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multi-pitch rope management tricks
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areuinclimber


Jul 12, 2005, 5:40 PM
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multi-pitch rope management tricks
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hey all,
i would like to hear all your neat little tricks for rope management mostly during hanging belays only. i've got the procedure down enough not to get into a clusterf#ck, now i would like some tips on making it REALLY proficient. would a rope bag be worth the extra weight or not really worth it unless bigwalling?


gblauer
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Jul 12, 2005, 6:10 PM
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I have a rope hook, but I never use it. I usually end up making long loops followed by smaller and smaller loops. (minimizes the CF when belaying the next pitch) I hang the loops over my foot, or I set up a sling and loop the rope over the sling.

I am sure there are better, more efficient methods out there...?


musicman


Jul 12, 2005, 6:25 PM
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I have a rope hook, but I never use it.

one of my partners has some, and i thinkt they're great. looping them on a sling or your feet works too, but the hook is a nice thing to have.


vegastradguy


Jul 12, 2005, 7:12 PM
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the number one thing about rope management is that when you get to belay, you take a moment and make sure that when you are belaying up your second, the rope is going to go into a pile or a coil in a way that is not going to cause a cluster while your second is following or while he leads the next pitch.

gblauer noted one of the best tricks- start with long loops and steadily get smaller as you take in rope. this allows the rope to feed out during a lead without snagging. lap coils (or coils across your tie-in point) or foot coils work well. one thing to be aware of here is that there may be protrusions below that may snag the line (this is a common problem in Red Rock).

another good thing is to belay your partner up in a way that more or less sets them up to be on lead belay as soon as they arrive at anchor, without having to change anything.

most important, though, as with anything, is experience.

edited to add: i have a rope hook. i used it once about three years ago. kept fogetting to toss it in the pack and never really missed it. also, rope bags are probably more trouble than they're really worth in the big picture.


Partner euroford


Jul 13, 2005, 6:24 AM
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use an autoblock belay device, such as the trango b52 or petzl reverso for bringing up the second, this way you can make sure you get that rope coiled nice and clean.


Partner j_ung


Jul 13, 2005, 6:36 AM
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Instead of a rope hook, I use the rope itself. Tie the free rope closest to you back to the anchor so it creates a bight that hangs down. Use this bight as a basket for your coil.


Partner kimgraves


Jul 13, 2005, 9:40 AM
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Hi,

The problem with these methods (rope hook and forming loops) is that they really only work if you’re swinging leads; the rope is stacked so that the leaders end is down - the result being you can’t guarantee that it’s going to feed cleanly if you’re leading in blocks. I still try to do it: it’s better than nothing if hanging and if you’re on a ledge it makes reflaking the rope much faster. The way to get around this issue is to use a rope bag where the rope can exit from either end (like the BD Superslacker). As the second comes up you flake into the top of the bag while the leader’s end runs out the bottom. If your switching leads, the bag is all set up for the second to become the leader. If leading in blocks you simply turn the bag over and the leader continues. The problem with the rope bag or rope hook solutions is that you need two of them if the climb is more than two pitches (i.e.: or one for each person.). And the leader has to carry one and belay with a Reverso or GriGri so as to have hands free to do the rope management.

In short, I don’t have a good trick that works really efficiently. I’m hoping someone does. I’ve been meaning to try leading taking the rope bag, but I just haven’t found a good way to carry it. The dam*n thing weighs almost a pound.

Best, Kim


caughtinside


Jul 13, 2005, 9:48 AM
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The foot method is a good one, and I have used it. However, it may not be the best for a true hanging belay. When you're hanging, you're hanging off your harness, with both feet supporting you against the wall. It is very difficult to hold this position for the 20 minutes plus it takes for your partner to follow the pitch. Worse if you're swinging leads and they are going to lead the next! You have to stretch at some point, and risk dropping the rope.

I usually loop it over my connection to the anchor. That way it's right in front of you, and easy to manage. Plus, if you are swinging leads, it's all set. If you're not, once you anchor your partner in, you can 'flip' the stack right off your tie in onto theirs, and it's ready to go.

