Tension Traverses And Pendulums

These techniques allow you to move horizontally across blank sections of a wall that would normally require placement of bolts.

Tension traverses are the simpler technique, useful for short traverses. The leader takes tension from the belayer, then leans to the side and uses friction on small holds to work sideways.

Pendulums let you cross wider blank sections without bolts but often require more ropes and pose special problems for the second climber. Start by placing a bombproof anchor at the top of the planned pendulum. The equipment used for this anchor cannot be retrieved unless it is possible to come back to it from above.

Next, you'll be lowered by the belayer (or rap-pel while on belay) until you have enough rope to run back and forth across the rock and swing into a new crack system. If a rappel is used for the pendulum, an extra rope will be required. When being lowered by the belayer, it is best to be lowered too little than too much, because if you're too low it may be very difficult to correct the error.

Once in the new crack system, climb as high as safety allows before clipping your belayed climbing rope into aid pieces for protection. The higher you get, the easier and safer it will be for your belayer, who will second the pendulum.

See the section later in this chapter on seconding pendulums for more details and an illustration of pendulum technique.

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