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 ...


19

This may speak to some of your concerns: American Safe Climbing Association The American Safe Climbing Association publishes guidelines for safe bolting. Their stuff usually targets the people who are actually doing the bolting, but can be worth reading for general purposes. They have articles on how to tell which bolts are good and which are bad. And ...


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

First - Please do not only rely on answers in this site for creating top rope anchors. This is something that your life depends on, or the life of someone you care about, take it seriously. Seek the advice of an expert in person: At the local climbing gym, or guiding service. Creating climbing anchors is not something you learn simply by reading, you must ...


15

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 ...


13

Top Roping: Top roping has an anchor at the top of the climb. The rope goes from the belayer at the bottom, all the way up to the top, through the anchor, and back down to the climber. If the climber falls, he or she only falls they only drop a little bit, provided the belayer has taken up all the slack. Additionally, the belayer pulls the rope up and ...


13

On your descent, assuming you don't have an overhang, you simply place your heels against the wall, feet about shoulder width apart and lean back until your legs are horizontal, holding the rope above the knot and walk or bounce gently as your belaying partner lowers you. The only things that will cause a swing are- climbing a pitch adjacent to the one ...


13

In addition to what David mentioned, their are area specific concerns and, specific ways to check bolts in those areas. Most of the time the generic advice will be useful, but please make sure you speak with climbers familiar with the area you're going to understand about possible bolting problem. Also climbing guides usually contain this information, but ...


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

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

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 ...


8

Top-roping or lead-climbing? I haven't seen this happen in top-roping except when using the wrong rope - that is, for the rope next to the route i'm climbing. When you top out you should be near the pulley. If you're way off to the side, then, yeah, you should expect some swinging. If you're 5 feet from the pulley, you should expect to swing 5 feet each ...


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

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

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

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


7

Rule number one: Assume that one piece of your equipment will break, there must be redundancy right up to the rope. At least two, preferably three, independent anchors should go to two opposing locked carabiners. As for what to anchor to, if there's a bolted anchor that looks good, use it (but even then, not as the only anchor). If not, I've always found ...


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

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

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

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)...


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