/ Self Belay on a sport route
Has anyone got any pearls of wisdom about safely setting up a rope for shunting on a sport route (from the ground) when alone. I've done a few days out and am beginning to understand some of the complexities, but it only opens more & more questions in my mind about best practice. I've got out of a few dodgy situations, but would really welcome advice (or even a few hours tuition) from someone who does this on a regular basis. I'm Hampshire based, but can travel to the South West if anyone's able to help out. Thanks very much, Sue.
Shunt doesn't really work for lead soloing.
Revo might be the way to go, but Silent Partner or Soloist are the de-facto option. Death-mod GriGri as well.
Oh, and if you need to ask, changes are that yer gonna botch it and crater.
I read it more as she wants to frig her way to the anchor in order to set up a toprope self belay when the anchors aren't accessible from above, rather than lead rope-soloing.
In which case my patented method is:
Hi Sue, I hope you are well and climbing well.
I've not done this on sports routes, but I have soloed bigger stuff. Here is one suggestion.
1. Assuming one can't build a ground anchor? If you can, this removes some of the complexities of the next step.
2. tie in. clip stick first bolt with a screw gate. put grigri on. hoist/climb to first bolt. hang from a daisy clipped to the screw gate. You are on a 2:1, so should be able to hoist yourself over any steep starting bulge. If not steep, just tie the rope to the screw gate before you clip stick it up.
3. untie your tie-in knot and tie the rope to the screw gate, leaving a tail that reaches the ground!
4. clip stick the next bolt and repeat
5. you now have a two-bolt anchor
6. clip stick the next bolt with a draw (and the rope), grigri up to it (use a back up knot)
7. daisy into the third bolt, daisy it and tie an overhand (in the rope above the draw) and clip it to your belay loop (this is a back up)
8. remove grigri (or pull a loop of rope through it), clip stick next bolt. attach the grigri again. remove overhand. attach back up knot below brake hand, grigri up. Repeat at each bolt
I normally use a pair of traxions on one line when top rope soloing, so I would tie the rope off at the chains.
if the route is overhanging you will have a problem grigri-ing up. So put your ascender above you, run the grigri brake strand up to a krab on the ascender and you have a 2:1. If you put a sling on the ascender you have something to stand on. What you don't want to do is attach that top ascender to you. If a bolt failed, you would be loading the teeth of the ascender.
Always use a backup knot and practice on top rope at a climbing wall.
All the best, and drop by Devon sometime
Looks like we were typing at the same time, with the same method!
Many thanks guys,
This is in fact, pretty much what I am doing anyway and hopefully it will get less faffy as I become a bit more skilled. After stick-clipping the first bolt, I actually used a shunt on my waist krab with a traxion underneath for a foot loop to prussic up each time I stick-clipped the next bolt up. On steeper rock, I found I needed an additional method of aiding my body up the rope, so used a handled ascender above the other two devices to jug up. With these 3 devices though, having to take them off the rope each time I made myself safe to clipstick the next bolt, it seemed very time consuming. Yes, I was tying the trailing rope into each bolt as I passed it, to provide an additional anchor.
I hope to get to Devon again while the good weather lasts..
Sue, in my experience, on mildly overhanging rock, a shunt can't be guaranteed not to slip. I always tie knots in the rope. (Apologies if I'm stating the obvious!)
Another safety point I feel obliged to bring up ( by hard experience, it cost me a broken ankle ) is always abseil down the section of rope you intend to "shunt " back up on.
This gets some stretch out of the rope and ensures the rope is running true down the intended line and not snagged or hung up anywhere.
> on mildly overhanging rock, a shunt can't be guaranteed not to slip.
Good point, in fact Petzl specifically warn against using shunts on overhanging ground.
I've tried the system they recommend instead using two different devices, microtraxion & grigri in my case. And so must be theoretically safer. But I must say it makes for a horribly clunky, bulky setup that doesn't self-feed anywhere near as well as a shunt.
1. I would suggest only tying the rope to the first two bolts; not tying the rope reduces the fall factor. You will also have to untie them so you can top rope.
2. if the bolt above you fails , you will take a lead fall. None of those 3 devices is good for a lead fall. Hence the use of a grigri. A grigri is also more comforting for just hanging around on ropes (but still use a back up knot)
3. Once you get jugging on a grigri with the rope re-directed through an ascender you will find just how easy jugging can be.
Lots of advice to take on board then, thankyou.
I'll try to get a few hours out sometime with someone who's done lots of this stuff.
> 2. if the bolt above you fails , you will take a lead fall. None of those 3 devices is good for a lead fall. Hence the use of a grigri. A grigri is also more comforting for just hanging around on ropes (but still use a back up knot)
David - would you mind clarifying the grigri backup knot in this example? Do you mean a figure of eight / overhand loop on the free end, clipped via a screwgate to the belay loop?
My tuppence on ‘shunting’ (i.e. once you’ve reached the top anchor and abbed back down, I always ab in to reach the top anchor):