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jktinst


Sep 5, 2010, 4:47 PM
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When to place the Jesus nut
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The partner I have found for my latest re-start of trad climbing mentioned that he was taught by Ronald Whitehead that placing the Jesus nut (JN) above the belay should be considered part of setting up the belay (this über-instructor is the President and Training Director of ENEQ, Québec’s school and association of climbing instructors). Up to then I thought of the JN as the first pro that the leader must place as soon as possible after leaving the belay stance. Only later did I realize that there is more to this recommendation than being helpful to your partner.

If the JN is placed by the leader of the previous pitch, the placement could be done in the safest part of the pitch: at the end, with the most rope and pros to protect a potential fall, and just above the belay stance where, in theory, there should be good protection options. When I compare this with the alternative of letting the leader of the next pitch (who may be the same person, of course) place and clip the JN while potentially being in a FF2 situation, just off the belay stance, I started to really like the idea. Going back to my Long&Gaines book and searching the forums, I confirmed that all the references to the JN describe it as the first placement of the next pitch, as opposed to the last placement of the ongoing pitch. Did I miss some key references ?

There are some minor downsides to this method. At the end of the pitch you have the least choice of pros to build your SRENE belay and place the additional JN. Obviously this does not stop anyone from building the best belay possible and the same could apply to the JN. When swapping leads (and considering how crucial the JN is) some leaders may also not like clipping a JN that they did not place themselves but, again, you could say the same of the entire belay. In all these situations, the leader can always pick another pro from his/her replenished rack to double-up or replace a less-than-perfect Jesus nut or swap a pro that might be needed to protect the next pitch.

Although the leader of the ongoing pitch could wait until the belay is fully constructed before placing the JN for the next pitch, the following sequence seems to take the best possible advantage of the end-of-pitch safety :

1. place & clip one or two pros of the belay as though they were runners and scope out where the remaining belay pro(s) should go
2. climb a step or two further up (or off to the side, depending on where the next pitch goes) and place the Jesus nut a bit above/beyond the furthest pro of the belay without clipping it (unless it can be de-clipped from the belay stance)
3. downclimb back to the stance & clip yr cow's tail into the belay pro(s)
4. finish installing the new belay, etc.

What do you think?

Stephane

(This post was edited by jktinst on Sep 5, 2010, 7:57 PM)


billl7


Sep 5, 2010, 5:36 PM
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Re: [jktinst] When to place the Jesus nut [In reply to]
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The next lead would go ...

a) climb up to the preplaced JN and draw;
b) clip it;
c) lead on.

One can still get a FF2 during 'a' and, if clip is blown, during 'b'.

The main benefit here being if the placement is difficult meaning pre-placement makes the difference between the leader of the next pitch clipping just in time versus falling while placing pro. I can't think of cases where preplacement seemed warranted but then maybe that's because I have not given this a lot of thought - not sure.

With modern belay devices, gloves, and a decent and well-arranged belay anchor, I have not been overly concerned about a fall factor 2. There may be special cases but it doesn't seem to me something that would become a normal practice (but maybe in the "bag of tricks").

Bill L


bill413


Sep 5, 2010, 5:51 PM
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Re: [jktinst] When to place the Jesus nut [In reply to]
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jktinst wrote:
When swapping leads (and considering how crucial the JN is) some leaders may also not like clipping a JN that they did not place themselves but, again, you could say the same of the entire belay.
Ah, but there is redundancy in the belay.

In reply to:
In all these situations, the leader can always pick another pro from his/her replenished rack to double-up or replace a less-than-perfect Jesus nut or swap a pro that might be needed to protect the next pitch.
There is no reason to place a "less than perfect" piece of pro. If you are going to place it, it had better be bomber. If it won't be, make the leader make their own choice (with a full rack to use).

Also, remember that protection of a climb is not any given piece of pro; it is a protection system. There will be interaction between placements, and sometimes a leader will choose a placement based on where they are going or where the next one will be, not on the local optimum.


In you're sequence, you're right that you need to place the JN using the anchors as running anchors, or you defeat the whole point of placing this nut at the end of the pitch, instead of having the leader place it at the start of the next.


