my rope solo trip up the Line


Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 1 - 34 of total 34 in this topic

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Topic Author's Original Post - Sep 29, 2008 - 12:53pm PT
ramping up.

my anchor consisted of two slung blocks.

the early crux

the moment is a pissy little crusty-eyed fukin poodle.
and i'm a slobberin pitbull. (really, i'm not)

the view towards pyramid peak from the base.

steep and sustained.

the wayward paths, out there on the edge of routine, are absolutely everything.

nearing the summit roofs. you can see my first anchor a little below me. god bless the absense of rope drag.

the silliness that i come home to is why i choose to climb less and work way too much...


Trad climber
Wilmington, DE
Sep 29, 2008 - 01:24pm PT
That last shot looks like the little one is ready to go a viking! Nice TR.
Ottawa Doug

Social climber
Ottawa, Canada
Sep 29, 2008 - 01:58pm PT
Sweet TR. I love the photos of the kids. :)



Trad climber
Placerville, California
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 29, 2008 - 02:01pm PT
that is annapurna. she's prone to avalanches. like her dad. the littlest one is makalu, the great dark one.

annapurna is trying on halloween costumes. we all might go as the beer isle.

Mountain climber
Sep 29, 2008 - 02:27pm PT
Nice TR. Where is "the line", what's it rated. doesn't look like a throw away route.

So you carry all your rope in loops on your side. Does that work pretty well? Looks to me kind of heavy and likely to catch on stuff. I assume you are using a silent partner. Doesn't really show in the pictures.

Personally I have two or three loops at any one time and the rest of rope in rope bag back down at the belay station. But I'm not really happy with that system either.

Jello (Jeff Lowe) says he carries the whole rope in a back pack as he climbs, and claims it works well and presumable feeds well. But I can't figure out how he does his backup knots.

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 29, 2008 - 02:40pm PT
here is a closup of my setup. it all flows from right to left, which makes it easy for me to identify which rope is which.
you get used to the weight. and when i climb with a loud partner, less all this baggage, my confidence soars.

my system works well for me. as long as i keep an eye on it and manage it as i go along. it has been a learning curve for sure. the loops dont really catch too often, and when they do it just requires a slight down climb and flick, and off i go.

oh, the Line is a 5.9 route at lovers leap, california. splendid tm herbert line. those roofs at the top out are about 350' off the ground, and are basically a 5.7 monkey haul.
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Sep 29, 2008 - 02:47pm PT
Nice report.

I was wondering something: Do you notice the weight (and bulk) of the rope very much?

Also, any chance of rotating those pics and re-uploading them?

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Sep 29, 2008 - 02:56pm PT
No one complained to you about clogging up the most popular line at the most popular crag in South Tahoe? It must have been a slow day.
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Sep 29, 2008 - 03:01pm PT
Maybe Lover's Leap is knott so popular now with the ridiculous new fees and enforcement?

Also, this almost certainly had to be mid-week, eh?

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 29, 2008 - 03:07pm PT
no, this was sunday morning about 11 am. one party came up just as i was starting my first pitch. they decided not to wait.

since i run out my 70m rope, im nearly as quick as a party of two in freeing up the first pitch / belay. the rest of the cliff was crowded, so i choose the Line. i try to be conscious of other climbers and usually tend toward the more obscure (and usally more dangerous) lines on the weekends.

Sport climber
San Francisco
Sep 29, 2008 - 03:14pm PT
you've got guts rope-soloing on natural anchors ..

Big Wall climber
Stoney Point
Sep 29, 2008 - 03:32pm PT
I rope solo free and aid faster than most.

Congrats on your climb, most on this site do not have the balls to rope solo.


Big Wall climber
southeast face portaledge
Sep 29, 2008 - 03:40pm PT
This is such a sketchy thread! There is so much bad info here, someone might get hurt. the norweigen guy's set up, that is such a cluster- and dangerous! Gonna break those two belay biners due to extreme crossloading in a fall, and then rip the gear loops off his harness before he hits the ground. And what a pain to set up for every pitch, time consuming and sketchy! The silent partner should be on the belay loop, not through the two points of contact, even though this is what they recomend in the manual.
Back ups belong on the belay loop too, and if you are concerned about the integrity of the belay loop, tie a second smaller one inside the first.

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Sep 29, 2008 - 04:03pm PT
For about 25 years I did something somewhat similar to the hanging ropes part (I didn't use a device though); even had Metolius make a custom harness with nine full-strength side loops for the purpose. In essence - if the loops are full strength and you use figure eights instead of cloves, so you can migrate each knot in turn to the biner on your belay loop - then you can just skip the SP.

