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lightboi


Nov 12, 2002, 3:49 PM
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Double Rope Belay
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I am thinking of adding Twin Ropes to my trad arsenal. I like the ideas of mitigating rope drag, protecting the second on traverses, and making falls shorter. But I have a question on the belay. One Device or 2? Will my stitcht plate or reverso work? Is there a trick to giving slack on one rope and taking on the other? Is it better for the second to belay off the anchor?

josh

edit to change title to reflect my questions


[ This Message was edited by: lightboi on 2002-11-12 16:23 ]


bradhill


Nov 12, 2002, 3:54 PM
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Double Rope Belay [In reply to]
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Twin ropes aren't what you're talking about. Double ropes allow you to reduce rope drag. Twins are used just like a single rope, they just have better cut resistance and allow full-length rappells.

It's important to know the difference between doubles and twins before you buy.

And pretty much any belay device that takes two ropes will work fine.


climbincajun


Nov 12, 2002, 3:59 PM
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Double Rope Belay [In reply to]
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yes, you are speaking of double ropes...though we often use doubles as twins when doing long backcountry trad for the same reasons...epecially the advantage of full length rappels. and its lighter than carrying two singles.

as for belays, any two-rope device will work (atc, reverso, etc). you dont need another device...

one thing to be mindful of, however, is that doubles are thinner than a single rope and therefore (IMO) are more difficult to control on belay and rappel. something to think about.


[ This Message was edited by: climbincajun on 2002-11-12 16:03 ]


lightboi


Nov 12, 2002, 3:59 PM
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Double Rope Belay [In reply to]
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Gotcha on the twin/double deffinition...


bradhill


Nov 12, 2002, 4:09 PM
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Ugh. Cajun, I wouldn't use doubles as twins. Twin ropes already have the issue of a high impact force -- using beefier double ropes in that manner could make for a very abrupt stop.


knuckles


Nov 26, 2002, 1:59 AM
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Double Rope Belay [In reply to]
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Sorry I'm late, just found this one. I learned to climb from a double rope guy who always set up his single sticht plate with his ropes opposed, as in one goes right to left and the other left to right, each line getting it's own brake hand. It always seemed like a good way to go once you got used to it and can actually lock off one rope while giving slack on the other... good thing if your ropegun is fiddling with pro at the top of a good runout. ATC's and pyramids work great for this technique, I haven't tried it with any of the asymmetrical belay devices out there like the reverso, jaws, or B-52, it doesn't look you you can. Any opinions?


tradguy


Nov 26, 2002, 5:15 AM
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Double Rope Belay [In reply to]
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It seems to me that paying out rope to the leader would be rather difficult with one hand on the brake end of each of the two ropes. I mean, wouldn't you have to let go of one so that you could give rope quickly? And that would sort of defeat the purpose of double rope.

I learned to lead on doubles when I spent 4 months in Wales (where doubles is the standard), and I never saw anybody belay with one rope in each hand on opposite sides of the belay device.


xmountain


Nov 26, 2002, 11:51 AM
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Double Rope Belay [In reply to]
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TRE Sirius - A belay device for leading and following and a rappel device with high safety standards and easy handling. It works perfectly for double ropes, single ropes 9.5 - 10.5 mm and produces enough friction; it's perfect for long alpine ascents and free climbing.

More Informations:

[http://www.tre-pfullingen.de]

[ This Message was edited by: xmountain on 2002-11-26 11:57 ]


awsclimber


Nov 26, 2002, 12:29 PM
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Double Rope Belay [In reply to]
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I am thinking about getting a set of doubles also but my major concern is braking ability. Its difficult to get much friction while using two of them on rappel, how difficult is it for a belayer to hold a 15 foot fall on just one of them, and how easy would it be for them to slip through the hands of even an attentive belayer? (me and everybody I climb with use ATC's) Thanks.
~Adam


knuckles


Nov 26, 2002, 6:40 PM
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Tradguy, each hand holds the brake side of one rope and the lead side of the other, the brake hands never have to leave. It's a weird system and I haven't used doubles in a long time but my brother and I climbed (and fell) on it for a while and it always seemed to serve safely. I'm looking at double ropes again as I seem to like doing more alpine stuff... or maybe I'm just getting older and am being driven off into the woods by my own crustiness. I learned the system from a JTree hobo, the Welsh are surely a better authority.


