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2 Pitch Sport Route Link Up, Rapping Down
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jamesnater


Apr 11, 2012, 4:42 PM
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2 Pitch Sport Route Link Up, Rapping Down
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So while out at the local sport crag, I managed to link up 2 pitches on lead. After the 1st pitch and about half way to the 2nd, my belayer yelled up at me that I was passed the half way mark. I managed to find a rest, just long enough to realize I could still rap down, so I yelled back saying it was okay and kept climbing. This worried my belayer a bit, but I was confident I was fine.

After clipping the 2 draws at the anchors at the 2nd pitch, I yelled "take". Locked myself into the anchors @ 2 points, one draw and locking biner on a PAS. Tied rope off to self. Yelled "off-belay". Pulled the rope up to me, threaded the end through both chains, tied a knot and pulled it through till I got to the halfway mark. Then I took 2 bites of rope from each side, fed through the ATC and clipped into my belay loop. Untied the other end of the rope from my harness and tied a knot on that end as well and dropped it. Pulled myself up on the belay device, taking tension off the PAS and draw. Unclipped those with one hand and clipped back to my harness, and cleaned the draws with one hand while rapping down to the next set of rap chains and basically did the same thing till I reached the ground.

I'm alive and uninjured, so I must have done something right. But the whole time I was a little nervous, and felt especially uneasy when unclipping from the anchor one-handed while braking with the ATC with the other hand.

Is there a safer method of doing all of this? Or did I do everything I should have done?


redlude97


Apr 11, 2012, 5:04 PM
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Re: [jamesnater] 2 Pitch Sport Route Link Up, Rapping Down [In reply to]
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wrap the 2 strands around your leg


lofstromc


Apr 11, 2012, 5:33 PM
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Re: [jamesnater] 2 Pitch Sport Route Link Up, Rapping Down [In reply to]
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Nice job on getting it done and coming down safely. Climbing isn't the type of activity were you should wing things - there could have been serious consequences!

What could you have done safer? Your partner could have given you a firemans belay; you could have extended your device from the harness and had a prussick as a back up; or you could have rapped the free hanging rope around your leg for the spots where you had to go one handed to remove a draw.

IF you don't know what I'm taking about, LOOK IT UP YOURSELF and learn it, THEN seek advice from other climbers.
I had a friend die 5 days ago in a climbing accident and I still don't know what happened.
Don't think your immune to splattering on the rocks.


mikebee


Apr 11, 2012, 5:39 PM
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Re: [lofstromc] 2 Pitch Sport Route Link Up, Rapping Down [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Your partner could have given you a firemans belay;

No he couldn't, that's the point. The climber was too far off the ground for his rope to be within reach of the belayer.

OP, you did as well as you could in the circumstances. Perhaps carring a spare locker and a prussik may have helped. Otherwise, as already mentioned, the only thing that could have helped would have been leg wraps when you needed to clean draws.


lofstromc


Apr 11, 2012, 5:54 PM
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Re: [mikebee] 2 Pitch Sport Route Link Up, Rapping Down [In reply to]
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The only thing you focused on in my post was that one thing?
Don't lull him into a false sense of security!

Once he got to the first station, all the things I mentioned could have been done.
He is new to this and needs to be informed as much as possible. He needs to know how to be safer.


shotwell


Apr 11, 2012, 6:09 PM
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Re: [lofstromc] 2 Pitch Sport Route Link Up, Rapping Down [In reply to]
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lofstromc wrote:
I had a friend die 5 days ago in a climbing accident and I still don't know what happened.
Don't think your immune to splattering on the rocks.

I'm quite sorry for your loss.


shotwell


Apr 11, 2012, 6:14 PM
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Re: [jamesnater] 2 Pitch Sport Route Link Up, Rapping Down [In reply to]
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jamesnater wrote:
So while out at the local sport crag, I managed to link up 2 pitches on lead. After the 1st pitch and about half way to the 2nd, my belayer yelled up at me that I was passed the half way mark. I managed to find a rest, just long enough to realize I could still rap down, so I yelled back saying it was okay and kept climbing. This worried my belayer a bit, but I was confident I was fine.

After clipping the 2 draws at the anchors at the 2nd pitch, I yelled "take". Locked myself into the anchors @ 2 points, one draw and locking biner on a PAS. Tied rope off to self. Yelled "off-belay". Pulled the rope up to me, threaded the end through both chains, tied a knot and pulled it through till I got to the halfway mark. Then I took 2 bites of rope from each side, fed through the ATC and clipped into my belay loop. Untied the other end of the rope from my harness and tied a knot on that end as well and dropped it. Pulled myself up on the belay device, taking tension off the PAS and draw. Unclipped those with one hand and clipped back to my harness, and cleaned the draws with one hand while rapping down to the next set of rap chains and basically did the same thing till I reached the ground.

