/ Threading etiquette

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
chers - on 06 Jun 2012
Meant to post this a while back after a trip to Portland...what do people do when they're climbing sport routes and others will be leading the same route or top roping? I though it was good practice to leave your quick draws in at the top and use these to lower off/top rope from so you wear out your own gear rather than thread the lower offs each time and top rope through the lower offs? I saw a lot of very worn lowers offs at Portland and wondered if this had exacerbated the wearing out?

Plus, isn't it just a waste of time and energy if everyone in your group threads the same route over and over?
Bimbler - on 06 Jun 2012
In reply to chers:

I thought that was what people did anyway!!
The Ex-Engineer - on 06 Jun 2012
In reply to chers:
> Plus, isn't it just a waste of time and energy if everyone in your group threads the same route over and over?

Absolutely spot on. When climbing I'm out climbing, especially if there is a group of us, quickdraws will just be left in routes for the last man/woman who wants to climb it to strip them. I don't know many keen sport climbers who are not happy to save themselves a minute of faffing around by leaving their draws in routes for their friends to use.

The excessive wear on Portland is really a separate issue. The worst examples are not from climbers being possessive about their quickdraws, it is mainly from the sheer number of novice climbers top-roping the limited number of easier routes. The biggest problems is large commercial groups run by lazy, ignorant individuals who can't be bothered to rig the routes properly with their own equipment for the duration of the group's climbing session.
Dave 88 - on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to chers:

Some good discussion on the topic recently, here- http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=500720&v=1#x6824072
Adam Perrett on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to chers: You are definitely doing the right thing to use your quickdraws to toprope through, then threading the loweroff when you are finished. Keep up the good work :).

I have spoken to a few groups now on Portland who were toproping through the loweroff bolts and explained the problems it is causing. Hopefully by spreading the word around we can reduce the number of groups who do it.

We have recently installed ‘pigtails’ supplied by the Dorset Bolt Fund onto the loweroffs at the Veranda and Bower areas on Portland. You just feed your rope over the horns and then lower off, no need to untie or thread the loweroffs
( http://tinyurl.com/czrwakn ).

I noticed from your profile that you have climbed in Mallorca. I am off there soon for the first time. Staying at Port de Soller (although the routes there are out of bounds at the moment :(. Hopefully get some good climbing in if it is not too hot…
chers - on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to Adam Perrett:
As I thought! I liked the pigtails...interestingly though, when I was at Portland (Fallen Slab arete I think) some noisy students where threading the pigtails!!

Yup, Mallorca was amazing. I went with Rock and Sun so we got taken to the best spots! Soller has stunning views and if its the right town I'm thinking off, lovely little cafes too. There were no restrictions when I was there but not many routes I could actually climb! I did a stunning 3* 6a - Sea. It was the easiest route there at the time (not sure if more have been added?) and amazed myself I got up it. Try Cala Magraner...real mix of all grades...bit of a trek to walk in but is on the beach so you can cool off quite easy :) Enjoy!
chers - on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to Bimbler: Thought what was what people did?
GrahamD - on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to Adam Perrett:

Of course its not so easy to use your own gear for top roping in conjunction with pigtails.
Bimbler - on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to chers:
> (In reply to Bimbler) Thought what was what people did?

Used quickdraws etc.
Jonny2vests - on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to chers:

Agree with your stance.

In Squamish, the etiquette seems to be that the nobody should lower off, even the last climber, who should Ab.

Personally, I think that's taking it a bit too far. Especially if there are rings which are free spinning. They are called a 'lower offs' for a reason and converting it to an ab is both faffier and riskier.
Adam Perrett on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to chers: Yeah, definitely going to Cala Magraner. The wife will love being on the beach AND climbing.
johnl - on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to GrahamD: You are ok to top rope through the pigtails, they are 10mm and the rope is running over four rods instead of two so wear will be much less significant. Also when they do eventually wear out they are easy to replace.
chers - on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to johnl:
Agree with you there!
duzinga - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to chers: Top-roping on fixed gear is bad behavior. I think even lowering-off should be frowned upon in popular areas. The last person up the route could easily abseil off the anchors instead.
Jonny2vests - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to duzinga:
> (In reply to chers) Top-roping on fixed gear is bad behavior. I think even lowering-off should be frowned upon in popular areas. The last person up the route could easily abseil off the anchors instead.

Even on freely rotating rings? Why do you think they call it a 'lower off' and not an 'ab off'?
duzinga - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to jonny2vests: you can call it whatever you want, I call them anchors and I am not the only one. Some people call insitu gear "swag", so it all depends on how you want to see it.
Jonny2vests - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to duzinga:
> (In reply to jonny2vests) you can call it whatever you want, I call them anchors and I am not the only one. Some people call insitu gear "swag", so it all depends on how you want to see it.

