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Trad climbing tether

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 LeadTheWay 10 Jan 2021

Hi buddies!

When you stay on a trad climbing adventure, with half ropes, how do you connect a tether up to your harness?

I've find on Alpine Savvy an interesting way to tie a bowline through the belay loop so you don't stuck the tie in points already crowded by the two ropes and the belay loop.

Do you have any suggestions?

I usually use a Beal dynalop when I stay with a single rope tied through the tie in and knotted to create two strand one for self anchor and one to connect the rappel device.

Any advice for a better trad setup? (Yes, i understand that I can connect to the anchor directly with clove hitch on both ropes)

Thanks for the replies!

In reply to LeadTheWay:

Don't use one. You don't need it. If you want a cow's tail for multipitch abbing, make one out of a 60 cm sling. I use a single Beal Dynaloop sport climbing but it's slightly annoying then. I just don't see why you need one, or even how you would use it building your own belays.

 wbo2 10 Jan 2021
In reply to TobyA: you'd use it much the same as you'd use it at a bolted anchor surely.  Create a master point and attach to it

In reply to wbo2:

Normally you are the master point with the two ropes going out to your various points of your belay and back to your harness.

 Al Randall 10 Jan 2021
In reply to wbo2:

Personally I can't see the point and never felt the need with double ropes although it can make things a little easier with singles.

Al

 wbo2 10 Jan 2021
In reply to TobyA/Al R - if you're the master point it's a faff to bring up a second and set him up to second the next pitch if you're not swinging leads. So you could make a master point then

 Kai 10 Jan 2021
In reply to LeadTheWay:

I've tried various methods.  

My favorite solution, which I have been using for more than a decade now, is a Purcell Prusik, tied from either 6mm or 7mm cord.  

The advantages of the Purcell Prussik is that it is very easily adjustable, and dynamic under heavier loads.   If you need to, you can use the cord for other purposes like leaving for rap anchors, etc. (6 mil cord has many potential uses.)  

Just girth hitch to your belay loop.  

Here is a video that demonstrates its use.   As she points out, her prusik is much longer than I typically use, however.     

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tbby7R0sUOI&

In reply to wbo2:

Your profile says you're in Norway, so fine if you are climbing multipitch granite, and leading all the pitches, then fine - your belay is probably going to be 3 pieces close to each other in a crack. So equalise with a 120 or cordalette, and make a power point. But you can still attach yourself with one of your ropes, you don't need a cow's tail - particularly not a unadjustable one. But most UK trad is single pitch -think of topping out at Stanage. You'll maybe have a big sling round a boulder 8 mtrs back at your 1 o'clock, then you slap in a cam nearer the edge at your 10 o'clock to back it up. You want to sit on the edge to make sure you can see your mate and check he struggles as much as you tried to pretend you weren't. So one rope goes to each belay point and comes back to be tied off on your harness. A cow's tail just gets tangled in all the gear on your harness and is completely redundant.

 wbo2 10 Jan 2021
In reply to TobyA:  I absolutely agree.  Horses for courses innit

 beardy mike 10 Jan 2021
In reply to LeadTheWay:

I think you will get as many answers to this as there are climbers.

In the UK we tend not to use lanyards as we tend not to lead in blocks, instead we swap leads at each belay. In this case tying in with the ropes is absolutely the way to go as you are unconcerned with system efficiencies. It means less clutter and you have lots of rope.

If you are climbing 6 or more pitches or you are doing all the leading it becomes more important to be able to easily release yourself from the belay, in which case using the ropes can be confusing and complicated to switch over. If you are doing a lot of climbing that day, in my view it is far more efficient to use a strong point belay, constructed using slings, a cordlette or any other system which leaves a single clip in point.

In this case you can still tie in with the rope, instead of the rope going to each anchor you would tie in to a carabiner at the strong point.

Or you can use a lanyard of some description.

A cows tail is free if you have old ropes, just chop a length off. It can be used as abseil cord if needed.

