Haul Lords: rate my 2:1 ratchet


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Social climber
San Francity, CA
May 8, 2013 - 10:14am PT
U guys really have over thought this hauling thing.

Think less, eat more. Hauling is a breeze!

Also, 20 posts and no one has told this poor sap that he's gonna die?

Supertopo slacking hard today.

Lastly, setup looks fine. Details are pretty trivial in the grand scheme.

Trad climber
under the sea
Topic Author's Reply - May 8, 2013 - 08:28pm PT
^^^Details are trivial...lol! Im dead for sure...

Here is slightly different setup. Micro trax on sling from seperate biner. better for switching to 1:1

Credit: matty

Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
May 8, 2013 - 09:29pm PT
Wait till you see how much that sling stretches under a load. You'll be amazed.
Bill Mc Kirgan

Trad climber
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
May 8, 2013 - 11:00pm PT
That's a much better picture of the entire system. Thanks for sharing your ideas so that others may learn. I may give this a try in the safety of my back yard in the next few days. Great way to keep the neighbors guessing.

Trad climber
under the sea
Topic Author's Reply - May 8, 2013 - 11:12pm PT
Yeah hope it helps. Search for info on 2:1 hauling ratchet and you'll find lots of good stuff but its always nice to have some direct feedback.

So I guess the next best step is for me to replace the green sling to the micro trax with a special cable draw or fat nut for a trial run.

Trad climber
minneapolis, mn
May 8, 2013 - 11:22pm PT

speaking of hauling ...


is there a rule of thumb for how heavy a soloist's pig should be for a five day/four night ascent of El Cap? I'm thinking bodyweight would be a good measuring stick, or maybe 3/2 body weight

Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
May 8, 2013 - 11:42pm PT
Add it up.

I take 3 quarts per day and one day extra and one day for emergency. Five days = 5.25 gallons. Water weighs 8.33 pounds NOT INCLUDING ITS CONTAINER. A half gallon water bottle weighs 6 ounces. So 5.25 X 8.7 = 45.67 pounds.
A Metolius Half Dome Haul bag, empty weighs 10 pounds
A Metolius Double Ledge and its fly weight 25 pounds (a single doesn't weigh that much less)
Food is about 2.5 pounds a day and a single 16 ounce beer, even though it's liquid measurement, weights 16 ounces, or one pound. Five days, five beers, five pounds.
Your clothes, if you have very good gear, weighs four to five pounds.
Your jetboil stove, fuel, coffee cup, coffee, filters, spoon, handi wipes, your personal hygiene kit, your Waste Case add up to 10 or 15 pounds.
Sleeping bag, foam pad, add another three pounds if you have really good stuff.
Phone, iPod, speakers, batteries, radio, Those things are heavy. 2.5 pounds

My rack alone for Iron Hawk, every bit of gear, weighed 58 pounds, your ropes weight 12 pounds each. (although you are not actually hauling all of your gear or both ropes, you are hauling the haul line and at least half of the gear.

So, including only half of your gear and one rope you are at 162 pounds.

I'm not estimating either, I've weighed all this stuff.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
May 9, 2013 - 06:33am PT
Wow. Um, lots of answers up there. Not many of them are much use, however, although a few points are correct.

Here is what you need to do, Matty:

 the most important thing is to minimize the amount of "anything that can stretch" in your system

 things that stretch in the system include the haul line, the zed-cord, and that sling you have in the second photo to lower the Micro-Trax = "holding ratchet" to the correct distance

 positioning all the components to the correct distance is essential to make the thing work!

 the stretchiest component in the system is the zed-cord, and to make the device work, you have to make sure that at the top of the lifting stroke the zed cord pulls tight, and the pulleys come together and touch. At the same time, there must be zero haul line between the toothed cam of the inverted ascender and the tooth of the holding ratchet

 in the first photo, there will be too much space between the cam teeth at the top of the stroke, and the setup will knott work

 in the second photo, you look to have solved the problem of distance, however you introduced a sling which Mark correctly points out will stretch a lot

 in the second photo, if you replace the sling with a wired stopper, or better yet a wire Frost Draw if you can find one, it will work much better. You do need to lower the holding ratchet device in order to make sure to minimize the amount of haul line between the toothed cams when your pulleys mesh together

 the top setup won't work the way it's set up because of all the excess cordage

 the way you have the upper pulley on the zed-cord in the second photo is really good - a doubled piece of green cord. You need this to allow a twist in the upper pulley to introduce the necessary degree of freedom. But consider replacing this "round" green cord with a doubled piece of webbing which is "flat" - this will not abrade as quickly, and reduce cluster as well. Tie this doubled webbing as short as you possibly can, so the overall length is about the same as your doubled green sling

 after hundreds of pitches of trial and error, I can say with certainty that you want 7mm perlon cord as your zed-cord. While 5.5mm Spectra works fine for a while, and doesn't stretch a bit, it abrades very quickly and sometimes breaks on you while you are hauling! Scares the bejeepers out of you, too. 6mm is ok, but a bit stretchy. 8mm is overkill.

