/ Ascending fat fixed ropes on an Alpine route

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JimboWizbo - on 28 Feb 2013
I've already posted about this but I'm still sussing it out in my head.

Dent du Geant, the normal route is lined with fat, fixed ropes. To climb this would you rope up and use two cords/slings with prusiks around the rope as running protection, and move them over the fat rope's fixed points one at a time?

I'm assuming it's acceptable to clip a quickdraw to the rope's fixed points too, but you would also put in the odd bit of gear in case of mass prusik failure.

Presumably if you use cord prusiks (or klemheists? not sure) instead of slings you'll need to cut some extra long ones in preparation.


Ian Parsons - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to JimboWizbo:

I think you're over-thinking this!
needvert on 28 Feb 2013 - whois?
In reply to JimboWizbo:

An academic question since I don't have any experience

Would one use prussics over ascenders?

Factors involved:
* Fixed ropes static, semistatic or dynamic?
* Prussics will slip limiting peak load...But also may melt[?]
* Ascenders are faster to take on/off
* Ascenders will slide much easier, often without trying, prussics won't
* Supposing prussics were safer in a fall, would the increased risk of falling because you constantly had to slide these things up negate that?
* Ascenders weigh more, though a microtraxion is pretty light
* Ascenders cost way way more
* Ascenders with significant teeth may grip better in frozen conditions[?]
Ian Parsons - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to needvert:

These sort of ropes tend to have about a 2 inch diameter - for pulling on, not jugging up!
needvert on 28 Feb 2013 - whois?
In reply to Ian Parsons:

Ahhh, that sort of fat...I was thinking 13mm!
Ian Parsons - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to needvert:

Indeed - the sort of thing kids can swarm up in a gym (at least I hope so); hence my earlier comment!
Ian Parsons - on 28 Feb 2013
The other point to note is that the bar diameter of the anchoring stanchions often exceeds the gate-open dimension of many karabiners; either make sure your quick-draws have really big krabs, or use slings.
The Ex-Engineer - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to JimboWizbo: It's simple when you are on the mountain. It is easy climbing (mostly severe) so don't over complicate things.

Just treat the anchor points as you would any other fixed gear (put a sling around them if you want a runner and you trust them) and use the ropes as hand holds if you feel like it.
Pyreneenemec - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to JimboWizbo:

The fixed-ropes on the Dent du Geant should be removed. They ruin what what be a fantastic way to reach a 4000m summit.

Having said that, a good outing is the Rochefort ridge, there and back in the morning followed by lunch at the foot of the Dent and then climbing the normal route in the warm, early afternoon sun. I'd avoid the Torino hut, it's a shit-hole staffed by morons.
David Rose - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to JimboWizbo: I agree the fixed ropes should be removed. They should be too from the Eiger Mitellegi ridge, which would otherwise be a fantastic mid-grade (maybe D?) outing.

oOu will not need any prussiks on them. Just be careful on the abseil descent. Don't let go of the ropes because the abs are not all straight down.
Bruce Hooker - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to JimboWizbo:

The fixed ropes on the Aiguille du GĂ©ant are such an old tradition, dating back to the first ascent so removing them would be controversial.

As for climbing them you just use them as a hand hold if you need them but it's not obligatory. For protection the fixed points are sufficient using a sling and a crab. I did it with a friend who has problems with his hands - they just give out after a bit - so he put a sling on as a prussik and moved it up as he went. The exposure is quite something and it's usually crowded so I wouldn't worry too much about ethics

As for the Torino hut I really enjoyed it - typically Italian bustle and delay for signing in but the food was good and in the morning there was a lovely blond girl serving with a nice smile, in my half awake state she appeared like the Madonna. I forgot a mobile phone in the blankets and after the climb when I asked they'd found it and handed it over, which is not something you'd find everywhere.

Here's an account of our ascent, well worth doing whatever purists may say - the normal descent - three free hanging abseils which are just ok with a double 50m rope - is not to be underestimated after a long hot day of queuing!

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