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dredsovrn


Mar 15, 2004, 12:34 PM
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Anybody use Half or Twin Ropes for Trad
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I once saw someone using half ropes in the Gunks. I have read about the idea of reduced impact on anchors with half ropes and the redundancy on sharp edeges of both systems. My partner and I like to go after wandering adventrue routes when we come accross them, and I thought it might be a good system to get down. I can also see an advantage to carry one rope system with the advantages of longer rappels.

That being said, I would like to hear from anyone who actually uses either or both systems. What has your experience been? Worth the extra complication with halfs? Feel more confident on twins? Thanks for the feedback.


mandrake


Mar 15, 2004, 1:15 PM
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There have been a lot of threads on this subject, query them to read more.

I have half ropes (doubles) and would summarize the pros and cons as follows:

Pros
Less impact force on the gear
Have two ropes for double-rope raps
Redundant ropes if, God forbid, one should be cut
Reduces rope drag on wandering pitches
You never have that big loop of rope out which would extend your fall if you fell while clipping the next piece
In certain situations can reduce outward pull on your gear (check Gunks.com for an illustration of this)

Cons
Less impact force on the gear=more rope stretch=more likelihood of smacking something on your way down
More expensive
More complicated to belay-it takes longer to train new partners in this system
When totally maxed out on lead, I hate having to think about which rope I'm gonna grab to clip (this may be just me)
A bit more complicated to lead, you have to preview the pitch and think a moment to keep from crossing your ropes

In sum
If you've got the cash, they're really nice for longer, easier routes. For hard routes, I personally just don't yet feel comfortable enough with the system to lead as hard as I do on a single line (but they do protect against falling with the big loop above your head when clipping). I've noticed quite a bit more rope stretch when falling on doubles, which is something to keep in mind when protecting above ledges.


holmeslovesguinness


Mar 15, 2004, 1:16 PM
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Re: Anybody use Half or Twin Ropes for Trad [In reply to]
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We climbed with double ropes a few times last summer. Great in many ways (especially when you want to make long rappells, etc), but definitely more complicated in terms of rope management (at least for someone as simple minded as myself) - it can become a bit of a cluster f*** when you first start using them. I would certainly recommend that you practice belaying / leading with them a bunch at the local crags before hitting the big stuff.


geezergecko


Mar 15, 2004, 1:17 PM
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Re: Anybody use Half or Twin Ropes for Trad [In reply to]
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From the British climbing magazines I read, it seems that half ropes used as doubles is the only way to climb trad. I seconded a lot of double ropers last year and found that while doubles are a hassle to belay and manage, they do offer some distinct advantages. The big one, in my opinion, is that you can get a second chance at a soft catch if your top piece blows at full stretch. With a single rope during a fall on a sketchy piece, you may have used up all the dynamic rope stretch in the fall, the piece blows, and then you are basically on a dynamic rope gone static. A bad scenerio.

There are other advantages such as traverses can be more easily protected for the second with 2 ropes. The leader can be held short on one rope while feeding the other for a clip so that there is less rope out in case of a fall while clipping. Two ropes mean less chance of a sharp edge cutting both ropes. Etc. etc.


drkodos


Mar 15, 2004, 1:17 PM
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Re: Anybody use Half or Twin Ropes for Trad [In reply to]
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There are more trouble than they are worth, unless you are really working some hard sheet where they would be helpful.

If you are slogging up 5.7's don't waste your money.

