Shock absorber off the anchor for aid soloing


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Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 22, 2013 - 11:02am PT
Break out a new rope for your adventure that is not beat on the ends and use a regular Screamer on the belay anchor that you select to catch the fall. Use lockers and a knot to tie in the lead line and make sure that the whole system can transition from rope running up to down under load cleanly.

I don't pay any attention to master point nonsense and various schemes that people have to use the haul bag as a cushion.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 23, 2013 - 01:50pm PT
Another good thread about falling on the belay...

from out where the anecdotes roam
Mar 23, 2013 - 02:59pm PT
well now that smart people have already kicked in, i'll step up with this:

you know those plastic six pack rings? while poised in front of a trash can, i fold them the long way, then zig zag three holes down into one six ply ring and wonder, in an obsessively thrifty way, could the life of a screamer be somehow saved ???

or if a quick draw on a marginal piece could be snubbed up short using five rings (the sixth held out as a retainer to prevent littering ... that's what really matters!) would any positive effect accrue to the errant sap who just wants to live to drink another day?

prone strictly to short bursts of contemplation, i toss the thing away.

and that's as far as i've gotten,
cuz that's just how i roll

'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Mar 23, 2013 - 03:26pm PT
Wow, nice when someone saves you the trouble of replying - cheers!

Use your brains along with plenty of Screamers initially, and your pig if you have one, and you'll be fine.

When I soloed Iron Hawk - my first ever solo - I left my pigs at the left side of the KB Traverse. Then I led the Spoon up and left til I was above my pigs and could haul the two pitches in one. I distinctly remember being concerned starting on the Spoon pitch, because I didn't have any pigs and therefore had to build an upside-down anchor. There was some real Factor 2 Fall potential there. I wonder if it's still like that now fifteen years later? Or is it a little easier these days?

Mark will know.

I found it a lot easier when practising to fill my well-padded haul bag with round not-sharp rocks, and use it to act as a belayer, than it was trying to build an upside down anchor that actually works and doesn't flop down the wrong way, which is harder than you might think. Then I practised hauling the pig full of rocks, and then rappelling with it afterwards. [Don't chuck the rocks off the top of the cliff, ahem, or leave them sitting there for someone else to toss!]

Knowing I could haul so much stuff gave me the confidence to set out solo on a route that was longer and harder than anything I had yet climbed. Basically I knew I had enough supplies to take my time, and I had confidence that I would somehow be able to figure everything out. Chongo shouted up a lot of tips that really helped! The only thing that concerned me was the free climbing at the top [speaking of serious Factor 2 Fall potential at the time!] but somehow I managed to pull it off. Beats me how - I could never do it now. Glad I had Neil last time to lead it for me after we did A.O. Wall!
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