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eclarke98


Oct 28, 2002, 4:40 PM
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Just sending it to the top, so hopefully PTPP will put up the info. Or if the info is hiding in some other topic, could someone put up the link, because I couldn't find it.


gunked


Oct 29, 2002, 6:24 PM
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Continuous Loop which is the solo tag rack.


[ This Message was edited by: gunked on 2002-10-30 09:36 ]


passthepitonspete


Apr 7, 2003, 9:49 PM
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Well, a year later I've finally gotten round to answering this question! Sheesh. But when you see the complexity of the drawing below, you'll begin to understand why it took me so long to complete.

The benefit of using the tagging system is that it solves the problems that Stu addresses above. When I solo El Cap, I don't have to wear my entire lead rack as you need to do when solo climbing the traditional way. All my extra gear hangs on the Solo Tag Rack, and I can pull the stuff up to me when I need it, thus sparing me the unnecessary burden of carrying it.

I'm a weakling. I'm a skinny undernourished undertrained overweight life insurance agent who sublimates by buying too much gear and who solos big walls on his holidays. If I were big and burly, I might consider carrying all my stuff with me, but I doubt it - I'm far too lazy. Much better to leave it hanging until I need it.

But this system is not a panacea. First of all, let me say that using the Continuous Loop with Solo Tagging is a technique for EXPERTS ONLY! The potential for disaster is always imminent! You could well die if you blow it, especially if you're soloing hard aid. Imagine taking a whipper, and then having fifty pounds of tagged gear taking a fifty- or hundred-foot factor 1 fall directly onto you!

This is not for the faint of heart! And it's NOT FOR EVERYONE. Just because I can use it doesn't mean that you can, or that you even should. In fact, you probably shouldn't, though on easy aid you might be OK. But you could probably find a way to die pretty easily.

Besides its danger, the system is also extremely complex and time-consuming - it is not the faster way, that's for sure. If you're a solo speed climber, then this system is probably not for you. But it works for me, and it works for Wally Barker, too.

You must EXPECT to make mistakes! It will take you many many pitches before you can tell at a glance if you've set it up correctly. In the meantime, expect your Solo Tag Rack to hang up, and expect to have to descend to fix it when you blow it. For this reason, you need to practise on pitches that are fairly straight - not too overhanging or traversing, because you will blow it, and have to return to your Solo Tag Rack. This is not Big Wall Prophecy - this is Big Wall Fact.

Secondly, the Continuous Loop with Double Tagging is even MORE dangerous! Imagine a mini-haul load more than half your body weight hanging on nothing but a fifi. Does that make your hands sweat? It should. In fact, I specifically recommend against the double tagging, and I no longer use it because it scares the piss out of me, and it seems more trouble than it's worth. But it's in the drawing, so you can take it or leave it as you see fit.

The benefit of Double Tagging is that it allows you to "haul for free" - as you rappel the pitch to return to the bottom to clean it, your Mini-Haul Double Tag Rack which should be about 60% of your body weight goes up with no extra work on your part! Clever, eh? But now you've got another rope to add to the clusterf*ck!

Believe me, you must be an expert at clusterf*ck management before you even consider attempting this stuff! [This is why you practise it first......]

So the drawing you see beneath shows TWO SYSTEMS - the Continuous Loop with Solo Tagging on the right side, which is the way that I solo El Cap, and a separate Double Tagging setup on the left which I no longer use.

I recommend you click on the diagram beneath which will open it in a separate window, which I think you'll find easier to look at then trying to scroll up and down.

Click here to see the CONTINOUS LOOP DIAGRAM.


passthepitonspete


Apr 7, 2003, 10:03 PM
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Please remember to

CLICK THE PHOTOS!

Each photo has a lengthy caption that explains in great detail what you see.

Presumably you have now opened the diagram in a separate window, and we're ready to go. For now, discount the Double Tagging on the left, and for now please focus on the system on the right.

The Continuous Loop begins and ends at the PIG. You can see Mr. Pig at the bottom, with a Catch Line on its left, and a Wall Flower on its right. It is "docked" to the Right Power Point using a Docking Tether, which is not particularly well-drawn and is the lines that join the Power Point Locker above to the Suspension Point Locker [on top of the pig] beneath.

This is one reason I use a 7mm Docking Tether - I want it to be bomber. The end of the lead rope is attached to the Right Power Point with a Transient Lead Rope Locker. It is my prerogative to use Transient Lockers on my Power Point, cuz once my Power Point is closed, I don't reopen it. You'll understand why it pays to do this, the next time you find yourself hosed. Use transients, and maintain your degrees of freedom.