From a Fall Factor viewpoint, this makes sense. From a speed viewpoint, it would slow the team down.
Just make sure you & your partner both know what's going on.


(This post was edited by bill413 on Sep 5, 2010, 5:57 PM)


moose_droppings


Sep 5, 2010, 7:53 PM
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Re: [bill413] When to place the Jesus nut [In reply to]
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bill413 wrote:

From a Fall Factor viewpoint, this makes sense. From a speed viewpoint, it would slow the team down.
Just make sure you & your partner both know what's going on.

This sums up your answer in a nutshell.

But I'm afraid it's going to be 4 pages long anyway.


joeforte


Sep 5, 2010, 8:25 PM
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Re: [billl7] When to place the Jesus nut [In reply to]
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billl7 wrote:
The next lead would go ...

a) climb up to the preplaced JN and draw;
b) clip it;
c) lead on.

One can still get a FF2 during 'a' and, if clip is blown, during 'b'.

The main benefit here being if the placement is difficult meaning pre-placement makes the difference between the leader of the next pitch clipping just in time versus falling while placing pro. I can't think of cases where preplacement seemed warranted but then maybe that's because I have not given this a lot of thought - not sure.

With modern belay devices, gloves, and a decent and well-arranged belay anchor, I have not been overly concerned about a fall factor 2. There may be special cases but it doesn't seem to me something that would become a normal practice (but maybe in the "bag of tricks").

Bill L

Whenever I have done this, I've clipped the rope into the nut, and then downclimbed back to the belay. This way it is pre-clipped for the next pitch, and there is no chance for a factor 2. This cannot be done if the pitch is a true rope stretcher, but I find it is very uncommon for me to use all 200 feet of rope in a pitch. I have used this trick in situations where the climbing is hard right off of the belay, and a fall before getting in pro would be nasty.


norushnomore


Sep 6, 2010, 1:37 AM
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Re: [bill413] When to place the Jesus nut [In reply to]
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bill413 wrote:
There is no reason to place a "less than perfect" piece of pro. If you are going to place it, it had better be bomber. If it won't be, make the leader make their own choice (with a full rack to use).
...

Not quite true. There was a good discussion on the subject not that long ago.

Unlike previously believed rope does recover much quicker after gear pulls. In other words, you will slow down and hit your next piece with lesser force.

And you are more likely to be oriented properly as well. Bottom line (IMHO) marginal gear is better than no gear.

There are a couple of zipper videos from Indian Creek to support this. A number of cams pull out, guy decks but walks away


patto


Sep 6, 2010, 1:41 AM
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Re: [jktinst] When to place the Jesus nut [In reply to]
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Forget Jesus Nuts.

If there is any significant chance of falling onto the belay then the belayer should hang several meter below the anchor. The anchor should be clipped as the first piece.

In this way a FF2 fall is impossible.


joeforte


Sep 6, 2010, 5:28 AM
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Re: [norushnomore] When to place the Jesus nut [In reply to]
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norushnomore wrote:
bill413 wrote:
There is no reason to place a "less than perfect" piece of pro. If you are going to place it, it had better be bomber. If it won't be, make the leader make their own choice (with a full rack to use).
...

Not quite true. There was a good discussion on the subject not that long ago.

Unlike previously believed rope does recover much quicker after gear pulls. In other words, you will slow down and hit your next piece with lesser force.

And you are more likely to be oriented properly as well. Bottom line (IMHO) marginal gear is better than no gear.

There are a couple of zipper videos from Indian Creek to support this. A number of cams pull out, guy decks but walks away

I was under the impression that a "zipper" was when the gear rips from the bottom up, due to the lack of an upward pull piece, and hence only the top piece ever sees weight.


jktinst


Sep 6, 2010, 7:20 AM
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Re: [bill413] When to place the Jesus nut [In reply to]
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bill413 wrote:
Ah, but there is redundancy in the belay.
....
There is no reason to place a "less than perfect" piece of pro. If you are going to place it, it had better be bomber. If it won't be, make the leader make their own choice (with a full rack to use).

