Monday, 4 July 2011

Hey rope drag. where are you?

 Friction, our climbing friend. It helps our shoes stick to the wall and reduces our impact force on your  belayer.

  However for a lead climber and our rope it can be a huge strain, the friction adds resistance to our upwards motion. Imagine if every piece of placed gear on a zig-zaging route actually slowed you down; a common occurrence for single rope users like myself. This strain adds tension to the rope and not only wears the rope quicker, it also increases the impact force on that last piece of gear by a lot.
Not good if your struggling a crux with a marginal piece of gear in, pulling the rope and shouting, "Slack more slack!", just to hear "I have, pull harder".

  Some would say to buy a set of half ropes, yet there is a lighter and cheaper alternative.  THE DMM REVOLVER.

  This comes in two forms, wiregates and screwgates(there is a few other not so widely available designs), the wiregate is the most useful, so much so I went out and did Lynx (Wildcat crag, Matlock) with a 8 quickdraws upgraded with revolvers.
 Replacing the rope side of all my quickdraws with snap gates proved extremely useful, I was climbing in complete ease without any recognizable rope drag only feeling the weight of my gear on my hips.

  A couple of routes later including a few winding routes it was easy to see how much these little innovations were helping, even poorly placed gear was sticking as less rope drag meant less gear being lifted out of place.

  The locking karabiner is apparently more versatile due to doubling up as a light weight pulley. I couldn't think of myself using these to replace any other locking karabiner in my rack(for belaying or anchoring) I found them fiddly for attaching gear and only carry a couple for that day i need to haul up a bag.

 If your goal is a rope with a long life and lower rope drag, these are amazing.... However, please inform your belayer it is true that when you fall your rope and gear will now take less force, because your belayer will be fighting against it if you fall.

A happy leader on central trinity, back when I only had 2.

No comments:

Post a Comment