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Hauling walls on aid solo
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Nov 8, 2010
i was wondering when you reach a belay soloing if you rap down your haul line off your pulley's teeth cams, or if you rap the haul line straight off your hauling powerpoint, lower-out the pig, jug the lead line, then do some clever work back at your high point to setup the pulley on a weighted haul line.

seems to me like it would be easiest to rap off the pulley, backed up of course. although, i can see how this would be a safety issue as well as being hard on the rope. i just cant think of any other way here in my guest bedroom climbing lab:)
Joined Oct 15, 2010
0 points
Nov 8, 2010
There are lots of ways to do it.

Rapping off the anchor is easy. Preset the hauling device and before the cam tie a f8 into the anchor. When you get back to the anchor slide a cam onto the weighted rope. do a mini haul and to give yourself some slack and then engage the cam and off you go.

Another way is to rap off a prussik that tied beneath the cam. when you get up to the anchor pull up the rope a couple of inches to release the prussik and then start hauling. I never rap off the cam.

Email me and I can send you some diagrams, photos, etc if you think it would help.

Number 1 is safer, but slower, No 2 is faster. I go with No 1 most of the time.
John McNamee
From Littleton, CO
Joined Jul 29, 2002
845 points
Nov 8, 2010
A few thing to consider when deciding on your hauling technique:

Most static ropes in the 10mm range are rated to over 20 UIAA falls, and have a tensile strength of 6,500 lbs or more. That means the typical static rope is stronger than just about any carabiner or other aspect of your climbing protection system with the exception of your belay loop. This is not to say they are infallible, because they are not, but they are very strong.

A Protraxion or most other progress capture pulleys are also quite strong. The safe working load of a Protrax is 2.5kN (560lbs) and it's breaking strength in progress capture mode at 4kN(900lbs). By tying a knot directly past the device you increase it's strength to 11kN on each side of the pulley, and if you tie a prussic to take the weight before the device you don't even have to worry about the pulley.

As I trust my gear, I have no problem rappelling directly down the haul line off of my protraxion. Sometimes I will tie a knot right after the device on the slack side, other times I have used a prussic on the weighted side. If it is a shorter pitch I will rap back down with the slack and space haul as soon as I lower out the bag and clean the lower anchor.

You probably have figured this out already, but there are about as many ways of rope soloing as there are rope soloists. Everyone thinks their way is best, so usually you have to try a few systems before adopting one as your own.

Good Luck and have fun.
Kevin Stricker
From Evergreen, CO
Joined Oct 20, 2002
325 points
Nov 12, 2010
I agree with John except that I use his method #2 almost all the time. When soloing you're going slow as hell anyway and the prussik is fast and easy to set up. Plus I have plenty of prussik lines with me while soloing for re-belays anyway. I'm sure you would be fine just rapping off the teeth, but while soloing why take any extra chances. I'm not saying that people that do rap off the teeth are wrong, I'm just extra careful while rapping, more so while soloing...

So in short, your system is really up to you and your choice of speed vs safety...

Caz cromwell
Joined Nov 29, 2007
10 points
Dec 14, 2010
Here is the way I do it step by step.

1. Reach top of pitch and build anchor
2. Clip myself into the anchor
3. Set up haul as normal and begin hauling until bag is lifted off of anchor below (but the bag is still attached to lower anchor with long sling)
4. Tie off haul line
5. Fix and rappel lead line, cleaning gear as I rappel.
6. When at lower anchor unclip bag from the anchor (it should be unweighted enough to do this easily).
7. Jug back up lead line to upper anchor and haul bag as usual.
From Sacramento, CA
Joined Jan 22, 2006
2,145 points
Dec 14, 2010
So Karsten, What if the pitch traverses any trivial amount and isn't plum vertical?

So for methods that don't involve rigging some sort of minihaul to unload a knot, In ascending order of safety you can

Rig your hauling system and...

1) Rappel off the teeth
2) Attach a prusik below the teeth and rappel off that
3) Tie off the hauline with a munter-mule below the teeth and rappel off that. When you get back to the anchor slap an inverted jumar onto the haul line to take the weight of the bag when you release the munter-mule. Pull slack through and start hauling.