The redundancy in the belay is there because it is needed, so if I come up to the belay and see that two of the pros are bomber and the 3rd one is not because of the choice of gear that was available to my partner, I will definitely swap it for a bomber one.

Having said that, in my world, pros are not neatly divided into "bomber" and "less-than-perfect" (ie less than acceptable). I may place a JN with available gear that will be secure enough but that could still be replaced or doubled-up using a better pro to make a "slightly more perfect" JN. The next leader may choose to do that if the moves above the JN are hard or choose not to if they are easy and additional good pro can be placed a bit further up.

Similarly, placing the JN at the end of the pitch is not a case of "thou shalt" or "thou shalt not". If the beginning of the next pitch has good pro options but I don't have the best gear for it, whether I place a JN anyway will not only depend on how "less-than-perfect" the pro will be but also on the difficulty of the starting moves. If they are easy, I may go for the "sorry mate, you're on your own for the JN" option. If it starts really hard, I will probably try and place the best JN I can, no matter what, even if that piece might have made a 3rd bomber pro on the belay. I will probably also clip that JN to protect my downclimb and take up the slack through it so it stays clipped for my partner's lead.

Stephane

(This post was edited by jktinst on Sep 6, 2010, 4:31 PM)


billl7


Sep 6, 2010, 7:43 AM
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Re: [joeforte] When to place the Jesus nut [In reply to]
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joeforte wrote:
I was under the impression that a "zipper" was when the gear rips from the bottom up, due to the lack of an upward pull piece, and hence only the top piece ever sees weight.
That is one scenario, the one that typically first comes to mind.

More generally, it can happen anywhere that a piece pulls and the piece above AND/OR below are/is not oriented for the new direction of pull. Where a zipper starts depends on an ill-chosen placement and the remaining 3-D geometry of the rigging system you have set up.

Bill L


billl7


Sep 6, 2010, 7:57 AM
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Re: [joeforte] When to place the Jesus nut [In reply to]
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joeforte wrote:
billl7 wrote:
The next lead would go ...

a) climb up to the preplaced JN and draw;
b) clip it;
c) lead on.

One can still get a FF2 during 'a' and, if clip is blown, during 'b'.

The main benefit here being if the placement is difficult meaning pre-placement makes the difference between the leader of the next pitch clipping just in time versus falling while placing pro. I can't think of cases where preplacement seemed warranted but then maybe that's because I have not given this a lot of thought - not sure.

With modern belay devices, gloves, and a decent and well-arranged belay anchor, I have not been overly concerned about a fall factor 2. There may be special cases but it doesn't seem to me something that would become a normal practice (but maybe in the "bag of tricks").

Bill L

Whenever I have done this, I've clipped the rope into the nut, and then downclimbed back to the belay. This way it is pre-clipped for the next pitch, and there is no chance for a factor 2. This cannot be done if the pitch is a true rope stretcher, but I find it is very uncommon for me to use all 200 feet of rope in a pitch. I have used this trick in situations where the climbing is hard right off of the belay, and a fall before getting in pro would be nasty.

Just be sure to always belay in a way that if the out-of-sight second falls, the JN piece blows, you are ready to handle the ~180 degree change in direction of pull. I know - the JN is supposed to hold a leader fall.

It's a crap shoot whether the belayer will react quickly enough with a tube-style belay device if the JN fails, whether by fall of a second or by fall of a leader. With a leader fall, at least it's likely you will literally see the fall unfold.


uni_jim


Sep 6, 2010, 9:42 AM
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Re: [billl7] When to place the Jesus nut [In reply to]
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the time to place the jesus nut is BEFORE you whip on the belay.


sspssp


Sep 6, 2010, 11:40 AM
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Re: [jktinst] When to place the Jesus nut [In reply to]
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jktinst wrote:
If the JN is placed by the leader of the previous pitch, the placement could be done in the safest part of the pitch: at the end, with the most rope and pros to protect a potential fall, and just above the belay stance where

I really got to take an exception to this attitude. Placing the JN at the end of the pitch is perhaps safest if the fall is very clean and the anchor is suspect.

