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Retaining Tension on the Anchor during Solo Aid
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wanderlustmd


May 29, 2007, 11:25 AM
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Retaining Tension on the Anchor during Solo Aid
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Kate's post in the Gri Gri thread got me thinking. Until now, the resources I've seen illustrate using a clove hitch on the first piece off the belay as a way to place tension on the anchor for an upward pull, thus avoiding shockload in a leader fall. Kate mentioned the possibility binding issues agasint the clove hitch in a fall resulting in rope failure and to use the butterfly or other means for guarding against rope slippage. What about creating this tension off the belay? Is the clove a bad idea in this application as well? What is the safest way for this connection?

Up to this point, I've used a clove on the first piece like everyone else I've seen, but there's a good chance I'll be doing more solo aid in the future so I'd like to make sure I'm doing it right.

Thanks.


healyje


May 29, 2007, 12:07 PM
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Re: [wanderlustmd] Retaining Tension on the Anchor during Solo Aid [In reply to]
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It's a bad idea for exactly the reason Kate said regardless of whether it is right off the belay or mid-pitch. I'd use her rubberband suggestion or with a longish sling pretty quick above the belay so the rope stretch won't be enough to foul it with the pro. That would be the only place I [might] be inclined to use a sling as opposed to the rubberbands.


epic_ed


May 29, 2007, 4:31 PM
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Re: [healyje] Retaining Tension on the Anchor during Solo Aid [In reply to]
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For something a little stronger than a rubberband, but that will still break allowing the rope to be fully dynamic in a fall you can use the hair-ties that chicks use to hold back their hair (not scrunchies). Sorry, I'm technically challenged when it comes to hair care products so maybe someone else can pinpoint the correct nomenclature for these lil wonders.

Ed


wanderlustmd


May 30, 2007, 9:23 AM
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Thanks for the responses.

healyje wrote:
I'd use her rubberband suggestion or with a longish sling pretty quick above the belay so the rope stretch won't be enough to foul it with the pro. That would be the only place I [might] be inclined to use a sling as opposed to the rubberbands.

That's another thing I was questioning. My only concern with using a rubber band right on the first piece off the belay is if I fall higher up, which could cause the elastic to break = slack anchor, assuming I havent reached the point where rope weight is causing slippage, warranting another prusik/elastic. Another fall would cause shock load on the anchor. In this case, it seems it would make more sense to use a prusik, since you won't have to worry about breakage in a fall. Length is an issue, of course, which leads me to the next questionWink

Elastics make sense the for the rope slippage issue, but what about protecting against an edge while jugging? What length of prusik is reasonable in relation to potential rope stretch? I've heard 3-4 feet off right the belay is fine, what about higher up? You can see where elastics would be a better mid pitch, since they break under the tension of rope stretch....which can be the problem if you are trying to protect an edge...


skidawg


May 30, 2007, 9:34 AM
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Re: [wanderlustmd] Retaining Tension on the Anchor during Solo Aid [In reply to]
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Can anyone point to a site with pictures of this setup or something....the whole clove hitch soloing idea is new to me, and isn't making sense without a visual example. I've been using a wild country ropeman ascender with a backed up prussic knot, but am not happy with this setup (the ropeman sucks), and can only do limited top rope with it.
Thanks


tomtom


May 30, 2007, 9:46 AM
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Re: [wanderlustmd] Retaining Tension on the Anchor during Solo Aid [In reply to]
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I use long prusiks for rebelaying the rope, both on the first piece off the belay (this one doesn't have to be very long) and further up. I haven't tried using rubber bands, but I don't think they would be useful for protecting at sharp edges.


boymeetsrock


May 30, 2007, 10:11 AM
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Re: [tomtom] Retaining Tension on the Anchor during Solo Aid [In reply to]
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Pardon my possible ignorance, as I'm coming into the discussion just now, without having read teh grigri thread, BUT...

If your worrying about keeping tension on the anchor, why not just use a directional piece (for downward pull) as part of the anchor. Just klike setting up a multi pitch belay, except upsidedown.

Thats how I did it the one time I rope soloed and the anchor was in the exact same possition when I came down.

Am I way of here? :edit: Or are you talking about keeping the rope tensioned?