I'm alive and uninjured, so I must have done something right. But the whole time I was a little nervous, and felt especially uneasy when unclipping from the anchor one-handed while braking with the ATC with the other hand.

Is there a safer method of doing all of this? Or did I do everything I should have done?

I can't say you did everything right or wrong, your description only says so much. However, if I'm interpreting this right, what you did is a pretty common way of cleaning if you're rappelling a multi-pitch line. I don't back up my rappels, nor do I tie knots in the end of my rope. We all make judgements about the pros and cons of the decisions we make.

If you don't know what the alternatives are, you should probably pick up a basics book or get some instruction. There are a number of ways you can back up a rappel, but learning these skills online is a poor way at best. Also, you might pick up some other tips and tricks. Hopefully can keep you out of trouble in the future.

By the way, it seems like you had a pretty good understanding of how to solve your problem. Seems like you're most freaked out by only having one hand controlling you. The anchor transfer in the middle of this scenario is definitely the hardest part, though all of it has danger potential!


jamesnater


Apr 11, 2012, 9:06 PM
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Re: [shotwell] 2 Pitch Sport Route Link Up, Rapping Down [In reply to]
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I've taken an indoor lead climbing class at a gym before, but as far as outdoor climbing, we only went over leading/cleaning/rapping off chains or rings on single-pitch routes.

The wrap around the leg thing is a great idea! That would have put me in my comfort zone up there that's for sure haha.

Now that I think back on the situation, there was this humming bird or something that kept whizzing by me between the 2nd and 1st pitch. Actually, I now vividly remember feeling nervous and thinking to myself, "I hope that thing doesn't fly into me" while unclipping draws. If it flew into me or attacked or something, I might have accidentally let go trying to swat it away.


bearbreeder


Apr 11, 2012, 11:00 PM
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Re: [jamesnater] 2 Pitch Sport Route Link Up, Rapping Down [In reply to]
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http://www.ukclimbing.com/...les/page.php?id=3295

- use a prussik if you desire ...

- if no prussik ... it is never a bad idea to tie off the belay device prior to taking off yr leash as the above shown in the link above, youll just be doing it with 2 strands as 1, and clip a biner in the bight

- if yr taking a decent amount of time you can always tie off the device mid rap ...

- with the mammut alpine smart, its not totally hands free ... but i never worry about prussiks anymore ... YMMV

- its often a good idea to know how to tie a kleimheist as well so you can use a "prussik" with webbing should you have no cord

- the way you described is pretty standard, most people i see just do it that way


(This post was edited by bearbreeder on Apr 11, 2012, 11:01 PM)


mikebee


Apr 12, 2012, 12:54 AM
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Re: [lofstromc] 2 Pitch Sport Route Link Up, Rapping Down [In reply to]
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In reply to:
The only thing you focused on in my post was that one thing?

That was the only thing that was factually wrong in your post.
The rest of it was all good advice (I even repeated some of it in my own post eg leg wraps and prussik).


Partner cracklover


Apr 12, 2012, 8:36 AM
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Re: [jamesnater] 2 Pitch Sport Route Link Up, Rapping Down [In reply to]
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Everything you did was by the book.

Well done.

One thing - always pull yourself in tight when rapping *before* you take yourself off your direct connection to the anchor. That way if you screw something up, you just fall back onto your direct connection.

You did it right, just making sure you didn't do it right by accident lol.

GO


jt512


Apr 12, 2012, 8:59 AM
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Re: [jamesnater] 2 Pitch Sport Route Link Up, Rapping Down [In reply to]
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jamesnater wrote:

Is there a safer method of doing all of this? Or did I do everything I should have done?

It sounds like you did fine. About the only thing I would caution is not to rely blindly on middle marks. There have been a number of accidents and near accidents caused by "middle" marks not actually being in the middle of the rope.

Jay


jamesnater


Apr 12, 2012, 9:05 AM
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Re: [cracklover] 2 Pitch Sport Route Link Up, Rapping Down [In reply to]
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When I was up there, it was pretty clear on what I had to do, what order, and how to keep myself safe, for the most part. I just freaked out a little because it was my first time rapping off 2 pitches and there was potential animal interferance lol.

And it was my first time rappelling that day too, I basically lead all the routes we did that day and my partner top roped, so he was doing all the cleaning while going up, then rapping down (because the links in the chains were pretty worn and he didn't want to lower from it.)

Good to hear I didn't do anything wrong. I'll probably end up wrapping the rope around my leg for next time, and maybe carry a prusik, just in case I need it.