If you are trying to send hard test piece 11's, then maybe they are worth it.


roc-dude
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Mar 15, 2004, 1:21 PM
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They do have there place; Ice climbing, routes that wander back and forth, places that need double rope raps. I was using them a lot mostly for multi-pitch trad climbs where there is an advantage of two rope raps. I found that two problems bothered me; one is that they tend to get stuck/tangled easier than regular ropes and that they take twice as much organization at belay stations. If everything goes well you will not lose time, but if you don't keep them organized you will have to re-flake two ropes. I seem to have this problem once or twice a day on all day routes. I currently don't use them that much. I have went back to a 10.5 mm rope and now carry a 7 mm zip line to do double rope raps. I my option I think half ropes are more useful that twins. Twin are just lighter with out the fuction of just clipping one rope into your pro. I have a brand new pair of twins just sitting in my bag, I can never find a good reason to use them. I have some climbing partners that will not leave the ground without them... To each their on..


mandrake


Mar 15, 2004, 2:00 PM
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Re: Anybody use Half or Twin Ropes for Trad [In reply to]
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In reply to:
one is that they tend to get stuck/tangled easier than regular ropes and that they take twice as much organization at belay stations. If everything goes well you will not lose time, but if you don't keep them organized you will have to re-flake two ropes. I seem to have this problem once or twice a day on all day routes. ..

I've heard this from people before, and can't say that I've had this problem. Basically, when the second comes up you just stack or pile the ropes as though they were one. Then, when the leader takes off on the next pitch, the ropes are fed out at about the same time. I've never had a problem with this aspect of the system (and I've climbed with a variety of partners with doubles).

If you're leading in blocks, you pancake the rope (keep a tight pile and reach underneath and flip the ropes, so the leader's end, the bottom, is on top).

IMO, the bigger problem is making sure your belayer is comfortable feeding out two ropes at different times, without short-roping you and while keeping you on belay.

Oh, to the list of "pros" add that you can bring two seconds up simultaneously, have the third start after the second is 20 feet or so up the pitch. Just make sure they both stop climbing if one falls, until the one who fell is back climbing again. This system really speeds things up for a party of three.


Partner cracklover


Mar 15, 2004, 2:13 PM
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Re: Anybody use Half or Twin Ropes for Trad [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Pros
Less impact force on the gear
Have two ropes for double-rope raps
Redundant ropes if, God forbid, one should be cut
Reduces rope drag on wandering pitches
You never have that big loop of rope out which would extend your fall if you fell while clipping the next piece
In certain situations can reduce outward pull on your gear (check Gunks.com for an illustration of this)

Cons
Less impact force on the gear=more rope stretch=more likelihood of smacking something on your way down
More expensive
More complicated to belay-it takes longer to train new partners in this system
When totally maxed out on lead, I hate having to think about which rope I'm gonna grab to clip (this may be just me)
A bit more complicated to lead, you have to preview the pitch and think a moment to keep from crossing your ropes

I agree with all of the above. I would add a couple of Pros: on wandering pitches you can protect the second MUCH better, and you can use protection you would never even consider because of the rope drag it would create. I've done routes at the Gunks where I've placed gear 15 feet away from each other on the same ledge prior to moving up. That would be ridiculous with a single rope.

I use singles for some things and doubles for others.

GO


mtnbkrxtrordnair


Mar 15, 2004, 2:30 PM
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Re: Anybody use Half or Twin Ropes for Trad [In reply to]
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I use twins for ice. BlueWater ice floss, 8.something mm.
pros: redundency if a rope is cut by icefall, a lot less rope drag than single ropes, light weight, longer raps
neutral: same impact force as a single, unlike double ropes which have less
downside: can become a cluster f**k. When you throw the ropes for a rapell, they tangle easily


sspssp


Mar 15, 2004, 2:39 PM
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Re: Anybody use Half or Twin Ropes for Trad [In reply to]
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In reply to:
In reply to:
one is that they tend to get stuck/tangled easier than regular ropes and that they take twice as much organization at belay stations. If everything goes well you will not lose time, but if you don't keep them organized you will have to re-flake two ropes. I seem to have this problem once or twice a day on all day routes. ..

I've heard this from people before, and can't say that I've had this problem. Basically, when the second comes up you just stack or pile the ropes as though they were one. Then, when the leader takes off on the next pitch, the ropes are fed out at about the same time. I've never had a problem with this aspect of the system (and I've climbed with a variety of partners with doubles).

If you're leading in blocks, you pancake the rope (keep a tight pile and reach underneath and flip the ropes, so the leader's end, the bottom, is on top).

