Ascending the rope in self-rescue: take care when approaching the anchor
- Read the technical notice before viewing the following techniques.
- It is important to fully understand the information provided in the technical notice before using this complementary information
- Mastering these techniques requires training.
- Consult a professional before attempting to perform these techniques on your own.
When ascending rope, it is common to climb the wall instead of the rope when approaching the anchor.
At this moment, even if it is possible to make some climbing moves, the rope must always remain taut between the anchor and the ascenders to limit the potential fall distance.
If the climber neglects taking up slack, just a single step can significantly increase the fall factor. The consequences of a slip can be severe, as arriving at the anchor is a time when the climber feels more or less "out of the woods."
Fall tests in a self-rescue situation (ascending rope) close to the anchor.
Warning: second ascender and/or self-belay not shown.
Fall of 0.5 m, approaching the anchor
|8 mm low stretch kernmantel||4.3 kN|
|8.1 mm dynamic||3.4 kN|
|10.5 mm low stretch kernmantel||4.3 kN|
Fall of 1 m at anchor level
|8 mm low stretch kernmantel||5.4 kN||
|8.1 mm dynamic||4.2 kN||Damaged sheath|
|10.5 mm low stretch kernmantel||5.5 kN|
When approaching the belay station, one step is enough to worsen the consequences of a fall. In this example, 50 cm makes the difference between an "average" and a "severe" fall.