/ Belaying with Double ropes

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Gazlynn - on 18 Sep 2012


Hi I am going to be using double ropes a lot more this winter. Which I believe you can use as twin or double ropes.

I am ok with clipping into pro on route but I am slightly confused as how do you rig up a belay?

What is the best way?

DO you clip the both ropes through the anchors on the belay or just one?

cheers

Gaz



54ms - on 18 Sep 2012
In reply to Gazlynn:

Depends on the rope on if they are rated to use a double or twins.

You only need to clip one rope through each anchor at the belay.
GrahamD - on 18 Sep 2012
In reply to Gazlynn:

There is no 'best way' but normally, if the second is leading through, people take one rope to each anchor. Clove hitch to the anchor if in reach or bring it back and tie off at the harness if not. With practice this is very quick and efficient.
Gazlynn - on 18 Sep 2012
In reply to GrahamD:

Thanks for the reply

So is this an acceptable way of doing things? I lead The first pitch with a blue and green rope. I get to the belay and construct a belay as I would normally using a single rope (say blue)The seconder then comes up past the belay and then leads the second pitch constructing a belay using the green rope and so on until the climb is finished?

cheers

Gaz
Ander on 18 Sep 2012
In reply to Gazlynn:

Would work, but for my money, I'd use both ropes in each anchor.

1) you can't forget which colour yours is if you use both. It's one more thing to remember, when you don't really need the additional thing to factor in.
2) you can eat up a lot of rope in a belay. If you use one, you could easily reduce the potential length of a pitch by a considerable amount and therefore not reach the next belay. And before someone yells it doesn't matter, as you'll still need the rope to build the new anchor, consider that you can't build any anchor if you haven't got there, rather than some anchor with a little bit of rope.

You could also consider using cordlettes to build your belay, and reducing the amount of rope in the anchor itself.
Ander on 18 Sep 2012
In reply to Ander: by both ropes in each anchor, I don't mean doubling up, I mean using sharing the rope between by various anchor points.
GrahamD - on 18 Sep 2012
In reply to Gazlynn:

Wasn't quite what I meant ! normally you take blue rope to one anchor and green rope to the other
Gazlynn - on 18 Sep 2012
In reply to All:


Ahh ok It makes sense now, plus safer to use the both ropes at the belay instead of just the one.

thanks

Gaz
tlm - on 18 Sep 2012
In reply to Gazlynn:
> (In reply to All)
>
>
> Ahh ok It makes sense now, plus safer to use the both ropes at the belay instead of just the one.

It isn't any safer or any more dangerous. It is simply easier.

Usually, you have both ropes tied in to your harness. Using both ropes means that if your gear placements are near to you, you can simply tie of each of the ropes on a piece of gear.

If you used a single rope, you have to fiddle around more.

What makes you think that it would be safer than using a single rope?

Gazlynn - on 18 Sep 2012
In reply to tlm:
> (In reply to Gazlynn)
> [...]
>
>
> What makes you think that it would be safer than using a single rope?

I would of thought that if we where using 2 ropes it would be safer to incorporate both ropes at the belay instead of the 1 just in case one gets damaged no?

cheers

Gaz
jkarran - on 18 Sep 2012
In reply to Gazlynn:

> So is this an acceptable way of doing things? I lead The first pitch with a blue and green rope. I get to the belay and construct a belay as I would normally using a single rope (say blue)The seconder then comes up past the belay and then leads the second pitch constructing a belay using the green rope and so on until the climb is finished?

That's fine but pointless.
jk

jkarran - on 18 Sep 2012
In reply to Gazlynn:

> I am ok with clipping into pro on route but I am slightly confused as how do you rig up a belay?

Dead easy with 2 bits of gear: Clove hitch one rope to each piece.

If you have more than 2 pieces: Secure 2 (or more) bits to one rope as you would with a single rope bring in it back to the harness then use the other rope for the remaining bit(s).

Or any similar combination. So long as you're securely attached to your independent belay pieces that's all that really matters. Experiment, see what happens if you 'fail' on of the belay pieces, see what happens with an off-axis pull, see how quick, neat and adjustable the different options are and what you could do if you were for example short of screwgates.

It's dead easy to practice at home with a belay set up on your stairs or bits of furniture and much more valuable to have a toolkit of ideas than to know one or two 'right' ways of doing something.

jk
jkarran - on 18 Sep 2012
In reply to Gazlynn:

> I would of thought that if we where using 2 ropes it would be safer to incorporate both ropes at the belay instead of the 1 just in case one gets damaged no?

Why would you tie in to a damaged rope?
jk
Gazlynn - on 18 Sep 2012
In reply to jkarran:
> (In reply to Gazlynn)
>
> [...]
>
> Why would you tie in to a damaged rope?
> jk

I wouldn't tie into a damaged rope.