But I long ago switched over to putting the rope in a backpack and just using a grigri, and then later switched to the Edelrid Eddy.

A complete write up of what I do can be found [url=";search_string=roped-soloing;#1610582" target="new"]here on RC[/url].

Big Wall climber
A place w/o Avitars apparently
Sep 29, 2008 - 04:24pm PT
Nice job Norwegian.

Matt Thomsen

Big Wall climber
Sep 29, 2008 - 05:01pm PT
This is a crazy set up... i dont think it is very pratical and looks like a cluster f*#k and would take forever to set up. i dont know how you got so many biners on only loop. that is a feat in itself.

to each thier own, but i would never recommend this method. why make it so complicated???

Sep 29, 2008 - 05:10pm PT
Uhh cause it works for him...

Thanks for sharing a fine climb and a fine day it looked like. Good on you for getting on it. As far as the biner thing goes, sounds like you should have Wren re-do the Manuel Dave cause they obviously don't know what they are talking about. I've tried opposed and reversed and the way Norwegion has it, while not as safe appearing, it works better and is what the book suggested is it not? I still don't really like the SP (nor any other solo device either).

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 29, 2008 - 06:32pm PT
cynics. cynics. cynics.

i welcome the scrutiny. i myself battled thru the learning curve to achieve a level of acceptable comfort while rope soloing. now i truely enjoy it free of fear.

i admit it looks like a heavy cluster just waiting to tangle up on spikes and knobs and flakes and then wrap around your angles and spin you as it peels you from the face of the mountain. not so though. i can attest that with constant attention, which eventually becomes habitual, the sytem flows as smoothly as the typical 2 person system. well maybe a 2-person system with a mute, and slightly lazy belayer.

as far as taking forever to set up, i completed this climb in less time than i have ever done with a partner, around 3 hours for 3 pitches. no speed record, but maybe an enjoyment record. ones ability to eliminate belay setups by running pitches together, nearly makes up for the descending and reclimbing.

i wont show you my seconding belay system, as im good with one as#@&%e.

any suggestions for the seconding device?

Trad climber
Sep 29, 2008 - 06:46pm PT
Who shot the pics?

Trad climber
San Francisco, Ca
Sep 29, 2008 - 07:15pm PT
Norwegian, you bear a strong resemblance to CHONGO.

Atlanta, GA
Sep 29, 2008 - 10:40pm PT
Dave, I've had good luck with the biners to the two points of contact with the biners opposite the way the picture has them and the silent partner on the small side of the biners. this way, the spine side of the carabiners is at the waist belt (which likely transmits most of the force in a fall) and though the carabiners are triaxilly loaded in a fall between the waste and leg loops, they are not cross loaded. the belay loop method is perfectly safe and works really well, but I've found its much easer to clip the correct rope without looking down at your device when you use the other way. I use 6 backups on lockers on my belay loop for a 60m rope, usually. Anybody ever had a Silent partner not catch a fall when it should have. I fall a ton on mine, which makes me wonder how reliable they are (this does not count slow slides on low angle slabs, stuff getting caught in the clove hitch, etc. I was more worried about the possibility of dirt or dust getting into the centrifigual clutch and causing it to not function properly. how sealed is the SP from dirt and other particles?)

Trad climber
lake arrowhead
Sep 29, 2008 - 10:58pm PT
Seconding devices......I found this to be a super hassel with the SP. The SP is horrible as a TR device. I started rapping the pitches with a mod. Grigi then pull the anchor and fly up on TR. It works good for rapping and great for TRing the pitch. Just more junk to carry. I would be interested to here more comments Re: SP tie-in . I've never tried locking into the belay loop. Also, I found on long pitches I would have to throw a clove hitch to a good piece about 100' up to lower the rope weight and let the SP work smoother. Like you said, It's all about system management to make things go smooth.

Trad climber
Top of the Mountain Mun
Sep 29, 2008 - 11:07pm PT
Norwegians set up is plenty safe. Maybe overkill as the specs for the silent partner call for two back up loops.

I rope soloed the line many years ago after shoulder surgery and not climbing for a while. That first crux move took some time even though I had led it a dozen times. A few parties saw my slow progress and went on to other lines. When you have the system dialed, you can rope solo as fast as most parties climb with two people.

Great job Norweigen, thanks for posting. You brought back some memories.

