Petzl Mini Traxion – Self Belay - Human Error almost tragedy

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lucky1

Social climber
Tahoe, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Dec 17, 2009 - 08:19pm PT
I want to share this with you just in case there is just one other person out there with the same idea I had. I didn’t see then what seems obvious now in hindsight. I got lucky but almost hit the ground.

I was doing top rope laps on a short climb using my Mini Traxion. The rope was a used 9.9 and it was anchored off at the middle. I had the Mini Traxion on a Petzl OK oval carabiner. As a backup to the belay loop that the oval was connected to, I had a quick draw connected from a leg loop to the oval biner (big mistake). I was on my 3rd lap and had already sat down on the mini traxion about 6 times that lap, so it was on the rope correctly. I went to sit again – looked down at my Mini Traxion - all looked good - I saw that it was pointing downward so I figured I had not even a foot of distance before I would stop. But I fell 18 feet and stopped 2 feet above the ground – just above the coils I had tied in the rope as a counter weight. (When I came to a stop, the Mini Traxion was not touching the coils, but about a foot above). The back of my leg was really rope burned. I looked at the Mini Traxion and it was NOW engaged. Working. Teeth tight on the rope…I got super lucky. That back-up draw I used thinking I was being extra safe (to back up the belay loop) interfered with the opening mechanism – even if for a split second. There is a big groove on the right side of the Mini Traxion and a little pin – and I interfered with this. I also should have taken the time to time to tie a back up knot a little ways off the ground. And next time I will use 2 Mini Traxions. And I now backup my belay loop with a piece of webbing – looks like a 2nd belay loop - that acts just as a backup to the real belay loop.
medusa

Trad climber
culver city
Dec 17, 2009 - 08:28pm PT
YGD 4 Sure!
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Dec 17, 2009 - 08:30pm PT
Remember, your top-roping! Not that much force is going to be put on any part of the system.

No need for the extra loop, or quickdraws, or anything but 2 mini's and some good lockers.

Use a chest harness or runners to keep the upper one oriented correctly.

Glad to hear you didn't deck!

WBraun

climber
Dec 17, 2009 - 08:33pm PT
I made Mini Traxion laps today too and survived.

Thanks for the info, lucky1
powderdan

Social climber
mammoth lakes
Dec 17, 2009 - 09:26pm PT
a seperate quick draw from your belay loop to a jumar below the mt is an awesome back up. it runs perfectly. as far as weight...i dont notice it one bit.
Hummerchine

Trad climber
East Wenatchee, WA
Dec 17, 2009 - 09:55pm PT
This is precisely why I think it's nuts to trust one of any device while solo-toproping! Anything can fail; you can get a piece of webbing or your shirt stuck between the cam and the rope (I've had it happen), the cam can be locked open, whatever...

I use two Mini-Traxions; one on my belay loop, the other on a half-runner girth-hitched to the tie-in point on my harness. Both on DMM Belay-Master carabiners. The top Mini I've modified with a Dremel (actually a dental handpiece similar to a Dremel) to remove the lock-out, photo attached (the modified one is on the right). Glad to hear you survived! Use two devices; toproping should be super safe!

I think solo-toproping is the safest form of climbing that I do.

Credit: Hummerchine
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Dec 17, 2009 - 10:42pm PT
Thanks for that heads up!
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Dec 18, 2009 - 04:31am PT
Hummer - I don't TR solo, but still, love that lockout mod. Very nice. Will keep it in mind if I ever start.
dave

climber
Earth
Dec 18, 2009 - 08:15am PT
check out the petzl micro-cender. No sharp teeth, no lock out mechanism, super simple and plenty strong. I've heard of at least one persons MT locking out mid-climb, luckily she noticed without a test sit.

Glad ur ok.
Prod

Trad climber
Dodge Sprinter Dreaming
Dec 18, 2009 - 08:28am PT
I run a tibloc above the mini, never had to test it though.

Prod.
CF

climber
Dec 18, 2009 - 08:59am PT
Credit: CF
And you can use the chest slings to self rescue in to rappel.
Brian

climber
California
Dec 18, 2009 - 09:26am PT
I also run a two MiniTraxion set up, but with the following difference.

Hold the upper MiniTraxion "up" by girth hitching some shock-cord through the hold and then putting the loop of shock-cord over your head and one arm, bandoleer style. The tension of the shock-cork keeps the MiniTrax extended up, so when you sit (or, more importantly, fall) there is almost no slack; it's like falling when on a tight toprope, only they dynamic property of the rope, no fall resulting from the (small to be sure) "slack" in the MiniTrax set up.

More importantly, you don't have to untie the blue webbing in your photo every time you want to disengage the MiniTrax and rap down for another lap. Easier, it seems to me, to just un-girth hitch the shock-cord.

Nice modification with the dremel tool. I'll have to do something like that.

Brian
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Why'djya leave the ketchup on the table?
Dec 18, 2009 - 09:31am PT
I do it as K is doing in CF's photo.

I 'don't' untie the the webbing to rap. I take the bottom mini trax off but the top one stays on the rope. I just disengage the cam, lock it open and take the trax off the belay loop biner. So long as I am careful with grip side of rope the mini trax just rolls down the rope with me as I rap. Occasionally the rope will catch the teeth just enough to cause the cam to engage but annoying those it is it doesn't happen often once I learned how to avoid it.

Saves a lot of 'friggin' time. Less than a minute to switch to and from rap mode, this way.

DMT
Hummerchine

Trad climber
East Wenatchee, WA
Dec 18, 2009 - 02:11pm PT
On vertical climbs I prefer some slack in the system so you can reposition without weighting the rope, plus I just don't like to wear a chest harness of any kind. However, I've tried the setup in the photo above and it does work better on overhanging routes. I found the untying and retying to be a pain also, although I never thought of just leaving it rigged while rapping. That could be my unmodified Mini. I do like the shock-cord idea, have to try that.

