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top rope soloing
2:36:25 PM

I was just wondering, what is the best device for top rope soloing? I'm using a Petzl Microcender at the moment, which works great.

Has anyone else got any suggestions?

4:52:07 PM
I've used a grigri which was awkward to feed, and can be difficult to descend on if you use a prissic backup.

Now I use a Petzl basic ascender with prussic backup which I've been happy with. Just remember to take a longer prussic to unweight the ascender if you can't climb up further.

5:39:16 PM
I'm using a petzl mini-traxion, connected at my chest harness via a tie-off from my waist. Not using a back-up mini-traxion or prussic, however I fix a second rope with figure 8's every now and again, and clip in to a HMS on my belay loop as I ascend.

Petzl rope clamps will shred your rope given enough slack in the system, however I do not know of anybody that has experienced this first hand.

I tried the gri-gri, pulley & prussic and petzl shunts, and found that the mini-traxion best maintained tension in the rope. The shunt was good too, but it's not recommended for over-hanging terrain (got to love the petzl "skull & cross bones")

9:34:17 PM
You have probably made the best choice - better than then minitraxion or basic.
Add a long prussic above it for backup & jugging etc and your good to go
A mallion is probably the best option for clipping in and use a sling or similar to keep it high- or try some
old shoelace tied through clip-in eye clipped to a keyring biner to a sling around the neck - works fine,
Have fun and don't scare the bunnies too much . . .

9:08:56 AM
This is a good link. In particular using a mallion in preference to a locker - just scroll down (although chances of wrong loading a locker is slim) and the extra short sling to stop the mallion from moving/dropping.

9:23:16 AM
Google search on Chockstone for 'self belay' turned up 10 pages of links.

Here are a couple ...


Happy reading.
for fox sake
3:25:09 AM
Get a 'Shunt', simple, easy and you can lower on it

4:33:44 AM
I've used a trango cinch a few times and it works very well. It feeds fluidly and locks reliably. I used it with a DMM belay master biner to prevent crossloading but a maillon would probably be good too.The downside is that they are the most shithouse devices ever allegedly designed for abseiling or lowering. It's either locked or it's not.

1:05:47 PM
Hey Bomber - I've modified my grigri and it SUCKS arse for top rope solo. I want my money back.

Ok ok - it's probably because I'm using a furry 10.5 static rope which probably makes it 15mm. Do you have a shot of the grigri actually rigged up on a person? I'm curious to see how it should be rigged (both for TR solo and rope solo). I'm not questioning that it does work (just in case you think I'm taking the piss (like you did in a previous post)) I just don't think I'm using it efficiently.


2:45:30 PM
>I'm curious to see how it should be rigged (both for TR solo and rope solo).

I would expect it to be rigged the same way for both.

Aside from personal rigging issues, roped-solo can be a clunky nightmare dealing with excess rope/s etc, ... esp. if the line chosen is a wandery route* rather than straight up and down.
(*Even though you don't have to deal with rope-drag the excess rope still requires managing).

Eduardo Slabofvic
2:56:14 PM
Bomber came around my place and gave me a tutorial on using the Gri Gri in the fashion he mentioned.
Key to his method is a chest harness that keeps the Gri Gri positioned, he also drills a small hole in the
base of the Gri Gri and has a small lanyard through this that connects to the chest harness, thus keeping
the whole thing in an upright position.

I personally donít like chest harness (Ö.and yes, I am aware of many people opinions on their use, I am
expressing my personal preference).

The Shunt is still the smoothest thing that Iíve come across, but I donít know how to use it to lower off, as
suggested by FFS above.

My usual method is to use a shunt, and carry with me a Tiblock, a sling, and a Gri Gri.

When I can no longer go up, and going down is the only option (note to everyone, I only employ this
system when down is out), I put the tiblock on and have it take my weight by the sling above the shunt, I
then put the Gri Gri on below the shunt, I then take the shunt off and take up the slack through the Gri Gri.
I then take my weight off the tiblock and onto the Gri Gri. When the tiblock is unloaded, it just rattles
down the rope to the Gri Gri, I put everything away and rap down on the Gri Gri.

All a bit clumsy and gear oriented, hence my interest in an alternative system (Öbut one without a chest
harness). Just using the Gri Gri for going up and down is much simpler (but not a smooth as the Shunt
for going up).
for fox sake
3:21:37 PM
Apologies, i didn't lower on it.


4:18:02 PM
On 28/06/2007 Eduardo Slabofvic wrote:
>Key to his method is a chest harness that keeps the Gri Gri positioned,
>he also drills a small hole in the base of the Gri Gri and has a small lanyard through this that >connects to the chest harness, thus keeping the whole thing in an upright position.

This could be a dumb question, but anyway...

Why is it critical to orient the Gri Gri in this way? I have never used one so I don't have a good sense of under what conditions they lock or do not.

Without actually taking real falls, the cinch _seems_ to lock well under any fall scenario (head up/down) without the need for a chest harness. I'm tinkering with Faders Sum at the moment for use in TR and rope solo and as far as I can work out it should be good too without a system to orient it. Bomber or Eduardo, please let me know if you think I'm about to kill myself...

