Communication, communication, communication ..... over

If you are a beginner climber and want to ask other climbers any questions - then this is the place to ask.
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PeterHS
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Real Name: Peter Hedley-Smith
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Communication, communication, communication ..... over

Post by PeterHS » Sat Jun 18, 2016 8:30 am

Hi all,

I am used now to my leader disappearing out of sight and often earshot. We are developing ways to communicate.

How do you? Do you have any special signals? Or signals for special situations? Which ones? What are they?

I'm interested to learn from others more experienced.

Has anyone used 2-way radios or walkie-talkies? Are they usable? Worth it? Batteries last? Another item to carry and lose or damage? Or a life-saver?

Or are mobile phones useable - of course both hands on the belay at all times .....

Over,

Peter

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Justin
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Re: Communication, communication, communication ..... over

Post by Justin » Sat Jun 18, 2016 8:36 am

3 pulls on the rope - indicating 'climb, when, ready'. Common sense plays a part here, so if the slack is being take in as you climb (or not) then that also gives you an idea of what your partner is doing.
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Hann
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Re: Communication, communication, communication ..... over

Post by Hann » Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:34 pm

I prefer a different method to the "3 pull" system.

When windy, or I think communication from stance to stance may be difficult I adhere to the following method:

The second NEVER takes the leader off belay.

When the leader gets to his stance, he builds the stance and immediately puts the second on belay.

The slack is still at the second, and both the leader and second has the ropes on 'belay'

Now the leader will take in the slack through both his and the second's belay device.
(it is not so much trouble as it sounds, especially if you think this may save your friends life)

When the slack at the second runs out, he knows that he is already on belay and that it is safe to climb.
I have known some seconds that do not even take the rope out of the belay device before climbing

This is the only fool proof way I have come across.
I also verbalise the whole story above when I think communication between second and leader will be difficult.

The 3 pull system is not always "feelable" due to rope drag.
I have also had friends accidentally climbing solo due to misunderstanding the 3 pull system...

PeterHS
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Re: Communication, communication, communication ..... over

Post by PeterHS » Sat Jun 18, 2016 8:08 pm

I think that's a really good point. When seconding (especially on multi-pitch climbs) I don't come off belay or take down my stance until my lead has taken all the slack up. It may seem long-winded and take some extra time but it is safe. Sometimes too, one has to move to the edges of exposed stances to disassemble the stance so I like to be fully belayed from my lead above while doing that.

PeterHS
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Re: Communication, communication, communication ..... over

Post by PeterHS » Sat Jun 18, 2016 8:11 pm

Also, when we abseiled down the other day, my lead abseiled down first. We discussed how I would know if he was down - and off the abseil - before he went down and was then out of sight.

We agreed he would see-saw the rope by pulling from each end in turn. That, we thought, could not happen by accident or be missed by me. I. Addition, it gave me the chance to make any adjustment if the rope was not sliding freely and run the risk of not being able to recover the rope after my descent. Thankfully, it all worked well.

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dirktalma
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Re: Communication, communication, communication ..... over

Post by dirktalma » Sun Jun 19, 2016 9:26 am

Addition, it gave me the chance to make any adjustment if the rope was not sliding freely and run the risk of not being able to recover the rope after my descent.
I like the idea of the first guy down check whether the ropes can be retrieved easily. I'll do that from now on

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Nic Le Maitre
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Re: Communication, communication, communication ..... over

Post by Nic Le Maitre » Mon Jun 20, 2016 8:54 am

Hann's method is fool proof. I use it all the time when voice communication is not possible due to wind or ledges. Doesn't require you to carry anything extra, no batteries to run out etc.
PeterHS wrote:Addition, it gave me the chance to make any adjustment if the rope was not sliding freely and run the risk of not being able to recover the rope after my descent.
As the last person down, it is your responsibility to make sure that the knot comes down at least over the first edge (unless of course the abseil is the full rope length). Pulling the ropes before the last person is down tells you very little about whether or not you will be able to retrieve the rope. The last person may come down a different line, the rope may move etc etc.
Happy climbing
Nic

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Nic Le Maitre
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Re: Communication, communication, communication ..... over

Post by Nic Le Maitre » Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:06 am

PeterHS wrote:Also, when we abseiled down the other day, my lead abseiled down first. We discussed how I would know if he was down - and off the abseil - before he went down and was then out of sight.
It's very obvious when someone is off the abseil, the ropes will become noticeably more slack and you will be able to pull up enough slack in order to put your belay device on the rope. If you can't, then the other person is still on the rope.
Happy climbing
Nic

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