Forums: Climbing Information: Gear Heads: Re: [healyje] Rope Soloing Help: Edit Log

Partner oldsalt

Nov 9, 2012, 7:07 AM

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Registered: Jan 19, 2004
Posts: 919

Re: [healyje] Rope Soloing Help
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Searching for info is best, as there have been numerous threads and hundreds of posts about the subject over the years.

A serious caution:

Most who lead solo prepare for every conceivable eventuality, but rarely test their systems in the field.


1. A test means you want to be sure it works. Don't do this kind of test 20' off the ground. I did my testing in my garage, rigged to a beam in my attic. Some tests failed while I was designing tools, and I only fell about 4 feet.

2. Real rock is not forgiving.

3. Real rock is reality.

Every second of every solo lead that I have done after building and checking my anchor multiple times, has been spent assessing my current stance, the next anchor or intended placement, and considering the one after that. I also keep in mind how best to retreat if something goes wrong.

I personally believe that roped soloing is not to prove anything to anyone except yourself, if even then.

It is intensely satisfying when all goes well, but keep in mind the old saw, modified from US Navy divers:

There are bold climbers, and there are old climbers, but there are no old, bold climbers.


My first solo lead at Sand Rock (AL) was the Standard Route, the one on the corner next to the large boulder. I secured my rope to a projection on the underside of the huge section of the boulder that overhangs by about 4 feet.

The projection was about 20" wide and 4" high, like a very large flake of rock. I sent the route and lowered off the same anchor. No problems.

A few months later, I looked under the boulder to show someone the flake that I used for my anchor. The flake was laying on the sand, completely detached from the overhang.

(This post was edited by oldsalt on Nov 9, 2012, 8:48 AM)

Edit Log:
Post edited by oldsalt () on Nov 9, 2012, 8:48 AM

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