I believe in gentle instruction Rather than tell
people/students/pets what they should do to arrive at answers, I prefer to lead students along, presenting them with real-life
scenarios that are relative to the particular question or situation at hand. It’s a soft sell, but effective.
Rock and Ice holds Photo Camp each year [Not too late to sign up for 2019!]. I’m sure you have heard of the photo camp, so
I won’t explain it again in this column.
Prepping for the photo camp takes days of technical rope work, and as I strung ropes for the photo students one year, a curious question sprang to mind. I will
share that with you now, and pay attention…
You have an 80-meter rope.
You want to climb as high as possible on that rope, and lower only twice. You will climb to a high anchor, then lower to a second (lower) anchor where
you will clip in and pull the rope through the top anchor, and then have your belayer lower you again. How far off the ground should the highest anchor
be, and how far off the ground should the lower anchor be?
For simplicity, assume that the lead rope runs perfectly straight, and do not account for the bit of rope your tie-in knot would use up. In other words,
do your calculations as if the entire 80-meter length was available.
Note that I said “lower,” not “rappel.” You will be lowered twice by your belayer. You want to climb as high as you can on the 80-meter rope.
Now, crack open the books and get me the proper answer!
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This article was originally published in 2013.