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Tips for Moving Fast on Multi-Pitch (esp. with doubles)
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chrisb


Oct 5, 2005, 7:15 PM
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Tips for Moving Fast on Multi-Pitch (esp. with doubles)
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Hey all,

Just got done jack-assing our way up a climb that took a lot longer than it should. My partner started double roping this season, but we're still working out the kinks...

Anyone have any advice for moving quickly on multi-pitch, especially with double ropes? Anything you've got to share is much appreciated.

FYI--I searched for this but the site's engine seems funky. Sorry if this is redundant, but I tried.

Thanks,

chris


Partner abe_ascends


Oct 5, 2005, 12:45 PM
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I found that my multi-pitch climbing sped up dramatically with practice, practice, practice. To speed up the process, I found that learning the following greatly helped me move efficiently:
1) anchor construction- learn to do this quickly, efficiently, and safely and your speed on the climb will increase dramatically. I won't go into details about how to construct solid anchors, cuz you can find tons of threads on that topic.
2) movement- fluid movement, controlled breathing, and using your body fully rather than staying crouched, hanging on your arms, and remaining tense will allow you to move more efficiently. Concentrate also on foot placement.
3) placing pro- efficiency improves again, with practice. I compare pro size to hand/finger size. If I can put my entire hand in a parallel crack, then I can estimate that a .75 or #1 camalot may do the job. this stops me from fiddling endlessly with random pro until i get the right one. ...it takes some of the guess-work out.
4) double ropes: belayer- hold the ropes to feed out or take in slack just like you do with single ropes. Assuming you feed out slack with your left hand, use the tips of your index finger and thumb to feed out the right rope. To feed out the left rope, use the 'notch' between your thumb and index finger to press on the rope and feed it out rather than using your finger tips. That's how I do it, anyhow. Managing the slack between the two ropes again just takes time and practice. Eventually you can get to the point where you can pull in slack on one rope and feed slack out on the other almost simultaneously.

I hope that helps. Good luck, and climb safe.


lewisiarediviva


Oct 5, 2005, 7:37 PM
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Hmm,

I'd think it would be very simaler to multi-pitching on a single. Just more rope to think about.


jerrygarcia


Oct 5, 2005, 7:42 PM
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If you arent rapping, leave the doubles at home. Yes they look cool but you dont need them.

Carry less weight and less gear. Most people think they need 2 sets of EVERYTHING, the longer you climb the more confident you are and the less you will carry(unless you are a gearhound). Dont bring a bag lunch and gatorade. Water and sports bars for the climb.

Better belay management.

Have the belayer clean gear better/faster. Also dont unwarp those trad draws unless you need them for directioning. 12"+ is plenty for most climbs.

One main point of fast trad is to swap leads. You can skip rope management and just drop it in a bunch on the ledge.

Simul-climb the easy stuff.

Climb faster?


Partner abe_ascends


Oct 5, 2005, 7:51 PM
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Hm, weird. My first post in this thread appears at the top. It should be noted however, that chrisb is the OP of this thread, and my post was merely a response to it.


davidji


Oct 5, 2005, 8:17 PM
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In reply to:
Anyone have any advice for moving quickly on multi-pitch, especially with double ropes? Anything you've got to share is much appreciated.
1. Read Speed Climbing by Florine & Wright. This is the second edition of Climb On! Skills for Efficient Climbing.

2. Setup belay anchors quickly.

3. When second is put on belay they should start climbing very quickly.

4. Don't waste time at belay changeovers.

5. Lead in blocks.

6. Simulclimb the easy stuff. Don't fall.

7. Solo the really easy stuff. Really don't fall.

There's lots of detail to fill in for these, especially #s 2-6. You can probably find it here (the search may not work great, but now that you've posted, you can look for related threads at the bottom of the page), or in books. No time/inclination to try to write a more detailed post now. Speeding up takes the form of doing things more efficiently, and also of speed/safety tradeoffs.


pipsqueekspire


Oct 6, 2005, 10:32 PM
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If I can put my entire hand in a parallel crack, then I can estimate that a .75 or #1 camalot may do the job. this stops me from fiddling endlessly with random pro until i get the right one. ...it takes some of the guess-work out.


I totally agree with this thought but if you can get a hand 100% into a #.75 or a #1 BD cam then I need to take you to Indian Creek to lead a whole lotta 5.12 for me cause I can't get my whole hand into a #1 and neither can my wife who is only 5'1"!!! A perfect hand jam for most mortals (who are not 11 year old girls) is a #2 camalot! Just like the name "Incredible Hand Crack" implies that it is and that climb usually sucks up about 6-7 #2 cams!

