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adam123


Jul 17, 2011, 5:12 AM
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solo top roping
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I've been climbing for a while now and due to lack of partners i'm interested in getting into some solo top roping. I'd love to just set up the rope and climb/work a really hard route all day long! i've read many different threads and heard of many devices like the microcender, mini traxion,shunt,etc. however i'd prefer to use a grigri as i can also use it for belaying with partners and decending. I understand there are many dangers with solo top roping but are there any dangers with using a grigri? and any other opinions on other devices/ best setups would be much appreciated!


ensonik


Jul 17, 2011, 5:38 AM
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mckbill


Jul 17, 2011, 7:29 AM
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Re: [adam123] solo top roping [In reply to]
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Read your Grigri instructions. It can be used for descending but it's not really made for that. Back it up.

You need to realize the magnification of risk when you go it alone. Take baby steps if you cannot find an experienced partner to teach you.

I do this but on easy routes, and I tell someone where I'm going and what I'm up to. I also pick a place where there's some other people around that I could call out for help if I needed a rescue from say getting my knee stuck in an offwidth crack.

Setup a standard top rope anchor. Instead of threading the rope, tie a figure 8 on a bite at the middle and clip it into the anchor. Pull up one side and tie butterfly knots every 8 or 10 feet for the length of the route. You will clip your safety tether to this as you ascend.

Clip your grigri into the unknotted side and anchor the bottom so that you have some slack, but not too much to prevent the rope from feeding through as you climb.

Test it at the base and adjust until you feel comfortable in how the rope feeds.

Start on something super easy for you and get the system dialed in before you commit.

On my first attempts at doing this on a challenging climb I had a partner standing by to help if I had trouble.

Take home message: You need a partner to learn to solo.

Good luck and be safe.

--Bill


--edit--: It looks like the GG2 is made for descending, but I seem to recall in my older style grigri instruction book that it is not made for descending/lowering off, but it can be used this way. When I use the older style one to lower off I do so with some backup.

--edit2-- I finally found my old grigri user manual and learned I was wrong, above, where I said it might not be made for rappelling. It is made for this; however, (and this is where I misunderstood) the descent must be controlled by the brake hand NOT THE LEVER (although it can be used this way, it makes for a bouncy descent).


(This post was edited by mckbill on Jul 26, 2011, 11:33 AM)


damienclimber


Jul 17, 2011, 3:53 PM
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Re: [adam123] solo top roping [In reply to]
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adam123 wrote:
I've been climbing for a while now and due to lack of partners i'm interested in getting into some solo top roping. I'd love to just set up the rope and climb/work a really hard route all day long! i've read many different threads and heard of many devices like the microcender, mini traxion,shunt,etc. however i'd prefer to use a grigri as i can also use it for belaying with partners and decending. I understand there are many dangers with solo top roping but are there any dangers with using a grigri? and any other opinions on other devices/ best setups would be much appreciated!


Best way to go would be base jumping. Check out Ammon descent on el cap . Ah the perfect thrill


ACLSRN


Jul 18, 2011, 7:25 AM
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Re: [ensonik] solo top roping [In reply to]
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ACLSRN


Jul 18, 2011, 7:33 AM
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Re: [mckbill] solo top roping [In reply to]
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mckbill wrote:
Read your Grigri instructions. It can be used for descending but it's not really made for that. Back it up.

You need to realize the magnification of risk when you go it alone. Take baby steps if you cannot find an experienced partner to teach you.

I do this but on easy routes, and I tell someone where I'm going and what I'm up to. I also pick a place where there's some other people around that I could call out for help if I needed a rescue from say getting my knee stuck in an offwidth crack.

Setup a standard top rope anchor. Instead of threading the rope, tie a figure 8 on a bite at the middle and clip it into the anchor. Pull up one side and tie butterfly knots every 8 or 10 feet for the length of the route. You will clip your safety tether to this as you ascend.

Clip your grigri into the unknotted side and anchor the bottom so that you have some slack, but not too much to prevent the rope from feeding through as you climb.

Test it at the base and adjust until you feel comfortable in how the rope feeds.

Start on something super easy for you and get the system dialed in before you commit.

On my first attempts at doing this on a challenging climb I had a partner standing by to help if I had trouble.

Take home message: You need a partner to learn to solo.

Good luck and be safe.

--Bill


--edit--: It looks like the GG2 is made for descending, but I seem to recall in my older style grigri instruction book that it is not made for descending/lowering off, but it can be used this way. When I use the older style one to lower off I do so with some backup.

