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proper rope length for a climb - no beta

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Postby kevin trieu » Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:43 pm

trad or sport?
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Postby Dow Williams » Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:48 pm

If you are just cragging, you should stick to the beta (as critical as bringing draws and a rope) and use the appropriate rope length necessary for the area/route or if driving by and visiting, take your 70m rope. To be honest, I don't ever use a single 60m anymore. Some crag areas in big mountainous terrain, i.e. Canadian Rockies, require double rope raps off of single pitch sport climbs. Having beta for such routes or a lot of experience with rope and route length would prob be essential to not leaving gear on bolts.

If you are trad climbing, you should be prepared to establish a gear belay at 5m left, regardless of rope length. It is imperative that your belayer yell "5" at five meters and know what 5 m on the ground looks like. 5 meters is approximately 16'. "five" is the easiest item to hear....not "hey joey, you have 5 meters of rope left" ...just "five", nice and loud... If a river is running anywhere close or it is windy or you have traversed, it is easy not to hear anything. Commands must be kept simple and consistent. If you can't place pro during the next 16' to establish a belay, there is a good chance you are off route unless in fact you are no longer on a true free trad route. Some routes require hammer and pins or other certain kind of gear. I would say having some beta at hand is fairly damn critical unless you are creating a route in which you will have tons of interesting gear on you.
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Postby rhyang » Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:34 pm

You seem like a smart guy, and this ain't rocket science :) You are wise not to let anyone bully you into not using your brain.

Things look easier from the base, sometimes foreshortening does the same with distance. If you can walk to the top, you throw your ropes down after setting up your anchor and see if both ends are on the ground.

But you can toprope a 30m route with a 50m rope -- it's called belaying from the top, and you really should have someone show you how it's done properly. You can also be lowered to the bottom from the anchor in that situation.

At this stage maybe avoid tr'ing routes whose heights you don't know in advance.
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Postby rhyang » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:13 pm

MikeTX wrote:
rhyang wrote: If you can walk to the top, you throw your ropes down after setting up your anchor and see if both ends are on the ground.


yes, you'll be relieved to know that i thought of that already. i was thinking more about climbs where you can't walk up to the anchor.


Ya, I'm relieved :) If you can't walk to the top, then someone has to lead. If the middle mark on the rope runs through the belay device and the leader is not yet at the anchor, then you have a problem .. but I am sure that has occurred to you as well.

That said, if you have a second rope you can tie them together and toprope a longer route that way. You will either have to pass a knot while belaying (several techniques) or have the climber carry a coil of rope and clip in through a bight (depending on route height, also a few ways to do this). We do this regularly at one of the local ice crags.

Several years ago we were at a crag and a guy was leading a 35m route with a 60m rope with no walk-off. His partner got a bit upset when they discovered that lowering him would be problematic. We got out our rope out and helped.
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Postby kevin trieu » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:25 pm

now that i have read a couple of your posts, it seems that the answers you are getting is more than what you are looking for or need to know right now. the simple answer to your question is by knowledge of the crag and experience.
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Postby kevin trieu » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:46 pm

MikeTX wrote:
kevin trieu wrote:now that i have read a couple of your posts, it seems that the answers you are getting is more than what you are looking for or need to know right now. the simple answer to your question is by knowledge of the crag and experience.


yeah, i'm way n00b. mostly just some curiousity on my part and maybe some information to help me keep a safety eye out for my new climbing friends.


i understand the first part, which is to satisfy your curiosity. you were not going out there with the info from some dudes on the internet and apply it. at least i hope not.

the second part i'm not too sure. how are you going to improve the safety of your new climbing friends with the info from your particular question?
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Postby rhyang » Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:14 pm

You obviously have a brain, don't be afraid to use it :) You don't progress by being told what to do all the time. As an engineer, I am sure you ask questions and think critically. Same thing with climbing.
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Postby mrchad9 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:21 pm

rhyang wrote:As an engineer, I am sure you ask questions and think critically.

You'd be surprised how many engineers do not do that. Actually, as an engineer I'd think you perhaps wouldn't be surprised.
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