/ Ethics on moving roped

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jaggy bunnet - on 04 Dec 2012
I was out on Curved Ridge sunday past moving roped (alpine style ) with my partner on a half rope with around 12m between us,.after the waterslide we looked up and saw a party just heading up on the ridge proper. As we caught up with them we saw that there were 2 ropes and that they knew each other, what struck me was this...

..the leader of the first rope was waaaay up the ridge (60 m ?) and bellowing for his second to get a move on, this lady was absolutely gripped and were it not for the leader of the second rope giving her instructions i,m sure she wouldn't have moved at all.The second on the second rope ( bare with me here) was a gent who was pretty clued up and didnt worry us much but to my amazement was on the end of a full 60 m rope the same as the first team. So just to clarify thats 2 teams moving together on the ridge 120m end to end.

As there was so much rope between them we found it impossible to get past safely and so we followed them up with by now another two ropes at our heels. I did ask the chap at the rear at one point if he thought of moving together on 60's was a good idea but i got a shoulder shrug.

The icing on the cake was as we reached the top and moved around the back of Crowberry the leader of the pack had moved out of sight to tackle Crowberry Tower . I do not know how his second was supposed to gain this in her current state so i had to confirm that she knew where she was heading...the question was answered by her friend " yes we do, our leader has been guiding for over 40 years "

So with that we moved off and for the rest of the day never saw any hint of them coming down behind us..even from the carpark looking up to the basin.

Am i being too critical or was that the best way to drag someone up a ridge without ever seeing them 60m below you , not hearing a thing hes screaming at you ?

Jamie B - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to jaggy bunnet:

It's a bit odd, but I imagine it could be made to work. Was the guide/leader placing runners and were these also being used by the second pair?

Jamie B - on 05 Dec 2012
PS - Don't think it's a question of "ethics"; if he's got to the route ahead of you he can do pretty much anything he likes, short of being deliberately obstructive or drilling bolts. More an analysis of technique...
cbonner - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to jaggy bunnet:

Sounds completely irresponsible and dangerous to me. Way too much rope between them.

Well done to the second for not slipping!
UKH Forums - on 05 Dec 2012
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drmarten on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to jaggy bunnet:
In reply to jaggy bunnet:
> So with that we moved off and for the rest of the day never saw any hint of them coming down behind us..even from the carpark looking up to the basin.

Could this have been the group of who were helicoptered off Buachaille Etive Mor on Sunday night? The rope practice you describe sounds poor - to say the least.
CurlyStevo - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to cbonner:
Personally I think the ideal length for moving together is one which you are very likely to be able to get runners between you for most the way up. Using a shorter rope where there are no runners between the climbers (including spikes the ropes is around) decreases safety over soloing for most climbers IMO.
martinph78 on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo: I agree with you. 60m sounds long but if there's runners between then it sounds safer than 12m with no runners.

"Sounds" been the key point, it's hard to say on a forum.

Maybe if you'd discussed it with them further you'd now know why?

jaggy bunnet - on 05 Dec 2012
I cannot say that the leader was placing much or any runners as i couldn't see past the 60m rope of the second pair..and i can confirm that they climbed without placing any. It also occured to me when i heard about the rescue that maybe it was that party..however being 4 of them and only 3 being rescued whos to know.

I understand that those climbers were in front and therefor entitled to do as they pleased but it just seemed untidy and risky .
jaggy bunnet - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to Martin1978: We did place runners were appropriate, i,m aware of the risks in not doing so, the drag , faff and lack of communication on a 60 to me is slower and less appealing..but hey just my opinion.
The Ex-Engineer - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to jaggy bunnet: Moving together with a novice second with 60m out just sounds a very poor choice of technique. For the life of me I can't think of any reason I'd ever move together on that route with that much rope out.

With a novice, I would initially consider short-pitching the route, climbing it quickly with 15-30metre pitches and then short-roping up the summit slopes.

With a novice I had some confidence in, I would also be happy enough to pitch the route running out full 60m rope lengths where you have a clear line of sight but it would not be my first choice.

With another good climber I'd consider moving together, but would probably have around 20 metres of rope out.
Simon4 - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:

> With another good climber I'd consider moving together, but would probably have around 20 metres of rope out.

Apart from any other consideration, I would expect the drag from a full 60m of ropes on the snow to almost bring you grinding to a halt, which is the normal reason for taking coils, Alpine-style.
Gordon Stainforth - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to jaggy bunnet:

I think you're talking about efficacy rather than ethics: i.e. mechanics, logistics, safety factors etc. of moving together roped up. Nothing to do with ethics.
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jaggy bunnet - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth: you're right , my appologies.

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