/ NEW ARTICLE: VIDEO: How to Protect Traverses

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UKC Articles - on 25 May 2010
[Get Out on Rock DVD, 4 kb]Here professional mountain guide Libby Peter shows us how to protect traverses.

This brand new UKC mini-series combines words, photos, diagrams and video help you rasp some of the trickier aspects of climbing.

With the most up top date info possible it uses the stunning images of Mike Robertson, video clips from Get Out On Rock and diagrams from Rock Climbing – Essential Skills and Techniques.

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=2785

minimike - on 25 May 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

Nice! very informative, more like this please...
In reply to minimike: Hi Minimike,

Libby has just done a series for us:

UKC Articles and Gear Reviews by Libby Peter:

* VIDEO: Double ropes – what, when, why, where and how! May/2010
* Surviving Sea-cliff Adventures Apr/2010
* VIDEO: How to rig an abseil Apr/2010
* VIDEO: How to equalise anchors at a belay Mar/2010
* VIDEO: How To Rig a Top Rope Mar/2010

They are all here:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/older.html?category=3

Which is the 'Start Here' section of the site and has lots of 'how to' articles.

Cheers and glad you found the article useful.

Jack

michaelja - on 25 May 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:
And Finally

But every cloud has a silver lining; falls from a traverse are generally quite 'soft'. In other words the impact force on the climber, runners and belayer are low. Happy traversing!

The climber can face a rather nasty pendulum though !

So put enough gear in.
Cheers,
Michael
Roberttaylor - on 26 May 2010
In reply to UKC Articles: Looks like a useful series,

The most terrified I've ever made my second was on a traverse....I didn't understand how to protect her as well and ran out of extenders, leaving her looking at a rather large pendulum if she came off mid crux.
sutty on 26 May 2010
In reply to Roberttaylor:

Look at traverses this way, you protect the route for the weakest person, the strongest should not then fall off unless a hold breaks.

Not read the article yet so it may already have been said.
Dominic Green - on 26 May 2010
good film
LankyPaddy - on 26 May 2010
In reply to Roberttaylor:
> (In reply to UKC Articles) Looks like a useful series,
>
> The most terrified I've ever made my second was on a traverse....I didn't understand how to protect her as well and ran out of extenders, leaving her looking at a rather large pendulum if she came off mid crux.

Remember to put a piece of gear in straight after the crux for your second, something I often forget in the joy of finding big post crux holds.

Enty - on 26 May 2010
In reply to LankyPaddy:
> (In reply to Roberttaylor)
> [...]
>
> Remember to put a piece of gear in straight after the crux for your second.

Where's the fun in that ;-)

E
lmarenzi - on 27 May 2010
Could not agree with you more. Put plenty of gear in, beginning and end. I had been thinking about this after scaring myself on the crux pitch of Gogarth, but only now had time to go through everything (looking formulas up on the internet and hoping I have done the calculation right).

So for your amusement here is a little example I have devised with simplifications. Gravity = 10 m/s/s, because when you climb gravity just feels stronger. No friction, no slack in the system and the rope does not stretch. Sorry for using the decimal system for this, it just seems wrong for trad. 5 points for anyone who can come up with an easy to compute example using imperial measurements (and why is American gear not rated in ft lbs or something?)

So here goes:

You traverse an overhanging wall from the belay at the top of a column 5m without placing runners and fall.

Before the fall your potential energy was 80kg x 10m/s/s x 5m = 4000J

You arrive at the bottom of the column with 4000J = ˝ 80 x (velocity)2 = 40 x (velocity)2, so 100 = (velocity)2 which yields a terminal velocity of 10 m/s, the same speed you would have reached if you had fallen straight down. Ouch. You won’t be crushed into the ground by gravity when you hit, but you probably won't fall on your feet either. I think in real life rope stretch will take a bit of the sting out of this, but probably not much. I am not sure how it will feel to hit a rock wall at 36 km/h but I would have thought well into "danger of personal injury or death" territory. F=ma so is you assume your hitting the wall takes 1/10 s that would mean 80 kgs x 100 m/s/s for an 8kn impact force. You will smash into the column with enough kinetic energy to, well, throw you straight back up to the belay.

If the 5m pitch is negotiated successfully and a new belay built on top of another column the situation facing the second is the same.

10 points to anyone who can model the effect of slack in the system or work out likely rope stretch. If done elegantly: 15 points.

Climb safe.

Luca

PS Liked the article, some good rope tricks I didn't know.
Al Randall on 27 May 2010
In reply to UKC Articles: One of the biggest falls I have ever taken was seconding a traverse on a route on Middle Cathedral in Yosemite. The leader did a long run out to a solitary bolt then climbed the crux which was up for a few feet then directly right before moving down to join a crack and then back up to a belay. There was no protection other than the bolt. I unclipped the bolt and as soon as I did so my foot slipped. I went one hell of a long way down before I started to get the benefit of the rope and ended up nearly 100 feet below him.

Al
sutty on 27 May 2010
In reply to lmarenzi:

Scott did not get away with a pendulum, and that was on an abseil. Be ready for the slap into a wall;

http://outside.away.com/outside/features/200210/200210_big_moments_1.html
ads.ukclimbing.com
jkarran - on 27 May 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

Following a 40m traverse full of dubious gear with the hard (for me) crux right at the start I've resorted to leaving one of the ropes clipped through the (peg) belay as a backrope just in case I fell and stripped a good section of the pitch. 10m in with the crux done but perched one legged on a matchbox edge I had to untie the backrope, pull it then re-tie while my partner deftly pulled in the slack. Worrying but far superior to padding across that crux facing a big uncertain fall.

In many scenarios you can rig a backrope quite simply (self belayed or belayed by the leader) where the traverse protection is a little inadequate or the consequences serious for the second.

jk

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