 make your zed-cord about 15' long, and coil up the excess. You can use this to cross a knot joining haul lines, which happens from time to time. To do this, you lower the inverted ascender all the way down, which would be around 7' on a 15' zed-cord, and put both your ascenders on the zed cord and jug it. You introduce slack into the haul line and can easily pass the knot through the holding ratchet

 it matters little which holding ratchet you use - Mini, Pro or Micro-Trax, Wall Hauler, Kong Block-Roll. What's important is that everything "meshes together" to minimize slack

 there are four possible orientations about which way the haul line goes through the holding ratchet, and which way the zed-cord gets added to the system. 3 don't work so well, one works best, so find out which one it is and stick with it

 IMPORTANT: something I forgot to mention - if you have a "good" pulley and a "not so good" pulley, be certain to put the "good" pulley on top, and the "not so good" pulley on the bottom on the inverted ascender. This is because the upper pulley spins twice as fast, but has also been tested experientially, which is easy to do. Just try your 2:1 using a carabiner instead of a pulley. If you have only a crab on top and a pulley on the bottom, you can't budge the thing. But if you have a pulley on top, and a carabiner on the bottom, it will still work. Try it!

 save yourself a lot of heartache, and get yourself a static haul line. In the photo above, your haul line looks to be a dynamic climbing rope. While the 2:1 hauling ratchet does work ok on a dynamic haul line, like your old retired lead rope, it works MUCH better on a static haul line

 Finally, when you haul, put a pair of carabiners on your harness, and clove hitch the zed-cord through them. This will allow you to tune the length of cord to the nearest millimetre, which you need to do fine tune the device. Once you're finished hauling, you'll find it's far easier to remove the clove hitch in the zed cord from two carabiners instead of one. That clove gets pretty tight!

 Do not for a moment think that you can make this thing work in the Real World. It won't. You need to go to your local crag and practise hauling heavy pigs. There are a hundred little tweaks you need to make for the device to work, but once you get it sussed, it will positively sing.

 Take along enough food, water and beer to "win by attrition". Keep on keepin' on, don't bail, and you will eventually reach the summit.

Cheers, eh? And see you on the bridge in a few weeks.

To answer Bill's questions:

 Yes, it is a piggyback system. It is nothing more than a regular 1:1 hauling system, with the 2:1 section as an add on, which you correctly observed. You don't need the redundancy, however it is an extra benefit

 you need a lifting ratchet [inverted ascender] and a holding ratchet [hauling device] to make it work. Think about it...

 the rigging plate sounds great in theory, however it does knott work because the whole system "rocks". You need everything attached to a single point of attachment
Ryan Tetz

Trad climber
Flagstaff, AZ
May 9, 2013 - 07:45am PT
photos please PTPP?

Trad climber
under the sea
Topic Author's Reply - May 9, 2013 - 09:53am PT
Pete -

Thank you for taking the time to type up your thoughts. I often wonder how you have the energy to keep explaining the same sh#t over and over again to climbers of all types. I know I've learned a lot from reading your posts here and on other sites, and I know there are a lot of other lurkers here and elsewhere who read your stuff and appreciate it so let me say thanks again.

As to the hauling ratchet...

The flat webbing you suggest to replace the green 7mm cord up top, you mean like 1' or 9/16 flat tubular style webbing?

The haul line will certainly be static (got a new 70m on the way, old one starting to wear out....time to donate a fixed line=)

The zed cor will be replaced...that red 6mm is just a placeholder.

I will certainly try it out first and make sure I know which of the possible 4 orientations work best.

I'll be in the valley next week but just long enough to blast and get back down, be back for longer in June.

Cheers, Eh...(I'm from Michigan and spend each summer on a small island near Killarney, ON)


Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
May 9, 2013 - 10:02am PT
Dang, Pete,

Finally, when you haul, put a pair of carabiners on your harness, and clove hitch the zed-cord through them. This will allow you to tune the length of cord to the nearest millimetre, which you need to do fine tune the device. Once you're finished hauling, you'll find it's far easier to remove the clove hitch in the zed cord from two carabiners instead of one. That clove gets pretty tight!

I've used a biner with a round cross section since the clove hitch really tightens up to the edges on irregular cross sectioned biners, but using two biners is a far better idea.


Thanks for that!
Ian Jewell

May 9, 2013 - 10:10am PT
i was thinking the same thing matty said regarding pete's response

it is pretty amazing to have a resource like that literally at your fingertips at the keyboard in your home in michigan or wherever.
and not only the diagrams, photos, and stuff he posts, but, like matty said, detailed response, analysis, and feed back on what YOU post
it is kind of like having a professor at your service without having to pay any tuition.

pete , you must be a hell of a typist.

thumbs up for Doctor Piton

Hudon too , posts, videos, feedback, T.R.'s
this place is a valuable resource.
dirt claud

Social climber
san diego,ca
May 9, 2013 - 10:15am PT
This thread is what this site is about, lots of great info here. Thanks everyone

Trad climber
May 9, 2013 - 10:16am PT
I have never had to use a 2:1 system, but have read nearly every post out there. Even own Chongo's book.