morris100


May 23, 2010, 2:55 AM
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Re: [lightboi] Double Rope Belay [In reply to]
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Hello, Could anyone tell me if using the ATC in guide mode, with two carabiners for each rope, is a legitimate way of protecting a lead climber whilst belaying them from below? the ATC guide is clipped onto the belayer using the large hole at the rear of the device. PS seems to work perfectly and can safely work one rope at a time using both hands knowing the other is always locked off. any help , experience with this greatly appreciated. thanks.


healyje


May 23, 2010, 4:15 AM
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Re: [knuckles] Double Rope Belay [In reply to]
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Ok, lots of confusion, speculation, and different ideas going on here.

Twins: two small diameter ropes used and clipped like a single rope

Doubles ('half'): two medium diameter ropes used and clipped individually

You climb on twins primarily when you don't want to carry or drag a second rope just for rappelling on longer multipitch routes.

You climb on doubles when the line of a route wanders so much that the path of a single rope weaving through your placements would generate too much drag. You know you're into that territory when you realize you couldn't sling your way to an adequately clean and smooth rope path unless you had a boatload or 48" slings. At that point you switch to doubles and (in the abstract) run a rope up each side of a line running up through the route clipping the ropes independently as you encouter good placements on each's respective side of the line.

You use any regular, diameter-appropriate, double-slotted ATC to belay with either twins or doubles.

Twins don't really require any different belaying skills than a single other than keeping in mind the importance cleanly stacking the ropes prior to leading off. This helps keep things from getting ugly quick for both the leader and belayer.

Doubles are a different story altogether. Belaying on doubles requires different communication between leader and belayer and some decidedly different thinking and [ambidextrous] belaying skills. Communication changes from a single rope in that the leader needs to let the belayer know when they switch from being 'on' one rope to the other - which is why doubles are different colors so the leader can yell "on blue!" and then "on red" as they place gear on one side of the line or the other. Thinking changes because you have to pay attention to and manage differing slack and tension requirements of the two ropes - often at the same time. Belay/rope handling skills change because the brake hand has to somehow respond to the often differing requirements of each rope.

All those differences are the reason why 'knukles' friend responded like this:

knuckles wrote:
I learned to climb from a double rope guy who always set up his single sticht plate with his ropes opposed, as in one goes right to left and the other left to right, each line getting it's own brake hand.

He was attempting to eliminate some of the confusion and ambidextrousness associated with doubles by setting up the belay device such that he could essentially treat doubles like two singles that you basically switch between - he attempts to turn gray complexity of doubles into the black and white simplicity of a single (albeit two of them).

This might seem like a good idea at first, and it could be made to more or less work with enough practice. BUT, I personally consider this attempt to bifurcate and 'eliminate' the complexity inherent in doubles to be misguided. First, and least of an issues is the obious need for a double stitch plate or symmetric ATC which are fairly uncommon these days. Second, and more of an issue, is in switching braking from one hand to two you simplify the tasks of each individual hand, but add a ton of overhead in to the management & coordination of the hands/ropes in your mind - to say nothing of most folks' tendency in such a set up to constantly be removing their hands from the ropes at varying times.

And while the 'theory' behind doubles ('halfs') is that you are basically only 'on' one rope at a time and are only caught on one rope, the reality is the two ropes often act synergistically at varying points during a fall. And having fallen on doubles a bunch (a 40-50' one most recently) I can say I wouldn't want to be held purely on just one rope or the other. So the intent behind knuckles' friend's idea is good, but the dual brakehanding imposes too much of an artifical divide between the braking implementation across the ropes, the coordination of hands, and in mental coordination.

The idea of using an ATC in 'guide mode' is a similar response to dealing with the complexity involved with belaying doubles; but again frought with issues and I wouldn't recommend it either.

That all said, belaying doubles with one hand is no picnic as sometimes you need to be paying out one line and taking in slack on the other at the same time. How to do that if not by splitting a rope to each hand / side? Well, with some difficulty to be honest. It's for the most part by deft finger / thumb work of the brake hand. I tend [at times, when necessary] to split my hand up two fingers to a rope taking in rope with two of the fingers on one rope while letting the feeding rope slide through my other two fingers with my thumb tending assisting each of the two sets of fingers as needed and using the guide hand to pull slack on the outgoing line.

Two fingers? You can't stop a fall with two fingers! Well, fingers don't stop falls, belay devices do - two fingers is more than enough to initiate lock-off of the ATC and as I'm initiating that lock-off I'm also switching from the split-fingers arrangement to one where all my fingers are around both ropes (and sliding down the rope in order to add my hip to the braking arrangement).

The decision to switch to twins shouldn't be that big of deal is again usually based on the need to have two ropes with you to do long, multipitch raps. Twins are popular in places like Red Rock on lines where rapping is the standard descent.

The decision to switch to doubles should ideally take place on a route-by-route basis unless you live/climb in an area where the lines tend to wander as a general rule. Belaying doubles is a big deal, requires your total engagement and rapt attention as a belayer - and it is far more demanding a set of brake hand interactions with the ropes. Belaying with a single rope doesn't require much of your brake hand; belaying doubles requires your brake hand to start 'thinking' and acting intelligently compared to belaying a single.

The bottom line? Belaying doubles is something you have to spend some time practicing to just begin to get comfortable with. Do that a couple of times in some safe setting / manner and make your first routes on doubles easy, familiar ones so your belayer can get the hang of things before getting on anything serious.

P.S. The Kong Ghost is my favorite belay device for doubles; I've tried it, the DMM Bugette, and the Petzl Reversino for my Metolius 7.8m twins and am fairly agnostic about them other than the Bugette is such a breathtaking wisp of a thing to get my head around at times.


(This post was edited by healyje on May 23, 2010, 5:09 AM)


shockabuku


May 23, 2010, 8:42 AM
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Re: [morris100] Double Rope Belay [In reply to]
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It certainly isn't recommended for that but lots of things are used contrary to their indications, for example - drugs mixed with alcohol, sometimes with good results, sometimes not.

Anyway, if your leader falls and locks up the device, how do you handle that?


degaine


May 23, 2010, 10:54 AM
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Re: Double Rope Belay [In reply to]
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healyje covers a lot of good stuff in his post. I'll agree and reiterate that belaying a leader with doubles requires attention and being able to manage both ropes independently at times.

I've been climbing on doubles for years and have climbed on twins quite a bit as well (as small as twin 7.7s). I like using both though I only own a set of doubles (Beal Cobra 8.6s).

As far as rappelling is concerned (and rgold would likely say this goes for belaying as well), best wear gloves or have a high friction device, especially for anything under 8.2 in diameter. I tend to be the first person down, so I always use some sort of prussik/kleimheist set up.

Doubles and twins have a lot of advantages, especially in the alpine environment: light weight (usually each person carries one rope), in areas where rockfall is a concern (read: in the alpine environment) having two ropes is an added safety measure, personally find it easier to climb in twin / double rope mode than with a single rope and the second rope for rappel hanging off the back of my harness, you have more, quicker and easier options in building your anchor with the rope, and it's easier to belay up two seconds simultaneously (with the atc guide or reverso in guide mode or with a kong gigi, for example).

