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Apr 10, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: Awesome slab climb right out of the water! Rogers ...
I tried a friends Silent Partner out and opted to go with that device instead. Reviews have suggested that the Silent partner was a better choice between the two of them - tho I admit I never tried the Soloist myself. What I did find was the prices between the two devices are quite different. I had to purchased a used Silent Partner to afford it honestly. $250 for a brand new one was out of my budget.

As in anything - I think it comes down to being comfortable with YOUR choice of device - understanding how to use it correctly - the pro's and con's of each device, having some sort of back up system, etc.

Everyone has their own opinion(s) on all climbing products. Just ask about carabiner's and you'll get a multitude of diff answers and recommendations! Not saying everyone is wrong for sure - but everyone has their OWN particular likes and dislikes.
NYClimber
From New York
Joined Jul 17, 2011
180 points
May 7, 2013
Locker wrote:
^^^ You should just "Sack up" and use it for TR Soloing. It won't fuck your rope up unless you royally fuck up. I've used them for many years and ZERO negative issues with them for TR Soloing. signed, Dumbfuck from Where Montana ;-)


Hey locker do u have any tips on using the mini/micro Trax for tr soloing without fucking up your ropes? Do u just have to make sure u keep slack out of the system so u only fall as far as the rope stretches?
harpo-the-climber
Joined Nov 2, 2010
280 points
May 7, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: We don't kick it with bustas in khaki g-strangs.
How are people damaging their ropes with mini-trax's? Do folks not put weight at the bottom or not pull slack if it doesn't feed perfectly or something? TacoDelRio
From All up in yo bidniss.
Joined Feb 16, 2010
2,469 points
Nov 25, 2013
BHMBen wrote:
As for me.... SP for lead. Shunt for TR. Shunt, as Dave Macleod is utilizing it in this picture: With quicklink backup as demonstrated by Scott Bennett: Hundreds of pitches TR-soloed on the Shunt with quicklink backup....nary a problem. Tried the Trax a few times but don't like using the toothed clamp on my rope.


Several accidents has been reported with the Shunt and Petzl does not reccommend its use anymore for solo top-rope.
According to the company:
"SHUNT: Greater danger on sloping terrain where pressure against the device can impede jamming. The device will not jam if the user grabs the device during a fall."

Source: petzl.com/en/outdoor/product-e...
(please click on the "Examples of possible malfunctions" link on that page).

I discovered that myself after buying one :( then I got a mini-traxion.
Febs
Joined Jun 10, 2008
7 points
Nov 26, 2013
MTKirk wrote:
From another thread, here's my experience with the Petzel Mini-Traxion I did some test falls up to 4' with 10' of rope (bluewater eliminator) out connected to a fixed anchor (so fall factor .4) result: ATC Guide in guide mode- no visible damage Petzel mini-traxion- ruined rope, mantle torn most of the way around rope and visible damage to kern fibers. Rope did hold.


A FF of 0.4 is a lead fall. The minitrax is good, but you do need to keep slack out of the system. Just like you would when jugging.
David Coley
From UK
Joined Oct 26, 2013
70 points
Nov 27, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: ...
"Do u just have to make sure u keep slack out of the system so u only fall as far as the rope stretches?"

You got it! It's not complicated. Not to say that there aren't times when a situation might occur where the line get's bunched up and so do your panties. That's why these days I run two ropes and two devices when I'm TR soloing something that might spit me off.

What I quickly learned some years back is that using the right weight on the rope is key to keeping the line taught enough and having the weight able to swing freely. I use a taped (to protect the bottle) water bottle with a top loop for clipping the rope to.



Locker
From Yucca Valley, CA
Joined Oct 13, 2002
2,541 points
Dec 14, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: Jonah at P1 Belay Triumvirate Wall
When i gave up on looking for a partner to climb, i looked into solo climbing and the first thing that was most prominent in my search was what was then, the Wren soloist. This was about 6 months ago. I didn't see any other devises coming up in my search at the time, so i bought one. I like to lead climb mostly, and would not use this devise for Top Rope, I mostly stay away from top roping. I have since Lead climbed solo'd a 5.4 (2 pitch took me 4), a 5.8 (1 pitch took me 2) and a 5.6 (1pitch took me 2). I like this devise for its function as a Cam, like the GriGri. So there is no toothed Bite. I am always worried about this devise however, and i refuse to "Test" any devisee by leaping to a fall, i simply make a point to try not to fall, and so far have not taken any huge whip's with this devise. I do like its ability to register a pull and cam up even when i slip just a bit, allowing me to recover,i have had 2 instances where this saved me from a 20 foot fall as protection was stretched thin. To make the devise more effective, Setting your protection above you gives you greater level of safety, and reduces your possibility of a overturned fall. all in all it takes practice to manage the rope directions and gear management, but once you get it down, it flows smooth and quick. The drag has gotten me a few times when the devise gets a bit twisted in awkward moves or my rope is out almost full and tangles a bit and i do fear the overturned fall. If i feel there is a greater possibility of turning upside down, i will tie off a stopper knot within 10 feet. takes more time and i have to tie and un-tie, but better safe then sorry. All in all this devise has allowed me to climb when i could not before due to no partner. I cannot say it is better than any other, and would love the opportunity to try all the devises to find what is best, but i don't have a money tree. If anyone can think of a way to create an additional level of safety for the overturned fall for this devise that does not require constant backup knots, let me know as it would make this the perfect devise.
Rock Climbing Photo: 5.8 Highway To Hell 2 pitch Delaware Water Gap
5.8 Highway To Hell 2 pitch Delaware Water Gap
Jonah Klein
Joined Dec 3, 2013
376 points
Dec 15, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: Jonah at P1 Belay Triumvirate Wall
If i worried about it that much, obviously i wouldn't climb with it. I did however see a video of a guy who was climbing a crack (Not solo), when he was too tired to go on, he called out falling, dropped, caught his gear, and flipped. He was on a standard belay so no issue, but that always sticks in the back of my head. Even when you know how to fall, there is the 1% chance, so i try to account for that as well. Especially since i climb over some overhangs that once turned over, is just air, no additional mountain to hit to possibly flip me upright. Jonah Klein
Joined Dec 3, 2013
376 points
Dec 15, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: ...
Switch to a "Silent Partner" and problem solved! Yeah, it's big and clunky. But the confidence it gives is worth it and you don't have to worry about the inversion factor. I used to have the "Soloist" and got rid of it as I too did not dig the thought.


