34

If you're top roping on a 14.5m climb, 10% stretch* in the 29m of rope between you will be up to 2.9m. In practice there's less rope than that between you, but if there's a little slack in the rope on a climb of that height, the fall could easily hit 3m. The only way round it is to keep more tension on the rope in the first few metres. As you're already ...


18

Not aiming to repeat what Separatrix has said; So assuming he's going to be hitting the floor just because of the stretch, you want to minimise slack. To do this, firstly you want to see if there's a way that you can pull the slack in faster. There's many way to do this and I'm sure you're aware of them all so I won't list how to belay faster. Secondly, ...


16

The Ethic So, the ethic among experienced climbers is to not toprope on the base of a popular multipitch route. In addition to the safety issues you point out, its just not fair to the people who invested the time to learn to lead. Especially not a destination place like Yosemite Valley where people may have traveled a long way to get there. You say this ...


15

In a gym, the toprope will be wrapped over a cylindrical bar. Some gyms have it just over the top of the bar (180 degrees of contact), while others give it an additional full wrap around (540 degrees of contact). In the former setup, a belayer can hold the static weight of a climber who weighs roughly twice as much as she does; the friction between the rope ...


14

Alright, there are several different issues here that we must be sure to address. I'll give you my thoughts on each of them. As before I recommend receiving in-person instruction as there may be serious technique problems at the root of this question. Sufficient braking friction A basic requirement is that your belayer is able to easily produce enough ...


14

Top roping over sharp edges is never recommended, but if you insist that's what you want to do then what you want is an edge roller: You can anchor it to the top bolts and hang it right over the edge using accessory cord so that the ropes slide over the rollers instead of the sharp edge: The picture does't show it, but you're supposed to use velcro straps ...


12

As with most things in climbing, I myself would not go as far as saying this is generally unacceptable. In multipoint anchors there are often single strand connections between one point and the central point when building a cordelette or equalette. So the question reduces to whether it is (un-)acceptable when using a single point (like a tree) as an anchor. ...


12

Like with most climbing related questions, I personally find it hard to give a definitive rule that applies to all circumstances. There are a couple of safety factors to consider, as well as the perception of the climber. Don't venture out on your own if any of the following doesn't seem intuitive to you. Keep in mind the following: Rope stretch: Rope ...


12

All of the listed reasons hold true, and can largely be simplified to the fourth: never let go of the brake strand unless you have tied it off. This maintains good habits and also mitigates potential accidents. In the past, such devices have been considered hands-free if monitored (i.e. you're sitting next to it, the ropes are running cleanly, and you're ...


12

Special devices: @imsodin is right in suggesting a GriGri. For the method: The common trick is to have two "belayers." One attaches the GriGri on their harness as usual. The second person stands facing the primary belayer and pulls hand over hand on the rope (essentially pulling away from the primary belayer, through the GriGri). The primary belayer can ...


12

From the technical side I do not see any major issues. Assuming you made a proper, redundant top-rope anchor, your main concern should be a possible sharp edge at the top which can be countered with a rope protector if necessary. If there are more sharp edges and you are worried, using double ropes is always a good option, albeit often unnecessary. (I am ...


11

With due respect to Ben Crowell, who is I believe a far more experienced outdoorsman than I am, I beg to differ with his answer. (Edit: his answer prior to revision.) Having worked at a very small climbing wall I have seen tough ropes completely worn out by top-rope climbing alone, therefore at least in the extreme "Ropes don't become weak from top-roping ...


11

Rope stretch is definitely a factor, but something I always do when I am unsure is I sit on the rope before climbing. What I mean is to have the belayer take in any loose rope, and then let your body weight fall until the rope is keeping you from sitting on the ground. The knot will tighten and all of the little loose ends will also tighten and remove most ...


9

In addition to the other answer I'd like to add that ropes are way safer than webbing in a scenarion where it actually comes in contact with rock. This is the case in top rope anchors when you have to tie the rope back over the edge of a cliff. Ropes are designed with a protective layer (mantle) and a load bearing inner part, also when moving, they only ...


8

Static rope may not be that much more expensive than equivalent tape and is certainly a lot more versatile. In particular rope gives you a lot more options for reliable knots which are also be familiar from climbing rope use. Many people consider any knot in tape to be a bit suspect. The range of knots may come into play when rigging more complex anchors ...


