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Jun 13, 2012
Mongol Hoarde
Hey guys, me and a friend of mine are looking to try our first multipitch climb, Man's Best Friend. We are 5.10 climbers, so we think this is a perfect intro wall for us. I have been looking for some resources online for the steps in multipitch climbing, but haven't really found one that made everything clear for me.

First of all, will we need 2 ropes? The description saying it requires 2 single rope rappels makes me think only 1 is required.

The climb is still going to be in a week or so, but I was thinking that the general technique is to lead climb the first pitch like any sport climb, hook up a PAS, create a bomber anchor (where I assume there will be 2 bolts?)and then attach an ATC to the anchor where I will belay from above. My partner cleans the draws as he climbs, reaches to where I am, I take the ATC off the anchor (after hes secured) and hook it to my harness, and then he continues to climb the next pitch. Rinse and repeat. Is that correct? Thanks for the help.
Edward Pyune
From Las Vegas, NV
Joined Apr 11, 2012
668 points
Jun 14, 2012
Chillin' at City of Rocks
I'm a bit confused...... You want to start multi pitch climbing but you want to set up a top rope???? Maybe I didn't read your post correctly...... Princess Mia
From Vail
Joined May 22, 2006
427 points
Jun 14, 2012
Me and Holden at the "Matterhorn"
Thats close but here is a couple tips for ya:
  • Seek a real mentor
  • Read a book
  • Ditch the POS (PAS) they lack true redundancy when used in this orientation
  • NEVER assume a belay to be bolted, findout before you leave the ground
  • Extend yourself from the anchor, far enough to be comfortable, with the climbing rope tied to the power point with a clove hitch
  • Only use a auto block (atc guide type) or assisted braking (gri gri/cinch) for a direct belay (a munter hitch also works)
  • Double check everything before the leader leaves every belay
  • Take your time learning this process
  • Allow more time than you think you will need
  • Have fun and climb smart/safe
Robbie Mackley
From Tucson, AZ
Joined May 6, 2010
90 points
Jun 14, 2012
Tough Mantle Problem.  Haven't sent yet...
Ahhhhhhhhh!!!!!! Please be a troll. Please. Rob Gordon
From Hollywood, CA
Joined Feb 2, 2009
138 points
Jun 14, 2012
Half dome Cables
Don't do it! Get a mentor, follow someone with experience first, or take a class. Two people not knowing what to do is just asking for trouble Jan Tarculas
From Riverside, Ca
Joined Mar 6, 2010
844 points
Jun 14, 2012
Chillin' at City of Rocks
Belaying the follower is easy but requires some common sense. Depending on the anchor, it may be better to have a seat and belay of your harness (of course you must be clipped in to the anchor). Every belay is different. Hopefully you will get to a bomber one but you can't assume. And yes if belaying off the anchor use a guide ATC or equivalent or munter hitch.
Personally a clip in with the rope at the anchor as my main attachment point and use a daisy chain for a backup and for making adjustments. and for hanging stuff on......like my tooth brush........lol
Princess Mia
From Vail
Joined May 22, 2006
427 points
Jun 14, 2012
Edward Pyune wrote:
and then attach an ATC to the anchor where I will belay from above.

What, exactly, do you mean by that?

First, do you have an ATC or an ATC Guide? If it is a plain old ATC, you cannot attach it to the anchor to belay from above (well, you could with some weird upward redirect for braking, but that is making things crazy complicated). If it is a Guide, then you can, but be sure you understand how the ATC works in Guide Mode.

Multi-pitch sport climbing isn't rocket science, and all the people who say "you're gonna die" are probably overreacting. If you have common sense and understand your gear it should be OK... but your comments make it sound like you aren't really ready.
Julius Beres
From Boulder, CO
Joined Jun 27, 2008
210 points
Jun 14, 2012
Can't, resits, ANY, LONGER!!

-----> YER GONNA DIE!!!!! <------

Just solo it, Honnold does it, so can you!

Mans best friend you only need 1 rope to get off but make sure you find the right rap stations (the beta on here is really good, print it). That being said be safe and and listen to what everyone above is saying. Or else refer to my 2nd sentence.
From Denver, co
Joined Sep 3, 2009
149 points
Jun 14, 2012
I agree with the masses. Doesn't sound like you should do a multi-pitch based on your questions. I suggest that one of you (preferably the better lead climber) find someone to take you on a multi-pitch climb. You can also multi-pitch with three but it can get crowded at the belay stations. It isn't rocket science but there are a few simple things you can easily learn from seeing someone lead, set up an anchor, belay the second, and then lead the next pitch, and rap.

If you can't find someone on mountain project willing to take you out. Buy "How to Rock Climb" by John Long or buy Mountaineers book on Amazon amazon.com/Rock-Climbing-Maste.... It has everything you need to know, but it still may be easier to learn in person.

