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uhoh


Jun 6, 2007, 8:09 PM
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Talk to me about roped solo climbing
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I've become interested in the art of solo climbing lately and I'm wondering if anyone can recommend any books on the subject or any advice on the practice. I'm also looking for input on gear, safety, etc., etc.

Thank you in advance.


(This post was edited by uhoh on Jun 7, 2007, 6:19 AM)


Partner angry


Jun 6, 2007, 8:32 PM
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Re: [uhoh] Talk to me about solo climbing [In reply to]
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There's nothing to talk about.

YOu either get it or you don't. No justification, that's just the way it is.


Pdizz


Jun 6, 2007, 8:40 PM
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Re: [uhoh] Talk to me about solo climbing [In reply to]
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hes right
you have nothing
no pro
no anything
just cimb up and hope you dont fall
or know you wont fall

good luck


pmyche


Jun 6, 2007, 8:42 PM
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jdog


Jun 6, 2007, 8:44 PM
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Re: [uhoh] Talk to me about solo climbing [In reply to]
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if your afraid of heights and climbing 5.8 you maybe shouldn't solo..... maybe try some 4th class


bent_gate


Jun 6, 2007, 9:03 PM
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Re: [uhoh] Talk to me about solo climbing [In reply to]
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Are you aksing about Rope Soloing or Free Soloing?

Here is some Free Soloing reading:

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...rum.cgi?post=1520374
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derek_Hersey


or Roped Soloing:

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p;sb=score&mh=25


majid_sabet


Jun 6, 2007, 10:32 PM
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Re: [bent_gate] Talk to me about solo climbing [In reply to]
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soloing with fix line or soloing with no line?


healyje


Jun 6, 2007, 10:43 PM
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Re: [pmyche] Talk to me about solo climbing [In reply to]
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pmyche wrote:
Free climbing is somewhat a PITA. Aid is more conducive to soloing near/at personal limit.

It depends on what you get used to. Half of my [free] climbing has always been roped-solo and I love it. It goes faster than with a partner and is just sublime after you get used to it.

Just do a search on "roped soloing" here and on SuperTopo.com and you'll get plenty to read through...


uhoh


Jun 6, 2007, 11:33 PM
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bent_gate wrote:
Are you aksing about Rope Soloing or Free Soloing?

Here is some Free Soloing reading:

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...rum.cgi?post=1520374
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derek_Hersey


or Roped Soloing:

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p;sb=score&mh=25

Roped soloing, fixed line and no line.


majid_sabet


Jun 6, 2007, 11:55 PM
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Re: [uhoh] Talk to me about solo climbing [In reply to]
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uhoh wrote:
bent_gate wrote:
Are you aksing about Rope Soloing or Free Soloing?

Here is some Free Soloing reading:

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...rum.cgi?post=1520374
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derek_Hersey


or Roped Soloing:

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p;sb=score&mh=25

Roped soloing, fixed line and no line.

Not knowing what you can climb, I would say, start with soloing with fix line from above and get some miles.

if you are not Yosemite grade 5.10+ trad climber, do not mess around with no rope soloing .

Stay at bouldering level


king_rat


Jun 7, 2007, 3:57 AM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Talk to me about solo climbing [In reply to]
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majid_sabet wrote:
uhoh wrote:
bent_gate wrote:
Are you aksing about Rope Soloing or Free Soloing?

Here is some Free Soloing reading:

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...rum.cgi?post=1520374
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derek_Hersey


or Roped Soloing:

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p;sb=score&mh=25

Roped soloing, fixed line and no line.

Not knowing what you can climb, I would say, start with soloing with fix line from above and get some miles.

if you are not Yosemite grade 5.10+ trad climber, do not mess around with no rope soloing .

Stay at bouldering level

Being able to climb 5.10+ does not automatically equal experience. Iíve certainly met many very experienced climbers who climb in the sub 5.10 range, and who I would have no concerns about them soloing. Iíve also met a lot of people with very little experience who say they can climb 5.10, but I would be filled with horror if I saw them trying to solo a route.

I would say that when it comes to soloing what is important is not your ability to climb at or above a certain grade, but rather experience, knowledge of your own abilityís and limits, and a an ability to judge risk


azrockclimber


Jun 7, 2007, 5:39 AM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Talk to me about solo climbing [In reply to]
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majid_sabet wrote:
uhoh wrote:
bent_gate wrote:
Are you aksing about Rope Soloing or Free Soloing?

