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best rope solo setup? feedback


Mikey Schaefer · · Redmond, OR · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 246
Mak Ely wrote:  Thank you for watching. However the video still demonstrates the spectrum these devices perform on.

I'll rummage for that thread someday. Have you always used the Back-Up in a two-piece system? The Back-Up itself is sufficient; a single device removes that potential.
Cheers. 

I'd recommend going back and watching the video again, specifically pay attention to 1:52 where they demonstrate using the HeightSafety Backup, which is a non tooth fall arrest device that is very similar to the Kong Backup.  Watch what happens to the rope, the sheath is shredded.  All devices used incorrectly and placed under extreme conditions will eventually lead to failures.  This isn't something that is unique to toothed camming devices which you seem to be inferring.  Understanding the limits of every piece of equipment is fundamental in safety systems. 

Do you have documentation from Kong explicitly stating the Backup is sufficient as a single use device in a climbing scenario?  Not talking about work positioning or fall arrest in a rope access scenario as this isn't the topic we are discussing.  

Here is petzl's documentation on using a variety of toothed ascenders in fixed line rope solo setup for climbing.  

https://www.petzl.com/US/en/Sport/Installation-on-one-single-rope-with-two-ascenders?ProductName=MICRO-TRAXION&Familly=Pulleys
Mak Ely · · Orange County · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 812
Mikey Schaefer wrote:
HeightSafety Backup
A lower quality device no doubt, and I am familiar with those style arrestors. They typically have a ribbed cam, which I don't consider "clean."
But I understand your point, I believe, and I see how I have corned myself with words. When I write "clean" camming devices I am referring to the quality and reliability.
These devices are some that come to mind: KONG Back-Up, CAMP Goblin, Petzl Shunt, and SafeTec Duck R.


Do you have documentation from Kong explicitly stating the Backup is sufficient as a single use device in a climbing scenario?  Not talking about work positioning or fall arrest in a rope access scenario as this isn't the topic we are discussing.  
There is no public documentation I can recover.
But the device is still used as directed under their specs, all in terms besides the obvious. However, this device is still, essentially, my "backup" because my feet and hands are points of contact. I.E. the device is performing under specs, just my hands and feet are the working line rather than a rope.  


Here is petzl's documentation on using a variety of toothed ascenders in fixed line rope solo setup for climbing.  

https://www.petzl.com/US/en/Sport/Installation-on-one-single-rope-with-two-ascenders?ProductName=MICRO-TRAXION&Familly=Pulleys
Petzl is one of the greatest companies for us users and these articles with their details really exemplify that.  
Hearsay from co workers but Petzl wrote that article after hearing that their devices are being used for TR solo; implying documentation isn't the motive for certain setups.
But I agree that having documentation is always seen as best practice.

Cheers! I'm enjoying our discussion. 
Greg R · · Durango CO · Joined Jan 2013 · Points: 0

Anyone use a hollow block above a micro traction? I’ve heard the micro will push a “loose” hollow block up the rope, but under load it will still grab. (TR  solo).           Next question- obvious pros and cons having a second rope for total redundancy, is it worth it?

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 507
Greg R wrote: obvious pros and cons having a second rope for total redundancy, is it worth it?

Pros:

  • redundancy in the case of rope cutting (although there are other options to mitigate rope cutting)

  • If you desheath your rope but not completely sever it, it gives you a strand that is still fully intact to work with. 

  • Eliminates the possibility of 2 devices interfering with each other (ie primary fails and then pushes down on the backup which may hinder the performance of some devices)

Cons:
  • More complex
  • you may have to bring a second rope depending on the length of the pitch.
  • Makes set up slightly less convenient because now you have to find the middle instead of just fixing one end and then tossing the rope bag.  
Dan Gozdz · · Louisville, CO · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 0
Greg R wrote: Anyone use a hollow block above a micro traction? I’ve heard the micro will push a “loose” hollow block up the rope, but under load it will still grab. (TR  solo).           

I would assume the hollow block would have the same issues as prusiks do - they begin to melt at fairly low impact forces. ~4kn if I remember correctly. They're also more of a pain to move up the rope. I want my devices to feed smoothly. If it stops sliding I may fall further down than I was expecting to and increase impact throughout the system.

Next question- obvious pros and cons having a second rope for total redundancy, is it worth it?
I've only set up on cragging routes. I wouldn't carry a second rope just for this; if I can get both ends to the ground I'll set it up so each strand is independent via two figure 8s on bights separated by about a foot. I don't see a compelling reason to only use one strand when two are available. 
eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 507
Dan Gozdz wrote:

I would assume the hollow block would have the same issues as prusiks do - they begin to melt at fairly low impact forces. ~4kn if I remember correctly. 

Nope. Hollow blocks are made of aramid so they have a much much higher melting temp. Also, if you're generating 4kN when TR soloing you're doing it wrong and are likely going to desheath your rope if not completely severing it. 

JCM · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 95
Dan Gozdz wrote: I don't see a compelling reason to only use one strand when two are available. 

- A second rope can be annoying and will get in the way more while climbing. It is slightly more effort to set up.

- Using one rope is perfectly adequate for safety, provided you use reasonable good-sense measures around potential sharp edges.

These reasons are “compelling” enough for me. Whether they are compelling to you is up to you.

This comes down to the philosophical difference between “safe enough” and “as safe as possible”.  Similar lines of reasoning drive decisions related to when to wear a helmet, when to equalize anchors, etc. I tend to the “safe enough” viewpoint. I make sure to do everything to ensure a level of safety I’m comfortable with, and once that is reached I don’t waste any extra effort on additional superfluous safeguards. Hence, if 1 tr solo rope is safe enough, 1 rope it is. Using a second rope, in most normal situations, does not make you safer in a meaningful way.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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