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Flagging the Ledge and the Docking Tether?
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spiffdog


Jul 16, 2002, 7:36 PM
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Flagging the Ledge and the Docking Tether?
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While avoiding that which I am supposed to be doing, I often find myself visualizing an aid pitch, working through the steps one at a time. During a recent hallucination it occurred to me that if my ledge is flagged, my docking tether won't be long enough to dock the pig when the ledge reaches the hauling pully. I suppose the obvious solution is to re-deploy the ledge at each belay station so I can then finish bringing the pig up to the anchor where I can dock it?

Spiff


ergophobe


Jul 17, 2002, 5:19 PM
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Flagging the Ledge and the Docking Tether? [In reply to]
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Well, since potential drawbacks of flagging the ledge has come up....

I can see how this would be great on steep pitches with a nice, free-hanging haul. Does this work on pitches that are merely vertical or less than vertical, or do you just get it caught in everything and destroy your ledge?

Tom


passthepitonspete


Jul 17, 2002, 5:23 PM
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Flagging the Ledge and the Docking Tether? [In reply to]
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Yes, you are correct.

When the pig approaches the hauling station, you will need to remove the ledge from the haul line in order to dock the pig.

The advantage to flagging the ledge is that all of the straps remain properly adjusted, so that if you happen to be climbing with a partner, you simply unclip the thing, hang it up and voila! - instant comfort.

If you are soloing, you will still have to remove the ledge, and you will have to attach it to the haul station in such a way that it is windproofed and will not clusterf*ck your ropes!

If there is anything that will mess you up on an aid solo, it is having your ledge blow around and catch in either your lead rope or your haul line! [I speak from extensive experience in this area....]

Typically when soloing, I will hang the ledge up and jump into it for a well-earned rest and a snack. Once I am finished lounging, I will flip the ledge up against the wall and clip it in using a crab in the middle of the outside side. This has the effect of having the ledge sit flat against the wall.

If the wind is blowing hard, you will need to attach the bottom of the ledge to the bottom of the docked pig to prevent it from flying around. If you do not, then your co-efficient of wank will approach 1.0.

Needless to say, when you are moving your ledge around, make sure it is always attached somewhere!

The maxim which states, "if it ain't clipped, it's gone!" is never more true than when you are holding your ledge in one hand and a big gust of wind suddenly catches it.

As for flagging your ledge on less than vertical terrain, this actually works surprisingly well. The ledge automatically flips itself away from the rock. Ditto for roofs, which the ledge normally avoids of its own accord.

I wouldn't flag it up a full-on slab, but for the occasional brush it is not bad. In fact, the ledge will easily pass across twenty- or thirty-degree deflections in the rope.

You wouldn't think this is so, but you will have to take my word on it.

While it's true that your ledge will suffer a small amount of depreciation through flagging, this is more than compensated by the huge amount of work you will save by not having to set the thing up each night, and the benefits of a comfy belay.

Cheers,

Pete

P.S. Dr. Piton believes it to be a Very Good Thing when people sit at work and daydream about big wall systems. This accomplishes two important tasks - it helps you get your systems sussed for the wall, and it helps you avoid work.

"Never do today what you can put off til tomorrow."


passthepitonspete


Oct 19, 2002, 9:51 AM
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Flagging the Ledge and the Docking Tether? [In reply to]
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You can click here to read about how to "flag" your portaledge, and you can click here to see a cool photo of a ledge being "flagged".

You can even click here to see the consequences of an improperly "flagged" ledge!


mrhardgrit


Oct 21, 2002, 12:55 PM
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Flagging the Ledge and the Docking Tether? [In reply to]
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I fully agree with what Pete says about attaching the portaledge with the middle strap to allow the ledge to lie flat against the wall. It works really well, even when it is gusting hard. It is also a nice way of making room on a ledge (the rock type...) so that you can walk around and not have to keep ducking under your ledge or walking around it.

I'm not so sure about using three snap gates to attach the ledge to the haul line though... I personally would go with two in each corner - this also makes taking the ledge of the haul line easier as once you have detached the upper krab, the ledge will easily pivot away from the tensioned haul line, making it easier to dock the portaledge. Remember not to use your best krabs as they get REALLY scratched up!!

If you are using an A5 ledge like me, you may also find that the ledge gets caught a little more easily than Pete's on lower angled climbs and on overhangs. This means you have to be a little more vigilant about how much harder you continue to haul when the line becomes stuck. It could be the bag .... but if it is the ledge and you're using a 2:1 you might end up with a broken ledge. So look out!

If you don't want your ledge clipping into your lead line accidently, go for the old duct tape... less time consuming than sorting the possible resultant mess out! I could vouch for this on the Molar traverse on Mescalito - what a start to the day!

Tom

[ This Message was edited by: mrhardgrit on 2002-10-21 13:02 ]


apollodorus


Oct 25, 2002, 11:49 PM
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Flagging the Ledge and the Docking Tether? [In reply to]
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And always make sure (I didn't) that you fly the flag properly. I had the US flag on my ledge flown wrong on Scorched Earth, which is inexcusable. It took 30 seconds AFTER I got down to see that it was wrong. When flying the US flag vertically, the union (blue field) always goes to the upper left.

And if you are going to haul the pig and flag again immediately after bringing it up, you can tether it to the belay with an extra fifteen feet of 9mm, or similar, so that you don't have to unclip the ledge, then reclip it three minutes later. You'll have to do the BWT thing and move up and down at the belay, but, this worked pretty well for me a couple of times.



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