Now, before you even leave the belay, you must abso-fricking-lutely eliminate the possibility of a factor 2 fall. In fact, the lead rope should probably be clipped through one of the bolts in the anchor. But at any rate, you can see that my first piece is clipped, and that I've used a Screamer there. I think using a Screamer when soloing on your first few pieces is really smart - fall factors can run high straight off the belay, especially when you don't have a human belayer to help absorb the shock. Play it safe. You shouldn't be soloing big walls without a bunch of Screamers, that's for sure.

Usually on the first piece of two, I will put the first long prusik sling backup - not so much as a rebelay, but to keep the lead rope properly oriented, and not have any slack in the system, or have it wrapping around stuff and tangling. You want a nice smooth run of rope from your anchor up to you. You can click here to read further notes about using a long prusik sling backup while solo climbing, which is fundamental to your safety, and to the longevity of your rope.

http://home.pacbell.net/takasper/shimgrey.gifhttp://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=13043

http://home.pacbell.net/takasper/shimgrey.gifThe first piece is a Screamer with attached Prusik Backup


The lead rope continues up to and indeed past the Solo Tag Rack, which is hanging from a bomber piece. Or at least ideally it is. In reality, you may not find a bomber piece. You have have to construct one. On hard aid, I am known to equalize two or even three pieces with sliding X's, and hang the Tag Rack from the bottom piece that is equalized.

Note: You should be intimately familiar with the Solo Tag Rack. This would be a good time to click on the link to refresh your memory. It's fundamental.

Take great care as to where you tag! Think ahead! You don't want to find yourself out of rope five moves into the middle of a ten-move hook traverse! Stop and tag before you get yourself into trouble.

It is possible to shorten the lead rope on the Solo Tag Rack so as to leave only say a hundred feet, thus forcing yourself to tag after fifty feet, but saving yourself the bother of restuffing the extra rope. I don't do this. I have the full two hundred feet of rope in the bag, and the first tag can be as far as a hundred feet. My rope changes colour at the halfway point, and because of my backup knot being tied, I can see the colour change come out of the rope bag, thus reminding me ahead of time that it's time to tag. More on this in a bit.

Continue up to the leader, belayed with a Grigri which you can't see. The free end goes out of the Grigri, hangs in about a ten-foot loop [not] and reconnects to the wide gate autolocker backup crabthat hangs from a short sewn sling from the second belay "donut" on my harness. ALWAYS TIE A BACKUP KNOT!!!

From the backup knot autolocker, which you can't see, the free end of the rope goes down to the Lead Rope Bag which hangs on the Solo Tag Rack. Also in this bag is about a 35-foot hunk of extra lead rope called the Solo Tag Extension, so I can link pitches, and so I don't have to tag too frequently on a long pitch. For instance, if the pitch is 200', then I still have 35' of extra tag line if I need it.

Now here's the cool part - the free end of the lead rope that travels from your Backup Autolocker down to the Solo Tag Rack is actually a Tag Line! So your lead rope becomes your Tag Line.

At the Solo Tag Rack, you can see that I have tied the end of the lead rope to the top of the Solo Tag Extension on the "downstream side" of the Tag Rack Locker. This is because when I tag, I pull up the Solo Tag Rack with a Wall Hauler [or equivalent Compound Pulley] that I carry with me for that express purpose. I don't want to have to cross the knot when tagging, though this can happen towards the end of the pitch. More on this later.

From the Solo Tag Rack, the Continuous Loop continues down from the top of the Haul Line to the haul line bag and back to the Right Power Point where the Continuous Loop ends at the Transient Haul Line Locker.





So the Continuous Loop is as follows:

Lower Power Point --- Lead Rope --- Climber's Grigri --- Climber's Backup Knot --- Lead Rope=Tag Line --- Lead Rope Bag --- Solo Tag Rack --- Haul Line --- Haul Line Bag --- Lower Power Point.





OK, it's late here, eh? I'm down in Florida like soaking up some rays. Today we went to the aquarium and petted the stingrays and hung out with the turtles and dolphins and other cool critters, and I'm like falling asleep.

Can you please hold off your questions and comments for another day or two?

I will next talk about HOW AND WHEN TO TAG, and the mechanism for operating the system. I'll also explain the Double Tagging bit too. "

I'm also going to be submitting some photos from Shortest Straw and Lunar Eclipse of my solo systems in action - "textbook photos" I made specifically with this post in mind.

Stay tuned.....


passthepitonspete


Apr 8, 2003, 10:00 AM
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Oh yeah, I see some inconsiderate wanker voted my Continuous Loop diagram a 3. It only took me about ten fricking hours to draw, not to mention the time that Travis put in, too. Would you mind please voting on it for me?

Cheers.


copperhead


Apr 8, 2003, 2:31 PM
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Sure, I'll vote on it for ya!


tenn_dawg


Apr 8, 2003, 2:55 PM
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Woah, the diagram looks great. Good job on the post Pete. Looking forward to more info to come.

