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TR Solo Question - Switching to Rappel
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Apr 11, 2011
Rock Climbing Photo: ICE PIT 2011
So i trid TR Solo this weekend it was great. I have a question on how to make the switch more efficent from Tope rope solo climbing to rappelling on a GriGri or other device.

I set a beefy anchor and tie a Figure 8 on a double bite in the middle of the rope and that goes to the TR Anchors.

I use. Two Minitraxions with DMM Belay Biners on one strain of the rope like the setup in this picture.

Then i use a 24" sling girthed hitched to my harness with with two lockers as a back up. I clip these in the the rope strain on the left that has Figure8s tied every 10' or so. Setup is like the following picture.

I bring with me Daisy chaing, two prusik 6-7mm cords, Ascendor, 24" sling, extra Locker, 4 biners, and a Petzl Foottape

I have been doing the following to switch to rappel.

Left Rope - Has Mini Traxons
Right Rope - Has Backup Figure 8 Knots every 10'.

1. Hookup ascendor to Left Rope and clip in to it with my daisy.

2. Tie a new backup not into the right rope. So i fuck up while switching im not falling 10' on to my backup knot.

3. Unhook bottom Mini traxion

4. Hookup Gri Gri to my belay loop below the top minitraxon

5. Unhook top Mini traxion

6. Put a Prusik below the GriGri

7. Shift all your weight on to the GriGri and off the ascendor

8. Check Everything

9. Remove Ascendor from Left Rope (only thing on the left rope is the GriGri Now

10. Remove backup locks from the right rope.

11. Good to rap down

Issues i am having is Minitraxs and/or GriGri's Jam together and once on the GriGri the last minitrax is difficult to remove.

Any help would be great.
From Alsip, Il
Joined Apr 19, 2009
844 points
Apr 11, 2011
Rock Climbing Photo: OMG, I winz!!!
Since you're pretty into redundancy I would...

Clip into anchor with daisy.
Clove into non-MT rope with locker.
Take everything off MT rope.
Put GriGri on MT rope. Test.
Remove clove and daisy.
Chris Plesko
From Westminster, CO
Joined Oct 18, 2007
560 points
Apr 11, 2011
I TR solo with a Ropeman and no backup so perhaps I'm not the correct person to answer this but wouldn't it just be simplest to clip to your anchor with a daisy while you swap the trax for a rappel device? What's with all the extra shit? It's not making you any safer.

If you have two mini traxons why are you also clipping into another rope with back ups? God would really have to hate you to have two of those things fail. If you like having two ropes just ditch one of the mini's. The ascender at the switch over is also unnecessary. Just clip directly into the master point of your anchor and thread your gri gri below the trax. You could do a couple leg wraps to back up the gri gri while you are removing the traxon if you really feel that a gri gri is gonna fail on you and you don't want to fall on your back up to your back up.

It might seem that all the extra steps you are taking is making you safer but it's not. Having back ups to your backups which are backing up your backups is just slow and makes you more prone to rigging screw ups.
Joined Jan 16, 2011
6 points
Apr 12, 2011
Before answering your specific question I suggest simplifying and lightening your load. Dispense with the back-up knots. But having that second length of rope only for rapping is nice since your MT rope is weighted at the bottom. Leave the daisy, ascender and foottape on the ground. In the worst-case, mid-pitch, 'gotta escape now' scenario, all you'll want to do is rap. To do so you'll need to rig your rap device on rap line, weight it (using prussik as footloop), remove MTs and away you go.

As for your specific question, the one assumption here is that you've arrived at the anchor.

1) Clip into the anchor with two slings that remain at the anchor for the duration of your session.

2) Disengage cams of both MTs and lock cams in the 'off' position (so both are 'pulley only') but leave the MT's on the rope.

3) Rig rap device to rap line (using short sling girth-hitched to belay loop for clearance between rap device and upper MT). (Gri-gri is too big/heavy to be lugging around.)

4) Unclip from anchor and rap. MTs will glide down with you though you may have to apply modest pressure to keep the cam of the upper MT from catching.

Arrive on the ground, remove rap device from rope and belay loop. And with two flicks of your thumb to re-engage the MT cams you're climbing again. This is very fast and futz-free. Heed Thoreau: simplify, simplify. And keep the pump alive between laps! Rest when you want to rest, not because of down-time dealing with a complicated system.
Joined Mar 1, 2007
4 points
Apr 12, 2011
ABB wrote:
2) Disengage cams of both MTs and lock cams in the 'off' position (so both are 'pulley only') but leave the MT's on the rope.

A guy just decked from about 30' at my local crag because he left his device on the line when he rapped but forgot to engage it when he left the ground. He's been using the same system for almost 10 years. I would seriously recommend getting in the habit of double checking that cam before you leave the ground if you leave them on the line when you rap. Real easy to forget they are not locked and just lean back on the line for a rest and find yourself on the ground again.

