Has anyone got thoughts on top rope soloing with a movable anchor?

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I'm planning to go round Europe on my own but would love to do some rock climbing (ideally multi pitch). I'm trying to work out an effective way to top rope solo where I can keep moving up the rope. My theory is I could bring a clip stick and attach the quickdraws up part of a route with the rope included. Then I climb the section with the rope going from my harness through the quickdraws and then back to me through a gri-gri and a backup. Once I get to the top quickdraw I sling in to the bolt and then attach the next quickdraws (with my clip stick attached to my person). Rinse and repeat till I'm at the top. 

Limitations wise I would have to have line of sight to the next bolt and if the rope loop is severed then I would be done but I would love any advice you have for this method. 

I've been looking at lead rope soloing as well but that looks to require an anchor which won't always be there. 

Thanks for any thoughts you have. 

 Jon Read 10 Jan 2023
In reply to A_Fish_Up_Mountains:

Not sure I understand your proposed set-up: you're not intending to anchor the rope to the bottom of the pitch in any way? Lead-soloing sounds like it may be safer!

In reply to A_Fish_Up_Mountains:

I'm not sure how you anticipate doing this without an anchor, like a typical lead rope solo setup.

Make anchor, climb self belayed, build next anchor, ab back to get gear and strip route, dismantle first anchor, then jumar back, or self belay and reclimb.

You'd have to do quite a lot of hanging off a single bolt in your system which doesn't sound like a great idea.

 elliptic 10 Jan 2023
In reply to A_Fish_Up_Mountains:

How long is your clip stick?! Realistically you're not going to be clipping up more than one or two bolts at a time, and if you find a gap longer than your stick you're shut down completely.

You'll also be spending an awful lot of time hanging on single bolts like midgen says, unless you trail a second lop that you leave clipped through the bolts below (more faff) and then you have to retrieve those quickdraws, which you can do on abseil but for multipitch that means you're doing every pitch twice (even more faff...)

 jimtitt 10 Jan 2023
In reply to A_Fish_Up_Mountains:

Basically that's all you do when you stick-clip a route, just use the first bolt as your anchor. It's a right faff though and you want a long clipstick (mines 6m).

In reply to A_Fish_Up_Mountains:

I've used this system that Dave shows in this video to get to the anchors of sport route. I jummar up the rope and fully bounce the sh*t out of it before I commit to each bolt. I wouldn't want to multi pitch like that though. 

 Graeme Hammond 10 Jan 2023
In reply to A_Fish_Up_Mountains:

Sounds like you will spend most of your time hanging on bolts clip sticking up rather than climbing so a lot of effort to not climb anything properly.

Personally I'd be looking to find partners for the odd days climbing or doing easier scrambling/ mountain days or bouldering if partners aren't available. 

 Mick Ward 10 Jan 2023
In reply to A_Fish_Up_Mountains:

Don't do it. If it's multipitch, you'll likely be heading into a world of pain. If single pitch, as Jim said,  you'll need a long stick clip (probably the Beta longest). Dragging it around will be a right pain in the arse. 

If single pitch, best to get the rope to the anchors and abb back down before you start to climb. So three separate phases. Rope up. Abb down. Climb up. Don't mix up one and three - recipe for disaster. 

But honestly, just climb with others. Don't go on any multi-pitch until you've assessed their competence on single-pitch. Even so, if they're naff, abb off asap. If they don't like it, tough shit. 

If not happy with them on single pitch - BAIL! Go to the cafe. Eat cake. Enjoy being alive. 


P.S, None of the above was written from theory. 'Experience is the name we give our mistakes.' The smart dudes learn from others' mistakes, err... I mean experience!

 HeMa 10 Jan 2023
In reply to jimtitt:

Indeed, I’ve done numerous times (clipstick up a route) to set up a toprope or more often than not simply to fix the rope on the anchor. Not the most efficient way, but more than doable If your schedules don’t match with your partners… or more often than not, my wife is wrangling the kids and the dog. Once the fixed line is there, we take turns to tr-solo it. And If all goes well, then we might try to get the kids to listen an audiobook (or watch a cartoon) while we redpoint the route.

But indeed a long clipstick is needed, as well as the route needs to be such that you can actually clipstick the next bolt (If a lot of roof, it might be hard).

naturally one option would a small mods on the grigri, clipstick the first bolt with a locker and the rope tied to it. Then tr-solo to the first bolt and from there on onwards go into lead solo mode…works like a charm if drop the grade enough… or if there is trees near the cliff base, then you can do that (I do, as we have an abudance of them).

In reply to A_Fish_Up_Mountains:

When you say that in Lead Rope Soloing, there won't always be an anchor, what do you mean? On the first pitch there won't be an anchor? After the first pitch there is always a belay anchor, and on the first pitch you just need to learn a safe ish method. That said, unless you are a really competent climber, the work load both physical and mental is such that others are right, find a partner. LRS is very rewarding and can be pretty safe if you know what you're doing. If not (and I include your proposal in this) it's really only one step down from climbing without a rope. If your logbook is an accurate representation of your experience (which it may not be) then I would steer very well clear and just find partner's.

Post edited at 20:00
In reply to A_Fish_Up_Mountains:

Ha, I have the same problem. I moved out of Margalef because I wanted to be somewhere quieter, less crowded with loads of new route potential and moved to Llaberia, here it is really quiet.

There are a couple of Facebook pages (traveling rock climbers and European Rock climbing trips) which may help you find partners wherever you go, the trouble is all climbers go to the same places ( El chorro, Chulilla, Siurana, Margalef... ). So those pages haven't solved my problem.  I resorted to buy a shunt following Dave McLeod's videos and the good news is here in llaberia you have easy access to the top of the Cliff as you have it on the approach path.

I have a friend who has a load of solo lead experience, using a Grigri, including some multi pitch routes in the west face of the Naranjo, using even prusiks before the Grigri and will get some detailed training from him before I attempt leading even the simplest of routes.  

The best thing though is to get a climbing partner. 

I'm off to clean the approach of an abandoned sector 3 km from my village, I have to replace some really dodgy fixed ropes which I dared not use yesterday. There is amazing rock and the potential for new routeing is infinite.

 Dave Cundy 11 Jan 2023
In reply to A_Fish_Up_Mountains:

When i wanted to go climbing in Sardinia,while the missus was on the beach, i used a top-down technique.

Scramble to the top of the crag and find a belay.  Rig a retrievable abseil and ab down.  Climb the route with a shunt / ascender of choice.  At the top, use the rope to secure yourself while you climb across to the next belay.  Repeat as desired.

Once you've had enough, pull the tag line to retrieve the rope and bugger off.

You'll spend 80% of your time faffing rather than climbing.

Much easier just to talk to people and scrounge a top rope here and there.

 David Coley 11 Jan 2023
In reply to A_Fish_Up_Mountains:

1. Select a sector where you can safely scramble above. Take a few bits of trad gear, build anchor, ab down to chains, re-belay, ab to ground. TR solo. Move over to next set of chains.


2. Clip the end of the rope to the first bolt (locker, fig8). Jug up. Stand in one aid ladder/sling, clip belay loop into bolt. Stand high and firm. Clip the other end of the lead line to the next bolt. Jug up, keeping the original end as a lead solo line through a clove, backup knot or grigri as preferred. Repeat. Practice down the climbing wall (with a backup TR). Assuming you are fast at all things aid, this is quite quick. And only needs a clip stick of length equal to the bolt spacing. It helps if the bolts can take 2 karabiners, but some fiddling will solve if not.

 David Coley 11 Jan 2023

Then ab down and TR the whole thing, I meant to add.

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