No offense to the poster above, but a Tibloc does NOT work for solo-toproping! It only works when pre-loaded; MIGHT work solo-toproping, but I would never rely on it. I also forgot to mention, as soon as I start climbing I reach down and "test" both Minis to make sure they work and catch the rope. And there are times at particularly hard parts of climbs that I'll reach down and slide the tip Mini up the rope to take up excess slack before committing to a move...or if I'm near a ledge or something. Near the ground if the climbing is hard I'll be sure to take up all excess slack, even jump up and reel it in until I'm on tension with the top Mini before I leave the ground.
klk

Trad climber
cali
Dec 18, 2009 - 04:52pm PT
i've been running the set-up in the photo, right down to the biner, and like dmt, i've also been leaving the mini on the rope but open for rapping.

when i'm running a solo device, i'm super careful about the clothes. nothing even slightly baggy, no extra tail on knots, etc.

and yeah, the dremel idea is really good-- i may steal that idea for next season.

and tx to the op for the reminder.
Hummerchine

Trad climber
East Wenatchee, WA
Dec 18, 2009 - 05:57pm PT
Good point, klk! Clothes are important, as is the extra webbing on my chalk bag belt (move it to the side). Clothes are also important for the legs...if I wear shorts too "short" the lower mini catches hairs on my hairy legs and it hurts...
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Dec 18, 2009 - 06:06pm PT
luck is fuccked.

it is really just stupidity's drunk brother whom always shows his labia at family gatherings. absurd he is. don't bother your attention with him.

luck disappoints all endeavors.

belive me. i've been just barely smart enuf to tip toe across peril's path again and again, cause the brink of now stimulates me. because you know,
the now has an edge. even a periphery. when your real, you've one paw in the periphery. the other paw on its edge. don't stray to its nuclues because you'll don a negative charge. electric like.

i am glad to hear story of another deviant of genius.

never sprint towards a path where the masses stumble. it is better to undermine your dreams.

swoon your memories. insult your fears. tickle your dreams.

f*#k you.


edit ps
the exit thought is not personal to you, its personal to me, friend.
LuckyPink

climber
the last bivy
Dec 18, 2009 - 07:19pm PT
this is good info thanks, I am new to the mini traxion and have been using only one. guess it would be good to upgrade.
Tork

climber
Yosemite
Dec 19, 2009 - 02:32pm PT
lucky one, glad to hear you escaped a close call.


Seems a lot of folks these days don't trust their belay loop. Seems odd to me that one would trust a single self belay device like the Mini Traxion yet feel the need to back up their belay loop. I guess it never hurts to back something up as long as you are actually doing that. I guess in your situation you weren't. Same with folks who don't hook their locking carabiner to their belay loop when belaying or rappeling. Instead cross load their carabiner hooking it to both the leg loops and the waist loop. Not sure how serious this situation actualy is but still think more is lost than gained. My thought is, if you don't trust your belay loop, get a new harness. If you don't trust a belay loop on a new harness maybe find a new pursuit. But that's just me thinking.

Jeff
Jingy

Social climber
Flatland, Ca
Dec 19, 2009 - 04:23pm PT
First.....

Gotta tip a hat to Norweige... has got somethin'

"luck is fuccked.

it is really just stupidity's drunk brother whom always shows his labia at family gatherings. absurd he is. don't bother your attention with him.

luck disappoints all endeavors."



I Just realized, he is dealing with the embodiment of luck and stupidity (at least that's what I read, or how I read it).. Thanks for that Nor!!!


Then...

Dude, I guess all I can say is thanks for the information, and I'm glad that this did not ruin your season, or life.

This should let others know about the possibilities...


I hate to say though... (And you already know this)... But.. the leg loop thing.....

yeah.. that was not a good idea...


Now that you have two of these devices.. and can climb safely.... I should be able to spray all kinds of stuff, but won't because.. I am not innocent of errors in my life as well.


Thanks for the post.. we will learn from it..

nature

climber
Tucson, AZ
Dec 19, 2009 - 04:47pm PT
I've been considering getting into solo top roping. I was going to buy a single mini. I will now purchase two (gee, Dad just sent an REI gift cert for Xmas... guess where it's going?).


I will also refer back to this thread for further information.

Thank you for not dying today so that I can learn something ;-)

no really... I'm glad you didn't get really hurt. And thank you for passing along the info (everyone!).

Brian

climber
California
Dec 19, 2009 - 04:59pm PT
Hey anyone out there ever use their MiniTraxion for solo TR-ing on ice routes? I'm going to be living in Ouray for a good chunk of this winter, and while I'll have friends coming through for routes in the 'backcountry' (which isn't too far 'back' in that area), I'm also sure that I'll be doing some soloing in the ice park during the week. Some of it will be ropeless, but I'm planning on using something like the MiniTraxion set up I described above (which I've been using quite a bit here in CA) to solo TR harder things.

So, various bits of literature seem to indicate that the MiniTraxion will bite on "muddy or icy" ropes, and the teeth seem reassuring (especially since I rig with two MiniTraxions). I won't be using ropes that are frozen solid, as I'll be living in town and they will dry out each night, but it still leaves me a bit leery.

Anyone out there actually use a MiniTraxion for ice TRing? On ropes that might be a bit wet/icy?

Brian
WBraun

climber
Dec 19, 2009 - 05:08pm PT
Brian

If the rope ices up, oh oh

I've slid down iced up ropes because the ascenders failed to grab and had to prussic out.

But should work as long as the ropes don't ice up.
Brian

climber
California
Dec 19, 2009 - 05:28pm PT
Werner,

Thanks. I'll definitely keep an eye on this.

I'm hoping that running just a few laps a day when I can't get a partner will mean only running laps on ropes that remain relatively dry. If things get wet or icy, I'll just call it a day.

Brian
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Dec 19, 2009 - 07:17pm PT
Holy frig, Prod - throw away that POS Tibloc before you end up dead! You're too valuable as a Voice of Reason on this forum...

Anyone use a Petzl Shunt or Gibbs ascender? Teeth are kinda scary, although the double Mini-Trax setup above is bomber.
Hypercanary

Sport climber
Noank, Ct
Oct 18, 2010 - 07:11pm PT
What is the current wisdom on static vs dynamic ropes when soloing with the mini traxion? Also, why not back it up with a loose prusik above the device?
locker

Social climber
Oct 18, 2010 - 08:53pm PT


"Also, why not back it up with a loose prusik above the device? "...

You'd HAVE to move that prusik up by hand and imagine doing that on something AT or above your level???...

NOT gonna HAPPEN!!!...

It WON'T "Track" with your movement...

