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clipping 2 single ropes in a guide-style belay setup
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By Jon Nellis
From Boulder, CO
Aug 16, 2012
Mntn Goat FTW
I'm curious if anyone can shed some light on whether or not this is safe. I want to bring 2 people up a 3 pitch trad route, and will be using an ATC guide to belay them both up at the same time. I'm gonna lead on just one single rope and trail another behind me. My question is this: can I clip the 2nd rope that isn't on belay into the system as I lead? Or could a fall still result in a higher-than-ideal load on any given piece.
And then we plan to have the first follower un-clip his rope from the gear and leave the cleaning to the last guy up. Don't think there's an issue there, but Let me know what you think!

i hope WE'R not GONNA DIE

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By Jarmland
Aug 16, 2012
I'm no expert. All I can say is I've done this a lot without incidence. I use a Reverso but can't imagine there would be any problems using the atc guide instead.

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By Brent Butler
From Boulder, CO
Aug 16, 2012
profile pic.
Yes, this is totally chill as long as you are only taking a belay on one rope. This is the preferred method when using two single ropes and 2 followers and i do it all the time.

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By Crag Dweller
From New York, NY
Aug 16, 2012
My navigator keeps me from getting lost
Out of curiosity, why do you want to clip the 2nd rope? Is there potential for one of the followers to pendulum if you don't? If not, why waste the time clipping the 2nd rope? If so, why not clip it only where there's potential for a swing.

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By kennoyce
From Layton, UT
Aug 16, 2012
Climbing at the Gallery in Red Rocks
Crag Dweller wrote:
Out of curiosity, why do you want to clip the 2nd rope? Is there potential for one of the followers to pendulum if you don't? If not, why waste the time clipping the 2nd rope? If so, why not clip it only where there's potential for a swing.


I second this. The method is perfectly safe, but don't bother clipping the second rope into all the pieces, only clip it into pieces that are necessary (traversing sections, roofs, ect.). Most of the time the second (or third) doesn't need all of the pieces clipped and many times doesn't need any of them clipped.

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By wivanoff
Aug 16, 2012
High Exposure
Jon Nellis wrote:
I'm curious if anyone can shed some light on whether or not this is safe. I want to bring 2 people up a 3 pitch trad route, and will be using an ATC guide to belay them both up at the same time. I'm gonna lead on just one single rope and trail another behind me.

Don't see any problem with that.

But, why not use those two singles in (DRT) double rope technique and get the advantage of less drag? You've already committed on leading with two singles tied to you anyway so the weight is apparently not an issue for you. The only problem with using two singles in DRT might be when you first leave the belay off a second or third pitch anchor. I could see if you fell before getting any gear in that your weight might come on both single ropes and have a higher impact. You could have your belayer leave a bunch of slack in one rope until you get some gear in.

I've led on one single and one half rope when that was what we had. On straight pitches we led SRT and trailed one rope. On wandering pitches we used DRT.

Jon Nellis wrote:
My question is this: can I clip the 2nd rope that isn't on belay into the system as I lead? Or could a fall still result in a higher-than-ideal load on any given piece.

I don't see how an un-belayed rope would contribute to higher impact force. I might be concerned about one rope abrading the other. Dunno.

Jon Nellis wrote:
And then we plan to have the first follower un-clip his rope from the gear and leave the cleaning to the last guy up. Don't think there's an issue there, but Let me know what you think! i hope WE'R not GONNA DIE

I don't think 'yer gonna die'. But, I DO see potential for tangles/crossed rope for the second in your scenario. If you used DRT, the two ropes would run parallel and separated.

BTW, I personally find the ATC guide a bit tough to pull two singles in guide mode. Works a charm with my 8.5 Genesis ropes, tho.

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By Stone Nude
Aug 16, 2012
When dumb people have disposable income, hilarity ...
Get a Gigi. Problem solved.

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By Jon Nellis
From Boulder, CO
Aug 17, 2012
Mntn Goat FTW
Cool, thanks for the help. If your curious- the route wanders a bit, just wanna keep the rope out of bushes and whatnot. I was mostly worried if during a lead fall the belayed rope would catch the loose one at a piece of gear, causing the next few pieces to experience a less dynamic load

@wivanoff - totally going to look into using the DRT, thanks for that

@All Killer No Filler - what's a GiGi?

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By FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Aug 17, 2012
Jon Nellis wrote:
@All Killer No Filler - what's a GiGi?


Jon, here's a little writeup on the GiGi:

outdoorgearlab.com/Belay-Devic...

