Forums: Climbing Disciplines: Alpine & Ice: Re: [billl7] Tying directly into rope. Movie - Nordwand (North Face): Edit Log

Partner rgold

Dec 28, 2011, 4:00 PM

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Registered: Dec 3, 2002
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Re: [billl7] Tying directly into rope. Movie - Nordwand (North Face)
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A picture of Hinterstoisser and Kurz I found on the internet suggests they didn't tie in that way, but rather used a bowline or bowline on a coil (2 strands) around the waist.

Using a chest-level tie-in was very common in Europe for a long time, however. The advantage was that the climber didn't turn upside down in a fall, but the chest location constricted breathing and was not good for aid climbing.

I do think the movie aimed for some historical accuracy, so it is quite possible that many climbers of that era tied in as depicted. Easy to do with a bowline on a coil.

In the U.S. people were tying in with a bowline or bowline on a coil around the waist when I started climbing in the late fifties, although about that time swami belts became the norm.

Edit: I think, in the picture, they are climbing with double ropes. If so, then the double strands I thought I saw on their waists are not from a bowline on a coil, but rather from tying into each strand with a single bowline.

Double rope technique was needed for early "tension" climbing, an incredibly strenuous approach to direct aid using no stirrups. The climber used whatever holds the rock provided, placed a piton, and was held in place at that piton with tension from the belayer while reaching higher to place another piton. The double ropes were necessary so that the climber could continue to be held in place on the lower piton while pulling up slack to clip the upper piton.

(This post was edited by rgold on Dec 28, 2011, 5:19 PM)

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Post edited by rgold () on Dec 28, 2011, 5:19 PM

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