-pip


scrapedape


Oct 7, 2005, 8:17 AM
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If you need to reflake the ropes, you should do them together. When it's time to rap, you and your partner should each grab one of the ropes and pull them out at roughly the same speed. If you try to pull only one line out from the plate of spaghetti, you can end up with a huge snarl.


dotc


Oct 7, 2005, 8:39 AM
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I never understood the advantage of leading in blocks. Doesn't this require re-stacking the rope at each belay and a lot of awkward shuffling to change positions if the belay is cramped? If the second takes over the lead, they just need to grab the gear and keep going.


topher


Oct 7, 2005, 8:47 AM
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a real easy tip, if you just second dont take you shoes off, when switching the belay wait untill your going to be belaying for a good amount of time.. i cant tell you how many times i see people do that and it just kills me to watch.. not only does it take a minute on either end, its also an excuse for you to just hang out and chit chat..

having a gear sling can speed change overs up or know how your partner likes to have there gear racked so you can help them do it quickly.

if you can set your anchor up so that nothing has to be changed for the seconded to start leading.. that means i know lots of you love them but reversos waste time in this area.. if you belay from your hannes re directed, so long as its not a hanging belay can just tie the belay device off, or clove hitch the person in. once the rack is switched over, boom there gone.

try to avoid having to bring a back pack.. and if you do, have it small enough that one person can carry it the hole time..

other than that get fast and anchors, and placments in general. get your first try placment eye down, and dont worrie about stuff like am i using to many cams or nuts or what ever, if the peice fits use it.... learn to read how much gear your going to need before you get on.. A good mantra is "fast and light"

tryand avoid using cams in your belay, save them for the leader. its usaly faster to place cams on lead then nuts, and nuts have a tendensy to get stuck, for the second.

try and use natural belays (this is more an apline thing casue most multies belays are set) but its way faster to sling a big tree than having to make 3-4 placments.

always be safe, as there is a fine line between real fast and light and just not enough..

climbing fast is all about saving time at the places were your not climbing.. that way when your leading you dont have to try and make up lost time.. and its all just cutting a few seconds hear, and there by the end of the pitch its turns into a few minutes, finaly if your really need to go fast you dont talk about any thing other than the climb at the belays!


davidji


Oct 7, 2005, 8:55 AM
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In reply to:
I never understood the advantage of leading in blocks. Doesn't this require re-stacking the rope at each belay
No it doesn't.

It's not a bad thing to do (unless you want to go fast). It's the most solid and reliable way to handle the rope there, but it's also the slowest.


dotc


Oct 7, 2005, 9:04 AM
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I am all for fast and efficient....How then do you manage your ropes without re-stacking? You can try to keep a neat coil, an then flip it over, but I find my coils are never a tidy as they should be. A rope cluster-fuck wastes a lot more time than taking 30 seconds to re-stack.


Cheers,

DOTC


davidji


Oct 7, 2005, 9:05 AM
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I am all for fast and efficient....How then do you manage your ropes without re-stacking?
Trade rope ends. Not a popular option on this site, but it's reliable and fast.


Partner euroford


Oct 7, 2005, 9:06 AM
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some things that have helped me greatly;

ditch the double ropes unless they are absolutly necessary for ropedrag avoidance or traverse protection. lead on a skinny single and have the leader drag a 7mm trail line if double raps are necessary.

use a 70m rope if it will let you link pitches.

use an autoblocking device for brining up the second. this way the belayer can take care of misc. tasks and be more organized while keeping the second on belay.

do not go overly light on the lead rack or the leader will be forced to be overly creative with pro. the leader should have what they need, when they need it so they can plug in the right piece, right now, and keep moving. the leader must feel comfortable climbing quickly above thier pro.

the seconds purpose in life is not to score the coveted onsite toprope ascent. their purpose is to clean the gear in an organized fashion and arrive at the belay ASAP so they can switch over and lead.

gear orginization is paramount. everything should have an agreed upon place and it should be kept in that place.

keep well fed and well hydrated.

wear a watch, keep track of the time, set yourself a goal for topping out and keep it in your mind all day. watch how time is spent on each pitch and make it a constant goal to improve upon that.


Partner climboard


Oct 7, 2005, 9:13 AM
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I never understood the advantage of leading in blocks. Doesn't this require re-stacking the rope at each belay and a lot of awkward shuffling to change positions if the belay is cramped? If the second takes over the lead, they just need to grab the gear and keep going.

The idea is that you maintain your "lead head" and rhythm for a longer period of time. As far as the rope is concerned if you stack it properly all you have to do it flip it over and you are ready to go.

Belay changeovers are definitely the place to save time. You should strive to spend less than two minutes at the belay before the leader heads off.

An even better way to save time is to combine pitches and eliminate as many belays as possible.


cfnubbler


Oct 7, 2005, 9:19 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
I am all for fast and efficient....How then do you manage your ropes without re-stacking?
Trade rope ends. Not a popular option on this site, but it's reliable and fast.

