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Extending a rope for an extra climber (1 of 10)Author:
Friday, August 07, 2009 05:29 PM
I'm all questions. I couldn't find any info on this but I'm sure it can be done safely. I know the board usually doesn't get into this kind of technical stuff.
If you are pitching out some easy terrain (assume good anchors), how can you add an extra person onto the rope without losing 4-5 meters of rope length?
For example on Aberdeen, we has an odd person so we tied a person 4-5 meters before the end of the rope and another at the end - but this meant we had 55metre ropes not 60 meter ropes.
The easy answer is probably - buy a 70m rope! Or tell the slow guy to stay home.
I can see two ways of doing this:
1) extend the rope with a 5-8 meter piece of cordlette with double fishermans. I would think that 7mm cordelette would be sufficient but you could go bigger to be safe (ex. a piece of rope). Person one ties with a figure 8 on bight on the rope near the end. Person two ties into the of the cordlette.
2) extend the rope via someone's harness. Person 1 ties into the end of the rope and into a cordlette. Person 2 ties into the end of the cordlette. It seems like this might put weird forces on the harness.
The above is obviously not for leaders and you might want to think about it in some terrain (ex. traverses). It won't be as strong as the rope but it should be pretty safe in relatively easy terrain.
I've never seen any official information on the above. Does anyone know if 1) or 2) is safe? What concerns would there be?
Topic: Extending a rope for an extra climber (2 of 10)
Author: Frank Nelson
Date: Friday, August 07, 2009 07:28 PM
I can't really think of a situation where extending the rope would be all that necessary. If the climbing is simple enough to have 3 people on a single rope, there shouldn't be much concern for climbing slightly shorter pitches.
The problem could be avoided by doing running belays, and don't pitch it out unless necessary, and if you do, keep the pitch short (like climbing over a bergschrund, for example).
We climb threes pretty often, and if we're pitching any more than one pitch we just bring two ropes. 60 or 70m raps are a big bonus too.
Topic: Extending a rope for an extra climber (3 of 10)
Author: Bill Kerr
Date: Sunday, August 09, 2009 09:33 AM
I think it is best to tie the third person in the middle of the rope. That person leaves in any protection that they come to - just passes the protection to below their knot. The last person on the rope then pulls the protection. Should be putting in something often enough that there will always be a screw or pin, etc between each climber. If the bottom guy is pulling something the leader should put another in.
Other method as Frank notes is to use two double or twin ropes and run both through all protection. If anchors are solid then the leader can belay both climbers on separate ropes and they can climb at same time but 5m apart.
Topic: Extending a rope for an extra climber (4 of 10)
Author: Kevin Papke
Date: Sunday, August 09, 2009 10:28 AM
I agree with Frank and Bill, as we shall do again with the Goat Traverse in a few weeks.
If the terrain is more technical then twin ropes is the answer.
From a lead point it doesn't make much difference but if you are one of the two guys below I think the twin ropes is more comfortable.
Having the double rap for descent is a nice plus.
Also I think its good have practiced the technique of both twin ropes and 3 on the the same line on an easier/shorter route before tackling a big alpine day.
Some of the more difficult scrambles in Andrew's and Kane's books are good candidates for this sort of warm up.
ie. West Baldy.
Topic: Extending a rope for an extra climber (5 of 10)
Author: Sandra Mcguinness
Date: Monday, August 10, 2009 09:46 AM
You shouldn't be extending the rope with cordelette which is static not dynamic. Even a small fall could hurt a lot!
It's actually unusual to do full 60 metre pitches on easy terrain because you end up with too much rope drag, so just tie everyone in and shorten up the rope to simul-climb, or, if you want to pitch it out, tie the two second climbers on near the end about 5 metres or so apart. Two ropes is handy for doing pure alpine rock routes with three people - like routes on Yam for example, but in general mountaineering terrain the extra weight is going to slow you down and isn't really required.
Topic: Extending a rope for an extra climber (6 of 10)
Author: Mike Warren
Date: Monday, August 10, 2009 03:42 PM
Doesn't everyone take doubles for alpine climbing? ;)
I pretty much always do; they're not really that much heavier than a single anyway these days plus you can rap twice as much (and climb with 3 people, which I find preferable and faster for most situations).
Topic: Extending a rope for an extra climber (7 of 10)
Author: Sandra Mcguinness
Date: Monday, August 10, 2009 03:46 PM
I believe he's talking about easy terrain - low 5th, 4th where pitching it out is not necessary, but the odd running belay or short pitched section may be.
Topic: Extending a rope for an extra climber (8 of 10)
Author: Jp S
Date: Monday, August 24, 2009 05:36 PM
Oh, I guess I wasn't totally clear - I was talking about a group of four.
Although I suppose I can think of a couple other instances where extending a rope might be considered convenient.
I hadn't really thought about the dynamism in the tether. However, if the multiple seconds would be belayed from above on easy terrain, I wouldn't be too concerned about the lack of dynamic rope in the tether (??). I suppose you could get some dynamism by extending with a short piece of dynamic rope. (Traverses add other considerations).
Anyway, I know its a weird question. I'm sensing from the replies that it would rarely be necessary and generally easily avoided (i.e. depending on the situation - 1)travel as three instead of four 2)accept that the pitches will be a couple of meters shorter 3)get a 70 m rope 4)use a running belay 5)travel as two rope teams.)
Topic: Extending a rope for an extra climber (9 of 10)
Author: Sandra Mcguinness
Date: Tuesday, August 25, 2009 11:07 AM
Really, don't tie anyone in with non-dynamic rope/cord. You don't have to fall far for a back-breaking - literally - experience. Top-rope no top-rope, it doesn't matter.
Most people with a party of four would simply climb as two parties or two, unless, there is only one competent leader in the group, and then, hopefully, that leader has skills commensurate with the responsibility they are undertaking.
Topic: Extending a rope for an extra climber (10 of 10)
Author: Jp S
Date: Friday, August 28, 2009 06:05 PM
Thanks. I will file this in the dumpster of bad ideas ...