Here is some Free Soloing reading:

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...rum.cgi?post=1520374
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derek_Hersey


or Roped Soloing:

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p;sb=score&mh=25

Roped soloing, fixed line and no line.

Not knowing what you can climb, I would say, start with soloing with fix line from above and get some miles.

if you are not Yosemite grade 5.10+ trad climber, do not mess around with no rope soloing .

Stay at bouldering level

huh? what a retarded post.

Solo if you think that there is NO chance that you are going to fall.

Chances are you still might. You ned to have experience, a very, very cool head, and unless you are "the man" then you should never try it on a route that you haven't climbed many, many times.

good luck, stay safe...or marginally safe...well...soloing isn't safe so...stay dangerous. :)


king_rat


Jun 7, 2007, 5:49 AM
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Re: [azrockclimber] Talk to me about solo climbing [In reply to]
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azrockclimber wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
uhoh wrote:
bent_gate wrote:
Are you aksing about Rope Soloing or Free Soloing?

Here is some Free Soloing reading:

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...rum.cgi?post=1520374
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derek_Hersey


or Roped Soloing:

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p;sb=score&mh=25

Roped soloing, fixed line and no line.

Not knowing what you can climb, I would say, start with soloing with fix line from above and get some miles.

if you are not Yosemite grade 5.10+ trad climber, do not mess around with no rope soloing .

Stay at bouldering level

huh? what a retarded post.

Solo if you think that there is NO chance that you are going to fall.

Chances are you still might. You ned to have experience, a very, very cool head, and unless you are "the man" then you should never try it on a route that you haven't climbed many, many times.

good luck, stay safe...or marginally safe...well...soloing isn't safe so...stay dangerous. :)

there is nothing wrong with soloing a route you've not done before if it is well within your grade. but otherwise i comleatly agree with what you are saying.


uhoh


Jun 7, 2007, 6:11 AM
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majid_sabet wrote:
uhoh wrote:
bent_gate wrote:
Are you aksing about Rope Soloing or Free Soloing?

Here is some Free Soloing reading:

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...rum.cgi?post=1520374
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derek_Hersey


or Roped Soloing:

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p;sb=score&mh=25

Roped soloing, fixed line and no line.

Not knowing what you can climb, I would say, start with soloing with fix line from above and get some miles.

if you are not Yosemite grade 5.10+ trad climber, do not mess around with no rope soloing .

Stay at bouldering level

Solo TRing is what I'll be doing for sure but I'm still looking for advice on gear, technique, books, etc. Or is that something I should be asking about in a different forum?

Just to satisfy my own curiosity though, how does one solo lead? I've heard of people taking the rope up with them but how do they protect themselves? And how do they accomplish multipitch routes like that? Do they have to carry up multiple ropes?


robbovius


Jun 7, 2007, 6:48 AM
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uhoh wrote:
[
Just to satisfy my own curiosity though, how does one solo lead? I've heard of people taking the rope up with them but how do they protect themselves? And how do they accomplish multipitch routes like that? Do they have to carry up multiple ropes?

I will descibe my own method, which i don't recomend to anyone, ever. don't try it, you'll probably die, and then where would you be?

plausible deniability out of the way, here goes:

I use a chest harness in combination with my sit harness, and attach the autolocking belay device - which shall remain nameless - with a pair of screwgates, in such a manner that it will feed rope freely downward, but rotate upward and lock off in a fall.

at teh bottom of the route, I build an anchor that is oriented to take an upward pull, and attach one end of the rope to that with a fig-8-on-a-bight. I put the rope thru the belay device - orineted so that as I climb, the rope will pull thru from below - , and give a couple test pulls in both directions to make sure it'll both pass rope freely in the climbing direction, and rotate/lock off in the falling direction.

depending on the climb, I'll either 1. flake the loose end out on the ground, 2. flake the rope into a bag which I'll leave at the belay, but from which the free rope will pull as I climb, or 3. flake the rope into a pack which I'll wear on the climb and from which the free rope will flow (similar to healeyj's method).

then I climb as though I was leading with a partner. I rarely tie safety knots in the rope. maybe if the move is particularly difficult or I need some "head" safety.

- on climbs where the free rope is left dangling, one must be very mindful of the relationship between the catch side and loose side of the rope. it's easy to get them crossed/twisted and give your self a big ass case of rope drag, not to mention clipping the wrong side -

once at the top/belay ledge, I build an anchor , TRIPLE CHECK EVERYTHING , clip in, and reorient the belay device so that I can rap down the free single line. Afer QUARDRUPLE CHECKING EVERYTHING, I then I rap to the bottom, disassemble the bottom anchor, adn re-climb the route on the fixed top-rope line. sometimes I clean o the rap, sometimes on the second climb...depends mostly on how motivated I am towards quickness - cleaning on the rap makes the pitch go a bit more quickly, but I sort of consider it "cheating".

