Double rope - single or double clipping in on trad?

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PeterHS
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Real Name: Peter Hedley-Smith
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Double rope - single or double clipping in on trad?

Post by PeterHS » Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:15 pm

More thoughts to see what you guys (and girls) do and don't do please! I know 'it all depends' and whether your trad route is straight up or zig-zags or includes traverses but .....

What is your usual practice when double-roping? Do you clip each rope in alternately? Some together? Both if a vertical route where rope drag is less of an issue? What about your first protection piece - do you always clip in both ropes here? Or just one? What factors influence your decision?

Is there ever a risk on a fall of one rope cutting another if both ropes are clipped in together if there is differential pull on each rope?

As ever, I learn so much from your responses so please feel free to comment with your experience and opinion!

Much thanks,

Peter

Warren G
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Re: Double rope - single or double clipping in on trad?

Post by Warren G » Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:31 pm

Go follow some experienced climbers! But basically left rope for the left side, right rope for the right side. Alternating is a pattern, who said the rock follows that pattern?

The big trick is planning where you are going on the pitch, once you have a plan you might want to say ignore the left rope until you step around that corner. Fundamentally double ropes is for two reasons: reduced drag and to a lesser extent to abseil afterwards. half ropes will catch a fall alone, but they don't last as long if you use them like that. Action Direct was opened on a single half rope.
Sandbagging is a dirty game

Brussel
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Re: Double rope - single or double clipping in on trad?

Post by Brussel » Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:03 pm

As Warren said each rope can handle a fall so you only need to clip 1 rope into each placement.

You place as the route determines, I've climbed a corner to a roof placing 5 pieces all on one rope and then as I traverse under and eventually through the roof I start clipping the other rope. Alternate is in a perfect world in the real world there is no fixed rule its how the route wanders and where placements are.

However there are two safety issues that are worth noting:

If you clip both ropes the impact force is twice what it would be with one rope and on marginal placements it may pop a piece or damage you badly if it's a factor 2 fall

You should either clip both ropes (see above for why I don't often do this) all the time or (prefereably) only clip one rope per piece. The reason is that if you clip some of the pieces together and others not you land up with different lengths of rope out and in the event of a fall the strands of rope will pull at different rates and can rub and burn each other in the caribiner. The solution is to use two caribiners on the piece if you are going to clip both ropes

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Nic Le Maitre
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Re: Double rope - single or double clipping in on trad?

Post by Nic Le Maitre » Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:17 pm

When climbing with two seconds and you have to protect both simultaneously, I do, on occasion, clip both ropes to one piece. Yes, it would be better to find a second placement in a similar location but time, arms and gear often limit that option. It is unlikely that both seconds will fall and load the same piece at the same time. You also realise very quickly that you are going to engineer masses of rope drag for yourself.

Ideal world, one rope right, one left, clip alternately:
Image

(Just noticed the climber in the picture is doing it wrong :( )

But we seldom have lovely parallel vertical cracks like that. So my normal, only one second, practice is to keep one rope left, one rope right and as far as possible minimise rope drag
Happy climbing
Nic

PeterHS
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Real Name: Peter Hedley-Smith
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Re: Double rope - single or double clipping in on trad?

Post by PeterHS » Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:03 pm

Brussel wrote:As Warren said each rope can handle a fall so you only need to clip 1 rope into each placement.

You place as the route determines, I've climbed a corner to a roof placing 5 pieces all on one rope and then as I traverse under and eventually through the roof I start clipping the other rope. Alternate is in a perfect world in the real world there is no fixed rule its how the route wanders and where placements are.

However there are two safety issues that are worth noting:

If you clip both ropes the impact force is twice what it would be with one rope and on marginal placements it may pop a piece or damage you badly if it's a factor 2 fall

You should either clip both ropes (see above for why I don't often do this) all the time or (prefereably) only clip one rope per piece. The reason is that if you clip some of the pieces together and others not you land up with different lengths of rope out and in the event of a fall the strands of rope will pull at different rates and can rub and burn each other in the caribiner. The solution is to use two caribiners on the piece if you are going to clip both ropes
Thanks, Brussel. It is an interesting point that the impact force on protection is twice that on one rope when both ropes are clipped in. It's almost counter-intuitive in that logic perhaps suggests it safer to clip both ropes into that 'Jesus' piece of first protection. I shall certainly consider a different technique in the future. Peter

Brussel
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Re: Double rope - single or double clipping in on trad?

Post by Brussel » Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:46 pm

Of course the advantage of clipping both into the Jesus piece is that if one rope fails for some reason....
I think the general rule is climbing is always a game of managed risks. There is no perfectly safe solution except sitting and home dreaming about climbing. But then you'll die of something else at some point :)

Chris F
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Re: Double rope - single or double clipping in on trad?

Post by Chris F » Mon Sep 26, 2016 4:42 pm

The important bit about double roping is a bit of thought about the pitch before you start off, and don't be shy to extend a couple of pieces even if you are climbing with two ropes. Even if it's a straight crack I always alternate ropes, it makes drag so much less, but just be certain when you are doing this that you don't get the ropes twisted when clipping (tying in the same ropes on the same side every time for both leader and second makes it better to keep them under control - we always have red on right, lellow on left :lol: )

Also double ropes make it easier to protect your second on things like traverses. If you are traversing leftwards, place the first pieces on the right hand rope and if there is any section of the traverse where there is no gear for a distance then switch straight to the left rope, so the seconder is protected from above.

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