And for TR soloing either use a Mini or Micro traxion or one of the many other devices out there.
Locker
From Yucca Valley, CA
Joined Oct 13, 2002
2,541 points
Dec 15, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: ...
"Jonah, why on earth would you be worried about an "overturned fall"...


Picture pulling a roof where you're already halfway there. Now picture ripping and flying backwards totally out of control.

If only one could be certain of how they are going to fall. Problem is, you can't.
Locker
From Yucca Valley, CA
Joined Oct 13, 2002
2,541 points
Dec 19, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: Atonement
Locker wrote:
"Jonah, why on earth would you be worried about an "overturned fall"... Picture pulling a roof where you're already halfway there. Now picture ripping and flying backwards totally out of control. If only one could be certain of how they are going to fall. Problem is, you can't.


^^^ boom. truth bomb.
JacksonLandFill
Joined May 7, 2013
46 points
Nov 11, 2015
There are a few threads here on MTN Project talking about soloist devices, so I'll add my input to this particular thread because I had a near-death experience on one...

I've used a TR solo device with zero problems for both ice climbing an rock. Even used it when my rope had accumulated ice. No issues with it malfunctioning except during a sleet storm, where I used plenty of backup knots. [Note- poor choice to ice climb solo in those conditions.]

I did use the Wren Soloist for several sport climbing routes but then one day decided to push it on a route that I was not familiar with. Got about ten feet off the last anchor when I plucked off and took a nice whipper back into the wall, breaking my foot. Almost blacked on the line due to the pain. Managed to self-rescue but had to belly crawl back to my truck and drive myself to see two physicians who refused to see me (wasn't an "established patient"). Had to drive another 20 miles to the nearest emergency department.

Took me two years to recover fully due to the nature of the fracture.

Lesson learned- be extremely careful with these devices. Do not climb close to your limit. Be aware the rope gives very little on the Soloist- it is like taking a fall on non-dynamic line. You don't have the benefit of a belayer whose body weight / slack in his own harness, slack in the line, etc provides you with a bit of shock absorption. Talk to folks who have taken a Real Fall on one- you won't find many.
iceaxe5
From Cedaredge, CO
Joined May 26, 2012
2 points
Nov 11, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: girl40
iceaxe5 wrote:
Lesson learned- be extremely careful with these devices. Do not climb close to your limit. Be aware the rope gives very little on the Soloist- it is like taking a fall on non-dynamic line. You don't have the benefit of a belayer whose body weight / slack in his own harness, slack in the line, etc provides you with a bit of shock absorption. Talk to folks who have taken a Real Fall on one- you won't find many.


You should be extremely careful when free lead rope soloing for sure. Not sure how many pitches you got in before your accident, but I'd also caution working up some significant yardage with whatever system you use before tackling anything serious. I'd also advise against selecting pitches with low cruxs as there generally tends to be more slack in the system and a device might take a bit to lock up.

Otherwise, and while not my device of choice, the soloist has been used to do Astroman which one can assume was still somewhere in the ballpark of hard for that individual. Again, ramp up slow with free lead rope soloing - really focus on getting in a lot of easier pitches until the whole affair becomes second nature. From my own experience I can tell you it took me a couple of years of steady free lead roped soloing on multipitch climbs to ultimately find a groove with it. Also, every time I have changed my system over the years it too took some ramping up time to dial it all in and develop confidence in the changes.
Healyje
From PDX
Joined Jan 31, 2006
226 points
Nov 11, 2015
I've fallen on a silent partner when free climbing and on aid.

It is possible this gives a little as it locks.

