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Rem_700


Feb 22, 2012, 6:18 AM
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Opinion on TR Self Belay w/ Petzl Shunt
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I'm posting here to get opinions on my current solo TR setup, as I've poured over the internets & haven't managed to find anyone that seems to be doing the same thing.

So, my setup/method is;

1) Obviously, at the top, I setup 2 or 3 anchor points on either bolted anchors, trees, or immovable boulders/rocks which lead to a equalised master point all tied from dynamic rope.

2) Master point has two locking biners, gates opposed which I then attach to another dynamic rope with two alpine butterflys tied in the middle--essentially making two independent ropes hanging down the rock face.

3) I have a Petzl Shunt attached to my harness via a short sling [~30cm / 12"] fed through my leg & waist loops. The purpose of the sling is to allow some freedom from the rope, and aids in attaching a descender.

4) If I decide to descend at any point during the climb, I can simply attach a ATC directly to the belay loop & on the trailing[slack] rope below the Shunt. This way, I don't need to disconnect the Shunt. I can simply load the ATC, grab hold of the Shunt & start my decent--with the Shunt as protection.


That basically sums up the setup. I'm comfortable that I have everything setup with a redundancy--except the problem comes in at ascending with the Shunt. I'm relying on the Shunt 100%. I don't feel as though it will fail me, but I like to be safe rather than broken.

So this leads me to your input;

1) Can you see anything in my setup that sounds problematic(ie. pair of alpine butterflys sounds dodgy -or- the sling through leg/waist loop is bad)

2) Any advice for increasing protection in the ascending area?


Cheers for the input.


shockabuku


Feb 22, 2012, 7:36 AM
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Re: [Rem_700] Opinion on TR Self Belay w/ Petzl Shunt [In reply to]
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Rem_700 wrote:
I'm posting here to get opinions on my current solo TR setup, as I've poured over the internets & haven't managed to find anyone that seems to be doing the same thing.

So, my setup/method is;

1) Obviously, at the top, I setup 2 or 3 anchor points on either bolted anchors, trees, or immovable boulders/rocks which lead to a equalised master point all tied from dynamic rope.

2) Master point has two locking biners, gates opposed which I then attach to another dynamic rope with two alpine butterflys tied in the middle--essentially making two independent ropes hanging down the rock face.

3) I have a Petzl Shunt attached to my harness via a short sling [~30cm / 12"] fed through my leg & waist loops. The purpose of the sling is to allow some freedom from the rope, and aids in attaching a descender.

4) If I decide to descend at any point during the climb, I can simply attach a ATC directly to the belay loop & on the trailing[slack] rope below the Shunt. This way, I don't need to disconnect the Shunt. I can simply load the ATC, grab hold of the Shunt & start my decent--with the Shunt as protection.


That basically sums up the setup. I'm comfortable that I have everything setup with a redundancy--except the problem comes in at ascending with the Shunt. I'm relying on the Shunt 100%. I don't feel as though it will fail me, but I like to be safe rather than broken.

So this leads me to your input;

1) Can you see anything in my setup that sounds problematic(ie. pair of alpine butterflys sounds dodgy -or- the sling through leg/waist loop is bad)

2) Any advice for increasing protection in the ascending area?


Cheers for the input.

Personally I don't like the Shunt for TR solo. I have one, but I don't use it much anymore and I never use it for TR solo. It concerns me that the body is made out of an aluminum shell with a small steel reinforcement band and that it might pry open way too easily and pull the rope out. You shouldn't experience forces like that on a TR, but I think there are better alternatives. My personal preference is the Petzl Microcender. I also use back up knots below me periodically which I don't think the Shunt would hold up to very well in the event that it fails to grab.

I don't like putting my device on a sling and if I do I keep it as short as possbile. Any extra length between you and the device means slightly longer falls as well as the tendency for it to hang up on edges/overhangs behind you and complicate your climbing. If you keep it close to your harness it's easier to manipulate it without having to use your hands. Inevitably I find that if there's going to be a problem, it happens during the crux when I can least afford to let go and manipulate my device.

Using a dynamic rope to equalize your powerpoint allows for unequal stretch in different legs and then unequal loading of your anchor points. Probably not a big deal on a TR solo with solid anchors but could be improved.

