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diesel___smoke


Dec 6, 2003, 6:44 PM
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Silent Partner
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Does anyone have any experience with this device? Did you like using it? Does it require backup knots? How much drag is there in the device? Does it require a chest harness? Any other information would be appreciated also.

Thanks,
Jp


robmcc


Dec 6, 2003, 6:47 PM
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Check the web site. Some of what you want is there.

I'd have first hand experience tomorrow but for the fact that no local retailer seems to stock them. I'm not sure I'll be persuaded it's worth 2x the price of a soloist, though. We'll see.


flamer


Dec 6, 2003, 7:03 PM
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YES I have experience with the silent partner.
NO you do not need a chest harness.
YES you do need to tie backup knots.
SOMETIMES there is alot of drag.
The drag issue comes into play when there is too much weight(from the rope) hanging off the device itself.
This problem is mitigated by tying your back-up knots on one side and tie off good peice's on the anchor side.
All of my experience is free climbing, and I do not think there is a better device for soloing(especially free) out there.
I'll buy one eventually....for now I'm just using my buddies...
josh


gunked


Dec 6, 2003, 7:16 PM
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A silent partner can be a bit of a drag at times. A chest harness is not necessary, although...it can add to the experience. Backup knots are, in my opinion, necessary. Otherwise, it is not REALLY a silent partner. Careful around the ears. Ball-gags are the best alternative to backup knots. Just make sure the partner can still breathe. That's key.....Oops, Is this the AID FORUM??? :oops: :oops: :oops:

Sorry..I thought I was in the personals :roll:


moof


Dec 7, 2003, 10:18 AM
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In reply to:
Does anyone have any experience with this device? Did you like using it? Does it require backup knots? How much drag is there in the device? Does it require a chest harness? Any other information would be appreciated also.

Thanks,
Jp

I've done about 10 pitches of lead with mine (a couple of those were aid). Rig the knot right (there are two ways to rig the clove hitch, the wrong one takes about 50 lbs to pull rope through, ugh). Rigged right it takes aout 5-10 lbs of tug. If you just unclipped a backup knot to give you about 50' tugging the knot tighter, maxing out drag. You can't inspect the guts, so backup knots are the only sane way to go.

After the last pitch of aid I lead with it (Left Ski Track in Jtree) I tested mine (rig a hunk of rope, yank) and it had decided it didn't want to lock up. After much frigging with it (spinning the crap out of it) it eventually started working. So now I don't climb with it. I've written to Wren, should be interesting to hear an explanation.


mnutz


Dec 7, 2003, 12:19 PM
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I've been using my Silent Partner for 4 years or so. It's near perfect for leading, but not really the best thing for top-roping.

I love using it.

It does require backup knots. Much less painful than you might think.

As pointed out above, rope weight can cause drag. I don't consider it to be problematic though.

No chest harness is required. It will lock up in any position.

All the info you need can be found in the manual http://www.wrenindustries.com/silentmanual.pdf
with one exception,

Figure 4 shows how to attach it to your harness, this is not the best way. It's better to orient your biners gate in. This way, in a fall, the Silent Partner can slide up along the spines, instead of catching on the gate lock. Make sense?

You do end up with a lot of bulk on the front of your harness.

PM me if you like and I'll answer more questions.

A search of this website should also bring up much info, it's been discussed frequently.


sfclimber


Dec 7, 2003, 5:53 PM
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Re: Silent Partner [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Does anyone have any experience with this device? Did you like using it? Does it require backup knots? How much drag is there in the device? Does it require a chest harness? Any other information would be appreciated also.

I've done a few solos with it (bought mine online). Never tried any other way so I don't have anything to compare it against, but here are my observations:

Yes, I liked using it, no you don't need a chest harness. When its rigged corrrectly it feeds well and allows you great freedom. The exception is on traverses. I found that there was a lot of drag when a traverse gets to be too horizontal. The manual advises that certain climbs are better suited than others for self belaying, with traversing climbs being not reccomended.

And, as mentioned by others, yes, you absolutely MUST use backup knots. The lock is speed activated which means that if you're falling slowly (i.e. low angle slabs, get caught up in your rope, etc.) it may not lock. I've only fallen on it once (5.10a slabby) and that particular time it did not lock. Instead I hit my backup knot, though it was a slow fall and the backup knot was beginning to get close enough to untie. Still a bit spooky. Ground testing worked fine.

A few suggestions:
- Get 2 BIG locking carabiners to attach to your harness. Not big as in wide, but big as in lots of gate clearance. It's a pain in the butt to clip and unclip it to/from your harness after each pitch unless the biners are big enough to slide through the harness and silent partner easily. I have found that pear style 'biners work well for this and keylocks are best.

- Likewise look for reasonably large lockers for your backup knots such that they are easy to unclip your knots. Keep in mind that you may need to unclip a backup knot one handed while hanging from an awkward or even difficult stance. Again, keylocks are most convenient here.

