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Solo Toproping
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cdmtpt


Mar 30, 2004, 6:29 AM
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Solo Toproping
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I'm wondering the best way to rig my Petzl chest-mounted ascender for solo top-roping. Anybody have experience with this? Is it even a good idea?


mtnbkrxtrordnair


Mar 30, 2004, 9:37 AM
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Re: Solo Toproping [In reply to]
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If you do a search you will come up with more info, it's been discussed here before. I've solo tr'd with a petzl basic ascender, the one without a handle. You don't need to use a chest harness, you just attach the locking biner with the ascender to your belay loop. The instructions that come with the ascender show how to rig it. The locking biner goes through the hole at the top instead of the bottom like when you use it for ascending. Find out how to do this right-dont f-up. I tr'd a pitch shorter than 1/2 a rope length, tied a figure 8 on a bight at the rope's midpoint and attached it to the anchor so I had 2 strands hanging. Then you put a weight (water bottle, light pack) at the end of the rope you will be attaching the ascender to, to help the rope feed through the ascender. Use the other strand of rope for back-up. Once you get off the ground far enough (allow for rope strech) tie a figure8 on a bight and clip to another locker (or two with gates opposed) to your harness so if the ascender somehow detaches from the rope, you won't deck. Repeat this as you get higher up so you wont fall as far. This use is approved by petzl and you can probably find more info on their website. Warning: the teeth on the ascender are not friendly to your rope. I used a retired lead rope that I use for tr only so i don't care. The petzl mini traction is more rope friendly. PM me with questions. out


anykineclimb


Mar 31, 2004, 6:02 PM
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Re: Solo Toproping [In reply to]
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even better, use a gibbs ore ropeman. they have no teeth and are very good on your rope. If you do use your petzl make sure the slack is all out or you risk shearing off the ropes sheath.


chossmonkey


Mar 31, 2004, 6:27 PM
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Re: Solo Toproping [In reply to]
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In reply to:
even better, use a gibbs ore ropeman. they have no teeth and are very good on your rope. If you do use your petzl make sure the slack is all out or you risk shearing off the ropes sheath.


Good advise.


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Mar 31, 2004, 10:06 PM
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assuming you're well versed in building safe toprope anchors, solo toproping is fairly straightforward.

use an ascender without teeth (gibbs, for example), as the toothed ones tend to be very harsh on your cord. don't worry about weighing the end of the rope to help it feed through the ascender, because its usefulness will be negated as soon as you tie a back-up knot to your locking biner. just get used to feeding the rope one-handed. don't go more than one or two moves without removing the slack, and back yourself up every 10 or so feet.

start on short routes and stay there until you have your system dialed in.

have fun.


cdmtpt


Mar 31, 2004, 10:17 PM
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Thanks for the great info. The only real question I've had is whether or not to anchor the toprope at the bottom of the route, as I've heard a lot of people suggest. I'll try it both ways and see what works best with my gear. I'll definitely use my old rope for a while and see how chewed up it gets before I use my lead rope.
Thanks again, and anytime anybody's in the southeast let's go climbing.
Chris


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Apr 1, 2004, 5:44 PM
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i would reiterate that anchoring (or, more appropriately, [i:786a27715c]weighting[/i:786a27715c]) the bottom of the rope [i:786a27715c]will [/i:786a27715c]help it feed through your device, but it will become a moot point ten feet up when you rebelay; there's really no reason to do so. more practically, if for some reason you decide to rap after topping out (and then retrieve your rope from the bottom), you won't be able to do so if your rope is anchored below.

the rebelay: you'll have two beefy lockers clipped through the leg loops and waist belt your of harness. when you get, say, ten feet off the deck, you'll tie a figure eight on a bight a foot or two BELOW your ascender and clip it to the first locker. climb another ten feet (approximately, depending upon where you can get a rest) and tie [i:786a27715c]another[/i:786a27715c] figure eight below your ascender ... and clip it to the [i:786a27715c]second[/i:786a27715c] locker.

after --[i:786a27715c]and only after[/i:786a27715c]-- clipping into the second locker, unclip from the first; untie the figure eight you now hold in your hand; and climb on.

in this manner you, a) are always tied in short, and b) always have a locker at the ready.

before you set off for the crag, you might want to tie the end of your rope to a small tree or a fence post, lay the rest of it along the ground, and, wearing your full rig, go through a hands-on/visualization dry run: attach the ascender to the rope, walk a few feet, rebelay, repeat.

the risks of solo anything are higher than climbing with a partner. take your time during the early stages of learning.


fitz


Apr 2, 2004, 11:29 PM
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Re: Solo Toproping [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Thanks for the great info. The only real question I've had is whether or not to anchor the toprope at the bottom of the route, as I've heard a lot of people suggest. I'll try it both ways and see what works best with my gear. I'll definitely use my old rope for a while and see how chewed up it gets before I use my lead rope.
Thanks again, and anytime anybody's in the southeast let's go climbing.
Chris

I've done this from time to time on a clove hitch. Even with a ratcheting device (ascender, gri-gri, etc.) this is more work than you might think. I would make a point of climbing on dynamic line, even if you normally TR on static As you move up, you'll get slack no matter how you weight the line. You won't always be able to take it up until you get a good stance. Since there is more slack, you can take a longer fall than a typical TR situation where the belayer is keeping things pretty tight. Dynamic rope will take out the sting.

Depending on how you approach the self belay, anchoring at the bottom may also help as well, since you could potentially be falling on a longer run of line.


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