Using two alpine butterflys for the anchor seems a little overkill but I suppose I don't see anything wrong with it. I usually use either a bowline on a bight or figure eight on a bight.


summerprophet


Feb 22, 2012, 10:17 AM
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Re: [Rem_700] Opinion on TR Self Belay w/ Petzl Shunt [In reply to]
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In regards to your setup:

1) setup sounds fine. Static ropes would be better and last longer,, but I understand using what you have.

2) The whole masterpoint thing is somwhat irrelevant if you hang a single line off the face. As you do not need the lines to move with the climber, rather you move up the rope, you can elimenate a lot of the typical masterpoint stuff.

3)The whole short sling thing has been proven time and time again to be problematic. While short, 30 cms is enough length to leave the device trapped against your body, of hitting you in the face, or trapping your hair. A FAR better option is to keep it directly off yoru belay loop, or (better) to keep it trapped between a waist and a chest harness.

4)sounds fine

As far as the input goes, I have detailled most of it above. Additionally, adding a prussik above the shunt would give you a backup, and just gets pushed along by the shunt. I used a similar setup with an old rock exotica rescuecender.... before graduating to a gri-gri.

Best of luck, and triple check everything, the primary danger of soloing, (EVEN ON TOPROPE) is the lack of a second person to point out your bonehead moves.


(This post was edited by summerprophet on Feb 22, 2012, 11:07 AM)


caughtinside


Feb 22, 2012, 10:56 AM
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Re: [summerprophet] Opinion on TR Self Belay w/ Petzl Shunt [In reply to]
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No backup on the primary device is a cause for concern. I'd be tempted to trail anything, like a ropeman or even an ascender.

But it will likely work fine. I know guys that don't use a backup on the minitrax. At the end of hte day there are a thousand ways to do it. Hell, you can tr solo with a clove hitch if you want to. It sucks, but it can be done.


JimTitt


Feb 22, 2012, 10:57 AM
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Re: [Rem_700] Opinion on TR Self Belay w/ Petzl Shunt [In reply to]
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My brother and I have used Shunts since they first came out. Get rid of the extending sling. Use a thin (1/8th") bungee cord sling over your neck and one shoulder and tied through the clip-in eye on the Shunt to keep it upright and under light tension.
If you´ve enough rope then run it as two strands and use a Grigri or similar on the other as a back-up and to descend.

You won´t break a Shunt, I´ve had them on the test rig for various other reasons and the figures Petzl give are reliable.

Mini-Traxions are the American choice, Shunts the Euro choice and who knows why, we think Baseball is crap as well!

Jim


bearbreeder


Feb 22, 2012, 1:35 PM
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Re: [Rem_700] Opinion on TR Self Belay w/ Petzl Shunt [In reply to]
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http://www.petzl.com/...limbing/introduction


Rem_700


Feb 22, 2012, 3:18 PM
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Re: [bearbreeder] Opinion on TR Self Belay w/ Petzl Shunt [In reply to]
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Thanks for the prompt replies.


shockabuku;

I know the Shunt is disliked by many people, and petzl don't recommend it for self belay(though I think they did at some time). What I like is that it will take 2 ropes & has no teeth to destroy ropes.

Thanks for the input on dynamic rope for the anchoring--I'll have to get some static to setup anchors.

I don't like the idea of a bowline or figure 8 on a bight because you will have two lengths of rope trailing from the knot, but you only have 1 loop to rely on attaching to your anchor system.


summerprophet;

I found myself having to use the sling so I could access the trailing rope to attach the ATC for a safe change over the descending. With only using the Shunt & the ATC, I couldn't find a way to reverse direction without the use of a longish prussik and long process in the middle of which I would only be attached to the prussik.

I like the idea of the prussik above the Shunt, that seems a simple solution to the lack of a backup there. Am I correct in assuming you would tie the prussik around both ropes entering the Shunt?


caughtinside;

I had not seen the ropeman before, I also like this option as a trailing backup for the Shunt.


JimTitt;

Bungee cord, good idea. But if I get rid of the short sling, where does the Shunt attach to, a chest harness?

I agree, I can't see the Shunt breaking in a hurry. I've seen some videos of Shunt testing with rescue situations 260Kg / 350lb and it took a while to stop but didn't fail. In the same test, some toothy ascenders just shredded the rope with that weight.


bearbreeder;

I have seen snippets of this link previously. I see it dis-approves of a Shunt for self belay, but in blatant ignorance of that point--the rest of the page has some good information. Some of which is similarly mentioned above.


summerprophet


Feb 22, 2012, 3:34 PM
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Re: [Rem_700] Opinion on TR Self Belay w/ Petzl Shunt [In reply to]
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You have to excuse me as I am working from memory here, but I believe that the Shunt is a Cam style device correct?

