Keen to hit Aviation (E1 5b) on my way back to London from Cornwall. Can it be done in one pitch on 50m half ropes? Rockfax says it’s 36m total, but the CC guide puts both pitches at 46m total, which might be cutting it close depending on the belay situation at the top.
The belay is very far back if you top out completely.
You would have to more or less climb each pitch on a single half, given the traverse at the end of p1. I suspect the fact the top rounds off/slabs out would make the drag by the top pretty bad. Whether you'd make it on pure length I don't know.
My friend did it, said he just extended everything loads through the middle. In terms of route length I'm pretty sure it's fine.
If you belay off the metal railings by the cut out steps onto Lowman, they're a long way back. You could use a belay rope from them. But I wouldn't want to given the number of people that use the steps up onto the summit; the rope may not be there when you arrive up the long slabs. I can't remember what intermediate belays there are nearer the edge. I've always done it in two pitches bot least because I like hanging from the flake, the peg and the big lump. Plus you get a good view of your second's face when they take out the last bit of gear before committing to the traverse...
On a beautiful summer's evening it feels a great route and E0. On a dull, Dartmoor day with a wind it feels more imposing and E1. Enjoy!
Don't do it. I did. It sucked.
I was on 70m ropes, but that's not the point.
I thought I'd been careful enough and run the ropes well out of trouble but I literally could not move at the top. The ropes either dragged or jammed or got caught or something. Mates at the bottom couldn't hear me either so nothing I could do about it. They got a surprise when I walked up behind my belayer and asked wtf was going on.
I had to untie and attach my ropes to a cam in the big vertical hole on top, which is a good placement btw, walk down, explain to my belayer how I was both down here and up there (that took the longest), figure out a way to get people in places where we could communicate enough to fix it, then get back up there before the hordes of grockles started fiddling with my gear.
Don't do what I did.
Been there done that (though probs on 60s).
What a ball ache! Despite extending stuff loads the rope drag was awful and my mate couldn't hear a word in the breeze!
From my logbook:
"Utterly Brilliant!!! as one pitch (thanks to Becky for the suggesting this as it was probably so much better as one big pitch). 50m gets you to the block right at the top with correctly extended runners"
So it can be done iif you are careful with ropework and extending runners well as i did, i don't remember having and drag.
I did it in a oneer on 60s and thought it was totally fine in one pitch with no drag issues etc.. (and made more sense as a route to do it this way) the belay is quite far back though and I cant rember how much rope I had left...
I've done it on 60's and its fine so long as you extend well. (I think we had spare rope left)
On 50's you might need to do a top belay early on one of the overlaps at the top, then carefully walk out. Might just about be able to untie and fix the ropes?
Communication is not an issue if you follow the standard take it all in through the belay plate protocol.
As already stated above: You'll be fine on a 50 if you keep the rope lines in mind. I use mostly left rope for first pitch and initially mostly right for the second and it's fine. After the runnel on the second pitch you can belay at the overlap and either walk off or do the last little bit (it's a bit redundant after the bit you've just done but it completes the route).
First time I ever did it it was on a single in a one-er and it was absolutely horrendous .
I'm going back 33 years, so my memory might be faulty, but I wouldn't fancy the top pitch with loads of drag to contend with. We did it in two as we only had a 45m single and a sparse rack, so that pitch was unprotected pretty much which might colour my judgment. I think it was hvs back then. But I don't recall it being particularly hard at the time.
And it was exciting to second, knowing that if I fell off on the crux, I would potentially struggle to get back onto ground that I could possibly climb.
Dont hit aviation, it might hurt
Sadly it was raining hard when we neared Dartmoor yesterday. But longsufferingropeholder’s story has thoroughly convinced me not to attempt it, whenever the next chance arises.