/ Multi pitch sport, belaying through the first bolt
Haven't climbed any multi pitch sport before, done a couple of trad multis though.
Reading about belaying through the first bolt, and it's benefits. A question about the logistics of it -
When climbing above the anchors and clipping the first bolt of the next pitch, do you back clip it? Working it out in my head this would be necessary so it is the right way round for the second when they come through.
What advantage would back clipping the 1st bolt have for the second? Having a quick think about it I can't picture why it would be useful?
I mean back clipping the first bolt of the new pitch above my belay.
It would be clipped already for the 2nd who would lead that pitch. Avoiding direct fall onto belay etc.
If I'm thinking correctly it would be back clipped for me, but the right way round for my second?
It wouldn't actually be back-clipped for the second when he's up there leading the next pitch - it's only apparently back-clipped for the leader of the previous pitch; but as he only only climbs up to it and then back down to the belay it's the obvious way to run the rope, which will also probably run more freely as a result.
If its not in reach of the stance, then you wouldn't do that, because the drag would be silly when you belay them up. If there is a bolt in reach, there are occasions you might run their rope through it as a directional anchor. If that's also their first bolt on the next pitch then I guess you could back clip it to save about half a second, then it would be the right way round for them when they lead off.
What you should do is just buy yourself a petzl reverso or similar and clip it directly to the anchors in guide mode. Auto locking and no strain through yourself, its a piece of cake.
I think the OP is more concerned about avoiding a factor 2 fall situation for the new leader on the next pitch. Which, however, shouldn't be that big a concern if the route has been halfway competently bolted; if there is hard climbing right above the belay, there should also be a bolt within easy reach.
From pages 87 and 88 of Sport Climbing+ they recommend this technique, for a few reasons including factor 2 fall, extra bolt to the belay, "radically reduces chances of rope tangle"
J2v - the system is belay device - QD through first bolt - person seconding so I don't think there would be any more rope drag than if belaying from the anchor?
Cheers for the replies so far.
> reasons including factor 2 fall
The obvious disadvantage I can see is that an autoblocking belay device wouldn't work with the live rope redirected upwards, thus depriving the belayer of the chance to have a drink, eat something, look at the topo for the next pitch etc.
> From pages 87 and 88 of Sport Climbing+ they recommend this technique, for a few reasons including factor 2 fall, extra bolt to the belay, "radically reduces chances of rope tangle"
> J2v - the system is belay device - QD through first bolt - person seconding so I don't think there would be any more rope drag than if belaying from the anchor?
So the rope runs from your plate, up to a QD, then sharply back down to the second? That's quit a bit more drag, significant for longer pitches. And I agree with Alan, you wouldn't be able to belay in guide mode, which would also put me off.
> So the rope runs from your plate, up to a QD, then sharply back down to the second? That's quit a bit more drag, significant for longer pitches.
More drag but you have body weight on your side - should you need it!
So you do this then? I use directionals on occasion, but I wouldn't do it if it wasn't in reach of the stance, just seems to needlessly add out of reach complexity to the system.
Good points Alan!
Yeah you're right Jonny of course there would be more drag.. So you don't use this method?
Chris do you?
> Yeah you're right Jonny of course there would be more drag.. So you don't use this method?
Not if I cant reach the bolt from the stance. If I did do it with a bolt in reach, it would be to redirect the anchor so I can either belay more comfortably (because any fall is mostly taken by the redirect) or to give the second a bit of security, say if the stance is offset from the line. Having said that, I normally belay directly (guide mode) on bolted stances, which usually precludes what you suggest anyway.
Cheers for the advice man!
Actually, my wife just pointed out to me that I'm being a bit daft. Just because you run the rope through a high bolt, it doesn't mean you have to belay the second on the rope coming back down to you. In many situations, you'll be able to reach the other strand (the one going directly to them) thereby getting the best of both worlds, perhaps thats what you meant?
So, to summarize, I've never done it because to be honest, its never occurred to me, but I might now in certain situations; if I could reach the other strand and if I was the stronger climber and a factor 2 for them was a real possibility. In which case, to answer your original question, yes, backclipping works. Apologies for being dim.
> Chris do you?
Yes quite often, if the bolt is within easy reach and we are swinging leads.