Travis


valygrl


Apr 8, 2003, 3:15 PM
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3??? that's bogus. i'll vote that up for ya.

Thanks for the distractitude Pete... what would a work day be like without the occasional new doctor piton signature post?!?!

(Edited because I don't know how to spell.)


passthepitonspete


Apr 8, 2003, 8:22 PM
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Thanks lads and hottie! Much appreciated. I ask only because my beloved diagram is "not climbing" and there are a few wags and retards around here who might have disallowed it at 79K with a low vote. I needed the medium res. to make it readable.

Thanks for not replying. I have the next bit almost completely written, and hope to submit tonight, after I answer the many emails from a certain special someone that have lovingly filled my inbox. {wink}

After which, I'll write the bit about the double tagging, and you all can have at me. Many thanks.


passthepitonspete


Apr 8, 2003, 11:19 PM
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Note: Please remember to CLICK THE PHOTOS in order to read the detailed photo captions which will help you better understand this post.



TAGGING STRATEGIES

When it comes to tagging, you have to think ahead. Nowhere is this more important than at your lower belay. The potential for hangups, clusterf*cks and tangles is at its worst right here.

The first thing you need to do is windproof your belay. Make sure all of your ropes are properly stacked in their bags. The catch lines shouldn't be so light as to blow around. There can't be any loose slings flapping around in the breeze, and most importantly, your ledge [if you flag it, as I always do] has to be locked into place so it can't blow around either. Even if it’s not windy when you begin your lead, you could well be up there for several hours. And winds of 50 mph are normal in the afternoon high on El Cap, caused by nothing more than convective heating!

You need to visualize which direction you're heading on the next pitch, and put the Solo Tag Rack up high on that side of the belay. When you tag, the rack will swing a bit, and it has to swing free of the belay, and not swing into the belay. The last thing you want is your tag rack swinging into your docking tethers or the top of your pigs! You accomplish this by positioning it as described above. You need to tie the slippery overhand knot up high and out of the way in the same area as where you have the Solo Tag Rack. Be awful darn sure the chain of slipknots can’t tangle in anything, including the tag rack and its fifi.

http://home.pacbell.net/takasper/shimgrey.gifhttp://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=13044

http://home.pacbell.net/takasper/shimgrey.gifTag Rack rigged and ready to pull free of station


The other thing you have to consider is when it’s time to clean the pitch. If your pitch happens to begin with a hook traverse, you’re going to need to lower yourself out from the belay to begin cleaning. If this is the case, consider leaving yourself some extra lead rope for the task! You won’t be able to give yourself extra lead rope later, because the lead rope is fixed and held immobile by the long prusik slings you’ll be adding.

As mentioned above, when you’re on lead you don't want to find yourself out of rope in the wrong place. I prefer to give myself as much rope as possible, so that I can tag as late as I like, rather than being forced to tag earlier than I want because I'm out of rope. So I rarely shorten up the rope. I would rather pull out extra rope to pull up the tag rack, and then have to restuff all the rope, than to be forced to tag when I don’t want to.

Remember to put your long prusik slings onto gear every so often, especially before and after rub points. This is both an art and a science. You have to know precisely how much tension to put in the lead rope to get the prusik [really]klemheist] to hold the rope without slipping, yet permit enough slack in the rope so that when you are cleaning the pitch, your weight is supported by these klemheists in such a way as the rope does not rub on the edges. Make sure you have your first prusik down low to hold the lead rope in the correct orientation on the anchor.

http://home.pacbell.net/takasper/shimgrey.gifhttp://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=12833

http://home.pacbell.net/takasper/shimgrey.gifHow to Rig a Long Prusik Rebelay


Done properly you can completely eliminate rub points on your lead rope by using long prusiks. This takes practise, even for me. By the time I've finished my solo of the wall, I'm finally getting it right most of the time! But you really do have to practise this, especially getting the tension just right. Wouldn’t you love to start and finish your solo ascent with a brand new rope? You can’t do this when you have a partner jugging your [un-rebelayed] lead rope.

http://home.pacbell.net/takasper/shimgrey.gifhttp://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=12834

http://home.pacbell.net/takasper/shimgrey.gifPerfectly Rigged Long Prusik Rebelay


OK, so now you’re partway up the pitch. When it's time to tag, you really want to have a couple-three bomber pieces close together. You need to remove the Wall Hauler or equivalent Compound Pulley from your Personal Rack, which is usually a designated gear sling on your harness, and set it up to pull up your Solo Tag Rack. My Solo Tag Rack is far too heavy to pull up by hand. I absolutely need to carry a compound pulley for this specific purpose.

