Forums: Climbing Disciplines: Trad Climbing:
Multi Pitch Belay Management with TWO Seconds
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Trad Climbing

Premier Sponsor:

 


nh_ranger


Nov 7, 2009, 5:53 AM
Post #1 of 16 (4695 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 8, 2005
Posts: 36

Multi Pitch Belay Management with TWO Seconds
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

What is the most efficient way to manage leader tradeoffs when you are leading on double ropes with a second on the end of each rope? If one of the seconds is going to lead the next pitch, it seems like a rope management nightmare!


johnwesely


Nov 7, 2009, 5:56 AM
Post #2 of 16 (4688 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 12, 2006
Posts: 5343

Re: [nh_ranger] Multi Pitch Belay Management with TWO Seconds [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Flake both ropes separately.


shoo


Nov 7, 2009, 6:04 AM
Post #3 of 16 (4687 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 22, 2006
Posts: 1501

Re: [nh_ranger] Multi Pitch Belay Management with TWO Seconds [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

nh_ranger wrote:
What is the most efficient way to manage leader tradeoffs when you are leading on double ropes with a second on the end of each rope? If one of the seconds is going to lead the next pitch, it seems like a rope management nightmare!


If you absolutely must climb in a group of three, one person does all the leading, period. Otherwise, you'll have to constantly have people tie and untie, reflake, and untangle.


Partner angry


Nov 7, 2009, 6:39 AM
Post #4 of 16 (4670 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 21, 2003
Posts: 8405

Re: [nh_ranger] Multi Pitch Belay Management with TWO Seconds [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

The best you could hope for would be to lead in blocks. One person gets 3 pitches, the next gets 3, then the next gets 3, etc.

For a really long multipitch you might consider bringing ascenders.

Example, first person leads, belays up second as usual but trails a static line. Once the second is up, he fixes it and the third begins jugging. The leader then puts the second on belay who proceeds to lead the next pitch.

The guy on jugs should be up before the other guy is done leading. You can then untie and trade jugs or switch it up however you see fit.

Or some other such nonsense. Without the need to haul a bunch of shit though, climbing in 3 is just slow.


flamer


Nov 7, 2009, 9:08 AM
Post #5 of 16 (4624 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 22, 2002
Posts: 2955

Re: [nh_ranger] Multi Pitch Belay Management with TWO Seconds [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

If done right it's not that big of a deal...but will always be slower.

Consider bvelaying one person up...they then take over the lead.
Put the second follower on belay using a grigri attached to the anchor. The leader starts up and the follower below climbs up belayed by the grigri.
If the pitch below is steep the follower can even maintain their own slack once they get far enough into the pitch.

Or belay both folowers up at the same time, keeping the ropes seprate(at least 1 auto locking belay device is nice) then one of the 2 followers leads the next pitch.

I've used both of these methods a bunch, neither is that tough to do. Speed will still come down to the skills of the climbers involved.

josh


AntinJ


Nov 7, 2009, 10:56 AM
Post #6 of 16 (4576 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 3, 2008
Posts: 475

Re: [nh_ranger] Multi Pitch Belay Management with TWO Seconds [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

NH Ranger,
For shorter routes (2-3 pitches) my climbing buddies and I usually have one leader per route. However if you really want to swing leads, stack the ropes separately as you bring up the seconds, without tangling them with belay anchors and untie/re-tie when everyone reaches the belay safely.


dugl33


Nov 7, 2009, 12:09 PM
Post #7 of 16 (4547 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 6, 2009
Posts: 740

Re: [nh_ranger] Multi Pitch Belay Management with TWO Seconds [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

As already mentioned, nice to lead in blocks, but if everyone consistently anchors independently of the ropes, its really not a big deal to untie and retie. Certainly not a nightmare.

Build anchor with cordellete or similar, and belay both seconds climbing at the same time with a guide atc directly off anchor, with about 15 feet of offset between them. Each climber only cleans gear they come to on their own line. [Ropes should be rated for climbing en fleche, as the frenchies call it. (meaning doubles, not twins, typically)]

Each second clips in with slings, PAS, or similar upon arrival.

