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What is the best aid/free climbing soloing device?
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numbnut


Jan 30, 2005, 8:21 AM
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What is the best aid/free climbing soloing device?
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Just wondering if any seasoned wall vet's have any advice on a safe, easy to use soloing device for wall climbing. Something that isn't too cumbersome when you have to get out of your aiders to free climb but is also safe.


numbnut


Jan 30, 2005, 1:38 PM
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Bumpity bump


johnhenry


Jan 30, 2005, 2:36 PM
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Silent Partner, amigo. It is expensive, but it does the job... well. I trust that thing more than a lot of belayers.

I don't know why I bothered with anything else.

I saw one last week on Ebay.

Be careful,

john


moof


Jan 30, 2005, 4:12 PM
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Re: What is the best aid/free climbing soloing device? [In reply to]
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Anyone else have troubles with their silent partner in the cold? Below about 45F mine doesn't lock up reliably. Stick it in the freezer and the darn thing never locks up no matter how fast I yard rope through it.

I've also used the solo-aid, doesn't have trouble in the cold, but can be freaky to free with. Once you have accidentally tensioned it (climbing past what you had slack to get to) it is miserable to get slack started again. Imagine being mid-mantle, having to get a hand free to get slack, only to find that you can't feed without downclimbing a move. Best strategy with it is to pull up enough slack to get to the next rest, then climb with a pile of slack at you're feet. Fun.

YMMV


flamer


Jan 30, 2005, 5:35 PM
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Re: What is the best aid/free climbing soloing device? [In reply to]
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I'm a silent partner guy as well....never climbed with it when it's cold...I would assume it had something to do with condensation.....but knowing how to use a clove will always get you out of a mechanical soloing dilemma.

josh


epic_ed


Jan 30, 2005, 5:55 PM
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Re: What is the best aid/free climbing soloing device? [In reply to]
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I prefer the gri gri for aid. The free moves are a bitch, but I try to solo routes with a minimum of mandatory free. I have used the Silent Partner and it's a far superior device for free climbing, but the main problem with it in comparison to the gri gri for aiding is that you can't weight it and have it lock up. It requires a fall. There are countless times while solo aiding where it's convenient to cinch up on the slack in the rope below the gri gri, or weight the rope. You can't do that with the Silent Partner.

Anyone tried the Trango Cinch for aid soloing yet?

Ed


healyje


Jan 30, 2005, 6:07 PM
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I use an unmodified grigri for both aid and free roped soloing. Just mind the cross loading or use a steel biner or link. I think about the Silent Partner every year but it's too damn big...


flamer


Jan 30, 2005, 7:49 PM
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In reply to:
I use an unmodified grigri for both aid and free roped soloing. Just mind the cross loading or use a still biner or link. I think about the Silent Partner every year but it's too damn big...

It's actually not that much bigger than a grigri....and "in the way" bulk wise they are about the same.

Ed- you can actually weight it...you just have to hold on to the feeding side.
You've also peaked my curiousity...when do you cinch up a grigri while soloing?

josh


epic_ed


Jan 30, 2005, 8:23 PM
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When I'm reaaallly sceee-r'd. After testing the piece I'm moving to, but before committing to it I clip the rope though my current piece and unclip my daisey. If I'm concerned about what I'll hit if the piece I'm committing to blows, I can adjust the gri gri to get as much or as little slack as I want. I often cinch up to shorten the fall distance. With the SP you're going for a little bit of a ride before it locks up. Plus the gri gri is a helluvalot easier to un-seize if you do take a fall. And easier to transition into re-ascend-to-your highpoint-mode if you really took a winger.

Ed


johnhenry


Jan 31, 2005, 1:32 AM
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Re: What is the best aid/free climbing soloing device? [In reply to]
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I really haven't had a chance to run mine through the gambit of situations, but so far, I think the Silent Partner is just so superior in nearly every way to Grigri soloing.

I lot of people comment, like Ed, that it is a pain for taking wieght or lowering, but I am not convinced that they just haven't taken the time to work through the intricacies of the unit. If you just want to cinch up because you are gripped, you can throw slack forwards or backwards with the SP.

As far as the, I-like-to-hang-on-the-rope-comments, I just don't see where that is a big deal. I climb with daisies and a fifi. If with a partner, I doubt I ask him or her to "take" even once or twice a pitch.

If your rope diameter is thin enough that your Grigri self-feeds well, you run a risk of it not locking off in a fall. This has happenend to numerous people. If your rope diameter is thick enough to virtually ensure it locking off, you will probably have to squeeze your grigri for every move.

The advantages of a device that self-feeds are HUGE!

For me, the piece of mind of using a device that was designed for solo climbing is well worth the cash. The hardest parts of a route soloed with a Grigri (i.e. the casual free bits) will be the easiest parts of the route when soloed with the S.P. (hey did that rhyme).

Furthermore, you can go after all those routes that you wouldn't solo before, because there was manditory free climbing.

I think it opens up all kinds of possibilities. I honestly don't think I could get up the Half Dome regular route in a day in a traditional style without a partner who was significantly better than myself. But with a human partner and a Silent Partner, I think the my chances go way up. Think about it, most pitches are around 110-120' and there is a lot of moderate free climbing. Short fixing with the Silent Partner could easily increase your speed by 25-30%. I think you could roughly approximate the speeds of simu-climbing in a MUCH safer format.

