/ Belaying with joined ropes?

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jsmcfarland - on 14 Aug 2013
Hi there,

I have 2x ropes, one 50m and one 30m. Say I would like to do a climb over 25 meters, is there any way to belay (safely!) with them joined? For the record I have a Gri-Gri and a ATC type device also. I was wondering at the feasibility of my partner leading up with the 50m (with 30m attached at end) and when belaying him, Locking the gri-gri off above the knot, and then attach the ATC just below the knot, unclip my gri-gri and take the weight on the ATC and continue lowering off as before.

To my untrained eye this does seem stretching it a bit but I'm not all that confident at abseiling 30m

Hope somebody can point an easy way out of my dilemma (no trolls!)
valjean - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to jsmcfarland:

no issues with it. just tell him to get a good stance

can be done on lead or when TRing or lowering. always be aware of how much rope you are working with though and always have the climber on belay and i dont see any problems

others might say something else though.
jezb1 - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to jsmcfarland: how is the joining knot going to pass through the quick draws ?
Mark Kemball - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to jsmcfarland: Could be very problematic if the climber you are lowering cannot take his weight of the rope when your knot reaches the belay device. The stretch in the ropes will add to your problems.
lithos on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to jsmcfarland:

How will the knot go through the quickdraws (unless the first draw very high) ?

I suspect single pitch bolts and lowering is what you are talking about.
I presume you mean 50m and 30m single ropes.

How long is the route ? if its say 27m you will be able to do it on rope stretch (with
a knot in the end - to stop it going through the ATC/GriGri), maybe down climbing the
last few meters. if its 30m+ you are stuffed.

You can do it but you need to abseil and you say you are not that confident at 30m.
If you are nervous at abseiling i would respectfully say dont go near switching belay plates yet.

TO AB.
Climb with both ropes, or trail the 30, tie into belay with a cows tail (sling threaded
through harness - stay below belay), join ropes and abseil back down, pull the ropes down.

GET SOMEONE TO SHOW YOU HOW TO DO THIS AND
PRACTICE AT GROUND LEVEL IT IS POTENTIALLY LETHAL IF YOU MESS UP
jkarran - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to jsmcfarland:

I guess I need more coffee, I can't see exactly where your concern lies. Without too much messing about you can use that set of ropes to safely:

* Lead 50m pitches (using the 50m rope)
* Abseil 80m in one go, single strand with a knot pass (one shot, losing the joined ropes)
* Abseil 25m in one go from a sling (retrieving the folded 50)
* Abseil 40m from a metal ring with controlled slip on 50 to move the knot as you drop (retrieving the folded joined ropes by pulling the 30)
* Bottom rope 40m (knot pass for the belayer & rope stretch hazard)
* Top rope 80m (knot pass for the belayer & rope stretch hazard)

All numbers are nominal, stretch adds length, knots reduce it. Don't let a stretched rope ping out of reach when you get off it! Don't do anything you're not certain of, mixing and matching those techniques carelessly could get you killed.

Taking intermediate belays (multi-pitch) you can climb or ab' as far as you like on that kit in relative safety.

jk
RomTheBear - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to jsmcfarland: Buy a 60 or 70m rope
jsmcfarland - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to jsmcfarland:

Hi all,

thanks for so many quick replies

Just to clarify:

I or a friend would be leading a 28-32m single-pitch sport climb and then lowering off. My thought would be joining the two ropes together, and then myself/friend could clip themselves onto one of the quickdraws to take the weight off the rope while I run some slack rope from behind the knot through the ATC/Gri-Gri and then the rope can be weighted again. Hope that makes sense
Howard J - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to jsmcfarland: It's possible but it seems to me there's plenty of ways to get it wrong, from getting the knot jammed to messing up the switch-over. You might have a struggle untying the knot afterwards.

I'd say that using both ropes to ab down would be safer - if you're not confident abbing, then practice. However you're still only going to be able to climb 30m, the length of your shortest rope. If you can ab past the knot you'd get 40m, but that's best avoided unless you really know what you're doing.

What you're proposing is not in itself necessarily dangerous, but it's additional faff, and faffing can be unsafe, especially if you're relatively inexperienced. Buy a longer rope and be done with it.
nniff - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to jsmcfarland:
> (In reply to jsmcfarland)
>
> Hi all,
>
> thanks for so many quick replies
>
> Just to clarify:
>
> I or a friend would be leading a 28-32m single-pitch sport climb and then lowering off. My thought would be joining the two ropes together, and then myself/friend could clip themselves onto one of the quickdraws to take the weight off the rope while I run some slack rope from behind the knot through the ATC/Gri-Gri and then the rope can be weighted again. Hope that makes sense

In which case the knot would jam in the first QD off the ground. If you're really determined to do this, the easiest way is for your mate to lower most of the way down the route, clip in to a bolt, pull the ropes down and then lower again from this intermediate lower off. Downsides are that it's inadviable to lower off a single bolt and that it will be a bolt rather than a lower off and so you should leave something behind (old krab, maillon etc) to avoid trashing your rope (or abseil).

Get a longer rope or choose a shorter route
jsmcfarland - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to jsmcfarland:

Okay that sounds like the best way to do it then. I'll get some Ab practice in for the longer routes. I'm heading to portland and most of the sport climbs there I understand are 25m<

Thanks everyone for being helpful and not nailing my balls to the wall for being a newbie :)
needvert on 14 Aug 2013
Abing would be how I'd approach it with the 30m line clipped to back of harness while climbing, up to 40m climbs but preferably 30m. The 40m would involve feeding the longer strand through while locking off the shorter as your dropped down 10 meters. It's a bit nasty and won't work (read: you may die) if you can't run the rope through something metal.

Haven't tried the above, but I'd be willing to!
alooker - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to jsmcfarland: just tie the ropes together with an overhand at the lower off (pass one end through the metal ring or similar first!) and abseil off. Leave decent tails for the overhand and tie knots in the end of each rope. Practice on the ground first, and make sure you're safely clipped in to preferably both bolts whilst hanging sorting out the ab rope.

Use a prussic with the atc too.
jkarran - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to jsmcfarland:

> I or a friend would be leading a 28-32m single-pitch sport climb and then lowering off...

Second best to buying a suitable rope: Pull up both ropes and ab from the top stripping the clips on the way down. Off chains with a little care you can safely go 40m on the kit you have.

You'll struggle to strip a steep/diagonal route like this though. It's still doable but you'd have to belay your partner up from the top (seconding taking out clips as they climb) then both of you ab either one at a time or simultaneously.

Again... Take precautions (knotted ends etc) and do nothing you're not certain of. A suitable rope makes the process a LOT easier.

jk

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