One of the reasons I like my ropeman. It doesn't have an off switch.
Joined Jan 16, 2011
6 points
Apr 12, 2011
Rock Climbing Photo: Avatard
Yer all gonna die Shaft
From Salt Lake City
Joined Jul 6, 2007
105 points
Apr 12, 2011
Rock Climbing Photo: ICE PIT 2011
The Anchor Switch wasnt an issue. I forgot to mention that it was a switch mid rope.

I will probably simplify the setup. Using 1 Modified MT and a backup knots or two Minitraxons..

Modified MT has the cam stop filed down so the cam can never be disengaged.

What setup does everyone else use????
From Alsip, Il
Joined Apr 19, 2009
844 points
Apr 12, 2011
Rock Climbing Photo: Wall Street, Moab, UT
sunder wrote:
The Anchor Switch wasn't an issue. I forgot to mention that it was a switch mid rope..... What setup does everyone else use????

I often take 1 or 2 full size ascenders along for the ride, and if I need to switch to rappel anywhere along the rope(s) I'll attach one (or both) to the rope above my solo device, and then clip my daisy to it and weight that while I switch out devices underneath. The full size (jug handle) type ascenders allow me to pull up easily and un-weight the daisy when I'm ready to shift the load to the rap device. They also allow me to aid climb past any sections of a project I can't get up free yet, or take pictures of some of you folks on your routes...
Peter Stokes
From Them Thar Hills
Joined Apr 30, 2009
152 points
Apr 12, 2011
sunder wrote:
Modified MT has the cam stop filed down so the cam can never be disengaged.

Nice! Haven't seen that done before. I'll mention it to my buddy once his broken ankle heals!
Joined Jan 16, 2011
6 points
Apr 12, 2011
Rock Climbing Photo: Vervet Monkeys know which site is best.
You guys are all crazy with your double MT setup. How did that become the norm?!? It seems horribly inconvenient to escape into rappel mode. And judging by the above comments it's rather unsafe.

I've posted at length on these TR solo threads so I'll keep it short and sweet.

- I tie off two separate figure-of-8's on a bite near the middle of the rope so each strand will be hanging from the powerpoint on its own knot (for the redundant-minded OP)

- Trango Cinch as the "upper" solo device (on DMM belaymaster biner to belay loop) on one strand of rope

- MiniTrax on a 10" sling from my belay loop as the "lower" device on the second strand of rope

Both devices flow smoothly while you climb up.

Sit (or fall) and the Cinch catches you first. The MT does not engage unless the Cinch slips more than 10 inches or so, which basically never happens.

Here's the EASY PART: As you sit comfortably with your weight on the Cinch you can disengage the teeth on the MT (which was never weighted) and just rappel in the manner that the Cinch was designed to do. Does it get much easier than that? I doubt it.

Edit: It HAS to be a Cinch. TR Soloing with a GriGri is the opposite of smooth.
From Cape Ann
Joined Apr 22, 2007
510 points
Aug 14, 2011
Don't weight your rope, I don't understand why people do this after trying their system out more than a few times. I top rope solo tons of short routes as I live in Texas, and my MT starts tracking freely at about 10 feet off the deck with just the weight of the rope.

Ether loose the backup knots, or one of the MTs, I'm surprised you don't have a backup for your belay loop. I personally use one MT and backup knots as you do, once I'm able to get a wild country rope man, I'll drop the second line all together. It looks like you're copying the setup Steph Davis used and has posted on her blog, but she now too has ditched one of her MTs for the ropeman (or something similar).

I practiced switching to rap with my solo top roping setup from a tree before going out, and have a few months of weekly climbing on it, and the fact is that unless you can stand on a ledge, or put your weight on an anchor, switching to rap is going to be a pain in the ass, and it's part of solo top roping and nothing is going come near replacing yelling take and then lower to a partner.

I do this (when using a single MT on a two rope system):

Put a autoblock knot right above the MT, to keep it from moving up, and to later back up my rap device.

On the second line I tie a knot, higher on the rope than the MT and if I have the strength I just batman up and clip into it, if not I either tie a knot to stand in below, or put another small autoblocking knot to stand up in.

You should now be hanging from the second rope, and able to disengage you MT(s). I remove mine completely and place them on my harness.

On the first rope I then rig my ATC extended by my PAS above the autoblock knot, and then tie the autoblock into my leg loop (I've had dummies tell me crap about doing this, but it's more than okay and taught by The Freedom of The Hills, Mike Barter, and quite a few other books, it's not holding body weight, it is only keeping friction on the belay device by holding the rope below it)

I then either pull myself up or stand back up in the knot from before to raise my ATC enough to switch the weight over to the first rope.

Now you can un-clip from the backup knot and take everything off of your second rope, and you are on a backed up rap, which I'm surprised you don't do. I don't think anyone should be raping alone without a back up to stop you if your brake hand comes off the rope. Does the Gri Gri do this for you? Sell your second MT and Gri Gri, get a ropeman.

Russell Bangert
Joined Jun 2, 2011
28 points

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