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By Julian Harig
From Denver, Colorado
Sep 17, 2012

Recently bought the Wren Soloist.
Amazing. By far the best soloing device that I have come across. I mainly use it for leading and multipitch climbs. It is easy to use after the initial learning phase.
Unlike many other soloing devices on the market, the Wren Soloist has a minimal of rope drag, so it's easy to make hard moves without any resistance while pulling the rope through the device.
Anyone that is looking into soloing devices, I highly recommend this one


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By Tradoholic
Sep 17, 2012

The Silent Partner is better I think. BTW, it's no longer Wren, Rock Exotica has it now.


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By Roswell
From Newnan. Ga
Jan 7, 2013
Baby Rosalyn ready to send <br />

Silent Partner is for sure better.


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By Nick Votto
Jan 7, 2013
Bolton, VT

Agree with your opinion of the Soloist....best partner I've ever had. I've literally climbed hundreds of pitches on mine and I can't imagine anything better....I haven't tried the Silent Partner though, its more than twice the cost so I assume its more advanced...


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By geirw
Jan 7, 2013

Anyone who have any experiense with feeding the rope from a backpack to the silent partner? What kind of backpack works best for this?


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By Healyje
Jan 7, 2013
girl40

The SP is a better device IMHO. The Soloist won't necessarily hold falls if your body ends up in a horizontal orientation (a partner broke four ribs that way). That said, the Soloist has been used to do Astroman.

I personally use an Eddy with the rope in a backpack. I use a Metolius 'Porta-Cord' pack modded to add gear slings similar to the Metolius 'Big Wall Gear Sling).


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By hrdeyo
From Longmont, CO
Feb 2, 2013

I'm considering getting a device to do some soloing. Could anyone post general set up info and techniques they found most usefull.

Probably not the place for this. I'll take a look in general discussions. Anyone who is willing is welcome to PM me info about soloing techniques. Thanks again


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By Locker
From Yucca Valley, CA
Feb 14, 2013
...

"Could anyone post general set up info and techniques they found most usefull."

YouTube has some pretty decent videos of the "How to's" and such.


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By blaine.limpus
From Casper
Feb 28, 2013
The mechanic v6, yosemite vally

So I am currently looking to get into top rope soloing before I dive head first into the game, and was curious if anyone could talk about the better devices for that style of soloing? I live in Casper, Wyoming and with Fremont Canyon being a place that you have to repel in from the top I figured it would be a good place to learn... Thanks for any responses and if anyone wants feel free to PM me as well!


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By MTKirk
From Billings, MT
Feb 28, 2013
Me on Supercrack

blaine.limpus wrote:
So I am currently looking to get into top rope soloing before I dive head first into the game, and was curious if anyone could talk about the better devices for that style of soloing? I live in Casper, Wyoming and with Fremont Canyon being a place that you have to repel in from the top I figured it would be a good place to learn... Thanks for any responses and if anyone wants feel free to PM me as well!


My 2 cents from another thread



Probably more than you were asking for but, here goes anyway.

When I first started top rope soloing the first device I used was a Petzel mini-traxion (very similar to your micro-traxion). It worked OK but very soon (within a dozen pitches) I had severely damaged my rope. It's surprising how hard the fall can be just in the short amount it takes for the device to flip up in your belay loop. especially if you are near your top anchor. If you climb above your anchor, such as topping out on a cliff, you can even have a short factor 2 fall.

Another bad thing happened with my mini-traxion. I was climbing up a dirty crack route &, without my knowing it, some sand had fallen in my device filling the gaps between the teeth. I pumped out & let go expecting to be caught after a foot or so; Instead the device buzzed down the rope 8' before it caught, the resulting force peeled the mantle off my rope & tore a good portion of the white interior fibers. That was the last day I used the mini-traxion for self-belay.

