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Protecting ropes from tearing
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By adkeditor
Sep 10, 2012

Lately I have done a fair amount of solo top roping. I sometimes, against protocol, attach the rope to an anchor above the cliff rather than extend the master carabiners over the cliff edge. The edges where I have been climbing are not that sharp. Also, since the rope is stationary, rubbing is minimized. Nevertheless, I still wonder how safe this is. I have used short sleeves of webbing to protect the rope at the edge, but I am thinking about making sleeves out of a tougher material such as Cordura. Do people think this would be sufficient to guard against rope tear? If so, could Cordura be also used to protect a top rope when a belayer is used (i.e., when the rope is moving through the master biners)?

I like attaching the rope to the anchor above the cliff because it's easier and quicker to set up and because it's easier to rappel when you weight the rope on top. Also, I don't have to carry a static line in addition to my climbing rope. If you can protect against rope tear, why not do it this way?


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By prod.
From Boulder, Co
Sep 10, 2012

Stationary? I think not. Read up on deaths on the route Tangerine Trip. I believe 2 might be 1 death was caused by someone jugging up a stationary fixed line. As she jugged the rope sawed back and forth over a sharp edge...

But jugging is a lot more dynamic than TR soloing, unless you rest a whole lot...

Look for rope access supply sites. This is a pretty common product in that industry. I wanna say yates makes a edge protector?

Good luck.

Prod.


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By nbrown
From western NC
Sep 10, 2012
Top of Shortoff with the Bonsai

I do a lot of soloing (lead and top rope (afterwards)) and here's what I would suggest:

Cavers call it a re-belay. Basically just rap down, and as you go, instead of clipping gear for directionals, actually tie the rope into them. Create just enough slack between this and the anchor to keep the rope off of offending edges, but not so much that failure of the piece would shock the anchor.

If the wall is steep do this: clip into the gear with daisy/quick draw/whatever, then lower yourself onto it. With a little slack in the rope tie your knot and clip into the gear. Continue down.

Another advantage to this method is that you'll get less stretch (on long pitches) if you fall, which I find especially helpful by re-directing the rope closely above the crux. Since I use a soloist and sometimes have to hand feed it this can be very helpful.


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By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Sep 10, 2012
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after a day of cragging.

You can protect against rope wear. Extend your anchors over the edge like you know you're supposed to. There is no question. The only rope that should be padded, is the static rope or webbing that is being used to extend your anchors over the edge. If there is any risk of you penduluming or the rope abrading in any way over a rough or even marginally sharp edge, you're risking your life. Do not do this.

If you need a field expert or to see it with your own eyes, look at the video at the bottom of this page .

If you know it's "against protocol", why do it? There's a reason why certain things are done a certain way. It's to preserve your life. Even if you safeguard your rope, there's a chance that the protection could move or wear through. Think about it. Get some static rope and do it the proper way- you should probably still use something to protect the rope going over the edge- even if it's just a pack or a tshirt. The sheath is tougher on a static rope, and your dynamic ropes will last longer. Not to mention your life.


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By prod.
From Boulder, Co
Sep 10, 2012

Great Vid Jake.


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By jbird
Sep 10, 2012

This is a great question, I was actually just talking about this subject with someone in the climbing shop today. The issue I have is the rope abrading on the top of the climbs due to low angle exits. I don't think I could extend the anchor down due to the nature of the rock, and the rock here is very course granite. I have noticed my rope getting fuzzy and just looking a bit battered. I generally rope solo climbs I know I can climb without falling. I use it to put miles in at the crag.

I am curious to here what suggestions this thread produces.

nbrown; how do you take your weight off the rope to create slack and tie into pro as you rappel? briefly short clip directly into the pro from your belay loop and weight it?

Take care-


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By KevinF
From Granby, CT
Sep 11, 2012

+1 to everything Jake said.

I wouldn't risk not extending just for the convenience of rapping. You could always rap on some left over anchor static or with some rope trick redirecting to get to the master point if you really need to rap. I'd rather just walk it whenever I can, and obviously rappel after every lap.

I core shot a rope even with my anchor extended once. One of my knots rubbed on a tiny edge and abraded it. It wasn't even near cut through but it still made me glad I use a two strand system.


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By David Appelhans
From Lafayette
Sep 11, 2012
Imaginate

You can try a slit piece of garden hose if you like.


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By bearbreeder
Sep 11, 2012

its better to extend it of you can ... if its long sections of lower angle slab that can rub, then some garden hose with a something to hold it into place should work ...

as an added safeguard against a cut rope you can use both ends of the rope if the climb is 30m or less

simply tie the rope off 1/2 way and put an ascender on each side, one to yr belay look and other to a sling off yr tie in points, a sling of dynamic material would be ideal of course

or if you only have one ascender, put it on yr belay loop, put quickdraws every so many feet on the other strand, basically at good clipping positions, and as you go up clip the draws into the sling ... this actually simulates the placing of gear/clipping as you climb i find


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By randy88fj62
Sep 11, 2012
Thunderbolt Peak in the Palisades

Look into used raft material; Urethane and Hypalon are great rope protecting material.


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By Gunkiemike
Sep 11, 2012

IME the advantage of anchoring the dynamic rope above the edge (as opposed to normal, below-the-edge toprope anchoring) is to avoid the potential to factor 2 onto your ascender (Soloist, Grigri, whatever) if you fall while topping out. I use a rubber pad to protect the rope at the lip, but old hose, carpet squares, your day pack, etc will do the job. And I do use static rope to build the anchor; my dynamic line is generally knotted only a couple feet above the lip, so stretch is kept to a reasonable minimum.


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By nbrown
From western NC
Sep 11, 2012
Top of Shortoff with the Bonsai

jbird,

Yes, I just temporarily clip into the piece to unweight the rope and then tie the rope into it. On steep rock this means reaching in (sometimes full extension) to clip the piece/bolt and then rap/lowering down and across until I'm fully weighting the piece and can then tie the rope in. It's kinda like reverse aiding.

This technique works very well, both, on slabs to protect the rope, and on steep rock to keep you from swinging. We have both in large quantities around here.

Another advantage in area's where there is potential for tourist's/red necks to tinker with your anchor is that they cannot access your re-belay anchors from the top.


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By Mark Lewis
From Salt Lake City, Utah
Sep 11, 2012

I've seen some fancy products for protecting a rope running over an edge. A cheap alternative to some of those fancy products is to cut a length of garden hose, slice that hose section down the middle so you can open up the hose and easily place your rope inside where it will be protected from abrasion. It works great if you're setting up alot of TR's.


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