- The manual suggests rigging all your backup knots before leaving the ground. If following that advice, come up with a system and stick with it. It's very easy to get confused about which backup knot to untie next or even which loop of rope to clip into protection. For example you might decide to tie all your backup knots on the left side of your belay loop from the inside out such that you always unclip the knot closest to the belay loop. Likewise you might always clip the silent partner on the right side of your belay loop and rig it such that the end of the rope attached to the anchor (i.e. the end that you should be clipping into protection) exits the left so that again you always address the rope closest to the belay loop. Find out what works best for you (on the ground!) then stick with it.

Final bit of advice; spend the time working it out on the ground, then start on climbs well within your ability before moving up to the more challenging stuff.


jdub


Dec 12, 2003, 3:18 PM
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I've used the Silent Partner quite a bit, and love it! Soloed both Touchstone in Zion, and Lurking Fear on El Cap with it this year. At first it seems a bit bulky, but that disappears pretty quick, aespecially the first few times you free climb with it. The only other solo system I've used is a clove hitch, and the SP is way better. You absolutely DO need backup knots, as you do in any solo system. There is more drag when the pitch is other than straight up (ie zigzagging or traversing), and when alot of rope is out. The second problem is helped with backup knots and tying off intermediate (and really good) pieces.

The SP also works better with newer ropes, less friction around the pulley. It works less well with fat ropes (11 mm or close) - 10.5 is the biggest they recommend if I remember correctly.

I didn't test its fall-catching ability until the 12th pitch of Lurking Fear, but it worked great (whew!!!). If you want to solo big walls, it's definitely worth the $225 - everything else is so expensive anyway, you might as well get the device thats gonna work best. Have fun!


timstich


Dec 12, 2003, 11:22 PM
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My soloist friend Dan reports that he prefers not to use his silent partner on alpine big walls where freezing temps are likely, as this can gum up the clutch. For those conditions he goes with the clove hitch on a biner.


diesel___smoke


Dec 13, 2003, 7:34 PM
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Thanks Robmcc, Flamer, gunked (for the humor), Moof, Mnutz, sfclimber, jdub, and timstich.

Is there any devices that don't require backup knots?


billcoe_


Dec 13, 2003, 9:32 PM
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[quote="
Is there any devices that don't require backup knots?
No.

I've seen a guy climb with the silent partner and no backup, but I think thats crazy. Might be better to free solo, at least you would be under no illusions of what would happen if you pitched.

You can toprope with backup knots exclusivly if you want too, its way cheaper. You tie your rope off and rap a single line, tie the knots of the other rope at stratigic crux sections. I own a solist and a silent partner and still wind up using this method when a partner won't show up like they were suppose to. Works great. The advise on having a system is still good for this method as you will essentially take a lead fall to your next knot if you plummet. So maybe you have 3 lockers, you unclip from the bottom one (furthest away) and then you clip in to the next loop and have the newest biner be the top one (closest). That way you can concentrate on the climbing and not worry which loops you might be into.

Bill


diplodocus


Dec 17, 2003, 4:39 AM
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soloist or silent partner? Is it necessary to pay more for the silent partner?


bnjohns


Dec 17, 2003, 6:57 AM
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As far as the soloist vs. silent partner question goes, I have a soloist and it's worked fine. The difference is that the soloist requires a chest harness, and if you fall the wrong way (i.e. not vertically) it won't necessarily lock up. (Of course, that's why you've got backup knots.) I'm thinking of getting a silent partner because I'd feel safer, but not because I've had a particular bad experience or anything.


mikeehartley


Dec 17, 2003, 7:05 AM
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There's lots of existing threads out there on belay devices but...

When talking about self - belay devices its important to define what type of climbing you are talking about. Nothing is the best at all of them. For aid climbing many things work well including clove hitches, a Gri - Gri, etc. Aid is so slow and (largely) controled that you don't need a $200.00 device, or any device for that matter. For top-roping grab type/ascender devices that slide smoothly yet don't have damaging teeth are really nice. The Petzl rescuescender is an example that works very well. I've used lots of different systems for many years and for freeclimbing or mixed aid/free the Silent Partner (SP) is by far the best I've used. That said, no matter what system you use, all rope solo systems are a pain in the ass in some way. Back up loops are a real pain. Soloing is risky enough in my book though that I use them. You can do without of course. It all depends on how close to the edge you want to climb. One way to minimize the backup loops required with a SP is to carry your rope in a lightweight pack or rope bag. I'm not going to go into incredible detail but you use the SP (I incorporate a chest harness so I can raise the SP a little) backed up by a Gri-Gri on a leg loop with the rest of the rope running up to the pack. As you climb its "easy" to adjust the amount of backup loop between your SP and the Gri-Gri. You still have one loop to deal with but its a lot better than 10. It's important to have enough distance between the SP and the Gri-Gri to make sure that Gri-Gri doesn't jam against the SP and not do its thing (hence the chest harness). Confused yet? Before the "pundants" blast me for using a belay device on a leg loop, I know that's not an intended spot on a harness. I'm not asking it to catch the entire force of the fall, only to tighten, like a brake hand, the clove hitch on the SP if the drum doesn't seize. Yes its an expensive set-up but I happened to have all of the pieces anyhow so this is what I came up with.
Anyone used a similar system?
Hope some of this is helpful and not too confusing!


sierramike


Dec 17, 2003, 7:24 AM
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Diesel,
I've used both the SP and a Gri Gri for soloing. I only solo aid with the exception of the occasional free move thrown in for sheer fear. That said, I much prefer the Gri Gri. BACK UP KNOTS ARE MANDATORY!!!