> Actually, my wife just pointed out to me that I'm being a bit daft. Just because you run the rope through a high bolt, it doesn't mean you have to belay the second on the rope coming back down to you. In many situations, you'll be able to reach the other strand (the one going directly to them) thereby getting the best of both worlds, perhaps thats what you meant?
Sounds like the worst of both worlds, your gaining nothing by having the higher bolt clipped and when the 2nd arrives the whole heap of rope is upside-down.
I do this quite often.
1. climb to the first bolt on the next pitch, clip it, possibly with a krab with a wheel in it.
2. grab the up rope the lower yourself back to the belay.
3. belay with a grigri.
4. second grabs the remaining clips from you as she passes and leads the next pitch.
Drag. I use this when climbing long routes with a single rope. This means I can belay with a grigri. Belaying with a reverso in guide mode with a single can be a right pain because of drag through the plate especially with older ropes. So the drag at the high bolt is not an issue.
If the rope is around the wrong way at the first bolt when the new leader gets there and she is concerned about it, she grabs the top krab as a handhold and re-clips.
The alternative is to use the grigri in guide mode. Note: this is not in petlz's instructions.
Just to add: this is about speed as much as anything else.
The change over time at the belay is less than 1 second, as the old leader simply clips any remaining clips as a single bunch onto the new leader's harness as she passes.
Unlike with a reverso in guide mode, she doesn't have to clip in so the belayer can move the reverso from guide mode to belay loop. It is therefore very safe when moving fast when you might be tempted to miss the clip-in stage and just grab the belay with your hand while the reverso is moved.
My experience is that because the new leader leaves the stance under top rope. She is likely to mover faster and be more relaxed than suddenly being thrown into the lead and told "don't fall in case you factor 2 the belay". Again this all helps to keep the speed up.
Which, if you're being purist, means you haven't done the route because you have weighted the gear.
Cheers David and Chris.
Alan, that wouldn't bother me, being honest with myself I'd know I had climbed the route clean :p
> Which, if you're being purist, means you haven't done the route because you have weighted the gear.
This is pitch you would be seconding the rest of, possibly with a sack on, and might even by jugging if it was hard enough, so you would have a true purist. :)
> Sounds like the worst of both worlds, your gaining nothing by having the higher bolt clipped and when the 2nd arrives the whole heap of rope is upside-down.
Hmmm. So you do use the other strand. Makes sense. I'm not very good at imagining these things.
In reply to David Coley:
Thanks for the explanation. So you carry a Grigri each I guess and a normal plate for abbing if required. I might try this today.
Or learn to ab a doubled up rope with a grigri.
> Or learn to ab a doubled up rope with a grigri.
Yeah, I've done that a few times, but I've never felt comfortable with it, I'd rather the ab system was 'closed'. I think the weight of a simple tube plate is no biggy when added to a sport rack. In fact I guess this whole setup could be done on a standard plate if used in the normal way.
Didn't get chance to try it today, hail stopped play before P2.
Would one do that via threading rope through metal anchor point, tying end to harness, and putting the grigri on the other strand?
[Meaning you're suspended by a growing loop of rope]
> Would one do that via threading rope through metal anchor point, tying end to harness, and putting the grigri on the other strand?
> [Meaning you're suspended by a growing loop of rope]
There are a couple of 'lowering yourself' type options, but its generally seen as a pretty bad idea to have a moving loaded rope passing through the anchors, (a really bad idea if you're abbing direct off a tape cluster or something). It will also knacker the rope pretty quick too.
The preferred method I've done and seen is to tie a double fig 8 loop at the mid point, thread the anchor till you reach the knot, then clip a screwgate from the loop to the opposite strand, which is also the strand you ab on. So you're effectively larks footing the anchor. You retrieve by pulling the side with the knot on. If you have a tag line or even a load of tapes, you can move the knot closer to one end, daisy chain the stuff on the pulling end thereby increasing your ab-able distance.
If its not a steep ab or there's ledges, the knot and crab can catch on all sorts. You can do it without the crab allegedly, but then you've got rope on rope on the pull and the friction that goes with it.
Ahh, cheers, I see:
What I was talking about they also list, but call it 'self lowering' instead of 'descending':
> What I was talking about they also list, but call it 'self lowering' instead of 'descending':
Yeah, its not applicable though in a general sense.
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