Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 3, 2008 - 09:04pm PT
Mark Hudon's thread on his 1979, mostly free ascent of the Nose with Max touched upon a technique that I have been trying to figure out for years - how to belay a follower and haul a light bag at the same time. http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=622349
I wanted to stop hijacking his thread, so here's a new thread.
Mark and Max's technique was to belay the follower on a Sticht plate, then haul with a pulley and 2 Gibbs ascenders (one to hold the bag, and the other on a foot/leg).
The equivalent with modern gear is to belay with a GriGri, and haul with a hauling pulley (or mini-Traxion) and foot ascender (a mini-Traxion works well). If the bag is very light, it could be hauled hand-over-hand, but this gives me arm cramps after awhile, so the weight of the extra gadgets may be worthwhile.
The basic plan is to belay with one hand, while hauling with one hand and one foot.
Do these kinds of pulley systems ever work in the real world, Clint? It seems too complicated to me.
If I were out there doing it today. I'd use a Gri-Gri to belay the second with the rope clipped up to a biner on the anchor and then down to the climber. I'd have a mini-traxion set up in a simple rope up, rope down deal.
If you're out free climbing anything in the Valley and not a huge honking wall, I think you could do it all with your hands (remember, light and fast). If you needed your feet I'd get one of those tiny Petzel things, what are they called a "Hand"? Just a little thing that has wraps around the rope, has teeth where a biner jambs the rope against the teeth. I'd use one of those in a sling for my foot.
Think simple, light, and easy. Don't forget that you have to free climb up there with all that junk.
I'd pump off the bag a bit, belay a bit, pump some more, belay some more. When the second got to a good resting spot and can maybe pop in a piece, I'd haul the bag to the anchor and then get back to belaying in ernest.
Easy, simple, light and quick.
You know what? I just looked at your photos and the whole left side of the system is doing absolutely nothing except taking in rope. Drop the left side and it's pretty much exactly what I'm talking about for light big wall free climbing.
Yeah, the whole left side is just to raise the foot ascender.
But the raising of the foot ascender is a critical part of the process, especially when there is not much rope weight below it.
In a standard aid wall haul, I have one of my Jumars clipped to the belay loop on my harness, and I use my thumb to open the cam and move it up the rope. If I let enough haul line hang below it to create rope weight, then I can skip opening the cam and just push the frame of the Jumar up the rope with my hand.
If I was leg-hauling, then moving the Jumar is the same, except an aider with my foot is clipped to it. I could use that setup when free climbing, except I want something lighter than a Jumar.
> If you needed your feet I'd get one of those tiny Petzel things, what are they called a "Hand"? Just a little thing that has wraps around the rope, has teeth where a biner jambs the rope against the teeth. I'd use one of those in a sling for my foot.
Petzl Tibloc. 39g. I guess I'm concerned about how easily it would move up the rope with little rope weight. There's no cam to open; would I need 2 hands on it to move it up the rope at first? I haven't tried it, but maybe it's the way to go.
> Think simple, light, and easy. Don't forget that you have to free climb up there with all that junk.
Yeah, I'd like it to be light and simple. But it also needs to be fast enough and hands-free enough to move the bag up in the same time my partner follows the pitch.
There is a lighter foot ascender than the Petzl mini-Traxion (165g). The Petzl Pantin is 122g:
But I think to move it up the rope when there is no rope weight below it requires opening the cam with a thumb. That won't work, since I don't want to reach down to my foot to open the cam, then straighten up to push down with my leg, bend over to reach down again and repeat.
I didn't realize the Gibbs ascender is still sold. It may still be the way to go for the foot ascender, as I believe it does not drag against the rope much, so your foot can move it up the rope, even with minimal rope weight below it?
That thing looks cool. So it goes on your foot? I see your point about needing to be able to raise your foot without having to play with the rope too much.
The Gibbs were real nice and light but sort of clumsy to put on the rope. you sort of had to take the whole thing apart. You could sort of step on the rope with your other foot till you got enough weight for the ascender to move up the rope freely.
that green thing is cool. I like it. Use that and the Mini-traxion and I think you would be set.
Why not have the second wear the pack, and then free-haul him up the pitch? You could belay him through a Kong Roll Block (much stronger than a ProTraxion) and yank him off the tenuous holds if he waits too long, trying to figure out the moves.