All the testing Yates did showed that Cam style deviced pinched the rope to a failure point whereas toothed accenders shredded the sheath.

The point being; with cam style devices, make sure you have your backup ABOVE the device, rather than below. I.E. pushing a prussik, rather than towing another device.

Realistically this should all be in situations well above what you will find top Rope Soloing, but if you are going to bother with a back up, it should actually serve the role.


Rem_700


Feb 22, 2012, 5:01 PM
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Re: [summerprophet] Opinion on TR Self Belay w/ Petzl Shunt [In reply to]
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Yes, cam style it is. That is a very worthwhile point, and something I hadn't thought of. Thank you.

Yeah, what I'm climbing is basic stuff--but because I'm on my own, I like to have everything covered with a sound backup, exit strategies, etc. As your previous post mentioned a prussik will work well here.

Now it really leaves me with working a solution towards removing the sling. As yet, I've not had a problem with it so I'm not in a mad rush to replace it--but I'll keep thinking on it.


JimTitt


Feb 22, 2012, 11:27 PM
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The Shunt goes on your belay loop, as in the Petzl diagrams. Attatching metal components to chest harnesses tends to lead to broken teeth in a fall!


Rem_700


Feb 22, 2012, 11:42 PM
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Re: [JimTitt] Opinion on TR Self Belay w/ Petzl Shunt [In reply to]
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Ok, I get it. I wasn't sure how to picture the position of the Shunt when you said to use the bungee cord around neck/shoulder--but now I've got it. Thanks.


dead_horse_flats


Feb 23, 2012, 6:45 AM
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Re: [Rem_700] Opinion on TR Self Belay w/ Petzl Shunt [In reply to]
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See page 1 of the petzl shunt manual. Dont use shunt on two independant ropes.

http://www.petzl.com/files/all/technical-notice/Sport/B03-SHUNT.pdf

With my own system, I use the shunt on one fixed line and a microcender on a seperate fixed line for redundancy.


Rem_700


Feb 23, 2012, 2:46 PM
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Re: [dead_horse_flats] Opinion on TR Self Belay w/ Petzl Shunt [In reply to]
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Are you sure that the pictogram that shows the two independant ropes isn't actually talking about two ropes with different sizes?

If you look across the 4 setup drawings;

The first shows a single line, with 10-11mm Dia
The second shows dual line, 8-11mm Dia
The third shows dual independant lines, no info below
The fourth shows dual looped lines, with an indication of two different diameters.

Or am I strait up wrong here?


dead_horse_flats


Feb 23, 2012, 7:15 PM
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Re: [Rem_700] Opinion on TR Self Belay w/ Petzl Shunt [In reply to]
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Say you are using two ropes of same diameter - The diameter of the rope under tension will decrease compared to the rope with no tension. This means the shunt will slip on the tensioned rope.

Then if one of the ropes should fail, your system has a chance of failing.

An example of failure in this case might mean the rope is no longer anchored.

But even more importantly, the system you are using has several points of failure with no redundancy. I've made sure each part of my system is redundant. Two rope grabs, two ropes anchored seperatly, two biners, etc.


Rem_700


Feb 23, 2012, 7:43 PM
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Re: [dead_horse_flats] Opinion on TR Self Belay w/ Petzl Shunt [In reply to]
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Righto, I geddit now. That really does limit its applications with two ropes.

As far as I can tell, I only had the one point with no redundancy--the Shunt. If I attach the Shunt to only one strand, and another device to the second strand--what else am I failing to protect with a redundancy(remembering I have 2 alpine butterflys at the top, on two biners--effectively making two independent ropes)?


(This post was edited by Rem_700 on Feb 23, 2012, 8:05 PM)


healyje


Feb 24, 2012, 3:20 AM
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Re: [Rem_700] Opinion on TR Self Belay w/ Petzl Shunt [In reply to]
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I love the Shunt and have three of them - they are one of the most underrated devices in climbing and the best device made for rapping with heavy loads. But as a TR Solo device (which admittedly I don't do much of outside of seconding my own rope-solo pitches) I believe it suffers in comparison to the various X'scender devices on the market.

