UKH

/ Self Belay on a sport route

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purple sue - on 01 Sep 2018

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.

HeMa on 01 Sep 2018
In reply to purple 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.

AlanLittle - on 01 Sep 2018
In reply to HeMa:

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:

  1. Totally bomber ground anchor. *Big* tree, two good bolts etc.
  2. Stick clip highest bolt you can reach.
  3. Progress capture device on harness goes to the free rope coming *down* from the bolt (i.e. not the rope from the ground anchor to the bolt - hope this is clear enough without pictures, not my fault if you die etc etc). I use a grigri.
  4. The truly paranoid can have a backup clove hitch below the grigri.
  5. Proceed up to the clipped bolt. If it's not too steep you can do this simply by pulling yourself up on the rope that is through the grigri. Otherwise you might need an ascender with a foot loop or something.
  6. Arrive at bolt, clip in with lanyard, pull out big loop of slack, stick clip next bolt. 
  7. Repeat to anchor.
  8. Fix rope(s) at anchor for whatever your normal solo toproping system is, ab back down, climb
Post edited at 18:03
David Coley - on 01 Sep 2018
In reply to purple sue:

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

David Coley - on 01 Sep 2018
In reply to AlanLittle:

Looks like we were typing at the same time, with the same method!

purple sue - on 01 Sep 2018
In reply to David Coley& Alan Little:

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..

 

Mick Ward - on 01 Sep 2018
In reply to purple sue:

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!)

Mick

Rick Graham on 02 Sep 2018
In reply to Mick Ward:

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.

AlanLittle - on 02 Sep 2018
In reply to Mick Ward:

> 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.

David Coley - on 02 Sep 2018
In reply to purple sue:

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.

 

purple sue - on 04 Sep 2018

In reply:

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.

 

Yossarian - on 09 Sep 2018
In reply to David Coley:

> 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? 

David Coley - on 11 Sep 2018
In reply to Yossarian:

Yep

Alun - on 12 Sep 2018
In reply to purple sue:

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):

  • the Shunt itself is rubbish compared to a microtraxion, especially when on overhanging rock
  • a fixed ground anchor is really useful to keep tension in the rope and make device slide  easier. Though if not possible then a heavy rucksack hanging from first bolt is okay.
  • use two seperate devices on two separate strands of rope - there’s a neat trick you can use to extend one of the microtraxions and keep it close to your chest, away from the other one (https://goo.gl/images/JSvb8W shows it with a single rope)
  • a mistake can very costly so double-triple check everything

 


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