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Rope Soloing Set up ?


Original Post
Holly Thomas · · Port Angeles, Washington · Joined Aug 2017 · Points: 0

Hey, All!

This certainly is not a women's only topic but I'd love to receive technical advice from this community before opening it to the certain onslaught on other forums.
I've been top rope soloing all summer using a single rope. I secure this rope to bolted anchors using either a bowline (on staples, bit of an odd set up but it's an odd place) or a figure 8 off a more traditional top rope anchor (cordelette on 2 bolts) and back it up with a single strand attached to a nearby bolt with a locker. I'm not too worried about the anchoring but rather the back up of the grirgi. My rope is smooth and narrow enough that it slides easily through my device without me having to fiddle with it mid route. I tie a back up butterfly high enough up the rope to prevent decking (considering rope stretch) and essentially carry on from there without additional safety knots. As additional back up, I've tried to use a nylon sling in prusik'd around the rope below the belay but this ends up gumming up and catching in the grigri and/or, catching and resulting in a large bite of rope between it and the gri gri. I do own a micro traxion but it seems to catch far more than the grigri and I don't love it. 
This system could certainly use some improvement, I'd love any suggestions and/or to hear what any of you do!
Thanks!

- Holly 

Gabe B. · · Madison, WI · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 86

Might be better for the gear discussion, but Petzl has numerous resources for rope solo setups. One of their key points is to keep your primary and back up system of the same type to avoid complexity. So a micro-traction and an ascender. They both grab the rope the same way and both slide up without too much interaction. In the case of the grigri, I'm not sure what an appropriate backup system would be. Perhaps tying knots in the rope as you go?

Gabe B. · · Madison, WI · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 86
Robert S · · Driftwood, TX · Joined 30 days ago · Points: 226
Maureen Maguire · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 0

You could put your micro traction on a chest harness...prevents backwards fall in addition to a back up without knots following your ascent.  I use a silent partner and a micro traction ... sometimes gri gri and a series of back up knots but for longer harder I like the silent partner set up.   Better to prevent a long fall when you're alone especially over easier ground.

Holly Thomas · · Port Angeles, Washington · Joined Aug 2017 · Points: 0

Thanks, Everybody! 

Nolan Huther · · Potsdam, NY · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 495

As an aside, if fixing the rope to two bolts, a bunny ears figure 8 is my favorite - very easy to untie in my experience.

For the setup, I've used the microtraxion as a backup to a standard ascender (with a neck tether to pull it up). I've never noticed the microtraxion catching - does it just do this on its own? Is there a specific move that makes it catch? What diameter rope are you using? Maybe that makes a difference. I'm just curious about how this occurs for you, I hate snags in TR solo setups and I'd like to watch out for this

Max Tepfer · · Bend, OR · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 1,655

I really like either two microtraxions or one as my secondary and a camp lift as my primary.  (nice for folks that don’t like toothed cams)  I think one of the most key components is a chest harness to keep your primary device oriented properly to minimize friction on the rope and encourage smooth travel. (I haven’t used a grigri more than a handful of times, but am not sure a chest harness would be advised). I’ve been using an old headlamp strap with two small non lockers that get clipped to the primary micro’s locker on either side of the device to keep it upright and centered. 

One option for backing up the system you’re using now would be to basket hitch a sling to your belay loop and clip a microtrax to it that trails below the grigri. I do think it’s a good idea to use two devices as I’ve definitely botched it before and realized that one wasn’t properly engaged. 

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,445
Holly Thomas wrote: Hey, All!

This certainly is not a women's only topic but I'd love to receive technical advice from this community before opening it to the certain onslaught on other forums.
I've been top rope soloing all summer using a single rope. I secure this rope to bolted anchors using either a bowline (on staples, bit of an odd set up but it's an odd place) or a figure 8 off a more traditional top rope anchor (cordelette on 2 bolts) and back it up with a single strand attached to a nearby bolt with a locker. I'm not too worried about the anchoring but rather the back up of the grirgi. My rope is smooth and narrow enough that it slides easily through my device without me having to fiddle with it mid route. I tie a back up butterfly high enough up the rope to prevent decking (considering rope stretch) and essentially carry on from there without additional safety knots. As additional back up, I've tried to use a nylon sling in prusik'd around the rope below the belay but this ends up gumming up and catching in the grigri and/or, catching and resulting in a large bite of rope between it and the gri gri. I do own a micro traxion but it seems to catch far more than the grigri and I don't love it. 
This system could certainly use some improvement, I'd love any suggestions and/or to hear what any of you do!
Thanks!

- Holly 

Although it is more work, ( you want a workout right?) I just use a proper rope and pull through the slack as I go. This is also more realistic to actually climbing as you would have to stop and clip anyway. Easier ascend/descend too and move around the wall safely this way.

Alec Orenstein · · Gallup, NM · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 10

Just want to give another recommendation for the Camp Lift. I use it as my primary rope solo device. (I usually back up with a gri gri below.) It feeds like butter and has no teeth, so I feel good falling on it even if I’m a little off to the side of the rope line.

Darren Mabe · · Flagstaff, AZ · Joined Dec 2002 · Points: 3,830

Check out Camp Goblin
https://www.mountainproject.com/forum/topic/114511775/another-tr-solo-thread-camp-goblin-demo​​​

Lift is also good, backed up by Microtrax, but definitely don't stack it the other way. If Lift is below a device and the upper fails, the Lift likely won't engage..

wonderwoman · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2006 · Points: 88
Holly Thomas wrote: Hey, All!

This certainly is not a women's only topic but I'd love to receive technical advice from this community before opening it to the certain onslaught on other forums.

This is by no means a criticism, but I am super curious as to why you wanted to ask in the women's forum before asking in the other forums.  

Ģnöfudør Ðrænk · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 2
Alec Orenstein wrote: Just want to give another recommendation for the Camp Lift. I use it as my primary rope solo device. (I usually back up with a gri gri below.) It feeds like butter and has no teeth, so I feel good falling on it even if I’m a little off to the side of the rope line.

Regarding the camp lift, the following quote is from the moosejaw product page for the camp lift.

"Not designed for use in personal ascending or self belay."

I looked thru camp's manual for the lift and couldn't find any corroboration of moosejaw's statement, so who knows?
R.Walters · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2006 · Points: 335
Darren Mabe wrote: 
Lift is also good, backed up by Microtrax, but definitely don't stack it the other way. If Lift is below a device and the upper fails, the Lift likely won't engage..


This point seems worth highlighting.
Darren Mabe · · Flagstaff, AZ · Joined Dec 2002 · Points: 3,830
Ģnöfudør Ðrænk wrote:

Regarding the camp lift, the following quote is from the moosejaw product page for the camp lift.

"Not designed for use in personal ascending or self belay."

I looked thru camp's manual for the lift and couldn't find any corroboration of moosejaw's statement, so who knows?

I'd say it is designed for rope ascent, but they don't really say it could/should be used for self belay. Though many of us use it that way. The Goblin is designed specifically as a fall arrest device and I have already taken many falls on it. 

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