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By wivanoff
Aug 17, 2012
High Exposure
Re: GiGi

"So why possibly haven't you heard of a GiGi? Well, it does have one huge factor going against it: it can't belay a leader."

and this:
Storrick GIGI

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By Galen Rahmlow
From Weehawken
Aug 17, 2012
GER
Crag Dweller wrote:
Out of curiosity, why do you want to clip the 2nd rope? Is there potential for one of the followers to pendulum if you don't? If not, why waste the time clipping the 2nd rope? If so, why not clip it only where there's potential for a swing.



I don't see an issue with clipping the two ropes together in all the pieces. Mixing can create some concerns however. Clipping both ropes into only certain pieces can cause the ropes to pull through at different speeds during a leader fall. This creates rope-on-rope friction which can be bad. That's why its advised to never mix and match with doubles. Depending on the route however, it might not be a concern. It's worth keeping in mind though.

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By Ima Fred Knot
From Victoria, Seychelles
Aug 17, 2012
Self protrait
I've found the best way to climb with 2 seconds is to use 1 lead rope and an 8mm static tag line. Only clip the tag line to directional pieces to ensure the second on the tag can't pendulum and belay both in guide mode at the top. You won't notice the weight of the tag as much as a second rope.

IFK

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By Greg D
From Here
Aug 17, 2012
Out of the blue.  Photo by Mike W.
If you choose to clip both ropes to your protection be sure to do it for every piece on that pitch to ensure the ropes move at the same rate in the event of a fall.

Do not bother with drt unless the pitch truly wanders and you would benefit from drt. It will be more hassle for your belayer and chances are good he or she has never belayed two ropes. Keep it simple.

If you choose to clip the trail rope to occasional pieces for directional purposes only use separate biners for each rope.

The gigi is what got this whole auto block party of three going. Bd and petzl copied the concept. The gigi is well suited for fatter ropes. It is not well suited for skinny ropes. The bd and petzl have diameter limitations also. You should know what they are.

And remember, just cuz someone says they do something all the time doesn't make it safe.

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By Greg D
From Here
Aug 17, 2012
Out of the blue.  Photo by Mike W.
Ima Fred Knot wrote:
I've found the best way to climb with 2 seconds is to use 1 lead rope and an 8mm static tag line. Only clip the tag line to directional pieces to ensure the second on the tag can't pendulum and belay both in guide mode at the top. You won't notice the weight of the tag as much as a second rope. IFK


If the rope is too skinny it can invert in the device leading to failure. Off the top of my head petzls minimum diameter is 7.7. Bd's is larger. So ifks advice is not very sound or at least incomplete.

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By Ima Fred Knot
From Victoria, Seychelles
Aug 17, 2012
Self protrait
Greg D wrote:
If the rope is too skinny it can invert in the device leading to failure. Off the top of my head petzls minimum diameter is 7.7. Bd's is larger. So ifks advice is not very sound or at least incomplete.


To clarify petzls min = 7.5mm (you were close), bd's min = 7mm (not as close)

I agree using separate biners for directional is a very smart move.

The biggest concern when using ropes of different diameters is if the second on the thicker rope loads the system, it can limit the device's ability to hold the thinner diameter rope should that person fall as well, so always keep your hand on the brakes.

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By Andy Hansen
From Longmont, Colorado
Aug 17, 2012
Intruder, 5.11+. Zion National Park. Photo: Matt K...
Stick with two singles. The extra weight isn't horrible. I'm a bit weary of using a "tag" line that is under 9mm with the Guide device- and generally speaking, I wouldn't want to put a follower on a single half-rope of that diameter at all.

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By wivanoff
Aug 17, 2012
High Exposure
Greg D wrote:
Do not bother with drt unless the pitch truly wanders and you would benefit from drt. It will be more hassle for your belayer and chances are good he or she has never belayed two ropes. Keep it simple.


I would agree that it could be a hassle for the belayer if s/he has not done it before. However, the OP said the proposed route wanders a bit and was specifically asking about climbing with two others. There could be one belayer for each rope, if desired. Gives the third person something to do ;)

But, I like leading on DRT.

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By wivanoff
Aug 17, 2012
High Exposure
Andy Hansen wrote:
Stick with two singles. The extra weight isn't horrible. I'm a bit weary of using a "tag" line that is under 9mm with the Guide device- and generally speaking, I wouldn't want to put a follower on a single half-rope of that diameter at all.


Done all the time with half ropes. My Genesis half ropes are 8.5mm. Manufacturer says it's OK. Not recommended with twins.

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