/ Moving together on half ropes

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Ross Spours - on 21 Nov 2016
Hi all,

I had a dig around online but couldn't find anything - how do you move together when using a half rope system?

I have moved together on a slingle rope plenty of times, do you just pack one half rope away and move together on a single half rope? Or move together tied into both ropes? If so, how would you go about taking coils?

Thanks for the advice,

Ross
remus - on 21 Nov 2016
In reply to Ross Spours:

Id just pack away one of the half ropes and go on a single half. A lot of the benefit to moving together is reduce faff, and trying to manage two ropes has more potential to get very faffy. If you're moving together, chances are you'll be keeping the distance between you fairly short anyway, so the opportunities for long wandering pitches with lots of rope drag are pretty minimal.
teh_mark on 21 Nov 2016
In reply to Ross Spours:

I concur (relative inexperience taken into account) - pack one rope away.
andrewmcleod - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to teh_mark:

And don't fall off
teh_mark on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to andrewmcleod:

That should go without saying!
Toerag - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Ross Spours:

Treat them as twin ropes (which must be used when 'moving together' more often as they're an Alpine thing)? I've never done moving together so feel free to shoot me down, but surely it's more prudent to use two thin, easily-cut ropes than one thin, easily cut rope?
teh_mark on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Toerag:

Having an extra rope is just an invitation for extra faff. More rope around you in coils, more opportunity for rope between you to get tangled, just generally more opportunities for things to slow you down. I'd consider the danger of a rope being cut over a sharp edge to be really quite low if you take sensible precautions, and it's a technique you're only going to roll out when you're really confident of not falling off to begin with.
alexm198 - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Ross Spours:

I've done this before where the leader took coils on one rope, and the second took coils on the other.

It worked OK, though it was a little faffy. Not sure if it would actually work out any quicker than just packing a rope away.
fmck - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Ross Spours:

I once did this for the last 350 feet on El naranjo de bulnes. Once it got round to ebbing off I asked the second for the other rope. He replied "I left it down where we started on single rope as were going back that way" what he failed to consider were the abb bolts were a rope length apart!
Offwidth - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to alexm198:

I prefer to take coils on both ropes. Its no harder than on one.. just a bit more bulky.
alexm198 - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Offwidth:

Yeah, the reason we did it the way I mentioned rather than your way was simply to avoid the bulk. Quicker too, as you might reasonably assume that one person taking coils on two ropes would take twice as long as two people each taking coils on one rope simultaneously.

That aside, climbing with 80m or so of rope wrapped around your chest can't be much fun!
Juan S on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Ross Spours:

I've treated half ropes as twins, so coiled them as one rope. Since my half ropes were 60m and we were keeping distances fairly short, we pack away one rope, tie into the middle of the second rope and just use that (having 30m of half ropes between us made for manageable coils).

Please note my inexperience: don't take what I've done above as advice - mainly posting in case anyone wants to find flaws with this approach.
Mark Haward - on 24 Nov 2016
In reply to Ross Spours:

It depends a bit on the situation. If the second half rope is no longer needed, or at least not for some time, I'd probably put it away. If normal pitching might resume shortly you can coil both together and move together with them both still in use. As someone said, a bit bulky but quicker than putting a rope away and taking it out again. However, when the rock is really sharp ( had this in New Zealand ) I've used two ropes when moving together and wished I had two thick singles rather than two half ropes.
Sometimes I'll climb with a triple rated and a half rope, putting the half rope away when no longer needed.
GrahamD - on 24 Nov 2016
In reply to Mark Haward:

It does depend on use, as you say. If you are only carrying two ropes for the odd pitch or abseil, put the other one away. If the majority of work is pitched, keep both tied on and clip as twins.
Big Lee - on 24 Nov 2016
In reply to Mark Haward:

Ditto
Jamie B - on 24 Nov 2016
In reply to Ross Spours:
Depends on the route. If you're spending more time on the mountaineering sections, maybe pair a skinny single with a skinny half (or even a tag line). What are you planning?
Post edited at 21:05
paulmck - on 24 Nov 2016
In reply to Ross Spours:

Put one in the rucsac (preferably your mates). With the remaining rope, one person ties into the middle, the other ties on to both of the other ends. Then you both take in coils as necessary treating both strands as if it was a single rope. If you are using 60m ropes you can now move together at distances up to 30m apart with two lengths of rope between you and your partner and when you do take in coils, they won't be too bulky.
JackM92 - on 25 Nov 2016
In reply to alexm198:

Worked ok on the Troussier Spur, since then have used that system quite a lot and it's fairly slick on ground where there's the occasional short pitch.

Am not convinced that the time taken to coil a rope, pack it away then get it all out again is worth it when both climbers can simply take coils on and off simultaneously.
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Jamie B - on 25 Nov 2016
In reply to JackM92:

The slickest approach would be one rope for everything, but it's not clear if the OP's objective allows that?

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