A sling girth hitched to the harness. Personally I would avoid this method apart from multi pitch abseils as they are not good should you accidentally lose your footing when above the belay. It’s unlikely, but could happen. For general use, it’s untidy, gets caught up on other gear, and is just a bit lame.

A sewn fixed lanyard, I had one of these when they first became a thing, and they are ok, they are dynamic, but they are short and a bit limited. They don’t allow you to adjust your position.

A sewn adjustable lanyard. These I find useful for any climbing. They are neat, allow you to move around the belay or adjust your standing position, are useful for sport climbing if you thread the anchor chains (less common in Italy than here) and can be a useful piece of kit for improvised aid climbing.

 Al Randall 10 Jan 2021
In reply to LeadTheWay:

You can buy a "cows tail" that is fully rated for belaying off but they are a bit of a clutter to carry and rack.  I used one for ice climbing where you are already buried under clothing and equipment so it doesn't matter as much. I had a Grivel one that made creating a master point very easy but I simply wouldn't bother for trad rock climbing.

Al

In reply to LeadTheWay:

Agree with everyone’s comments. I only use a lanyard for aiding.

I’ve got the Petzl Double Lanyard which is ridiculously long (longer than your arms so 6” of it is redundant) and gets in the way when it’s racked on your harness. Swapped out the rope for a shorter section of Beal 9mm. This makes it easier to rack and you can tie it in direct through your waist/leg loops which frees up your belay loop.

 beardy mike 10 Jan 2021
In reply to Al Randall:

Clutter. Well in my view that really depends. The multiloop pas style grivel ones I would agree. Not massive fan of them as they have all the disadvantages of a sling system and no real advantage over sewn rope lanyards. I use a Petzl connect which is really no more clutter than anything else. I tend to climb on single ropes (I know, I’m a weirdo) and carry less gear than most so personally don’t find clutter a problem. That said when climbing on doubles I don’t use it...

 mutt 10 Jan 2021
In reply to LeadTheWay:

If I have understood the question right, I use a cordollet on the midpitch belay. I do this on sea cliffs as I want to be able to get out of the system if anything goes amiss. That's a lot easier if the rope isn't connected to the gear. I am however still using the 1/2 ropes to connect to the master point as I am, possibly unnecessarily, worried about introducing a dynamic load to the cordollet. It works well. A long cordollet is useful at the top too if there are stakes.

 Mark Stevenson 11 Jan 2021
In reply to LeadTheWay:

In common with most of the others who've replied I don't generally use any lanyard when trad climbing with double ropes.

Out of around a dozen extremely experienced regular UK trad climbing partners, only one does. He uses a Kong Slyde dynamic rope lanyard permanently attached to his harness and seems to find it extremely useful. He clips it to a gear loop on one side and tucks the spare rope down the outside of his thigh and inside his harness leg loop which seems really effective in keeping to out of the way (rather than looping it around the waist as others do). That's also the racking method I prefer to use when sport climbing with a lanyard. 

For an improvised lanyard such as when abseiling, I generally use an Edelrid Aramid 120cm sling connected to my harness with a 'double bowline' around the tie-in points. Not sure if that's the method you are referring to I think it's a minor but significant improvement over using a larks foot. Anyway, I find that because I only need the lanyard for the occasional abseil it makes more sense just to use a standard sling rather than carry a dedicated item.

HTH

Post edited at 01:22
 C Witter 11 Jan 2021
In reply to LeadTheWay:

It seems you're thinking about rappelling/abseiling situations? Do whatever works and is safe, but I would normally do exactly what you suggest, only with a larksfoot and a conventional 120cm sling rather than a heavy... "Dynaloop". An 8.3mm rope sling is a heavy and burdensome solution to a problem that doesn't exist - like all specialised tethers. Unless the problem at hand is the problem of adding value to a short piece of rope.

Post edited at 10:33
 wbo2 11 Jan 2021
In reply to Mark Stevenson: What's the advantage of the bowline attachment over a larks foot? Strength?


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