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when you zig and/or zag
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billl7


Jul 26, 2008, 3:35 PM
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when you zig and/or zag
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The remnants of Hurricane Dolly are outside and so are the true mountaineers. So, for the rest of us, consider the following outline of a trad route:

There are several particular things to consider when leading this - one which surprised me a couple weeks ago. So, name the issues and state how to deal with them. Ah ....

If you've been leading for X years then don't answer for at least Y hours:

X / Y
0 / 0
1 / 4
2 / 8
3 / 12
4 / 16

Bill L


(This post was edited by billl7 on Jul 28, 2008, 8:29 PM)


Factor2


Jul 26, 2008, 4:14 PM
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Re: [billl7] when you zig and/or zag [In reply to]
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issue:
rope drag
solution:don't place pro
issue:swing for second
solution:screw second


billl7


Jul 26, 2008, 4:30 PM
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Re: [Factor2] when you zig and/or zag [In reply to]
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Factor2 wrote:
issue:
rope drag
solution:don't place pro
issue:swing for second
solution:screw second
Meh - not that much rope drag!


mattb1921


Jul 27, 2008, 6:14 PM
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Re: [billl7] when you zig and/or zag [In reply to]
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I am curious is this a route in New Mexico? I also think that you would have to be more specific as to how easy and moderate. If it is pretty easy it seems like it could be possible to run it out from BC and then place some pro between CD and use double ropes. You could also climb to C and bring second over and then belay from there. Either way it seems like a pretty crappy situation for a second.

On a side note here in Albuquerque we had some weather but Sandia climbing this weekend was great. Just a little wet. Hope you aren't down south with all that flooding.


ja1484


Jul 27, 2008, 7:06 PM
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Re: [billl7] when you zig and/or zag [In reply to]
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Rope solo to D, place your first piece there, climb route.

Not rocket surgery.

30 feet ain't that high unprotected over easy terrain. Just don't fuck up.


(This post was edited by ja1484 on Jul 27, 2008, 7:07 PM)


billl7


Jul 27, 2008, 7:26 PM
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Re: [mattb1921] when you zig and/or zag [In reply to]
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mattb1921 wrote:
I am curious is this a route in New Mexico?
No, not in New Mexico. Colorado - sort of - but it doesn't really matter.

mattb1921 wrote:
I also think that you would have to be more specific as to how easy and moderate.
Easy / moderate / hard for whoever the leader is. I meant to make this less about a particular route and more about dealing with the issues. Ask again and I'll tell the whole story ... eventually.

mattb1921 wrote:
If it is pretty easy it seems like it could be possible to run it out from BC and then place some pro between CD and use double ropes.
The leader only has a single rope on hand. Yes, pro between CD - for the leader and for the second.

mattb1921 wrote:
You could also climb to C and bring second over and then belay from there. Either way it seems like a pretty crappy situation for a second. .
Not too bad. BC is really really easy for both. CD is harder for the second but plenty pro to keep things safe for both leader and second. [Okay, that's 1 of 3 issues I had in mind.]

mattb1921 wrote:
On a side note here in Albuquerque we had some weather but Sandia climbing this weekend was great. Just a little wet. Hope you aren't down south with all that flooding.
I was in the Sandias as well Friday and Sunday - but in the foothills ... call me timid about the weather.Smile


billl7


Jul 27, 2008, 7:28 PM
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ja1484 wrote:
Rope solo to D, place your first piece there, climb route.
The second is not as strong as the leader. Wait, "rope solo" probably means no second. Well, today the leader took the significant other or something as a second.


(This post was edited by billl7 on Jul 27, 2008, 7:33 PM)


mattb1921


Jul 28, 2008, 8:07 AM
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Re: [billl7] when you zig and/or zag [In reply to]
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If the second can do BC with ease then take it to C set the Belay up and then protect CD. YOu can even simul climb BC if you were worried. It sounds like you would want to Belay at D to bring the second over from C before going up. It seems slow but better than putting your second in an akward situation.

