/ Hanging belay - management of half ropes

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
JimboWizbo - on 21 Feb 2013
Still getting to grips with my new set of half ropes (Mammut Genesis).

After a door-frame-anchor session of practising rope management, I have a question:

You reach a belay that's either hanging or has an inadequate ledge for just piling the two ropes up. You flake the rope over your sling/tie-in (however you've attached to the central point) as you take in, until the second reaches you. Now it would be easy for the second to lead the next pitch, but if I was leading again, would you:

a) Try to lift the coiled ropes off your attachment and place them all over your partner's attachment in one go.

b) Run the rope through, reflaking the rope over your partners attachment to the anchor

Hope that makes sense

Cheers
Ron Walker - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to JimboWizbo:

b) lapcoil so that the leaders rope easily lifts off the top of the pile - it's called backcoiling
The Ex-Engineer - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to JimboWizbo: In pretty much every case I would choose:

b) Run the rope through, reflaking the rope over your partners attachment to the anchor

Trying to do anything else never works consistently.

If you are block leading then there is a simple tip which slightly simplifies your rope management. It's fairly obvious but I was only made aware of it recently. When block leading you will invariably construct a single point anchor and you will normally clove hitch in using just one of your ropes. If you then also clip the second rope through the same krab it helps keeps your ropes running together throughout and things are slightly tidier. This applies equally to the second/belayer. Hopefully that makes some sense and hasn't confused you any further.

Anyway, I'm glad to hear that you are practicing at home before heading out. Getting things really clear in your mind is always well worth it.
JimboWizbo - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to The Ex-Engineer: Thanks for the tip, I noticed that when I was practising.

Another point I noticed that we missed when trying them at Windgather, was when initially uncoiling the ropes, instead of running each rope through separately before starting a route, you can run both ropes through at once into one big pile. Saves a lot of time, and correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think it was cause any issues.

The Ex-Engineer - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to JimboWizbo: If initially uncoiling ropes I normally do it separately, but these days they are often already in a rope bag ready to use.

Also, to save time on short crags like Windgather I'll get the second to carry the rope bag up the route. The second can then back-stack both ropes straight into the bag at the top of the cliff whilst the leader strips the belay. You carry the rope bag back down and the ropes are all ready to go for the next route.
JimboWizbo - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to The Ex-Engineer: Which rope bag do you use?
snoop6060 - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to JimboWizbo:

Lap coil is the way forward, and if you do this properly, you will not tangle the ropes and can lead in blocks.

The aim is to make every new loop slightly smaller than the last all the way to the end, when you would have pretty small coils. Its worth taking your time getting this right, and you won't get knots, cluster f*cks or any of the other things that can fast lead to danger for you on the the next pitch.

If you do this properly, you can then flip the whole pile from you to them in once motion, it works really well. I was showed exactly this by a guide in the verdon, but its critical you lap them properly in the first place. You are then ready to lead off from the top of the pile, not dragging from the bottom of the pile.
Jonny2vests - on 22 Feb 2013
In reply to JimboWizbo:

The length of the coils can be tricky; as snoop says, go long at first, as long as you can afford. By that I mean you don't want it snagging on stuff and you definitely don't want to lose sight of any rope. On nice smooth concave faces, you can go nice and long; less coils usually means an easier life.
Jonny2vests - on 22 Feb 2013
In reply to snoop6060:
> (In reply to JimboWizbo)
>
> If you do this properly, you can then flip the whole pile from you to them in once motion

Interesting. Can you explain that more?

jkarran - on 22 Feb 2013
In reply to JimboWizbo:

I just pile them up haphazardly on my feet. If I was leading on again i'd pick them off my feet and drop them on my partner's.

jk
EeeByGum - on 22 Feb 2013
In reply to JimboWizbo: I would recoil, but I would be unlikely to lead a route requiring a hanging belay where the second couldn't competently lead through. Keeping the lead on any multi-pitch is an almighty faff and you end up spending more time faffing on belay ledges than you do climbing.
Pero - on 22 Feb 2013
In reply to snoop6060: Yes, it's great when it works, which is a good reason to practise it. I must confess, my rope management gets a bit messy at times and I never seem to get the ever diminishing coils quite right!
Pero - on 22 Feb 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:
> I would be unlikely to lead a route requiring a hanging belay where the second couldn't competently lead through. Keeping the lead on any multi-pitch is an almighty faff and you end up spending more time faffing on belay ledges than you do climbing.

It's not quite as bad as that. I led someone up Grooved Arete on Tryfan as their first MP and we were reasonably efficient (with half ropes) The last belay is hanging and we just back-coiled normally and carefully.


John_Hat - on 22 Feb 2013
In reply to Pero:
> (In reply to snoop6060) Yes, it's great when it works, which is a good reason to practise it. I must confess, my rope management gets a bit messy at times and I never seem to get the ever diminishing coils quite right!

