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another top-rope question!
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hmaalto


Mar 23, 2006, 12:19 PM
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another top-rope question!
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I have been climbing in the upper peninsula of Michigan a couple of times. There are quite a few great faces with a wide range of difficulty. But its the approach and set up that I question. The crag nearest to me is set on top of a steep, rock strewn, branch entangled, scree covered poison ivy garden. The base of the cliff is a gnarly place to set up a belay. There are some sport routes that someone has developed and cleared. But if one wants to climb other areas the aforementioned landscape is the norm.

Is it a safe practice to belay from the top as if you were belaying a second on a multi pitch?????(for Felix) After rappelling down the face the climber would tie in and climb back up. The belayer would take in rope as the climber ascended. Please let me know if this is a common practice.

If anyone does do this what is the safest set up? Thanks other dudes.


Partner j_ung


Mar 23, 2006, 12:25 PM
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Re: another top-rope question! [In reply to]
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Absolutely. I can think of several areas in which it's common to either rap in or lower the climber and then have him or her climb out. Otter Cliffs in Acadia, Maine comes immediately to mind.


Partner j_ung


Mar 23, 2006, 12:31 PM
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Re: another top-rope question! [In reply to]
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Oh, safe set up? What method do you use for bringing up the second on long routes?


reg


Mar 23, 2006, 12:37 PM
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i would add a couple things: lower the climber rather then rap then your sure they're tied in correctly; pad the lip of the rock so as not to abraid your rope; if belayin off your harness situate yourself close to or on the lip so you can communicate; bomber anchor - two seperate trees with two seperate static lines or tape, etc; better to use an autoblock for the climbing - if not, tie yourself to the anchor such that you won't be spun around when/if you catch a heavy load.


summerprophet


Mar 23, 2006, 12:41 PM
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Re: another top-rope question! [In reply to]
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The method you described is fine. This is the standard practise for many seside climbs as well, although in that case the belayer lowers the climber down.

Remember that the climber needs to be able to climb up, so likely not a n area to be pushing your limits (unless an easier climb is nearby).

Also please remeber not to belay directly off your harness in this situation, redirect the rope you are belaying with to the anchor.

Good luck


chalkfree


Mar 23, 2006, 1:36 PM
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Re: another top-rope question! [In reply to]
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sounds just like the situation at shovel point to me. There the problem is the yawning maw of lake superior under you and 40 ft or more near unclimable rock between the lake and the routes.

We belay from the top with a grigri, use one rope to tie in and another to rap on, with the gri directly on the anchor.


Partner jammer


Mar 23, 2006, 1:39 PM
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Re: another top-rope question! [In reply to]
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In reply to:
The crag nearest to me is set on top of a steep, rock strewn, branch entangled, scree covered poison ivy garden. The base of the cliff is a gnarly place to set up a belay.

:shock: Yikes! I'd look around more if you can. I can handle it all but the poison ivy.

In reply to:
Is it a safe practice to belay from the top as if you were belaying a second on a multi pitch?????(for Felix) After rappelling down the face the climber would tie in and climb back up. The belayer would take in rope as the climber ascended. Please let me know if this is a common practice. If anyone does do this what is the safest set up? Thanks other dudes.

It is a common practice. Be sure to know what a good anchor is before you even try it, or the two of you may not make it back to tell us how it went. Since you mentioned that you have climbed there a couple of times, I have to ask if you even know what a solid anchor is. I'm not dissing you, I just want to ensure that you'll be back. Gotta conscience ya know ... :wink:


Partner philbox
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Mar 23, 2006, 2:54 PM
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philbox moved this thread [In reply to]
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philbox moved this thread from Suggestions, Questions & Feedback. to Sport Climbing.


horseonwheels


Mar 23, 2006, 3:09 PM
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Re: another top-rope question! [In reply to]
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In reply to:
lower the climber rather then rap then your sure they're tied in correctly

I know what you're saying as I always make certian both I and my partner are tied in correctly before climbing multi-pitch. However, I am personally not a fan of being lowered by someone (especially from the top). I think more things can go wrong when you have two people doing a task than one. For instance, the climber who died a month or two ago in Eldo while being lowered off a climb as it was getting dark.

I always like to be completely in control when lowering or rapping as it is the most dangerous part of climbing.

I would make sure my partner knew how to tie in before he rapped, then when he was at the base yell to him "are you tied in correctly?"


gunkiemike


Mar 24, 2006, 3:15 AM
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Re: another top-rope question! [In reply to]
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It *is* possible to tie into the end of the rope and then rap it, ya know.

If you're not 100% comfortable being lowered, that's a sign that there's something wrong. Work on that! Have your partner use an autoblock, if that would help. Don't use the Grigri. Practice it. Go slower.