- this is one of the beauties of roped doloing a route. you get to climb every pitch twice; you get to be the leader, AND the second -

once I climb back to the belay ledge, I'll make sure my anchor can take an upward pull, and if not, I'll build a second anchor that does. Then I reflake my rope, re-tie the catch end of the rope into the anchor, rack my gear, re-orient the belay device for climbing, do my safety doublechecks, and climb on!

next belay ledge, repeat as above. at the top will hike off if there's a good trail. ordinarily though, I'll rap off, and have in the past brought up 2nd ropes for climbs that require two-rope rappels.

again DON'T EVER TRY THIS. All more experienced climbers are welcomed, in fact INVITED, to flame me and tell me how stupid I am for trying this, so that others will be discouraged.

I've only been attempting roped-solo leading for a couple seasons, and not especially frequently, so I do take longer to lead a route solo than I do with a partner, as I'm constantly re-checking EVERYTHING. I will agree with healyj though. there are times when it's sublime, pure focus and solitude.


(This post was edited by robbovius on Nov 15, 2007, 11:29 AM)


climbinwv


Jun 7, 2007, 6:56 AM
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http://www.climbing.com/print/techtips/ttsport253/
Try using this as a base for your solo toproping experience...the biggest thing is the device you use...I use a Trango Cinch even though the company tells me not to....just start small and work your way up to harder stuff. The one pain in the ass is the weighted rope hanging down near your feet...gotta do some dancin to avoid it.


pmyche


Jun 7, 2007, 6:56 AM
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Joe, what system do you use?


desert_bat


Jun 7, 2007, 7:45 AM
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Uhoh, I happened to acquire a solo device last fall. It is the Soloist made by http://wrenindustries.com/. I thought it might prove useful if all my climbing buddies bagged on me and just had to get out climbing. Luckily, I've been able to find partners so far so I haven't used it much, but I did take it out one day and did some TRing and Leading on some beginner 5.7-5.8 sport routes.

It works really well, but you need some kind of a chest harness and if you climb too high on lead, the weight of the rope below you can make it more difficult to manage. They address this issue in the manual which you can find on the website. If you haven't already, also check out this site: http://www.thebikezone.org.uk/...kzone/selfbelay.html
-Bat


pmyche


Jun 7, 2007, 11:22 AM
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The pitfall of the Soloist is its inability to catch an upside-down fall. That's a very major pitfall, obviously. It works great for TR'ing if one doesn't mind wearing a chest har.


majid_sabet


Jun 7, 2007, 12:10 PM
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Few days ago in Colorado, a climber (solo/ boulder) fell 100 feet in to a class 3+ white water river. According his friends, he was climbing without protection but got himself stuck in a situation that he could not down climb or continue up climbing.
They pulled his body out the other day .

When I said, you need to be a 5.10 climbers, I did not mean that you must be at this level to do any soloing. it means, you must have enough skill to get yourself out incase you become stuck in a situation. . Also, two years ago, a very experienced climber fell to his death while climbing Half Dome fixing rope. He was found at the base with few slings and his rope was still attached to his harness. No one knows what went wrong on his solo setup but he paid a heavy price for his soloing.


summerprophet


Jun 7, 2007, 12:25 PM
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UHOH,
The standard method for toprope soloing is to build your anchor at the top (this being a fixed anchor, with the rope tied to it, not the standard toprope anchor). Then you rap to the bottom, bundle up the remaining rope so that it puts a bit of weight on the end of the line, rig your belay setup (soloist, gri-gri, cinch... whatever, back it up with a prussik and climb the route. When you reach stances where you would set gear if you were leading normally, tie a knot below your belay to protect yourself against belay failure.

Roped soloing is best done on routes that are vertical or less and do not wander. As mentioned a chest harness is prefered both for the convienience and the added safety of having the belay sytem held firm.

It would be a good idea to head out with someone else to analyze your system with you wour first time out, just to have a second set of eyes look things over.


healyje


Jun 7, 2007, 9:43 PM
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pmyche wrote:
Joe, what system do you use?


