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Author Topic: Know The Ropes- Lowering  (Read 850 times)

DMan

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« Last Edit: November 10, 2013, 04:25:56 PM by DMan »
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Admin Al

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Re: Know The Ropes- Lowering
« Reply #1 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.
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Pete Jackson

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Re: Know The Ropes- Lowering
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2013, 10:56:40 AM »

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.

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. :-)
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DMan

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Re: Know The Ropes- Lowering
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2013, 11:28:00 AM »

I think all 5 of your points are excellent.
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crazyt

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Re: Know The Ropes- Lowering
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2013, 01:11:51 PM »

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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DMan

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Re: Know The Ropes- Lowering
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2013, 01:51:24 PM »

... Always interesting when one person says off belay only to watch several others obey the command. :)

 :o :o :o
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JBrochu

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Re: Know The Ropes- Lowering
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2013, 02:47:34 PM »

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. :)

Yup I was leading at the Gunks one time when a leader next to me called off and 5 seconds later my partner called up that I was off.  :P
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frik

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Re: Know The Ropes- Lowering
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2013, 03:09:44 PM »

Dude, that's only because you were taking too long, i was getting tired of holding the rope and went in search of a beer. At least i had the courtesy to inform you, you were on your own.

I knew it wasn't you, that said; "off". I can't believe you keep bringing this up... let it go.
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JBrochu

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Re: Know The Ropes- Lowering
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2013, 04:39:57 PM »

Pretty sure it wasn't you but in any case when you're belaying I always assume I'm soloing.

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Pete Jackson

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Re: Know The Ropes- Lowering
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2013, 04:40:15 PM »

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. :)

Yup I was leading at the Gunks one time when a leader next to me called off and 5 seconds later my partner called up that I was off.  :P

  :-\ Yikes.

That reminds me of one more convention we've built up over time. If the leader calls "Off Belay," there is no expectation that they will be put back on and lowered. Calling 'off belay' is never a part of the lowering sequence for us. Only the rappelling or seconding sequence.

I have seen climbers go in direct, call 'Off Belay', clean the anchor, thread the rap rings, then call 'On Belay' to be lowered. No no no! In these cases, I call for "Slack".


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DMan

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Re: Know The Ropes- Lowering
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2013, 05:09:57 PM »

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. :)

Yup I was leading at the Gunks one time when a leader next to me called off and 5 seconds later my partner called up that I was off.  :P

  :-\ Yikes.

That reminds me of one more convention we've built up over time. If the leader calls "Off Belay," there is no expectation that they will be put back on and lowered. Calling 'off belay' is never a part of the lowering sequence for us. Only the rappelling or seconding sequence.

I have seen climbers go in direct, call 'Off Belay', clean the anchor, thread the rap rings, then call 'On Belay' to be lowered. No no no! In these cases, I call for "Slack".

Well said. Iíve seen this practice too and it make NO sense. Like the belayer needs a break while you re-arrange to be lowered?

Great tips so far.

Per your tip:

"3) ...We call out when the halfway mark passes. If the leader is not close to the anchor, then the belayer should be tied in.Ē

I think itís a good practice to ďclose the systemĒ every time before the climber starts. I wouldnít want to have to wait while my belayer ties in when we discovered the route was longer than expected. To that note, I often close it just with a quick overhand on a bight... faster than tying in if Iím not following the pitch.
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sneoh

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Re: Know The Ropes- Lowering
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2013, 05:30:51 PM »

Pete, accept/embrace it, man; 35m, going to 40.  I carry a 70m rope now.  Next rope probably a 80m 9.5 or 9.6 mm.  It is the 18 draws that gets to me.  We split the gear up now more than ever, all draws to one person, rope for the other.

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strandman

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Re: Know The Ropes- Lowering
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2013, 09:21:53 PM »

I'm getting rid of some cams if you need more weight....?..47 is just too many
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DMan

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Re: Know The Ropes- Lowering
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2013, 09:43:39 PM »

Pete, accept/embrace it, man; 35m, going to 40.  I carry a 70m rope now.  Next rope probably a 80m 9.5 or 9.6 mm.  It is the 18 draws that gets to me.  We split the gear up now more than ever, all draws to one person, rope for the other.

80m? Man, I hope this trend doesnít catch on with trad/ice climbing. On average, a 80m rope will weigh 3 pounds more than a 60m. And packing 20 more meters of rope when not needed is also a pain considering most of us use the smallest possible alpine packs... Iíve had a few partners ask if we should bring their 70m and Iíve always declined... I love full length 60m pitches with no extra rope to deal with... Recent exception, Whites Ledge in Albany has me thinking I should add a 70m to the quiver, probably would go for a 9.4-9.5....
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JakeDatc

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Re: Know The Ropes- Lowering
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2013, 09:51:24 PM »

70 is pretty handy at the gunks too..  can single pitch to the top of many routes or skip rap stations on the way down :)      uhh.. i mean stick clips and glue in bolts and sport crap and stuff   :D
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