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Know The Ropes- Lowering

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DLottmann:
Good info from the AAC:

http://publications.americanalpineclub.org/articles/13201212427/Know-the-Ropes-Lowering

Admin Al:
great article by the AAC, one I think would be worth discussion.l let's see if we can keep any discussion on the topic, rather than getting diverted as is so often the case.

Pete Jackson:

--- Quote from: Admin Al on November 10, 2013, 04:18:41 PM ---great article by the AAC, one I think would be worth discussion.l let's see if we can keep any discussion on the topic, rather than getting diverted as is so often the case.

--- End quote ---

I definitely dig the AAC articles aimed at limiting common accidents. After 20 years of climbing, and climbing with the same partner for the last 3 years (my wife: she's awesome, but I digress), we've developed habits for lowering, and anything that deviates (rappelling, topping out) is discussed before the leader leaves the ground.

A couple habits we've gotten in to (we mostly climb sport, but most of these apply across the board):

1. Unless we can scope it from the ground, the second / cleaner usually asks, "What's on the anchor?" As in, quick clips or rap rings? This usually starts a discussion about how the second expects to lower off.

2. When we double check knots and gear, we also inventory cleaning gear. For sport anchors, we make sure the other has a tether, or has opted to clip in with draws while cleaning the anchor. If they plan to rappel, we double check that they have a rappel device (you'd be surprised).

3.  We've started buying only bi-patterned ropes (side note, it sucks when you have to cut off the end of your rope). We call out when the halfway mark passes. If the leader is not close to the anchor, then the belayer should be tied in.

4. Lots of people who visit us in Rumney are used to rap-ring sport routes and expect us to rappel off, so we discuss lowering and cleaning techniques with everyone who is new to us, local or not. You can never tell who expects what until you discuss.

5. When we rappel with more than one person at a station, we pre-rig all of the belay devices on the line before the first person raps. That way we can double check the last person's rigging. All they have to do it clip in to the device to rap, or better yet, clip in to it with a long sling before anyone rappels (unweighted). As soon as the first rappeller is off, the second is on without fiddling with the ropes or rigging.

With respect to the discussion about 35m sport routes becoming the norm, I continue to kick and scream and complain about this. I prefer shorter, lighter ropes, a 50m where possible. I also like avoiding lowering by topping out, which is something of a lost art at my local crag. :-)

DLottmann:
I think all 5 of your points are excellent.

crazyt:
When I'm climbing in a crowded area I begin all commands/communication by saying the persons name first.  Always interesting when one person says off belay only to watch several others obey the command. :)

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