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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 28
Author
Climbing as a group of three ... how best to do it
ironmike
21/07/2006
10:55:33 AM
I've read an interesting article in the current edition of Rock magazine. It gives options of single rope and two rope climbing.

Whilst I can see it would probably be easier doing multi-pitch climbs with two ropes, I'm very interested in the single rope scenario. I'm climbing next weekend at Araps as a group of three (trying to avoid "3-some") and would love some information tapping into the experience of others and what you guys/gals recommend.

Please help ... and if you have any information that may require me to tie certain knots ... detailed information would be handy!

Thanks from a certified Bumbly!
Fool in the Rain
21/07/2006
11:21:03 AM
Climbing as a rope of three is definately better with two ropes, either leading on doubles, or using two singles with the middle person tied between the two ropes. If you can get hold of two single ropes I'd recommend the latter method if you have two confident leaders. First leader starts up, completes the pitch then brings up the second, who can also be loosely belayed by the third person. Second unclips the gear from the top rope and clips the gear into the bottom rope. This is good for inexperienced seconds as the are very well protected on traverses (e.g. The Bard) and don't have to struggle to get the gear out! The third follows the route, takes out the gear and leads through, followed by the middle person and then the original leader. All climbers are tied on with standard figure 8s. I've used this method on some long (approx 300m) routes and it works well provided the pitches are of a decent length. If the pitches are all less than half your rope length then you can do the same with the middle man tied in the middle of a single rope (using a figure 8 on bight, or alpine butterfly and two screw gate biners). However check the descent details for the intended climbs as quite a few do require two rope raps.
ironmike
21/07/2006
11:30:33 AM
Thanks for that. You've reinforced what I would have felt more comfortable doing, I guess with two ropes (which we will have) it provides a bit more security and peace of mind for the climbers.

Cheers

Richard
21/07/2006
1:12:02 PM
Piches at araps are often more than 25m, using a single rope sounds like much more hassle than it's worth. Unless both seconders would find the climbing easy and be happy to be simul climb (while belayed from above), use two ropes. Your more than likely going to need tow ropes to abseil off any way.

Cheers

ohh, and to answer your question, the best way to climb as a goup of 3 is to get the other two to do all the leading..!!
uwhp510
21/07/2006
4:07:25 PM
If you've got an italian plate/reverso then lead on doubles and have the seconds climb on one rope each at the same time (one ~5 metres ahead of the other) using the belay device in autolocking mode (this is important). Its quite social for the seconds since they can talk to each other all throught hte pitch.
ironmike
21/07/2006
4:27:23 PM
On 21/07/2006 uwhp510 wrote:
>If you've got an italian plate/reverso then lead on doubles and have the
>seconds climb on one rope each at the same time (one ~5 metres ahead of
>the other) using the belay device in autolocking mode (this is important).
> Its quite social for the seconds since they can talk to each other all
>throught hte pitch.

No such luck ... just standard belay devices.

Wouldn't it prove to be quite a difficult scenario if climber number three takes a tumble ... I assume it would pull climber number two off the wall as well ... and perhaps with a reasonable amount of force therefore increasing risk of injury? On that, obviously the lead climber would need to be very alert to what's going on with the seconders...
Ronny
21/07/2006
4:38:20 PM
On 21/07/2006 uwhp510 wrote:
>If you've got an italian plate/reverso then lead on doubles ...

This is definitely the way to go. Its much faster to do this than string yourselves out between two single ropes because the seconds can climb at the same time.
If fact, if I was doing this and didn't have an italian/plate (also called Gi-Gi I think) I'd go and buy one - they're not expensive and its way better.

Another alternative is to use one single rope and tie one second in about 5/10 m from the end, and the other at the end. They can climb at the same time making things much faster, but not requiring special equipment. If you do this it works well to tie the top second in with a loop that's about 2m long - they can girth hitch it through their harness (pass through harness and then step through loop), and then the two seconds don't interfere with each other so much.
Of course this can get a bit messy when people fall off, so its not that useful if falling is more than a remote possibility.

J

IdratherbeclimbingM9
21/07/2006
4:59:26 PM
>On that, obviously the lead climber would need to be very alert to what's going on with the seconders...
... & have substantial belays capable of withstanding potential additional loading.

uwhp510 sets it out well above, though the same technique can also be done with a standard plate type belay device, provided the belayer is competent with it and adept at belaying on doubles.
The advantage of the reverso is the auto-lock function allowing a certain amount of hands-free flexibility in self rescue scenarios. This is not without its drawbacks also, and IMO most people competent at self rescue would know techniques to get around the drawbacks, let alone tying off ropes under load etc., thus enabling use of standard plates in similar scenarios.

It is a good idea to practice 1st as the ropework is definitely fiddly once someone falls in difficult territory (o'hangs, traverses, etc).

Robb
21/07/2006
5:08:09 PM
advice it to get one of those belay devices (like a reverso or the BD equivalent) that has an auto locking mode. that way you can belay normally (belaying a leader and TRing ) or use the autoblock mode for seconds. IT saves time and is faster and safer. You do need an equalised bombroof anchor though to use the autoblock mode.
Its worth the money and learn to use it properly.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
21/07/2006
5:23:16 PM
I don't own a reverso or equivalent.
Can anyone who does tell me if they are capable of belaying a 2nd as well as a leader at the same time?
... or does the auto-block mode preclude this 'double duty configuration'?