Anyway, if you plan to pretty much climb plumb line splitter cracks or know that sling craft will do for drag, I'd personally go with a twin rope setup first.


shockabuku


May 23, 2010, 11:03 AM
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Re: [degaine] Double Rope Belay [In reply to]
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Do you guys understand that morris100 replied to an eight year old thread with an almost completely different concern and you're telling a guy who wants to belay a leader, with an ATC Guide in guide mode off his harness, that using double ropes is a good thing?


healyje


May 23, 2010, 12:05 PM
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Re: [shockabuku] Double Rope Belay [In reply to]
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Yes. But combined with the previous content, which never saw any good resolution, I felt it was worth responding to the whole issue again given this topic can be a confusing one whether in 2002 and 2010.


Partner j_ung


May 23, 2010, 1:13 PM
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Re: [knuckles] Double Rope Belay [In reply to]
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knuckles wrote:
Sorry I'm late, just found this one. I learned to climb from a double rope guy who always set up his single sticht plate with his ropes opposed, as in one goes right to left and the other left to right, each line getting it's own brake hand. It always seemed like a good way to go once you got used to it and can actually lock off one rope while giving slack on the other... good thing if your ropegun is fiddling with pro at the top of a good runout. ATC's and pyramids work great for this technique, I haven't tried it with any of the asymmetrical belay devices out there like the reverso, jaws, or B-52, it doesn't look you you can. Any opinions?

Yes, yes, I know I'm 8 years late to the party, but it bears repeating, even after healyje's post, that this is a horrible, misguided and utterly stupid way to belay.


(This post was edited by j_ung on May 23, 2010, 1:14 PM)


Partner j_ung


May 23, 2010, 1:16 PM
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Re: [morris100] Double Rope Belay [In reply to]
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morris100 wrote:
Hello, Could anyone tell me if using the ATC in guide mode, with two carabiners for each rope, is a legitimate way of protecting a lead climber whilst belaying them from below? the ATC guide is clipped onto the belayer using the large hole at the rear of the device. PS seems to work perfectly and can safely work one rope at a time using both hands knowing the other is always locked off. any help , experience with this greatly appreciated. thanks.

Try this first on the ground, with your partner walking away from you. I think you'll see pretty much immediately why this won't work.


morris100


May 24, 2010, 4:34 AM
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Re: [j_ung] Double Rope Belay [In reply to]
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Gents, I didnt realise this thread was so old, was just looking for sdvice on belaying a double rope system and couldnt find anything after quite a lot of searching and so joined this website to seek advice and this thread seemed the nearest to my enquiry. thank for the advice given. cheers.


sethg


May 24, 2010, 4:48 AM
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Re: [healyje] Double Rope Belay [In reply to]
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There is much good advice here, but I'm afraid all this focus on the peculiarities of belaying with doubles makes them seem harder to manage than they are. I love using doubles. You get used to belaying with them in about five minutes. They're great for managing drag and for full-length rappels. I use mine constantly in the Gunks, where the routes traverse a lot under roofs, and it's not a strange thing to do there. Once you're initiated, you don't need to tell your partner which rope you're clipping; it goes very smoothly.

No new device or technique needs to be invented to handle them.


healyje


May 24, 2010, 11:00 AM
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Re: [sethg] Double Rope Belay [In reply to]
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They don't seem [much] harder to manage once you have it down (or if you do it all the time). It's similar to riding a bicycle in that once you've learned it, you have it. It's the learning that's challenging.


airscape


May 25, 2010, 5:00 AM
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Re: [healyje] Double Rope Belay [In reply to]
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I climbed on a bicycle the other day, and I have not been on one in about 10 years, and you know what happend?

I tried to drive it out the gate and I just lightly clipped the wall with my shoulder and everything just went to shit!

My friend who's bicycle it was had to replace the front disc brake (Break? ha!) ... Who would have thunk bicycles come with disc brackes now?

EDIT: to add distance covered = almost 2 meters.


(This post was edited by airscape on May 25, 2010, 5:01 AM)


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