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Two climbers ascending on the same ropes


Original Post
Avery Angarshli · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

In the context of moving quickly, what could go wrong with two climbers ascending double ropes, simultaneously.

<updated for context>

Last week, two fellow climbers got on a two pitch climb, that requires you to rappel to the base, and climb up.  They had fixed rope for the second pitch, and slingshot anchor for the first.

The climb turned out to be more than they could chew on.  By 4.30, got a call, wondering if they could ascend the double ropes, in sequence, at the same time, as there was little time.  Using prusiks.

The base is wild; dhole, leopard, and bear country.  Hence the anxiety, and the thought.

Anyways, I veered on the side of caution with the advice, and they ascended one at a time, and exited in darkness.

In retrospective, or for future reference, looking for information that would suggest whether it is an acceptable idea (or what kind of lowered margin of safety or we talking about).

Thanks in advance for useful information here.

Andrew R · · Arizony · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 3,862

I am struggling to imagine a scenario where this saves enough/any time versus simply fixing both lines to be worth the added risk. Maybe you can give a little more context 

Marc H · · Longmont, CO · Joined May 2007 · Points: 250

Double rope simul-climbing is doable. I like having one person tie into the middle of one of the ropes, the other climber ties into the two ends. The second rope is coiled and carried on the back on either climber. All advantages of double rope systems are in play: low impact forces on gear in case of a fall; low rope drag; etc. with only ~30-35 meters between climbers, communication is pretty easy. If you don’t need second rope for descent, leave that shiz at home.

I don’t advise using this system unless both climbers are very competent on the terrain. 

Fitz · · Rogers, KY · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 20

Prussik and....Link the two climbers together with a long sling.  Then if there is an inequality of weight distribution, the rope can not slide much....however, I would avoid anything like this unless it were absolutely mandatory, as in the bears had already ripped of an arm.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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