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downclimbing a TR solo route


Just Solo · · Colorado Springs · Joined Nov 2003 · Points: 80
USBRIT Ross wrote:

For the few who put up first ascents on sight ground up, it is an essential skill

Downclimbing for any climber really should be a fundamental. However, down climbing ground up on lead is totally different than trying to manage a fixed rope with a device designed for ascension while trying to downclimb. I would actually put that in a realm of unsafe, and completely impractical.

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 442

Actually, using one of the rope access devices she wouldn't have to futz with it at all because it's designed to go up and down the rope smoothly. If she gets a good rope-device combination so that it feeds smoothly then it is totally fine and safe. Even if it doesn't feed smoothly, she'll still be safe, just a PITA

Michael Miletich · · Burlington, Vermont · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 0

I have a goblin I would sell if anyone wants it.  I bought it for rope solo but don't care for it.  It works fine as a back up and on low angle terain....kinda heavy....and an a button that changes its caming for downclimbing felt unsafe......as a primary it was easier to just use a Grigri or basic on Chest harness. The silent parter works great for downclimbing and feels safe with backup knotts under you.....if you can find one.

l oa · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 420
Just Solo wrote:

The best bet for that type of training is find some longer bouldering routes and do up and down traverses. As mentioned, dealing with a self belay while down climbing with any sort camming device would pretty much require you to move it with almost every move. Definitely keep it conservative either way.

Not when you're in your 40's and prone to ankle sprains it's not!  But anyway thanks y'all. The idea came from a climbing friend who boulders a ton. I likely can borrow a device like this from one of the riggers in town and see if it suits my needs. The way my TR setup is already I tend to move my device up...since I dont use a chest harness. So I don't think that will be an issue. In fact, it just means I get to hold onto a hold longer, increasing my grip strength!!!

Just Solo · · Colorado Springs · Joined Nov 2003 · Points: 80
eli poss wrote:

Actually, using one of the rope access devices she wouldn't have to futz with it at all because it's designed to go up and down the rope smoothly. If she gets a good rope-device combination so that it feeds smoothly then it is totally fine and safe. Even if it doesn't feed smoothly, she'll still be safe, just a PITA

Yep, the only reason I say unsafe is trying to be in a solid stance every time the device needs to be moved. More often than not, bringing one of those down is a two handed operation, making a fall much more likely. For me, any soloing, device or not, is a NO FALL situation. The backup "pro" is there for piece of mind and just in case...

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 442
Just Solo wrote:

Yep, the only reason I say unsafe is trying to be in a solid stance every time the device needs to be moved. More often than not, bringing one of those down is a two handed operation, making a fall much more likely. For me, any soloing, device or not, is a NO FALL situation. The backup "pro" is there for piece of mind and just in case...

In my experience, if you find a good rope/device combination then it is usually hands-free but sometimes requires 1 hand to futz around with it. 

Stephen Felker · · Boulder, CO · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 485
Just Solo wrote:

Yep, the only reason I say unsafe is trying to be in a solid stance every time the device needs to be moved. More often than not, bringing one of those down is a two handed operation, making a fall much more likely. For me, any soloing, device or not, is a NO FALL situation. The backup "pro" is there for piece of mind and just in case...

I would not recommend solo down climbing on tr with an ascending device that requires disengaging a cam with a free hand to descend. Many years ago I zip-lined  20 feet down a rope doing just that and was lucky to have just burned my hands.  

Regarding your reluctance to fall on tr solo, you can definitely relax.  When set up properly, tr soloing is a great way to push your limits and bounce around on routes without burdening (or wasting time belaying) a partner.

l oa · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 420
Stephen Felker wrote:



Regarding your reluctance to fall on tr solo, you can definitely relax.  As long as you are set up properly, tr soloing is a great way to push your limits and bounce around on routes without burdening (or wasting time belaying) a partner.

