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Norton on 30 Mar 2013 - host213-122-110-18.range213-122.btcentralplus.com
I'm a pretty inexperienced climber but I have been top roping about once a month for a couple of years now. Today when belaying a mate I noticed the couple next to me had the rope twisted and I pointed it out to them. I was told by them and the guy beside me that it was deliberate as the belayer was so much lighter than the climber. I've always understood that using the rope to put friction on itself is a bad thing as it wears the rope out. I do hold a high ropes instructor qualification and it's something they stress when training you.
Is this normal practice for top roping or is it something people do at climbing centres because they aren't paying to replace the ropes?
I'll do that with my rope, I'll also use munter hitches, ascenders, fix it for solo TR, and once in a while haul.
I'd not worry about it. Ropes are cheap compared to surgery (supposing your featherweight belayer lost control). As a beginner doing a lot of TR, I went with a tougher rope (mammut 10.5mm) and it's going well.
(On reflection of why they'd stress this during your training, perhaps they're worried about other incidents of nylon on nylon, like top roping though slings instead of biners. In the twisted rope case, the wear isn't concentrated so isn't a safety issue.)