You know the Sandias have been getting clouds built up over them the last few weekends and it never seems to rain.


spikeddem


Jul 28, 2008, 2:39 PM
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Re: [mattb1921] when you zig and/or zag [In reply to]
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Dyno. Problem solved.


billl7


Jul 28, 2008, 8:28 PM
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Re: [mattb1921] when you zig and/or zag [In reply to]
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mattb1921 wrote:
If the second can do BC with ease then take it to C set the Belay up and then protect CD. YOu can even simul climb BC if you were worried. It sounds like you would want to Belay at D to bring the second over from C before going up. It seems slow but better than putting your second in an akward situation.
That solves the 2nd issue: B, C, and D all need anchor-like protection because of the decking potential from the slack introduced if pro at one of them fails. That is counter to a vertical route:

A common rule of thumb is to have two pieces of pro between the leader and the deck. In the middle of a vertical pitch this can mean quite a space between pieces of pro which may not true for such zig-zags.


(This post was edited by billl7 on Jul 28, 2008, 8:34 PM)


GeneralBenson


Jul 29, 2008, 7:37 AM
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Re: [billl7] when you zig and/or zag [In reply to]
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Could you just make a short pitch to C, set up a belay, then bring up the second and then lead C to E. That way you could sufficiently protect both without too much drag.


blueeyedclimber


Jul 29, 2008, 7:54 AM
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Re: [GeneralBenson] when you zig and/or zag [In reply to]
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double ropes. Duh?


Partner cracklover


Jul 29, 2008, 8:16 AM
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Re: [billl7] when you zig and/or zag [In reply to]
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If A-B is hard, I'd set a belay at B. Then we'd both walk to C. C-E would be a second pitch. The rope drag shouldn't be too bad for the leader.

But I have to say, this is a perfect situation for double ropes. So if it were me, with such a short route, I would probably double the single rope over and use the two strands with doubles technique. In the following picture, the red strands show where the ropes would run after the leader has finished the pitch, before the second starts climbing.



All right-side climbing on the right-side rope, all left-side climbing on the left-side rope. Problem solved.

I've been climbing 10 years. Did I wait long enough to answer?

GO


billl7


Jul 29, 2008, 10:52 AM
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Re: [blueeyedclimber] when you zig and/or zag [In reply to]
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blueeyedclimber wrote:
double ropes. Duh?
Perhaps. In my case, this was the third pitch and the zig-zag wasn't a given when we left the ground. So far, my default preference is to climb with a single (a default which of course points to a whole 'nother topic of discussion).

Bill


billl7


Jul 29, 2008, 12:00 PM
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Re: [cracklover] when you zig and/or zag [In reply to]
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cracklover, nice trick to have available - using a single rope for a double if the pitch isn't too long.

In the experience I had, we used a single rope. The rope drag was there but not too bad. And in hindsight, I'd set an intermediate belay at C. BC was mostly easy enough to go unroped except close to C

Admittedly, the X-Y thing was a bit geek-y. :-)

The 3rd issue: If done in one pitch on a single rope as shown, I found there's a tendancy for slack to 'build up' due to the horizontal stretches. Sure, when making progress things are pretty tight. But stop to set non-trivial pro on easy terrain and horizontal stretches tend to sag. I took a fall on the DE section and went at least 2 times as far as expected: my feet were just touching the ledge. So I aided back up, checked the last pro (sparse wtih thin gear) and added another piece. But before giving DE another go, I had my belayer take tension to get out most all slack. Then I proceeded to climb, fell again with a much shorter flight.

So my last point is that horizontal stretches of rope can tend to 'build up' slack under the right conditions unlike a vertical route. At least, I think that explains the longer-than-expected fall and we just didn't recognize it at first. Much of this is alleviated by breaking up the pitch and/or using doubles as has been suggested. Temporarily tensioning the line seemed to make a difference as well.


AlexCV


Jul 29, 2008, 1:00 PM
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Re: [billl7] when you zig and/or zag [In reply to]
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If you rip a pro that is far to the side, you'll get a whole lot more slack then expected too.


billl7


Jul 29, 2008, 3:34 PM
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AlexCV wrote:
If you rip a pro that is far to the side, you'll get a whole lot more slack then expected too.
That's a really good point, particulary because the fall from the hard moves to the ledge was relatively short. The pro at C needs to be anchor-like. I had a bolt at B, two cams at C, and two slider nuts with an opposing nut at D (plus other pro along CD). In hindsight, I would move the belay up to C before continuing. Or double ropes would do.