Hi - wouldn't an ascender work just was well than the GriGri? We used to jummar all the time caving and guys that climb Everest on fixed ropes are pretty much doing the same thing - a 'Self Belay' but jugging up a fixed rope. Wouldn't the ascender be easier to just SLIDE up the rope as you climb?

I read of one method what said to accomplish roped soloing - like you stated about with the anchor, knots, etc. to use both a chest harness and a waist harness and connect the Petzl (or Clog at that time) between the chest harness and waist harness so it's taunt. Then, as you climb - the ascender will automatically slide UP the rope w/o the knots in it, etc. Then, as you say, every 8 or 10 ft, clip in to a newer knot.

???


(This post was edited by ACLSRN on Jul 18, 2011, 7:40 AM)


edge


Jul 18, 2011, 7:40 AM
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Re: [ACLSRN] solo top roping [In reply to]
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ACLSRN wrote:
mckbill wrote:
Read your Grigri instructions. It can be used for descending but it's not really made for that. Back it up.

You need to realize the magnification of risk when you go it alone. Take baby steps if you cannot find an experienced partner to teach you.

I do this but on easy routes, and I tell someone where I'm going and what I'm up to. I also pick a place where there's some other people around that I could call out for help if I needed a rescue from say getting my knee stuck in an offwidth crack.

Setup a standard top rope anchor. Instead of threading the rope, tie a figure 8 on a bite at the middle and clip it into the anchor. Pull up one side and tie butterfly knots every 8 or 10 feet for the length of the route. You will clip your safety tether to this as you ascend.

Clip your grigri into the unknotted side and anchor the bottom so that you have some slack, but not too much to prevent the rope from feeding through as you climb.

Test it at the base and adjust until you feel comfortable in how the rope feeds.

Start on something super easy for you and get the system dialed in before you commit.

On my first attempts at doing this on a challenging climb I had a partner standing by to help if I had trouble.

Take home message: You need a partner to learn to solo.

Good luck and be safe.

--Bill


--edit--: It looks like the GG2 is made for descending, but I seem to recall in my older style grigri instruction book that it is not made for descending/lowering off, but it can be used this way. When I use the older style one to lower off I do so with some backup.

Hi - wouldn't a Ascender work just was well than the GriGri? We used to jug all the time caving and guys that climb Everest on fixed ropes are pretty much doing the same thing - a 'Self Belay' but jugging up a fixed rope. Wouldn't the ascender be easier to just SLIDE up the rope as you climb?

I read of one method what said to accomplish roped soloing - like you stated about with the anchor, knots, etc. to use both a chest harness and a waist harness and connect the Petzl (or Clog at that time) between the chest harness and waist harness so it's taunt. Then, as you climb - the ascender will automatically slide UP the rope w/o the knots in it, etc. Then, as you say, every 8 or 10 ft, clip in to a newer knot.

???

The problem with using an ascender is that the teeth can quickly damage the rope in the forces generated by a fall. The relatively gentle sweep of the Grigri cam and locking mechanism (for example) is much more accommodating of the rope than having 100s of little teeth trying to desheath your lifeline.


ACLSRN


Jul 18, 2011, 7:42 AM
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Re: [edge] solo top roping [In reply to]
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Ahh OK, makes sense. I have never used or have even seen the inside cam of the GriGri.....so I wasn't sure about how it looked.

I have considered buying a GriGri but wondered IF they are too complicated to use properly, or not.

??


sandstone


Jul 18, 2011, 11:49 AM
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Re: [adam123] solo top roping [In reply to]
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adam123 wrote:
I... I understand there are many dangers with solo top roping but are there any dangers with using a grigri?

One thing to look out for with the grigri is how well it works with the rope you're pairing it with.

Skinny ropes (especially if brand new and dry treated) are not going to engage the grigri cam as readily as fatter and less slippery ropes. You'll have to experiment with this before you rely on it for soloing.

You'll want to have some weight on the bottom of the rope (often just the coiled up excess rope), to help the grigri "catch". You'll have to experiment to get the right amount of weight.

Even if you have everything dialed in, tie knots in the rope below you as you reach stances -- that's really cheap insurance.

In reply to:
...and any other opinions on other devices/ best setups would be much appreciated!

The grigri has one distinct advantage for solo TR. If you need to go down, you just rappel on the grigri. There is no need to change or re-rig anything. This adds convenience, but it also adds a margin of safety.

If you are using an ascender based system and you need to go down from the middle of a climb, you will have to re-rig yourself for descent. This is not trivial, especially if you are hanging free from the rock.

If you do decide to use an ascender based system, make sure you climb with the gear you need to switch over to descent mode. Hang a rope from a tree limb and practice the switchover before you go soloing.

