/ What's generally the distance between bolted Alps abseils?
Unfortunately about 40m, though I wouldn't always rely on it!
This is for stuff at about AD-level like the Zinal Rothorn, Matterhorn, Dent Blanche, Cheilon-Ruinette traverse
Depends on confidence. For me, I'd have a half rope on someones back, have coils taken in the other half rope to leave about 15-30m between you (depends on gear,) and move together. If you need to pitch it, then choose whether (based on difficulty you know or think it is,) you need one or both ropes and whether you can do it without chucking coils off. (Faster.)
If you are planning on doing long Alpine rock routes, then it's another story and I always use double 60m ropes. That extra 10m of rope gives piece of mind on abseils.
A single 50m or 60m would be standard and adequate on that sort of thing.
For the 4000ers quoted above, I would suggest a single 30m or at most 40m. And yes, I've been on all of them, using my old sport climbing rope with cut ends, about 33m long.
> For the 4000ers quoted above, I would suggest a single 30m or at most 40m. And yes, I've been on all of them, using my old sport climbing rope with cut ends, about 33m long.
And I'm sure it's not "best practice" but a half rope is lighter.
As Rob says a single is fine for those routes. On that sort of AD ground you can generally climb down most things. Abseils may make things a bit easier, that's all. Also beware of trying to save time by doing longer abseils than necessary as you're far more likely to get the rope snagged when you pull it.
I'm sure I'll be posting more questions about this in the near future - the main thing is whether anyone can recommend a guidebook more recent than the Alpine Club ones, for the Saas and Herens valleys including the Dent Blanche - taking into account glacial retreat etc.
Martin Moran - the 4000m peaks of the Alps
It does unsurprisingly only provide limited information about non-4000m peaks.
> Also beware of trying to save time by doing longer abseils than necessary as you're far more likely to get the rope snagged when you pull it.
I was about to say the same. If the route has broken terrain a single half rope of 60 meters will be better than two 50m.
Of course, sometimes the anchors are too far apart and you may have to leave some slings but in the long run having stuck ropes is much worse.
On the specific subject of distance between abb points on steep rock I've always found that the normal distance is set up for people using 50m double ropes, so just a little less to allow for knots and so one, but very often there are less adequate but usable ones between. The latter cannot be relied on. When a 60m abseil is required this is generally mentioned in the guide book.
There may be local exceptions to this, of course.
Thanks Graham and others - really helpful!
Very much looking forward to coming out again in July, hopefully catch up when I'm there. Currently planning to head straight up to the Bertol hut on our first evening and have a little play on the various ridges around there
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