On a blocky climb, placing the JN at the end of the pitch means that the fall length will be at a maximum, because of slack and rope stretch. This maximises the chance of hitting a ledge, resulting in a broken ankle or worse.

Some routes, such as sketchy (and hopefully easy) alpine routes might be an exception, but otherwise your anchor should be able to handle a FF2 without a problem. Not that anyone should be looking to put that to the test. But this attitude that a longer, softer fall is inherently better than coming to a quick stop, before you potentially hit something, drives me crazy. And the part that drives me craziest is that rope makers seem to be responding to this attitude by making the ropes stretchier and stretchier. I can always add a screamer to a suspect piece. I can't suddenly make my rope less stretchy to keep from landing on that ledge...

Cheers.


(This post was edited by sspssp on Sep 6, 2010, 11:45 AM)


davidnn5


Sep 6, 2010, 4:41 PM
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Re: [sspssp] When to place the Jesus nut [In reply to]
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sspssp wrote:
On a blocky climb, placing the JN at the end of the pitch means that the fall length will be at a maximum, because of slack and rope stretch. This maximises the chance of hitting a ledge, resulting in a broken ankle or worse.

Did you really mean to use the word "maximum"?

The maximum fall potential is generally found at the early parts of the route, unless you didn't place any protection at all, in which case never mind, Dan.

As for 'slack and rope stretch' - what? Once a higher protection piece is placed, regardless of whether the first climber is downclimbing or the second is starting on the next pitch, they are on top rope.

In fact, re-reading your post I can't make any sense from it at all!


bill413


Sep 7, 2010, 5:32 AM
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davidnn5 wrote:
sspssp wrote:
On a blocky climb, placing the JN at the end of the pitch means that the fall length will be at a maximum, because of slack and rope stretch. This maximises the chance of hitting a ledge, resulting in a broken ankle or worse.

Did you really mean to use the word "maximum"?

The maximum fall potential is generally found at the early parts of the route, unless you didn't place any protection at all, in which case never mind, Dan.

As for 'slack and rope stretch' - what? Once a higher protection piece is placed, regardless of whether the first climber is downclimbing or the second is starting on the next pitch, they are on top rope.

In fact, re-reading your post I can't make any sense from it at all!

Yes, he did mean to use the word "maximum." He was referring to fall length, which is quite different from fall factor. The latter seems to be what you refer to as fall potential.

And, he is talking about the fall prior to placing the high piece, not the downclimbing aspect.


joeforte


Sep 7, 2010, 6:46 AM
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Re: [billl7] When to place the Jesus nut [In reply to]
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billl7 wrote:
joeforte wrote:
billl7 wrote:
The next lead would go ...

a) climb up to the preplaced JN and draw;
b) clip it;
c) lead on.

One can still get a FF2 during 'a' and, if clip is blown, during 'b'.

The main benefit here being if the placement is difficult meaning pre-placement makes the difference between the leader of the next pitch clipping just in time versus falling while placing pro. I can't think of cases where preplacement seemed warranted but then maybe that's because I have not given this a lot of thought - not sure.

With modern belay devices, gloves, and a decent and well-arranged belay anchor, I have not been overly concerned about a fall factor 2. There may be special cases but it doesn't seem to me something that would become a normal practice (but maybe in the "bag of tricks").

Bill L

Whenever I have done this, I've clipped the rope into the nut, and then downclimbed back to the belay. This way it is pre-clipped for the next pitch, and there is no chance for a factor 2. This cannot be done if the pitch is a true rope stretcher, but I find it is very uncommon for me to use all 200 feet of rope in a pitch. I have used this trick in situations where the climbing is hard right off of the belay, and a fall before getting in pro would be nasty.

Just be sure to always belay in a way that if the out-of-sight second falls, the JN piece blows, you are ready to handle the ~180 degree change in direction of pull. I know - the JN is supposed to hold a leader fall.

It's a crap shoot whether the belayer will react quickly enough with a tube-style belay device if the JN fails, whether by fall of a second or by fall of a leader. With a leader fall, at least it's likely you will literally see the fall unfold.

