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By nbrown
From western NC
Sep 21, 2012
Top of Shortoff with the Bonsai
johnnyrig wrote:
Concerning rebelays to take rope weight, seems to me the problem with clove hitching the draw would be that you face the possibility of a FF2 until you place the next piece. Otherwise, why not use a long sling and maybe a screamer ? Just picked up a SP myself, have yet to try it.


Here's what I do regarding using "lead pro" for rebelays (and I believe this is what Kevin is describing): Use a shoulder length runner and clove the rope into the bottom biner (be sure to pull up as much slack/stretch as possible), then clip the rope through the top biner. This allows the rope to stretch the length of the sling before becoming static (still providing a dynamic belay). If you prefer more stretch than that at that spot (if you think you're gonna fall hard there), simply use a longer sling. I personally use this method all the time, and have done so for many years (never liked the prusik method). By using this method, you also get the benefit of integrating lead pro into the anchor (sometimes needed on pitches with poor anchors. Another advantage is that it takes some of the stretch out of the system on a long pitch giving you a tighter belay, which is usually a good thing when you're soloing and might hit something.

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By Tradoholic
Sep 21, 2012
Cool guys, if you have pics to share of your methods please do, I think I get what you're saying but a visual would be nice. Let me show you what I want to avoid.


SPClusterFuk
SPClusterFuk


Good news is that I've located a nice 70m pitch 30 min away that I can put all this stuff to the test. Hopefully I will get out there Monday.

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By John McNamee
Administrator
From Littleton, CO
Sep 21, 2012
Artist Tears P3
Just throw the rope into a small backpack and have the rope come over your shoulder. Tie knots every 30 feet or so for backup. If set up correctly the rope will feed perfectly out of your pack, over your shoulder and when you feel the knot you know you have to stop and untie it.

The system shown in the pic might be what they recommend but it's a nightmare to manage.

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By Ben Beard
From Superior, AZ
Sep 22, 2012
roo, my only son, the stare that takes down a herd...
nbrown wrote:
Here's what I do regarding using "lead pro" for rebelays (and I believe this is what Kevin is describing): Use a shoulder length runner and clove the rope into the bottom biner (be sure to pull up as much slack/stretch as possible), then clip the rope through the top biner. This allows the rope to stretch the length of the sling before becoming static (still providing a dynamic belay). If you prefer more stretch than that at that spot (if you think you're gonna fall hard there), simply use a longer sling. I personally use this method all the time, and have done so for many years (never liked the prusik method). By using this method, you also get the benefit of integrating lead pro into the anchor (sometimes needed on pitches with poor anchors. Another advantage is that it takes some of the stretch out of the system on a long pitch giving you a tighter belay, which is usually a good thing when you're soloing and might hit something.


I've used an petzl shunt placed upside down as a rebelay in place of a clove hitch or prussik. I've never fallen on it, but I realize that in a fall, the rope would pull tight and stay tight for the rest of the climb (unless you are at the shunt and release the tension). Then I switched from a 10.6mm to a 9.6mm rope and for 30 meter routes I've never had problems with the rope weight on the "anchor" side of the SP.

Some other good SP advice that I found out, nearly the hard way. If you are going to clip pro/bolt up high, remember that as you climb towards and past that piece that the SP does not take slack in. This might seem obvious, but many of us are used to a human belayer taking in slack after we clip a high bolt. If you fall at the bolt, there is more rope in play than you think.

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By Steve Wolford
Sep 22, 2012
I have found using the Silent Partner that for me it is much easier to just have one back up loop on my harness, and when I run out of rope I just untie and then pull up another 30-40 feet of rope and retie. Sometimes I have to clip off on something or hang to do this, but thats the penalty for using the Silent Partner and being able to move quickly.

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By RWC
Sep 23, 2012
shoelace prussiks. they snap if you fall on them and you're on the anchor.

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By nbrown
From western NC
Sep 23, 2012
Top of Shortoff with the Bonsai
RWC wrote:
shoelace prussiks. they snap if you fall on them and you're on the anchor.


If you use this method you have one issue to be very cognizant of, and that is this:

Once at the anchor, be sure to pull up all slack tightly so that when you're cleaning/following the pitch later you won't find yourself anchored to a shoestring (with slack between that piece and the real anchor). This is an issue if you're rapping a seperate line and not the lead line (as in a traversing or roofy pitch), and happens very easily as the weight of the rope on the ground anchor end will cause it to sag. Would kinda suck to fall in that scenario if there was any danger of hitting something below, 'cause the shoestring prussik probably ain't gonna hold. The clove hitch would (and would also protect the rope more from potential rubbing over edges above).