The main disadvantage of using a grigri is that it doesn't feed as smoothly as an ascender based system. You will undoubtedly have to reach down occasionally and pull slack through the grigri. Slack is bad, but remember the grigri and your rope can handle dynamic loads. Getting a hand free and feeding slack may seem like a pain in the ass, but if you were lead climbing you'd have to occasionally get a hand free to place pro, so in that regard it's good training.

The Rescuecender is a very rope friendly ascender, and I've had good success using it for solo TR. I like the fact that it is beefy, and it has a very rope friendly cam/housing design. When things go wrong and I've fallen with slack onto an ascender -- that's the one I want to be on.

Lots of people use the Minitraxion, sometimes two of them in series, which looks like a good system. I have no experience with the Minitrax, but there's some good info here:

http://www.supertopo.com/...8522&msg=1039265


(This post was edited by sandstone on Jul 18, 2011, 12:16 PM)


mckbill


Jul 18, 2011, 2:16 PM
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Re: [adam123] solo top roping [In reply to]
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Adam,

Here's a great illustration I found on MP.com...



The only problem is the climber is not clipping the loops in the other line for protection.

I do like the backup knot under the Grigri.


lostinphilly


Jul 18, 2011, 2:56 PM
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Re: [adam123] solo top roping [In reply to]
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The GriGri doesn't feed too bad as long as you weight the rope. I usually toss the excess rope in the rope bag, tie a bight on the line the grigri is on, and clip the bag to it. The bag of rope hovers off the ground and keeps tension on the line. If you're working a good overhang the rope might not feed as well. You can use some gear to anchor it the base of the overhang and it takes care of the feeding issue.


puravida9539


Jul 18, 2011, 3:10 PM
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Re: [lostinphilly] solo top roping [In reply to]
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I have used the grigri for solo top rope aid climbing, and it works fine. I was using an 11mm rope, though. It cammed down on the rope without any trouble, but I had the force it to feed every bit of rope. Not an issue for aid climbing, but could sure be a pain otherwise


(This post was edited by puravida9539 on Jul 18, 2011, 3:11 PM)


lostinphilly


Jul 18, 2011, 5:39 PM
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Re: [puravida9539] solo top roping [In reply to]
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Yeah, 11mm is pretty beefy. I was running a 9.8 through it and felt like I wouldn't want to go much bigger. Did you have the rope weighted?


sandstone


Jul 18, 2011, 6:49 PM
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Re: [lostinphilly] solo top roping [In reply to]
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I've used a 10.2 with pretty good results.


brews


Aug 3, 2011, 12:46 PM
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Re: [adam123] solo top roping [In reply to]
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I fixed a rope hanging from my deck and climbed a ladder with the grigri as an autobelay device before I tried it at a crag. Tested the feeding & tried a few falls. Helped a lot to figure that all out at home first. A tree in a park might be a good test venue as well.

Not sure if someone mentioned, rig some kind of chest harness & keep the grigri oriented vertically to keep it auto-feeding. Rappelling on the same device is great for convenience and safety. If you're doing laps on the same route, when you you're trying to reclip your directionals you can let go with both hands if needed.


markc


Aug 3, 2011, 1:47 PM
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Re: [mckbill] solo top roping [In reply to]
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The image above is from one of Climbing's tech tips. This is pretty much the system I use. While they don't show the climber alternating clips in the backup strand, it's mentioned in the article.

I use a different auto-locking belay device, and usually clip my pack to give a bit of weight. As others have said, it's really easy to switch from climbing to lowering. I experimented on an easy route that was less than vertical. One thing I skip is back-up knots below the device. I consider the back-up strand to be sufficient. That said, I wouldn't knock others for doing whatever they're comfortable with.

It's important to tell someone where you're going, and how long you plan to be out. It's also really important to take your time and to really thoroughly check and double-check your system. I've been the only person at the crag on occasion, and you don't have a partner there to give everything a look for you.

http://www.climbing.com/...techtips/ttsport253/


MarcelS


Aug 4, 2011, 6:53 AM
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Re: [adam123] solo top roping [In reply to]
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What I am using to solo lead climb is the Silent Partner, which according to the manual also works perfectly well for solo toproping. And that might be the difference between the SP and any other device: The SP is designed for solo leading but well suited for solo toproping according to the manual. The fact that a manufacturer actually support the use, does make a difference IMHO.

