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Choada_Boy

Solo TR Setups?

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I just wanted to log in and register the fact that all you people are wrong and I am right. I will talk shit about you at your funerals. Thanks for listening. Or not.

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Christoph- one of my partners who does rope access work uses a shunt for solo TR. He likes the redundancy and non-toothed cam, but he has to pull slack through the shunt by hand. That's the downside. It does work though.

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I just bought the micro traxion and tried it out for the first time. It worked great TRing on a fixed line (I used it as a backup for the Trango cinch) but when I wanted to lower/rap it kept clicking back to engage rather than staying open when I set it open. Taking it on and off every time you want to go down to try a section again would be a pain. Anyone else encounter this or have suggestions?

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Hey Rad, I always remove my Micros before rapping down again so I didn't know about the cam clicking thing. I just checked my unmodified Micro, and sure enough it doesn't take much pressure to reengage the cam. Maybe it's Petzl's way of helping to ensure that the cam isn't locked out. I recommend never locking the cam out...I did that way back in the day with Minis and caught myself more than once climbing with a cam locked out. It takes me maybe 30 seconds to remove both Micros from the rope, maybe another 30 to put 'em back on.

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So what's everyone's preferred way of escaping the system and descending (rappeling) when you're using a single strand setup (long pitch, anchoring off of trees far back, etc)?

 

I've only done it with two strands (where anchor is at rope midpoint and the pitch is shorter than half the rope lengtH), and it's not too complicated. Seems like one strand is a bit more involved..

 

 

 

Edited by sportnoob

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I carry a prussic in my pocket, tie the prussic on top to take weight off of your preferred device (don't take the device off yet) and put your rappel device on the bottom of everything. Take off solo device and rap.

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I carry a prussic in my pocket, tie the prussic on top to take weight off of your preferred device (don't take the device off yet) and put your rappel device on the bottom of everything. Take off solo device and rap.

 

How do you unload the prusik to weight your rappel device? If you're not in a position where you can easily unweight (like you're not on a ledge or something)? I was thinking of situation where you're basically hanging.

 

Assuming I'm using two devices in series on the single strand, I'm starting to think the best thing would be to put a sling in the second one to stand in, then just jug up the rope to the anchors and then switch to rappel there. Sounds easier.

Edited by sportnoob

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Hey Rad, I always remove my Micros before rapping down again so I didn't know about the cam clicking thing. I just checked my unmodified Micro, and sure enough it doesn't take much pressure to reengage the cam. Maybe it's Petzl's way of helping to ensure that the cam isn't locked out. I recommend never locking the cam out...I did that way back in the day with Minis and caught myself more than once climbing with a cam locked out. It takes me maybe 30 seconds to remove both Micros from the rope, maybe another 30 to put 'em back on.

 

I'm typically trying to work cruxes on overhanging lines: climbing, lowering, climbing, lowering repeatedly on a section. Putting hardware on and off the rope repeatedly while dangling in space seems like a recipe for eventually dropping an expensive device.

 

I've used a prussik as a backup. It's very cumbersome. If you have a device that can unlock and be used to rap/lower as the top piece you avoid a bunch of extra shenanigans. I use a Cinch. I can lower with the Cinch and Petzl micro, but it may require manually holding the cam open on the micro while the other hand is managing the lowering on the other device. Or remove the micro to lower/rap. I'm still learning best practices and open to suggestions.

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Huh...interesting. For what you describe (Rad) I can see your point. Even though I've done massive amounts of solo-toproping, including routes over my head that in my mind I'm "working"...I have never worked on route "sections" like that. I'm thinking I should! For what you describe, a Mini-Traxion might actually work better...you CAN fully lock the cam out on those, and I don't think they will click back in on their own.

 

Don't you have to manually feed the Cinch? If I'm correct, how does that allow you to work desperate sections? And as I sit here babbling and thinking about it, if your primary device is a Cinch you could always lock it off (hang on it), remove the Micro, rap, then reattach...using backup knots below you if you want to be really safe. You aren't going to be "dangling in space" as much as you are going to be locked off on a Cinch. Sounds awfully similar to what I have done thousands of times with two Micros rather than just one. You aren't going to drop it...and if you do, a small price to pay for the added security/safety of redundancy to prevent death.

 

The best insurance is insurance you pay for yet never use...

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To those asking how to escape the system, that's when things turn from super simple to rather complicated...like you need to know gear and how to use it! I don't have this happen very often, but once in a while while solo-toproping I'll fall on a section numerous times and be unable to do it. Worst case scenario, which I just had happen last week, you fall on on overhanging section and can't even get back on the rock. So now you have four choices:

 

1) Hang there until you die or somebody finds you.

2) Use your sell phone to call a rescue (only works if you have a cell phone with you and have reception).

3) Rappel (I never do that...it's always a move or two, better to aid that section and continue upwards).

4) Ascend.

 

The simplest and easiest solution is to have two jumars and two ascenders with you, just jug the rope. Personally, I NEVER do that since I don't want to carry that extra gear. Starting out solo-TR though? Not a bad idea...

 

Heck, you are hanging on two ascenders of sorts...even though they are not currently rigged for ascending, you can jury rig a way. Good idea to at least have a couple of slings for makeshift etriers. I've even used quickdraws in this fashion...or knots in the rope with large bights. Of course you can also rig to rap using knots and/or prussiks...there are countless ways to retrieve yourself, pretty much all involve some ingenuity and technical gear knowledge/experience. Big wall techniques are quite helpful. It's ironic, a part of me wants to recommend solo-toproping to the masses since it can be so quick, easy, safe, and convenient with a minimal amount of gear. This discussion is the crux of it though...without extensive knowledge/ex[erience you can still get yourself in all kinds of trouble, including death.

 

So ya...don't try this at home.

