Forums: Climbing Disciplines: Big Wall and Aid Climbing:
Ask Dr. Piton ....... about using backup knots while jugging
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Big Wall and Aid Climbing

Premier Sponsor:

 


theooze


Nov 4, 2001, 4:43 PM
Post #1 of 6 (4390 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 18, 2003
Posts: 619

Ask Dr. Piton ....... about using backup knots while jugging
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Dear Dr. Piton,

One more question if I may - I was (trying) to follow a thread in the rec.climbing newsgroup recently, about the best ways to back yourself up while ascending a rope. This was of some interest to me. I have always used Traditional Big Wall Technology: periodically tying and clipping into figure 8 knots in the trailing rope. This will protect me if both ascenders come off the rope. But it's just one more hassle you don't need when you're trying to clean a pitch of overdriven pins (they don't call my partner "Thor" for no reason). Plus, the resulting loops hanging below you catch on everything. I've often said to myself, there's got to be a better way!

Well, even after wading through the flames, feuds and wild tangents, the rc pundits were all over the map on this one. The only ones who seemed to know anything were a caver guy and a fellow named Eric, to whom I would have posed my questions if he weren't such a potty mouth.

So how do I stay safe and still get to the belay before Thor starts flinging lightning bolts my way?

Hans Chlorine


theooze


Nov 26, 2001, 10:33 AM
Post #2 of 6 (4390 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 18, 2003
Posts: 619

Ask Dr. Piton ....... about using backup knots while jugging [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Right. There seemed to be a near concensus on the newsgroup that using a grigri as backup was the way to go. I often find myself jugging ledgy terrain where it's a constant struggle to get the top ascender past an edge. Sometimes I just horse around till I get it over - tiring - or unclip the aider after tieing in short - a hassle. Having the grig in place will make thinks easier.

As for Dr. P's posts you referred to where he suggests using the gri and only one ascender while jugging, I'm not sure I get it. I'm used to using the bottom aider all the time when I pop up to slide the top ascender up. In fact, I usually only use an aider on the bottom ascender.

Stu


fishypete


Apr 12, 2002, 5:09 AM
Post #3 of 6 (4390 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 5, 2002
Posts: 200

Ask Dr. Piton ....... about using backup knots while jugging [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

What's up Doc?

I just about to head out and "drop-the-dough" on the right "janglies" for ascending in the better way, but before I actually head out and get into trouble, did you have something to add to this topic? Or have I missed it?

Cheers mate,

Fishy.


passthepitonspete


Apr 17, 2002, 8:09 AM
Post #4 of 6 (4390 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 9, 2001
Posts: 2183

Ask Dr. Piton ....... about using backup knots while jugging [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

First of all, thanks to Fishy Pete for dusting the cobwebs off of this one. This is a question I should have answered long ago, and I kept wanting to go back onto Rec.climbing, hunt down the threads, and glean the useful info. But since I'll never get round to that, I'll just have to answer this on my own.

If there are any other long-lost posts I need to answer, someone please move them to the top of the heap! I'll do the zipline post next after this one.




Despite the fact that I sometimes think of myself as a part time wall climber, I'm really a caver first. I started caving in 1977, and let me tell you guys, when it comes to jugging, the cavers have the climbers beat all to hell! With little better to do, cavers spend endless hours perfecting their jugging systems whilst dangling beneath bridges in cities and trying not to get arrested. They fine tune their sling lengths and harness adjustments to an RCH, so that when it comes time to jug that pitch in the dark, they can do it lickety-split.

The variety of responses on the rec.climbing newsgroup basically told me that for the most part, climbers have NO CLUE as to when or when not to tie a backup knot! So it is certainly a question worth answering.

The answers that I am about to give you are not Traditional Big Wall Technology. Traditional Big Wall Technology would have you go out and buy a pair of handled ascenders, clip them to your aiders, and using your Arnold Schwarzenegger-like biceps, ascend a free-hanging rope by sheer willpower and sweat. This is a lot of work, which you well know if you have ever been silly enough to have tried it. If you are very strong, you might have actually made it, too.

Just because 95% of climbers on the Big Stone use this incredibly stupid jugging system does not mean that you should!

Remember when Ibsen said, "the majority is always wrong"?

See, when you are as lazy as I am, you really need to find a better way.

Fortunately, there is ALWAYS a better way!




THE CAVERS' MAXIM

"You must always have at least two points of chest or sit harness attachment to the rope."

There are no exceptions to this rule when jugging. [There]may
be some exceptions to this rule when rappelling, but you will have to Ask Dr. Piton.]




BACKUP KNOTS WHEN JUGGING A FREE HANGING ROPE

When it comes to jugging a free hanging rope, if you are using a system other than the Petzl Frog ascending system, then you are abso-frickin'-lutely nuts!

It is just way too strenuous, dude! Do you LIKE to suffer?? All you have to do is invest thirty-some bucks on a Petzl Croll ascender, get yourself a bit of 1/4" bungy cord or some webbing across each shoulder to attach to the back of your harness, and you're in business!