Ok, fine, we'll call them cabbages if you like. But things like freely rotating rings and pigs tails are DESIGNED with lowering off in mind.
rockcat - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to chers:
You're absolutely right but unfortunately too many people thread instead of using their own quick draws causing unnecessary wear to the lower-offs. This includes outdoor groups which typically have a queue of people lining up to be top roped through the lower-offs. When they need replacing someone has to do it and someone has to pay for them. Its very simple - last person threads.


> Meant to post this a while back after a trip to Portland...what do people do when they're climbing sport routes and others will be leading the same route or top roping? I though it was good practice to leave your quick draws in at the top and use these to lower off/top rope from so you wear out your own gear rather than thread the lower offs each time and top rope through the lower offs? I saw a lot of very worn lowers offs at Portland and wondered if this had exacerbated the wearing out?
>
> Plus, isn't it just a waste of time and energy if everyone in your group threads the same route over and over?

fire_munki on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to chers:
This is just thought that popped into my head for the top krab if you are going to be on the route for a while with a group would a revolver work or should it be a locking krab?
I've got a slingdraw made from revolver and 30cm sling.
Would reduce wear on your QD as well.
peteJ23 - on 08 Jun 2012
Maillon Rapide in your pocket.
Use that to lower off and leave it in situ
Dirt cheap and easy to replace
?
duzinga - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to jonny2vests: Yeah, I agree with that, especially if there is a thick clip or a pigtail. The biggest issue is when glue-in's are used for anchors, as they can not be replaced. But it would be good practice not to cause damage to the rings and spare the effort of replacing them in the future. As you noted earlier (which I just noticed), they use this in etiquette in parts of America.
Jonny2vests - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to duzinga:
> (In reply to jonny2vests) But it would be good practice not to cause damage to the rings and spare the effort of replacing them in the future. As you noted earlier (which I just noticed), they use this in etiquette in parts of America.

I dunno, I think the less abbing the better, it's a complete accident magnet and last person lowers frees the route up much quicker.
Jonny2vests - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to fire_munki:

Not a good idea to use revolvers for that, you need some friction in the system otherwise many belayers would meet their climbers as they fly up the crag.
fred99 - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to chers:
I use a short sling, doubled, with 2 screwgates.
First person up clips 1 screwgate to each bolt, and then clip the rope through one of the screwgates to be lowered off (or 1 rope through each if using double ropes).
The sling means that both bolts are in use in case of catastrophic failure of one. Sling loop can obviously be shortened to eliminate shock-loading.
Continue using until last person, who then threads for lower offf or abseil as appropriate. If close enough to neighbouring anchor point (or can be reached by traversing across from), then it can be retrieved from same, or you can traverse across to set this rig up on a neighbouring route and arrange it for a top-rope.
chers - on 09 Jun 2012
In reply to fred99: Not sure I quite understand your set up there, or what the advantages are? So you are only secured by 1 screwgate when lowering, is that right? Seems just as easy to me to use 2 quickdraws and clip into both tolower off.
GrahamD - on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to peteJ23:

> Maillon Rapide in your pocket.
> Use that to lower off and leave it in situ
> Dirt cheap and easy to replace

- Needs to be done up properly so no good to place under pressure
- Pain in the arse for the next person to have to strip it

snap gates are a much better option for this
fire_munki on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to jonny2vests:
Thanks for the comment on revolvers, I thought it might remove too much friction but wanted to see what people thought.
The Ex-Engineer - on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to fire_munki:
> This is just thought that popped into my head for the top krab if you are going to be on the route for a while with a group would a revolver work or should it be a locking krab?
> I've got a slingdraw made from revolver and 30cm sling.
> Would reduce wear on your QD as well.

With a group the ideal answer is to use a STEEL screwgate or a thick (10mm+) STEEL ring. I wouldn't use a pulley as that creates issues where there are appreciable weight difference between group members, especially with novice belayers.

However, I regularly use a revolver quickdraw when out climbing personally as it makes aiding up on the rope when working routes much easier. However I am normally climbing with experienced climbers of similar weights who won't be at all fazed by ending up a couple of feet off the ground.

One thing to bear in mind is that, for personal climbing, the wear on quickdraws will normally be randomly distributed amongst all your quickdraws meaning it is probably not something you need to worry about.
Jonny2vests - on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to GrahamD:

You don't place them under pressure Graham, and their fine hand tight.
GrahamD - on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to jonny2vests:

Yes, in the context of this thread you are right. Comments were more relevent to maillons as emergency bailout kit.
fred99 - on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to chers:
> (In reply to fred99) Not sure I quite understand your set up there, or what the advantages are? So you are only secured by 1 screwgate when lowering, is that right? Seems just as easy to me to use 2 quickdraws and clip into both tolower off.

No, secured by two screwgates.
If two ropes used, put one through each screwgate (prevents ropes rubbing against each other).
If one rope either put it through both screwgates, or just through one if you like. Whichever option, the two scregates are attached to each other by the (shortened to reduceshock-loading to a minimum) sling.

The main advantage versus using quickdraws (or any form of open gate carabiner), is that if you use this for top-roping there is no worry about ropes coming out of the gate when tension is removed. You are effectively duplicating the set-up at an indoor wall.

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