Have a look at my Dr. Piton’s Ultimate Big Wall Checklist article to see where I’ve listed all the components of this system.

Assuming you are climbing vertically and not traversing and that the pro is all good, when it’s time to tag I will clip one daisy into the lower piece and put my weight on it, and clip my other daisy into the upper piece, and attach my compound pulley to that. This is so the compound pulley is at face level where it's easier to pull up the massive load, which takes two hands and a lot of sweat. If the pieces are less than bomber, you may have to start getting creative and equalize stuff to find a solid enough place that you would dare to hang yourself and your fifty-plus pounds of gear.

Now that you have a mini hauling station set up, you also have to have a place to hang your Solo Tag Rack. I always hang my rack through a piece of nylon, and not through a carabiner. I find the nylon provides a bit of "bite" into the fifi, and allows me to feel just a bit more comfortable than putting the hook on a crab. Remember, this should be a bomber place to hang it - equalize if necessary. On really hard aid, you might find yourself equalizing and downclimbing three or four pieces before you can tag!

OK, dude - start hauling! Pull up your Solo Tag Rack. If you are smart and have set it up properly ahead of time, you will have preplaced your sling [on which you will hang the rack’s fifi] in a convenient place so that you can easily put the fifi into it. Remember, it is almost impossible to lift a fifty-pound Solo Tag Rack with one hand! So get this sling set up right ahead of time.

The other thing you need to have set up ahead of time is your wide gate backup crab through which you tie your backup slippery overhand knot chain. Put this separate from the place you hang the fifi, separate enough so that the chain of knots will NOT tangle with the fifi! If it tangles, you won't be able to pull up the tag rack.

Once you have hauled up the tag rack, pop its fifi into the sling – which may involve an Ahnold-like one-hand lift – then back off the Compound Pulley, and relax. Now, before you take the rope out of the Compound Pulley and with the fifi in the sling but still backed up by the Compound Pulley, pull in all the excess rope and stack it into the rope bag.

http://home.pacbell.net/takasper/shimgrey.gifhttp://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=10096

http://home.pacbell.net/takasper/shimgrey.gifRichard's photo of the Better Way to stuff a rope bag

Please click this photo now, which is a link to itself, and read the photo caption before you continue reading this post. You will not simply not believe how much time you will save using this incredibly simple technique!



passthepitonspete


Apr 8, 2003, 11:24 PM
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PLEASE MOVE TO THE NEXT PAGE TO CONTINUE READING TAGGING STRATEGIES - PART 2


copperhead


Apr 10, 2003, 12:22 AM
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Pete, maybe you should also sell a life insurance package to each of your "Better Way" customers.


tenn_dawg


Apr 11, 2003, 9:15 PM
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:roll: Does Bryan remind anyone else of organ boy? It's the witty one liners that sell it.

Travis


passthepitonspete


Apr 21, 2003, 6:08 PM
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TAGGING STRATEGIES [Part]

How much rope do you have left over? Can you get to the next tag point with half of what you have? If so, great. If not, you will have to untie the end of the lead rope from the locker on the fifi, and put the end of the Solo Tag Extension rope into it instead.

NOTE! When you do this, you are not backed up by the compound pulley! So make darn sure you have a separate backup! And if you used a backup, make just as darn sure you remember to remove it afterwards!

Your rope should now be fully stacked in the rope bag. Your compound pulley backs up the rack. Have a look at what's coming up. What gear should you take off the rack? What gear should you put back? Grab yourself a Cold Gold as per copperhead's instructions, and chill. You are in the middle of an A4 solo - you're b*tchin', you're bad-ass. Open a can of beans and have lunch. [Presumably you had the presence of mind to bring your big wall spoon] Grab your headlamp if you think you might be benighted. Put your penlight on the cord round your neck, because you're smart enough never to get stuck in the dark with no light while soloing a big wall [don't do as I do, do as I say…..]

Note: I no longer climb at night, unless there is a darn good bivi ledge within reach. When it starts getting dark and after pulling up and securing my Solo Tag Rack for the last time that day, I equalize a few pieces, and rap down to my lower station and relax. I'm on holidays, remember? I don't need to climb in the frickin' dark, mate! I'm goin' down to my ledge to crank out the tunes! It's set up and ready to go. Unclip it to de-windproof it, drop it into place, get on, and grab a beer, eh?

Anyway, once your rope is stacked back in its bag on the Solo Tag Rack, put a little bit of slack between your compound pulley and the tag rack, about three-four feet, and use this slack to tie your slippery overhand backup knot above the Solo Tag Rack. Again, this is to back up the rack if the fifi accidentally comes off. I used to use a separate backup clip-in loop on my Solo Tag Rack during this operation, but no longer do. This is because I too often forgot to unclip it! So later when it came time to tag up my rack, I'd find out I couldn't pull it up! In fact, you don't need it, because you have the Compound Pulley in place to back it up until such time as you tie the slippery overhand backup knot. So the clip-in loop is redundant, and not needed. You'll only come to grief if you use it. Trust me - I know!