Partner cracklover


Apr 12, 2012, 9:32 AM
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Re: [jt512] 2 Pitch Sport Route Link Up, Rapping Down [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
jamesnater wrote:

Is there a safer method of doing all of this? Or did I do everything I should have done?

It sounds like you did fine. About the only thing I would caution is not to rely blindly on middle marks. There have been a number of accidents and near accidents caused by "middle" marks not actually being in the middle of the rope.

Jay

I think he did fine there, too. From his post he said:

In reply to:
Tied rope off to self. Yelled "off-belay". Pulled the rope up to me, threaded the end through both chains, tied a knot and pulled it through till I got to the halfway mark. Then I took 2 bites of rope from each side, fed through the ATC and clipped into my belay loop. Untied the other end of the rope from my harness and tied a knot on that end as well and dropped it.

Emphasis mine.

That is the safest way to CYA if you're not sure about the middle mark. That, and keep an eye peeled for the end as you're rapping.

Also, be aware that some rope companies put a mark that looks like a middle mark near each *end* of the rope.

GO


csproul


Apr 12, 2012, 9:37 AM
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Re: [cracklover] 2 Pitch Sport Route Link Up, Rapping Down [In reply to]
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I think what Jay was getting at was that if you are unsure of the middle mark, that you can feed both ends of the rope (after threading through the anchors), ensuring that the middle of the rope is at the anchors instead of relying on the middle mark. It is unclear to me if the OP did this or just tied knots in the ends of both strands and pulled rope until s/he got to the middle mark.


Partner cracklover


Apr 12, 2012, 9:38 AM
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Re: [jamesnater] 2 Pitch Sport Route Link Up, Rapping Down [In reply to]
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jamesnater wrote:
When I was up there, it was pretty clear on what I had to do, what order, and how to keep myself safe, for the most part. I just freaked out a little because it was my first time rapping off 2 pitches and there was potential animal interferance lol.

And it was my first time rappelling that day too, I basically lead all the routes we did that day and my partner top roped, so he was doing all the cleaning while going up, then rapping down (because the links in the chains were pretty worn and he didn't want to lower from it.)

Good to hear I didn't do anything wrong. I'll probably end up wrapping the rope around my leg for next time, and maybe carry a prusik, just in case I need it.

It's understandable that you would be nervous, especially if your partner was clueless. When there's no-one to act as a sounding board and to watch your ass, it ratchets up the pressure a little.

BTW, it sounds like your partner didn't get to follow you on this route. Perhaps because you were used to giving him a slingshot belay, and you knew that was impossible after skipping the first anchors on this route. But you could have let him climb it: You just anchor in at the top of the route, belay him up to you, lower him down when he's done, and then rap off.

GO


jamesnater


Apr 12, 2012, 12:58 PM
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Re: [cracklover] 2 Pitch Sport Route Link Up, Rapping Down [In reply to]
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csproul wrote:
I think what Jay was getting at was that if you are unsure of the middle mark, that you can feed both ends of the rope (after threading through the anchors), ensuring that the middle of the rope is at the anchors instead of relying on the middle mark. It is unclear to me if the OP did this or just tied knots in the ends of both strands and pulled rope until s/he got to the middle mark.

Yup, I was aware of this actually. My partner fell a few times on one side of the rope on previous climbs, and so that side was longer than the other (noticed this when I pulled up to the middle mark, but the knots at the ends were off by a couple feet or so.) I tied the knots in the ends in case if for some reason I were to let go while rappelling, at least I wouldn't fall off the ends of the rope.

cracklover wrote:
It's understandable that you would be nervous, especially if your partner was clueless. When there's no-one to act as a sounding board and to watch your ass, it ratchets up the pressure a little.

BTW, it sounds like your partner didn't get to follow you on this route. Perhaps because you were used to giving him a slingshot belay, and you knew that was impossible after skipping the first anchors on this route. But you could have let him climb it: You just anchor in at the top of the route, belay him up to you, lower him down when he's done, and then rap off.

GO

Good thinking! I probably would have done that had he wanted to follow. At this point he was already done for the day and I was working on the routes I wanted to climb.


jt512


Apr 12, 2012, 3:01 PM
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Re: [csproul] 2 Pitch Sport Route Link Up, Rapping Down [In reply to]
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csproul wrote:
I think what Jay was getting at was that if you are unsure of the middle mark, that you can feed both ends of the rope (after threading through the anchors), ensuring that the middle of the rope is at the anchors instead of relying on the middle mark.

Yes, that's what I was getting at. I started to write it out, but couldn't express it clearly in my then undercaffeinated state. It's the only way to be sure that the middle of your rope will end up at the belay anchor. If you're unsure about the middle mark, tying knots in the ends of your rope is not the answer.

Jay


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