I'll sell my SP to anyone that's interested. Just pm me for info.

Practice soloing on a toprope with whatever device you choose. Fall on it to check out its workings. Have fun.


mansvelt_beck


Aug 23, 2005, 6:27 AM
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[quote="sfclimber"]
In reply to:
When its rigged corrrectly it feeds well and allows you great freedom. The exception is on traverses. I found that there was a lot of drag when a traverse gets to be too horizontal.

This might have to do with the feeding direction of the rope. Before doing a pitch I try to make sure that the clove hitch is tied in such a way that the rope is fed into the SP from the far side in relation to the belay. This way the rope takes the shortest possible route from the SP to the belay, without having to twist down and under the SP, which can be the cause of the extra drag. Even on pitches that only lean slightly to one side this can make a big difference. Unfortunately, nothing helps on pitches that zig and zag all over the place.


climbhigher


Sep 3, 2005, 1:29 PM
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I have a alot of experience in using the soloist. It sucks! The clove hitch method worked surprisingly well. Only complaint i have ever heard about the silent partner if used correctly is it's bulky.

Hey JP, glad to see you are still climbing.


brin_long


Feb 14, 2006, 7:51 AM
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keep in mind. Know the old fashion method of self belay with a couple devices and a munter in case you drop the silent partner.


Partner euroford


Feb 14, 2006, 8:31 AM
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i've never used the silent partner, or the soloist, so take my opinion with a grain of salt, but anyways here it is.

doesn't aiding take enough gear already? why use something that isn't good for anything else when other equipment is a better multitasker?

i've always soloed with a grigri, it has provided flawless performance and on top of that its good for so many other things; backup while jumaring, psuedo 'frog' setup for cleaning traversy pitches, rapping single lines, taking a nap while you belay your parnter, and so on and so forth.

i just can't imagine why you'd choose a solo belay device thats only a solo belay device when you can choose one that also does TONS of other usefull things. on top of that, i can't imagine (at least for aiding) any other device actually working any better than the grigri does anyways.

on anther note: i always use backup knots with the grigri, and also a big fat 60kn steel NFPA cert. biner. the only failures i've ever heard of with the grigri are biner crossloading, backup knots and an uber strong biner can mitigate this risk acceptably (to me).


brin_long


Feb 14, 2006, 9:18 AM
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I think a lot of people consider a specific solo device to eliminate the need to feed manually. dosent the grigri require this. I dont know cause I use belay devices and a munter back-up but would love to not have to feed manually.But I prefer the mulyti task philosophy also so I go with what I know.


flamer


Feb 14, 2006, 10:13 AM
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In reply to:
I think a lot of people consider a specific solo device to eliminate the need to feed manually.


This is a big key....I've mostly used the SP for free-roped-solo's, for this the SP has no equal. I use it instead of a grigri on aid stuff as well...and I don't bring a Grigri...SP and a rap device. In fact if I didn't own an SP I woudn't use a Grigri, good old fashioned clove hitch would work just fine and a rap device. Weigh's less and you know a clove hitch will stop the ride, if you're proficient with the clove it's just as fast as the grigri...and I know because I've used both.

In truth it's really like anything though, just figure out what works best for you. The only solo device mentioned that I haven't tried is the soloist(or soloaid) and I find the SP to be my choice.

josh


brin_long


Feb 14, 2006, 2:53 PM
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This is very interesting. I dont use a clove backup I use a munter and make sure the free side is down and away as it sits in the parabiner which is clipped directly into my harness. Above it are a stitchg plate and an ATC. It is a smooth action and easy to work the rope either in OR out. More detail would be required before using it as I worked with various arrangments for a long time before I got it right. And it locks off tight in a fall.But I am always willing to share.


ricardol


Feb 15, 2006, 10:46 AM
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In reply to:
This is very interesting. I dont use a clove backup I use a munter and make sure the free side is down and away as it sits in the parabiner which is clipped directly into my harness. Above it are a stitchg plate and an ATC. It is a smooth action and easy to work the rope either in OR out. More detail would be required before using it as I worked with various arrangments for a long time before I got it right. And it locks off tight in a fall.But I am always willing to share.

more details please ..

you use a munter to solo-aid .. (or some sort of roped solo) -- and it auto-locks? -- umm ... how?


brin_long


Feb 15, 2006, 2:25 PM
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The munter is the 3rd in the chain. slack is pulled up from this point. The other 2 divices above it are in a series about a hand width apart which lock off. The munter assures 0 slippage after they lock off. The key is the distace btwn ea. and the specific belay devices dictate how smmoth it runs. The system lends itself to improvision of less advanced gear than was available 15 years ago.I know the clove hitch technique and use various short rope variations for traverses where I need to pull back in on repel to clean etc...

much of the comment in this thread is realistic. solo systems are dictated by so many factors .Improvising and understanding the dynamics is the key. BACKUP


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