Ferretlegger

Trad climber
san Jose, CA
Oct 18, 2010 - 09:20pm PT
I really like the Petzl Shunt. It is designed for this use and can also be used on a doubled rope, where it makes a dandy backup instead of a Prussic knot when rappeling.
Here is a video of it being used: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOiWr_2YLl4
A note on what NOT to do: http://www.ropeworks.com/s.nl/it.I/id.79/.f

Petzl's info: http://www.petzl.com/en/outdoor/multi-purpose-ascenders/shunt

Michael
Ben909

Trad climber
toronto
Nov 26, 2010 - 09:07am PT
The mini-trax is a prussik minding pulley in this case, just gotta leave the prussik loose! Works fine.
Disaster Master

Social climber
Born in So-Cal, left my soul in far Nor-Cal.
Nov 29, 2010 - 04:22am PT
Has anyone used the Ushba Basic ascender instead? I have for years.
Ushba Basic
Ushba Basic
Credit: Disaster Master
The Guy

Trad climber
Portland, OR
Nov 30, 2010 - 02:16am PT
I've been using the Petzl Shunt for just Solo TR. I like that it has no teeth. You do have to slide it along on short routes. I was thinking about or actually was going to go out and buy a MT after all the recent posts about it being "the" device to use for solo TR. After this post I'm just gonna stick with my Shunt. I always half the rope and anchor at the middle. Tie backup loops on one strand and slide the shunt along on the other.
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
Nov 30, 2010 - 04:02am PT
I read somewhere that a shunt is not advised when using a single line (maybe the Petzl instructions, don't remember). Only one side of the bar will squeeze the rope, because the other side will be empty. This will create leverage on the attachment bar when you weight the shunt.

I have both a shunt and 2 minitraxions. The 2 minitraxions feel a lot more safe to me.

I also once used a tibloc as a backup. It's not a nice thing to do to your rope if you're going to be falling a bit - it slides a little and then bites hard. Poor sheath!

Of course, we're all going to die!
duncan

climber
London, UK
Nov 30, 2010 - 05:56am PT
Shunts are popular in the UK, where solo-TRing a route is often called "shunting". The biggest problem in their use seems to be resisting the strong instinct to hold onto the device when you fall (watch the rope-grabbing during falls in any sport-climbing video, usually by people who have taken 100s of falls) with the risk of disengaging the cam.

The Ushba basic is similar to the Rocker (various manufacturers) which I use. This has the advantage of a smooth cam and seems harder to accidentally lock open than some other designs. There is still plenty of potential for human screw-up in even the 'safest' device though. Perhaps a second, different, device increases the margin of safety, perhaps it just adds complexity and indirectly increases risk.
crazy horse

Trad climber
seattle, wa
Dec 1, 2010 - 09:19pm PT
does anybody use gri gri's for solo top rope belays these days? I feel like i'm missing something in that i have no idea why any of you are using 1 or 2 mini-traxions for a solo-TR belay. is the mini-traxion really even a belay device? i would be wary of putting even a slight dynamic load on these things.

http://www.petzl.com/files/all/technical-notice/Pro/P07%20MINITRAXION%20P07600-F.pdf

this shows the breaking load limit on the configuration above as 4-6.6 kN for the top mini traxion, and if the bottom one is really a back up ideally it would weight the rope right under the top one equally to minimize any dynamic loading should the top one break. Which to me means that the bottom mini-traxion, if minimizing the possibility of having to catch a dynamic load would ideally be positioned right below the top one and possibly subject to the same 4-6.6 kN force and perhaps a bit more if it had to 'catch' your fall after the top one broke. You might decelerate after the top one broke but to what 2-4kN? do you really want to chance it? it sounds like you're talking about the possibility of basically taking a daisy chain fall onto a pair of jumars...you'd never want to do that right?

https://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en-us/journal/climb/qclab/qc-lab-girth-hitching-a-stopper

girth hitching a stopper cable to a bolt hanger failed at close to or above the same values as the top mini traxion according to Petzl's published manual for the device.

unless you can guarantee that there will be absolutely no slack in the system while you're climbing with both hands on the rock (using any of the devices mentioned), i would use some stubby screamers in that connection from the device to the belay loop and ditch the home made chest harness. That thing, should you have to (heaven forbid) put some significant weight on it after an incapacitating accident will cut your circulation off so badly it can lead to serious medical complications should you remain suspended for an extended period of time before a rescue could occur.

http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/crr_pdf/2002/crr02451.pdf

it looks like if someone a bit bigger than you 'CF' were to use that exact chest harness setup the piece of blue webbing could pinch your ribs really badly should the blue webbing be pulled taut. to your credit it looks like you've got the blue sling slack enough that it won't happen and your belay biner or belay loop would have to fail for that to happen, but do you really think that's a possibility? if you do think that's a possibility, are you really ready to take that force on that flossy chest harness? Sorry bro, that sounds extremely painful, and remote. I agree with Tork, I don't see the need for the chest harness back up. is the chest harness to keep you upright in case you loose your footing? does it work well for that?

sorry if this sounds like a personal attack folks. it's not meant to be. I really just want everyone to be safe. Any possibility, no matter how minor, of taking a fall onto an ascender/hauling device (especially one with teeth) sounds so sketchy to me.
WBraun

climber
Dec 1, 2010 - 09:57pm PT
gri gri's for solo top rope belays

It will work, but it's a stupid device for that application.

Go ahead and try it and you'll see why.

Also you sound like a paranoid person with no real world experience with this stuff and just wrestling this stuff around in your head.
locker

Social climber
Dec 1, 2010 - 09:58pm PT



LOL!!!...


crazy horse

Trad climber
seattle, wa
Dec 2, 2010 - 05:32am PT
Thanks Werner, are you going to talk about the concept at all, or just try to convince everyone on Supertopo that I'm paranoid and inexperienced?

i've used a gri-gri for a solo top rope belay probably 50 times with no issues. Why don't you break it down for me and everyone else why i would realize it's a stupid device for the application if i had the real world experience you apparently have. I've also used it on a roped solo lead belay (as one would a silent partner) many times, even put in FA's that way. If you're curious about my real world experience, I've been climbing since 1993, I've done el cap a few times, put in ~70 FA's many, solo on a gri-gri from the ground up.
gee double

climber
victor idaho
Dec 2, 2010 - 07:00am PT
bungy cord
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
wussing off the topout on Roadside Attraction
Dec 2, 2010 - 07:25am PT
All that may be true, but you're still pulling off a convincing impression of a paranoid theorist.

Minitraxions work, they're simple, and they're hard to screw up once you get the system down.

On the other hand, the grigri affords one the added workout challenge of pulling rope up every move or two. What's wrong with that?
WBraun

climber
Dec 2, 2010 - 08:03am PT
pulling rope up every move or two

That will work if you like that, but stupid since there's better a better system.

And crazy horse I said: "you sound like .." I didn't say you were.

A lot of people have this "OMG" the device has "teeth" paranoia when using the device for this type application.

Then they shouldn't use it.

Simple as that.
locker

Social climber
Dec 2, 2010 - 08:08am PT

I ran into this dude a few weeks back using a Gri Gri as his TR solo device...

I said to him...

"how well does that thing TRACK???"...

After explaining what I meant...

He said it worked perfect...

Then I watched as he made a couple of moves on the climb (only 5.7) having to stop and pull the Gri Gri up behind him...

Yeah!!!...

Works GREAT alright!!!...




