Hello, I came across a pictures of Łukasz Dudek soloing Pan Aroma which is an 8c. On the pictures I noticed his rope soloing setup, which is a Grigri 1 with backup knots.
Do I understand correctly that every time he needs more slack he needs to unclip the backup knot from his harness and untie it (most probably one handed)? This feels like a lot of extra work, especially on route as hard as 8c.
Does anybody know of a good reason why to choose this setup over other options (maybe like a backup clove hitch)? Does it sound as insane to you as it sounds to me to unclip the knots and untie them in 8c?
Also if there's anything that I'm missing about his setup, or any kind of hint on how this might not be as crazy as it sounds to me, I'd really appreciate if you can share this with me.
PS: photos of him on Pan Aroma are attached.
Without the backup knots, you're relying completely on the GriGri. With pre-tied backup knots, he only needs to unclip and untie them when he's fed a decent amount through the gri-gri, not every move.
It's obviously quite a traverse that route, so an element of it may be simply rope management, having it hanging off the harness instead of dragging across whatever is under the overhang.
OK but what about using a clove hitch for back-up? Isn't that much easier to manage?
Can't comment on the set-up, but respect to him for taking that on in that style. Also, the first photo (presumably self taken with a timer and you've just reproduced it in UKC) is amazing!
With rope soloing, the only person that needs to be happy with the system is yourself, I can't speak for why he does it that way. Probably easier to unclip a biner from a figure 8 on a bight and untie it with one hand.
I don't lead solo though, only top rope!
The 8c difficulty is relative to your level. Rope solo discussions usually advocate climbing well within your grade whatever that might be; you must factor in the energy for whatever rope manips are needed.
I think, you are mistaking his tie-in knot for a clove. His backup knots are the two overhand on a bight. The latter you can unclip and untie with one hand.
I understand that the overhands are backup knots and he has no clove hitch there. But having a single clove hitch as backup knot that allows you to get as little or as much rope before the Grigri seems like an easier solution.
I understand that he's probably happy with this system, but I'm just wondering if my idea might seem good to somebody else as well or whether I'm missing something.
Also a follow up question: What is the reason for being tied in? It's not there for any security right? Is it just so you always have the rope on you and can never loose it this way?
As backup, a single clove is not easier than a series if overhands. Actually, a running clove as the sole self belay is awkward and not suitable for anything steep where you need at least one hand to hold on to the rock.
He is probably tied in for when he is running out of rope or overhand backups.
You will have answers to many more questions by hooking up with the group I suggested in the other thread.
Using a running clove hitch to self-belay only works well because the weight of the live rope helps pull slack through when you open up the knot to climb higher. If you try to use a running clove hitch as a backup then you lose this assistance of the live rope.
It's common to use clove hitches as backup knots if you are tying and retying them as you climb (because you can tie a hitch one handed). But if you are pre tying all your backup knots on the ground then fig8s are easier.
I still prefer to tie an ordinary overhand every 4 metres or so. The overhand is more compact and I pack the rope in a small rucksack zipped mostly closed so the rope feeds out of the rucksack, under my right armpit and to my grigri. The overhands are small so they feed out of my rucksack when I pull for slack.
Jan Camus (bliss climbing) has excellent resources on YouTube describing pretty much all aspects of lead rope solo. On danger etc this is what he says
The short answer is that yes, it's a faff. The easier method is using a series of clove hitches which will block just as well but will dissolve once you shake them out of the carabiners.
Other devices such as the El Mudo use a prussik backup as a 'second hand' and thereby theoretically do away with the need for knots. I've still not decided if I'm comfortable with this.
I assume that when he gets to a piece of gear he clips into it directly and then has two hands free to sort the rope/knots for the next section
> No, he's free climbing.
But did he onsight/flash it, or did he have to work it first? And if the latter; would he be more likely to have paused to take photographs during a redpoint attempt, or during the working process - when he would also, of course, have been able to identify the best places to hang one-handed in order to drop off and untie the back-up knots, thus enabling him to space them out appropriately for the subsequent redpoint.
That's a really good point. Did not occur to me that on the pictures he might not be redpointing but just working the route thus maybe having a slightly different setup.