As a technical aside, and as Jim says, lose the sling. That's a really bad idea and the suggestion to pair that extended sling arrangement with a static line borders on frightening. The whole point is to do TR soloing, not setting up situations where you are essentially taking short lead falls on the device, which is what you'd be setting yourself up for with the sling extension arrangement.


Rem_700


Feb 24, 2012, 3:44 AM
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Re: [healyje] Opinion on TR Self Belay w/ Petzl Shunt [In reply to]
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Ok. So it's a consensus, I need to lose the sling. If I delete the sling, and add a secondary ascender(ie. microcender) as a redundancy, would the idea be to have that on a short sling, like the petzl examples?

And what process would you employ to begin descending(at any point during the climb) if you had a Shunt directly on your belay loop, attached to the primary line & a microcender on the secondary line attached to a sling(assuming you support the secondary on a sling); using an ATC as the descender?


I'm not sure of what frightening static line you are referring too, the only mention in this thread is for the anchor point. The main climb rope/s is dynamic. Unless you mean the static sling to the Shunt, then I'm on the same page?.


P.S. - I appreciate the feedback/comments everyone is giving here. Definitely giving me a different point of view of my setup. Looks like a really good community and sound resource for advice.


dead_horse_flats


Feb 24, 2012, 4:35 AM
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Re: [Rem_700] Opinion on TR Self Belay w/ Petzl Shunt [In reply to]
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no sling, long or short. That keeps your kinetic energy to a minimum.

Shunt to locking biner to belay loop. I put my 2nd device off to the side on the webbing that runs btwn leg loops so it doesnt interfere with main device.


wivanoff


Feb 24, 2012, 9:25 AM
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1) Sounds good

2) Sounds good. Two Alpine Butterflys might be overkill. I usually use just a single rope. But if I was to use one rope for two lines I would probably just tie a figure 8 loop and clip that to the master point.

3) Similar to what I do except I've been using a Gibb's Ascender. I attach it to my harness belay loop with 5 feet of 7mm cord. I pass the cord through the ascender eye and belay loop three times and tie off the tails with an EDK - done. The ascender ends up fairly close to my belay loop. Simple and no 'biner in the mix. I don't care about the naysayers who tell me never to tie anything to the belay loop. (Of course, when I tie into the rope for regular TR or lead, I use the harness tie in points)

4) Also sounds good to me. From a previous post: I VERY rarely have to switch from self belay TR ascending to rappelling. On those rare occasions, I attach my ATC below the ascender with a short sling to extend it. That allows some slack for me to stand up in a foot loop and unload the ascender or pull the pin. But, if I'm stuck, most times I simply use a foot loop, move the ascender up a couple of moves and finish the route.

I personally don't use a second rope for redundancy. And I usually only use one ascender. That's just me. YMMV. I know. I'm gonna die.

Sometimes, I'll tie into the rope below the ascender at certain intervals. This has worked for me for over 30 years and literally hundreds of falls.


snoboy


Feb 24, 2012, 5:21 PM
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Re: [healyje] Opinion on TR Self Belay w/ Petzl Shunt [In reply to]
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healyje wrote:
As a technical aside, and as Jim says, lose the sling. That's a really bad idea and the suggestion to pair that extended sling arrangement with a static line borders on frightening. The whole point is to do TR soloing, not setting up situations where you are essentially taking short lead falls on the device, which is what you'd be setting yourself up for with the sling extension arrangement.

I'm not sure it's as a bad as you think it is. Thousands of rope access technicians have used Shunts at the end of 1-2m lanyards (usually dynamic) on static (gasp!) rope for years as a back up device. Of course they are usually very careful to never get into a greater than FF1 situation with this rig.


JimTitt


Feb 24, 2012, 10:25 PM
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While increasing the impact force is one factor the main reason to dump the sling is it puts the Shunt right where you tend to grab the rope in a fall, not so good an idea.


healyje


Feb 25, 2012, 12:30 AM
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JimTitt wrote:
While increasing the impact force is one factor the main reason to dump the sling is it puts the Shunt right where you tend to grab the rope in a fall, not so good an idea.

Yes, here is the latest Shunt for rope access statment from Petzl.

Petzl comments on TR soloing with their various products.

snoboy wrote:
healyje wrote:
As a technical aside, and as Jim says, lose the sling. That's a really bad idea and the suggestion to pair that extended sling arrangement with a static line borders on frightening. The whole point is to do TR soloing, not setting up situations where you are essentially taking short lead falls on the device, which is what you'd be setting yourself up for with the sling extension arrangement.