I have spent hours pouring over the pro's and con's of various methods (there is a whole thread about the Solo Aid), but I should have been working and just saving cash for the S.P..

Anyhow, I hope to give it a much more thorough testing in the Valley during April and May. Just my 2 cents.

Cheers,

john


lambone


Jan 31, 2005, 10:10 AM
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Re: What is the best aid/free climbing soloing device? [In reply to]
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question about the silent partner:

Does it "self feed" when you don't want it to?

Lets say you are way up a pitch so there is alot of rope weight pulling on the device, does the slack start to feed through on it's own? This is one of the main problems I have with the gri-gri. I will be up high and then all of a sudden I am at my back up knot again, look down and there is ten feet of slack down at the anchor....suxor.


flamer


Jan 31, 2005, 12:33 PM
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Lambone....I have not had this problem. In fact i've had the opposite happen...when i get to far out the weight of the rope caused the SP tp not feed as well. HOWEVER!! in a previous thread discussing the SP Rgold said he has had the SP self feed a bunch of slack into the system....I believe him but have never experienced it myself. The only explaination I can offer concerning these 2 different experience's is that I have always needed to tie off the line between the device and the anchor prior to the weight being great enough to cause lot's of slack to build up. It still boogle's my mind alittle that Rgold had this experience....I've just never even remotely had it be an issue.

josh


healyje


Jan 31, 2005, 1:24 PM
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I don't know, I mainly free climb as opposed to the very occasional aid session and I've never had any problems at all using a grigri. The rope doesn't continually jam and it reliably locks on a fall. I use it with a 10.2 Mammut SuperSafe which seems ideal. It is no different with aid - actually aiding with the grigri is utterly casual from a management/monitoring perspective compared to free climbing with one...


lambone


Jan 31, 2005, 1:57 PM
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I use a gri-gri with a Mammut supersafe also now, but more for aid with an occasional free move.

works god and has caught several falls. sometimes the self-feeding problem becomes an issue, and I avoid free climbing at all costs unless I feel comfortable with a huge loop of slack.


epic_ed


Jan 31, 2005, 7:40 PM
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Good input, guys. I think you've convinced me to borrow my buddies SP again and spend a little more time with it. Poor bastard has used it in two years, anyway -- I might be able to talk him into selling it to me. :mrgreen:

Ed


slackattack


Feb 2, 2005, 11:59 AM
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I use the SP, and really like it. Itís a little more cluster f%*k then the gri-gri but I like the fact that I can clip it to the harness with 2 lockers so I don't have to worry about cross loading.

To avoid the problem of slack feeding into the system when there is a lot of rope out I use prusiks every 20m to hold the rope weight. These are long prusiks about 3 feet long (after they are tied) which I attach to the biner on the end of the sling on a bomber piece. This allows the rope to stretch upward in the event of a fall without the prusik taking any weight.

(Note: the lead rope still goes through the biner on the end of the sling attached to the bomber piece of gear.)

K


slackattack


Feb 2, 2005, 12:12 PM
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I use the SP, and really like it. Itís a little more cluster f%*k then the gri-gri but I like the fact that I can clip it to the harness with 2 lockers so I don't have to worry about cross loading.

To avoid the problem of slack feeding into the system when there is a lot of rope out I use prusiks every 20m to hold the rope weight. These are long prusiks about 3 feet long (after they are tied) which I attach to the biner on the end of the sling on a bomber piece. This allows the rope to stretch upward in the event of a fall without the prusik taking any weight.

(Note: the lead rope still goes through the biner on the end of the sling attached to the bomber piece of gear.)

K


dmckj


Feb 5, 2005, 3:13 PM
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One HUGE benefit of the Silent Partner over the Grigri is......

The Silent Partner is designed to be used with TWO LOCKING BINERS and, to my knowledge, the Grigri is not.

I DON'T TRUST SINGLE LOCKING BINERS FOR MY LIFE AND ESPECIALLY A HARD FALL.

They break!!!

D


clmbr3


Feb 5, 2005, 3:37 PM
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Anyone have more info on the SP failing to work in cold temps? I was thinking of getting one, but if this is really a problem... well, I'll probably just stick with the prussik.
I've always just used prussiks free climbing... a bit of a pain to slide along, but not too bad. I know that's what Renato Cassarato used...

What are the chances of the prussik(s) burning through? Is this actually a lot riskier than I think?

thanks.


johnhenry


Feb 5, 2005, 7:51 PM
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hey my friend... nobody uses prussiks to solo with anymore.

They are completely inadequate.

Be careful,

john


clmbr3


Feb 5, 2005, 8:01 PM
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In reply to:
hey my friend... nobody uses prussiks to solo with anymore.

They are completely inadequate.

Be careful,

john

I suspected as much... But why are they inadequate? Is it simply because of the risk of them burning through?

I realize that it is just one fellow, but they seemed to work for Renato (catching several big falls, etc).

Thanks in advance for your further explanations.


epic_ed


Feb 6, 2005, 6:53 AM
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Soloing with prusiks nearly killed Royal Robbins many years ago. It's not that they just melt through the prusik, it's that it can melt your rope. Bad idea when there are so many other options today. Using just clove hitches is preferable.

Ed


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