My next attempt was to use the Petzel-microcender. It does not have teeth, but uses a camming action to press a grooved cam against the rope. It is much gentler on your rope. But this system has some drawbacks; #1 It still causes rope wear, makes your ropes very fuzzy wherever you fall on them. #2 After a fall or two, when your rope is a little stretched out, it will not hold the rope & you slowly creep down the rope. #3 switching to rappel, or to lower a bit to retry a crux is a PITA (so is the mini-traxion)

The next step in my top rope solo evolution was to use NO device. I simply tie alpine butterfly loops in my rope every 6' or so from the anchor to the ground. I have a short piece of Dynamic climbing rope tied to my harness with locking carabiners at both ends. As I climb I clip into the highest loop I can reach with the Lockers hanging from my harness. When I reach the next loop I unclip the lowest carabiner & move it to the top, I am connected to the climbing rope with at least one locking carabiner at all times (two most of time). I keep a knot free rope hanging down from the anchors along side the knotted one, this enables me to rap down anytime, or jug up if I'm beat. This system works great! True you do fall some, and you have to clip your "protection" rope as you go, but this is actually a good thing if you plan on leading in the future. You can also down climb with this technique, just unclip the loop before your locking 'biner comes tight & re-clip below. The biggest drawback with this system is if you fall on low angle (slab) rock, your rope can suffer some abrasion damage where the loops are tied. This led me to my final solution.

The Final step was to use everything in the proceeding paragraph and simply add a Trango Cinch to the knot free rope. I clip it to my belay loop with the lever to the right. This is contrary to manufacturers instructions but, while climbing the rope feeds much better this way & I find it easier to rappel with this configuration. Usually tying my approach shoes to the bottom of the Cinch line is enough to make it feed like a dream. The Cinch provides an immediate catch in case of a fall, in 99% of the cases it prevents your looped line from taking the load. You might be tempted to forgo the looped line & rely 100% on the Cinch, DON"T DO IT. One thing I've learned from several years of top rope soloing; sooner or later every device will fail. Weird things happen, carbiners get loaded funny, your feet get tangled in the rope & it doesn't feed, etc., etc. Plus it is way more fun, especially on overhanging terrain, to unclip the cinch & risk the whipper!

Fine points. 1)Make sure your top anchor is BOMBER. 2)Be very careful as you approach the anchor; the closer you get the higher the fall factor & above the anchor you can have a factor two fall. 3)Make sure you are proficient with climbing your rope several different ways. 4)Get in the habit of wearing a helmet, you could get pitched upside down & smack your head, then you're hanging out unconscious until someone happens by. 5)Tie into your anchor with a bowline on a bight, if you use an eight and fall on it can be a bear to untie. 6)Take it easy for a while, don't climb anything you're going to fall on until you have the system wired. I actually work my hardest projects this way but, it was about a year before I got that comfortable with it.

I have been meaning to write this up & post for scrutiny for a while. Thanks for the motivation!

Montana Death Belay
Submitted By: MTKirk on Dec 8, 2012
EDIT PHOTO

MT Death Belay
MT Death Belay


If that's not enough here's more from another thread

Top rope self belay is my main mode of climbing. In season I climb three or more days a week for two to four hours on self belay top rope. Not that I'm a great climber or anything, it's just my preferred form of exercise (beats the hell out of jogging!) I've tried many devices including:
ATC Guide
Various Friction knots (a Bachmann can work as well as most of the devices & costs next to nothing)
Handled Ascender
Petzel Mini-traxion
Petzel Microscender
Petzel Gri-Gri
Trango Cinch

Conclusions:
Eventually they will all let you down so you must have a back up.
If you don't dial them in perfectly, the toothy ones will cost you a fortune in ropes.
The friction knots and the Microscender are easier on the rope, but fuzz them up making them feed horribly through belay devices.
Petzel Gri-Gri is easy on rope, easy switch to rappel, feed- not the greatest.
Trango Cinch is easy on rope, easy to switch to rappel (but gets really hot rapping), feed is awesome (if you put the lever on the right, contrary to manufacturers instructions-these also say not to use the device for top rope self belay).