I'm not sure it's as a bad as you think it is. Thousands of rope access technicians have used Shunts at the end of 1-2m lanyards (usually dynamic) on static (gasp!) rope for years as a back up device. Of course they are usually very careful to never get into a greater than FF1 situation with this rig.

I've done plenty of rope access work as both an arborist and construction worker and find this a less than compelling argument on a number of fronts. First, in this application of the Shunt I don't use it in a leashed/drag configuration by itself, but with a mini traxion on the belay loop as well just because I don't believe in the Shunt enough to take lead falls onto it which I consider a lousy application of the device.

Second, falling in rope access work is never a good idea and is avoided at all cost. I rope-solo fairly close to my limit so I do fall a lot while doing it where as I've never fallen while working. The fall frequency again puts the device at risk in this application.

So regardless of how often or how many people do rope access work with Shunts I've never been a fan and always either paired it with another device or kept it on my belay loop or a.p. And to be honest, I pretty much only do 'TR soloing' in the context of multipitch free lead rope-soloing seconding my pitches. Having done thousands of pitches that way over the years I'm so used to it that for any real TR soloing I'd probably just keep using my Eddy as I always have versus rigging any of these fancier dedicated, hands-off TR solo systems, but I can see why people do it.


(This post was edited by healyje on Feb 25, 2012, 1:12 AM)


Rem_700


Feb 25, 2012, 3:14 AM
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I was aware of making sure not to grab the Shunt during a fall, but as the Petzl site suggest; you could panic and grab the thing for a fast ride down.

I had a play hanging from a tree today with only one rope in the Shunt. I don't really like the way the cam seems to pivot inside of the outer shell. It still cinched down on the rope fine, just looked a bit off.


I've been trying to find some way of calculating the increase in kN between dropping on the rope with no sling, and with the ~30cm sling. I am, however, hopeless at math ( could never understand why someone introduced the alphabet into math )--so I am non the wiser.

I wouldn't have thought a short sling would increase the kinetic energy by tons. I do however, appreciate deleting the sling in favor of keeping the Shunt directly out of a panicked grab during a fall & to prevent it catching, jamming up on rocks, etc.

I'm looking at getting a microcender, but I'm not sold on having that attached through the waist&leg loops without it interfering with the Shunt attached to the belay loop. I'll have to see how it goes when I get a hold of one.

In reply to wivanoff; For myself, I just want a redundancy on all points. I do also think that a decent set of kit shouldn't fail in normal solo TR climbing, including falls--they are too short to cause catastrophic failure. BUT, as mentioned above; 1 bonehead move not fastening something, or 1 thing failing on a single-everything setup might result in something nasty happening. Slim chances, but they are there. By having a redundancy for everything, theoretically I can half that slim chance again.


Rmsyll2


Feb 25, 2012, 3:19 PM
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The attached photo is the only case I know where I climb. His Shunt is on a carabiner on his belay loop and on both strands, his rope is in a pair of carabiners on webbing on two bolted anchors. When he gets to the top, he finds a stance to attach a tube-device and comes down on rappel. Period.

The subject of solo TR recurs here, with the same people repeating how they do it with what. I have not noticed anything new in a while. [yawn] I do notice repeated misspelling of Prusik, related to mispronouncing. I do not see as frequent mention of using an autoblock as backup.

.
Attachments: Goldilocks soloShuntC sm.jpg (99.5 KB)


Rem_700


Feb 25, 2012, 4:25 PM
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Re: [Rmsyll2] Reply: [Rem_700] [In reply to]
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The setup you mention, I have tried, it worked fine. But I was worried about rope failure. However, the more I think about it--it's no different to TR with a belay partner; if that 1 rope fails when you fall, your on the ground. I suppose the benefit there is that someone can call the appropriate authorities before you begin to smell..

I do doubt there will be any massive breakthroughs in the world of TR solo, given that you are quite reliant on mechanical devices for safety. And as you say, there is a very common approach, with small variances between devices used.

I'm horrified to know I was spelling prusik wrong. I thought it was one of those things where anything goes, and when it comes to pronouncing it; I just mumble it, like all the other words I don't know how to spell/speak. I used to call an alpine butterfly a linemans loop, but was corrected upon entering the world of climbing.

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