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VitaminGu

protecting exposed easy climbing

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ruddersbox:

 

I think your advice is good for snow and ice...but this thread seems to me to be dealing with 3rd and 4th class alpine rock.

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bottom line: know how to self-belay and if that fails, self-arrest skills must be bomber! And if that does not help... be prepared to hear the dreaded sound of Gore Tex screaching across the ice as the abyss welcomes the unroped jackass to his or her untimely demise.

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Put in pro every X-feet, and ignore whatever testosterone-weakend A.K. has to say. She has to express distain for the fear she has when 10' of air is evident at her feet. So to compensate, all of her fear shows as anger and suction.

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I guess I have to agree with Dru in that it's often more efficient to simul-climb in terms of the speed/safety risk than it is to establish running belays. There's just no two ways around this issue... this mountain climbing horse-shit is dangerous. Dennis

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while many of these responses have been great, notably Dru's and Jason Martin's, others have been misleading, and some clarification is in order.

 

short-roping does elilminate rope-drag & hangups, and promotes contact/sensitivity between leader and follower. when I learned the technique (in my guiding days), I was taught "the shorter the better", with just enough rope between leader & follower to keep a piece or two, or a terrain-belay between you. the rope must remain snug for optimal safety. (the leader should have just enough freedom to move, but be almost pulling the second climber). For the occasional scary move, either climber (at the request of partner) can simply stop at a piece and take a formal belay which can be disassembled after the scare is passed.

 

that bit about not being able to arrest a fall while "simulclimbing" on snow/ice is horseshit. yes, it takes practice, but I've done it numerous times. In 1979 I arrested a team of six (6) falling climbers on the North Sister in Oregon. Last July, on the Adams Glacier, my partner fell while short-roping (I was leading), and I caught him "piolet-manche" (standing). find a steep, firm slope of neve with a good runout, practice catching a falling-sliding partner, and you'll see. I practiced a LOT when I was getting started, and it has paid off handsomely...

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True! I'm amazed no one has brought up the simuclimbing fall that Dan Alyward caught on the SW buttress of Eldorado last fall. He was leading, with one pice in for 3 people, the last guy falls, pulls the middle off, and Dan catches them with a good ledge and a "solid crimper"! [Eek!] Thus all you need is a solid crimper and a rope! [Wink] (oh yeah, and Dan's finger strength)

 

The way I see it, when simulclimbing exposed terrain, putting in periodic pieces turns a death fall into a fine/bad fall.

 

The belay technique that Jason mentioned also works really well when descending. While downclimbing, rush ahead while the lower climber is in a good spot, and slap a munter hitch onto the biner of the piece you're at. When the rope comes taught, move to the next piece.

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Yes, yet another stupid post on this topic:

 

It depends on your comfort level. I have soloed up to 5.8 but have belayed many easier pitches. In the specific instance you mentioned -quarter of a mile of easier terrain I would say the average alpinist would either solo or keep the rope on and perhaps put in an occasional piece of pro if the going gets tricky. Every case is different. If this is a short route and it is early in the day you can pitch it out. If it is a grade V, however, and you have 20 pitches to go your had better be at least simuling this kind of terrain.

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haireball - short rpe is better in some cases but advantage of lots of rope out is more stretch hence less force on leader if second falls, like in aylward case above. if they had been spaced 10m apart instead of 25m (i assume) and 3rd guy fell, maybe he woulda blown off that crimper and gone sailing? or maybe not.

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How to protect? if you are climbing S. Ridge of S. Early Winters Spire, you simply clip the bolt someone placed.

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someone advocated kiwi coiling with two locking biners....uhmm....mabe i am crazy....but isn't one pretty fucking safe? just curious....what do you carry 15 locking biners when you are craggin or what? there is safety and there is anal retentiveness....mabe that is standart protocol for some....but it seems a lil' too redundant for my ultra light tastes.....

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The locking biners wasn't my post, but I've heard of folks coming upclipped from lockers in some mysterious manner, just scan threads here or on rec.climbing about tying in with a locking biner. I'd think you could do the old double biners with gates reversed and achieve a good level of redundancy if that's going to be your main connection.

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Dru,

my experience with catching falls while short-roping leads me to conclude that keeping the rope SNUG is critical - so that when a follower slips, he or she has no opportunity to accelerate (and increase the effective load on the leader). I've found this easier to manage with less rope out; thus I rarely short-rope with more than ten meters of rope. of course that means a more severe fall-factor if the leader peels - so don't!

if the lead climber can't accurately judge when to ask for a brief belay, he or she shouldn't be leading the short-rope. I cannot stress enough that short-roping is an "experts only" technique, and requires PRACTICE to be safe. For what it's worth, I have short-roped clients in my guiding days, and I have led shortroping with expert amateur partners, however, I have only followed shortrope with professionally trained guides. among my many "expert" amateur climbing partners, I have yet to come across a climber without professional guide-training (UIAGM/AMGA)whose rope-handling skills and judgment were up to the task of safely/competently leading shortrope technique.

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didn't the great lionel terray meet his demise while shortroping the top of a difficult route in france? guess this would illustrate even high caliber guide-types can get killed this way...

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quote:

Originally posted by haireball:

Dru,

my experience with catching falls while short-roping leads me to conclude that keeping the rope SNUG is critical - so that when a follower slips, he or she has no opportunity to accelerate (and increase the effective load on the leader). I've found this easier to manage with less rope out; thus I rarely short-rope with more than ten meters of rope. of course that means a more severe fall-factor if the leader peels - so don't!

if the lead climber can't accurately judge when to ask for a brief belay, he or she shouldn't be leading the short-rope. I cannot stress enough that short-roping is an "experts only" technique, and requires PRACTICE to be safe. For what it's worth, I have short-roped clients in my guiding days, and I have led shortroping with expert amateur partners, however, I have only followed shortrope with professionally trained guides. among my many "expert" amateur climbing partners, I have yet to come across a climber without professional guide-training (UIAGM/AMGA)whose rope-handling skills and judgment were up to the task of safely/competently leading shortrope technique.

Using a long stretch of rope makes it even more important to pay attention to rope slack/snugness. Too much slack and the forces get scarey pretty fast. A "crimper" won't do. I much prefer a doubled 50m 9m. French technique of clipping one and then the other. Then you reduce rope drag, have enough rope to absorb a fall, and the second is not locked into being right under the leader.

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some additional thoughts about keeping the rope tight. one of the things i like about simulclimbing is that for the leader, it is not much different than a solid belay - he is unlikely to pull the follower up very far unless he takes a real winger. if while simuling the leader gets to a hard bit, he can move through it with confidence, then set up a real belay for the follower. this only really works if the rope is reasonably snug.

 

on the other hand, i would disagree that one should always go to extraordinary lengths to keep the rope tight. i tend to think of simulclimbing - particularly on more difficult terrain - as soloing with a possible backup, i.e. neither of you is likely to fall but you want some backup in case a handhold pulls off, you're hit by lightning, etc. so i like to treat it as soloing, i.e. YOU DON'T FALL. i think it's silly to hang out in strenuous positions in the middle of a hard move just to keep the rope tight. if there's a crux move, i would argue that you should move through it to a decent stance, even if it puts some slack in the rope. sure, if the other guy falls right then, you'ld be worse off, but the chances of that are relatively small, while the chance of you whipping while hanging out in a 5.8 layback for five minutes while the leader gets some gear in is much greater.

 

obviously this is wandering kind of far from the original post, since on most easy ground you shouldn't run into any sections where you can't hang out for as long as you want...

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