-Boy


(This post was edited by boymeetsrock on May 30, 2007, 10:12 AM)


lambone


May 30, 2007, 12:54 PM
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Re: [boymeetsrock] Retaining Tension on the Anchor during Solo Aid [In reply to]
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Hi boy, yeah you're idea is good, but it assumes that you will be able to clip your first peice to the anchor to keep it tensioned up. not allways the case.

also, the theory behind tensioning the rope upward against the anchor is that the knot and power point are properly aligned, so it is less likely that you'll cross-load the powerpoint or anchor biners.

on walls I generally have my pig hanging off the powerpoint as a "pig belay," and therefore the anchor isn't tensioned upward. I use a long anchor chordellete so the pig could get lifted up several feet. still has potential to crosslaod your anchor biners but the pigs weight should take most of the force out of the fall. has worked fine for me on several occasions where I blew it.

Once on the Nipple pitch of Zodiac I cloved to the biner at the nipple and kept climbing, then I fell one or two moves later which was effectively a fall with about 15-20 feet of rope out. It sucked bad. Never will I do that again. I told this story on Supertopo and that's when Werner mentioned that people have gotten the chop that way.


boymeetsrock


May 30, 2007, 1:20 PM
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Re: [lambone] Retaining Tension on the Anchor during Solo Aid [In reply to]
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Thanks lambone, that makes sense. Figured I was behind in the conversation. Good topic though.


epic_ed


May 30, 2007, 4:24 PM
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Re: [boymeetsrock] Retaining Tension on the Anchor during Solo Aid [In reply to]
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Yeah, just to clarify -- the rubber bands used to keep the rope from feeding back through your solo device is a completely different function than re-belaying the rope to protect against a shap edge while jugging; and different still then using something to keep the anchor tensioned in an upward direction to prevent shock-loading the anchor in a fall.

Materials/techniques used fall into two categories -- ones that you want to fail in the event of a lead fall, and those you don't want to fail.

In the case of simply holding the weight of the rope while on lead, you'd prefer something like a rubberband so that it's strong enough to hold the rope, but will break in a lead fall thus keeping your saftey system dynamic.

In the case of a re-belay you definitely do NOT want the material/tehnique to fail when loaded.

In the case of keeping the anchor tensioned -- depends. I like Lambones suggestion for using the pig as a counter-weight for belay. There are circumstances when this won't work (going light and fast, or toward the end of a climb when the pig doesn't weigh much). When I'm on shorter practice climbs I used to clove hitch to the first piece to keep the anchor tensioned. I eventually switched to using a hairband (stronger than rubberband) to keep it taught. I've never taken a lead fall on that configuration, though. The plan was -- band fails during fall, and I'd just re-belay from the next solid piece. Pull the anchor end tight, slap on another hairband, and clip it to the solid piece.

Ed


wanderlustmd


May 30, 2007, 8:59 PM
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Re: [epic_ed] Retaining Tension on the Anchor during Solo Aid [In reply to]
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epic_ed wrote:
Yeah, just to clarify -- the rubber bands used to keep the rope from feeding back through your solo device is a completely different function than re-belaying the rope to protect against a shap edge while jugging; and different still then using something to keep the anchor tensioned in an upward direction to prevent shock-loading the anchor in a fall.

No, I understood that. That's why I asked about a reasonable length of cord, since elastics probably wouldn't cut it in that applications.

Materials/techniques used fall into two categories -- ones that you want to fail in the event of a lead fall, and those you don't want to fail.

In the case of simply holding the weight of the rope while on lead, you'd prefer something like a rubberband so that it's strong enough to hold the rope, but will break in a lead fall thus keeping your saftey system dynamic.

Agreed.

In the case of a re-belay you definitely do NOT want the material/tehnique to fail when loaded.

After my last post, I dug around for a while and found an old post by PTPP, in which he recommends using a Klemheist on a length of cord for all three of these applications; since it slips in one direction, it won't interfere with the dynamic properties of the belay. I can see an elastic being better in this scenario, however, since it will simply break under stress.

In the case of keeping the anchor tensioned -- depends. I like Lambones suggestion for using the pig as a counter-weight for belay. There are circumstances when this won't work (going light and fast, or toward the end of a climb when the pig doesn't weigh much). When I'm on shorter practice climbs I used to clove hitch to the first piece to keep the anchor tensioned. I eventually switched to using a hairband (stronger than rubberband) to keep it taught. I've never taken a lead fall on that configuration, though. The plan was -- band fails during fall, and I'd just re-belay from the next solid piece. Pull the anchor end tight, slap on another hairband, and clip it to the solid piece.