The reason trading rope ends is not popular here is because the vast majority of the time, it's a bad idea.

It's certainly not particularly fast. With careful rope-managment, I'm quite ertain I can do a stack-flip faster than you can untie and retie both knots. And I'll be tied in the entire time.

Try a search: This topic (multi-pitch efficiency in general) and specifically, rope managment when one climber is leading multiple pitches in a row has been well addressed here.

-Nubbler


sspssp


Oct 7, 2005, 9:27 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
I am all for fast and efficient....How then do you manage your ropes without re-stacking?
Trade rope ends. Not a popular option on this site, but it's reliable and fast.

The reason trading rope ends is not popular here is because the vast majority of the time, it's a bad idea.

It's certainly not particularly fast. With careful rope-managment, I'm quite ertain I can do a stack-flip faster than you can untie and retie both knots. And I'll be tied in the entire time.

Try a search: This topic (multi-pitch efficiency in general) and specifically, rope managment when one climber is leading multiple pitches in a row has been well addressed here.

-Nubbler

Well if you really want to be fast leading in blocks, tie a loop in the end of the rope (double figure eight) and clip into the rope with a couple of light locking biners. I can definitely unclip and clip my lockers quicker than you can restack the rope, particularly at an awkward belay. (This method is not sanctioned by the powers that sanction safe climbing)


dotc


Oct 7, 2005, 9:34 AM
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I agree, I don't think re-tieing is particulary fast, especially at a hanging or semi-hanging belay. I don't know about the "lead head" agrument either. If the "head" is going to be a problem of a particular pitch, it won't matter how much leading I have just done! I say for most climbs, avoid the trouble of change over, and hand the rack over to the second. I could see the benefits of block leading on cold days, where you might want to minimize the time spent shivering at a belay.

On easy ground, especially slabs where the second is moving really fast, nothing is faster or quicker to set up than a hip belay.

For a fast anchor, when you get to a big tree, just go around it, grab the rope, tie a figure-eight and clip in. I have used this one a lot when reaching the end of a section of simul-climbing to anchor and get the second on belay fast.


sspssp


Oct 7, 2005, 9:35 AM
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In reply to:
I am all for fast and efficient....How then do you manage your ropes without re-stacking? You can try to keep a neat coil, an then flip it over, but I find my coils are never a tidy as they should be. A rope cluster-f--- wastes a lot more time than taking 30 seconds to re-stack.

I find it works best to have a sling between myself and the anchor and stack the rope back and forth over the sling using long coils (instead of starting with long coils and then going to short ones, start with medium length and then go to longer coils). If the belayer uses a locking belay device, Grigri or Cinch, (this makes it safer to deal with the rope) and the belayer spends all of their time dealing with rope management when belaying (keep at least 15' of tangle free rope ready to feed out), you shouldn't have to slow the leader down.


takeme


Oct 7, 2005, 9:52 AM
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a real easy tip, if you just second dont take you shoes off, when switching the belay wait untill your going to be belaying for a good amount of time.. i cant tell you how many times i see people do that and it just kills me to watch.. not only does it take a minute on either end, its also an excuse for you to just hang out and chit chat..

I recommend not losing too much sleep over this.

In reply to:
having a gear sling can speed change overs up or know how your partner likes to have there gear racked so you can help them do it quickly.


Knowing your partner well is, of course, helpful. Using a gear sling is incidental.

In reply to:
if you can set your anchor up so that nothing has to be changed for the seconded to start leading.. that means i know lots of you love them but reversos waste time in this area.. if you belay from your hannes re directed, so long as its not a hanging belay can just tie the belay device off, or clove hitch the person in. once the rack is switched over, boom there gone.

Switching over an autolock takes a matter of seconds, can be done while your partner is reracking, and allows the leader the manage the belay more easily, as well as perform tasks that might otherwise have to be saved for the changover. I don't personally use one but that's 'cause I'm a cheap bastard.


In reply to:
try to avoid having to bring a back pack.. and if you do, have it small enough that one person can carry it the hole time..

other than that get fast and anchors, and placments in general. get your first try placment eye down, and dont worrie about stuff like am i using to many cams or nuts or what ever, if the peice fits use it.... learn to read how much gear your going to need before you get on.. A good mantra is "fast and light"

tryand avoid using cams in your belay, save them for the leader. its usaly faster to place cams on lead then nuts, and nuts have a tendensy to get stuck, for the second.

I'm confused. First you say, don't worry about whether you are using cams or nuts. Then you advise using nuts in the belay and cams while leading. Anyway, as long as you're free climbing, if your nuts are getting stuck very often, then either the leader needs to improve his nut-placing skills, or more likely the second needs to get a lot better at taking them out.


