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Frankazoid

Mini Traxion rope soloing.

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The Shunt typically slips rather than cutting the rope. If it hits an obstruction (knot in the rope, rope over an edge...) it will simply deform and blow right off the rope. It also appears (one study) to be very sensitive to rope diameter.

 

Most of my knowledge about Shunts is from the rope access world, and we use low stretch ropes. I'm not sure what effect dynamic rope would havbe on these properties.

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The Shunt can do both and has cut ropes in tests.

 

If I were to do much in the way of TR soloing it would be with dual minitraxs. As it is I do a bunch of it, but it's always in the form of seconding pitches with my Eddy and I'm so used to that that I don't have any qualms about using it for the purpose either.

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diameter of the rope is one factor. petzl has some good info. for their devices that you might be able to use to have a sense of similar tools.

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There are a lot of ways to do this, here's what I'm using. I adopted it from Dan McDevitt, a pretty darn safety conscious individual with decades of experience, and he seems to think its the safest way to climb, safer than a belayer even.

 

Rope set up: single line clipped to the top of the anchor. I use a length of static rope, no stretch involved.

 

Two devices: Top one is a Microcender (made by petzl now, used to be by rock exotica I think) and the bottom is a handle less ascender, like the Petzl Basic or a Camp Solo .

 

Here's a picture of the basic set up:

 

Yosemite_May_2010_013.jpg

 

The Microcender clips to your belay/rappel look with a locking biner. The DMM Belaymaster has a clip dohickey that prevents cross loading.

 

There is a loop of 9/16 webbing through the clip in of the Microcender that is connected to a chest harness (what I'm using), or just a pair of slings over your shoulder (what Dan uses). The only purpose of this shoulder rig is to hold the Microcender upright, its not load bearing and it doesn't prevent the Microcender from grabbing.

 

Here's a picture showing the back up ascender, Dan is cleverly pointing out where the rope goes, again attached with a locking biner.

 

Yosemite_May_2010_014.jpg

 

The top device grabs with a notched cam, similar to an old Gibbs type ascender. The bottom device grips with teeth, lik an old Jumar. I like that there are two different types of mechanism.

 

In use, just coil up the bottom end of the rope or clip some weight to it to hold it in place. As you climb, both devices smoothly slide up the rope, and with the shoulder rig the Microcender (primary device) grabs as soon as you weight it, there's no slack in the system.

 

It doesn't work well to go up and down a 10' section and work it into submission, but that's not really what I use it for.

 

Descending, I clip in to the anchor with my daisy. Then the lower device comes off. Pulling up on the anchor to unweight the Microcender, I lift the cam and lower down back onto the daisy. Microcender comes off, Gri Gri goes on for easy peasy single rope rappel.

 

Just one solution that works for me and I feel comfortable with. Your method may differ and be just as good.

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The Shunt can do both and has cut ropes in tests.

 

:o Ooooh didn't know that, please provide reference?

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I would like to see this data as well. I'm an irata 3 and usually privy to relavant industry tests. There have been a number of comprehensive tests done in the past couple years, notably the BLR/ropeworks backup device drop tests and the petzl live human drop tests. In both of these tests ALL of the aforementioned devices, except the petzl shunt, stripped the sheaths off the ropes or simply blew the rops apart.

These were carefully controlled drop tests, not static load tests, so dont get all in a huff defending your method. The shunt is designed to slip on a low strech rope and as far as I know will only fail if it impacts a knot or other obstruction. The amount of potential slippage depends on your fall factor. Properly employed as a second line backup device the shunt will work as designed.

Petzl does not endorse the shunt as a backup device, but it has a long standing history as the rope access backup device of choice. They are now reccomending the ASAP as the new perferred second line backup device.

 

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Joseph,

 

I have heard of that before and ummm... ya that doesn't sound very awesome. Heard of people being dropped with the cinch, then last year I witnessed 2 climbers in the RRG getting dropped with a cinch. seriously, 1 at the boneyard crag and 1 at the solarium. Both times the belayer managed to stop the free fall too close to the deck (lucky at all though). My friend had also told me some of his accounts with it that he didn't like. I just don't think i'll ever be able to get a cinch.

 

Maybe a bit off topic but I'm interested in the Cinch accidents you speak of as this is my preferred tool. I've heard of incidents with the Cinch but all were from user error and of no fault of the device.

 

Don't want to good device to get fragged here because someone couldn't figure out proper usage...

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Couldn't find it, but it's been a couple of years now. Again, I love the damn things and have three of them - but this just isn't something I'd personally use them for.

 

The Cinch works great for belaying, but Malcolm personally got on the web a couple of times and asked that people not use them for soloing...

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I'm another heretic who TR solos on the cinch all the time. It feeds really smoothly, has always locked up, and allows for instant lower/rapping. I do tend to tie an overhand knot or fig-8-on-a-bight after leaving the ground or big ledges as a final safety measure that I could never fall past, but it has always locked up.

 

I like the harnesses that have the snug, dogbone-style belay loop slot, which keeps the little locking 'biner oriented properly. One thing with the cinch: it requires a real tug to lock it up, just like the seatbelt in your car. A very slow and gentle pull will not lock it up. So when you are falling, don't grab the rope and try to slow yourself, just sit back down with your weight on the rope.

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