Background: Like I said above I've been roped-solo free climbing since the mid-'70s using lots of different systems with and without any devices. Back when I just used knots I had a special harness with lots of full-strength loops made for doing it. But for the last quite awhile I've just used a grigri with the triangular tab by the biner hole removed. Last year I switched from that grigri and a Mammut Supersafe 10.2 rope to the Edelrid Eddy and a Metolius Monster 9.8 rope.

The thing I really love about roped-solo free climbing is that everyone has to come to it on their own terms and accept total responsibility for themselves in the process. As part of that, you need to figure out what works for you, and then get it dialed in so you can just climb. What works for me isn't necessarily going to work for you or anyone else and vice-versa.

Grigri: So here is a shot of my grigri setup - that's a heavy, 10mm, INOX SS, CE-stamped Mallion Rapide rated at 25kn connecting it to my harness.

Note wrote:
I have a D-shaped mallion rapide on order which better withstands crossloading. You can also see the triangular aluminum tab by the biner is cutout - some folks just cut back on the size of it by notching it for the rope as opposed to removing it all together...


Note wrote:
Images on RC sometimes come up resized smaller, you can run your mouse over them for the option of a larger view if they have been... )

Eddy: And here are two of the Edelrid Eddy rig I've switched to. The design of the Eddy precludes the use of a mallion rapide, so I back it up with a Mammut dyneema sling to one of Trango's superb Superfly lockers. The Eddy is better for soloing because it doesn't use a spring and so long as both sides of the rope (to the anchor and the climbing slack in my backpack) hang downward it just runs. The second either side of the rope moves to an orientation above the device it locks. It also has a safety feature where the release handle will drop off the cam locking up the rope if you pull it back all the way, unlike a grigri which just screams rope.





Watchful Eye: Also I should say, I monitor the belay device, the rope path, the rope, and the orientation of everything like a hawk all the time. Not in a 'big deal' sort of way, more like in an unconscious, second-nature way as a continuous background task.

Other Devices: There are lots of devices you can rope solo with. Here are my opinion on free climbing with them:

Note wrote:
Soloist: Just don't - it won't hold upside down falls and won't even hold falls with your body in a horizontal orientation. Some folks say a backup knot will then stop you, but I've known folks who've decked on pitches with low cruxs. I also despise climbing with a chest harness connection to my waist harness so it's out on that count alone.

SoloAid: I have mixed feelings about these older devices, mainly due to the business of having something on your chest/stomach while climbing just way doesn't appeal to me.

Silent Partner: These work best, but for me I keep coming back to their size, needing a second device to rap, and what I keep perceiving as the 'hassle' of it relative to fast turnarounds at the tops of pitches. Mark Blanchard, the inventor (and fine guitar maker), and I were at a recent gathering where he demo'd it for folks and I promised I'd give it another whirl. I'll post up a review if I change my mind about it. It's a marvelous device, works the best of the lot, but I may need to circle it a few more times.

Cinch: Don't do it - Malcolm expressly doesn't want folks using it this way and I also don't think it's a good idea - for TR soloing, maybe, but definitely not for leading.

Unmodded Grigri: A bit of a hassle but I used mine for a couple of years before modding mine.

Grigri modded for chest harness: People do it, I don't - see comments above...

Clove hitch: Works fine - and you get good at planning ahead. ]

Rope Setup: So here are three shots of me on one of my favorite routes to rope solo. The first shot you can see the GoLite 'Race' backpack I use to carry the rope. I use it without the top flap compartment and it's modified by adding two gear slings ala the Metolius 'Big Wall Gear Sling'. I also got a size small so it rides high off my harness. I rack gear on my right side and trad draws on my left. I keep the rope in an old A5 rope bucket inside the pack and have a biner on the right shoulder strap to direct the rope over my shoulder cleanly.



A Fave Climb: The second shot is just of the pitch, lovely every inch of it, and a full 60m up to the tree. Sometimes I break it up into to pitches lately I haven't been.



Anchor Setup: In the last shot you can see my anchor right off the ground. The yellow thing is an old-school Screamer called an 'Air Voyager' once made by Wild Things. What you should note is the Screamer is rigged in a [slack] loop of the rope formed with an Alpine Butterfly. The amount of slack should accomadate the extended blown length of the screamer.



Backup Knots: One thing you should also note is there's no big loop of slack rope or extra biner on my harness for a backup knot. Now Majid and many others will scream bloody murder about how 'you have to use a backup knot', but I don't. I've been doing this for thirty years, I move fast, and f#cking around with a backup knot free climbing is just not worth it to me as I feel it breaks my rythmn and that rythmn is keeping me safer than I'd be after the trade-off of using them.