Ah, you may have misunderstood my methods. I climb up and place the jesus nut, clip it, downclimb, but then belay off of the anchor with an autoblocking device. I rarely belay a second off of the harness. The jesus nut is not used in the belay of the second, but is pre-clipped for the start of the next pitch.


billl7


Sep 7, 2010, 7:02 AM
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Re: [joeforte] When to place the Jesus nut [In reply to]
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joeforte wrote:
billl7 wrote:
joeforte wrote:
billl7 wrote:
The next lead would go ...

a) climb up to the preplaced JN and draw;
b) clip it;
c) lead on.

One can still get a FF2 during 'a' and, if clip is blown, during 'b'.

The main benefit here being if the placement is difficult meaning pre-placement makes the difference between the leader of the next pitch clipping just in time versus falling while placing pro. I can't think of cases where preplacement seemed warranted but then maybe that's because I have not given this a lot of thought - not sure.

With modern belay devices, gloves, and a decent and well-arranged belay anchor, I have not been overly concerned about a fall factor 2. There may be special cases but it doesn't seem to me something that would become a normal practice (but maybe in the "bag of tricks").

Bill L

Whenever I have done this, I've clipped the rope into the nut, and then downclimbed back to the belay. This way it is pre-clipped for the next pitch, and there is no chance for a factor 2. This cannot be done if the pitch is a true rope stretcher, but I find it is very uncommon for me to use all 200 feet of rope in a pitch. I have used this trick in situations where the climbing is hard right off of the belay, and a fall before getting in pro would be nasty.

Just be sure to always belay in a way that if the out-of-sight second falls, the JN piece blows, you are ready to handle the ~180 degree change in direction of pull. I know - the JN is supposed to hold a leader fall.

It's a crap shoot whether the belayer will react quickly enough with a tube-style belay device if the JN fails, whether by fall of a second or by fall of a leader. With a leader fall, at least it's likely you will literally see the fall unfold.

Ah, you may have misunderstood my methods. I climb up and place the jesus nut, clip it, downclimb, but then belay off of the anchor with an autoblocking device. I rarely belay a second off of the harness. The jesus nut is not used in the belay of the second, but is pre-clipped for the start of the next pitch.
Then it seems like this would be a pain in the butt if swapping leads. But maybe not so much of a pain if only one person is leading ... assuming one can easily grab the strand going from the JN directly down to the second.


bearbreeder


Sep 7, 2010, 9:35 AM
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Re: [jktinst] When to place the Jesus nut [In reply to]
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i just clip the first piece of the anchor then place a piece as soon as feasible

keep it simple and stupid

lol


jktinst


Sep 7, 2010, 10:44 AM
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Re: [bearbreeder] When to place the Jesus nut [In reply to]
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I probably should have indicated that I was definitely not looking to re-start the debate on whether to clip one of the belay’s pros as the JN. This has been debated extensively in another thread. So a more precise question should have been : if you’re going to place a separate JN, as opposed to clipping the belay, what do you think of placing it as part of setting up the belay ?


joeforte


Sep 7, 2010, 7:08 PM
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Re: [billl7] When to place the Jesus nut [In reply to]
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billl7 wrote:
joeforte wrote:
billl7 wrote:
joeforte wrote:
billl7 wrote:
The next lead would go ...

a) climb up to the preplaced JN and draw;
b) clip it;
c) lead on.

One can still get a FF2 during 'a' and, if clip is blown, during 'b'.

The main benefit here being if the placement is difficult meaning pre-placement makes the difference between the leader of the next pitch clipping just in time versus falling while placing pro. I can't think of cases where preplacement seemed warranted but then maybe that's because I have not given this a lot of thought - not sure.

With modern belay devices, gloves, and a decent and well-arranged belay anchor, I have not been overly concerned about a fall factor 2. There may be special cases but it doesn't seem to me something that would become a normal practice (but maybe in the "bag of tricks").