If you have never had a problem with this, kudos to you. This sure hasn't been my experience. If most of your belays are on comfy ledges, things work pretty well (however, I wouldn't recommend trying to flip double ropes, but if you can, not much I can argue against).

Where I have really had problems is at stance belays where there are limited options for shaking out the ropes. The real killer is if the ropes get some twisty "pigs tail" action going. Sure good rope management can reduce the amount of twist, but all ropes have it to some extent. When double ropes get a double "pigs tail" going at a stance belay, belaying can get pretty bleak.


okinawatricam


Mar 15, 2004, 3:19 PM
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Re: Anybody use Half or Twin Ropes for Trad [In reply to]
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Double or twins are great. I don't use them exclusively, but I use them often.

It's true that the two ropes are harder to manage, but with practice, they are just as easy as a single lead line: just plan ahead. (Not so different from dealing with a second thick rope that so many people drag up any way)

On lead, once you have the system down, clipping the correct rope isn't so complicated, even on harder routes. Just practice and get use to it.

Since I often climb in a three-man team, I like the added advantage of bringing both climbers up at the same time, especially on long routes where time is crucial.

My partner and I also use twin/double ropes on long multipitch sport routes, makes the rappel easier.

Ice climbing, MUST.


boss


Mar 15, 2004, 3:38 PM
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Double ropes are sweet for wandering routes. Check this out for some good technique info. http://www.gunks.com/...m=1&smGroup=2&smID=4

Boss


Partner chugach001


Mar 15, 2004, 3:44 PM
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I'm a huge fan. Learned the technique on long ice and alpine routes. I'd recommend on any routes over 2 pitches.
Jeff


macca


Mar 15, 2004, 3:54 PM
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Some interesting points put out about the advanages and disadvantages of twin ropes.

I began trad climbing in the UK 12 years ago and never even considered a single rope. Everyone uses twins. First it is cheaper. You buy one and your partner provides the other. They are lighter to carry you carry one your partner carries one. Quicker and easier to coil. You coil one your partner coils one. They are lighter/less bulky to carry on descent routes. On trad routes where gear placements can be all over the place they reduce rope drag and prevent gear pulling. Obviously they provide twice the rappel length.

Now I trad climb in America predominately on a single. Fantastic for trad routes in places like Josuha where the route and placement is straight up. Quicker to uncoil and half the messing around. Great for your love of cracks where two ropes just get in the way. Great for road triping when you can't quarantee a partner will even have a rope.

If you are doing a lot of various types of climbing then consider both.


vegastradguy


Mar 15, 2004, 4:27 PM
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i just started running on doubles. Why?

1) We're already carrying two ropes, might as well save some weight and get some use out of the second line.

2) rappels are nice!

3) they are light. each person only has to carry 7 pounds as opposed to 10-12lbs each depending on which rope you get stuck with.

4) rope drag is going bye-bye...we're still working this out, but it's already helped out nicely. dont need giant runners on everything anymore. we climb in RR and with the wandering, committing nature of the multipitch routes that we're doing out here, it just makes sense to carry doubles.

5) they're faster than trailing a second line. since you treat them as one at belay, we can move quicker on our climbs. we've picked up about 5 mins per pitch at this point, and i expect to pick up a bit more as we get more efficient at handling them.

this said- single pitch stuff and sport i still use my single line. if the single pitch needs two ropes for the rappel, then i might use my doubles, but other than that, theres no reason to carry them.

it also depends on where you climb most. If i were a JTree climber, i wouldnt even think about owning doubles- single pitch and really abrasive rock...they would eat my doubles and the advantages there arent really worth it. Red Rocks, however, is a perfect place for doubles.

i love my ropes....i'm really pleased with them.


brutusofwyde


Mar 15, 2004, 5:23 PM
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For ultra lightweight backcountry trad, I use doubles, 8 mm x 50 m Also can be used and meets UIAA specs for twin ropes.

For ice, twins I use Icefloss 7.8 mm x 60 m. Every piece gets a screamer as well.

For multi-pitch all day trad near my limit, hauling a backpack, I use a single 9.2 mm x 60 m lead line and 7.8 mm x 60 m pack haul line/retreat line.

My twins do get tangly, particularly when first flaking them out. After that, when stacked together, they're not too bad.

Ditto what others have said re pros and cons.

I need a higher friction device than an ATC on the skinny cords. Trango Jaws works well for me.

Brutus


dirtineye


Mar 16, 2004, 6:41 AM
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I've climbed a little on PMI Verglass 8.1( rated for double or twin) and on mammut genesis 8.5 (double only), as well as single ropes.

I like using the verglass as a twin. I just plain like having two ropes. Love the doubles for all the reasons doubles are good. Rope management hassles are worth the plusses.

Negotiating roofs on doubles is much better than on a single.

Haha the Verglass can be like climbing on a rubber bands sometimes.


dredsovrn


Mar 16, 2004, 10:42 AM
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In reply to:
I've climbed a little on PMI Verglass 8.1( rated for double or twin) and on mammut genesis 8.5 (double only), as well as single ropes.

I like using the verglass as a twin. I just plain like having two ropes. Love the doubles for all the reasons doubles are good. Rope management hassles are worth the plusses.

Negotiating roofs on doubles is much better than on a single.

Haha the Verglass can be like climbing on a rubber bands sometimes.

When climbing with the Verglas do you sometimes clip both into one like a twin and alternate (like with doubles) on the same route?


piton


Mar 16, 2004, 12:53 PM
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i use doubles on harder routes and long routes. ex like kodos said working a hard .11 it's nice to alternate clips so you don't pull out slack on the same rope and have the chance of blowing the clip. also feels real nice and secure when you bomb out both ropes.

only con i have is twisting on new ropes.


crackboy


Mar 16, 2004, 1:40 PM
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for longer stuff when you need a second rope to get down, you can't beat doubles

coming from the gunks i used doubles all the time , they rule for overhangs and traverses. however now that i am out west, i am bringing out the single/planning on using the single since you either don't rap or more straightfoward cracks where wandering lines are not really a problem

make sure you have a good belay device though. i have 8.6 sterlings and i have to flip my reverso over to fat mode for rappeling.

my partner loves her trango jaws on them


dirtineye


Mar 16, 2004, 2:07 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
I've climbed a little on PMI Verglass 8.1( rated for double or twin) and on mammut genesis 8.5 (double only), as well as single ropes.

I like using the verglass as a twin. I just plain like having two ropes. Love the doubles for all the reasons doubles are good. Rope management hassles are worth the plusses.

Negotiating roofs on doubles is much better than on a single.

Haha the Verglass can be like climbing on a rubber bands sometimes.

When climbing with the Verglas do you sometimes clip both into one like a twin and alternate (like with doubles) on the same route?


NO. if you start apart, stay apart, and if you start as twins stay as twins. I really don;t care wgat anyone else thinks or says, I do not want the two ropes rubbing together. at different rates in a fall.


dredsovrn


Mar 16, 2004, 2:14 PM
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In reply to:
Double ropes are sweet for wandering routes. Check this out for some good technique info. http://www.gunks.com/...m=1&smGroup=2&smID=4

Boss

Thanks for the link. They make a pretty compelling case for double ropes on all but arrow straight trad routes.


Partner rgold


Mar 17, 2004, 8:42 AM
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I use 'em for just about everything except roped soloing, 'cause a silent partner needs a single rope. In my opinion, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages by a large margin, although for straight-up crack climbs there are fewer reasons to prefer them.

In the interest of avoiding repetition, I'll only mention some things that haven't been said (or said clearly) yet.

Everyone has mentioned reduction of rope drag. The recent work of the Italians on real-life fall factors demonstrates that even relatively mild bends around biners, after a few pieces, can have an enormous effect in reducing the effective amount of rope available for energy absorbtion. Long before the leader is aware of any rope drag, the straighter lines possible with doubles mean that the strand catching the fall will be more effective, and in some cases significantly more effective, than a single line with sharper bends, even if these bends do not cause enough rope drag to bother the leader.

