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Rap cleaning bolts from a steep route
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By icsteveoh
From salt lake city, UT
May 31, 2008
white gold at maple.

what's the best way to do this?

Must one flail like an idiot trying to have your partner pull you towards the wall to un-clip the draws?

Or is there a technique for getting close to the wall?

I guess you can always just top rope it to clean but there's gotta be a better way.



PS - i'm not cool enough to down lead either...


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By Kat A
From Bart and Lisa Ville, CO
May 31, 2008
Summit of Chasm View

Are you referring to the situation where you just finished leading the route, and no one is going to follow and clean, and the rope is still running through the draws? If so, could you clip a sling from your harness to the side of the rope which runs through the draws, to help keep you inward toward the wall, while having your partner hold both ends of the rope to steady it, at the same time providing a fireman belay?

I guess I don't have this problem since I don't climb overhanging routes...


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By icsteveoh
From salt lake city, UT
May 31, 2008
white gold at maple.

that's exactly what I'm talking about, but when you clip into the rope running through the draws you end up pulling up more rope to compensate for being away from the wall and then you end up flailing like an idiot when your partner pulls said rope to get you close to the draw. Then if you can grab the draw... you got tons of pressure on the draw from your partner pulling on it making it really difficult to unclip.


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By Greg Hand
From Golden, CO
May 31, 2008
Papa Smurf

The best way is DO NOT rap.
Be lowered with a "trim".
Make sure you unclip from the trim BEFORE unclipping the last bolt.
If you just HAVE to rap, then do the fireman's belay and you will probably flail depending on how steep the route is.
Being lowered is the safest way because you have both hands to use.


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By Keegan Dimmick
From Winchester, VA
May 31, 2008
View of Stone Mountain from the field below.  I'm the nerd on the right.

Just rap using an autoblock or something similiar. That frees up both hands to help clean the draws.


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By David Shiembob
From slc, ut
May 31, 2008

have your partner lower you, don't rap. Clip a draw to your belay loop, and the other end to the rope that's running through the draws. Lower until the line running from you to the next draw to be cleaned is horizontal. Then stop lowering, and pull yourself into the draw. Grab the, draw, get a stance, whatever, and unclip it. If you can't do that, clip in directly to the draw, get enough slack to unclip the rope, then pop the draw off. Like others said, be careful of the last bolt. Be sure to unclip your line, and have the belayer move into the wall.


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By susan peplow
From Joshua Tree
Jun 1, 2008
Beer Anyone?

My opinion, keep doing what you're doing. Sometimes it's more difficult than others especially if it's super steep or traversing. Lowering only adds to unnecessary wear on anchors and we've all discussed that here before.

Another method that sometimes works is to rap the route using a single line through the draws. Have your partner anchor the free end. Again, not a magic solution and is only applicable on some routes but it's at least another option.

~Susan

p.s. that exact situation happened to me today and my partner had to hold the end with thread through the draws to pull me into the rock. NBD


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By Brent Apgar
From Out of the Loop
Jun 1, 2008
Me and Spearhead

The easiest way to clean a steep route, bar none, is exactly as David explained. Most of the time really steep rtes are equipped w/ quick links or multiple chain links so that they can be replaced as they wear.
If you want to save wear on the anchors you can also rap a single line. Definitely the best way to do this is to anchor in at the top of the route and set it up as if you were going to rappel off, you are on one rope on one side of the anchors and your belayer puts you on belay on the other side and simply acts as a ground anchor. A GriGri works great for this since you will probably need both hands at some point to get a stance and get the draw loose. Like described above you can use a "tram" biner or draw to keep you in tight to the wall.


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By Joseph Stover
From Batesville, AR
Jun 1, 2008

If it is that steep and crazy, you just have to follow it. Hands down... It may be a better experience than playing with crazy rapping and swinging around.


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