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I've already mentioned it but the Petzl ASAP is made to go up & down and work when you need it, get to the top and hook up an ATC no need to disconnect the ASAP, but to each his own.;-)

Check out the drop test!!!!

 

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I already mentioned it too Brian...but as cool as the ASAP is, it ain't the device to buy for solo-TR! It costs twice as much as a Micro-Traxion, weighs 4 times more, is bulkier, but the true deal-breaker is the broken bones if you fall near the ground or a ledge! That video shows it taking 8 feet to catch you...with rope stretch it's gonna be more. No way to pre-load it near such obstacles...

 

Definitely the device of choice for professional skyscraper work. But even if I already owned one I'd buy two Micros for solo-TRing...

Edited by Hummerchine

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So what's everyone's preferred way of escaping the system and descending (rappeling) when you're using a single strand setup (long pitch, anchoring off of trees far back, etc)?

 

I've only done it with two strands (where anchor is at rope midpoint and the pitch is shorter than half the rope lengtH), and it's not too complicated. Seems like one strand is a bit more involved..

 

I practiced some escape scenarios when I started TR soloing, and found that trying to get off the ascenders and onto rappel mid-pitch when on a single strand was more tedious than just jugging up to the anchor and then going on rappel, and comparable time-wise.

 

FWIW, I tried Chris' suggestion early on (weight a prusik above the ascenders, mount the rap device below the prusik, then somehow transfer the weight back onto the rap device), and it seemed OK in my garage but not workable (for me) in the field if was actually hanging on the rope. I have no big wall experience and therefore my self-rescue bag of tricks isn't very diversified - the only sensible thing I could figure out was using a releasable hitch (PMMO out of some cord) so that I could lower back down onto the rap device once ready.

Edited by jared_j

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I always solo TR with a Petzl Basic on my harness. I solo TR on one strand with a single mini Trax.

 

If I can't get past a crux, I will ascend the rope until I can reach climbable ground again. I attach the basic above the mini, with a biner attached to the basic. Grab the strand below the mini Trax and Merely thread it through the biner in the basic and you have a 2:1 haul system to ascend the rope as far as you want, since the mini or micro will lock automatically as you ascend.

 

To escape, attach a qd and long runner to the basic, stand up in the runner and clip in short to the basic. The mini Trax should be unweighted by now. Merely remove the mini Trax and attach your rappel device. Stand up high in the long sling you have attached to the basic still, yard in slack on your rappel device, and the basic should now be free to remove, and you're set to rappel. Simple....

Edited by telemarker

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I'm typically trying to work cruxes on overhanging lines: climbing, lowering, climbing, lowering repeatedly on a section. Putting hardware on and off the rope repeatedly while dangling in space seems like a recipe for eventually dropping an expensive device.

 

I've used a prussik as a backup. It's very cumbersome. If you have a device that can unlock and be used to rap/lower as the top piece you avoid a bunch of extra shenanigans. I use a Cinch. I can lower with the Cinch and Petzl micro, but it may require manually holding the cam open on the micro while the other hand is managing the lowering on the other device. Or remove the micro to lower/rap. I'm still learning best practices and open to suggestions.

 

For the situation you describe (working a short-ish sequence and want to go up and down the rope numerous time), and also when I'm working a route where there will be more abrasion to the rope when I fall (ie, overhangs), I use 2 strands. One strand has a micro-trax, the other a gri-gri. I generally prefer 2 strands because of the redundancy it allows (ie, though the odds are very low, a rope can fail, etc), but it's especially beneficial when I find it advantageous to be able to weight separate strands to disengage devices (ie, working cruxes).

M

 

----

In my next post, I'm going to try to use "ie" even more!

Edited by mmeyers

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I suppose it depends on the route. Last time I was out on Solo-TR, I got a case of the chicken shits, built a gear belay mid-pitch, connected to that, switched over to rappel, and cleared the belay. Not possible on a sport route. I would not trust a single bolt mid pitch, a number of deaths have occured that way when the bolt failed. I've also done the ascender thing in the past but I sold my "Jumar" jumars because they terrified me and I still need to replace them.

 

Also, I prefer the klemheist to the prusik knot. Just sayin'...

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I always solo TR with a Petzl Basic on my harness. I solo TR on one strand with a single mini Trax.

 

If I can't get past a crux, I will ascend the rope until I can reach climbable ground again. I attach the basic above the mini, with a biner attached to the basic. Grab the strand below the mini Trax and Merely thread it through the biner in the basic and you have a 2:1 haul system to ascend the rope as far as you want, since the mini or micro will lock automatically as you ascend.

 

To escape, attach a qd and long runner to the basic, stand up in the runner and clip in short to the basic. The mini Trax should be unweighted by now. Merely remove the mini Trax and attach your rappel device. Stand up high in the long sling you have attached to the basic still, yard in slack on your rappel device, and the basic should now be free to remove, and you're set to rappel. Simple....

 

Can you post a photo or to to illustrate?

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What telemarker is talking about is the same as a far end hauling system for solo wall climbing. Replace the swivel/haulbag in the bottom of this picture with yourself. Normally this would give you a 2:1, however since you're hauling yourself you get an extra mechanical advantage (3:1) as any weight you pull down with takes away from your weight (thanks to Newtons wonderful 3rd law!)

169419_16524_L.jpg

 

And as far as escaping onto rappel, what telemarker said will work, but if you want to nerd out and practice something that makes passing knots while rapping with a haulbag a breeze tie yourself off to the ascender with a munter mule on a separate strand, like a 5 ft length of 7 mil cord, with a knot in one end (to clip to the ascender) take off the minitrax, put on your grigri, pop the munter mule to unweight the ascender, take the ascender off, and you're happily on rappel!

Edited by keenwesh

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