Stick clipping first bolt


Original Post
jsanders · Dec 17, 2015 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 195
I'm a relatively inexperienced climber. Starting to lead some sport routes. When I stick clip the first bolt, I orient the rope so that it's not back clipped. However, this rope orientation seems actually seems somewhat backwards to top roping, which is basically what you are doing until you reach the first bolt. The belayers side is occasionally in the way, you have to step over the rope, etc. If the belayer is at any distance from the base of the cliff, it seems to be a pain.
My question is: can one, or does anyone, back clip the rope in the draw they are putting up, then clip another draw ,opposite and opposed, to the first bolt when you reach it? Or alternatively, place another draw, clip in appropriately, then remove the back clipped one you stick clipped? Are either of these common, or accepted practices?

Jake Jones · Dec 17, 2015 · Richmond, VA · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 763
You're doing it correctly. Have your belayer stand right up against the rock, but to one side- away from you. The belayer should have minimal slack out. Off to one side so as to keep the rope out of your way, and also to be out of the fall zone should you pop off before you reach the second bolt. Another reason for your belayer to be close to the rock is so that they don't get yanked into the wall, and so that there's no excess slack in the system where groundfall is a concern. I suppose you could do what you describe, but there's usually no reason to, and if the route is difficult, especially near the first bolt, you want to just keep going and not expend precious energy messing with re-clipping/unclipping shenanigans.

Vaughn · Dec 17, 2015 · Colorado · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 25
No. That seems silly and ineffective. I can't really imagine why that would help at all. If you are having trouble with the rope getting in the way, have your belayer stand close to the rock and to the side until you've clipped the second bolt.

Jon Rhoderick · Dec 17, 2015 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 560
You could also use a locker and not worry about backclipping or twisting

Eric Engberg · Dec 17, 2015 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 0
Jake Jones wrote:You're doing it correctly. Have your belayer stand right up against the rock, but to one side- away from you. The belayer should have minimal slack out. Off to one side so as to keep the rope out of your way, and also to be out of the fall zone should you pop off before you reach the second bolt. Another reason for your belayer to be close to the rock is so that they don't get yanked into the wall, and so that there's no excess slack in the system where groundfall is a concern. I suppose you could do what you describe, but there's usually no reason to, and if the route is difficult, especially near the first bolt, you want to just keep going and not expend precious energy messing with re-clipping/unclipping shenanigans.
This. Also actively manage the rope out of the climber's way with the non-brake hand. One caveat. No matter how much you try to be to the side and out of the way of the leader who plummets before the 2nd bolt its an unfortunate fact that is the leader outweighs you and falls that low on the route your head will likely end up in the proximity of their feet. Have a coping strategy.

Jake Jones · Dec 17, 2015 · Richmond, VA · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 763
Eric Engberg wrote: Have a coping strategy.
I've caught a Miura across the nose and forehead a few times. It happens. Your climber will appreciate it. It's just part of climbing sometimes. I want my climber to feel 100% confident and focus on the climbing. It's better for them, and for the belayer ultimately.

David Gibbs · Dec 18, 2015 · Ottawa, ON · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 6
What everyone else has said -- clip it properly. You don't want to have to unclip & reclip at the bolt.

The rope may be in the way whatever you do, but which way the rope goes through the biner will have negligible affect on whether the rope is in your way. It is far more to do with where your belayer is standing while belaying you. They need to be close in to the wall, with as little rope out as possible, and off to whatever side of you they need to be to be out of your way. And, of course, watching carefully to be able to guide the rope out of your way, as needed.

Jeremy in Inyokern · Dec 18, 2015 · Inyokern · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 3
If your idea seems complicated you are doing it wrong or need instruction. Maybe both.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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