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Using slings to protect a solo scramble

Using slings to protect a solo scramble


Postby gman » Tue Jan 12, 2016 6:41 pm

Was watching this video, which was in the comments of the Tower Ridge report. Looks like he's putting a sling over a spike and clipping it directly to his harness, eg at 31:38

https://youtu.be/djJGfWi9lXs?t=31m38s

I've heard of people using slings on scrambles before, just wondering if anyone has tried this. Obviously you wouldn't want to take a fall onto one as it isn't dynamic but I can see it being useful for a short move if placed securely. Any tips - size, with/without harness etc? Cheers.
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Re: Using slings to protect a solo scramble

Postby prog99 » Tue Jan 12, 2016 7:13 pm

I do a fair bit of roped climbing and I dont think I'd even want to hang my coat off of that sling.
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Re: Using slings to protect a solo scramble

Postby dav2930 » Tue Jan 12, 2016 7:36 pm

Never tried this myself, despite having soloed rock climbs of up to HVS standard (in a previous life). I can see how it might protect the odd tricky move here and there. I would have thought a harness was necessary, otherwise attaching yourself to the sling would be problematic and a fall onto it even worse. As you say, with no dynamism in the system, a fall would be quite a shock to the body - but better than falling all the way down!

Width of slings - with modern materials like Dyneema, the thinner the better, since they'll slot into thin cracks behind bollards etc. and hook onto smaller spikes.

I would have thought the real value of harness and slings etc. when soloing a big climb like DB Direct would be if you also carried a rope on your back just in case you bottle out and need to escape by abseil.

Seems to me that the meagre 'protection' placed by the climber in the vid was largely psychological!
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Re: Using slings to protect a solo scramble

Postby jacob » Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:14 pm

Just make sure you're wearing a pink watch. You'll have all the luck in the world that way :lol:
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Re: Using slings to protect a solo scramble

Postby Kevin29035 » Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:33 pm

One serious point to make is that slings aren't designed for this kind of thing, they rely on the use of dynamic rope in the system to keep the peak forces low.

http://dmmclimbing.com/knowledge/slings-at-anchors/

"a 85 kg mass free-falling just 60 cm on to a 60 cm Dyneema sling (fall-factor 1), with an overhand knot in it, generated enough force to break the sling."

That sling does look a bit sketchy though! :)
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Re: Using slings to protect a solo scramble

Postby Kevin29035 » Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:46 pm

To expand on my own thoughts, you could realistically use from one piece of gear to protect a move, but I wouldn't bother with it without a harness - that's also your means of racking your gear.

I've 'rope-soloed' once or twice, essentially starting with the end of the rope tied into a bomb proof multi-directional anchor, then feeding the rope by me with a clove hitch, plugging gear on the way to kepe the potential fall pendulum small. Works best imo on ground within your limit but in atrocious conditions that would otherwise preclude going solo.

The issue with this set up is you either must return the way your climbed (which is fine on pinnacles), or construct an anchor once at the top, abseil down, strip the gear and jug/jumar back to your top anchor. Time consuming and almost really no better than soloing happily or having a partner to hand.
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Re: Using slings to protect a solo scramble

Postby gman » Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:58 pm

I've seen the DMM video, you wouldn't have a vertical free fall scrambling though and the sling wouldn't be knotted if it's clipped in so it should hold. Obviously not dynamic though.

Placing gear kind of defeats the purpose/freedom/speed of scrambling but I think this could be a quick solution for a single move, look round the corner for an better route etc. If only to stop my legs shaking while I have a breather!
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Re: Using slings to protect a solo scramble

Postby Mal Grey » Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:16 pm

I guess you could use one of the purpose designed "via Ferrata" Y-slings, which have some in-built dynamic stretch for a small fall in similar circumstance, and take just a few bits of gear?

That referenced sling placement on the Douglas Boulder was exceedingly "Psychological" though!
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Re: Using slings to protect a solo scramble

Postby matt_outandabout » Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:54 pm

I have not seen video.

I would say as a climbing instructor I have many a time hung from a sling, or even moved around on the end of one clipped into ropes where the chance of falling is minimal, but penalty for a slip is high.

If you understand the risks (of fall and non-dynamic slings) then you make a risk judgement.

It's isn't perfect, but as a belt and braces or psychological support, it has its place.
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Re: Using slings to protect a solo scramble

Postby matt_outandabout » Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:03 pm

Having watched the video, that is marginal... :D
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Re: Using slings to protect a solo scramble

Postby Meatball » Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:37 am

I'm not comparing eggs with eggs but have a nosey at this...
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