Rope soloing : LUSENET : Mountaineering : One Thread

Looking for info: Is it safe to rope-solo using an ascender? Seems to me it should be safe, but I wonder why they make a seperate device for soloing? Any input from the masters of beta?

-- Paul (, September 16, 2001


It IS NOT safe to rope solo with an ascender, as these devices are not designed to catch lead falls. It is OK to toprope a route using an ascender.

-- George Bell (, September 17, 2001.

Dude, are you NUTS?! You will DIE using an ascender to rope solo! It has TEETH that will CUT your rope. There was some caver dude in Texas last year who died when his rope was cut by an ascender. Of course, he was using a static rope which made things even worse, and set himself up for a big fall factor.

There are any number of ways to rope solo, starting with the basic to just tie a knot. You can slide along a clove hitch around a locking crab if you're aid soloing. I used to use a Solo Aid, but have abandoned it in favour of the far superior Gri-Gri. There is a new device out called a Silent Partner which some people like, but for me, I'm sticking to the Gri-Gri.

Now, please PROMISE us you won't end up dead like buddy in the cave, eh?

Cheers, Pete

-- Pass the Pitons Pete (, September 29, 2001.

Ascenders are not made to take a shock loaded fall. Older Gibbs ascenders can cut your rope at 2k lbs. Also, if you want to lower down after a fall, your can't use your ascender to do that, you'll need to do a change over to a rappel.

I'm not sure how you'd rig a GriGri to solo lead either. It would try and lock on you as you climbed up the rope; rig it the other way and it will fail on a fall.

GriGri's works fine as a self-belay on a fixed top rope, but thats the only way i've ever seen it used to solo. When you self belay like this, make sure to put in backup knots as you climb up. They'll keep you from decking if the GriGri fails.

-- Jim Davis (, January 05, 2003.

Guys, don't panic. Is he talking about rope soling on a fixed rope? I think he might be. Are you paul? I use a petzl minitraxion to rope solo on a fixed rope and it rocks... not too sure about the accender thing... might want to contact the manufacturer, lots of them climb too! cman

-- cman (, October 16, 2003.

Personally, I never use anything on my rope with teeth. I'd check out the "Ushba Basic Ascender" though (study up on it if I really wanted a device) and then probably just go back to using prusiks anyway, time tested and simple. Always carry a knife and extra prusik loops incase you get hung up.


-- Dee Miller (, October 29, 2003.

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