/ Top Rope Solo change to Descent - Best Method?
My question is: if I decide I need to descend what's the best method? I figure I need to swap from Traxion ascender to belay device in abseil mode. I would need to unweight the Traxion at some stage of the proceedings.
Having got embarassingly 'stuck' only a couple of feet off the ground (& having to wriggle out of my harness whilst dangling..anyone seeing it yes it would have been a right laugh..not so funny higher up).
Does anyone have any feedback on this? (not the funny anecdote). Any promising methods will be tried out on safe ground with no-one watching. Thanks
PS I have tried using a Petzl Shunt instead but don't like this device. It didn't work so well ascending & I found it extremely difficult to enable it to slide down.
Attach a belay device underneath the traxion and lock it off. Then attach a prussik above the traxion and clip in a sling to create a foot loop. Stand in the loop take the traxion off then lower onto the belay device.
Basically, while hanging with your weight on the mini-traxion/shunt/other self-belay device of your choice attach your belay device & abseil backup (short prussik attached to your harness leg loop) as normal to the rope below the mini-traxion. Slide both up as closely underneath the mini-traxion as you can.
Then attach the long prussik to the rope above the mini-traxion (perhaps 6 inches to a foot above). This prussik/prussik and sling combo needs to be long enough that you can get a foot into it and stand up enough to take your weight off the mini-traxion. At this point you can unclip and remove the mini-traxion. If something goes wrong you are clipped into the belay device and short prussik abseil backup immediately below. Once the mini-traxion is removed you can again slide the belay device and short prussik up as far as possible and then lower yourself off the long prussik that you are standing in so your weight is taken by the belay device and the short prussik abseil backup.
You can then take the long prussik off the rope and abseil like normal.
1. Attach belay plate below the ascender, get it as close underneath the ascender as you can and clip it to your belay loop.
2. Use this rope climbing technique to get your weight off the ascender then lower yourself slowly on to the belay plate being careful you dont just let go of everything and plummet to the ground. http://content.artofmanliness.com/uploads//2012/01/ropeclimbing2.jpg
3. Unclip the ascender and ab down.
If you do this in reverse you can get back on the ascender.
Thanks for all these replies. Didn't expect it'd be so soon. I'll look into all of them & try out hopefully in a hidden part of the Eastern Peak. Many thanks
Have it weighted down but not anchored. Just enough so you can pick up the slack. Failing that, I'd just have another rope next to me to connect to.
The fact of the matter, is that if you have an anchored tight rope, you aint going to be able to belay down it anyway because it'll always be pulled tight in the locked off position.
Minitrax's can fail via locking open by accident, some folks remove that bit of metal that enables it to lock open.
^^ What he said. In terms of 2) if you bend your knee, wrap the rope three or four times around your foot then stand up you'll find it works quite effectively. Not terribly comfortable but quick and doesn't require prusik faff :)
If you're standing on the slack rope beneath your traxion and belay device, the rope is still going to be loaded and you won't be able to take the traxion off. Also, you're going to want a prussik below the belay device anyway and they're not much faff if you're quick with them.
I find it funny how complicated people are making this just so they can feel like they're knowledgeable enough to come up with some fancy way of doing it. The way I listed is simple as you'll get it short of just wrapping the rope around your body.
Hey, I've got a better idea... Lace the bottom of the climb with 20 bouldering mats and if you get into trouble, cut the rope.
Or you could just stay at home.
Here's what I do:
If you always run a parallel rope why not just attach to that? Undo the knots as you descend.
If you're dead set on using the Mini Traxion I'd ab down the back-up rope (clove hitche back-ups drop out when unclipped).
It's actually really quick and easy to get up and down short sections of climbs using this method and saves faffing with belay devices.
I didn't realise my post would generate so many replies..or even controversy! Thanks for all the input. It's all helped. Plenty of ideas to try out.
I don't enjoy faffing around with all these contraptions. It detracts from the climbing. I'd much rather have a go at leading routes (it's got to be less faffy than this).
At the moment though I don't have a climbing partner or the balls/head to turn bouldering into soloing. About 4m is my limit for now. I'm pretty new to this game. What I do have is time during the week & a desire to use this time to get as much rock mileage as I can. So..for a while this is my current option.
I figure at least learning all this stuff will be useful in the future for belay setting & multipitch.
Anyway after playing I found the best way is to ab using the knotted rope, unknotting as I go. It's only in case remember..the idea I have is to climb up rather than slide down!
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