How to retrieve a stuck rope?

Placing a cam? Slotting a nut? Slinging a tree?
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jordancolburn
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How to retrieve a stuck rope?

Post by jordancolburn » Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:35 pm

Ok, storytime:
So we were out doing some trad climbing on saturday, with two leaders in our group doing two routes that ended at the same anchor. I belayed everyone up one of the lines from the top, one of the seconds cleaned it, set the other line up for toprope from the ground and rappelled using the rope from the climbed and cleaned route.
Getting to the bottom, we realized the rope left up we were planning to toprope had terrible drag was kind of stuck in the crack and would not be safe to toprope. So we locked one end off with a gri gri, then I used another gri gri to basically solo-toprope/jug the route to clean it and get it unstuck.

So my question was, has this happened to anyone else and is there a better way to do this? Anyone see any potential saftey issues with the way we did things?

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Post by Shamis » Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:41 pm

bring 2 ropes?

Apart from that, there are several other ways to do it, your method doesn't sound terrible.

A much more interesting question is how to retrieve a rope that is stuck and not anchored (like stuck while pulling it from a rappel) and you have no backup rope and you are 1000 feet up. Go.

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Post by jordancolburn » Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:48 pm

We had two ropes, but releading it seemed like a hassle.

well how much of the rope have you pulled so far. could you possibly use what you have to lead back up to where the rope is stuck, unstick it, pull the rest then down-climb/down-aid back to your belay station.

Or you could just scream for help till you lose your voice.

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Post by Shamis » Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:55 pm

jordancolburn wrote:well how much of the rope have you pulled so far. could you possibly use what you have to lead back up to where the rope is stuck, unstick it, pull the rest then down-climb/down-aid back to your belay station.

Or you could just scream for help till you lose your voice.
20 feet of rope sitting at the belay ledge. The rest is stuck up high (100 feet).

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Post by jordancolburn » Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:03 pm

hm...use our method, lock the rope down by tying it or gri gri, then essentially use a gri gri or other method to rope solo lead back up, placing gear as you go until you can get it unstuck. then do the funky down aid/climb thing. Thats a lot of trouble, is there a fast solution?

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Post by jordancolburn » Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:04 pm

-oops double post-
Last edited by jordancolburn on Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Shamis » Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:05 pm

jordancolburn wrote:hm...use our method, lock the rope down by tying it or gri gri, then essentially use a gri gri or other method to rope solo lead back up, placing gear as you go until you can get it unstuck. then do the funky down aid/climb thing. Thats a lot of trouble, is there a fast solution?
I don't think there is a fast solution.

I forgot to mention that the section above you which leads up to the rope is unclimbable, as the route winds to the left and up a chimney. EDIT: its also dark. And cold. EDIT2: you have no gri-gris.

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Post by bcombs » Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:10 pm

Get out your three Omega Link cams and three long slings. You'll never be without two pieces in. Climb on and get your rope. Don't shock load the slings.. go slow.

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Post by jordancolburn » Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:18 pm

Shamis wrote: EDIT2: you have no gri-gris.
:shock: AHHHH!!!!!! it'd be too much to handle, i'd probably just jump.

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Post by krampus » Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:34 pm

call shotgun on the big spoon
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Post by Shamis » Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:44 pm

jordancolburn wrote:
Shamis wrote: EDIT2: you have no gri-gris.
:shock: AHHHH!!!!!! it'd be too much to handle, i'd probably just jump.
its worth considering. It happened to me once. I had no solution figured out at the time, but luckily there were some people sleeping on a ledge 200 feet up and after 2 hours of yelling they heard us.

I've since then come up with some solutions, but they are pretty messy, would be interested to hear if anybody has an elegant solution to the problem.

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Post by ahab » Tue Mar 24, 2009 4:16 pm

jump.
buy the Ticket take the Ride

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Post by DriskellHR » Tue Mar 24, 2009 4:59 pm

krampus wrote:call shotgun on the big spoon
Too funny, but Ale-8 burns when it comes out your nose..... thanks Kramp...
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Post by Ascentionist » Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:02 pm

If possible walk away from the wall and try to pull. Often this makes an easy fix. Of course if you're on a ledge that may not be feasible (but would be a funny story).

I've never had to reascend a rope to free it. I've always been able to get a rope unstuck from the ground.

The other aspect of this is pre-emptive planning. Set up your rope so it doesn't get stuck in the first place. Extend TR anchors, rappel anchors when necessary and my best trick is this: I set up the rope, let one person rap and then do a "test pull" to see if the rope is going to pull from the ground/ledge. If its problematic I can fix it while still at the top.

Like I said, I've never had to reascend a rope/route to unstick a rope.
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Post by jordancolburn » Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:14 pm

Ascentionist wrote:If possible walk away from the wall and try to pull. Often this makes an easy fix. Of course if you're on a ledge that may not be feasible (but would be a funny story).

I've never had to reascend a rope to free it. I've always been able to get a rope unstuck from the ground.

The other aspect of this is pre-emptive planning. Set up your rope so it doesn't get stuck in the first place. Extend TR anchors, rappel anchors when necessary and my best trick is this: I set up the rope, let one person rap and then do a "test pull" to see if the rope is going to pull from the ground/ledge. If its problematic I can fix it while still at the top.

Like I said, I've never had to reascend a rope/route to unstick a rope.
Did the walk away from the wall on Bedtime for Bonzo after stupidly letting the rope get caught on p2.

And i'll use the test pull method from now on, would've avoided all our problems, after climbing back up, i realized I could've cleaned just one piece and fixed most of the dragging/sticking.

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