/ Solo Climbing!?!
I'm struggling to find a climbing partner with the same appetite as myself. Some days I have to go the the wall by myself (bouldering), which is fine, however I am aware it is possible to self belay and to solo lead. Can anyone give me some information on such techniques/share your experience and opinions with me on this??
Doable, but a faff and scary as shit.
I've done a bit of top-rope soloing and found it a little bit scary and faffy. Solo-leading is possible but it's not very popular because it's hugely scary and faffy (well it looks that way when I've seen people do it). It's much easier, safer and more fun to find a partner - the Lifts and Partners forum is very useful for this.
I think solo leading is one of those "if you have to ask you probably shouldn't be trying it" activities, if you aren't really quite proficient at self rescue and placing bomb-proof gear then your chances of injuring yourself are really quite high.
What are you struggling to find a partner for, you'll find all manner of deviants on this forum? Try fleshing your profile out a bit and posting something in the lifts and partners forum.
TR isn't much faf, never lead. Might give it a go one day aiding, with a clove hitch instead of a silent partner.
TR solo with clove hitches is indeed a faf as I have tried it myself. I shan't be TR soloing again until I have a proper ascending device with a hands free backup.
Here’s a link to a man’s website who’s done quite a bit of roped soloing.
I’ve done bits myself – in Scotland –mostly on rock – leading and top-roping. Leading [and then cleaning the pitch] is very much a faff but can still be fun, albeit rather more dangerous fun than having a buddy to belay you. I use a Soloist.
There are also archived threads on UKC site.
TRS is a good way to get out and work on routes at or a bit above your limit, without making your partner sit around at the bottom holding your rope for hours. All that is required is some kind of ascender and your normal rack
Solo leading seems a bit of an overkill for just not having a partner
I don't mind top rope soloing (when working a line and not really moving up that quickly). Grigri is excellent here, with the rope below tied to the harness in case of failure.
I tried a Silent Partner (not cheap) - even if you trust it, it's a pain to use, except perhaps on easy slabs when you can take 2 hands off fairly frequently.
I bought a wren industries soloist a while back.
Used it last night and it seems perfect for doing top rope.
bad things about it though are:
customs tax as it's not available in eu.
won't catch if you go upside down.
Just a few thoughts:
* Silent Partner works well for doing solo leads.
* You do end up having to at least ab down to clean the gear.
* I found it quite satisfying leading multi-pitch routes but it does take much longer (you have to lead, abseil, then jug up the rope to the next stance). It is easiest if the route roughly goes in a straight line rather than traversing a lot.
* Rope management can get messy and takes a bit of practice.
* With SP you need quite a narrow rope diameter for it to feed well. I used 10mm, but I think 9.5 would be better, especially once the rope starts fattening up.
* You need to do it in locations/routes/pitches with good bottom anchors (capable of taking an upward pull). It worked well at Wintour's Leap for me (lots of trees for anchors).
* SP is expensive but worth it.
* SP manual recommends tying multiple backup knots, but it seems that most people who do it regularly just tie 1 backup knot at a time (clove hitches on a bomb proof krab on the harness).
* Stacking rope very carefully before setting off is very important to avoid getting in a mess.
* I felt more confident leading a pitch with a real partner than with a Silent Partner (backed off a pitch with SP then led it easily with a partner the next day)!
* Falling on a SP creates much more force on the gear than falling on a belayer. It would be good if someone could come up with a thick piece of elastic which you could use at the bottom anchor to place less stress on the gear when you fall. I guess some people might incorporate a screamer into their system, although some sort of reusable shock absorber would be good in my mind. Maybe another idea would be to tie some kind of bulky knot at the anchor which would tighten up in the event of a fall, absorbing some of the force.
3) chuck toprope down, ab to give yourself faith in the rope. use a minitraxion (plus a ropeman or shunt in addition incase you need to ascend rope and a belay device incase you want to ab). off vertical is easier than overhanging. direct routes are better than indirect.
Not sure anything else 'soloist' etc is worth the hassle.
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