Now take a very careful look at what you have just done. If you are going to blow it, then THIS is the place.

The first and easiest way to blow it is to tie the slippery backup knot incorrectly! The easiest way this happens is by somehow opening the gate of your wide gate backup carabiner when you tied it. If you want to play it safe, designate five or so of your wide-gate crabs ahead of time just for this purpose, and duct-tape the gates closed. Then you can't blow it. Believe me I have learned this the hard way. I repeat - if you have opened the gate of your wide gate backup crab, then the lead rope must be passing through it, in which case you won't be able to pull up your tag rack!

If you're not sure about your slippery backup knot, why not pull it out and retie it a few times, just so you know it works? I do.

The next easiest way to blow it, is to somehow get the Solo Tag Rack UNDER you lead rope. Remember, the Solo Tag Rack will come off the top of everything, and it must therefore BE ON TOP of your whole belay system. If it's not, you will be in trouble.

LOOK CAREFULLY. After a half-dozen solos of big walls, I can tell at a glance. But you won't be able to. Look very very carefully and try to visualize exactly what will happen when you tag. Be certain it will work! Be certain that nothing will tangle. Especially the chained backup knot. Keep all the ropes tight with no excess slack blowing around.

STUDY the photo beneath very carefully! Make sure you don't blow it!

http://home.pacbell.net/takasper/shimgrey.gifhttp://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=13045

http://home.pacbell.net/takasper/shimgrey.gifProperly Rigged Tag Rack at Mid-Pitch - GET IT RIGHT!


I cannot emphasize enough that you MUST PRACTISE THIS! It is NOT EASY. Mistakes will happen. Have it dialled BEFORE you get yourself into trouble. [Mind you, I learned how to do it on my solo of Iron Hawk, which was a route longer and harder than any I had climbed at the time. But then, I believe in "upping the ante" - you might too. Sometimes it's fun to climb your way into trouble - it's an adventure. Just don't pay the price with your life. Fortunately, when I was figuring this stuff out, my Wall Doctor was eight hundred feet below and could shout up helpful hints when I got scared.]

Once you are convinced that everything will work, and that you have grabbed everything off the rack you might need, it's time to continue climbing. If you are about to reach your upper belay station, you might want to grab your cordalette and power point locker off the tag rack and take it with you. Now climb around your rack carefully, and don't knock it off!

As you approach your upper belay, you may find yourself making more and more tags as you start to run out of rope. This is the advantage of the Solo Tag Extension as you can extend your lead rope. The drawback, however, is that you have to cross the knot that joins the end of your lead rope to your solo tag extension! This is NOT easy when your tag rack is heavy! You may end up desperately gripping the rope between your teeth to hold the weight of the tag rack, as you hurriedly pass the knot around the compound pulley! The more I solo big walls, the less frequently I tag. It's a pain in the ass, but it beats carrying all the stuff. If your jaw aches afterwards, remember this conversation.

Once you get to the upper belay station, you pull up the tag rack for the final tag. Again, visualize which way you're going, and set it up your tag rack in the right place ahead of time.

The first thing I do when I reach the upper station is to put a carabiner through each of the bolts. Right away, first thing. I save my strongest and most trustworthy standard non-lockers for the belay. I rarely use lockers, since they are designated for other purposes. Once I've clipped the bolts with crabs, I can whip off my lead rack, and hang it by its lead rack tethers off the bolts to get the weight off of my shoulders. Don't even think of soloing a big wall until you have made the lead rack modifications described in the link in this paragraph.

Remember to use transient carabiners on the ends of the lead rack tethers so that you can easily unclip your lead rack later. Set up your cordalettes and your power point, and get your Solo Tag Rack all set and ready to go, keeping it up high and in the direction you're travelling. The next thing you need to do is to fix your lead rope for jugging. Fix it to your power point with a Transient Lead Rope Jugging Locker. You can't put any extra slack in the lead rope - just the same amount you always have been putting in with your prusik loops.

Remember that before you start jugging, you will have cut the pigs free, and they will be hanging via the haul line from your Power Point. Your Power Point will therefore be pointing straight down. If you happen to approach your upper belay from one side of the other, there will be a sideways pull on the Power Point caused by you jugging it, but if you've set up your prusiks properly, the Power Point won't even be weighted until you have passed the last prusik sling. At any rate, you don't need to set up a separate Power Point for your lead rope. It can go off the main Power Point, which will be oriented correctly by the weight of the load.

