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boadman

Favorite Solo TR set-up?

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I've got some projects that I'd like to work on by myself that are not too challenging to access from above. What are people's preferred methods for top-rope soloing?

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Ushba basic with a prusik above it. I'm not sure if the prusik would catch should the Ushba fail but it makes me feel better. I usually tie a catastrophe knot once I'm off the deck.

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Does the prusik slide easily while you're working on moves, or do you have to futz with it? Do you clip the catastrophe knot into your harness?

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Single mini-traxion. Though I think about getting a second one.... What the other guy calls a catastrophe knot is always a good idea.

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2 micro traxes. I got them for big wall applications and later one realized that they're awesome for TR soloing. Sometimes I'll tie a catastrophe knot, usually in the winter when there's a possibility of ice getting on the cams. Just a figure 8 on a bight 20 feet or so off the deck.

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for me, it depends on what I'm climbing:

either 2 micro trax with one on each strand, or a grigri on one strand and figure 8 knots tied in the other strand as backup

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I use one micro-trax on my sit harness with a little bunjie pulling it up to a chest harness made from a sling. This makes it ride up the rope easy and also it keeps virtually all the slack out of the system should I fall. I hang my pack on the rope to make the micro-trax follow up the rope instead of creating slack. Falling amounts to hanging.

I used to use a second micro-trax for backup, but it was too much clutter. I always clip into backup knots on the other strand.

 

 

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yes, they can. if you're planning on falling a lot, and not just hanging, use a grigri or something without teeth.

 

you didn't ask, but my strategy for working a route on solo TR is to work the moves with the 2-trax setup and a way to climb the rope (a tibloc works well). Once I have the moves, I'll do the grigri-knot thing. since I'm usually too gripped at the crux, I don't pull the rope through, so I get used to falling a bit at the crux (since the rope doesn't always feed thru the grigri). the grigri also lets me move up and down the rope more easily.

 

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Does the prusik slide easily while you're working on moves, or do you have to futz with it? Do you clip the catastrophe knot into your harness?

 

The prusik slides easy and I don't clip the catastrophe knot. I throw a sling over my shoulder and clip it with a little shock cord to the Ushba so when I come off I don't go anyplace. If the ascender is hanging below me I fall a foot or two which I don't like. I've tested the prusik a few times by holding the ascender open and it's caught.

Edited by TobiasT

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Whatever device you decide to use (there are many that work fine, I use a Rope Man 2) tying some weight to the bottom of the rope will greatly facilitate the rope running through the device. Not allowing any slack to accumulate above you is the key to using any toothed device. Back up knots have saved my bacon and I've seen the results of someone failing to tie a backup knot and then forgetting to engage the cam on their ascender. Trips to the ER suck.

 

 

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One tip that is worth repeating:

 

Get a thick (3/8") maillon rapide and use that to clip the device to your belay loop, instead of using a locking biner

 

Many locking biners will work around with an Ushba or MiniTrax on the rope and it's always disconcerting to be looking at falling onto a crossloaded biner.

 

The maillon, because it is long and skinny, doesn't do this - it keeps your harness loop at one end and the device at the other.

 

35-2046.jpg

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Ushba Basic on one strand, Camp Lift on the other, backpack tied to the end of the rope to weigh it down.

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Same as everyone else but replace the ushba or minitraxion with a petzl microsender. No teeth to damage the rope.

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After several sessions I just didn't feel good about the Ushbas, so got a Petzl Microsender. The carabiner is always cross-loaded so while most test falls position it correctly, I thought something better ought to be out there, like a round 'biner. No round one yet, but this one has been working great for solo TR and as an attachment for ice tool tethers:

http://www.petzl.com/us/outdoor/verticality/carabiners/special-locking-carabiners/omni

 

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that omni biner looks like a good belay biner. OK to load in any direction? hard to believe but they claim it is so.

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that omni biner looks like a good belay biner. OK to load in any direction? hard to believe but they claim it is so.

 

I use one of these Sterling Falcon AL lockers on each of my microtraxions. Seems to keep the orientation the way that I want it. Plus it's a triple action biner, so I don't have to worry about it unscrewing.

t266_2aa8ebf86b47c2d59841b12ac5d317b0.jpg

 

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I've used the Yates Rocker for years. For those who have used both, what are the significant differences between the Rocker and the Ushba Basic?

 

For weighting the rope, a 1 liter water bottle works well for me.

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I've used the Yates Rocker for years. For those who have used both, what are the significant differences between the Rocker and the Ushba Basic?

 

The Rocker cuts the rope at 10 kN and the Basic cuts the rope at 5 kN. Other than that no real difference.

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The Rocker cuts the rope at 10 kN and the Basic cuts the rope at 5 kN. Other than that no real difference.

 

I'm all about efficiency :) Thanks.

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