For what its worth, I think the soloist is much simpler and safer tool (have used both) if you understand it's limitations. I fall on mine all the time as I'm oftentimes climbing at or above my free limit.

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By Mark Hudon
Sep 23, 2012
On the North America Wall in 1977.
Three solos of El Cap, two using a Gri-gri as a belay device and one using a Silent Partner.
With the GG, I had to use rebelays (klemhiest knots tied with 3 foot, 5mil cord slings) more often than with the SP. The SP would feed itself quite nicely as I moved if I had a 20-30 foot loop hanging down from my harness.

I use a Screamer at the anchor more to avoid a FF2 fall onto it should the first few pieces pull than anything else.

I've free climbed only a little with the SP and can't really comment on the best way to set it up for that.

The beauty of the Klemhiest knot is that it is a one way knot, it will hold the rope up but when the rope stretches and the knot hits the biner, the knot will release and the rope will flow through, as the rope moves back down, the knot will grab again. I fell on Zenyatta Mondatta and stopped even with a Klemhiest I had tied and watched it release and saw it grabbing the rope later when I was cleaning. With an SP, you only need one to hold the anchor system up and then one mid pitch.

I would NOT use the clove hitch technique at all or ever.

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By RWC
Sep 24, 2012
nbrown, I think I understand your point. when I prussik a shoelace I suck the slack up through it to get as much out of the pitch as possible, esp if I don't know where the next anchor is getting built for sure. When I build the upper anchor, tie into it on the end of the rope opposite lower anchor tie-in - so that I am between both anchors, sp still on the same clove - remove slack, if any, between me and upper anchor, downclimb the pitch and clean, tr back up after cleaning lower anchor, adjust upper anchor if neccessary for upward pull, lead next pitch, and so on... (I skipped all the back-up/loop rigging details bcause this is confusing already) a few early-season sp mod multi-pitches done this way are great for getting the jitters out and getting healthy.

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By nbrown
From western NC
Sep 24, 2012
Top of Shortoff with the Bonsai
RWC wrote:
nbrown, I think I understand your point. when I prussik a shoelace I suck the slack up through it to get as much out of the pitch as possible, esp if I don't know where the next anchor is getting built for sure. When I build the upper anchor, tie into it on the end of the rope opposite lower anchor tie-in - so that I am between both anchors, sp still on the same clove - remove slack, if any, between me and upper anchor, downclimb the pitch and clean, tr back up after cleaning lower anchor, adjust upper anchor if neccessary for upward pull, lead next pitch, and so on... (I skipped all the back-up/loop rigging details bcause this is confusing already) a few early-season sp mod multi-pitches done this way are great for getting the jitters out and getting healthy.



Yeah, I agree. There are many different ways to "skin a cat" as they say, so to each his own. I don't think it really matters all that much as long as you've got a good system that you've dialed in. I've used the same system for at least 15 years, probably 2 or more days a week on average, and am still alive to talk about it. Rope soloing is definitely an acquired art.

More elaboration regarding the clove hitch/re-belays that I mentioned earlier: I typically only have to do it once on a normal pitch of climbing, usually planning it strategically in a spot where a fall is less likely to occur anyway. I appreciate not having a huge amount of stretch in the rope if I'm likely to fall near the end of the rope. Solo falls are typically longer than they would be with a belayer to begin with - without adding the bungee effect into the equation.

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By J. Thompson
From denver, co
Sep 24, 2012
Trundling a death block. Photo by Dan Gambino.
S.P.L.T. Image wrote:
Cool guys, if you have pics to share of your methods please do, I think I get what you're saying but a visual would be nice. Let me show you what I want to avoid. Good news is that I've located a nice 70m pitch 30 min away that I can put all this stuff to the test. Hopefully I will get out there Monday.



Holy Crap!

Is that a 100M rope?

Thats not even remotely what it should look like with a 60 or 70M rope.

I have loops on a 60 and 5 on a 70....and thats if I'm leading using the whole rope.

Also....Overhand on a bight! Much less of a cluster.

Wow that picture is extremely misleading!

josh

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By Tradoholic
Sep 24, 2012
J. Thompson wrote:
Holy Crap! Is that a 100M rope? Thats not even remotely what it should look like with a 60 or 70M rope. I have loops on a 60 and 5 on a 70....and thats if I'm leading using the whole rope. Also....Overhand on a bight! Much less of a cluster. Wow that picture is extremely misleading! josh


The pic isn't mine, it just illistrates the problem, admittedly to an absurd degree.

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By Tradoholic
Oct 7, 2012
Report: I did a full 70m pitch with the SP a few days ago. At about 35m rope drag got pretty bad with both sides of the rope hanging down to the ground, no safety loops were used. It happens that at 35m there was a set of chains on this route so I plugged in, flaked the climbing side of the rope over my shoulders and slung the flaked rope on the chains to feed out for the rest of the pitch. This effectively alleviated drag for the rest of the pitch.

Some notes:
-I was using a Petzl 9.4 rope, there was drag created in the device so I'm going to try my Sterling 9.2 next time.

-At no point did I feel like the rope was going to back-feed, eg the weight of the anchor side of the rope would start pulling through the SP. This could change with the 9.2 rope.

-Instead of a safety loop, if I had a good rest I pulled up a section of rope and tied a clove-hitch on a biner and simply let that hang, when I got to the biner while climbing I could un-clip it one handed. So, if I fell AND the SP failed to lock it would run into the biner on the clove-hitch. I fear that this would damage the SP but like I've said before I have pretty good confidence in the SP locking up.

-When I found a bolt I clove hitched the rope to it giving my bottom anchor a back up and hopefully taking some weight off the anchor side of the rope.

-This route was a 5.6 slab so I think some of the rope weight on either side of the SP was diminished by friction on the slab. I'm looking for a more vert route to test this theory for the future.

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By Jon Zucco
From Denver, CO
Oct 7, 2012
yaak crack Red Rock Canyon, NV
I think the instruction manual for the SP recommends a rope w/ a diameter between 9.8mm and like 10.2 or something...

I use petzl 9.4mm also, and for this reason, put off buying an SP and soloing this season...

Would the SP catch a lead fall onto a 9.4?

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By J. Thompson
From denver, co
Oct 7, 2012
Trundling a death block. Photo by Dan Gambino.
I have to ask.

Why are you trying to reinvent the wheel?

A number of experienced users of the SP have weighed in with their experience(s). The majority of what is being said/described is very similiar. Folks have a few slight variations on the basic system, some based on function, some based on preference. But none of them really change the overall fundamentals that are outlined starting in the SP manual.
There is a reason for that; it works and is as safe as possible.

josh

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By Tradoholic
Oct 7, 2012
Jon Zucco wrote:
I think the instruction manual for the SP recommends a rope w/ a diameter between 9.8mm and like 10.2 or something... I use petzl 9.4mm also, and for this reason, put off buying an SP and soloing this season... Would the SP catch a lead fall onto a 9.4?


Yes, I have whipped on a 9.4 with no back up. The same rope I used a few days ago.

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By Tradoholic
Oct 7, 2012
J. Thompson wrote:
I have to ask. Why are you trying to reinvent the wheel? A number of experienced users of the SP have weighed in with their experience(s). The majority of what is being said/described is very similiar. Folks have a few slight variations on the basic system, some based on function, some based on preference. But none of them really change the overall fundamentals that are outlined starting in the SP manual. There is a reason for that; it works and is as safe as possible. josh


I described why in earlier posts but basically I found the manual's way too tedious to use and therefore I'm trying to streamline the system.

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By Kevin Stricker
From Evergreen, CO
Oct 7, 2012
Why are you making it hard on yourself? Climbing without a backup knot is stupid, mostly because it keeps the device from functioning properly. You only need to retire your backup clove maybe 4 times a pitch. You will have no drag, and you can climb on a beefier rope.

Blanchard tested the SP on ropes down to 8.9 and it worked, so going with a smaller rope is not a problem. The problem is that doing multiple single rope raps on a 9.2 or even a 9.4 will kill a skinny rope. The sheath will stretch and you end up having 2' of dead rope (sheath only) in a short order.

Anyways if you want to do it gumby style, I guess that is your prerogative. I hope it doesn't end badly.

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By Tradoholic
Oct 7, 2012
Kevin Stricker wrote:
Why are you making it hard on yourself? Climbing without a backup knot is stupid, mostly because it keeps the device from functioning properly. You only need to retire your backup clove maybe 4 times a pitch. You will have no drag, and you can climb on a beefier rope. Blanchard tested the SP on ropes down to 8.9 and it worked, so going with a smaller rope is not a problem. The problem is that doing multiple single rope raps on a 9.2 or even a 9.4 will kill a skinny rope. The sheath will stretch and you end up having 2' of dead rope (sheath only) in a short order. Anyways if you want to do it gumby style, I guess that is your prerogative. I hope it doesn't end badly.


I've explained previously that I found the loops a burden and I felt they would catch on various obstacles. Maybe that way works for your purposes but it doesn't for mine.

I've tested a few ropes and I've found that they feed differently, some a little tighter than others a little looser. This was directly related to the width of the rope but different brands of rope behaved differently too.

I have rapped on my skinny (single) ropes often and I don't have any "dead rope".

Regardless, I'm experimenting and posting my results with the SP because I didn't find much of that happening, if you don't like it don't read this thread.

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By Monty
From Golden, CO
Oct 8, 2012
Just a teaser
I'd personally listen to everything Kevin and NBrown say. I've never met two more experienced rope soloist before. Climb safe and I hope you find a system that fits your style well.

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By phil456
Oct 8, 2012
S.P.L.T. Image wrote:
I've tested a few ropes and I've found that they feed differently, some a little tighter than others a little looser. This was directly related to the width of the rope but different brands of rope behaved differently too.


FWIW. I found Edelrid 9.8 Eagle (dry ) to feed well, ( not so good now its getting worn ) ; Beal Edlinger 10.2 was a hopeless feed.
Cheers
Phil

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By paOol
From Walnut, Ca
Sep 27, 2013
profile
Can someone explain to me like I'm 5,

What the backup knot does, and how it works?

I went out to use my SP yesterday, but It was getting dark and I did a very easy 5.7 and did not come close to taking a fall. This makes me feel like I did not use the device correctly, and just want to make sure that I have everything down for the next time I test it.

So my understanding of it is probably wrong, but is a backup knot where you first setup the device correctly (as per the manual), take about 30~ft of slack, then do a clove hitch and attach that to your harness?


Also, how would the SP work with multi pitch?
If you anchor on the ground and you reach the end of the first pitch where you're out of rope, how do you undo the ground anchor and keep going?

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By Greg J
From Colorado
Oct 1, 2013
paOol wrote:
Can someone explain to me like I'm 5, What the backup knot does, and how it works? I went out to use my SP yesterday, but It was getting dark and I did a very easy 5.7 and did not come close to taking a fall. This makes me feel like I did not use the device correctly, and just want to make sure that I have everything down for the next time I test it. So my understanding of it is probably wrong, but is a backup knot where you first setup the device correctly (as per the manual), take about 30~ft of slack, then do a clove hitch and attach that to your harness? Also, how would the SP work with multi pitch? If you anchor on the ground and you reach the end of the first pitch where you're out of rope, how do you undo the ground anchor and keep going?


1a. The backup knot serves the purpose much like knotting the end of your rap rope, in the event the SP doesn't engage properly the knot will jam the device causing you to stop falling all the way down the free end of the rope.

1b. For longer runs you also may want to tie into an anchor on the belay end of your rope to help take some of the rope weight off the SP, excessive rope weight could cause the device to feed automatically, creating slack in the system and resulting in a much further fall.

2a. Well there are two basic ways to multipitch as I see it. You climb half its length, setup an anchor, rappel/lower down to the bottom, clean the bottom anchor and either jug/clean or TR/clean back up to your anchor point. Setup a new multi-directional anchor and then do the next pitch. Soloing multi-pitch means you have to do 2-3x the work than with a partner. ;)

2b. Or when you climb the full length you would need to build an anchor, affix the free end of the rope to the new anchor and rappel or downclimb back down your rope cleaning as you go then TR or jug back up it.

Here is a video of someone doing a multi-pitch solo. They are using a modded GriGri but the principal is basically the same.


If you wanted to do pitches at the full length of rope you can haul a 2nd rope with you to rap/jug on for cleaning instead.

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By David Coley
From UK
Oct 28, 2013
saxfiend wrote:
2. I set up three backup knots clipped to the right side of my harness. These are clove hitches clipped to notchless Positron locking biners, hung on my front gear loop with the gates facing down and out.


I'm not sure a backup knot tied to your gear loop is a very good backup. Or am I reading that incorrectly?

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By Febs
Nov 3, 2013
Hello everybody,
I am very interested in roped solo and I am reading the most I can to get the best out of other people's experience before getting a silent partner (that is, by the way, almost impossible to find in Europe).

A question came across my mind while trying to figure out how a solo lead could work:

would it be a good idea to use Petzl Tiblocs to stop the rope from dragging and auto-feeding the device?
If I think about it, to me it seems like it would fit better than a bootlace prussik (or similar) knot. Faster setup, better feeding of the rope in case of fall.

But if nobody came with this idea there must be a reason why. Could the Tibloc damage the rope somehow after a fall?

Thanks everybody!!!

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