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Topic - Frozen rope - proper way to belay?

valjean - on 27 Jan 2013
Just spent a day ice cragging. i set up some TRs for new people. it was a wee bit wet.

ropes had a nice ice crust on them --- was easy enough to just get belayers to use a combination of working the stiff rope through devices and/or walking back to take in the slack on the top rope.

uneventful day. i climbed up and out (also on TR) and was getting ready to bring up one of the people on an ATC on guide mode, only to find a large section (several metres) of the rope to be completely encased in ice -- no way it was fitting through any device and breaking up the ice portion by portion as i bring up the second did not seem efficient. no drama since there was a walk out and simply sent him up on foot.

However this got me thinking what options would i have if a walk out was not possible?

i had lots of space and was thinking... redirect the rope off the anchor (tree in this case), back to me, hip/waist belay with a carabiner on the belay loop for additional friction. i visualise it working in theory -- not 100% certain if it would have.

id like to hear your experience or options here (with a nice comfy place to belay from and also from a dinky ledge or hanging stance)
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