Trad climber
Sep 29, 2008 - 11:42pm PT
Hey Norwegian,
Thanks for the TR. Looks like fun.
I finally, after eight or more years, walked by The Line and there was no one on it!
Unfortunately we were going to do Traveler. Still want to do that rascal.
I've fallen while toproping with the SP without a problem. It's a pretty cool device.
See ya on the rock,
Dr. Rock

Ice climber
Sep 30, 2008 - 02:41am PT
Thinking of only using primitive devices for rope solo.

Use the gadgets for belaying.

Thinking of cams and pulleys and levers and springs on the way down would scare the sh#t out of me.

With my luck, Lever A would stick to Rope C and be released by ultra-sonic oscillation by Locking Biner Z coming unlocked due to a lightning strike caused by sliding granite friction generating a negative voltage which would trigger a positive bolt on the anodized get the point.

Been looking at plates and eights and drop forged brakes.

Did you need all that rope?

Been thinin of getting a short rope for rope solos, keeps you out of trouble.

Right now I am looking for a Lexan grapling hook, exactly like this, only different:


Mountain climber
Sep 30, 2008 - 07:45am PT
Almost like I was there!

Sep 30, 2008 - 08:34pm PT
You were not solo- Jerry was with you.
Captain...or Skully

Big Wall climber
Nunya, America
Sep 30, 2008 - 08:41pm PT
Norwegian, you rule.... & I love 'the Line'....awesome choice.
As for others, same as always...You get to wait.
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Sep 30, 2008 - 11:47pm PT
Yo Norwegian,

Sorry I missed you on to love a guy who includes a picture of Pyramid Peak in a trip report. Alas Norwegian winter nears, you must be a lover of its' bounty? It's in your gene's, so send me a PM for an invitation to prepare ourselves for our next season's cycle in the mountains. A gathering of old & young Ghoulwe's in my garage is near......a time to celebrate, to wax and prepare for the harvest.

Berg Heil,

Charlie D.

PS.....I know you know but as a reminder you're a lucky man, such beautiful children enjoy the moments!

Big Wall climber
Oct 1, 2008 - 08:27pm PT
You crazy SOB! Some of that gear I recognize from climbing with you in the 70's..... OK, it was the 90's, but still. Ah, that UV damage crap was just a scam put forth by the pro-ozone crowd...... I jest... Anyway, killer pics. Takes me way back to some good memories of climbing with you up there. And how beautiful are those girls and that rack of clove-hitches? Man that granite is gorgeous as well....Sierra granite. Thank you for sharing...... Cor

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 2, 2008 - 09:11am PT
nice to hear from you alpine cat. it's yours and jay's fault that i've sunk to the anti-social and complicated depths of this rope-soloing business.

well, and the fact that im scandanavian and a seeker of hardship.

we sure did have some times back then. good. and better.

i send good wishes your way and look forward to scampering or rolling with you in the future.

with your vast collection of photos, and your electronic skills, maybe you could post up some old photo of a couple of young guys in over their head and loving in. just a thought...


Trad climber
Lost Wages
Apr 29, 2009 - 05:36pm PT
Norwegian, rope solo bump

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 11, 2010 - 03:48pm PT
The warrior had climbed within me as I had stomped past some coward bolts while placing natural protection to safely travel.
So I took my courage around the corner and aimed my ambitions at fingerlock, a 10b crack up a monument to the brave.
With my travels I had earned confidence. Besides confusion, and both encourage a fleeting response.

…..Suddenly, im riding the liquid sky, do-to-do-to-do…hmmm…when will I stop? …..i take flight off of rattly fingers with no feet upon a gently overhanging wall…. Softly do I conclude this journey…with a smile and a whoop because this here is my first fall upon the silent partner. It held me. It stopped my sudden dissent.

30.. well honestly I had not with me a measuring device save for my ASTM approved manhood, which would have been inaccurate anyway due to his survival stance of turtle withdrawal mode… anyway, I’ll put down 20 feet whipper upon my rope solo set up and it held with wary a whimper thus the doubts cast upthread are only based upon unsubstantiated fear and entirely inaccurate. Follow the manual that comes with the silent partner, and you shall safely prevail. As I occasionally do.

Trad climber
san diego
Apr 11, 2010 - 11:16pm PT
Way to go Nor!

That looks harder than shee*z with all that rigging! Although it would get lighter/diminish as you ascended.

I use to rope solo with a 4-5mm prusik with a Jumar back-up. Probably not to safe a setup?? Although i did take a thirty footer and it saved my butt(started tying in short thereafter)!

Charlie Porter used a two Jumar set-up to rope-solo i believe.

EDIT: Kool TR...solo is the way to go!
Messages 1 - 34 of total 34 in this topic
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks

Try a free sample topo!

SuperTopo on the Web

Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews