I've been watching "A Line Across the Sky" which is a short-ish movie about Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold doing the Fitz Roy traverse.

During which Tommy Caldwell mentions Alex doing a 1000 and 2000 foot pitch up the North wall. I can't understand how this is possible? I assume he's not climbing without a rope but how does this work, like logistically.

  • Why assume he's not climbing without a rope? Have you seen Free Solo? – Darren Jan 30 at 8:52
  • Lol because Tommy Caldwell is there and you can see the rope :p – Morten Nissov Jan 30 at 9:57
  • Fair enough. :) – Darren Jan 30 at 10:00

In his book "The Push" he describes this a bit. Most of the time they were using a running belay which means they were climbing at the same time with some pieces of protection in between them to avoid a deadly fall. This technique allows to climb very long "pitches" with a normal length rope. Once the leader runs out of gear, he makes a belay and belays the second up. Then they hand over the gear or switch leads.

A note of caution: Running belays are an advanced technique that should not be used if there is any realistic possibility of a fall. This is a safer alternative to going ropeless not an alternative to a proper belay pitch by pitch

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  • Same thing as "simul-climbing", right? – endolith Jan 29 at 0:58
  • 1
    Yes it is the same thing, just a different name – Manziel Jan 29 at 7:36

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