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Simulclimbing

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While I don't have extensive experience with Tiblocs and such, I thing that using some sort of fall arrester mid rope like a Tibloc is at best a PITA, and at worst a false sense of security. You just shouldn't simulclimb unless both climbers would be comfortable with soloing most of the climb. For those bits where the second would not be comfortable soloing, the leader should get a piece or two in and at least hip belay the second up.

 

eldiente's GriGri plan seems good. Now with most everybody using 9.7mm lead ropes, are there Gri-Gri'like devices that work on sub 10mm ropes?

 

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I agree with the "at worst" but at best it could provide some security on the off-chance that the follower falls while climbing terrain that they're comfortable with. I took a fall last year that totally surprised me. It was on a low 5th route that I'd climbed many times before. I guess I'm looking at it as a just-in-case, can't-hurt-if-it-doesn't-slow-me-down sort of thing.

 

The issue for me is how to place it quickly and correctly given that the Ropeman has a tendency to ride the rope above the placement (unless a second piece is placed to keep it down, which does seem like a PITA to me too :)

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I agree with Jens. Simul-climbing is not for newbies.

 

There are a lot of subtle alpine skills (routefinding, ropedrag management, avoiding causing rockfall) that only come by logging miles on rock.

 

The consequences for falling while simuling are much higher than regular leading but still lower than free-soloing.

 

 

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"simulclimbing is not for newbies"

 

I don't see the connection with the original post. While I appreciate that concern. Learning a new skill isn't an indication that someone has no experience - only that they're learning a new skill. But thanks.

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eldiente's GriGri plan seems good. Now with most everybody using 9.7mm lead ropes, are there Gri-Gri'like devices that work on sub 10mm ropes?

 

I use my Gri-Gri on ropes as small as 9.7. If the leader takes and honest fall, it will lock up no problem. The only trouble I've ever had using it on smaller ropes is if the leader calls for a "take" or tries to rest on the rope. In this scenario, there won't be enough force to lock up the GriGri so I have to hold the break end of the rope like you normally would with a ATC. If your on really skinny ropes and still want to use this method, simply put a knot below the device.

 

The biggest advantage to the Gri-Gri for alpine/simul climbing is that you can move from belay to climbing very quickly without having to have the leader pull-up a bunch of slack to put the 2nd on belay.

 

-Nate

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If I am not mistaken, Petzl's manual for the Grigri also says something like "10mm <= rope diameter <= ... (9.7mm OK)".

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This how I approach simu-climbing

 

It definitely not a newbie activity, though I have taken relative beginners and done some simu-climbing to speed the climb up. I agree that leader first for all the reasons mention. I used to do it the other way around, but good leader knows where there hard section are for the second and will be able to either place gear or set up a temporary belay. Also they will have a much easier time at route finding.

 

Mentally I look at simu-climbing the same way I think of soloing with a friend. As someone stated, rule #1 of 1 is don't fall. The idea to simu-climb is to speed up the climbing on easy terrain. What I consider easy is something I would be willing to solo. So why not just solo? Most of the time that I am going to simu is to link the technical sections on a climb or cruise the last bit to the summit. It is much faster to stay tie in together than it is to untie, pack the ropes, then unpack the ropes and tie back in. It also faster than pitching out the easy section. This also why I would not freak around with tiblocs and gadgets like that. It takes time to set and break down those things, it is extra weight and increases drag. In my opinion if you are using these things, I don't understand why you are simu-climbing it is better to pitch things out.

 

Rope length, I prefer to go as short as possible to reduce drag. If the terrain is really featured, easy, lots of horn, lots of ops for gear or ridge then I will go as short as 30 feet. If gear is a little more sparse and not so featured terrain then 50 feet or so. If it a short section say like linking a couple of pitches then don't bother with the coils. Basically assess the simu section coil if needed and go. It trial and error, eventually you will be able to read terrain better with more experience.

 

As for gear and the amount of gear, I like to keep a minmum of 2 pieces or terrain features. If it is a ridge then just being on opposites side. I used to stop and place gear whenever the second was stopping to remove gear, now I sometimes will just take the time to preview what is ahead what I have passed, while the second is working on the gear. What I have passed is important to remember so you can expect when your second gets to tough spots. They maybe at that section that you protected before cranking though a hard section, time to place gear before they start moving through it. Previewing what is ahead is important, because you are generally trying to climb several pitches with a single rack, so you want to plan out the usage of your gear so you can get the most mileage on the rack that you have. Conserve your gear, try to use all different size of gear as you go so that you can always find something. Be creative with gear use, find chock stones, weave around tree or horns.

 

Have fun, move fast, be safe

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What I have passed is important to remember so you can expect when your second gets to tough spots. They maybe at that section that you protected before cranking though a hard section, time to place gear before they start moving through it.

 

Good point. Thanks.

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the talk of whether the leader or follower should be the stronger is interesting. i think the correct answer is both, because of the mantra DO NOT FALL.

 

that said, i think the person who can routefind/place pro more quickly/solidly should be the leader.

 

the follower should be "invisible." this means occasionally giving more slack so the leader always can climb without going tight, or so the follower can clear a steep crux and get to a good stance instead of pumping out while the leader is placing pro.

 

i second what ken4ord says regarding remembering when the second will be arriving at tough spots.

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It's a good skill to take to some place like the north ridge of stuart, where there is lots of 4th and low 5th terrain with good rock and ample pro. Most will belay maybe 4 pitches, and then climb the rest simultaneously.

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Often times on long moderates there will be shot sections that are to difficult to simul through but don't need a full-on belay. For this I like to have the leader stop and clip a bomber pieces and belay the second up. A Grigri is perfect for this....

 

A hip belay is perfect for this as well........ is faster, and saves the extra gear.

 

 

 

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Seems like this would be a good candidate thread for a move out of 'newbies' and into 'rock climbing' as it might be better if beginners weren't contemplating simul-anything.

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Any good "how to" resources online (or a book) on simulclimbing.

 

ALPINE CLIMBING: TECHNIQUES TO TAKE YOU HIGHER By Mark Houston and Kathy Cosley has some good info.

 

7495.jpg

:tup: :tup:

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the follower should be "invisible." this means occasionally giving more slack so the leader always can climb without going tight, or so the follower can clear a steep crux and get to a good stance instead of pumping out while the leader is placing pro.

 

this is the best reason for the more experienced/better climber to go second.

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the follower should be "invisible." this means occasionally giving more slack so the leader always can climb without going tight, or so the follower can clear a steep crux and get to a good stance instead of pumping out while the leader is placing pro.

 

this is the best reason for the more experienced/better climber to go second.

But wouldn’t you want both people proficient in both positions?

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