Finally - and very carefully - pull up the top of your haul line which is tagged with a locker on the bottom of the Solo Tag Rack. Pull up enough extra haul line, put a bight in it, and clip the bight off so you don't drop it. [If you do drop the haul line, you will have a helluva time getting back to your lower belay, especially if the pitch is traversing and overhanging!] Once the haul line is clipped so you can't accidentally drop it, you can remove the locker from the tag rack, and clip it to the power point. This is your nylon highway to your lower belay.

Now, you have two ways to set up your haul line. You can just attach the haul line to the power point with its designated transient locker, and rappel the haul line directly. When you return to the upper station after hauling, you will have to put the zed cord of your 2:1 Hauling Ratchet onto the haul line in order to lift it into your hauling device.

Alternatively, you can put the haul line directly into the hauling device, and rappel from that, your weight being held by a toothed cam. If you are using a Wall Hauler, this can and should be scary. If you are using a Kong Block Roll, you are smart. No matter which device you're rappelling from, put only enough slack in the system between your hauling device and the power point to allow you to begin hauling, as this is your backup to the haul device failing when you rappel.

OK, you're ready to rappel, eh? Check a few things first. Have a look over your whole belay. Is it ready to accept your weight when you rappel? Is it ready to accept the pig's weight? Is it ready to accept your weight and the weight of the pigs when it's time for you to jug? Did you remember to take off your lead rack? Do you have your hammer and cleaning tool and funkness with you? It ain't gonna do you any good up at the top belay! Do you have your jugs with you? Most likely you will need them to pull yourself into the lower belay if the pitch is overhanging and/or traversing. Do you use a backup on your rappel? Have you left anything on the tag rack that you might need?

Are you returning to camp at your lower station, having finished the pitch, but not bothering to haul in the dark? If so, you should try to steal as many "bivi biners" as you can! "Rob" them from your tag rack, or clean a few pieces on the way down [not on a traverse, eh?].

If you happen to be Double Tagging, there is something else you will need to do first, before you rappel.


passthepitonspete


Apr 21, 2003, 6:10 PM
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DOUBLE TAGGING


This is a sophisticated and complex technique that may well be more trouble than it is worth, and certainly borders on Big Wall Theory if not downright stupidity. Unfortunately, it just does happen to work, since I’ve used it myself on at least one big wall solo. It also happens to be EXTREMELY DANGEROUS, with virtually unlimited potential to kill you, and create you endless heartache of clusterf*ckage.

I don’t bother with it any more, but it just happened to be on my diagram, so I might as well tell you about it. But for the record, I recommend against it.

The benefit of Double Tagging is that it allows you to lift a partial load for “free” when you rappel the pitch you just led in order to clean it. You go down, and your partial load goes up. This is accomplished by putting your potential energy to work in lifting the partial load, instead of wasting it heating up your rappel device. [Aside: If not for the concept of entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics, you could just heat your descendeur with your lighter, and rappel up the rope! In fact, without entropy there would be no clusterf*ckage, all big walls would be climbed with a Wank Factor of Zero, and my desk at home would be neat and tidy. But where’s the fun in that?! Sheesh.] So lifting your partial load leaves you less to haul on your main load. Anyone who has soloed and hauled has certainly thought about it, as it makes perfect sense. Simple enough in theory, but much much harder to get right in practice.

The danger of Double Tagging is that you have a rather large load hanging from a fifi hook, with the potential to take a two-hundred-foot factor 1 fall right onto your Solo Tag Rack, thus dragging your rack and quite possibly you to a terrifying death at dizzying heights above the ground. But it’s also so darn cool you just might be tempted to try it! But do so at your own risk, eh?

The first thing you need is an extra rope. You can use most any rope you like that is sufficient to lift your partial load. I have noted on the diagram that this could be your Backup Lead Line. Well guess what? You don’t NEED a backup lead line! There are two reasons for this. First of all, if you ever put a nick in your lead line, you just tie the damaged section into the middle of a Euro Death Knot or a Butterfly Knot - NOT a Figure-8 on a bight! – and carry on solo leading as per usual. Your rope doesn’t move, so a knot is immaterial, though it weakens your rope a bit. Secondly, if you are using your long prusik slings and are correctly rebelaying your lead rope, you will have absolutely NO wear whatsoever on your lead rope. Done correctly, your lead rope will last longer soloing big walls than it will in any other form of climbing, with the possible exception of toproping, which isn’t really climbing anyway. At least not to me.

You need to set up your partial load very carefully at your lower belay station. It needs to go onto its own fifi, and needs to be backed off with the same slippery overhand knot chain that you use to back up your Solo Tag Rack. You need to make sure that when it lifts, it won’t tangle with anything. Remember to put it below your Solo Tag Rack when you are starting out, but above your main piggage.