I'll stick with the Mini Traxion...



justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Dec 2, 2010 - 08:18am PT
Well... I've been using a gri gri all summer for solo TR. We did the modification for the easier rope feed and I use a chest harness to keep it aligned. It "tracks" just fine. I don't have to yard on the rope at all once I get a few feet off the ground and it gets some rope weight on it. I can see how un-modified and flopping around the gri-gri might be a bit of a pain in the behind.

I know I know..

Yer

gonna

die!
locker

Social climber
Dec 2, 2010 - 08:21am PT


"We did the modification"...


THAT of course makes a BIG difference with HOW the GriGri "Tracks"...


I DON'T think that most people do the MOD or even know about it...

I damned well "CUD" be wrong though...





LuckyPink

climber
the last bivy
Dec 2, 2010 - 10:06am PT
what's the mod?
Naitch

climber
Seneca area
Dec 2, 2010 - 11:00am PT
http://www.mountainproject.com/v/big_wall_and_aid_climbing/solo_gri_gri_question/106717107#a_106718238

http://ulrichprinz.de/alpin/equipment/selfmade/grigri-soloist-beckwith/index.html
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Dec 2, 2010 - 11:04am PT
Beat me to it while I was taking a pic but here it is again:

Modified gri gri is on the left side.

modified gri gri (left)
modified gri gri (left)
Credit: justthemaid


Hole drilled to allow a small keeper cord to attach to a chest harness.


Credit: justthemaid


I also use a steel carabiner when soloing these days after reading a few accident reports about bent/broken biners and I tie tons of back-up knots. I'm climbing stuff that is so incredibly easy I never fall on the thing anyhow.

Edit to add: I haven't actually read any actual reports about a deaths due to this setup... injuries from not tying backups and scary damaged biners... yes... deaths .. no. Any links?

Definitely NOT recommended by the manufacturer.




obim

Social climber
Austria
Dec 2, 2010 - 11:06am PT
The death mod.
This includes removing a part of the cover sheet as well as drill a hole for a cord to keep it upwards.
stilltrying

Trad climber
washington indiana
Dec 2, 2010 - 11:29am PT
I have used the gri gri a couple of different ways. Tied off with slings to a tree for soloing on lead - only on climbs I know by heart with little danger of falling - works o.k. but can get you in some interesting situations. I like to hang the gri gri off the top rope anchors, rappel down and then tie into the climber side and pull the brake side as I climb. Easier than having the gri gri on your harness but pretty much limited to vertical routes where there is no interference with the gri gri.
I have an Ushba but have not used it much - seems like a well made piece of gear. Lately I would need a gri gri and an Ushba with two belayers to drag me up a 5.5 :)
karsten delap

climber
IN
Dec 2, 2010 - 05:28pm PT
Wow!

People are still backing up belay loops!?!?

Good grief.
Kalimon

Trad climber
Ridgway, CO
Dec 2, 2010 - 08:39pm PT
Brian,

I've used a mini-traxion for extensive solo ice top-roping in the Ouray Ice Park . . . an efficient, excellent and relatively safe method of getting a serious and very steep ice work out. One can really develop the intuition and examination necessary for cruising vertical water ice. The park's man-made ice has its own idiosyncrasies, that separate it from naturally formed ice. I only use a 10mm+ static line for these applications.

Enjoy your winter in Ouray and I'll see you at the park!
gfdonc

climber
Melbourne Australia
Dec 2, 2010 - 09:54pm PT
I keep hearing about a mini-traxion, can a pro-traxion also be used for the same purpose? If not why not?
 Steve
Sanstone

climber
San Diego
Dec 3, 2010 - 08:46am PT
I've been using the mini-traxion for about 4 years now. Same basic set up as the photo with the blue webbing on the upper traxion. I couldn't be happier with the results. I can't imagine dicking around with a gri-gri to try to do the same. Life is too short. In the beginning I had concerns about the wear on the rope from the teeth. It was for nothing. The friction from the rock itself wears out the rope much faster. My Mini-traxion is the most reliable climber partner I have ever had. It doesn't whine, get sick, or have a wife that doesn't let it go climb.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Got my DOUBLEWIDE!
Dec 3, 2010 - 08:50am PT
Reliable partners..... ^^^^









Bow bow bow


DMT
Cuckawalla

Trad climber
Grand Junction, CO
Dec 3, 2010 - 09:08am PT
I first stated out with a protraxion (my wall hauler, all I had) and the way that thing orients the rope makes for sh#t TR device. I then Got a Protraxion, even got two. I was thinking about modifiying it to take out the lock out but never got to it because it sketched me out. If the route wandered, the jaws didnt seem to want to close. I then came across that Petzl Rescue- sender and have been using that with a steel locker and rubber bands to orient the device on the biner. I run it on the belay loop with the small BD sewn sling looped around my harness attachments. Not only does it roll smooth, there are no teeth and it is a truly simple device that seems fool proof.

I saw camp was making a new device that might make a good TR device.
http://www.camp-usa.com/products/ascenders/lift.asp

-Jesse
jtarbox

Mountain climber
LA
Dec 8, 2010 - 08:44am PT
I sometimes solo toprope by fixing a line and clipping a grigri to my belay loop with a locking biner. Then as I climb up, I have to pull the slack through the grigri as I go. Once I'm aboout 10 ft off the deck, I tie a figure eight on a bite and clip it to my harness (this should prevent decking) and then tie more back up figure eights higher up, if needed. I've never fallen unexpectedly on this rig but have weighted it and used the grigri to rappel back down (jerky but safe). Anyone heard of anyone else using this setup? The obvious disadvantage is having to pull slack through the grigri, but it only requires one hand and is pretty easy.
scuffy b

climber
Three feet higher
Dec 8, 2010 - 09:52am PT
That's been done a lot, jtarbox.
There's a consensus around your impressions.
The minitraxion approach lets you focus more on the climbing,
which makes a big difference if the climbing is not easy.
Hypercanary

Sport climber
Noank, Ct
Feb 21, 2011 - 03:58pm PT
Kalimon said:
"the park's man-made ice has its own idiosyncrasies, that separate it from naturally formed ice. I only use a 10mm+ static line for these applications."

I also use a 10 mm static line when solo top roping with my MT (as I was taught by two experienced climbers at a local crag). I have caught a lot of flack from other folks who swear that using a static line in any climbing application is nuts; it is my belief that as long as there is minimal slack in the rope, the dynamic load on the rope is minimal during a "fall". Thoughts anyone?
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Feb 21, 2011 - 04:55pm PT
I got converted to Dan McDevitt's system last spring, especially good for a big guy like me. Mini Traxion just strikes me as a wee bit flimsy.