I finish the first pitch and set up my belay with 2 anchors.

I am now going to tie the blue rope into one anchor and the green into the other anchor.

Would that not be safer than just tying the blue rope into both anchors as you are utilizing the both ropes?

thanks for the tips

Gaz
GeoffRadcliffe - on 18 Sep 2012
In reply to Gazlynn: Having double ropes allows you to tie individual ropes into anchors that are not close together. Also, if there is any danger of one of your anchors failing (e.g. a rusty peg above you), only tie one rope into it.
tlm - on 18 Sep 2012
In reply to Gazlynn:

> I would have thought that if we where using 2 ropes it would be safer to incorporate both ropes at the belay instead of the 1 just in case one gets damaged no?

Each section of rope is tied off at each end, so in practice is a separate piece of rope. It really makes no difference if those were actually real separate bits of rope, if they were sections of the same rope, or sections of 2 different ropes. The whole point is redundancy - that each piece of gear is separate and equalised.

tlm - on 18 Sep 2012
In reply to Gazlynn:

It's important in climbing to understand the forces that are likely to be put onto your ropes, why you are doing what you are doing etc, rather than blindly following one set of rules.

It may be better, in different circumstances to use different systems.

Keep on asking the questions, and also look at other people's belays where possible, and maybe ask the belayer some questions - where do you usually climb?
jkarran - on 18 Sep 2012
In reply to Gazlynn:

> I am now going to tie the blue rope into one anchor and the green into the other anchor.
> Would that not be safer than just tying the blue rope into both anchors as you are utilizing the both ropes?

Tidier and easier yes, safer... not significantly given both ropes are good.
jk

Gazlynn - on 18 Sep 2012
In reply to jkarran:

Thanks all for the info.

Back to the furniture for a wee while :-)

cheers

Gaz
GrahamD - on 18 Sep 2012
In reply to jkarran:

> Tidier and easier yes, safer... not significantly given both ropes are good.


Except that, in practice, tidier usually does result in safer as its easier to visually check. KISS and all that.
Si Withington - on 18 Sep 2012
In reply to Gazlynn:

For what it's worth, and to state the obvious: a winter climb is perhaps not the best place to try out these newly learned ropework techniques in anger for the first time. Perhaps hire an instructor for a day - money well spent and you'll learn a lot more than just how to set up your belays.

Ta
Gazlynn - on 18 Sep 2012
In reply to siwithington:


Don't worry I do not climb hard and will be well practiced before venturing out onto the hill.
I have been out with instructors on numerous days but we didn't go through double rope techniques. Also not climbing for a year has made me a little rusty.

I am pure skint at the moment so unfortunately the instruction day will have to wait a while.

cheers

Gaz
Jonny2vests - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Gazlynn:
>
>
> Hi I am going to be using double ropes a lot more this winter. Which I believe you can use as twin or double ropes.

Not necessarily. Look at what they're rated for.
Andy Mountains - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Gazlynn:

Pleased to see this thread Gaz, as it means your ankle is obviously on the mend.
mikekeswick - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Gazlynn: Yes if using 2 pieces of bomber gear then one rope clove hitched to each. If out of reach clipped through a krab on the gear and clove hitched back at your harness. If using more than two anchors I tend to equalise the pieces closest to each other with a sling and then go back to one rope through the equalised gear krab. A major bonus of using the rope over slings is that you get some stretch and the knots tightening in the system keep peak forces lower - possibly useful on winter belays!
professionalwreckhead - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to mikekeswick:

>A major bonus of using the rope over slings is that you get some stretch and the knots tightening in the system keep peak forces lower - possibly useful on winter belays!

I've always wondered about this - I use the rope for anchors, and although I appreciate there will obviously be some difference between a 60cm static sling and 120cm of dynamic rope (from the harness and back to the harness), is the difference really great enough to be measurable in the real world where both are properly weighted?

I've read some alarming stats on the forces involved with shock loading slings (e.g. the huge forces involved with slipping/falling 1m onto a sling), but never found anything which sets out the same forces on an equivalent length of rope, and how that would apply in the real world (i.e. the difference between ripping gear or bodily damage etc)

mike kann - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to professionalwreckhead: I think the real difference comes from using knots as their tightening allows extra stretch and give in the system. Still, unless you're wandering around above the belay and falling off, (i.e. doing something worthy of a darwin award) it's not really going to make much difference as the rope between you and the belayed will have more influence on the system. You could always compromise and use slings but tie into your strong point with the rope...
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Gazlynn - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains:

Yes it is Andy :-)

Thanks mate. Hope your shoulder is sorted too?

cheers all

Gaz

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