tup: I don't know if doubles are gonna cause more of a hassle then they are worth while I'm still working on my lead chops. Should I stick with singles until I'm more confident above the anchor?

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youll want an ok single for cragging, sport climbing, twins for alpine, and Doubles for ice and wandering routes.

 

Twins for alpine? Why not stick with the doubles?

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Twins are easier on the belayer because he always treats them the same as single. It's a little harder for the leader because he has to clip two instead of one, but that's not hard with practice. Nice thing about halves on hard routes is if you are in the habit of clipping high, and fall while blowing a clip, the other rope will catch you without all that extra slack.

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Twins for Alpine (7.5mm): Light and small to pack!! thats my main joy about using them. Great for loose/sharp rock. However Doubles will obviously work but you would have to place gear differently.

Why I dont like Twins for Ice, can be quite hard to yard on two pieces of rope and clip them both, especially near the end of a pitch, and when they are wet. Also with the belayer always off to one side out of harms way I find that my ice pitches tend to wander a bit more (so I like using doubles), plus I Thought that twins put a bit more strain on pro than a single piece of rope..could be wrong

 

Any ways, comes down to preference and weight, but really dont get hung up on learning how to belay with doubles..I find it quite easy to have my break hand with my pointer finger between each strand and my free hand feeds out either rope. I bought doubles as my first rope and use them everywhere including squamish. A singe rope really only works if your only going to be cragging, otherwise your gonna need two ropes..even on walk offs...what if you need to go down before the top, sucks to be short every time!

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Rope management and weight are cons for any double rope system. As such, I use twins for when we anticipate possible retreat or are returning the way we came, *or* might accidently chop the rope seconding (e.g. Polar Circus), and a single 60m 9.4 for when we think we can send and there is a walkoff (e.g. North Ridge of Stuart, S Face of Prussik, and so on).

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get the 8.9 single with a uber light tag line kept in your pack, this will speed things up. In leading and rope management you save some time with a single. But like alex said you dont need doubles to get off most things, more common ice climbing. I like doubles when a pitch meanders or with a partly of three, twins are not fun with 3. Most of the winter I climbed on a single and I have found it alot more smoother in all.plus in retreat it doesnt hurt as bad when you cut a cheap tagline compared to your half/twin. then when you get a new one it may be updated as most companies do, look at mammut, the genisis has changed a few times. I have noticed this while working in a shop. just something else to think on.

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ropes?

this isn't spray smart-ass. Question is, if you climb on a 8.9mm rope, what size/type of cord do you consider to be an 'uber light' tag line.

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now now. dont go getting your tight sphincter in a twist.

 

7mm is fine for me, the boulders are rarely taller than 25 - 30feet. so when I haul my pig up that contains the bong, weight really doesnt factor in that much.

 

oh wait, was using an 8.9 mm rope a a precondition to the second part of the question?

 

nevermind.

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I climbing on a 10mm single. If neccessary, i bring an 8mm rope as a tag line. Was just wondering what other people use. Seems to me, if one goes much smaller than 7 or 8mm, ther is greater chance of it getting hung up, wind blowing it and getting caught on things, harder to haul on it etc.

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I have just got a 6mm tagline but have used a 5m pull cord. if you have cash or prodeal. get 5.5 mm titan or tech cord for it and will last long. for ice and harder trad it is nice to have a cord will a little extra stretch, less force on your fucked up gear...jk. but this is what my drunk ass does

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unless you wanna own tons of different ropes twins are stupid.. Doubles can be used as twins but twins cant be used as doubles... why bother? Why get them confused? Europeans think climibng anything other than sport climbs with single ropes is foolhardy, and I had one friend killed when his single rope cut over an edge. If i'm doing multiple pitches of any kind of climbing where I care about a belay, I use doubles, If I'm sport climbing, i use a single, and a fat one too!

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