Totally agree. I LOVE TR soloing. I think it is super safe and while I try not to fall, I often just hand out in mid air, as if on take on TR, and contemplate a move. I get alot of mileage in this way without the need for a gym membership or a belayer.

Nate Tastic · · 88,4,108,50, 80 · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 10

Stephen/Leslie, mind sharing your setup/s? 

Stephen Felker · · Boulder, CO · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 485
Nate Tastic wrote:

Stephen/Leslie, mind sharing your setup/s? 

On the left is my “up” configuration.  Moving right the series then shows how I transition to “down” configuration without anchoring in-direct.

Extending the primary device is key.

l oa · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 420
Nate Tastic wrote:

Stephen/Leslie, mind sharing your setup/s? 

I don't have a picture of mine, sorry. Essentially I hang a rope through an anchor, weight a side of the rope, attach my ropeman to that side and to my belay loop, and climb up. Super simple!

Nate Tastic · · 88,4,108,50, 80 · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 10
Stephen Felker wrote:

On the left is my “up” configuration.  Moving right the series then shows how I transition to “down” configuration without anchoring in-direct.

Extending the primary device is key.

That's the PETZL Microcender Ascender and C.A.M.P. Matik, correct? Also, is that the Mini Traxion? 

So you go up with the Microcender/Traxion combo, then to come down you add/switch over to your Matik? And the single rope is? (I highlight single because sometimes people use two ropes in their TR Solo setups.)


Nate Tastic · · 88,4,108,50, 80 · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 10
Leslie McG wrote:

I don't have a picture of mine, sorry. Essentially I hang a rope through an anchor, weight a side of the rope, attach my ropeman to that side and to my belay loop, and climb up. Super simple!

Ropeman 1 or Ropeman 2?

l oa · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 420
Nate Tastic wrote:

Ropeman 1 or Ropeman 2?

2


Just Solo · · Colorado Springs · Joined Nov 2003 · Points: 80
Stephen Felker wrote:

I would not recommend solo down climbing on tr with an ascending device that requires disengaging a cam with a free hand to descend. Many years ago I zip-lined  20 feet down a rope doing just that and was lucky to have just burned my hands.  

Regarding your reluctance to fall on tr solo, you can definitely relax.  When set up properly, tr soloing is a great way to push your limits and bounce around on routes without burdening (or wasting time belaying) a partner.

You guys are misreading my post, relative to the original question... The question regarded DOWNCLIMBING with an ascension device. That is what my comments are regarding. I am 100% with you on the TR CLIMBING side of the game... I mostly climb ice... so bouncing around on a frozen rope isn't the best option! ;-)  Take a look at my moniker... :-)

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 442
Just Solo wrote:

You guys are misreading my post, relative to the original question... The question regarded DOWNCLIMBING with an ascension device. That is what my comments are regarding. I am 100% with you on the TR CLIMBING side of the game... I mostly climb ice... so bouncing around on a frozen rope isn't the best option! ;-)  Take a look at my moniker... :-)

Except nobody was ever suggesting or asking about downclimbing with an ascension device. We were talking about rope access devices that are designed to go both up and down.

greggrylls · · Salt Lake City · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 67
eli poss wrote:

Except nobody was ever suggesting or asking about downclimbing with an ascension device. We were talking about rope access devices that are designed to go both up and down.

This.  Every TR solo thread degrades to people misreading stuff and starting made up arguments about lead soloing and in this case downclimbing.. Eli is right nobody was suggesting opening regular TR solo devices to decend. 


Edit:   Curious with peoples experience with these rope access devices.  My experience with the goblin was the mode was fiddly and didn’t slide down too well on my Rope.


David Kerkeslager · · New Paltz, NY · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 119
USBRIT Ross wrote:

For the few who put up first ascents on sight ground up, it is an essential skill

TBH downclimbing is an essential skill for any sort of onsight trad. I've never put up an FA but I downclimb all the time.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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