Partner jammer


Mar 24, 2006, 4:13 AM
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A lot of climbers fear being lowered due to sharp edges. Not every edge can be protected, usually only the top edge is. I have yet to see any climber loaded down with mats ... yet, being lowered is common. I usually rap in.


reg


Mar 24, 2006, 5:02 AM
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frankly i would rap myself - i don't cotton to bein "out of control" either - i prefer it but the op didn't sound to sure of himself so i though his partner may be less skilled - as we know rapin can be v dangerous. hate to see anyone take the big ride. i think summerprophet has a good point about bein able to climb out. hopefully these folks have the skill set in place to prussic back up in that event. pratice self rescue techniques, 5:1 haul systems, belay escapes before you need them.


roshiaitareya


Mar 24, 2006, 5:02 AM
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Re: another top-rope question! [In reply to]
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Say good day to the UP eh.


felixthekraut


Mar 24, 2006, 6:42 AM
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Re: another top-rope question! [In reply to]
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In reply to:
frankly i would rap myself - i don't cotton to bein "out of control" either - i prefer it but the op didn't sound to sure of himself so i though his partner may be less skilled - as we know rapin can be v dangerous. hate to see anyone take the big ride. i think summerprophet has a good point about bein able to climb out. hopefully these folks have the skill set in place to prussic back up in that event. pratice self rescue techniques, 5:1 haul systems, belay escapes before you need them.

We have been practicing ascending ropes, especially with prussics. Not much to climb down here in FL so we may as well work on that.


rockguide


Mar 24, 2006, 8:18 AM
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Re: another top-rope question! [In reply to]
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In reply to:
i would add a couple things: lower the climber rather then rap then your sure they're tied in correctly; pad the lip of the rock so as not to abraid your rope; if belayin off your harness situate yourself close to or on the lip so you can communicate; bomber anchor - two seperate trees with two seperate static lines or tape, etc; better to use an autoblock for the climbing - if not, tie yourself to the anchor such that you won't be spun around when/if you catch a heavy load.

and add:

Watch for loose rock at the top of the cliff

Choose routes that are straight up and ensure the belay is directly above it

Belay close to the edge for communication but watch the transition from on belay to off belay ... casual while top roping, serious while top belaying .

belaying off an anchor is more comfortable.

In reply to:
It *is* possible to tie into the end of the rope and then rap it, ya know. (snip)

The advice to tie into the bottom of the rappel line before rappelling is excellent. You can already have the belay set up at the other end of the rope so that all you have to do is belay in the slack and the system is set, partner checks are already done. It sounds like you guys are newbies, so more partner checks are excellent.

If you are in a new area (to you) there is a chance that the cliff is higher than you expected. being tied into the end of the rappel rope AND having the belay pre-rigged means
1) you don't rap off the end and
2) if you come to the end you can start climbing right away. It is hard to put some one on belay when the rope is loaded.

Good luck, and triple check everything!


horseonwheels


Mar 24, 2006, 12:04 PM
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Re: another top-rope question! [In reply to]
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If you're not 100% comfortable being lowered, that's a sign that there's something wrong. Work on that!

I wouldn't agree that if I don't like to be lowered there is something wrong. I'm fine with being lowered when that's the only option, but when rapping I can control more effectively where I'm going (avoiding rocks, bushes, etc.), and I can stop if by chance I see some stuck gear (which has happened).

By being lowered, communication with the belayer becomes important, and many times good communication isn't possible.

...and your suggestion of tying in pre-rap is a good one.


dklco


Mar 24, 2006, 12:54 PM
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make sure you know how to rig a pully 3:1 or 6:1 pully system otherwise if your partner does get lowered down and find that they cannot climb up you can pull them up. also verbal communication will be more important than normal.


pastprime


Mar 24, 2006, 2:54 PM
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Re: another top-rope question! [In reply to]
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There is a nearby crag I wanted to play around on that had a poison ivy patch right where the anchors needed to be, so I went to Kmart and got a spray bottle of weed killer, Round Up, I think it was. They had 2 kinds, and I got the extra deadly especially for poison ivy kind. Had a picture of poison ivy on the label, if I recall correctly.
I went up and hosed down the evil weeds, and in a couple of weeks they were just dry stems, and grass was already starting to fill in where they were.
The stuff claimed to not harm critters, and none of the lizards there have grown extra legs so far.

But I wouldn't drink it.

I also vote for rapping instead of being lowered, doubly especially so if the rope has to go over an edge. However, if it turned out someone couldn't make it despite their most creative methods of cheating, if the base of the crag is just messy, not dangerous, it would seem better to lower them and have them thrash through whatever is down there, than to try to hoist them with some unfamiliar system of pulleys and prussics.


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