The Masters

Jeff Ward - IFMGA/AMGA Guide

Jeff Ward is an IFMGA-licensed and AMGA-certified Alpine, Ski and Rock Guide. He grew up in the Northwest and is co-owner of North Cascades Mountain Guides ( based in Mazama. Ward is a lead instructor for the American Mountain Guides Association and serves on their technical committee.

Martin Volken - IFMGA Guide

Martin Volken is the founder and owner of Pro Guiding Service and Pro Ski and Mountain Service in North Bend, WA. He is a certified IFMGA Swiss Mountain Guide and guides over 120 days per year in North America and Europe as a ski, rock and alpine guide. Volken has pioneered several steep ski descents, ski traverses, alpine and rock routes in the Washington Cascades. He has been a member of the AMGA examiner team since 2000 and has authored and co-authored three books on ski touring and ski mountaineering.

Got a question about climbing? Submit your question in the Ask the Master forum and either Jeff Ward or Martin Volken will supply the answer.

Belaying: Assist from Above
Belaying: Assist from Above


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Bringing up two seconds

20-Dec-2016 05:39 AM

Not Available

Posts: 1

A leader is at an anchor and is bringing up two seconds. They are climbing with some distance between them on separate ropes. Both ropes run through the same quick-draws. Regularly, the first person to follow would have difficulties separating his rope when unclipping from the draws. When close to anchor, first to follow would have to pass the second follower's rope around him to clean up the system. Any tips on rope management so that the two ropes don't get tangled? 

22-Dec-2016 08:34 AM

Jeff Ward

Jeff Ward
Posts: 46

Just have the first follower push the twists up the rope, by spreading the ropes apart.  If both ropes are clipped through the same carabiner the twists should migrate towards the belay device and away from the quick draw.  These twists are often "false twists" that untwist themselves somewhere else in the system, either higher up the cliff or in the stack.  If you start having the seconds pass the ropes over their heads to untwist the tangle you are now creating "real twists".  Best to have your second stay on top of the other rope, meaning if they need to cross over to the other side of that rope while climbing make sure they do so while keeping that other rope between them and the rock.  This insures that they are not doing laps around the other rope, creating a nightmare of twists in the system.