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dynoguy


Jan 15, 2004, 9:52 PM
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Do you guys have any advice for my friend and I. We are doing our first multi-pitch trad climb this weekend. I'm not asking how to do one, just any little "tricks of the trade" that make things go a little faster or easier.
Thanks


diesel___smoke


Jan 15, 2004, 9:58 PM
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Keep the rope organized, your anchors clean, if it's long - lead in blocks and you should be fine. Oh, and make lead changes go smoothly by having the second rack as he cleans.


njari


Jan 15, 2004, 10:35 PM
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On long climbs, I scan in the topo from my guidebook, shrink it down, print it out small scale, and laminate it (clear packing tape will work). This pocket-sized guide is small enough to be taken on lead.


mreardon


Jan 16, 2004, 12:05 AM
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Get quick on your anchors. Make sure you both tie in to your respective ends of the rope so you don't have to ever untie until you're finished with the climb. Take a fall when you're up a little bit to check your head. After that, have fun and be safe!


climbingaz


Jan 16, 2004, 12:10 AM
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Take a few extra slings, a short prussik and maybe a rap ring in case you need to bail.


Partner holdplease2


Jan 16, 2004, 12:21 AM
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Pick a climb that is a little easier than your "limit" for trad leading. The additional stress of a first multipitch and the time-sinks that occur as you get your initiation into changovers at the belay could turn a tough climb for you into an epic.


Also, if you climb a route that you will be rappelling down with 2 ropes...have the last person who rappels make sure that:

1) the knot on the rope will not get stuck on the edge of the belay stance...he/she may need to "carry the knot down" for a few feet to avoid getting the ropes stuck.

2) communicate with one another about which rope to pull...no sense trying to pull the knot through the rap rings.

Also, be patient. Even if you have been climbing with a trad partner for awhile, all new skill-related problems emerge on multipitch climbs.

Have fun, be safe, and oh yeah...

Carry your headlamps! ;)

-Kate.


andypro


Jan 16, 2004, 12:56 AM
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communication, Communication, Communication.

Work out how it will be done, both vocally, and by "rope signals". Perhaps even visual hand or arm signals.

Make sure you both are on the same page before going out. A simple misunderstanding takes less than the blink of an eye to turn into disaster.


piton


Jan 16, 2004, 6:23 AM
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a good idea is to go down a few levels like 5.7 to 5.3 and practice working together. belay exchange, anchor setup and just climbing.


thegreytradster


Jan 16, 2004, 7:51 AM
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Don't waste time!

All of the above advice is appropriate, but I'd emphasize what mreardon said. Stay business like and focused at the belays. Save the gum flapping for back at the car. Doesn't matter if you do everything correctly if you run out of daylight, it's still an epic.

"Children, I tell you this! No eternal reward will forgive us now for waisting the dawn." -Jim Morrison


lilcapntravis


Jan 16, 2004, 8:40 AM
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Practice a lot of things on the ground. Practice how to stack the rope, escape the belay, belay from the top. Find a single pitch climb and do a multi-pitch simulation there.


vegastradguy


Jan 16, 2004, 9:59 AM
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rope management. take the time to make sure the rope is ready for the next lead as you pull it up to prepare for belaying. then as you belay, stack the rope so its ready to flake out. taking an extra minute or two to get yourself situated will save 15 minutes when your partner has to hang on a piece while you sort everything out. this also goes for getting yourself comfortable to belay.

efficient anchor building, communication, and rope management...these are the keys to moving quickly and safely on a multipitch.


fredo


Jan 16, 2004, 12:54 PM
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Get the plan straight while on the ground, belays, how you want the gear cleaned and racked, communication from belay to 2nd etc. When in doubt, back it up. Don't get complacent if this a familar climb, check with someone who has climbed the route beofre and see if the topo is accurate...most of all have a great time and climb safe! :D


shakylegs


Jan 16, 2004, 1:15 PM
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great answers so far. here's another one: at the anchors, don't let anyone but you clip into the anchor. ditto, don't clip your partner to the anchor unless s/he asks. this may sound like nit-picking but, if you're not paying attention, it may happen that, while trying to organise the belay, your partner may inadvertently unclip you.


mountainguy


Jan 16, 2004, 10:55 PM
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Before leaving the ground, figure out how you are getting back down and make sure you have the right gear to support that (leaver slings, rap ring, extra rope, approach shoes, etc.).


smellyhippie


Jan 16, 2004, 10:58 PM
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Have fun!


simplistic


Jan 16, 2004, 11:07 PM
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I have found that starting early and doing a route that does not have tonnes of people on it is a good way to start, like many of the previous comments, "walk before you run".


iltripp


Jan 17, 2004, 5:02 AM
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As stated before, bring headlamps.