Bill L


caughtinside


Jul 29, 2008, 5:20 PM
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Re: [billl7] when you zig and/or zag [In reply to]
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A forty foot traverse to avoid the crux is hardly sporting.


billl7


Jul 29, 2008, 6:06 PM
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caughtinside wrote:
A forty foot traverse to avoid the crux is hardly sporting.
Precisely. Fortunately it was trad. BlushWink


jsj7051


Aug 6, 2008, 8:06 PM
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Re: [billl7] when you zig and/or zag [In reply to]
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billl7 wrote:
cracklover, nice trick to have available - using a single rope for a double if the pitch isn't too long.

In the experience I had, we used a single rope. The rope drag was there but not too bad. And in hindsight, I'd set an intermediate belay at C. BC was mostly easy enough to go unroped except close to C

Admittedly, the X-Y thing was a bit geek-y. :-)

The 3rd issue: If done in one pitch on a single rope as shown, I found there's a tendancy for slack to 'build up' due to the horizontal stretches. Sure, when making progress things are pretty tight. But stop to set non-trivial pro on easy terrain and horizontal stretches tend to sag. I took a fall on the DE section and went at least 2 times as far as expected: my feet were just touching the ledge. So I aided back up, checked the last pro (sparse wtih thin gear) and added another piece. But before giving DE another go, I had my belayer take tension to get out most all slack. Then I proceeded to climb, fell again with a much shorter flight.

So my last point is that horizontal stretches of rope can tend to 'build up' slack under the right conditions unlike a vertical route. At least, I think that explains the longer-than-expected fall and we just didn't recognize it at first. Much of this is alleviated by breaking up the pitch and/or using doubles as has been suggested. Temporarily tensioning the line seemed to make a difference as well.

Seems to me you answered you'r own question with the mention of "slack" in the rope. This is really a little realized problem. Belaying as little as 3' from the rock face can sometimes result in enough slack to allow a leader to get hurt. "Protecting the Pitch" is something belayers need to be taught by the leader. I'm not trying to be a smart a$$ ,it's just a serious issue. I won't let anyone belay me that doesn't know what that (protecting the pitch) is. Also, sounds like the belayer could have mentioned that there was a lot of slack befor the crux was attempted sense he had a better view of the rope than the leader . You'r drawing really made think the problem thru and I learned a few things. Thanks for posting it.


billl7


Aug 7, 2008, 5:56 AM
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Re: [jsj7051] when you zig and/or zag [In reply to]
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I like that phrase: "protecting the pitch" used regarding both the leader and the belayer.

The circumstances were a little unusual: relatively large horizontal sections. It would be interesting to experiment some. How well can the belayer recognize when the horizontal droop is significant? Can the belayer keep the slack out that is caused by the horizontal droop factor - without causing undue rope drag? Having the belayer take tension and then let off at key points - is that still a problem looking for a different solution (some mentioned already)?

Those aren't questions I hope to answer in this thread as circumstances change route-to-route. In this case, I'm more of a view that the better thing is to break up the pitch or perhaps use double ropes. However, double ropes isn't a solution for a route with a long traverse.

Cheers!

Bill


AlexCV


Aug 7, 2008, 9:13 AM
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Re: [billl7] when you zig and/or zag [In reply to]
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Remember that at D you have approximately 97 ft. of rope out (use pythagora, 95 just summing the lines), even without any form of extra slack you're looking at a lot of rope stretch. Being 30ft. from the belayer doesn't nullify that stretch.


skinner


Aug 7, 2008, 10:02 AM
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Re: [AlexCV] when you zig and/or zag [In reply to]
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It would depend on the capabilities of my second and the "BD" terrain, but I'd try to eliminate some or most of the traverse, even if it meant lowering off of "E" and reversing the traverse, placing an intermediate piece between "D" and "C", then (back-clean) remove "C" altogether, scamper back up and bring up my second.

Back-cleaning "C" on the way up would be more efficient, after getting your next piece in, but I'm assuming that I've already arrived at "E" by the drawing.


(This post was edited by skinner on Aug 7, 2008, 10:05 AM)


evanwish


Aug 13, 2008, 10:35 PM
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Re: [billl7] when you zig and/or zag [In reply to]
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why not just back-clean that moderate section??

then when done there would be no gear over there and No rope drag....


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