I always try and keep the fall factor low: place more gear or use it on slabs (i.e. not falling at 9.8m/s per s). Or I use it where the fall will be clean - i.e. overhanging. I use a screamer. On aid I clip it to the hall bag.
David Coley
From UK
Joined Oct 26, 2013
70 points
Nov 11, 2015
iceaxe5 wrote:
Got about ten feet off the last anchor when I plucked off and took a nice whipper back into the wall, breaking my foot. Almost blacked on the line due to the pain.


"Last anchor"? Sounds like maybe you were fixing the rope at intermediate points in the pitch. That's a bad idea. It needlessly shortens the cord available in a fall i.e. increases FF. Better to just find a way to support the weight of the rope (so it won't run by itself through the Soloist. This happens quite easily on ice - less friction, slick dry rope). Tie the rope in with rubber bands or prusiks made of cotton twine, or something equally creative.
Gunkiemike
Joined Jul 29, 2009
2,648 points
Nov 11, 2015
The use of screamers is a great idea, however I should say that I have not had the courage to try a Wren Soloist on ice lead..... For rock climbing, it's a terrific idea.

What I did do (a mistake in hindsight) was to tie prussiks at various points to back up my ground anchors- this did reduce the dynamic character of the rope. It was the only time I had ever done that (I was constantly testing different approaches for safety). I misstated, however, above- I was not above an 'anchor' but rather the last bolt I clipped a quickdraw into.

Always used a chest harness and never climbed anything that could pitch me upside down.
iceaxe5
From Cedaredge, CO
Joined May 26, 2012
2 points
Nov 11, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: girl40
iceaxe5 wrote:
...a Wren Soloist on ice lead..... For rock climbing, it's a terrific idea.


Not necessarily. I know of a highly competent climber who decked with one on falling in a horizontal orientation - doesn't necessarily have to be inverted to have it fail.
Healyje
From PDX
Joined Jan 31, 2006
226 points
Administrator
Nov 11, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
i borrowed a friend's soloist, maybe 15 years ago or so, and used it for a couple months. then i heard about problems with it catching slab falls or lateral falls (ie with the device out to the side of the last protection point). i did some tests with a loaded haul bag simulating the lateral falls and it failed absolutely miserably. never used it again... slim
Joined Dec 1, 2004
2,153 points
Nov 11, 2015
Easy to remedy, When I use mine I tie overhand knots on a bight (. I practiced how to do this one handed on my home wall ). Then I put an carabiner in the loop and then pull the bottom tight. Now if the device does fail or just doesn't catch. The knot and the carabiner would have to be ripped through the device. This only works for top roping. I guess it could work on lead you would just have to pre tie the knots and then undo them as you go. Capt. Impatient
Joined Jul 4, 2012
0 points
Nov 11, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: profile
I've only ever used a Silent Partner for solo lead climbing on easy trad routes that I knew I wouldn't fall on. It seemed to feed well for sure.

I just recently (after reading lots of info here on the site) purchased two Petzl Micro Traxions for top rope soloing. I used them the other day on a gently overhanging (not cavey) 12+ sport route at AF in conjunction with a 10.5mm Edelweiss Stratos rope that was my bigwall rope. I aided up the route using my grigri, fixed, and used the traxions to work out the moves. They performed flawlessly and I "took" many times including small "falls" without issue. No sheath damage to the rope at all.

I used a mini haul bag with a few rocks in it to keep the rope taught and back clipped the draws as I went. The devices fed beautifully and were very confidence inspiring.

While I think it would be tough to climb an entire route at your limit using them, they were great for the intended purpose of sussing out moves and getting the feel of a route.
Ned Plimpton
From Salt Lake City
Joined Jul 23, 2008
112 points
Nov 12, 2015
The only thing that bothered me on the traxion's for solo was their KN factor. Capt. Impatient
Joined Jul 4, 2012
0 points
Nov 12, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: girl40
Capt. Impatient wrote:
Easy to remedy


...

Capt. Impatient wrote:
This only works for top roping.


It's not easy to remedy on lead and, as you note, that doesn't help if you do end up leading a hard pitch with a low crux.

In general, as a rule of thumb, I would encourage folks to keep TR solo, aid solo and lead rope solo posts in separate dedicated threads and not mix those discussions in any single thread as it's easy for someone new to all this to get confused about how and when to apply what's being said..
Healyje
From PDX
Joined Jan 31, 2006
226 points
Nov 12, 2015
Sorry did I confuse you? Capt. Impatient
Joined Jul 4, 2012
0 points
Nov 12, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: girl40
Capt. Impatient wrote:
Sorry did I confuse you?


No, but then I've been at this for a long time and can tell which of the three is being talked about at any given time.
Healyje
From PDX
Joined Jan 31, 2006
226 points
Nov 12, 2015
Ok sorry rope solo God... So you are telling me that on any rope solo device if you have a knot in the rope it won't keep you from decking?? Doesn't matter the oranation. If you have an opening in a device that only allows a rope width through it and you put a knot in the rope then that rope will not go through that device. Correct? So this could be used on top rope, lead and aid if needed. Lead and aid would require more math and fore thought but it could be done. Capt. Impatient
Joined Jul 4, 2012
0 points


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