1.leading with appropriate rope systems for on multi pitch routes
2. Stance organisation. Location, preparation
3. Rope management
4. Belay systems
1. Leading with appropriate rope systems for on multi pitch routes
Double vs Single vs twin ropes for routes
2. Stance Organisation
Stance management is the general term used to describe the organisation of everybody on a stance, on multi-pitch routes. This organisation includes elements such as correct belay plate orientation, rigging of anchors; placement of leader/second on stance relative to a variety of factors e.g. hazards, belaying etc, organisation of ropes. It is perhaps the most difficult part of working on multi-pitch routes to ‘get right’, as efficient solutions tend to involve not just using the right technique(s), but adapting the relevant skills to the type of stance you are using. Many problems can be avoided if you work in a methodical manner. The main principals being:
Safety of climbers on stance
Efficient changeover at belays
Stance can accommodate everybody
Is organised such that the leader can move off with the minimum of fuss and disruption
Leader and second stacked in climbing order (e.g. leader at top/outside; second at bottom/inside)
Leader on stance at side they will move off from for next pitch
3. Rope Management
leader/second clipped in without crossing ropes
Sort ropes out so leaders rope on top of stack (back coiled)
Outside of stance clear (e.g. no axes or human runners!)
Tying into anchors (single and multiple): linking anchors with sling Vs tying into anchors
Clipping ropes and extending runners
4. Belay Systems
Appropriate belay methods, belay plate; direct belay (Italian Hitch/Plaquette).
Pros and cons of methods
Selecting a stance
Protecting the belay immediately on leaving the stance
Leader tied into belay using rope
Belay plate (ATC or similar) clipped into rope loop on harness
NOTE: Position of braking hand is crucial using this method
Method is common practice.
Leader can feel the second
Can be easier to give a tight rope in extremis, or hoist
Avoids full impact force on the belay in the event of a fall. (Use of rope, and dynamic belay increases dynamic element in system)
Difficult to bring two partners up at same time if moving at different speeds. If one second weights the rope it is impossible to take in/pay out the other rope through the plate.
leader is in the system necessitating a potentially complicated escape if required
Italian Hitch on HMS krab clipped to attachment point (usually a single point from linked anchors)
NOTE: Requires ‘bomb proof’ anchors
Less strain on belayer
Leader not in the system
Fast method of bringing up second(s)
Two seconds can be brought up independently, simultaneously. (Rope automatically locks if loaded but allows independent operation of other rope)
Tight rope can be given
Not standard practice
Difficult to provide tight rope in extremis
Requires ‘bomb proof’ anchors
PLAQUETTE (NEW ALP ‘MAGIC PLATE)
Clipped to attachment point on main belay
Not standard practice
Very difficult/impossible to second if loaded (one-way clutch).
From rock anchors.
Backing up anchor for first person down.
Cows tail on harness for clipping into belay.
Use of friction devices.
Use of French Pruissick as ‘Dead Man’s Handle’