In reply to:
try and use natural belays (this is more an apline thing casue most multies belays are set) but its way faster to sling a big tree than having to make 3-4 placments.


I'm just curious, but what do you mean by "most multies belays are set" ??


In reply to:
always be safe, as there is a fine line between real fast and light and just not enough..

climbing fast is all about saving time at the places were your not climbing.. that way when your leading you dont have to try and make up lost time.. and its all just cutting a few seconds hear, and there by the end of the pitch its turns into a few minutes, finaly if your really need to go fast you dont talk about any thing other than the climb at the belays!

I have to disagree. Climbing fast is not "all about saving time at the places where your not climbing". The techniques described in Speed Climbing are, generally speaking, for more advanced speed climbs; the authors are presuming, I think, that the reader has already mastered the craft of trad leading. Let's not forget that most of the time one spends on a climb is still spent...climbing.

Before getting to the tricks and ultra-streamlining the changeovers, most important by far is to be a solid trad leader, competent at the grade, efficient with gear, level-headed enough to avoid overprotecting, etc. When I go cragging, with no particular need to move fast, I'll dick around at belays or stop to chat or eat lunch, spend time scoping and psyching up before a hard lead, etc. and my speed is still fine because I'm an experienced trad leader. Simple as that. If I'm biting off something really big, out late, linking some routes, racing up a stormy alpine climb etc. I'll strive for the Teutonic efficiency. I'll do what I need to do. Where is the OP climbing--the Gunks? Slightly longer routes in the 'Daks? I think he needs to focus on getting better at trad leading, getting on more multi-pitch routes, and save most of the tricks for later.


davidji


Oct 7, 2005, 9:59 AM
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In reply to:
rope managment when one climber is leading multiple pitches in a row has been well addressed here.
It sure has, including how to safely clip in to the rope to trade ends quickly.


pettsnjam


Oct 7, 2005, 10:11 AM
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I find the way a the second cleans and racks the gear from the previous pitch makes a big difference in amount of time spent re-racking to climb the nest pitch.
Questions to think about might ask yourself are ...
Does your second hand you a pile of crap that takes 10 minutes to re-rack? Or do they have all the slings, cams, nuts and hexes split up to hand you at the next belay?

I have found I see very little of my partner at belay stations. Our change over never take more than about 5 mins. From the time he gets locked in to the anchor to the time when the leader is headed up the next pitch.


cfnubbler


Oct 7, 2005, 10:35 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
rope managment when one climber is leading multiple pitches in a row has been well addressed here.
It sure has, including how to safely clip in to the rope to trade ends quickly.

I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. I'm merely stating my opinion based on my own experience. To reiterate, that opinion is that there is almost always a better alternative to trading rope ends, and by better I mean faster and not involving untying.

It sounds like you're advocating clipping in to the lead line. I'm well aware that this is fairly common practice, and I've even done it from time to time. However I would argue that the time it saves over other methods is only significant if your name happens to be Florine or Potter. Who knows? Maybe you too are blitzing Grade VI's in a few hours. In my opinion, the rest of us mortals are better served by increasing the efficiency of other parts of our systems that don't involve untying from the rope.

-Nubbler


cfnubbler


Oct 7, 2005, 10:39 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
I am all for fast and efficient....How then do you manage your ropes without re-stacking?
Trade rope ends. Not a popular option on this site, but it's reliable and fast.

The reason trading rope ends is not popular here is because the vast majority of the time, it's a bad idea.

It's certainly not particularly fast. With careful rope-managment, I'm quite ertain I can do a stack-flip faster than you can untie and retie both knots. And I'll be tied in the entire time.

Try a search: This topic (multi-pitch efficiency in general) and specifically, rope managment when one climber is leading multiple pitches in a row has been well addressed here.

-Nubbler

Well if you really want to be fast leading in blocks, tie a loop in the end of the rope (double figure eight) and clip into the rope with a couple of light locking biners. I can definitely unclip and clip my lockers quicker than you can restack the rope, particularly at an awkward belay. (This method is not sanctioned by the powers that sanction safe climbing)

Who said anything about restacking? Not me...

-Nubbler


davidji


Oct 7, 2005, 11:29 AM
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In reply to:
To reiterate, that opinion is that there is almost always a better alternative to trading rope ends,
I'll do it with either a single rope, or doubles (what the OP asked about). With a single, flipping the stack doesn't seem as unreliable as with doubles (less likely to induce tangles). I'm sure some people (maybe you) have good results with it on double ropes, but it doesn't seem like a good idea to me.

With doubles the picture changes. If you have only two climbers, you can trade rope ends without detaching yourself: you do it one rope at a time. If you have 3 climbers, it's a different story: you have to trade rope ends with 3 climbers on double ropes, anytime you aren't blocking.

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Forums : Climbing Disciplines : Trad Climbing

 


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