8

His opinion was that I could tie an overhand for the master point and be just as safe–the only downside being that it would be more difficult to untie after being loaded. Yes, this is correct. Many people seem to think that commonly used climbing knots can slip if there's not enough friction to make them hold, and that we should choose a knot based on ...


7

The blog post shows an anchor in which some kind of hitch is tied around a tree, and a single strand of webbing leads away from the tree horizontally to, presumably, the top of the climb, which is out of frame. The blogger seems to be criticizing this setup because there is only a single strand. I suppose this is somewhat valid because if you load this ...


7

This question has some information about when to retire a rope. The core of a rope doesn't become weak from top-roping or from sustaining lead falls with a small fall factor. It becomes weak from sustaining multiple lead falls with very large fall factors, approaching 2. The only way to get a fall factor greater than 1 is if you fall past your belay station (...


7

To add to a set of already great answers I would like to add two points: Glued bolts and weird old bolts. There are generally two types of bolts used presently: Mechanical and glued bolts. Mechanical bolts are mostly sleeve anchors: When tightening the nut the first time a cone is driven under the sleeve which is thus forced against the wall of the borehole....


7

In old routes in European (at least) mountains and in quarries used by cavers for training you can find small expansion bolts called spits or Cheville Autoforeuse. They use just 8 mm thick screws and are very short because they are often drilled by hand. You often need your own hangers but sometimes they could be pre-installed. These can fail. Cavers never ...


7

Your current choices are good. For a fixed loop in the middle of a rope, an alpine butterfly is a solid choice. I can think of alternatives, but no really better ones. For a loop at the end of the rope, a figure eight (assuming a trace eight) is plenty strong even in that configuration, even if it is not optimal for a tight loop around a large object like ...


6

This is why I would not do what that group was doing. It would be safer to just lead this route and/or do a top-belay if possible. Let's look at this simply from a safety standpoint, and more specifically rope stretch. A 200 foot single pitch top-rope climb means 400 feet of rope from top to bottom and back. Common dynamic rope dynamic elongation (falling)...


6

Apart from what ShemSeger suggested if you are looking for a make-shift option for now, you can get an inner rubber tube that people use for Cycles. Cut it and run the rope through it at the edge where you see the friction. I have been doing this and seen people in India doing this ever since I have started being outdoors.


6

Use a piece of Scrap carpet or throw rug on the rock edge to protect the rope.


6

This is not a complete answer to my own question, but the following may be relevant. The book by Long and Gaines on climbing anchors says this: For toprope setups, most professional guides use static rope when tying off huge boulders and blocks, since it is more abrasion resistant and less likely to jam in pinches than webbing. Static rope is also ...


6

I wouldn't do this the way you propose. If I understand you correctly, you want to clip the top bolt, then have your belayer hold your weight while you set up a top anchor, and you want to know how to unclip your quickdraw after and load the top anchor. My first question would be, why aren't you using a personal anchor? My second question would be, why ...


6

You are clearly overthinking this. Even if your are hanging freely, you should be able to take away your weight from the rope by pulling on gear and unclip the quickdraw (there is nothing that can go wrong, you are on belay). Still there are different ways to do this in a controlled fashion, in practice I only use the following. If there is one solid piece ...


6

I'd very much recommend using a GriGri or one of the newer device with the same mechanism. Reason being, the braking mechanism is not dependent on the position of the braking hand. Thus you can pull in rope in whatever way you want, as long as you have the braking strand in any of your hands at any point it's safe. This removes a lot of the stress as ...


5

It's not specifically answering your question (I don't use either rope or webbing in my anchors, yet) but I really wanted to say that I'm a huge fan of having a chunk of static rope near my anchors. It's one of my most unexpectedly handy pieces of gear. The main reason I got it was for rappelling to anchor stations to set top-ropes (I don't lead climb, so ...


5

For lowering on top-rope: Grab a quickdraw and attach one end to your belay loop and the other end to the belayer end of the rope. For lowering on lead: Same idea, but you will have to unclip the quickdraws on the wall as you go down essentially cleaning the route before getting stuck on the quickdraw attached to your belay loop


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