I use the third method but maybe I'm a bit paranoid.
Darin Berdinka
Joined May 1, 2009
60 points
Dec 17, 2010
Yeah Karsten not a good option IMO. First off the pitch never goes up and down, and what a bitch it is to clean on rappel. might work for slabby free climbs, but steep aid routes might be asking for a big pain in the ass, But anyways...
I have soloed many walls and never even gave a second thought to the teeth on the hauler as a worry. Hell I used to rap off the old style wall hauler just backed it up. (still do with the protax just after the cam I tie a knot) It shouldn't break or cut the rope, your jugs are made of the same style cam. And unless you decide to go for a 40 footer on rappel somehow I just think it more worry then good. this is how I do it works for me...
#1 hit the anchor, equalize and make a powerpoint. Clip in hauler pull up til the bags come tight, then release a lil bit so I can rap the line (unless its a big ass traverse then I pull in no slack so I can rap passed the lower anchor and jug back to it) back up the hauler with an 8 to a bolt or wherever.
#2 make sure lead line is fixed, de-rack, put myself on rappel on the haul line and come off the lead line (i use a silent partner after many years of mod gri gri and will never go back)
#3 rap haul line getting to anchor set up my jugs on the lead line, make sure bags are clear for launch, and cut them loose (i use an adjustable daisy if the bags are light less then 5 days of shit, or load release knot if they are heavier) if they are going to swing I sometimes will rig 20-30 feet if 7mm as a lower out line and tie them up with a munter-mule setup
#4 clean the pitch racking everything in order and keeping it clean. I use my gri gri as a back up and no knots! (i have never gotten a rope stuck only when I have these loops of slack under me from tying backup knots.
#5 get to the anchor, haul the pig, get my rope bags out (fish's double rope bag is fucking awesome) stack the ropes, re rack the gear, drink a beer and off to the next pitch.

This has worked for me and I am a member of the KISS system. Keep it simple stupid. Over-thinking and over-rigging will make the task dreadful and so much time is wasted at the anchors rigging. It should take no more then a few minutes to set it up and be going down the hauline. Same with once you get to the bags. Get it off the anchor and get to cleaning. If 10 minutes is wasted at each anchor thats an extra 20 minutes a pitch (just for rigging and that is way easy to do) on a 30 pitch route you have now wasted 600 minutes or a full day just to rigging over the top shit imo. I love to hang as much as the other guy, but I also want to be efficient. I want to move fast where I can so I do not feel rushed on the lead or have the time constraints that forces so many parties down. Just my 2 cents.... flame away

Kurt 'Burt"
Kurt Burt
Joined Apr 21, 2009
95 points
Dec 17, 2010
Regarding KISS--- when solo aiding walls I've always found hauling to be way too big a's always getting caught and without a second to knock it loose...etc, etc.

So I stopped hauling. Pack light, if it's just yourself, there's no reason for super heavy haulbag (this is assuming your not doing some 20 day wall stint somewhere....) With just your gear, food, your clothes and sleeping bag and a ledge, plus a couple of gallons of water-- your pig shouldn't be over 40-50 lbs.

1. Lead the pitch, fix both the lead and "haul" line at your belay.
2. Rap the lead line, cleaning the pitch as you go down.
3. Clip your haul bag to your belay loop, so its weight hangs from your jugs, not your waist. And use a long enough piece of webbing (5-6 ft) so the bag is not totally between your legs/in your way.
4. Start jugging up the static line. You lift the bag with your legs each move and the bag is close enough that it getting stuck is not an issue.

Simple, easy and greatly minimizes the cussing usually required to haul.
From Eldorado
Joined Oct 11, 2006
35 points
Dec 17, 2010
But what about the beer, whiskey, weed, ghetto-blaster, etc... usually associated with solo wall climbing? Light is right, but isn't weight great? Kevin Landolt
From Fort Collins, Wyoming
Joined Jun 1, 2009
580 points
Dec 17, 2010
Ha-ha! True, Kevin! But I usually lead with my booze and contraband with me...! So I was assuming those things were already at the upper belay!
Keep that stuff buried in the haul bag? NO WAY!
From Eldorado
Joined Oct 11, 2006
35 points
Dec 18, 2010
If you like your system you should really look into far side hauling. You can get a 2 to 1 mechanical advantage putting a minitraxion on the haulbag. Then instead of attaching the pig to your belay loop tie the rope below the mini into your belay loop. As it is a 2 to 1 you will have to re-tie a couple times or stop and muscle up the pig. In your case that is only a 20-25lb load which is cake.

If you are going to jumar with your gear ditch the haulbag and use a backpack, that will save you 3-5 pounds.
Kevin Stricker
From Evergreen, CO
Joined Oct 20, 2002
325 points

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