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TimL

Solo TRing with a Mini Traxion

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Does anyone have much experience using a mini traxion to TR solo? Looks pretty simple. Although I'm wondering if there are any hidden little dangers. Might find myself with a good amount of free time and not many willing partners this summer to work a couple projects.

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Using a single toothed device as your only attachment point to the rope is considered to be a bad idea by many, though you don't hear too many horror stories. You see a lot of folks doing it, (i've used the mini traxion set up a fair bit myself) but you can severely damage the rope with a suprisingly low amount of force. I like the ushba basic. It slides up the rope smoothly and has no teeth. I was kind of snail-eyed the first couple of times I used it, but it works.

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I've used my mini traxion with good results, though the toothed-cam makes me a little nervous. I imagine taking a dynamic fall with incomplete engagement of the cam resulting in a torn sheath or severed rope.

 

I used Billygoat's "Yates Rocker" and thought it was ideal for solo top-roping. Fed smoother than the minitraxion, no teeth on the cam, very small and inconspicuous. Since then I've kept my eye out for one, but they seem to be hard to find.

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I've used the Yates Rocker for a few years now. Fallen a few times on it. It does feed smoothly. Gotta keep an eye on the feed with thicker ropes or when you've got only light weight attached to the end.

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I've used the Ushba Sport for 2 years, no teeth, many falls, never a worry. Feeds awesome. You're a fool, IMHO, if you're using a toothed device for solo TR.

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I agree with avoiding teeth if possible.

 

What do people think about using a Micro-scender for TR?

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The key with any of these devices is to avoid dynamic falls.

 

The Ushba, Shunt, and MiniTraxion will cut the rope at around 6 kN. These forces can be generated by, say, clipping in to the device with a long sling instead of directly to the harness.

 

The Rocker was designed to be stronger and I think, will hold falls up to around 9-10kN.

 

That's my memory based on some data that was referenced on buildering.net, and a climbing mag review of the Rocker. I have no links archived to back it up. Research it yourself if you need more info.

 

Instead of a HMS pearbiner, I use a 1/2" stock maillon rapide/quicklink to attach the Ushba to my harness. I found the pearbiners tended to swing around and potentially crossload the gate. The quicklink is long and narrow so it tends to keep the Ushba at one end and doesn't crossload.

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ive used the ushba basic for years and love it. i dont love it (or any other device) to use as my only device though. heres my setup for solo tr'n: tie the middle of the rope into the anchor so i have 2 strands going to the ground. on 1 strand the ushba. on the other i use the trango cinch. both feed incredibly smooth even close to the ground, no rope grabbing required. i attach 1 device into my belay loop and the other into a locker attached to my harness in the same fashion as belay loop. when i get to the anchor, i only have to take off the ushba and rap with the cinch. run laps till yer fingies bleed.

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For TR Solo, Ive only tried various knots, hitches, a rigged belay device, a Gibbs #2 ascender (which cuts the rope at 2000 pounds of force supposedly) and the P Microcender (my latest preference).

 

Anything that stops you quickly however puts alot of force on the rope (ie, the surer the grab, the harder it is on the rope, the bigger the forces encountered etc..) so avoid slack maybe even weighting the rope with a sack of rocks to keep the device level with you. I avoid anything with teeth made for grabbing the sheeth of the rope, or anything that looks like it could easily pop off the rope. The P Basic fails on both counts.

 

Prolly the best devices however are the Soloist or the Silent Partner.

 

There used to be a good web page out of the UK with test beta on various systems for TR soloing...maybe google?

 

JMO

Edited by dmuja

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Yep, I've done it a bunch with a mini-traxion, I think it works out great. Usually the cliff I do it on is short enough to throw both ends of the rope down, so I run the traxion up one side, and tie in short with the other line as a backup at good rests. I don't know who in their right mind would clip into a traxion with a long sling instead of right into their harness, but I guess people do lot's of strange things. In general, I find that when I fall, it's really pretty gentle on the rope... I'm not throwing dynos while solo TRing. I've been doing it for a couple of years now, and I don't think the teeth have caused any sheath damage whatsoever. If you search, I think there are other topics discussing this (check newbie forum maybe?).

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Hey Tim-

 

I have been using a pro-traxion and mini traxion for years now. I probably have close to 100 days of climbing on them and have never had a problem. Which includes an incredible amount of falls and never have I seen anything close to any sheath damage caused from the traxions. The only sheath damage I have seen is from abrasion due to the rock while using a dynamic rope. This is why I choose to use a 10mm static.

 

 

I use a pro and mini combined if I think their is any chance I might fall. I only go with a single device if its really easy. Its best to rig another belay loop so the their is a little more redundancy in the system. When I fall on the devices both of them engage and hopefully share the load. Like I said above, never have I seen any sheath damages from the traxions, even after 25 or so repetitive hard falls on the same spot on the rope.

 

The best biners for traxions seem to be the oval lockers, Petzl recommends the "ok" biner and I agree with that. If you use the pear shape biner the device gets tweeked a fair bit easier.

 

 

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Hey Mike -

 

Thanks for the info. I only have a mini traxion so I can´t use the pro traxion as a back up. You or anybody else have any good ideas on backing up the mini traxion without a pro traxion and still have the system run smoothly? Gri Gri? Knots. But it would seem a pain to stop to adjust the system.

 

Thanks

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I have always been hesitant using my traxion for soloing, because of the fear of the teeth cutting into the rope on a fall. Instead I have always used my Gri-gri. Once off the ground a bit and at a good stance I usually tie a back-up knot, just in case. Probably not the best system, but I feel secure.

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I've used my mini traxion with good results, though the toothed-cam makes me a little nervous. I imagine taking a dynamic fall with incomplete engagement of the cam resulting in a torn sheath or severed rope.

 

I used Billygoat's "Yates Rocker" and thought it was ideal for solo top-roping. Fed smoother than the minitraxion, no teeth on the cam, very small and inconspicuous. Since then I've kept my eye out for one, but they seem to be hard to find.

 

Rocker being sold under new name/mfgr. :grin:

 

 

Edited by Sherri

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Patroller Supply, the folks on the link above who are selling the "new" Rocker(virtually the same as the old one except being manufactured in Czech. now and sold under the "Singing Rock" label) are super-helpful if you want to call them for more info on this device and its alternatives.

 

I spoke with Steve, co-owner of the site, who has both the Yates and the Singing Rock versions of the Rocker and is familiar with their applications in solo-TRing, SAR, and as well as their usefulness in other EMS fields.

 

Great resource for inquiring minds! :tup:

 

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i do this all the time. it works great with a mini traxion and back up knots or two mini trax. i have to take up the slack by hand to keep it tight, but with vertical crack type climbs, this is not such a problem up to 12a

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