Cleaning a route without going off belay

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Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:42 pm
Real Name: Hugo P
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Cleaning a route without going off belay

Post by Frost413 »

Currently, I clean using the following technique: (I'm new to this forum, excuse the formatting)
  • When I get to the top of a route, I clip two draws to myself to anchor into the chain.
    I then take up slack (between the original draws and myself)
  • This is where I get hazy - And tie a figure of eight on a bight with the rope section between the original draws and the face , or should I tie a figure of eight between myself and the draws, with the slack I took up??
  • I then take this figure of eight, and connect it to my belay loop with a locking biner, after which I undo my original figure of eight I used to tie in, and thread this through the chains (or pulley block), and retie myself in...
  • Then I undo the figure of eight knot I tied last, and go down.
How can I improve on this?

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Real Name: Graeme B
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Re: Cleaning a route without going off belay

Post by grae22 »

Hey Frost413

Personally I like the method described in this vid:

I'm not sure I follow your question 100%, but regarding where your figure-8 goes - in the linked vid it goes between you and the draw on the anchor which the rope is clipped into. Which makes sense to me as you'd want your belay system running through the anchor - tying the figure-8 on the 'other' side of the anchor draw could mean you'd potentially fall until your last draw on the route catches you (so, you're still 'on belay', but it's a longer fall, more shock-loading, etc.).

It's not always made obvious in some of the tutorials out there, but (in addition to keeping you 'on belay') a neat part of tying in on that figure-8 is that you can't drop the rope (if you fumble it, for example, while threading it through the chains).

- g

DISCLAIMER: I've only been climbing a few months :wink: Interested to hear more experienced climbers' take on this.
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Re: Cleaning a route without going off belay

Post by RyanKarate »

When I get to the top of a route - I clip my adjustable cow tail into 1 bolt, then clip the rope into the other bolt with a draw.

I then take up slack (between the 1 draw and myself), and tie a figure of eight on a bight, clip that to belay loop with locking beaner.

I then put a clove hitch (one hand method so the rope stays in the draw) on that 1 anchor draw so it cuts out having to worry too much about whether I’m on belay or not by accident or possibly with a belayer I don’t know too well.

I undo my original figure of eight I used to tie in, and thread this through the chains and retie myself in.

Then I undo the figure of eight knot that’s on the carib, take out the clove hitch and draw and shout below to take. Once I feel the rope go tight and a confident “ok got you” from below, I weight the rope to test, then remove cow tail and go down.
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Nic Le Maitre
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Re: Cleaning a route without going off belay

Post by Nic Le Maitre »

Rule 1: Never shout "Off belay". You don't want to be off belay.
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Re: Cleaning a route without going off belay

Post by Old Smelly »

No doubt this is not the fastest but is the most redundant method (infer the safest rote method - but still requires paying attention so you do not clean like a robot)

1. Arrive at chains and clip 2 draws into the 2 anchors provided (just as you would if you were going to lower off)

2. Using your tether(s) attach yourself to the stance (same method for single pitch as multi pitch). These can be dedicated slings, a PAS or other form of tethers. Typically there are 2 anchors so you use 2 tethers - which gives you redundancy (i.e. something else can screw up and you are still on 2 attachment points - important if you are multi pitching).

3. As you are "through" the top draws with your climbing rope you remain "on belay" - if you messed up with your slings or need to move them you are still protected by your belay from the ground. Also should either anchor/ sling fail you would not generate much shock load.

{I know - unless you have ever reached the top of a climb and discovered that neither of the top bolts are "that great" you would think this is not an important consideration BUT it happens - so you remove it from the equation}

You can tell your belayer that you are "Safe" at this point but they continue to be vigilant on belay.

4. Now you pull the rope from where it arises at your belay loop and either do the PETZL method or the multiple tie in method.

5. If you are doing the multiple tie in then you pull up enough slack, tie an overhand figure of eight and attach it to your belay loop with a locking biner (effectively keeping you on belay through the top draws). You untie your original tie in knot, thread the rope through the anchors and tie in again. At this point you remove the locking biner and untie the overhand figure eight. You shout "take" and your belayer takes up the slack. You inspect that the rope runs up from the belayer, through the draws and chains and into your tie in. You remove the draws, visually inspect again and then remove your tethers and lower down. Voila

OK - so there are numerous shortcuts like the quickdraw and clove hitch combo.

There are also a lot of dead people who made up their own shortcuts that did not account for all of the numerous factors that can affect you when cleaning. We have had people in this country who have died from this. Just make sure you do things in a safe well reasoned way.
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Re: Cleaning a route without going off belay

Post by XMod »

Pony up and buy decent, proper clip-in anchors when equipping routes - end of problem
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