Your Partial Load should be about 60% of your body weight, or possibly a shade more. Much less, and you’re wasting your time. Any heavier, and you’ll be pulling yourself down your haul line by hand!

Up at the top belay station after having cleaned the pitch, you are now ready to rappel. Take the top end of your Double Tag Line, and put it through your Compound Pulley. If you only have one Compound Pulley, this is OK, because when you return to haul your main load, you can dock the partial load, and use the Compound Pulley on the main load. You’ll need to use your Hauling Ratchet zed-cord to put slack into the main load’s haul line to lift it into the Compound Pulley.

After putting the Double Tag Line through the Compound Pulley, pull up all of the slack in the line. Just before you reach the fifi, you will feel that characteristic whatever-the-heck-you-call-it feeling of the slipknots popping, the same ”warning” feeling you get when you’re about to run out of rope on lead, and will need to pull up your Solo Tag Rack. Take in the extra slack, tie a bight in the Double Tag Line, and attach that part of the Double Tag Line to you. It doesn’t matter if the Partial Load pops [unlikely] since the line is through the Compound Pulley.

Attach your rappel device to the Haul Line, and after yet another check for safety and wank factorage, down you go. [You don’t need me to remind you to check everything for safety when you’re about to rappel two thousand feet off the deck – if you do, then you shouldn’t be up there! As for not creating a Charlie-Foxtrot - you’re on your own, mate!]

When you return to the lower station, your Partial Load will be almost, but not quite, at the upper belay station. So disconnect the end of the Double Tag Line, remove all the knots, and let it hang. Pray it’s not windy and won’t wrap itself around your main load, because it’s going to be dangling there while you clean the pitch.



Was it worth all the extra bother to save on a bit of hauling? To me, it’s not. I’m awfully darn good at hauling. I need to be with all the crrrrrrrrap I take up the wall. But then again, ”on a toujours la choix.” Like Christian Bonington, I chose to climb, and like Frank Sinatra – “I did it myyyyyyyyy waaaaaayyyy!”



Thanks to all for not replying. You can have at it now. I would especially like to hear from people who have tried it and like it. It’s not for everyone, but this forty-something wanker likes it. The boys and I are working on fixing the few mistakes on the drawing, especially putting the slippery overhand backup knot above the Solo Tag Rack. If you die doing this, please don’t blame me! However if you think it’s b*tchin’, and saves you slumped shoulders so you don’t have to wear your whole darn rack, or lets you enjoy a leisurely lunch in the middle of a desperate pitch, then like, bring me a beer, eh?

Oh yeah, and in case you're wondering what happened, I was getting some strange error message when I tried to edit the post to fix the photos, so I just deleted it and moved it over here.

Cheers, Pete


copperhead


Apr 22, 2003, 5:58 AM
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why do I have to type something in this stupid box? [In reply to]
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He's back.

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Last edited by passthepitonspete on 22 Apr 2003 06:22; edited 24 times in total

What's with all of the editing? Why didn't you just post onto the end of the thread???

Thanks for the info but I didn't make it all the way through - got tired of reading...

Why is your tag rack so darn heavy and why do you set up a mini belay and mini haul mid-pitch to tag it all? Seems excessive.

Ps - you have a duplicate post and a simple explanation and diagram of this so called "double tagging" appears on page 106 of the Long/Middendorf book (I don't know of anyone who uses this dicey rap/haul system nor do I know of anyone who uses your tagging system).


passthepitonspete


Apr 22, 2003, 9:15 AM
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This box IS stupid, isn't it? [In reply to]
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All the edits were to insert the photos. I use this rather crafty "shim" idea invented by apollodorus to center the photos and captions, and it gets quite a few iterations to get it perfect. Yesterday I kept trying to edit, and it refused to do so. Today it worked fine.

My tag rack is heavy because I put everything onto it. That big beer cooler alone weighs twenty pounds. Ice is heavy, dude.

Wally Barker told me that he used this tagging system on his solos of The Ranch, Gulf Stream, Reticent, Plastic Surgery Disaster, and one more he told me and I've forgotten.

Copperhead, why don't you take a few hours and describe your tagging system? I read something about it in a photo caption somewhere.

Dr. Piton's Better Way does not purport to be the Best Way or the Only Way - it is like a smorgassbord - put what you like on the plate, and leave the rest behind in the bowls.

Double Tagging might be one of those menu items better left untouched.


epic_ed


Apr 22, 2003, 9:31 AM
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Re: This box IS stupid, isn't it? [In reply to]
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I'll second that request, Doc. In fact I recently asked him the same thing. I'm, too, am a "smorgasbord" kind of guy when it come to climbing systems and it would be great to hear how Bryan works out tagging (if he tags at all). It makes sense to take stuff from a variety of sources, try them out, and figure out what works best for me.

When I tagged my rack on a couple of pitches last time out I found it more time consuming than I'm willing to do as a standard proceedure on every pitch. However, it was good to practice it and I'm certain I'll use it on long pitches that are going to take the whole spectrum of gear. For the most part I'd rather just rack up with everything I need, but then again I'm a rather stocky guy and I've never felt overburdened by how much gear I've racked. Kind of like a security blanket, I guess. :P

Ed


epic_ed


Apr 22, 2003, 11:07 AM
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Found this...good stuff that shows proper rigging of belay anchor for upward pull during a solo. Includes some other good info.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/photos.php?Action=Show&PhotoID=12636


copperhead


Apr 23, 2003, 5:07 PM
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Ummmmm... [In reply to]
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http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=12834 http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=13045

The prusik in the first picture appears to be about a foot or a foot and a half in length. If the climber falls while on lead, the length of the prusik will only allow about three feet of upward movement (due to rope stretch), provided the prusik knot is able to SLIDE THROUGH THE BINER. Rope stretch beyond three feet will either dislodge the cam, or if the piece is solid (i.e. pin or bolt), the rope will be prevented from stretching any further, thus minimizing the dynamics of the lead system. The second picture shows another “re-belay” prusik that is clipped to a bolt; this bolt appears to be about 80 to 100 feet above the belay. This prusik also appears to be about a foot or a foot and a half in length.

If you start to jug on a fixed 200-foot dynamic lead line (from the ground), how much does the rope stretch before it will completely hold your weight? If you take a 30-foot fall (assuming a clean fall, i.e. back-cleaned hooks) with 120 feet of rope out, how much will the rope stretch?

My point is that if you are going to use this “re-belay” system, you are going to need to use SIGNIFICANTLY longer prusiks. To work properly, the prusik in the second picture would probably have to extend down to the second placement below the “re-belay.”

Any tension that is put in the lead line by the use of the prusiks will be subtracted from the total amount of dynamic stretch of the rope during a fall.

Ps - why don't you clip the regular clip-in hole on your Pretzel Jug?


tenn_dawg


Apr 23, 2003, 5:29 PM
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Re: Ummmmm... [In reply to]
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Here's some of your answer.

Alot of people that learned how to jug in a caving environment clip the jug through the handle. One way of holding the Jug is to turn it around backwards and grab the jug on top, holding the rope with your index finger, and levering against it. If you have to pull back on the handle, the jug will rotate, causing some ammount of inefficiency in the system by adding several cm's of unnessessary rope movement. Holding on top of the jug, against the rope eliminates this, and is much more comfortable in my opinion.

Give it a try. You'd be suprised how much better it feels to use the top of the ascender.

Travis

(Part time caver, and I do a little climbing too)


tenn_dawg


Apr 23, 2003, 5:41 PM
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Another point,

I have taken a short fall (pulled 2 pieces) using this system with nothing more than the slings shown in the pictures for prusiks. When I took the fall, the prusik allowed the rope to slip upwards through it when it hit the carabiner on the placement.

I see your point though. It is possible that the prusik would hold, only allowing for aprox. 3 feet of stretch from the lower portion of the rope. However, this disadvantage is not a huge deal when you consider that on the first moves (15 or so) off the belay, you are in the same situation.

I think that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages however. It is awesome only having 30 feet of dynamic rope stretch to jug when cleaning the pitch. Also, you have the option of protecting your rope from abrasive edges.

Do you have any other sugestions to accomplish this, but allow the rope to retain its full "stretchyness" at the end of the pitch? I'm open to all options.

Travis
(edited cause I've been drinking, and I can't type correctly)


copperhead


Apr 23, 2003, 5:45 PM
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Ascenders [In reply to]
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But how well can you open the cam (I use my thumb) or pop the thing off and back onto the rope to pass a piece if you are holding onto the ascender backwards?


tenn_dawg


Apr 23, 2003, 5:47 PM
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up2top,

Yes, that picture shows one possible option. Pete's system uses the pig as a "dynamic" belayer and I think that is an advantage.

If my porker were to start getting a little slim, I would use this clove hitch on the first placement off the belay as well (as long as the placement is a bolt, or multi-directional). I have also done this when soloing pitches on shorter climbs where I do not need a pig (some stuff at Looking Glass Rock in NC).

Good picture, and alternative however.

Travis


tenn_dawg


Apr 23, 2003, 5:54 PM
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Bryan,

It's not that bad really, just give it a try when you're doing a long jug sometime. The cam is still very accessable by either pushing down with your index finger, or just turning it a half turn or so, and grabbing with your thumb to pop it off the rope.

To each his own you know. I just think not using the handle is a little bit more comfortable, and efficient.

Travis

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