But - that's not an absolute statement, however. I do keep a pear locker handy on the back right loop of my harness and if I'm onsighting something or on a route with something really peculiar or awkward I will throw it on and whip in a clove backup for just those moves and then it's gone again. Also, I do use them religiously when solo aiding or jugging.

Bottom Line wrote:
If I were starting out I'd probably use a backup knot until I had everything relentlessly dialed for quite awhile (years even) before I made this sort of judgment call...

Anchors: You have to build bomb anchors. On multipitch routes you either have to build omnidirectional anchors at the top of each pitch or you have to build one for rapping and cleaning and then reset it up for the next pitch so it holds an upward pull.

Rebelaying: Sometimes you need to keep some tension in the rope at your first piece in order to keep the anchor oriented right; don't clove or clip for this purpose - use either a rubber band, a slipknot that sits above the biner, or a long sling with a klemheist to rebelay the rope. A rebelay is used both to keep tension on an anchor when necessary and to hold the weight of the rope once you have enough out that it wants to just run through your device under its own weight.

Pace and Rythmn: So that's my system. I've been doing it for so long I don't have to think about it all too much and move quite a bit faster over multiple pitches than I would with a partner - I probably cover the same ground in about 2/3 - 3/4's of the time. I don't mess around when I get to the top of a pitch, I set up an anchor, hang the pack, and rap. When I get back up to the anchor after seconding I quickly re-stack the rope in the pack - which should take only a minute or three max - put the pack back on, re-rack the gear, re-check / reset the anchor, and hit the next pitch. Sounds like a lot, but it goes very fast in practice once you have it down.

Seconding: I also always second my pitches. I occasionally will clean a piece on the rap, but usually not as I like seconding my own pitches as it keeps me in touch with the quality of my placements when I have to clean them. It's a 'reap what you sew' sort of deal that over the years has led me to a very light touch when 'setting' pro - I basically don't, and when I do it's only the slightest touch until I can feel some grit.

Getting a Groove: So something on the order of fifty percent of my climbing is free roped soloing and I just love it. The typcial deal for me has been that when I haven't done it in awhile it's semi-horrifying for about 15-20 minutes or a pitch and then it suddenly mellows out and gets utterly sublime. When I'm doing it all the time I'm mainly just hyper-attentive to everything for a bit and then it gets right into a groove.


Caveat Lector wrote:
All of what's described above works for me and while it has worked for me wherever I've climbed - that does not mean it will or even should necessarily work for you. The essence of roped soloing is self-reliance - read everything you can, talk with folks like me who do it, but in the end you need to come up with what works for you. That may take some time and experimentation and just plain getting used to the whole idea. But, as you progress and hone in on a system you need to be consistent and get it down so you can stay focused on enjoying the climbing. Good luck and play safe...


(This post was edited by healyje on Jun 8, 2007, 9:51 AM)


robbovius


Jun 8, 2007, 5:54 AM
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Re: [healyje] Talk to me about solo climbing [In reply to]
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Healyj, thanks for the detailed description of your system. I'm still working out the whole "carrying the rope in a pack" thing.

as far as devices, am I mistaken in asuming that neither the Grigri nor the Eddy are appoved/recommended (by the mfgrs) for roped solo use?


healyje


Jun 8, 2007, 8:32 AM
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robbovius wrote:
Healyj, thanks for the detailed description of your system. I'm still working out the whole "carrying the rope in a pack" thing.

I loathe letting the rope hang when free climbing. Most of what I do is multipitch and at windy place and I am just way, way more comfortable having total control over the rope. But that's free climbing, solo aid is a very different deal and I leave the rope at the belay when aiding.

robbovius wrote:
As far as devices, am I mistaken in asuming that neither the Grigri nor the Eddy are appoved/recommended (by the mfgrs) for roped solo use?

Yes, but the grigri has been around a long time and its basic design concepts have proven suitible for the application and the Eddy's design is close to the grigri relative to an independent cam make it a reasonable choice as well. I say no on the Cinch for now because it is a distinctly different camming modality where the locking occurs via a cross-locking or 'pinching' action between the two shell side plates which in my mind raises some questions in this particular application (lead soloing). I further don't because when Malcolm goes out of his way to ask or say something I tend to listen and respond.


(This post was edited by healyje on Jun 8, 2007, 8:50 AM)


camhead


Jun 8, 2007, 8:51 AM
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okay, so, lots of folks here have their own systems for self-belayed solo free climbing.

how many have taken significant whippers while roped-solo free climbing? Were the falls ugly?

describe.

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