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Jumaring to follow harder leads


Original Post
Jeremy Byrne · · oak hills CA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 75

Hey guys, just wondering what your thoughts are on this. I am leading around 5.11 trad and my partner follows about 5.9 trad. Would it be reasonable to follow 5.11 multi pitches by jumaring the hard stuff. Here are my thoughts: bring two ropes on a non traversing pitch, belay with the lead rope and jumar the second rope which is fixed at the top of this pitch. This way there is a guaranteed safe belay.  

kevin deweese · · Oakland, Ca · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 405
Jeremy Byrne wrote: Hey guys, just wondering what your thoughts are on this. I am leading around 5.11 trad and my girlfriend follows about 5.9 trad. Would it be reasonable for her to follow 5.11 multi pitches by jumaring the hard stuff. Here are my thoughts: bring two ropes on a non traversing pitch, she will be belayed with the lead rope and jumar the second rope which is fixed at the top of this pitch. This way she is guaranteed a safe belay.     

For straight up and down routes there will be no problems. Once the route starts to veer left or right it will take your gf having knowledge of passing a piece, lowering out, or more muscle to get through those sections. If a section has a long traversing (or even just trending left or right) section without pro, expect to have a few pieces that get left behind by your second because it becomes harder to swing back and get the piece out depending upon how long the lowerout has to be.

The rules for screwing the second when there’s sections of traversing freeclimbing with little or crap protection are infinitely more pronounced when following on juggs 

Generally, unless your partner is the one suggesting it, I’d stay away from this method if you want things to be good once you return home from your gnar climbing trip. 

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

Sounds doable. I've prusiked through cruxes before and I was glad I got to do the route.

I think a key consideration is how much jumaring will she have to do and is she comfortable with it. For me, it was just a few feet.

Edit: I assume she has used ascenders before and knows what she's doing. 

Healyje · · PDX · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 456

It's not a good idea and going to suck for her.

Chris Blatchley · · Somerville, MA · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 0

i'll just say, if my climbing partner suggested we do some hard multipitch, and i said i couldn't follow that hard, and they said, can't you just jumar the hard pitches, i would tell them to fuck right off.

there's plenty of routes you guys should be able to swing leads on that are at least three stars.

and there's plenty of climbers that you can swing leads on harder stuff with.

Jim Fox · · Westminster, CO · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 50

Jumaring isn't much fun but your idea isn't impossible.
If there are just a few hard moves she can't do, aiding (either pulling on gear or using etriers) can be an option but not good for sustained stuff

Big B · · Sin City, NV · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 1

if its just a few sections she cant do, leave long slings off the bolt or piece so she can pull through
edit: Jim beat me to it^

Sam Miller · · Bend, OR · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 30

If there are only a few short hard sections, then id say go for it. Or just have her aid the 5.11 sections. One rope is fine, just use 2 jumars and tie backup knots.

Señor Arroz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10
Chris Blatchley wrote: i'll just say, if my climbing partner suggested we do some hard multipitch, and i said i couldn't follow that hard, and they said, can't you just jumar the hard pitches, i would tell them to fuck right off.

there's plenty of routes you guys should be able to swing leads on that are at least three stars.

and there's plenty of climbers that you can swing leads on harder stuff with.

+1

Speaking as someone who has been married for a long time, take it from me that dragging your significant other into situations where she's out of her depth isn't really the best idea. Enjoy climbing some great 5.9s with her. It's awesome that you have that in common. If you want her to follow harder stuff start by just placing pro in ways that it can help her French free through the tough spots. But don't intentionally sandbag her, ever. 

Tim Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,476

It's going to be great, honey. And you should see the new Petzl ascenders I got for you. 

Everett · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 25
kevin deweese wrote:

For straight up and down routes there will be no problems. Once the route starts to veer left or right it will take your gf having knowledge of passing a piece, lowering out, or more muscle to get through those sections. If a section has a long traversing (or even just trending left or right) section without pro, expect to have a few pieces that get left behind by your second because it becomes harder to swing back and get the piece out depending upon how long the lowerout has to be.

The rules for screwing the second when there’s sections of traversing freeclimbing with little or crap protection are infinitely more pronounced when following on juggs 

Generally, unless your partner is the one suggesting it, I’d stay away from this method if you want things to be good once you return home from your gnar climbing trip. 

Oh, snap. How do willing belay slaves follow on really hard walls, where the leader doesn't have the energy to place gear all over traverses or roofs? A second rack to reaid when they have to?

Christopher Woodall · · Somerville, MA · Joined May 2015 · Points: 169

Seems like what you should do is get her following more 9s. Then some 10s, possibly aiding a move here or there when necessary... Then maybe 11s are in her future, she might even be PSYCHED to try them. Sounds like a more fun plan to me! More time on the wall comfortably pushing her limits, more milage for you (never a bad thing). All in all, seems like a good trade off to me, everyone gets better in the process! More fun, and probably cheaper than the alternatives.

Señor Arroz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10
Christopher Woodall wrote: Seems like what you should do is get her following more 9s. Then some 10s, possibly aiding a move here or there when necessary... Then maybe 11s are in her future, she might even be PSYCHED to try them. Sounds like a more fun plan to me! More time on the wall comfortably pushing her limits, more milage for you (never a bad thing). All in all, seems like a good trade off to me, everyone gets better in the process! More fun, and probably cheaper than the alternatives.

this, plus spend some time with her leading on whatever she's comfortable with. 

reboot · · . · Joined Jul 2006 · Points: 125

I mean, people pay $$ to jumar up El Cap. But if you have to ask on MP, the answer is probably no. On the other hand, if you are really only 20, the consequence isn't all doom and gloom like the old farts are making it out to be.

JohnnyG · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 10

I did this a bunch with my girlfriend. Now she's my wife :-)  

Usually, she would pick the routes.  We also climbed quite a few walls like this. Some of those wall are now free climbs. She has a natural aptitude for ropes and knots, so the ropework and backup knots never bothered her. Some memorable climbs were Liberty Crack and Lotus Flower Tower. Those are pretty straight up

Her general philosophy is that if she chose the adventure, then it was her choice to be up there. Not at all like " dragging your significant other into situations where she's out of her depth "  Of course, I've done that too, but I learned my lessons before I met my wife.

Healyje · · PDX · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 456
reboot wrote:On the other hand, if you are really only 20, the consequence isn't all doom and gloom like the old farts are making it out to be.
Yeah, that's the ticket and what the hell, getting new girlfriends is easy when you're young.
stolo · · Shelby, NC · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 191

Go in a group of three and let her aid the hard stuff, 3rd person following closely behind cleans gear

Señor Arroz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10
Healyje wrote: Yeah, that's the ticket and what the hell, getting new girlfriends is easy when you're young.

This is a good point. But maybe, in that case, it's better to just get the 5.11 compliant GF in advance rather than spend perfectly good money on ascenders and couples' therapy.

Healyje · · PDX · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 456

5.11 girlfriends are a lot more work than 5.9 girlfriends...

reboot · · . · Joined Jul 2006 · Points: 125

And 5.12 (trad) girlfriends are pretty much the envy of a climbing town.

Ted.kemble · · tower city PA · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 5

why not just rig a 3:1 or 5:1 and help her thru the hard part ?  

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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