In spite of the rope drag advantage, focusing on rope drag misses the main point, which is that doubles allow for protection possibilities that are not options with a single rope. On face climbs that don't follow continuous crack systems, the ability to place pieces out of the main line of ascent and the ability to place two pieces separated by a lot of horizontal distance allows for protection that the single-rope leader can't utilize. Climbers used to leading on a single rope don't even notice these possibilities, since they aren't viable anyway, and so are unaware of what they are missing. More than anything else, double ropes are about options.

Even continuous crack systems sometimes feature parallel cracks that are much more effectively utilized with double ropes, especially if the cracks are separated by a rib or arete that protrudes out from the face, or are cracks in inside corners that face each other.

In addition to reducing the penalty for blowing a clip, half ropes allow you to place marginal overhead protection without worrying about extending your fall. With a single rope, a marginal overhead piece might be a bad idea, producing a much longer fall if it blows when fallen on from below. With doubles, you get the possible benefit of the marginal piece without adding 12 feet to your fall if it fails.

From the most minor jams to major catastrophes, having two ropes provides options that aren't available when there is only one line.

As far as handling goes, I've had bad tangles with singles and doubles, and I haven't found any significant disadvantage to two ropes. With both singles and doubles, it helps relieve twisting if, whenever possible, the belayer does not tie in on the first pitch until the leader is at the first stance and has pulled up the ropes.

As for the two ropes getting twisted around each other, I view this as a feature rather than a drawback. The twisting of the two ropes detects twists put in by the party. With a single rope, these twists go undetected and contribute to kinking. With doubles, the twists tell you exactly what to do to return the rope to its untwisted state. However, twisted doubles should always be untwisted by appropriate rotation of the climber. Repeatedly putting one strand over the head and stepping over it will leave the other strand with the original twist and double the twists in the manipulated strand. (Anyone who doubts these claims should try some twisting-untwisting experiments tied into double strands of flat webbing. The flat webbing will indicate how much each strand is twisted and/or untwisted by various actions.)

On the downside, the advantages of double ropes can be negated by a belayer who can't take in and pay out strands almost simultaneously. This is very difficult if the ropes are hanging down the face (a bad idea anyway). The ropes must be piled or flaked or suspended or bagged or somehow arranged so that the belayer does not have to contend with a lot of rope weight when managing the leader's lines. A useful rope-handling trick: don't watch the leader (or don't only watch the leader), watch the way the ropes are hanging and keep them evened out. If the leader pulls up a lot of slack and clips, you know that for several feet, that strand will have to be taken in while the other is paid out.

In my opinion, the TRE Serius rope brake is far and away the best device for belaying and rappelling on double ropes. The importer, PMI, seems to have no interest in promoting it in this country, so it is hard to find and is barely in the public consciousness since it doesn't appear in glorious full-page color in the mags.


harihari


Mar 22, 2004, 7:06 PM
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I have used double ropes quite a bit and prefer them over singles. For ice, *always* doubles. For those with rope-tangle issues, a good thing to do is to bring a light bag, and flake/stack the rope into the bag. I usually climb longer routes with a small pack (its mostly empty) and I have used the pack to stash the rope.

I would add one thing-- if you are working trad lines where you are regularly falling (ie climbing at your limit) these ropes will wear out quicker than using singles. They are rated for fewer falls.


sharpie


Mar 22, 2004, 7:28 PM
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Re: Anybody use Half or Twin Ropes for Trad [In reply to]
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In reply to:
In my opinion, the TRE Serius rope brake is far and away the best device for belaying and rappelling on double ropes. The importer, PMI, seems to have no interest in promoting it in this country, so it is hard to find and is barely in the public consciousness since it doesn't appear in glorious full-page color in the mags.

Agreed, the TRE is awesome, for double ropes and singles!

It is easy to get though...http://www.bentgate.net/treclimbelde.html

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