When I am soloing and fixing pitches, I usually jug up to my high point the first couple of days before I blast off. I have ample opportunity to compare my jugging speed to other climbers around me. [We're all jugging first thing in the morning...] Ordinarily, I am able to jug three times as fast as everyone else. I can do two hundred feet in about four and half minutes, assuming I have any reasonable degree of fitness. [This may be a huge assumption with me!] Cut that down by a minute after a week on the wall.

This has nothing to do with me - I have just left the office for cryin' out loud! But it has everything to do with my ascending system.

It is not uncommon for me to jug five times as fast as the guys who are really struggling.

I tell you this to stress the importance of setting yourself up with the Petzl Frog system.

When you are jugging a free hanging rope thusly, then you DO NOT TIE BACKUP KNOTS!

There are two reasons for this:

The first reason is because you do not need to! You are attached by two points of contact to the rope. If you cross a knot, and if you have tied your knot correctly - please click here to see the proper knot to join two ropes together - then you will clip into the knot with your cow's tail [that's a fancy cavers' term for a long draw on your harness]. You should always leave a clip-in point on your rope knots! Duh.

The second reason you don't bother with a backup knot is because you want the weight of the rope beneath you so that the rope slides through the Croll ascender without you having to pull it. On a dynamic rope, you might have to get thirty feet of rope beneath you before it self feeds. A stiffy static rope might work after ten or fifteen feet if you're lucky.




BACKUP KNOTS WHILE CLEANING

Firstly, you do not clean using two jugs! It is way too difficult.

The better way to clean a pitch on aid is to use one jug, one Grigri, and your adjustable fifi hook. The Grigri replaces the Croll ascender on your waist. Please click here to read how to clean a pitch on aid. You'll find a bit more information on this in the post above that talks about the Petzl Frog ascending system.

Intuitively you would think that replacing your Croll with a Grigri would be stupid because you have to pull the rope through the Grigri, but you will only have to clean about thirty or forty feet before you will be sold for life!

The benefits of being able to back off on the Grigri after you move your jug above the piece you are about to clean, and after you have fifi'd into your jug and put your weight on the jug above the piece, cannot be overstated. Never again will you fight with your lower ascender. Cleaning even the steepest aid is a piece of piss.

Cleaning a pitch any other way than the way described above is just plain dumb. This life-changing quote uttered by "Peckerhead," my old boss, can be read about halfway down the page in the blue box.

When you are cleaning this way, technically speaking you do not need a backup knot because your Grigri is a "running backup." You could simply leave the rope to dangle, like you do when jugging using the Frog system, but this is not the better way.

There are two problems with letting the rope dangle.

Firstly, it could be blown sideways and hang up in a flake a hundred feet to the side. If you read of Matt Maddaloni's bitchin' big wall solo of Against the Grain in Pakistan, found in the latest Gripped Magazine, you will understand the importance of keeping your rope tails under control. He had to spend an entire day drilling sideways around blank corners to retrieve his hung-up rope!

Sheesh.

I bet he doesn't let that happen again, eh?

Secondly, the weight of the rope makes it hard to pull the free end of the rope through the Grigri.

When you are cleaning aid, you should get a designated short sewn sling of unique colour and girth hitch it to the bottom of your doughnut. You should then get a designated wide gate autolocking crab and attach it to this sewn sling.

This is your backup. Every twenty to thirty feet, tie a backup knot.

A figure of 8 on a bight is definitely overkill - a simple overhand loop is more than ample.

This will keep the free end of your rope under control, and you can stack it in the rope bag when you finish cleaning the pitch.




I think that covers it all. If I have missed anything, please let me know!




I am Dr. Piton,

and holy frig have I ever jugged a lot of vertical miles!


bshaftoe


Apr 17, 2002, 2:10 PM
Post #5 of 6 (4390 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 8, 2002
Posts: 121

Ask Dr. Piton ....... about using backup knots while jugging [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Quote:When you are cleaning aid, you should get a designated short sewn sling of unique colour and girth hitch it to the bottom of your doughnut. You should then get a designated wide gate autolocking crab and attach it to this sewn sling.
This is your backup. Every twenty to thirty feet, tie a backup knot.
A figure of 8 on a bight is definitely overkill - a simple overhand loop is more than ample.

An example of the above can be found here:
Drawing of 4-to-1 lower out while cleaning an aid traverse.

The drawing is based on this topic:
"Dr Piton... please explain 4:1 lower out."

Hope this helps,

-Shaft


full-time-climb
Deleted

Apr 24, 2002, 5:01 PM
Post #6 of 6 (4390 views)
Shortcut

Registered:
Posts:

Ask Dr. Piton ....... about using backup knots while jugging [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Hi everyone. I am new to the site but like what I see so far...
I have been using a Petzl Tibloc as a back-up. I put it on a short sling from my harness to the free rope below and forget about it. However, I was removing it on the nose and dropped it. Pitch four I think.
L8r


Forums : Climbing Disciplines : Big Wall and Aid Climbing

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook