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Your perfered deivce for solo aid?
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Poll: Your perfered deivce for solo aid?
GriGri (Petzl) 18 / 60%
Soloist (Wren) 3 / 10%
Solo Aid (Wren) 3 / 10%
Silent Partner (Wren) 3 / 10%
Clove Hitch 2 / 7%
Other (please elaborate) 1 / 3%
30 total votes
 

northcave


Jul 7, 2008, 4:08 AM
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Your perfered deivce for solo aid?
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I know this is a re-visited subject but I hear different views. Is a griri with the use of the occaisional safety knot good enough for soloing? Or do you need something better for catching inverted and odd falls? I.e. is the 'Solo Aid' or 'Soloist' any better? In reality is a self feeding device much more practical that and fixed solution such as the 'Solo Aid' or a clove hitch?

Can we discuss the above choices please with personal experience and pros/cons where applicable.

Thanks!


morse8000


Jul 7, 2008, 9:20 AM
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Re: [northcave] Your perfered deivce for solo aid? [In reply to]
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In terms of versatility and efficiency, the grigri has got to be the defacto choice among big wall soloists. Look at everything it does -- belays you, excels at certain lowerouts, cleaning really steep pitches and traverses, rolling back-up when jugging, etc.

I also use my Soloist quite a bit and have a great deal of trust in it. I'll use it in aid mode (not attached to a chest harness, but always with a biner in the hole to keep the stainless-steel pin from coming out). For free climbing it goes on the chest harness as well, with some sort of breakaway capability.

As far as the free-climbing cred of the Soloist goes, maybe you heard Stephane Perron freed ASTROMAN and FREERIDER with it, which is more of a testament to his strength and talent then the device, but it's pretty cool and eye opening. One thing I like about it is that because you attach it separately to your harness, with a short length of rope, your belay loop remains uncluttered.

The more aid climbing you do, the more tradeoffs you will discover. The Clove Hitch is light and proven, but doesn't feed as well.

Using the soloist means having an extra piece of bulky gear. But it's pretty cool when free climbing.

The gri gri is the most useful and multi-tasking, but not as good when there is a lot of free climbing.

As far as the whole feeding thing goes. When you are aid climbing you almost always can free up two hands. When freeclimbing, you either need your rig to be self-feeding or at least be able to pull slack with one hand. Unless you just pay out a giant loop of slack at the beginning of a free section.


Tree_wrangler


Jul 7, 2008, 10:42 AM
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Re: [morse8000] Your perfered deivce for solo aid? [In reply to]
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The soloist does not catch upside-down falls. Since aid falls always have the potential to be upside down (more so than free climbing falls, although the potential is still there), the soloist is totally unsuitable for aid climbing.

The Solo-aid (needs to be manually fed) or Silent Partner (self feeds, although I frequently "help" mine out with a hand out of personal preference) are both well suited to catch any fall.

I don't know much about the pros/cons of self-belay with a GriGri.

It all has been addressed on this site before. A search should yield some excellent results.


lambone


Jul 7, 2008, 2:07 PM
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Re: [Tree_wrangler] Your perfered deivce for solo aid? [In reply to]
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gri-gri will catch inverted falls.

mine has caught about 10 pretty good solo whippers. three imortant saftey tips with the gri-gri I think,

1. use a bomber steel locker
2. be vigilant about keeping your aiders/dasies/fifi untangled from the device at all times
3. watch the rope slippage once your about halfway up the pitch.


morse8000


Jul 7, 2008, 3:02 PM
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Re: [Tree_wrangler] Your perfered deivce for solo aid? [In reply to]
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Tree Wrangler is correct. The Soloist is not supposed to hold upside down falls. That is why I do not attach it to my chest harness when aid climbing. I am confident that in this mode, it would catch me in an inverted fall. (No I haven't fallen on the soloist aid climbing only an upright fall while free climbing, when it was attached to a chest harness and it worked great.)

Not to say that soloing can't be sketchy. Neither the soloist or the grigri would catch a fall if you held the devices at exactly 180 degrees (parallel to the ground) for the duration of the fall. Not likely in the real world, but strange things happen. At 90 degrees, with the rope going straight up to the piece that holds the fall, both the grigri and the soloist seem pretty bomber.

So, both devices have a limited range, probably less than 90 degrees in which they will catch a fall. But people use them even without a green light from the manufacturers because they function well at certain things: e.g., freeclimbing, versatile for multi wall climbing tasks.

Best safety tips using a grigri for solo self belay is make sure you have it threaded correctly (so it locks on the anchored end of the rope, and you always clip the correct rope to your pieces). Always tie back-up knots. Like Lambone, I use a steel locker. Not sure the model. It's a DMM CE certified 30KN. The grigri doesn't catch on the lock/gate area or the spine.


chossmonkey


Jul 7, 2008, 3:11 PM
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Re: [northcave] Your perfered deivce for solo aid? [In reply to]
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I like a Grigri.


skiclimb


Jul 7, 2008, 7:47 PM
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Re: [northcave] Your perfered deivce for solo aid? [In reply to]
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You won't even be able to pry my silent partner from my cold dead hands...


moose_droppings


Jul 7, 2008, 9:08 PM
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Re: [northcave] Your perfered deivce for solo aid? [In reply to]
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I've used the soloist with backup knots for the last 3 years for free and aid roped soloing.


(This post was edited by moose_droppings on Jul 8, 2008, 8:23 AM)


Partner xtrmecat


Jul 8, 2008, 5:04 AM
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Re: [moose_droppings] Your perfered deivce for solo aid? [In reply to]
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I have at least seven years on my soloist and it has always been a good partner. even during a head first long heavy fall.
Bob


sungam


Jul 8, 2008, 6:44 AM
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Re: [xtrmecat] Your perfered deivce for solo aid? [In reply to]
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I like a belay bitch.


lambone


Jul 8, 2008, 9:26 AM
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Re: [skiclimb] Your perfered deivce for solo aid? [In reply to]
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skiclimb wrote:
You won't even be able to pry my silent partner from my cold dead hands...

what makes you think someone would want that piece of junk after it fails to catch another fall?


Tree_wrangler


Jul 8, 2008, 10:33 AM
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Re: [lambone] Your perfered deivce for solo aid? [In reply to]
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In reply to:
what makes you think someone would want that piece of junk after it fails to catch another fall?

The only falls it's ever failed to catch were on routes that shouldn't even be considered to be climbing. If you're on a "real" climb, and take a "real" fall, it's bombproof.

Consider using it on something harder than 5.3 where falling is really falling, not rolling downhill.


skiclimb


Jul 8, 2008, 5:19 PM
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Re: [lambone] Your perfered deivce for solo aid? [In reply to]
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lambone wrote:
skiclimb wrote:
You won't even be able to pry my silent partner from my cold dead hands...

what makes you think someone would want that piece of junk after it fails to catch another fall?

If i'm dead with a silent partner in my hand it won't be because it failed to catch a fall.

It is the best solo aid belay device yet made. Expensive and worth every penny.


alpine_monk


Jul 15, 2008, 7:08 PM
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Re: [skiclimb] Your perfered deivce for solo aid? [In reply to]
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the faders sum has gotten me up a wall or two. after I shaved the lever down a bit I trust it more than a gri gri to catch odd falls. that kind of eliminates lowering out, but it never was great for that/rapping to start with. Sum for climbing, gri gri on harness for all other functions of a wall belay device.


thorgon


Jul 17, 2008, 3:57 PM
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Re: [northcave] Your perfered deivce for solo aid? [In reply to]
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If your learning, have someone teach you how to use the clove-hitch with a figure 8 backup.. It is simple works everytime and no weight! Just like the Munter-hitch, all climbers should know how to use it in case you drop your 8 or rappel device!
My buddy took a pretty nasty fall 30+ feet with gear ripping on the clove-hitch and it arrested the fall..
ALWAYS back it up with a figure 8..!! And have fun!


flamer


Jul 17, 2008, 4:20 PM
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Re: [morse8000] Your perfered deivce for solo aid? [In reply to]
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morse8000 wrote:
Tree Wrangler is correct. The Soloist is not supposed to hold upside down falls. That is why I do not attach it to my chest harness when aid climbing. I am confident that in this mode, it would catch me in an inverted fall. (No I haven't fallen on the soloist aid climbing only an upright fall while free climbing, when it was attached to a chest harness and it worked great.)

Not to say that soloing can't be sketchy. Neither the soloist or the grigri would catch a fall if you held the devices at exactly 180 degrees (parallel to the ground) for the duration of the fall. Not likely in the real world, but strange things happen. At 90 degrees, with the rope going straight up to the piece that holds the fall, both the grigri and the soloist seem pretty bomber.

So, both devices have a limited range, probably less than 90 degrees in which they will catch a fall. But people use them even without a green light from the manufacturers because they function well at certain things: e.g., freeclimbing, versatile for multi wall climbing tasks.

Best safety tips using a grigri for solo self belay is make sure you have it threaded correctly (so it locks on the anchored end of the rope, and you always clip the correct rope to your pieces). Always tie back-up knots. Like Lambone, I use a steel locker. Not sure the model. It's a DMM CE certified 30KN. The grigri doesn't catch on the lock/gate area or the spine.

Ok dude, you really just don't know what you're talking about.
The REASON you use a chest harness with the soloist is that it pretty much eliminates the chance of an inverted(that means upside down) fall.
Also the orientation of the grigri to the ground has nothing to do with the way it works. The cam will activate regardless of how it is oriented.

Seriously you need to look into things before posting them as "fact".

josh


MikeSaint


Jul 17, 2008, 6:01 PM
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Re: [morse8000] Your perfered deivce for solo aid? [In reply to]
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morse8000 wrote:
Tree Wrangler is correct. The Soloist is not supposed to hold upside down falls. That is why I do not attach it to my chest harness when aid climbing. I am confident that in this mode, it would catch me in an inverted fall.

Was this a typo? You do not attatch it to a chest harness? Now, I've never done any aiding with my Soloist so I wont say you're right or wrong.

I would ask that you go into greater detail as to why you dont use a chest harness. Just curious, as the literature from Wren Industries makes it quite clear to use a chest harness when integrating the Soloist into your rope solo system.


morse8000


Jul 17, 2008, 9:49 PM
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Re: [flamer] Your perfered deivce for solo aid? [In reply to]
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Right on Josh dude,

I guess "pretty much" is good enough in your world.

Since when does your tie-in configuration dictate the orientation of the fall you take? Until the rope comes into play against the last valid piece of protection you placed, I don't think it does. And when it does, what if you are still rocketing towards earth, head first.

Hey, let's try this: (better in concept than practice if you can grasp it, eh?) We both climb solo to 120 feet with a big-ass pin rack. Your Soloist is attached to both your waist belt and harness and a chest harness, mine is attached to the waist belt and leg loops only.

With bomber protection just slightly below our feet, we deliberately (That means on purpose.) make a back dive into a head-first fall back-up knots at 40 feet. Who comes to a stop first? Let's compare notes.

I use the GriGri if it's mostly aid and the Soloist if it's mostly free climbing. During a given climb, I will have the units attached to my chest harness or not attached according to my own best judgment about the tradeoffs between risk management and functionality.

As far as the GriGri goes, try this. Anchor a rope at 90 degrees straight up and down and put the GriGri on it orientated as if you were going to rappel with it. Now, with both your hands at each end of the unit, rotate the Gri Gri so the flat part of the unit is parallel to the ground. Now keep rotating the GriGri past 180 degrees while exerting downward force with both hands.

Dude, the cam won't even engage. Is this what you mean by ". . . regardless of how it is oriented."

Anyway I appreciate that you put quotation marks around the word fact to indicate that it was your word choice, not mine.

Here's what Rock Exotica has to say:

From the WARNING section of the Soloist user manual.

". . .Use of the Soloist will not necessarily make soloing safer.

"Your ultimate belay is your back-up knot. It must be placed to prevent serious injury if you take a fall that the Soloist will not catch. The Soloist is intended for use as an intermediate device that will shorten your fall if you fall relatively upright and if the rope is free to lift up and lock the jaw.

"...Any solo belay method should be regarded as a last resort that may allow you to survive the fall, but no system, including the Soloist can guarantee your safety in a fall. Your first rule while climbing must be: Don't fall."


morse8000


Jul 17, 2008, 10:25 PM
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Re: [MikeSaint] Your perfered deivce for solo aid? [In reply to]
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Hi Mike,

I have never met anyone who has used a Soloist without a chest harness. When I'm on a mixed free and aid climb, I will disengage the Soloist from the chest harness (but keeping the locking carabiner in place on the Soloist) at times when I come to aid climbing sections and I am concerned about the possibility of a head-first fall, which the Soloist is not supposed to catch when attached to a chest harness. This makes it harder to feed the rope, but that's not such a problem on aid, and I feel it does add another possible dimension to my security that I didn't have before. If things are moving along well, I will still have the Soloist attached to my chest harness while aid climbing e.g., C1, decent bolt ladders.

I do basically the same thing with a GriGri. If there's free-climbing, I use it in modified GriGri mode (attached to a chest harness), but when there's more aid climbing, I disengage it and just have it hanging off the belay loop like most people do.

For both units, there is a greater risk of a farther head-first fall in free-climbing mode (attached to a chest harness) than in aid mode (off of the harness waist belt and leg loops or belay loop)

What matters is the relationship/angle of the climber's body to the rope and belay device in a fall. With the Soloist, the manufacturer makes a point to especially beware of falling on slabs, because that can increase the angle between the rope and the climber/belay device.

The times when I haven't liked having the Soloist disengaged from a chest harness are if you are clipping the rope above you. Something you don't do as much aid climbing, anyway.

But on a traverse it could be disconcerting to clip the rope to a piece above your waist
In reply to:
and feel like you could slide all the way to your back-up knot in a fall (and you might). In these situations I usually put the Soloist back on my chest harness.

I go back and forth when I want. I think of all these tools as "conditional" belay devices in the sense that they could work and might catch your fall.


flamer


Jul 18, 2008, 6:59 AM
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Re: [morse8000] Your perfered deivce for solo aid? [In reply to]
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morse8000 wrote:
I have never met anyone who has used a Soloist without a chest harness. When I'm on a mixed free and aid climb, I will disengage the Soloist from the chest harness (but keeping the locking carabiner in place on the Soloist) at times when I come to aid climbing sections and I am concerned about the possibility of a head-first fall, which the Soloist is not supposed to catch when attached to a chest harness.

Morse,

You are an idiot.
The above quote, especially the part I put in bold, is a perfect example.
Wren tells you to use a chest harness so you won't have an upside down fall. You state that it won't matter until you hit the last piece of gear....well maybe except with a chest harness you will be turned upward and allow the soloist to engage...which is not the case without a chest harness. Do you think, maybe, there is a reason Wren says NOT to use it W/O a chest harness?

If you hold the cam closed on a grigri it won't catch...great point there as well.

You need to stop posting this crap before someone isn't smart enough to figure it out on their own...and ends up hurt or worse.
Kill yourself if you want, but don't spread the stupidity.

josh


skiclimb


Jul 18, 2008, 8:50 PM
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Re: [flamer] Your perfered deivce for solo aid? [In reply to]
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For what it's worth I havn't found a way for a properly equiped Silent partner not to catch...


moof


Jul 21, 2008, 4:30 PM
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Re: [skiclimb] Your perfered deivce for solo aid? [In reply to]
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skiclimb wrote:
For what it's worth I havn't found a way for a properly equiped Silent partner not to catch...

All I had to do with mine was stick it in the feezer.

After doing a "rest day" in Jtree around Xmas at ~40F i found that my SP would not lock doing the thumb spin, or ripping a armful of rope through. At room temp mine was fine.

I sent it back and they inspected it, onlyu noting a bit of grit in one seal (after only ~12 pitches on the thing?!), and sent it back to me. It now passes the freezer test, but I DO NOT TRUST IT. YMMV.


skiclimb


Jul 21, 2008, 10:28 PM
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Re: [moof] Your perfered deivce for solo aid? [In reply to]
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Yeah that would make me a bit nervous myself.

However i've put many subfreezing days on mine and never had that occur once.

But just once at the wrong time could be more excitement than I care to experience.

been a while since I did much research on this.. Has an SP ever failed causing Injury?


(This post was edited by skiclimb on Jul 21, 2008, 10:31 PM)


atlnq9


Jul 26, 2008, 8:23 AM
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You guys aren't seeing morses point, he is saying that with a full aid rack attached to your chest harness that the weight displacement will cause the fall to be inverted and will hold you inverted. I don't know anything about how the soloist works to be able to comment on whether it is safer to not attach to your chest harness. Why don't you test it? Get a belayer to back you up in case it doesn't catch you and still make sure the backup knots are there you could even have the belayer tie backup knots...


flamer


Jul 26, 2008, 9:20 AM
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Re: [atlnq9] Your perfered deivce for solo aid? [In reply to]
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His point is not valid.
While a heavy Aid rack may invert you during the fall...wearing a chest harness will bring you back to "center". If you raise the point of tie in to the chest level something other than the weight of a rack would have to hold you down to keep you inverted. Which isn't realistic.

josh

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