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Stick clipping first bolt
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Dec 17, 2015
I'm a relatively inexperienced climber. Starting to lead some sport routes. When I stick clip the first bolt, I orient the rope so that it's not back clipped. However, this rope orientation seems actually seems somewhat backwards to top roping, which is basically what you are doing until you reach the first bolt. The belayers side is occasionally in the way, you have to step over the rope, etc. If the belayer is at any distance from the base of the cliff, it seems to be a pain.
My question is: can one, or does anyone, back clip the rope in the draw they are putting up, then clip another draw ,opposite and opposed, to the first bolt when you reach it? Or alternatively, place another draw, clip in appropriately, then remove the back clipped one you stick clipped? Are either of these common, or accepted practices?
jsanders
Joined Jul 28, 2015
195 points
Administrator
Dec 17, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: Me and the offspring walking back to the car after...
You're doing it correctly. Have your belayer stand right up against the rock, but to one side- away from you. The belayer should have minimal slack out. Off to one side so as to keep the rope out of your way, and also to be out of the fall zone should you pop off before you reach the second bolt. Another reason for your belayer to be close to the rock is so that they don't get yanked into the wall, and so that there's no excess slack in the system where groundfall is a concern. I suppose you could do what you describe, but there's usually no reason to, and if the route is difficult, especially near the first bolt, you want to just keep going and not expend precious energy messing with re-clipping/unclipping shenanigans. Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Joined Jul 30, 2011
1,216 points
Dec 17, 2015
No. That seems silly and ineffective. I can't really imagine why that would help at all. If you are having trouble with the rope getting in the way, have your belayer stand close to the rock and to the side until you've clipped the second bolt. Vaughne
Joined Mar 21, 2011
43 points
Dec 17, 2015
You could also use a locker and not worry about backclipping or twisting Jon Rhoderick
Joined Jul 21, 2009
823 points
Dec 17, 2015
Jake Jones wrote:
You're doing it correctly. Have your belayer stand right up against the rock, but to one side- away from you. The belayer should have minimal slack out. Off to one side so as to keep the rope out of your way, and also to be out of the fall zone should you pop off before you reach the second bolt. Another reason for your belayer to be close to the rock is so that they don't get yanked into the wall, and so that there's no excess slack in the system where groundfall is a concern. I suppose you could do what you describe, but there's usually no reason to, and if the route is difficult, especially near the first bolt, you want to just keep going and not expend precious energy messing with re-clipping/unclipping shenanigans.


This. Also actively manage the rope out of the climber's way with the non-brake hand. One caveat. No matter how much you try to be to the side and out of the way of the leader who plummets before the 2nd bolt its an unfortunate fact that is the leader outweighs you and falls that low on the route your head will likely end up in the proximity of their feet. Have a coping strategy.
Eric Engberg
Joined Apr 28, 2009
2 points
Administrator
Dec 17, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: Me and the offspring walking back to the car after...
Eric Engberg wrote:
Have a coping strategy.


I've caught a Miura across the nose and forehead a few times. It happens. Your climber will appreciate it. It's just part of climbing sometimes. I want my climber to feel 100% confident and focus on the climbing. It's better for them, and for the belayer ultimately.
Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Joined Jul 30, 2011
1,216 points
Dec 18, 2015
What everyone else has said -- clip it properly. You don't want to have to unclip & reclip at the bolt.

The rope may be in the way whatever you do, but which way the rope goes through the biner will have negligible affect on whether the rope is in your way. It is far more to do with where your belayer is standing while belaying you. They need to be close in to the wall, with as little rope out as possible, and off to whatever side of you they need to be to be out of your way. And, of course, watching carefully to be able to guide the rope out of your way, as needed.
David Gibbs
From Ottawa, ON
Joined Aug 18, 2010
10 points
Dec 18, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: Hammer Block
If your idea seems complicated you are doing it wrong or need instruction. Maybe both. Jeremy in Inyokern
From Inyokern
Joined Jul 10, 2012
80 points


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