Bill L

Whenever I have done this, I've clipped the rope into the nut, and then downclimbed back to the belay. This way it is pre-clipped for the next pitch, and there is no chance for a factor 2. This cannot be done if the pitch is a true rope stretcher, but I find it is very uncommon for me to use all 200 feet of rope in a pitch. I have used this trick in situations where the climbing is hard right off of the belay, and a fall before getting in pro would be nasty.

Just be sure to always belay in a way that if the out-of-sight second falls, the JN piece blows, you are ready to handle the ~180 degree change in direction of pull. I know - the JN is supposed to hold a leader fall.

It's a crap shoot whether the belayer will react quickly enough with a tube-style belay device if the JN fails, whether by fall of a second or by fall of a leader. With a leader fall, at least it's likely you will literally see the fall unfold.

Ah, you may have misunderstood my methods. I climb up and place the jesus nut, clip it, downclimb, but then belay off of the anchor with an autoblocking device. I rarely belay a second off of the harness. The jesus nut is not used in the belay of the second, but is pre-clipped for the start of the next pitch.
Then it seems like this would be a pain in the butt if swapping leads. But maybe not so much of a pain if only one person is leading ... assuming one can easily grab the strand going from the JN directly down to the second.

I still think you might be confused. This works just as well, if not better when swapping leads. You just have to pull the rope through the JN when swapping to get to the new leader.


billl7


Sep 7, 2010, 8:52 PM
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Re: [joeforte] When to place the Jesus nut [In reply to]
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joeforte wrote:
You just have to pull the rope through the JN when swapping to get to the new leader.
... essentially restacking the rope each time if swapping leads.

It's not a big deal. Efficiency is important to me for the climbing I like to do. But I should say in the same breath, I was once bitten pretty hard in the name of trying to be efficient.

Cheers!
Bill L


jktinst


Sep 8, 2010, 7:04 AM
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Re: [billl7] When to place the Jesus nut [In reply to]
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billl7 wrote:
joeforte wrote:
You just have to pull the rope through the JN when swapping to get to the new leader.
... essentially restacking the rope each time if swapping leads.

It's not a big deal. Efficiency is important to me for the climbing I like to do. But I should say in the same breath, I was once bitten pretty hard in the name of trying to be efficient.

Cheers!
Bill L

That’s what I meant by « pulling the slack through the JN » at the end of my second post. Since I would not want to redirect the second’s rope through the JN either, I would belay it before the JN and end up having to re-stack it after he gets on-belay (unless I’ve somehow managed to do it one-handed during the pro clean-up pauses) , which is why I thought I might do this while swapping leads only if the next moves are really hard right off the belay.

Stephane

(This post was edited by jktinst on Sep 23, 2010, 8:06 AM)


bearbreeder


Sep 8, 2010, 7:23 AM
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Re: [jktinst] When to place the Jesus nut [In reply to]
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My view is that if its easy enough for your partner to climb and downclimb it at the end of a pitch you shouldnt worry about it

if its much harder then you prob dont want to fall at the end of a lead on it considering that there is likely a belay ledge or tree below u


Partner xtrmecat


Sep 8, 2010, 8:29 AM
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Re: [bearbreeder] When to place the Jesus nut [In reply to]
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  It sure seems to waste a buttload of time and energy climbing higher than the pitch, placing the "perfect piece", downclimbing and anchoring to the anchor. Not being able to tie in with the rope without restacking it while belaying the second, but after they arrive, without a major cluster in rope management.

Especially when a simple system has existed for eons, has been widely accepted,taught, and used, successfully too. Second arrives, grabs rack and reracks and scopes start of his pitch, clips the anchor(or a piece of the anchor) on the way out of the belay to place the first piece he has scoped out while reracking(making a wise decision as to what he will use and preserve for further up the pitch), clips it and goes. Some times so fast and clean there is no need to take him off belay and tie in to the anchor. Way simple, done by millions, no rope management fiasco, efficient, clean, works. Why do we want to mess with this again?

Burly Bob


jipstyle


Sep 8, 2010, 10:43 AM
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Re: [xtrmecat] When to place the Jesus nut [In reply to]
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There is a four-page discussion on the merits of clipping your anchor.

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