I began to realize the safest method is to have a separate line hanging down from the anchor that you periodically clip into (see Petzel diagrams www.petzl.com/us/outdoor/product-experience/self-belay-solo->>> the single device two ropes version). Sometime later I came to the conclusion that the device is actually not needed at all (of course no equipment manufacturer is going to tell you this). Sufficient redundancy and safety (at least from my perspective) is achieved by having two lanyards secured to your harness, at the ends of these lanyards should be two LOCKING carabiners. As you climb you simply clip a lanyard into a loop in the rope (either pre-tied or tie as you go) as high as you can reach. Don't unclip the lower carabiner until you have the next carabiner clipped in, you are always connected to the rope with at least one locking carabiner at all times. www.mountainproject.com/images/40/9/107924009_large_d97a3c.j>>>

WARNING!! Use of any roped climbing system (particularly the knot and rope top rope self belay system described here) can expose you to potentially lethal fall forces. Unless you have a thorough understanding of the concept of fall factor, and how to control it in a roped climbing system STICK TO BOULDERING!


Most of the time I don't use any device, that way I can down climb (and re-climb as many times as I want) the route without having to stop, great aerobic workout! Sometimes I pre-tie the knots (if you do that on slab the rope gets abraded where the knots contact the rock). When I'm working on a red-point I tie the knots on the go (one handed AlpineButterfly) when I can do a route this way I know I'm ready to find a belayer and go for the lead.

For my lanyard I use about seven feet of dynamic climbing rope (I cut it from clean sections of the ropes I ruined with my Mini-Traxion). I tie the middle of the rope section to my harness with a Bowline on a Bight (you can use a figure eight re-thread, it's just a little tricky to tie in this situation). I secure locking carabiners (Twist locks that can be operated with one hand and key-lock noses are nice) to both ends with a Double Fisherman's loop knot. This also makes a superb PAS system (if you're into that sort of thing).

My two cents? Skip the device and climb the knotted rope for a while (Tie your rope in half and keep another strand for rapping off or jugging up if needed). Once you get this dialed in try whatever device you like on the other strand, just realize it's a convenience device and your true belay is coming from the rope you are clipped into.


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By ParkerKempf
From atlanta, GA
Feb 28, 2013
sweet belay on El Cap Spire, Salathe Wall El Capitan

IMHO the silent partner cannot be beat
Ihave used the Soloist also, and it does work...sometimes.....unless you fall wrong...comforting? nope
SP all the way


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By logan johnson
From West Copper, Co
Feb 28, 2013
Flakey Pull Roof v5

MTKirk- I feel like you have condensed a lot of good stuff from about a million rope Solo TR threads on this forum into one post. Cinch or Gri on one strand and backup knots on the other is the bee's knee's.

For leading the SP is best if you don't mind the bulk.

Lotsa ways to skin a cat though.


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By Br'er Rabbit
From The Deeper South
Mar 1, 2013
'Bred en bawn in a brier-patch, Brer Fox--bred en bawn in a brier-patch!'

As for me....

SP for lead.
Shunt for TR.

Shunt, as Dave Macleod is utilizing it in this picture:

Shunt (pic belongs to someone else).
Shunt (pic belongs to someone else).



With quicklink backup as demonstrated by Scott Bennett:
Simple Backup System
Simple Backup System


Hundreds of pitches TR-soloed on the Shunt with quicklink backup....nary a problem.

Tried the Trax a few times but don't like using the toothed clamp on my rope.


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By blaine.limpus
From Casper
Mar 2, 2013
The mechanic v6, yosemite vally

Thank you so much MTKIRK and everyone else!