2 questions.
1. Does the jumar on the lower line self feed down the line when you release the Zed line?
2. It sounds like you are body hauling on the Zed line via the clove hitch to 2 biners? Why not use your other Jumar?

Ian Jewell

May 9, 2013 - 10:25am PT
that's funny prod, same with me.

i have 15 el cap ascents, and i have NEVER used anything other than a basic 1:1 through a petzl ptotrax , which would land me at the bottom of the class at dr.piton university.

then again, i have never soloed anything bigger the column.

even with having just looked at matty's setup five minutes ago , i would probably fumble my way through a demo if i was asked to setup a 2:1.

different strokes for different folks, but i still appreciate the techie stuff and the generosity with the knowledge.
Bill Mc Kirgan

Trad climber
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
May 9, 2013 - 10:26am PT
Many thanks (again) for this thread. I've studied this info in other threads authored by the masters of hauling and frankly found it overwhelming.

Matty, you've put yourself out there, vulnerability-wise, by asking for help on what you are working out for yourself, and in this context of a beginner, I find I am able to learn more and be inspired to actually start working out my own system.

Prod, thanks again for explaining what is going on in the picture. It was not clear to me. I was confused which pulley was the traxion.

Briham89, thanks also for telling us which pulley is the micro traxion in the OP picture. Again, it was not clear to me, but I get it now.

Matty, thanks again for posting up with the entire improved system laid out on the garage floor (very helpful). As I stated earlier, it helps to see the entire set of gear in one shot as this leaves less to the imagination (and I have an active one).

Haul Lords: thanks for your infinite patience in sharing your wisdom in yet another thread. I think with this thread as my starting inspiration for actually working out my own system I can branch out as needed and search for other relevant info on this and other forums. I think for every Haul N00b like me, who is not afraid to post up here, there must be a few dozen others lurking who will also gain insight into the significance of small details that can either contribute to hauling success, misery or total failure.

Are we gonna die? Yep, it is a certainty, but the more important question here is, are we gonna cause someone else death or injury if we let a pig fly by accident or neglect or ignorance. Next to that would be causing others inconvenience because we are moving so slowly.

I'm so inspired to practice now and have the perfect Norway Maple in my back yard for the purpose. Thanks again EVERYONE!


Trad climber
under the sea
Topic Author's Reply - May 9, 2013 - 10:37am PT
Yeah Prod I won that book too, got it from Chongo back in 2001 when he was still the east side water commissioner and had his sh#t up on the sea. He was super nice I hung out for an afternoon and he showed me a bunch of tips and we talked the day away when he found out I recently got my degree in phsics and had taken graduate level quantum mechanics. He was working on his physics book at the time....seemed like a lot of loosely defined gibbrish to me lol... but was still a super fun guy to be around.

WRT to the jumar self lowering I think you would need to add weight for that and it would just be more to haul. If you check out Hudons video:

you will see he pulls the jumar down each time, which at that point is like a 2:1 in reverse and it not only resets the ratchet but also helps him stand up.

I think the problem with a jumar on the zed cord would be the extra weight and maybe it moves too easily. I think you want to get the length of the cord dialed and then keep it that way for the haul....??

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
May 9, 2013 - 10:51am PT
Pete. Why don't you use a load releasing hitch on the cord at your harness to haul?

I think you want to get the length of the cord dialed and then keep it that way for the haul....??

If you mean the length of cord between the jumar and your harness, you need to dial it if the circumstances of your haul change. i.e. The distance and angle between your anchor and stance, ledge, or lack thereof is going to be different. You don't want to be forced to haul from 6 inches above a stance or fall an annoying foot off the edge of wide ledge every time to pull back. Maybe I misunderstand?

Mark's close-together system reminds me of a way to make this rig kill time in a frustrating way: Send the bag jug too far down the line out of reach. doh. I wish I could say I haven't done that like five times. Another brain fart: Clip the inverted jug to the line and let go before it's tethered like you would if it wasn't inverted, and watch it slide all the way to your bag. Double doh. I've had to stop myself just short of doing that a bunch of times. Maybe I'm the only one who kills my daylight like this?

Gym climber
sawatch choss
May 9, 2013 - 11:01am PT
Maybe he never thought of it. I bet they stretch a lot, there's so much play in in a munter/mule (the only LRH that I know) Have you tried this?

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
May 9, 2013 - 11:05am PT
Yes. It flips and cinches down and then stays put, in my experience, which is admitted less and not as demanding as Pete's haul systems. Getting the right length has been more important for my sense of efficiency than anything I noticed about the knot.
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