4:27:13 PM
>Why is it critical to orient the Gri Gri in this way?

With some (most?), devices when rope pressure is applied laterally to the lock-off mechanism it can hold open a bit and allow the rope to slide, ~> ... At least more than one might desire if a quick lock-off is the preference.
Incorporating a chest harness to orient the device in its optimum performance angle is an attempt to eliminate this possibility.

I will let bomb/Ed comment on your immanent demise*
(*For asking basic questions? Heh, heh, heh)!

5:16:21 PM
On 28/06/2007 Idratherbeclimbing wrote:
>>Why is it critical to orient the Gri Gri in this way?
>With some (most?), devices when rope pressure is applied laterally to

Not sure if that's quite right.

Unaltered, rope won't run through the gri gri as you climb up. So you have to climb a bit, pull rope through, climb a bit more. As I understand the gri gri alteration method, you cut away part (a pretty useless part) of the casing, so that rope runs straighter. Then by holding it upright, rather than hanging down from the harness, the rope runs straight and will slide through as you climb up. And when you fall it just locks off like normal.

Then again I could be wrong.

5:50:20 PM
On 28/06/2007 Ronny wrote:
>On 28/06/2007 Idratherbeclimbing wrote:
>Unaltered, rope won't run through the gri gri as you climb up.

That's pretty much what I figured. When I first started tinkering, going back a few years, I did a bunch of reading about using grigris for self belay and my memory is that the "death mod" was simply to allow better feeding of the rope through. I never got a clear explanation from websites/forums of why the chest harness was necessary but it seemed it was either (a) to orient the device to allow better feeding, or (b) to stop interference with the action of the lever (or some other grigri specific I say, I haven't used one).

Both the cinch and the sum have much straighter paths through the device (or so everyone says...not having used a grigri) so they feed very well. The cinch has a small unobtrusive lever, which makes it a pain in the arse to lower with, but is highly unlikely to jam open. The Sum doesn't have a lever as such, it is switched into descent mode by pressing a doodad (still trying to work out if this is a weak spot for roped solo).

m9: re lateral loading. I hadn't heard this but it does make sense. From just mucking around with the devices (cinch/sum) I can't see how it is an issue, but I'll go back and have another look!

Eduardo Slabofvic
6:48:37 PM
On 28/06/2007 Andrew_M wrote:
Bomber or Eduardo, please let me know if you think I'm about
>to kill myself...

Sorry to be the one to tell you this, Andrew_M, but you will die. I donít know when, or what will cause it,
but we will all die one day.

As Mr Bomb demonstrated his innovation, it seemed as the orientation issue was to ensure that the rope
ran as smooth as possible. Iím not going to take up this option as I really donít like chest harnesses (
ÖÖ.except in some instances, but youíll have to buy me a drink first).

Iím going to stick to the Shunt, mostly due to the fact that I already own one. The other devices sound
interesting, but Iím not going to fork out for stuff if I can do the job with what Iíve got.

8:45:45 PM
Hi dougal, the modification best suits rope solo, or solo aid, and this system uses a chest harness to
hold the unit upright so it can hold the fall.
The best way to use the gri gri for a "fixed" rope whilst solo, or fixed top rope setup, is with a steel "D"
shaped malion, and no chest harness, just pull rope through when at a good hold and move up, then
repeat.(ONLY FOR USE WITH DYNAMIC ROPE) a bombproof anchor is also advisable.
1.the smoothest no hands devise is a "Petzel" microscender on a steel oval malion.
2.After the number one choice comes the shunt, but it is really designed for double ropes, this could be
solved by fixing twin static (can be used) or dynamic ropes (preferable) down the face/project and
weighting the bottom of the ropes a bit to stop them draging up with you, descend on a plate or atc, or
use one of the fixed lines and a gri gri or eddy or whatever.
3.The next choice would be an "croll" ascender in conjunction with a chest harness (to keep it upright),
some of these are designed specifically for use on a chest harness, and have teeth, a lot of people
don't like using these in the false belief that the teeth will strip the mantle off the rope, this can only
happen if the unit is shock loaded, or not on a chest harness, so don't shock load it!, ie a lead fall
generates such loads, so weight the bottom of the rope and that can't happen, you will only a slump
onto an ascender that is right there with you.

1:08:05 AM
Here we go again ...

The Pretzl 'Microscender' is the best 'toprope' option - fact! - no teeth, broad surface area etc

Modded GriGri is also good but is really the best option for lead solo as it can still feed under light
tension unlike the Cinch which tends to lock

Teethed cams DO shred ropes - don't use them for soloing . .
Shunts also have real issues - don't use them for soloing

You don't need a chest harness - just some 9/16 tape and an accessory biner . . .

The Rescuescender (with possible prussic backup) is the only system I would use with 100m of air
below me . .

Always use a dynamic rope . . . obviously . . .

8:03:23 AM
In the spirit of
>Here we go again ...

I like my Silent Partner!
... beats the other systems easily imo*.
Heh, heh, heh.

I also agree that you don't necessarily need a 'serious' chest harness with the other systems.
I also caution to try a bit of experimentation. It will soon tell you to ensure most of your weight comes onto your sit harness when combined with any improvised 'chest harness'.


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