Ed

The rubberband breaking in a fall would be my only concern here. Sure, you could simply slap on an elastic but the klemheist seems like it would be a better overall solution.

So, to break it down, what do you think of this approach. Assuming I'm not using a pig (thanks for that suggestion Lambone. I'd heard of that, but want to learn both rigging techniques.), I'd klemheist into the first piece for upward tension on the anchor, and add elastics as necessary to guard against rope slip higher up in the pitch. If I need to rebelay against an edge, I'd use the klemheist again.


(This post was edited by wanderlustmd on May 30, 2007, 9:00 PM)


simpsongunn


Aug 4, 2007, 7:58 AM
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I got to try out the rubber band system in July: worked great and I'm now back to the gri-gri belay (from the clove hitch).

Thank you all who shared this.


AZrockclimber1988


Aug 4, 2007, 9:21 AM
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Re: [wanderlustmd] Retaining Tension on the Anchor during Solo Aid [In reply to]
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I have seen that another simple way is to use 2-3mm cord and prussic it to the rope and clip into pro. This I think would be better then a rubber band, cause a rubber band can break if tensioned too much, making everything go back to step one. When small cord breaks at like 200-300 pounds, meaning that it will still brake in a fall.

This method is the same one described in the manuels for Wren Industries products.


stymingersfink


Aug 4, 2007, 11:46 AM
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I'm a little late to this thread, but I was going to make the same recommendation the epic_ed made: the Klemheist hitch, for the very same reasons.

IMO, its one-directional slippage makes it a better hitch to use for edge protection, but you'll still need to make the sling sufficiently long, I'd say in the 6' length or so, depending on how far up the pitch you are. Here is my theory for why:

The klemheist hitch, as noted previously, is a limited slip hitch, in that it will allow rope to pass through in one direction, but not the other. Far up on a pitch, where one will get far more rope stretch than lower on the same pitch due to more rope being in the equation, you will not want to keep more rope under tension than necessary after recovering from a fall. A new rope generally will have approximately 30-40% stretch (UIAA guidelines IIRC) in its first fall arrest. If one had 100' of rope out, that would translate to 30-40' of stretch along the length of the 100', yes?

If you were re-belayed through a klemheist (made from a shoulder length sling) at 50' from the anchor, one might reasonably expect this initial 50' section of rope between it and the anchor to stretch 15'-20'. However, once you have recovered from the fall and regained your highpoint, this section of rope will now be held under tension due to the short sling length making the klemheist. Having this section of rope pre-tensioned may result in higher loads to the remaining rope if you were to experience another fall before reaching the top of the pitch, as you will no longer receive the benefits of a completely elastic system. This may also require that you sever/reset the sling to be able to disassemble the bottom anchor, depending on how much tension it retains within the system.

This is a problem which I have not yet encountered in the wild, so I am not entirely certain that it is an actual issue. However, in pondering the question it has occurred to me as a possible issue to encounter, so possible solutions must be considered as well.

This is why I would recommend using at least a 6' accessory cord/sling, providing 12' of upward motion for the rope before it begins to add tension to the lower portion of the system.

Has anyone encountered this problem in the field? Does this line of thinking seem a relevant one to continue discussing?


wanderlustmd


Aug 5, 2007, 2:45 PM
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Re: [stymingersfink] Retaining Tension on the Anchor during Solo Aid [In reply to]
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Thanks for the response, Sty. Yeah I agree that the Klemhiest seems like a good knot for rebelay since it provides slippage in one direction. I can't comment on the problem you posted, but I can add to it Wink

Why would you wait until 50' out (per your example) to rebelay the rope? I was originally talking about placing a klemheist (or elastic band, etc.) on the first solid piece off the anchor to ensure that there is no slack in the rigging in the case of an upward pull. Since gravity causes your powerpoint to hang down, you'd have twice the distance from the PP to the anchors to fall before the rope came tight. Not the end of the world on El Cap, let's say, because you've probably got the thing tied off to at least three bomber bolts, but it seems pretty unecessary to me. That's the problem I was facing. The pig belay is obviously a good solution, but I'd like to know how to properly rig it without one.