Good luck.
William Nelson
From Cave Creek, AZ
Joined Oct 25, 2010
44 points
Jun 14, 2012
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after...
Mr. Nelson,

I'm a huge fan of your music and your stand against the IRS.
Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Joined Jul 30, 2011
1,173 points
Jun 14, 2012
Moby dick 5.11-
Not everyone has had the chance or opportunity to have a mentor. Seems like you have the right idea though. If you do use a PAS system make sure it's always weighted at the anchor as that will prevent chances of shock-loading. That's my only advice. Have fun and take pictures! Dom
From New Brunswick Canada
Joined Dec 8, 2007
1,176 points
Jun 14, 2012
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Pea...
Whatever you do, don't even attempt another multi-pitch route without reading Donini's thread:

Multi Pitch Muddles
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Joined Jan 1, 2001
1,533 points
Jun 14, 2012
Jake Jones wrote:
Mr. Nelson, I'm a huge fan of your music and your stand against the IRS.

Jake- I like it. I didn't know he climbed, too. Multi-talented, for sure.
From Atascadero, CA
Joined Nov 19, 2009
126 points
I agree it would be safer to follow someone that knows what they are doing, however, you can do it yourself as well. Learn learn learn. I practiced Multi-pitch with my buddy by splitting a single pitch climb into two pitches. We were doing trad so we would find a spot midway and plug in some cams, build a anchor, and swap leads to the top. But if you feel prepared, you know your layout, have a plan for the belay, then go for it. It is such a great feeling to top out and realize you are not dead, and that you did it yourselves.

Have fun!
Jun 14, 2012
Hanging out with some scooter trash.
It seems like what you are asking to do is reasonable.

I would feel out the first pitch. Bring your second up, and then make a go-no-go decision to go higher. It seems like there is good information regarding how to get off the climb, print and bring it. After the climb, set it aside on your bookshelf to remember your experience later :).

If you choose not to go higher, rap back down to the base. Since this is a sport multipitch, you don't have to worry about being stranded since you should be able to rap down to the bolted anchor you just left. The route is 180 ft, so even if the description is in accurate and it's 200 ft, a 60m would get you 1/2 way down. Make sure you tie knots in the end of your rope before you rappel. How long is your rope?

One thing that concerns me is your description of belaying off the anchor with an atc. I would only recommend this if you are using an autoblocking device like a guide-atc, cinch, gri-gri, or eldrid. For the guide-atc (probably the cheapest device on the list) you will have it in the configuration with 2 carabiners as described in the included instructions. I recommend getting one of these devices if you are going to be doing more multipitch. You do not want to belay a normal ATC off the anchor, because you will not be able to get the brake hand into the correct orientation to protect a fall. ATC is fine for the second to belay the leader, in case you are short on devices.

I did a lot of self-instruction, and I also have spent 8 days out with guides. The guide days aren't cheap, but they are worth it. FInding a mentor is cheaper, but what you are doing isn't extremely technical.

From Bear Creek, CO
Joined Nov 9, 2006
1,282 points
Jun 14, 2012
You must mean that you'll lead the first pitch, of course you wouldn't top rope it. You need to make sure you understand how to use your ATC guide for a top belay. From the route description you can tell that a single rope will be fine. In fact, you could just walk off from the top instead of rapping. Use common sense and triple check everything. If you do rappel, make sure to tie knots at the ends of your rope. It's also a good idea to use an autoblock or some backup to your rappel. Obviously you sound like a noob, because you are one. After you've double checked your systems, check again. Good luck out there. Vaughne
Joined Mar 21, 2011
28 points
Jun 14, 2012
Top of Montezuma's Tower
2 things,

Listen to what has been said above. All good advice. If you feel comfortable with the skills Jake mentions, give it a go. I'm not going to tell you you need a mentor, but you also need to know what your getting into. That means research and practice. I appreciate that you are doing your research with this thread, but you need more info sources than just MP.

The second thing, something no one has mentioned yet:


Before you leave the ground! Know what the steps are. Discuss each others roles with your partner. Make sure both of you know what is going to happen. Make sure both of you are clear on the commands for each step. Don't assume you will be able to hear your partner, have a non-verbal command system, rope tugs usually. Make sure your tugs are obviously tugs and can be distinguished from natural movement of the rope while climbing. Too many people get hurt due to poor communication (on single pitch even), multi pitch climbs make communication even more vital and challenging.

I guarantee in the learning process you will find holes in you knowledge. It might not happen the first time or the second time, but eventually you will find a spot where you don't know what to do. Will you know enough to figure it out, or will you be shit out of luck. The more you learn and practice before you leave the ground, the better prepared you will be.