Havent' tried j_ung's method, but he seems to know what he's talking about at least some of the time, so I think I'll give it a try. I'm wary of his poor grigri advice though. :P


csproul


Jul 13, 2005, 9:57 AM
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try the moving faster dvd here:
http://guidetricksforclimbers.com
It has some good tips for changeovers and rope management


csproul


Jul 13, 2005, 10:01 AM
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The problem with these methods (rope hook and forming loops) is that they really only work if you’re swinging leads; the rope is stacked so that the leaders end is down

That is somewhat true, but it is easily overcome. If you stack the rope over a bight of rope or tie-in/sling (or whatever), all you have to do is flip the stack over your partner's tie in when the second arrives. Then the rope is ready for the original leader to start leading again with his/her end on top. Kind of hard for me to decribe in words, but hopefully that makes sense.


musicman


Jul 13, 2005, 10:05 AM
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and belay with a Reverso or GriGri so as to have hands free to do the rope management.

hmmm, well, i'd prefer if you said a hand free as opposed to hands free


Partner j_ung


Jul 13, 2005, 10:12 AM
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The problem with these methods (rope hook and forming loops) is that they really only work if you’re swinging leads; the rope is stacked so that the leaders end is down - the result being you can’t guarantee that it’s going to feed cleanly if you’re leading in blocks. I still try to do it: it’s better than nothing if hanging and if you’re on a ledge it makes reflaking the rope much faster. The way to get around this issue is to use a rope bag where the rope can exit from either end (like the BD Superslacker).

I try to keep my coils small, like two feet per side. It makes the flip (for leading in blocks) much tidier. I hear you about the rope bag, but the whole reason why I don't use a rope hook is because I don't want to carry anything extraneous.


csproul


Jul 13, 2005, 10:12 AM
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kimgraves wrote:
and belay with a Reverso or GriGri so as to have hands free to do the rope management.



hmmm, well, i'd prefer if you said a hand free as opposed to hands free

hmmm, well, there is absolutely nothing wrong with bringing up a second using one of these devices with...yes, you guessed it...BOTH hands free. That's how they were designed and they work that way perfectly fine.


Partner euroford


Jul 13, 2005, 10:22 AM
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and belay with a Reverso or GriGri so as to have hands free to do the rope management.

hmmm, well, i'd prefer if you said a hand free as opposed to hands free

prefer whatever you like, but thats what those gadgets are used for!


Partner kimgraves


Jul 13, 2005, 10:29 AM
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The problem with these methods (rope hook and forming loops) is that they really only work if you’re swinging leads; the rope is stacked so that the leaders end is down

That is somewhat true, but it is easily overcome. If you stack the rope over a bight of rope or tie-in/sling (or whatever), all you have to do is flip the stack over your partner's tie in when the second arrives. Then the rope is ready for the original leader to start leading again with his/her end on top. Kind of hard for me to decribe in words, but hopefully that makes sense.

Yea we try this trick. It's about the best you can do. But we still get a tangle on a regular basis.

Best, Kim


papounet


Jul 13, 2005, 11:47 AM
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if making coils on the piece of rope connecting you to the anchor is tricky, try making loop ending with a simple knot, fix the knot onto a large biner, make another loop just slightly smaller, fix the knot...


dancefax


Jul 13, 2005, 11:57 AM
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I've used the loops over feet/sling/bight and the only problem as has already been mentioned is the belayers freedom of movement so that the loops don't get disturbed when belaying or while both climbers are hanging together switching gear etc.
I have developed my own little refinement to the loop method by doing a one handed overhand knot with each loop onto a sling instead of looping it through, this requires you to become proficient at undoing with one hand when the leader takes up rope, timing is critical of course but the advantage is you dont have to worry about disturbing the rope loops.


sixleggedinsect


Jul 20, 2005, 7:48 PM
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I have developed my own little refinement to the loop method by doing a one handed overhand knot with each loop onto a sling instead of looping it through, this requires you to become proficient at undoing with one hand when the leader takes up rope, timing is critical of course but the advantage is you dont have to worry about disturbing the rope loops.

normally i flake, as other posters, over my rope, a double length sling, my daisy, whatever is convenient. however, leading in blocks i do something similar to the above poster's method. i belay the second for a while, til the loop is as long as i risk letting it hang down. tie it off with a *slipped* overhand, then another long loop slightly shorter than the last, and another slipped overhand, etc. i keep putting the knot loops on a non-locking biner with a huge basket. sometime i need two biners, which is annoying, but whatever.

when its time for the second to belay me again, flip the biner holding the knot loops over, and they will feed off in the right order. if you planned your hanging loops, nothing will tangle. and the slip knots are easily one-handable (so your belayer doesn't have to drop the belay to feed you slack at the crux) unlike a true overhand.

anthony


healyje


Jul 20, 2005, 7:59 PM
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I use two rope hooks, one for each climber, and flip the rope when block leading. Neither carrying them, nor flipping the rope is any big deal...


johnhenry


Jul 23, 2005, 2:39 AM
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Same here (unless most anchors are ledgy)...

The rope hooks really make leading in blocks easy, because you can change ends EASILY and they weigh almost nothing. I have had ropes in slings, etc. cluster a bunch at hanging belays.

Rope hooks rule for three man wall teams! But they are useless for solo...

Cheers,

john


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