The device is rather pricey (249 dollar if I remember correctly) but definitely worth it. Actually I climbed my first multipitch route a few weeks back with it, and had a blast!


dindolino32


Aug 4, 2011, 9:21 PM
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At the gym, I have used a gri gri with a trailing tribloc to back up the gri gri. Usually the triblick is about 6" below the grigri. In this case, if by the small chance the gri gri fails, then the tribloc will lock up the device similar to a knot jamming the device. The gri gri hasn't ever failed for me, so I dont thing the teeth are creating excessive wear. The tribloc has little to no drag so it works well. What do you guys think?


tolman_paul


Aug 10, 2011, 12:47 PM
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I've used a soloist for about 20 years, for both solo lead and tr. It is an outstanding device for solo top roping, designed for that task, and it won't damage your rope. It's only downside is it won't hold an inverted fall, so not appropriate for radically overhanging routes.


adkeditor


Aug 15, 2011, 5:03 PM
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I also am interested in solo top roping. I was almost sold on the Mini Traxion, but then I read on Petzl's website that they no longer recommend it for solo top roping, based on accident reports. I am wondering what people think now of the Mini T. Is Petzl being overcautious?


potreroed


Aug 15, 2011, 8:40 PM
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tolman_paul wrote:
I've used a soloist for about 20 years, for both solo lead and tr. It is an outstanding device for solo top roping, designed for that task, and it won't damage your rope. It's only downside is it won't hold an inverted fall, so not appropriate for radically overhanging routes.

The soloist is a great device. It's OK to risk an inverted fall as long as you've got some back-up knots in the rope below you.


MS1


Aug 16, 2011, 5:36 AM
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Re: [adkeditor] Mini traction [In reply to]
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adkeditor wrote:
I also am interested in solo top roping. I was almost sold on the Mini Traxion, but then I read on Petzl's website that they no longer recommend it for solo top roping, based on accident reports. I am wondering what people think now of the Mini T. Is Petzl being overcautious?

Most of the time the minitrax works wonderfully, but occasionally the cam can get stuck in the "open" position despite having been closed before. Many climbers address this risk by using two minitraxions in series. Others back it up using other methods. A few grind off the "catch" that allows the cam to get locked open.

The short version is that using a single minitrax with no backup is pretty risky. I wouldn't do it.


gunkiemike


Aug 16, 2011, 6:12 AM
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Re: [tolman_paul] solo top roping [In reply to]
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tolman_paul wrote:
I've used a soloist for about 20 years, for both solo lead and tr. It is an outstanding device for solo top roping, designed for that task, and it won't damage your rope. It's only downside is it won't hold an inverted fall, so not appropriate for radically overhanging routes.

"Outstanding" for top roping?? The strand to the anchor enters the bottom of the device and the free end is out the top, therefore requiring two 180 degree bends in the rope for TR use. That's never going to feed as well as the straight-through path of an ascender or mini Traxion device. From the top roping section of the Soloist instruction manual: "take up the slack by pulling on the side of the rope that comes out of the Soloist".

It is terrific for solo leading though.


csproul


Aug 16, 2011, 7:01 AM
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Re: [gunkiemike] solo top roping [In reply to]
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gunkiemike wrote:
tolman_paul wrote:
I've used a soloist for about 20 years, for both solo lead and tr. It is an outstanding device for solo top roping, designed for that task, and it won't damage your rope. It's only downside is it won't hold an inverted fall, so not appropriate for radically overhanging routes.

"Outstanding" for top roping?? The strand to the anchor enters the bottom of the device and the free end is out the top, therefore requiring two 180 degree bends in the rope for TR use. That's never going to feed as well as the straight-through path of an ascender or mini Traxion device. From the top roping section of the Soloist instruction manual: "take up the slack by pulling on the side of the rope that comes out of the Soloist".

It is terrific for solo leading though.
+1. I like using it for leading. I hate using it for TRing.


moose_droppings


Aug 16, 2011, 7:48 AM
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Re: [gunkiemike] solo top roping [In reply to]
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gunkiemike wrote:
tolman_paul wrote:
I've used a soloist for about 20 years, for both solo lead and tr. It is an outstanding device for solo top roping, designed for that task, and it won't damage your rope. It's only downside is it won't hold an inverted fall, so not appropriate for radically overhanging routes.

"Outstanding" for top roping?? The strand to the anchor enters the bottom of the device and the free end is out the top, therefore requiring two 180 degree bends in the rope for TR use. That's never going to feed as well as the straight-through path of an ascender or mini Traxion device. From the top roping section of the Soloist instruction manual: "take up the slack by pulling on the side of the rope that comes out of the Soloist".

It is terrific for solo leading though.

I use my soloist exclusively for lead roped soloing climbing. It's outright a PITA for use on top rope soloing, for that I'll use my rescucender. Best device on the market for TR soloing IMO.

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