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By blaine.limpus
From Casper
Mar 2, 2013
The mechanic v6, yosemite vally

Also, I had just purchased a new rope, and was thinking.. is it better to use the new rope as my "knotted rope" and the old rope as my "device rope?" thus creating wear and "fuzzing" on the old rope? (the old rope isnt trashed by any means I just have been inspired by pitches that require rope longer than a 60m!)


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By MTKirk
From Billings, MT
Mar 2, 2013
Me on Supercrack

blaine.limpus wrote:
Also, I had just purchased a new rope, and was thinking.. is it better to use the new rope as my "knotted rope" and the old rope as my "device rope?" thus creating wear and "fuzzing" on the old rope? (the old rope isnt trashed by any means I just have been inspired by pitches that require rope longer than a 60m!)


I almost always use the same rope for both the knotted line and the device line, so that limits me to pitches of 90' +/- with a 60 meter (the knots use up a little length). I tie a bowline on a bight and clip it into whatever anchor I'm using.

Both strands take more abuse than a normal belay so I generally use a thicker, burly, rope. Right now I'm using a Mammut Apex 10.5 mm, but just about any thick rope you find on sale should be fine (thicker ropes are harder to feed through most device's though, but the 10.5 still feeds well through my cinch). I think it would be a waste to use a treated rope, or a light, good handling lead rope. However; if you don't fall the rope won't get abused-but that's no fun.


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By Unassigned User
Mar 2, 2013

MT,
What about just using your system of of 2 strand TOP ROPE - separate strands knotted from above for redundancy - and only use 1 or 2 of the strands with knots in them every so-many feet with the dynamic tie-in rope that you suggest with 2 ends with lockers and forgo all the devices entirely?

If one remained clipped into 2 knots at a time before undoing 1 locker on 1 knot, one would always be connected to one loop via 1 locker? WOuld THAT provide enuff redundany w/o any back up devices per say?

I am trying to get away from having to mess around with devices - like GriGri's, Mini Traxions, Ascenders, etc.

???


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By Unassigned User
Mar 3, 2013

I ahd purchased a brand new Petzl Mini-Traxion but never used it yet - think I might just sell it here instead as I am NOT very keen about having it ruin my $150-200 ropes!!!

I think I might just go back to the knotted system instead vs. risking ruining my ropes!


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By MTKirk
From Billings, MT
Mar 3, 2013
Me on Supercrack

Michael Urban wrote:
MT, What about just using your system of of 2 strand TOP ROPE - separate strands knotted from above for redundancy - and only use 1 or 2 of the strands with knots in them every so-many feet with the dynamic tie-in rope that you suggest with 2 ends with lockers and forgo all the devices entirely? If one remained clipped into 2 knots at a time before undoing 1 locker on 1 knot, one would always be connected to one loop via 1 locker? WOuld THAT provide enuff redundany w/o any back up devices per say? I am trying to get away from having to mess around with devices - like GriGri's, Mini Traxions, Ascenders, etc. ???


YES!!! This is exactly what I do 90% of the time, I feel it is as safe (if not safer) than using a device and a knotted back up. I always keep one strand free of knots for rapping down or jugging up (if I'm too beat to finish the pitch). It is also THE BEST way to down climb, down climbing is a skill that has saved my ass (and considerable bail gear). When I do use a device these days it's the Trango Cinch (spun 180 degrees) it feeds the best & allows you to rap down a few feet quickly so you can work out a crux section. There's not much else I like the Cinch for, unless I did a lot of TR solo I'd probably wouldn't own one.


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By MTKirk
From Billings, MT
Mar 3, 2013
Me on Supercrack

Michael Urban wrote:
I ahd purchased a brand new Petzl Mini-Traxion but never used it yet - think I might just sell it here instead as I am NOT very keen about having it ruin my $150-200 ropes!!! I think I might just go back to the knotted system instead vs. risking ruining my ropes!