Credit: Off White

Shoulder harness or a couple slings

Microcender on top, tied to the shoulder rig & clipped to belay loop with DMM belaymaster. I really like the Gibbs style teeth that pinch the rope instead of gripping the sheath. This is the primary piece.

Back up piece is a handle-less ascender also clipped to the belay loop with a belaymaster. Dan uses a Petzl, I used something a little cheaper with Jumar style teeth. The key is putting the biner in the upper hole of this ascender.

Credit: Off White
"the rope goes here..."

Loops on the bottom of the rope, clip my empty pack to it for a little more weight. I climb quite worry free on this system.

Well, one always worries a little, it's part of staying safe.







klk

Trad climber
cali
Feb 21, 2011 - 05:19pm PT
ok, so last fall i had a mini-trax incident. haven't been up to talking about it until now, but figure i probably should.

i've been doing a fair bit of traxing on new routes over the last few years, especially in the back-country, especially on lines too high for bouldering but in areas with fixed-anchor bans, so they end up top-ropes or headpoints. the general idea looks something like this:



some of them have long approaches, so i've gone minimal-- got into the habit of using a single mini-trax. (yeah, i know).

it's actually pretty intimidating launching a big dyno in that scenario, esp. when i'm by myself and an hour from the road. (yeah, i know.)

so last fall, i was working one of these deals, maybe 50 foot total, the business part is the first thirty feet then it eases to like five ten. i'm running a single mini with a locking and a loop of 9/16 to a chest sling to keep it in place.

i get through the hard start and set for the big dyno and hit it, then get up another move or two and i know something's wrong-- i look down and the trax is ganked, not running and i'm trailing an 8 foot loop of rope. the climbing was still hard and thin so i'm just all "f*#kit" and keep going until i hit the easier upper section and can really pause and see what's up.

somehow, the little bit of tail on the knot of the 9/16 had jammed up against the locking biner and stuck the trax sideways-- it wouldn't yank loose easily, so i just soloed the easier bit to the top, dragging up an increasingly big, heavy loop of line.

fortunately i didn't fall so i didn't have to find out what would have happened-- my guess is that the sheath would've torn and i'd have ridden it back to the deck. really ugly.

so before next season starts i'm going to take a dremel to the 2nd mini and make it a regular part of the set-up. i'm also going to try the bungee instead of the chest sling.
tarek

climber
berkeley
Feb 22, 2011 - 07:01am PT
klk, thanks for that.

Was wondering the other day about what a big dyno would be like on a mini-trax. Seems it would have to be fixed upright better than usual. Maybe some elastic mini-t suspenders, but with the "X" in front. Also, you were relatively close to the ground, does the photo show some weight on the rope? Would a prussik and a small weight have helped (stuff sack with rock?)? Have you tried a microcender? I wonder if it moves better, esp. when ropes start to fuzz a bit. Same problems apply I'd guess, but I think I saw Werner using one on a furry rope once.
Nor Cal

Trad climber
San Mateo
Feb 22, 2011 - 07:07am PT
I watched a friend deck while using a Ushba ascender for a top rope self belay. He was not a lucky as you and he broke both feet. He too could have tied a back up knot a few feet off of the ground, but did not.
Disaster Master

Social climber
Born in So-Cal, left my soul in far Nor-Cal.
Feb 22, 2011 - 07:15am PT
Nor Cal


Trad climber
San Mateo Feb 22, 2011 - 07:07am PT
I watched a friend deck while using a Ushba ascender for a top rope self belay.

Any specifics on why it failed? I have used these with no problems. Did it get stuck open somehow...how?

I like them because they have a full plate cover, hard to have the rope slip out. And the cam design is cool.
Ushba Basic
Ushba Basic
Credit: Disaster Master
Nor Cal

Trad climber
San Mateo
Feb 22, 2011 - 07:56am PT
the Ushba was atached to his bleay loop with a single carabiner, as he climbed the ushha would hang down below his crotch and slide up the rope as he climbed. Since the Ushba was hanging down it had to rotate up to lock off, essentially he had to fall past his ushba before it would lock off on the rope. He had fallen two minutes before the accident and the device functioned properly.
Well, he grabbed the rope in this particular fall and in doing so he never fell past his ushba and it slipped down the rope along with him. Once he let go of the rope (burnt his hands) the ushba locked off and prevented his head from hitting the ground. Had he been 5 feet higher he may not have broken his feet.
In hind sight he should have tied a back-up knot in the second strand of rope (the rope was anchored in the middle leaving two ends hanging, one to rappel and back up to and the other for the ascender). And a chest harness would have keep the ushba in its proper orientation.
klk

Trad climber
cali
Feb 22, 2011 - 08:24am PT
Was wondering the other day about what a big dyno would be like on a mini-trax. Seems it would have to be fixed upright better than usual. Maybe some elastic mini-t suspenders, but with the "X" in front. Also, you were relatively close to the ground, does the photo show some weight on the rope?

That's not the climb it happened on, but it was a similar one.

Once you have enough rope out, the trax runs plenty smooth, whether you're running two (recommended) or doing an upright single as I was (not recommended). On short stuff I usually lightly tension a pack or other weight. The day I had the incident, I had the rope lightly tension to a pack just to make certain that the damn thing would run smoothly through the dyno.

What happened in my incident was simply that the tail on the knot from the 9/16 webbing that kept the trax connected to my chest harness-- and thus upright and tracking smoothly --somehow got sucked into the hole with the biner and the thing jammed with the biner in an awkward position.

I had been careful with my knots-- one possibility is that the rig was grazing the rock slightly as i moved up and that helped the webbing work into the biner hole.

I had considered that possibility, but thought it was like a one-in-a-million sort of risk. I hadn't expected to ever actually see it, let alone have it be a problem mid-climb. I don't think that the dyno was a causal factor.


tarek

climber
berkeley
Feb 22, 2011 - 08:58am PT
seems like a second mt would not have helped much in this rare case b/c the top one jammed and slack gathered above it.
klk

Trad climber
cali
Feb 22, 2011 - 09:04am PT
tarek--

yeah, that's my worry, too.

when using the single trax i opted with the top one precisely because in testing i found that w/o connection to a chest loop, a single trax wouldn't always track during a dyno or deadpoint.

Andrew F

Trad climber
Sunnyvale, CA
Feb 22, 2011 - 09:26am PT
I use the smallest size of sewn dyneema runner, about 6" long, to girth hitch through the hole of the mini traxion to connect it to my chest harness with a locking biner. This way there's no knot to jam up anything and you just undo the girth hitch when you get to the top instead of having to untie/retie a knot.

I use 1 mini traxion with a prussik backup above it. The mini slides the prussik up the rope no problem.. Always tie back-up knots!


Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Who'll stop the reign?
Feb 22, 2011 - 09:32am PT
I suspect most any reasonably simple top rope self belay arrangement will have difficulty managing a dyno with a consistent feed, time after time.

Sure is easy to get complacent eh? I tell myself a glance at the trax after every move or two, is important. But talk is cheap - I sometimes lapse on easy ground.

I have definitely jammed the top trax a time or three. A weird twisting of the unit can push the thumb release to disengage the teeth, too. Have seen it happen.

DMT
klk

Trad climber
cali
Feb 22, 2011 - 09:40am PT
yeah, i'm going to try the bungee option this spring and see how that goes. not crazy about the chest harness anyway. and re-tying the 9/16 is a pita.

if i'm running laps on something easier-- or working a project -- i always have a stopper knot/s.

the scenario i was in, though, there's a crux right off the ground and no place to stop above and tie a knot, so if you're actually going to climb the thing w/o taking a hang, the stopper knot's going to be waist-high and thus on the edge of utility.

yeah, this is not per the manufacturer's recs and is a pretty specialized application.

btw, a long time ago i watched a soloist deck right in front of me when his running prusik failed to fully engage. i don't trust them much in a running situation where they can't be hand-tightened.
tarek

climber
berkeley
Feb 22, 2011 - 09:48am PT
klk: funny this came up. I was just recently thinking about working a route at stinson with a dyno near the bottom using a mini-trax.

this might work, if someone is so motivated. Flip these over so the x is in front and rig up a buckle and webbing to pass thru the m-t attachment. $5.99

http://www.hqcompany.com/store_item.php?item=99
klk

Trad climber
cali
Feb 22, 2011 - 09:56am PT
let us know how it works.

that catalogue shot is a bit tom-of-finland. nice abs on the mannequin.
tarek

climber
berkeley
Feb 22, 2011 - 10:16am PT
Abs, heh. I'll never get to that project. thinking bungee, or the lazy man's way: some fear that hopefully passes.
jfailing

Trad climber
A trailer park in the Sierras
Feb 22, 2011 - 10:57am PT
Anyone use a DMM Buddy? I saw one at Elevation in Lone Pine once. It looked like it would be pretty sweet for rope soloing - it's pretty heavy and doesn't have a teeth-locking cam like the mini-traxion.

DMM Buddy
DMM Buddy
Credit: jfailing
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Feb 22, 2011 - 11:47am PT
seems like a second mt would not have helped much in this rare case b/c the top one jammed and slack gathered above it.

That's part of why I like the system I posted pics of a page back or so: two different devices that act on different principles. The microcender on top, the primary device, has a Gibbs like ribbed lever that pinches the rope. The secondary device is a Jumaresque ascender that has ahold of the sheathe with teeth, spring loaded, so it's always engaged.

Andrew F

Trad climber
Sunnyvale, CA
Feb 22, 2011 - 11:54am PT
The Buddy looks awesome... like a Grigri oriented correctly for TR solo. Any idea how much it costs?
j-tree

Big Wall climber
bay area, ca
Feb 22, 2011 - 12:49pm PT
90pounds (can't find the pound versus the dollar symbol)
15pounds international shipping

http://www.v12outdoor.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=1644
bobinc

Trad climber
Portland, Or
Feb 22, 2011 - 12:57pm PT
I use the Ushba as an emergency "get me out of here" device along with a TiBloc. Haven't done soloing with these. Together they take up little room on the back of the harness and have come in handy on some occasions.
Disaster Master

Social climber
Born in So-Cal, left my soul in far Nor-Cal.
Feb 22, 2011 - 04:16pm PT
he grabbed the rope in this particular fall and in doing so he never fell past his ushba and it slipped down the rope along with him. Once he let go of the rope (burnt his hands) the ushba locked off and prevented his head from hitting the ground.

Glad he is OK.

That sounds like user error to me, like holding a gri gri open in a panic.

If he had kept his hands off the rope, like a real lead fall, the device would have engaged. I can see the impulse, for sure. A backup would not solve this if he did the same, grabbing the rope above both ascenders. But much less likely.
HHL

Trad climber
Stumpcreek, WV
Feb 22, 2011 - 04:44pm PT
I've used a petzl ascender as TR solo belay device and just tied backup knots on a second length of rope and clipped into the knots with a wiregate girth hitched to my harness on a single runner. I felt like that was a good setup. Any thoughts?
nick d

Trad climber
nm
Feb 22, 2011 - 05:05pm PT
Just an off topic observation, but am I the only one that thinks DMT looks kinda like William Shatner on a bender?

Who knows DMT, gain a little weight, actually a bunch and you could be ruling American stage and screen for decades to come.

Observation concluded, now lets get back on topic for god's sakes!

nick danger
le_bruce

climber
Oakland: what's not to love?
Feb 22, 2011 - 05:31pm PT
Yikes, great point above.

I use a single minitraxion but am zealous about backup knots, either on the other half of the rope (if tied off at mid-point on anchor) or below me on the single strand. Yes this makes for a lot of pulling rope through the mini since it's not weighted below, and has become enough of a pain in the ass that I'll probably pick up a second MT.

Saw one of these the other day at BIW:

http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en-us/shop/climb/carabiners/gridlock-screwgate-carabiner

Anyone use one? Thoughts? To me it screamed rope soloing and solo tr applications, and maybe more convenient than the DMM Belay Master?

FRUMY

Trad climber
SHERMAN OAKS,CA
Feb 22, 2011 - 05:41pm PT
TFPU
Nor Cal

Trad climber
San Mateo
Feb 22, 2011 - 07:54pm PT
Glad he is OK.

That sounds like user error to me, like holding a gri gri open in a panic.

If he had kept his hands off the rope, like a real lead fall, the device would have engaged. I can see the impulse, for sure. A backup would not solve this if he did the same, grabbing the rope above both ascenders. But much less likely.

Yeah, he is ok. Not quite the same since the accident; it's been about 5 years and he is climbing some, but not like before. The accident was totally user error and had he not grabbed the rope I would not have had to call his wife and tell her (she was 7 months pregnant)! The accident was at a local rock and he was at Stanford hospital within 30 minutes from the time of impact.

I will never forget watching him fall. I was above, on my ushba, encouraging him to go for it as he had fallen a minute before and I passed him. I don't remember rappelling down to him.