Know how you will get down. If rapping, make sure that you are careful and methodical and that you COMMUNICATE well. When rapping (or climbing) many pitches for the first time, it's easy to forget simple procedures and make mistakes. On one of my first long multipitch climbs, my partner almost stranded us because he didn't listen to me telling him to stop pulling the rope. He almost pulled the knot up to the rap rings. It was 10 feet out and 5 feet up on a nearly featureless face.

Depending on where you are climbing, you may (probably will) have problems hearing eachother at belays. This depends on the shape of the rock, the length and direction of the pitch, and the wind. I would highly recommend working out a system of rope signals to communicate. Search this site and you can find something good.

Many people have said to make sure you go quickly. While avoidance of nightfall due to excessive chit-chat is a good idea, I would actually give you the opposite advice. You should certainly move along, but do not hurry. Hurrying at something you are not experienced at will cause mistakes.

Most importantly, have fun. I love climbing anything, and single pitch sport, trad, or even gym climbing have their rewards, but nothing beats summitting a great multi-pitch crag.


bustinmins


Jan 17, 2004, 7:11 AM
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First off - you've received some excellent advice in this post!

I would have to second the opinion on start early, take headlamps, know your verbal and non-verbal(rope) communication, no-rushing, less chit-chat, put yourself into the anchor and vice versa.

Be rock solid on your rope communication in case you two are in an area where you can't hear each other. For example, after I pull the rope up and flake it....that doesn't mean "ON BELAY". After I pull it up and pull it tight on you....and then pull it REALLY TIGHT ON YOU - then you are on belay. :) If your second starts to climb ....and the rope isn't being taken up then realize that it is very important that that person re-anchor himself to the rock very quickly. :)

Additionally - if you are climbing as second and the rope gets snagged in a crack on your way up...the lead thinks you may not be moving but you aren't getting the "UP ROPE" you desire. If your lead can't hear you then you must set up a friction knot(preferably two) from your harness loop to the rope using nylon runners(NOT SPECTRA or you could use accessory cord). Then climb up to the place where the rope is jammed and release it. When you climb..as you take up your own slack, you'll have to tie the slack into your harness using a "figure eight on a bite". Attach those eights to your harness until you reach the problem area. Don't let the rope dangle beneath you as it can easily be hung up on a ledge - causing more problems.

I would second the opinion that you should climb something underneath your leading ability...preferablly juggy as it can be. That way you focus on techniques rather than pure ability and techniques.

Know how to self-rescue and escape the belay to assist your partner should it become necessary.

Have a great time and enjoy your first multi-pitch lead!


Partner j_ung


Jan 17, 2004, 8:40 AM
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Good advice above; to a significant extent, speed is safety. But let's be realistic. It's your first mp and you're not going to break any speed records. Instead, stack the deck in your favor by making good decisions about what you should and should not attempt:

(in no particular order)

1. Pick a mellow route that is well below both climbers' ability.

2. Pick a relatively short route; 2-3 pitches if possible.

3. Don't be greedy. It's your first day. One multi-pitch route is enough.

4. Start very early.

5. Stay hydrated.


scubasnyder


Jan 17, 2004, 9:08 AM
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just have fun


scotto


Jan 18, 2004, 3:02 PM
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"Take a fall when you're up a little bit to check your head. After that, have fun and be safe!" mreardon
??????
how up is a little bit?
Is this to be sure you are awake?


moeman


Jan 18, 2004, 3:19 PM
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Make sure to bring water, even when its not hot. You will hardly notice a 16 ounce nalgenge clipped to you harness (until you get thirsty). Getting thirsty on a climb sucks.


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