Barring your question, it seems like the klemheist might be a good choice for this purpose, as well as for adding addtional rebelays in the event of an edge. To prevent rope slippage through the solo-device, elastic bands seem better, since they don't detract from the dynamic properties in the system and will simply break under significant stress. I suppose elastics could work tensioning the anchor (not for protecting an edge, of course) as well, since you could just add another elastic after a fall to re-establish tension...assuming you haven't already done so to stop rope slippage through the Grigri.

-Matt


moose_droppings


Aug 5, 2007, 5:24 PM
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For keeping tension on the anchor for direction of anticipated pull, I've always set an opposition piece close to the anchor and cloved it tight with small cord. Things are a little different on second pitch and up. As for keeping rope slack out of the system further up, I use old shoelaces or very small cord. I've never tried rubber bands yet, but I will. Anything strong enough to produce a hard upward tug on the piece its connected to will either lift it or render it suspicious. If you fall and your piece rips and your next ones already been jerked upward hard, good chance that it will rip too. Better to have something that will break easily, or incorporate a long enough one to accommodate for stretch.


(This post was edited by moose_droppings on Aug 5, 2007, 5:38 PM)


stymingersfink


Aug 5, 2007, 8:23 PM
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wanderlustmd wrote:
Why would you wait until 50' out (per your example) to rebelay the rope?
just an example, but that's about where there's enough weight on the anchor side of the rope for me to begin noticing it pull through my self-belay device. I tie backups in 15' loops, which means about 30' of rope weight to counteract that first 40'. By 50' I'm starting to notice it pulling through my device on its own, so that's where I'll do something about it.
In reply to:
I was originally talking about placing a klemheist (or elastic band, etc.) on the first solid piece off the anchor to ensure that there is no slack in the rigging in the case of an upward pull. Since gravity causes your powerpoint to hang down, you'd have twice the distance from the PP to the anchors to fall before the rope came tight. Not the end of the world on El Cap, let's say, because you've probably got the thing tied off to at least three bomber bolts, but it seems pretty unecessary to me.
The real issue there is potential cross-loading of your PP locker(s), which is a good enough reason for me to give my solo-lead some upward tension when possible. I like the hair-band idea, especially since at the time I used them for my hair, so had plenty extras for this task. The thing you really want to avoid is clove-hitching your lead rope to create this upward tension off the PP, for as I understand it the clove pulled to failure will result in two separate pieces of rope. If one MUST use a knot to generate the upward tension, do what someone else recommended (Kate, I think it was) and use a butterfly knot. Even if the loop of the knot failed, the two resulting strands of rope would be held by the knot itself.


In reply to:
That's the problem I was facing. The pig belay is obviously a good solution, but I'd like to know how to properly rig it without one.

Barring your question, it seems like the klemheist might be a good choice for this purpose, as well as for adding addtional rebelays in the event of an edge. To prevent rope slippage through the solo-device, elastic bands seem better, since they don't detract from the dynamic properties in the system and will simply break under significant stress. I suppose elastics could work tensioning the anchor (not for protecting an edge, of course) as well, since you could just add another elastic after a fall to re-establish tension...assuming you haven't already done so to stop rope slippage through the Grigri.

-Matt
that's the beauty of aid climbing... so many ways to get the job done safely that chances are good once you understand the underlying principles you'll find a way that works for YOU.

Let us know if you come up with anything wildly unique...


wanderlustmd


Aug 7, 2007, 8:06 AM
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stymingersfink wrote:
The real issue there is potential cross-loading of your PP locker(s), which is a good enough reason for me to give my solo-lead some upward tension when possible. I like the hair-band idea, especially since at the time I used them for my hair, so had plenty extras for this task. The thing you really want to avoid is clove-hitching your lead rope to create this upward tension off the PP, for as I understand it the clove pulled to failure will result in two separate pieces of rope. If one MUST use a knot to generate the upward tension, do what someone else recommended (Kate, I think it was) and use a butterfly knot. Even if the loop of the knot failed, the two resulting strands of rope would be held by the knot itself.

Yeah, good point. Yes, Kate mentioned the butterfly as a good alternative if you are going to use the rope in the thread on grigri slippage, leading to this one. I'm going to have to get some hair bands and see how they work...

-Matt


skinner


Aug 7, 2007, 11:25 PM
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Ahhh wheeeew... scared me for a second, I thought there was a NEW thread going in the Aid forum.
Unimpressed


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