Cheers and good luck!
Tom Grummon
From Golden, CO
Joined Oct 20, 2009
33 points
Jun 14, 2012
Mongol Hoarde
lol Sorry for the typo, I meant that we would be lead climbing, not top roping the pitch. Thanks for the advice for finding a mentor, I will try to do that. It's true that I'm inexperienced, which is why I posted in the beginner's section. I really like the idea of practicing to belay from above on one of the single pitch climbs. Nonetheless, I will take the overall advice of finding a mentor to help guide me through the process. Thanks for the help. Edward Pyune
From Las Vegas, NV
Joined Apr 11, 2012
668 points
Jul 12, 2012
AWWWWWW, did my post get sacked. Just havin a little fun guys common pooler
From Albany, NY
Joined Sep 28, 2009
21 points
Jul 12, 2012
OK seriously read a book, get a mentor, and practice, practice , practice. What everyone else has said is right on. Have fun be safe. Sorry about the rock and resole crap. But you gotta admit it was kinda funny pooler
From Albany, NY
Joined Sep 28, 2009
21 points
Jul 12, 2012
The wife and I road-trippin on the Connie.
Ed - Most of us find your description of ATC use a little concerning. I'm going to assume you have a regular ATC type belay device. So you're going to be belaying off your harness and most likely will want to do a redirect. Just like if you were top-rope belaying from the ground, except you're hanging from the anchor too. I was bored so i drew you up a little sketch of a few ways you can do this. It's definitely not the only ways, just some easy suggested ways.

some simple 2-bolt belay techniques.
some simple 2-bolt belay techniques.

#1 & #5. 2 draws and 1 locker. - Both #1 and #5 are identical, one uses the rope, the other the PAS. Personally, i'd use the rope. Tie an 8 on a bit and clip it to opposed draws, then put another knot below that to use as a redirect. Try and get your belay lower device a good bit lower than the redirect point, much more-so than i drew in #1. Quick and easy, but really only works efficiently if you're swinging leads. Your tie-in isn't adjustable.

#2 2 quick draws and 1-2 lockers - anchor yourself into both bolts with your PAS and redirect thru the quickdraws. Simple and easy. Downside is you're hanging on one bolt rather than the master point. Swinging or block leading is easy if your partner's got a PAS too. You can save some biners by sharing the PAS w/ the top biners of the quickdraw, but may be triaxialy loading them.

#3 - 2 lockers, 2 random biners, 1 48" sling - Make a real master point by tying the sling. Clove hitch yourself into the master point or top shelf (thru both of the upper loops). Redirect thru the master point. This uses the most gear, but is really versatile. Easy to swing leads or block lead, easy to anchor your partner, just clove him into the master point. Redudant, works great for direct belay off the anchor with a munter, grigri, or ATC guide. You can easily adjust your distance from the anchor with the clove hitch.

#4 - 1 locker, 2 biners - Minimalist - Double figure 8 on a bite "bunny ears" clipped to both bolts. Same as #1 w/o the quickdraws. You can also overlay #4 and #2 on top of eacy other... clipping the loops of the "bunny ears" into the top biners of the quickdraw and redirecting the bleay thru the bottom of the draws. This is useful if you don't have a PAS but are too close to the anchors for the low redirect point of #4.

#1, 3, 4, and 5 if you can turn around and face out from the rock and sit on a slab, you can direct belay w/o the redirect. In some situations that's easier/better. Make sure you're hanging from the anchor and braced for if your partner falls.

There are LOTS of other ways to do this. The best way is the way that does it safely with the gear you have with you. You should know how to do all these methods and more before you get into a multipitch. I recommend finding/following a mentor... but i learned from reading books myself. Freedom of the hills, and John Long's Anchors and More Anchors are good resources.
Larry S
From Easton, Pennsylvania
Joined May 28, 2010
923 points
Jul 12, 2012
pooler wrote:
OK seriously read a book, get a mentor, and practice, practice , practice. What everyone else has said is right on. Have fun be safe.

Yep. I don't think on route is the time to first time learn. Plainly put it's dangerous. At least go up one other time with an experience person to get the gist of it, then study. Or practice on single / double pitch trad building anchors etc.

And how hard you climb has nothing to do with it. I watch a girl the other weak float up a 5.10 and back clipped every single draw. Finally as she hit the crux bolt I had to yell up at her to get a good draw in.
Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Joined Feb 15, 2006
987 points
Jul 12, 2012
Scott McMahon wrote:
YeI watch a girl the other weak float up a 5.10 and back clipped every single draw. Finally as she hit the crux bolt I had to yell up at her to get a good draw in.

What was the belayer doing? Texting?
Sir Wanksalot
From County Jail
Joined Sep 29, 2011
14 points
Jul 12, 2012
Randy W. wrote:
What was the belayer doing? Texting?

Brand new belayer, and with a gri-gri to boot. Lowering went ok till the last 10 feet when she dropped her about 5 feet really fast. She let out a pretty good shriek too.

haha I should probably add that to the "are gri-gri's dangerous thread".
Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Joined Feb 15, 2006
987 points
Jul 12, 2012
One rope will be fine for that route.

Its a good first multipitch route. If you are a 5.10 leader you should have no problem...its graded pretty soft.
Joined Mar 31, 2010
30 points

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