I am glad the the OP posted about this as I think we can all learn from others...
PAUL SOUZA

Trad climber
Clovis, CA
Feb 23, 2011 - 12:10pm PT
Why not use one of these??

http://www.petzl.com/en/pro/verticality/mobile-fall-arrest-device/mobile-fall-arrest-device-rope/asap
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Feb 23, 2011 - 02:49pm PT
Paul, the fine print on that device says: "For 10.5 to 13 mm semi-static ropes (EN 1891 type A) certified with the device"

looks like a great jobsite rope-grab though, thanks for digging that up.
Matt M

Trad climber
Alamo City
Feb 24, 2011 - 07:33am PT
Last time I was out with my dual Mini Trax setup I ran into the same issues where the loop used to keep the top mini "tight" got semi-tangled in the cam. Not a huge deal but unnerving for the rest of the day. I like the idea of the mini gibbs on top and a trax on the bottom. Plus I think it would make switching over to lowering easier. The teeth on the mini trax are hard to disengage AND are mega grabby. The microscender should work better in this regard.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Who'll stop the reign?
Feb 24, 2011 - 08:12am PT


I won't make the claim that this rig is any less prone to keeper-cord jamming, I think the girth hitch helps keep it out of the works AND serves to insure the top trax will not lever open and allow the rope to slip (which I think for any well used trax is the bigger worry).

I also attach the top trax to a Yates daisy. I know... it won't hold a high force fall. What it does do is offer a 'punch out' release if left dangling on something this old boy can't climb. I can put a grigri on the rope under the top trax (that's what the empty locker is for, to go on rap with both traxes still on the rope) then 'punch the button' and I'm off the trax and on the grigri, just that fast, departure imminent.

Oh I prefer a cord to a sling for the keeper cord to chest harness attachment. Its just easier to work with. I also adjust that keeper cord, shorter or longer, depending on the angle of the rock. Just like with jugging, the steeper the shorter....
DMT
caughtinside

Social climber
Davis, CA
Nov 11, 2011 - 01:19pm PT
I have fallen on my setup with the top device (pro traxion) not having the cam engaged. I fell onto my backup, which trails probably 12-18" below the protrax. The teeth didn't catch at all.

The backup I use is a wildcountry ropeman. THe ropeman is spring loaded, and if it is on the rope, it is engaged. No retracting that one without removing it. I like the ropeman as backup for that reason, in addition to it being light and cheap. It does not have a pulley, but with the rope weighted properly I barely feel it, it feeds just fine.
klk

Trad climber
cali
Nov 11, 2011 - 02:28pm PT
since this came up, i'll mention that i tried and like brian's stretchcord-for-the-keeper idea.

i'm using girth-hitched it through the loop and then over my head at a tightness that keeps the trax running.

it works much better than the chest harness, takes up less space, and seems less likely to gank if the trax hits a knob or something.

finally sent the climb i almost cratered on last year.
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Nov 11, 2011 - 04:02pm PT
I use an Ushba and I back it up with a prusik knot. I must admit I haven't always. It runs smooth and I don't have to touch it.

I clip a locker through my tie in loops alpine style for the prusik and I use a DMM belay master biner and put the belay side on the belay loop and the keeper side on the Ushba.

I also make sure the rope is tight by clove hitching it to the rope bag with the rest of the rope in it for a weight at the bottom.

Good Ushba set up
Good Ushba set up
Credit: Big Mike
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Apr 13, 2012 - 10:55am PT
Le Bruce. The black diamond locker you show has a potential fatal weakness to be aware of. That is that any device can slide over to the screwgate and with a quick sideways twist, pop the entire gate off. This was the motion that a figure 8 in an Aussie style rap did to a young man on an Munter style HB locker that led both to his death and HB being sued.

The dmm belaymaster addresses and eliminates that issue, whereas the Gridmaster does not. I have a Gridmaster, and for that reason alone, I think it's a piece of crap. For using a grigri or Cinch, I have some Fixe twistlocks I much prefer where the twist lock is so big that the devices cannot slide over the gate and cause a catastrophic failure if you are not watching the biner/device orientation.

The DMM would work much better for this application.

Andrew F

Trad climber
Sunnyvale, CA
Apr 13, 2012 - 11:58am PT
For those of you using two mini traxions on one rope, what happens when the top device fails? It seems like your bottom mini is going to bang into the top one and lever against it in weird ways. I would be worried about it disengaging the cam or doing something weird. Wouldn't it be better to have the bottom mini on a tighter connection that wouldn't allow it to touch the top mini?

I just ordered a micro traxion. I will report back on how it works for solo TR. I think I will now use the micro as my primary device, and use backup knots or my mini traxion on a separate rope for backup.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Apr 13, 2012 - 12:01pm PT
Have you seen this thing? It's a Petzl ASAP. It's nice because it can slide up and down a rope without catching. When you fall the circular cam activates a lock and you stop. Petzl sells it for industrial work but not for climbing. I've used it for a couple seasons doing laps at the local gym for endurance training.

You need to have the rope anchored a the bottom of the climb, similar to solo TRing with the Mini-Trax system.

Credit: Mark Hudon
Damn this looks high

Trad climber
Temecula, CA
Apr 14, 2012 - 07:00am PT
I've been using the Rock Exotica Solo-Aid but recently switched to the Soloist. Really can't understand why you'd want to modify or use something other than the latter--are Mini-Traxion's or GriGris better? Can't imagine how. The Soloist works for TR and lead solo.
What am I missing?
Credit: Damn this looks high
http://www.rockexotica.com/products/belay_devices/all_solo_belay.html
kaholatingtong

Trad climber
the green triangle, cali
Apr 22, 2012 - 08:01pm PT
interesting post markHudon; just curious, do you back it up with anything/knots when you run that?

unfortunate that you need so large a size of rope, seems to be 10+ on that as well?
Sewellymon

climber
.....in a single wide......
Apr 22, 2012 - 08:59pm PT
Topic has been hashed and rehashed- but re; Soloist

It is still my preference for TR's. Just know it does not hold an upside- down fall so tie backup knots every so often. I am mostly climbing easy and sub-vert, so have never taken an upside-down fall on it.
KlimbIn

climber
Apr 23, 2012 - 05:49am PT
I've been using Ascender with knots whenever I've got a free hand, but after seeing this:

http://www.petzl.com/en/outdoor/product-experience/self-belay-solo-climbing/introduction

I might reconsider.
wivanoff

Trad climber
Seymour, CT
Apr 23, 2012 - 07:21pm PT
I use a Gibbs ascender tied to my belay loop. I thread a meter of 7mm cord through the ascender eye and my belay loop three times and tie the ends off with an EDK. That keeps the ascender nice and close to my harness and doesn't run the risk of crossloading a carabiner.

Been using this setup for TR soloing for over 20 years and hundreds of falls. No incidents yet.
klk

Trad climber
cali
Apr 23, 2012 - 07:54pm PT
so the micros been out awhile.

anyone got some mileage?

dont be shy.


