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Author Topic: Double Rope management  (Read 266 times)

Admin Al

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Double Rope management
« on: August 27, 2004, 05:40:29 AM »

I've been climbing with double ropes for the past couple of years. started in the winter, but now use them most of the time when doing trad stuff. generally lighter, ease of rapping off, etc. the only thing that's a hassle is keeping them organized. if anything seems to get tangled, it's double ropes. curious if it's just me, and if there is a better technique for managaing the mess. I don't dump them on the ground, I coil them over the sling or rope that connects me to the belay. do most folks keep the strands coiled separatlye as they haul them up, or pull both together? seems like that would be difficult to do.

inquiring minds...

Al
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DWarriner

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Re: Double Rope management
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2004, 07:06:55 AM »

Been on doubles for 10 years.

In general I would avoid coiling them in a sling.

When the option exists and I'm on a stance with a place to to dump the ropes that's exactly what I do and I rarely have a problem.

I find the main issue of them getting messed up on a climb is on semi hanging belays.  When I do coils [of rope] through a sling and a coil from one rope catches the other rope.  After that, it's all over.  No solutions for that except - don't let it happen.  How's that for advice that's not helpful?

Once on a climb, I always keep them together.  I think the slight benefit of keeping them seperate is vastly overwhelmed by the logisitical issues it would create.

I tried one of the metolius rope ring things.  I wouldn't bother.  As a matter of fact, I'll be happy to give you mine.  Didn't seem to be that much better than a sling and it's just another thing to carry around.

My latest experiment for hanging belays is a lightweight nylon bag.  And just coil into there.  Haven't tried it yet, but I'll let you know.

The short answer is dump them on the ground whenever it's an option.

-David
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dgkula

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Re: Double Rope management
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2004, 08:48:53 AM »

FWIW, I did my first climb on Saturday (Moby Grape - sweet!) with double ropes. Of course, I had read everything I could find about double rope management on the internet and, as a result, when belaying my second I treated the ropes as a single rope and laid lap coils across my tie-ins that run straight to the anchors. This worked very well, even when I had to take up different amounts of slack on the ropes at the same time - I just continued to coil as normal. When the second passed me and began leading, feeding rope from the coils was easy and snag free. I had no snags/knots.

My partner did not make lap coils, instead dumping them into a pile on the ground. This appeared to have it's drawbacks; at the top of one pitch he had to untie and we spent 30 minutes working multiple knots out so that we could restack for my next lead. As a result, when we climbed yesterday, he was making lap coils :)

I have one of the Metolius rope things and do find them useful for managing a single when not swinging leads (e.g. I lead all pitches so we have to flip the stack and I can't tie into the anchors with the rope and instead use a cordalette). But they are an extra piece of gear and I am carrying it less and less.

Again, I'm just getting used to them but for now I will be sticking with the lap coils and coiling them together.

David
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tradmanclimbz

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Re: Double Rope management
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2004, 09:34:14 AM »

I find that it is important to shake out about 15 feet of rope before it goes into the belay device. i allways try to have that little section hanging straight down or laying neatly on the ledge . this seems to help prevent twist while going through the belay device and insures that I won't short rope the leader. When leading in blocks we usualy re tie and switch ends of the rope. this takes less time than sorting out a mess. experience seems to be key. i can have weeks of snagg free climbing and then have a big mess on the day that I climb with someone who is not familiar with the system.
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scottie_c

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Re: Double Rope management
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2004, 12:57:00 PM »

best solution is to treat them as a single rope for a team of 2 climbers... what about a team of 3? belaying both seconds and re-tying is the best option.

for block leads, I would restack the ropes, not untie because this introduces requirements for more gear. one of the huge benifits to double ropes is the ease of building belay anchors with minimal gear.

double ropes are great as long as your ropes are not gnarled messes. to avoid this, I have found that washing the ropes regularly, flaking them out a few times, then rappell a big cliff helps keep them really nice and supple.
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Admin Al

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Re: Double Rope management
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2004, 03:04:16 PM »

I can certainly understand that if you are climbing with doubles and are a party of 3 you would need to do some retying if everyone is leading. I just feel really uncomfortable about doing that on a large climb. seems to me that if there was a dangerous time, that might be it. Murphy's Law & all that!

Al
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trad_doc

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Ideas for removing core twists?
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2004, 03:35:41 PM »

I switched to double 8.6 bluewaters about two months ago.  Had no problems my first few times out.  However, had a mini-epic three weeks ago where twists were building up behind the belay device so badly that entire sections of the flaked pile were springing into hairpin twists.  It was heinous.  Had my second untie and let the ropes hang while we ate lunch.  Two pitches later we restacked the pile and I take off.  20 feet up the cursing at the belay starts.  25 feet up it gets louder.  30 feet up the belay locks up.  Downclimb and find 400 feet of rope twisted into an unimaginable knot.  It took well over an hour to undo it.  We spent the afternoon simul-rapping on it, which helped a bit.  Bit it's been twisting to some degree everytime I've been out since.  Any thoughts on twist removal?  I'm storing the ropes flaked.  Can't think of anything I'm doing that should cause the core to twist like this.  Never had an issue with any of the singles that I've owned?  Baffled.   ???
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DLottmann

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Re: Ideas for removing core twists?
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2004, 04:21:30 PM »

Quote
Any thoughts on twist removal?


Short of hanging the rope off a high enough bridge, I stack, then re-stack, carefully shaking out the twists in the rope as I go.  Each stacking should be easier... usually only takes 3-4 times to get the rope straightened out.
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tradmanclimbz

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Re: Double Rope management
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2004, 05:52:56 PM »

I have found that no ammount of re stacking will completely fix a nasty evil rope salad. it might help but it won't fix. You have to hang them off a big cliff and let them unwind to get it all out. The key to preventing that twist in the first place is to make sure that the stack of rope is not too far away from the belayer, that the rope runs straight into the belay device. the first stack of the day can screw up the whole day.  On that first stack make sure that the ropes run from the stack into the belay device without crossing, shakeing out that 15 feet of slack that I talked about earlier helps. If you use a directional off the belay make sure that it feeds straight from the belay device. you may need to add a biner for correct orientation to keep it from putting a twist in the rope.  On long  climbs sometimes I untie a single strand and shake it out. This only takes me a few seconds but can save much time and  frustration.  When leading in blocks, I either untie and retie to switch leads or restack the rope. Flipping the pile over with 2 ropes dosen't cut it and allmost garuentees a rope salad after a few pitches.  If you are methodical and communicate when you switch ends of the rope it is less dangerous than letting the leader get into the crux and then short ropeing them because of a rope salad. It is just as fast/slow but more work to re stack the rope between leads when leading in blocks. It all sounds like a pain in the butt and it is untill you get it dialed. if Both members of the team have it dialed everything will run smooth 90% of the time. I often have doubts about the wisdome of the double rope system> It is more work and hassel than a single rope system. Then I rember getting my trail line stuck and the fact that I am a whimp that likes 2 ropes when climbing arround sharp features. I also like the security of knowing that  can bail in an emergancy  with full length raps. I do hate trailing a rope. If I have to have 2 ropes I might as well be able to climb on both of them. the added options of the system out weigh the hassel factor on multi pitch for me.
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Admin Al

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Re: Double Rope management
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2004, 06:42:25 PM »

seems to me that I remember reading something from Sterling, or one of the other rope manufacturers, about how uncoiling a rope corrrectly the very first time is important to keep it from twisting. maybe Sam or Jim can jump in here and clarify it.

Al
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DWarriner

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Re: Double Rope management
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2004, 06:33:17 AM »

RE: Twists.

1) When it isn't bad, I second TRADMANCLIMBZ and like to keep some rope out of the pile to prevent surprises.  

Another thing that really helps is to keep a finger between the ropes as you feed it into the device.  This separates the ropes before it gets locked down as it goes into the device.


2) When twists get really bad, singles or doubles it's time (hopefully on the ground or at home) for a full untwisting session.  It is best to start from the middle and work your way out to the ends.  If you try to untwist from one end of the rope and then back again, you just keep pushing the same twists through the rope over and over again.  Used the sheath as a guide on the rope and when untwisting.  You can see if the sheath twists around, make sure that's straight through the course of the rope.

Be aware that when you butterfly stack from the ends into the middle of the rope, you are essentially saving all your rope twists.  If possible coil from the middle out, this way some of the twists towards the end of the ropes (where most of the twists are), will tend to "come off the End" by themselves.  If you are using mountaineering coils, well then, you're just screwed.

I think the duo weaves and triple weaves rope companies use are silly.  What I want on my rope are halfway marks and a line that goes the length of the rope that you can use as a guide to see how twisted it is.

-David
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tradmanclimbz

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Re: Double Rope management
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2004, 10:45:20 AM »

Yea, I do the finger between the ropes deal. also coil from the middle and no longer use a mountaineres coil. butterfly is better.
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trad_doc

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Re: Double Rope management
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2004, 12:06:08 PM »

I usually do butterfly coil from the two free ends in to the middle, so that may explain some of my issues...

As far as untwisting is concerned, do you do this by hand or with a belay device?  I suppose I could throw the middle of the rope around a tree, load the free ends through my ATC, walk backwards and untwist the ropes as they feed through.  I'm just having a hard time seeing how this will accomplish anything more than the full length rap's I've already done?  

I did not do anything special with the ropes when I first received them, though I have since had several people tell me that this is important.  Is this fact or fiction?  I've been through 60m maxim and a 60m mammut ropes and used them straight out of the bag without any core twist issues...maybe the skinny ropes are different though...   :-/
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tradmanclimbz

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Re: Double Rope management
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2004, 05:23:02 PM »

To untwist i just hang it off the cliff and shake it.
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slobmonster

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Re: Double Rope management
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2004, 08:28:46 PM »

To get your rope off the "factory coil:"

Imagine that you are a machine in a Swiss rope factory, and your arms make the "wheel" that the rope gets coiled on.  Thus, to uncoil your new rope, you must reverse this process.  Do NOT plop your rope on the ground and try to pull and end through.  Put your arms into the coil, and roll it off.  Go slow, and if you're lucky you'll get most of the way through the coil without any nasty twisting.  

Than stack it on the ground, spinning any twists towards the end.  Then restack it backwards.  Then stack it again.  Etcetera.

You may notice that if you rappel off a 2 bolt ring anchor --the rings side-by-side-- your ropes will acquire some twists.  Put some energy into removing them.

As for managing the doubles while climbing: a lap coil may work better if, as you're belaying your second, you start with super long loops (well below your ankles) and make progressively smaller ones.  If swinging leads, this will prevent the loops from catching on others.  

Reality: sometimes you get unlucky and buy a rope that is a twisting nightmare.  I had a Sterling V-Dry some years ago that did this.  I threw it out long ago.  
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