Take the 2-minute tour ×
The Great Outdoors Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people who love outdoor activities, excursions, and outdoorsmanship. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have seen a handfull of methods and devices on the market: http://www.rockexotica.com/products/downloads/belay.html

But its not clear to me that any of the these devices do a better job than a simple ascender would do. Can anyone share any experiences or preferences for solo-top roping gear? (Note: I consider solo lead climbing an entirely different beast and am not asking about that here.)

share|improve this question

4 Answers 4

You should not use a toothed ascender as a fall can sever the rope. Additionally these devices are typically not usable for decent therefore additional equipment is required anyway.

Section 6 of this report has testing of fall-arrest devices:

Lyon Equipment Limited - Industrial rope access

share|improve this answer

The Petzl mini/micro-traxion are what most people seem to use. Outdoor gear lab did a recent comparison with a few other devices.

I've also seen Gri-Gris used for that purpose, though it's obviously not recommended by the manufacturer.

share|improve this answer

There is no definitive answer. To quote Petzl "It must be understood that all systems are flawed, because this means there is a risk, however minor." http://www.petzl.com/en/outdoor/product-experience/self-belay-solo-climbing/introduction

share|improve this answer

I use a Petzl shunt:

http://www.petzl.com/en/outdoor/multi-purpose-ascenders/shunt

As noted by others, self-belay is always going to carry risks - the shunt has a smooth camming surface so is rope friendly, and hopefully with top-roping you are going to have very limited impact on a fall.

The shunt is used by a number of pro-climbers to help them when they are red-pointing hard sports climbs. Eg. Dave Macleod:

http://davemacleod.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/in-middle.html

Or at 3m25s on Indian Face (see oddly helpful YouTube comments!):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3e0AllzcgE

Steve McClure:

http://www.steve-mcclure.com/articlepages/overshadow/

Hope this is helpful!

Rich

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.