New leader ties into other lead line, taken from the other follower. (already tied to one, right?) Old leader simply unties one of two ropes and passes to other next pitch follower.

Reflake if necessary and you're off. If everyone is tuned into what's going on, its quick. You have three people to organize and manage the ropes. New leader is probably organizing the rack, while someone else reflakes. Also, personally I think separate rope stacks are over-rated. Quicker and easier to reflake (into a single non-separated pile*) or just let ropes adjust on the feed out.

*edit add for clarity


(This post was edited by dugl33 on Nov 7, 2009, 3:09 PM)


patto


Nov 7, 2009, 12:35 PM
Post #8 of 16 (4524 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 14, 2005
Posts: 1451

Re: [angry] Multi Pitch Belay Management with TWO Seconds [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

angry wrote:
The best you could hope for would be to lead in blocks. One person gets 3 pitches, the next gets 3, then the next gets 3, etc.

For a really long multipitch you might consider bringing ascenders.

Example, first person leads, belays up second as usual but trails a static line. Once the second is up, he fixes it and the third begins jugging. The leader then puts the second on belay who proceeds to lead the next pitch.

The guy on jugs should be up before the other guy is done leading. You can then untie and trade jugs or switch it up however you see fit.

Or some other such nonsense. Without the need to haul a bunch of shit though, climbing in 3 is just slow.

WTF!? Ascenders!? Haven't you heard of autoblock belay devices?

I see it get repeated over and over on this site that climbing in 3s is slow. This just isn't the case and obviously is just repeated by the inexperienced. (inexperienced in 3s)

The other day myself and two others did a 9 pitch 5.10a in 4 hours. I'm not sure how fast you guys normally move but I would consider reasonably fast.

Both followers get belayed at the same time with an autoblock. It adds maybe 5 minutes to each pitch at the most.


(This post was edited by patto on Nov 7, 2009, 12:36 PM)


marc801


Nov 7, 2009, 12:50 PM
Post #9 of 16 (4516 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 1, 2005
Posts: 2764

Re: [patto] Multi Pitch Belay Management with TWO Seconds [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

patto wrote:
I see it get repeated over and over on this site that climbing in 3s is slow. This just isn't the case and obviously is just repeated by the inexperienced. (inexperienced in 3s)
My regular partners and I, climbing in a party of 3 with two single ropes, each person climbing individually, regularly climbed routes faster than many parties of 2. Quite simply, we had our system dialed in, swung leads, managed ropes appropriately, and kept our belay change-overs to under 2 minutes. We also never racked anything on our harness other than perhaps a biner or two of larger cams. Everything was on gear slings. This has a huge impact on minimizing change-over time at belays.


Partner rgold


Nov 7, 2009, 1:51 PM
Post #10 of 16 (4487 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 3, 2002
Posts: 1801

Re: [marc801] Multi Pitch Belay Management with TWO Seconds [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

Another vote for not a big deal, certainly not a nightmare, only marginally slower than two. Doug133 has already said what to do.

Leading in blocks isn't necessarily the best idea and may well be slightly slower because the ropes will have to be reflaked. If they've been piled or flaked right to begin with and a second takes over the lead, then no rearranging will be necessary.

Trying to create separate rope piles while belaying, or sorting the rope into two piles later is a waste of time. The two ropes will feed fine out of a single pile.

The one thing that I've found helpful, even though everyone sneers at it (until they've tried it) is using Metolius rope hooks for flaking the ropes. It is much better than lap coils over the tie-in, eliminating the need (or at least the desirability) of arranging loops in descending size order. I find it better to actually throw ordinary coils on the hook rather than alternating lap coils. You then simply lift each coil off the hook when needed, keeping fifteen feet or so of rope hanging.


dugl33


Nov 7, 2009, 2:44 PM
Post #11 of 16 (4464 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 6, 2009
Posts: 740

Re: [rgold] Multi Pitch Belay Management with TWO Seconds [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

rgold wrote:
Leading in blocks isn't necessarily the best idea and may well be slightly slower because the ropes will have to be reflaked. If they've been piled or flaked right to begin with and a second takes over the lead, then no rearranging will be necessary.