From another thread, here's my experience with the Petzel Mini-Traxion

I did some test falls up to 4' with 10' of rope (bluewater eliminator) out connected to a fixed anchor (so fall factor .4) result:

ATC Guide in guide mode-
no visible damage

Petzel mini-traxion-
ruined rope, mantle torn most of the way around rope and visible damage to kern fibers. Rope did hold.

The Mini-traxion caused damage to the sheath of a beal edlinger with a 2' fall! (.2 fall factor)


I didn't try any longer falls, the 4' was painful enough that I quit. I though about using a weight to see if I could get the rope to break- but then the test wouldn't really be a real world situation.

There are a lot of reasons not to use a guide mode tube device to self belay on top rope, but I don't think damage to the rope is one of them.

In light of my experiences, I find the popularity of mini-traxions for top rope self belay incredible.


I've kept my Mini-Traxion, but the only thing I use it for is hauling, the function it was designed for. Even with the knotted system you can damage your rope, when you set up a route consider if the knots will abrade on the rock if you fall. If they might abrade you could tie & untie the knots as you go. Also look out for edges, you have to be more careful of these any time you weight a fixed line.


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By Unassigned User
Mar 3, 2013

MTKirk wrote:
From another thread, here's my experience with the Petzel Mini-Traxion I did some test falls up to 4' with 10' of rope (bluewater eliminator) out connected to a fixed anchor (so fall factor .4) result: ATC Guide in guide mode- no visible damage Petzel mini-traxion- ruined rope, mantle torn most of the way around rope and visible damage to kern fibers. Rope did hold. The Mini-traxion caused damage to the sheath of a beal edlinger with a 2' fall! (.2 fall factor) I didn't try any longer falls, the 4' was painful enough that I quit. I though about using a weight to see if I could get the rope to break- but then the test wouldn't really be a real world situation. There are a lot of reasons not to use a guide mode tube device to self belay on top rope, but I don't think damage to the rope is one of them. In light of my experiences, I find the popularity of mini-traxions for top rope self belay incredible. I've kept my Mini-Traxion, but the only thing I use it for is hauling, the function it was designed for. Even with the knotted system you can damage your rope, when you set up a route consider if the knots will abrade on the rock if you fall. If they might abrade you could tie & untie the knots as you go. Also look out for edges, you have to be more careful of these any time you weight a fixed line.



F that! I'll sell my Min-Traxion to some who wants it for hauling and such!


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By Locker
From Yucca Valley, CA
Mar 4, 2013
...

"F that! I'll sell my Min-Traxion"


$20.00 IF it's in decent condition...

THANKS!!!...

Ship to:

Mr Dumbfuck
666 Noidea
Where Montana
66600


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By Locker
From Yucca Valley, CA
Mar 5, 2013
...

^^^

You should just "Sack up" and use it for TR Soloing. It won't fuck your rope up unless you royally fuck up.

I've used them for many years and ZERO negative issues with them for TR Soloing.


signed,

Dumbfuck from Where Montana

;-)


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By Unassigned User
Mar 5, 2013

PS Locker - your icon pic is funny as Hell!

Love it! Muah!


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By The Stoned Master
Administrator
From Pennsylvania
Mar 5, 2013
Day Lily.

I am seizing this opportunity, not trying to "hijack" this thread.

I'm new to lead soloing and I have done it with just a bottom anchor and use clove hitches, ec . The "self rescue/minimalist" way.

Question: is one of these devices THAT much better? That is is it faster and safer? The biggest drag to the clove hitch, tie off method is it takes a long time and I constantly have to lock off with one arm and adjust (sometimes I've had to use 2 arms to adjust the system). At best ill lead (safely) moderate with my primative method.

You think I could lead up to my max if I had a soloist device? Regardless of model. Thank you for your time!


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By Locker
From Yucca Valley, CA
Mar 5, 2013
...

"You think I could lead up to my max if I had a soloist device?"


If it were me, I'd be wayyyyyyyyyy more concerned with what I thought.


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