Robb
21/07/2006
6:04:05 PM
feeding the ropes in those directions would be a bastard. the reason you can belay 2 seconds at the same time is that even if one falls and weight the rope, that side locks but other rope will still feed. there is not an autolock function on these devices when used normally so you need to give the leader full attention.
uwhp510
21/07/2006
6:10:04 PM
On 21/07/2006 ironmike wrote:
>Wouldn't it prove to be quite a difficult scenario if climber number three
>takes a tumble ... I assume it would pull climber number two off the wall
>as well ...

No, the seconds are one two different ropes.

M9: Its possible to belay two seconds with an atc but the autolocking of the reverso makes life much safer and easier. Its pretty hard to adequetely hold one rope and take the other in with skinnies (ropes, not climbers).

Belaying leader and second at the same time would suck royally.
estherrenita_
21/07/2006
6:14:09 PM
i bought a reverso a couple of years ago, but actually sold it again as it gave me the shits.
I found that it locked up frequently without me wanting it to.
Also if the second has their weight on the rope > after a fall at an overhang then the rope is jammed.
I didn't find it to be any more useful than an ATC...the only key with using an ATC for the second is to run the rope through a higher point after attaching it to your harness.This means that the ATC functions in the same way as when belaying from the ground.
i have found the black diamond ATC-XP much safer.
The reverso is also really noisy.. it jingles and clunks because it is made totally of metal.
uwhp510
24/07/2006
9:59:00 AM
The fact that the rope jams when your second falls is the whole point. And the fact that it is possible (but not easy) to lower your second off after a fall is par for the course with such a simple autolocking belay device. For me the fact that I can take my hands off the rope to eat/drink/rack the gear/take photos at a belay is worth the hassle of the one time I've ever had to lower a second.

and noisy... ok it's noisy but have you ever climbed with hexes...
darkxst
24/07/2006
10:54:49 AM
i have found the autolocking function on my reverso does not work very well with thicker ropes. 10mm works ok but anything thicker is very hard to feed through.

Paulie
24/07/2006
11:13:50 AM
When I 1st started climbing we didn't have small diameter doubles, only 2 or 3 10.5 or 11mm singles.

To get 3 people (or more & often novices with poor leading skills) to the top of a multipitch route such as Maharajah (Buffalo) or Eurydice (Araps), the leader would head up on a single, then the 2nd would trail another rope (clipping it into all the gear) and so on and so forth until the last person, who would take out the gear.

This necessitates a few things:

- a big rack of wires at least
- loads of time
- big belay stances
- no other teams waiting in the queue

Routes like Maharajah and Eurydice are ideal for this as you can climb the whole route on wires and they have huge belay ledges routes like Skink (Araps) would be tricker, however nowadays I would just use my 8mm doubles and if there was a 4th, then one of the seconds would trail another line.

Paul
Paul
24/07/2006
11:31:15 AM
Another point to bare in mind with the reverso is that there are two different models for different rope diameters. I bought one a few years ago and thimk that they are great. The self locking mode also is to your advantage if you need to assist the second up the climb with a Z drag
Ronny
24/07/2006
12:07:14 PM
On 21/07/2006 M9iswhereitsat wrote:
>I don't own a reverso or equivalent.
>Can anyone who does tell me if they are capable of belaying a 2nd as well
>as a leader at the same time?
>... or does the auto-block mode preclude this 'double duty configuration'?

In theory you could thread the ropes to do this, but the problem would be that the biner that you clip to your belay loop to belay the leader is the same biner that is used to cause the auto-lock function for the second. So it wouldn't work because if the leader weighted the rope, the biner would no longer be free to move in the right direction to cause the second's rope to lock.

This would be similar to 'making yourself safe' into the auto lock biner while belaying a second. If you were to fall off the ledge the biner would be pulled away from the device and would no longer lock the second = very dangerous.

J
AntiPrincess
24/07/2006
5:32:03 PM

I've done both the things suggested in the Rock Article (1 -- climbed on a single rope with the seconds
tied in a few metres apart, and 2 -- led on double ropes and brought the seconds up simultaneously on an
auto locking device) and found both methods very effective.

Uwhp510 alludes to an advantage of both these techniques in an instructional situation: the seconds are
close together. I have found this to be extremely useful when teaching people to climb, especially in the
situation where you have someone with a bit of experience right alongside a beginner. The beginner can
be helped directly with things like taking gear out, and can also have feedback on their climbing from
someone who can see exactly what is going on.
kieranl
24/07/2006
8:52:53 PM
I've also used both the techniques but question the need for them in normal use. They have a place when speed is important but for everyday cragging I don't believe in adding complications.
If you want to practise the techniques for familiarity then that's good but if you're working on efficiency, work on your anchor setup and belay changeover times: those will save or lose you time no matter how many partners you're with.

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 28
There are 28 messages in this topic.

 

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