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Bolt Bailing w/o leaving a Biner
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Sep 13, 2010
I chuckled as I watched this guy sketch on the 2nd bolt of his warm-up in Penitente this past weekend. His wife below him fumbled the rope as he clipped a second draw to his first one.
"Maybe I should try it" She said
"Just throw me the other end" he replied"
At first I had no idea what he was doing. I didn't think he had any idea either. He clipped himself to the bolt and called "off belay"
Then he went to work.
To me it looked like he took the "bolt biner" off of a quikdraw, then threaded the dogbone through the bolt with the "rope biner" acting like a stopper on the other side of the bolt.
Then i think he threaded the rope rappel style through the empty loop of dogbone. Tied a overhand on the dull end of the rope and clipped it to the "rope biner" on the other side of the bolt.
so now he's rappeling down, I can see 3 strands of rope and I'm thinking "this guy is a mess"
when he touches down on terra firma and pulls one end of rope the whole rig falls to the ground, leaving nothing behind but the bolt.
From Avon
Joined Oct 28, 2008
20 points
Sep 13, 2010
There is a thread with some talk about how to bail without leaving anything in sport forum I dunno if this is the same thing he did but maybe it will shed some light. Choss Chasin'
From Torrance, CA
Joined Aug 23, 2010
0 points
Sep 13, 2010
That is the Texas Rope Trick, as I have heard it called. There are several threads around the net about it. It works in a pinch but don't screw it up. Mike
From Phoenix
Joined May 16, 2006
2,540 points
Sep 13, 2010
also make sure the bolt is bomber. I prefer it being webbing. another option that is really not validated in this example is just aid through the crux mattnorville Norv
Joined Oct 9, 2007
80 points
Sep 14, 2010
Texas Rope Trick...usually used with webbing/slings...I can't believe he used a quickdraw though and used the "rope side" of the quick draw or usually the bent gate as a stopper for the bolt...that seems even more sketchy.. Jan Tarculas
From Riverside, Ca
Joined Mar 6, 2010
453 points
Sep 14, 2010
And I may just be paranoid but I wouldn't really want to have the friction of pulling the rope back through the dogbone of a quick draw that I'm planning on climbing on later. Brent Apgar
From Out of the Loop
Joined Oct 20, 2007
35 points
Sep 14, 2010
It's actually pretty simple with a nylon sling. Thread the sling through the bolt then thread the rope through the sling per a normal rappel, except that you will retrieve one end of the rope to tie to the side of the sling that has stitching or a knot, i.e. the end that will not go through the bolt. One end is tied to the knotted side of the sling; the rope goes down to the ground, back up to the sling, through it, away from the knotted side and back down to the ground. Thus the rope is divided in thirds, making this technique mostly usable on relatively short routes. The knot should not be used as a stopper of any kind and it's best if the sling allows at least 6 inches or so of loop below the bolt.

Then rappel down the strands of the rope running through the sling. Upon reaching the ground, pull the rappel rope (slowly and carefully) back through the sling, towards the knotted side. You should be left with one end of the rope tied to the sling at the bolt. Pull on this and the sling should pull through the bolt hanger, letting the sling and the rope fall to the ground. Assuming that you haven't moved the rope around much on the sling, the sling should still be usable but that's your call.
Peter Beal
From Boulder Colorado
Joined Jan 1, 2001
1,650 points
Sep 14, 2010
It's very easy to remove a draw from the 1st or 2nd bolt with a stick clip. I think you're better off learning how to do that...I guarantee it's much faster than all those shenanigans. Mike Anderson
From Colorado Springs, CO
Joined Nov 15, 2004
2,670 points
Sep 14, 2010
Using the quickdraw dogbone method as the OP described would you even need to tie the rope back to the biner or could your rig it to simply fall down once you pull the rope (considering the implications of half a quickdraw falling from up high)? This would allow for half rope length bails instead of third rope length bails. It would probably only work with thin short dogbones. The only thing I can see that would be sketchy would be damaging the dogbone by pulling the rope but you can inspect it afterwards. The rest of the system should be as safe as any other method of bailing from a single bolt. bwalt822
Joined Aug 20, 2010
0 points
Sep 14, 2010
Ever do it with a cam and get your cam back? That's a good one I've had to use two or three times now. Sam Stephens
Joined Jan 20, 2010
740 points
Sep 14, 2010
Sam Stephens wrote:
Ever do it with a cam and get your cam back? That's a good one I've had to use two or three times now.

Ya, I rap off the trigger wires. The key is not to bounce around too much on the rap or the cam will pop.
Bud Martin
From Bozeman, MT
Joined Apr 15, 2010
310 points

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