Agreed. I don't do enough multi-pitch to get this system slick, so I often end up - despite best intentions - with jkarren's method above.
bpmclimb - on 23 Feb 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:
> (In reply to JimboWizbo) I would recoil, but I would be unlikely to lead a route requiring a hanging belay where the second couldn't competently lead through. Keeping the lead on any multi-pitch is an almighty faff and you end up spending more time faffing on belay ledges than you do climbing.

I would recoil too, but I wouldn't call it an "almighty faff" - running the ropes through usually only adds a minute or so to the leading through scenario.
GridNorth - on 23 Feb 2013
In reply to EeeByGum: I have only found it a faff when using two different length ropes i.e 1 x 50 and 1 x 60. It's amazing how much 10 metres actually is in these circumstances.
David Coley - on 23 Feb 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:
> Keeping the lead on any multi-pitch is an almighty faff and you end up spending more time faffing on belay ledges than you do climbing.

Er, no. Not unless you doing something wrong. Leading in blocks is the common thing to do when you are trying to speed up!



duchessofmalfi - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to JimboWizbo: "you can run both ropes through at once into one big pile"

Nah don't do this, flake them separately. You only need the ropes to pay out unevenly once (eg when clipping gear or traversing) for the entire pile to turn is to a knot ridden tangle fest which really upsets the rhythm of your leader.

On multipitch climbs, depending on the snag and wind potential and safe legde space I often flake over my legs or feet as appropriate to the stance.
bpmclimb - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to duchessofmalfi:
> (In reply to JimboWizbo) "you can run both ropes through at once into one big pile"
>
> Nah don't do this, flake them separately. You only need the ropes to pay out unevenly once (eg when clipping gear or traversing) for the entire pile to turn is to a knot ridden tangle fest

Agreed if there's significant traversing coming up. But just clipping on a more or less straight up pitch? That's a very small difference in rope paid out - I find that it sorts itself out. Occasionally one rope can trap a loop of the other, but a quick shake releases it. Anyway, the OP scenario was a hanging belay - where would you flake the second rope if you wanted them separate?
duchessofmalfi - on 24 Feb 2013
Even if you're straight up the ropes tend to be clipped individually meaning several feet often is required for one rope at a time.

This means you can pick up a snag or tangle easily even in a straight up and it isn't usually worth the hassle you avoid flaking the ropes separately.

Correcting a nasty tangle on a hanging belay while your leader is desperate for slack isn't pretty.

You've two legs - flake one rope over each (depending on the stance).

bpmclimb - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to duchessofmalfi:
> Even if you're straight up the ropes tend to be clipped individually meaning several feet often is required for one rope at a time.
>
> You've two legs - flake one rope over each (depending on the stance).

Fair enough if you find you need to do that - different strokes for different folks. For me it would usually be a pointless waste of time, since I don't have a problem avoiding tangles while flaking the ropes together.
bpmclimb - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to bpmclimb:

Although if I'm ever belaying you off a hanging stance I'm happy to flake separately :)
JimboWizbo - on 25 Feb 2013
In reply to duchessofmalfi:
> You've two legs - flake one rope over each (depending on the stance).

Really? That sounds nuts. I'm going to have to go with lap coils in any case, I've tried flaking over my legs and the moment I got a bit uncomfortable and adjusted my feet that was it, rope-ocalypse.

TimH - on 25 Feb 2013
In reply to JimboWizbo:
I'd recommend b.

b) will always work and pay out smoothly (especially if you start with longer loops and gradually shorten them).

a) might save a few seconds or could cost a few minutes depending on luck and rope management skills! Can be made to work if you 'flip' the whole stack carefully and your belayer is happy to watch for and sort minor tangles as they come along (I'd make all loops the same size as you're stacking).

Flaking out both ropes at the same time shouldn't cause any issues as long as the 2nd doesn't mind doing a couple of twirls to remove any twists before leaving the ground.


Tim
jimtitt - on 25 Feb 2013
In reply to duchessofmalfi:
Each to their own taste but Ive certainly never seperated the ropes on a mid-route belay and never seen anyone do it, sounds like a right faff!
duchessofmalfi - on 25 Feb 2013
It all depends on circumstance, if I'm hanging, facing the wall with my feet on the wall then it is often one rope flaked over each foot. If there is clear air, no wind and little of no prospect of a snag I'd just let the ropes dangle.

I usually alternate leads so second arrives, takes the rack and climbs on through - no need to flake.

The prospect of untangling two mixed up ropes from this position isn't tasty.
Jonny2vests - on 25 Feb 2013
In reply to duchessofmalfi:

> The prospect of untangling two mixed up ropes from this position isn't tasty.

The prospect of doubling my flaking effort every time I do it, is much less tasty than the once in a blue moon a flaked pair will somehow entangle. Probably as much chance of that as a single flaked rope, tangling with itself.

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.