True. I guess when I really think about it, the only time blocking is really required is when there is only one leader. Otherwise, makes no big diff either way. Nice when its cold though, less time at the belay, smaller temp swings from climbing to sitting around.

Generally, I'm only reflaking if the ropes are clustering for some reason, even when leading in blocks. Usually with blocks, I'll do the big rope stack pancake flip if at a ledge, carefully picking up the rope pile and flipping it over. With rope stacked in a sling, you can usually just roll the whole stack to put the lead end back on top. Metolious rope hook would work great for this. If in doubt, I'll reflake -- more paranoid about it if the next pitch is difficult or run-out.


johnwesely


Nov 7, 2009, 3:08 PM
Post #12 of 16 (4448 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 12, 2006
Posts: 5343

Re: [nh_ranger] Multi Pitch Belay Management with TWO Seconds [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (3 ratings)  
Can't Post

cut the rope on one of your seconds. Problem solved.


dugl33


Nov 7, 2009, 3:15 PM
Post #13 of 16 (4441 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 6, 2009
Posts: 740

Re: [johnwesely] Multi Pitch Belay Management with TWO Seconds [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (2 ratings)  
Can't Post

johnwesely wrote:
cut the rope on one of your seconds. Problem solved.

Or two leaders, gladiator style. First to the belay wins. No rules. Pirate Take slow leader off belay and start seconding.


jkd159


Nov 7, 2009, 3:49 PM
Post #14 of 16 (4414 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 29, 2007
Posts: 64

Re: [rgold] Multi Pitch Belay Management with TWO Seconds [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

+1 on Dugl33 and RG's responses.

I've done this a ton. Leading in blocks is preferred, but retying takes very little time. Only two rope ends need to be retied. Be sure you are anchored with something other than the rope when retying.

I will say that I like to reflake the rope each pitch. The time it takes is much less than the time to fix a rope cluster caused by trying to flip two piles. Two seconds coming up at a different rate means that you have to create two separate stacks when they are coming up, but you can flake back into a single stack before the leader starts up the next pitch. Reflaking can be the job of whomever isn't busy swapping gear or preparing to belay. It can take almost no extra time.


josiahdood


Nov 30, 2009, 1:51 AM
Post #15 of 16 (3996 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 3, 2005
Posts: 49

Re: [nh_ranger] Multi Pitch Belay Management with TWO Seconds [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

As far as rope management goes, if you are belaying at ledge, and using twin/half ropes, belay both 2nd's up at the same time and feed the rope into a (relatively) neat pile. When they get up to the belay, simply take the pile, and turn it over - now you're ready to lead the next pitch. It takes a little practice, but it is faster than hell and works.


qtm


Nov 30, 2009, 1:11 PM
Post #16 of 16 (3903 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 8, 2004
Posts: 548

Re: [josiahdood] Multi Pitch Belay Management with TWO Seconds [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

josiahdood wrote:
As far as rope management goes, if you are belaying at ledge, and using twin/half ropes, belay both 2nd's up at the same time and feed the rope into a (relatively) neat pile. When they get up to the belay, simply take the pile, and turn it over - now you're ready to lead the next pitch. It takes a little practice, but it is faster than hell and works.

The OP asked about swapping leads with a 2nd, not doing block leads. To swap leads, you wouldn't flip the pile(s) over. Just move the rope from the 3rd to the new leader (ensuring the 3rd is on the anchor of course), and move your end of the same rope to the 3rd.

While it's nice to keep the ropes neat, you also have a spare set of hands at the belay... if there's enough room on the ledge to pile up the rope, there's enough room for the 3rd to pull rope out the piles and remove any tangles.

I like stacking the rope over the edge rather than in piles on the ground. Long to short loops for swapping leads, shorter to longer for block leads. Just keeps the rope out of the way of other parties who are rapping through or sharing a belay ledge.


Forums : Climbing Disciplines : Trad Climbing

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook