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Author Topic: Double Ropes + Flakes = Massive Drag :(  (Read 132 times)

dgkula

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Double Ropes + Flakes = Massive Drag :(
« on: August 30, 2004, 09:07:26 AM »

Climbed Moby Grape on Saturday on double ropes. This was my first time with doubles and I had a problem.

On several pitches, one of the ropes got trapped under a flake, resulting in massive drag and danger and large frustration to the leader. We climbed at Profile yesterday and didn't have the same problem, so it seemed to be a function of there being lots of rope-eating flakes on Moby. Maybe if we had been on a single, we might have had a similar problem but it seemed that the smaller diameter (8.5 mm) of the doubles might have made them more prone to snagging in between the flake and the face.

So what should we do to avoid this? Should the leader look for rope eating flakes and place gear to keep the ropes out? This is the only thing that we could think of, so I would appreciate some advice.

BTW, we did the Reppy's Crack start and the Kurt's Corner finish - this was my first time on Moby and it was awesome. Looked like rain at the start (we were there early and were first on the climb) but it cleared up and was beautiful by the time that we topped out.

David
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tradmanclimbz

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Re: Double Ropes + Flakes = Massive Drag :(
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2004, 09:44:13 AM »

Not sure what happened there? i have done Moby about 7 times with doubles and only had rope drag a few times. Usualy on the tail end of a 60 meter rope after runnin pitches together. Anytime you use a full 60 meters of rope and go arround a few corners you do run the risk of rope drag at the tail end  of the pitch. i did get a rope stuck in a crack on WG last fall. Again that was running  pitches together. It happens and you can't allways predict where a rope will get sucked into a crack. Often when the rope gets stuck in a crack it is because it has wedged into a cam placement. not sure how to prevent that?
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scottie_c

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Re: Double Ropes + Flakes = Massive Drag :(
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2004, 01:05:12 PM »

in general (with or without skinny ropes) it is good to always flick the rope out behind you; especially on wandering alpine routes. this keeps the rope running free of 'rope eating' features. this is a double edged sword mind you, ropes are notoriously good at knocking down all kinds of objects prone to gravity.

good communication from the belay helps too. if a belayer sees that the rope might get caught in a crack or hooked on a block, they should warn the leader before it becomes a problem.

the best way to remedy rope drag is to extent protection with shoulder/double length slings, and keep your two ropes clipped on the correct sides (no zig-zags or crossing of ropes).

doubles are supposed to help reduce rope drag, not make it worse.
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DWarriner

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Re: Double Ropes + Flakes = Massive Drag :(
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2004, 01:30:35 PM »

I don't think that this was an issue with double ropes.  If you have your rope run behind a flake, it will certainly be more prone to catching there single or double.  Moby does have its share of flake so I'm not surprised.  In general doubles will give you more options keeping your ropes out of flakes.

With that said, there is a scenario where if you have *both* ropes running through a groove together, they have a tendency to draw each other into that groove or flake.  I have had issues where this has happened and if I keep one rope out of the groove the second rope doesn't snag, but if they both go in, there's trouble.

-David W.
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slobmonster

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Re: Double Ropes + Flakes = Massive Drag :(
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2004, 08:41:35 PM »

Quote
there is a scenario where if you have *both* ropes running through a groove together, they have a tendency to draw each other into that groove or flake


eg the last pitch of Diedre.  I have witnessed a rope-management debacle here.  Half ropes can twist over themselves like mating Anacondas, quite reluctant to let go their passionate embrace.  Ugh.

Employ the "rope flick."  Note what you're climbing past, and (for example) if you are moving left after a right-facing corner, pull your rope out of it.  If you've ever been given a bad belay, you'll know what I mean... you need to tug the rope from between your legs in order to move.  On long routes the rope drag can be an issue regardless the quality of the belay, so get in the habit of testing it as you move.  If it's getting worse, stop and build an anchor, and belay there.  You'll save time.  

Personally, I have climbed Moby Grape with half ropes and had a wonderful time.  For example, the pitch above the Triangle Roof requires that you clip one rope for the first fifty feet or so, and then use your other rope to protect you.  You may be tempted to simply alternate clips... and this will bugger you.

An even better example is the pendulum pitch on Vertigo.  Clip only your left rope up to the pendulum bolt, lower down & swing over, and then clip only your right-hand rope.  Drag will be a at a minimum.  In order to climb this pitch with a single rope, after the pendulum you need to climb 20-30 feet before placing gear, or your rope will be making a hard ninety-degree turn, a rope-drag nightmare.

Hope this helps.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2004, 08:44:54 PM by slobmonster »
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DWarriner

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Re: Double Ropes + Flakes = Massive Drag :(
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2004, 06:53:12 AM »

Quote

eg the last pitch of Diedre.


Perfect example.  This happened to me seconding this pitch.  The ropes got sucked in - to a dead standstill.  I was reluctant to keep tugging on ropes stuck somewhere I couldn't see  - so out came the prussiks.

-David
« Last Edit: September 03, 2004, 06:53:44 AM by DWarriner »
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