WBraun

climber
Apr 23, 2012 - 08:11pm PT
A lot of people know how to do a mini traxion top rope belay type setups correctly.

Some don't.

Petzl is scared of getting sued so that's why the warnings.

The warnings are also there to remind and show some of the potential pitfalls.

Their diagrams are not particularly complete, just general layouts.

There's idiosyncrasies to every tool used for this type of belay system.

Knowing all those idiosyncrasies is what will keep you alive .....



climbingbuzz

Trad climber
SF, CA
Apr 24, 2012 - 07:38pm PT
Werner, what idiosyncracies should we keep in mind? Thanks.

climbingbuzz

Trad climber
SF, CA
Apr 24, 2012 - 07:58pm PT
Re ushba, it won't work unless it can freely rotate to engage the caming action.
So if anything touches it, it might not cam.
I experimented with it as a solo belay with an ascender as backup.
Decided it definitely wasn't for me as it seemed way to easy for something, anything, to keep the cam from engaging.

The guy that decked...it might not have been because he grabbed the rope.
Unless he grabbed the rope right above the ushba, grabbing would not interfere.
Report said the ushba was below his crotch.
Most people grab the rope at chest level.
Just sayin, maybe his t shirt or something else got in the way of the cam.


healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Apr 24, 2012 - 08:15pm PT
Damn that looks high: The Soloist works for TR and lead solo.
What am I missing?

Be aware that on lead the Soloist can also fail if you just end up horizontal in a fall as opposed to fully inverted. Old partner of mine found this out the hard way decking to the tune of a couple of ribs, elbow and head.
ramonjuan

climber
Apr 24, 2012 - 09:15pm PT
The Petzl website has all of the information that you need about top rope soloing with their products.

http://www.petzl.com/en/outdoor/product-experience/self-belay-solo-climbing/solution2-two-ascenders-us
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Jun 27, 2012 - 01:55pm PT
Here is an article we just posted on setting up a Mini Traxion with a separate rope for safety which is the way Petzl recommends

http://www.supertopo.com/a/How-to-Set-Up-a-Self-Belay-for-a-Solo-Toprope/a11526n.html#comments
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Jun 27, 2012 - 09:22pm PT
Note that running two devices on separate ropes ŕ la Petzl eliminates the issue that KLK and DMT describe in which the top device jams and carries all further slack up with it.
RyanD

climber
Squamish
Jul 12, 2012 - 03:41pm PT
Yates rocker with a loose prussik above works pretty good although I like the idea of a 2nd device above/ below on a sling that is probably easier to take on/off when switching to rappel than a prussik. If u grab above the rocker or ushba when falling it cannot cam properly & u will probably take a big ride.

Anyone have experience using an ushba/rocker type device with a Mini Trax above or below??
Footloose

Trad climber
Lake Tahoe
Oct 6, 2012 - 03:35pm PT
One of my favorite threads.

Here's my setup:

After everything is rechecked, the purple sling goes over my head and ...
After everything is rechecked, the purple sling goes over my head and right shoulder.
Credit: Footloose


(1) Just my boots are usually enough to serve as a counter weight. (2) Always use a backup knot above ledges and every 20' or so. (3) I recheck engagements and links regularly as I climb. (4) At least in my book, the redundancy is absolutely necessary.

Once upon a time I almost started climbing without the bottom biner attached to my belay loop or harness loops. It was such a startle and eye-opener it's never been close to happening again since.

Thanks for the posts and the many heads-up.

Happy climbing!
Johnny K.

climber
Oct 6, 2012 - 03:57pm PT


Bargainhunter

climber
Oct 6, 2012 - 04:33pm PT
Has anyone had ANY problems yet with the lighter microtraxions? The new design helps eliminate the possibility of it accidentally locking the cam off the puley.

I see no problem having two microtraxions in tandem.

I think Petzl is being a bit conservative in requiring two different devices that function in different ways to prevent the extremely rare event of two similar devices failing simultaneously, in addition to suggesting using TWO ropes, one per device.
Johnny K.

climber
Oct 6, 2012 - 04:43pm PT
^^ It's just top roping,why take chances with one type of device? I personally think Petzls suggestions are safe redundant back ups "just in case" something does fail.

The above options posted from petzl is for using 2 devices and only 1 rope.I personally use the this method and have no issues or complaints. Everyone has their own preference but the basic setup should always have safety redundancy of some sort.
Tommy D

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, Ca
Feb 5, 2013 - 09:53am PT
I find that the perfect set-up is a Pro-Traxion on top, and a Mini on the bottom. I use a 24" sling over my neck (I'm 5'10") with a small sling tied through the primary clip-in of the Pro to keep it lifted and lined up. The Pro can be opened without having to remove the locking carabiner, so once you have your sling attachment adjusted, you can leave it on for the rest of the session. For extra safety, use a small carabiner through the secondary clip-in point on the Pro to prevent the plates from being forced open from cross-loading.
Change-overs require removing only one device (the Mini) from its' locking carabiner, and are really smooth and fast. The system follows you effortlessly. Final safety note: always check your rigging by loading your set-up before leaving the ground and/ or unclipping your daisy at an intermediate belay. I have gotten in the habit of pushing down on both devices (separately) before I climb, and even while climbing, to verify that the cams are engaged (I ounce climbed with only one unit engaged because the top one held held when I load checked it).

Mini Traxion top-roping is one of the greatest gear/ training advancements of the last 10 years! So fun and efficient.
mju6559

Trad climber
Schenectady, NY
Mar 15, 2013 - 10:07am PT
I use a Petzl Ascention ascender attached to my harness also connected to a chest harness and a Petzl Min-Traxion as a back up.

I use this when doing climbs 90 ft of less with the rope anchored above of course and 2 strands for redundancy - 1 device on each separate strand!

Both feed well on a weighted rope and leave my hands free for doing harder climbs versus when I used to use a GriGri2 and backup knots every 10 ft.

rockermike

Trad climber
Berkeley
Mar 15, 2013 - 06:06pm PT
is there any advantage of using a minitrazion (or micro traxion) over a microcender? I kind of prefer the second, not depending on teeth, and can be used in alpine glacier travel. but I have no experience with either. any thoughts.
Morgan

Trad climber
East Coast
Nov 9, 2013 - 12:39pm PT
There have been accidents with Shunts and Gibbs on slightly overhanging terrain, especially if the rope was anchored at the base, causing the rope to press against the cam in such a way that it was held open. Or by people grabbing the device. Probably, a microscender can be made to fail the same way. That said, my favorite tools are a microscender low and a mini traxion high, plus running a back-up knot on the other strand of rope – although two devices plus a separate strand back-up feels like overkill.
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