Cold Hunter One: Descending a Solo Climb

A solo mountaineer is by nature free soloing the entire climb, but how does one get down? Rappels are required to descend steep pitches. When every ounce of weight counts, having a light rope is key!

I worked with BlueWater Ropes to design a custom rope just for Cold Hunter One. It has a centre core of 5.5mm Titan cord which is constructed from Dyneema fiber and nylon which makes it strong and light. It then has an additional protective sheath to make the cord more robust, bringing the cord to a total 6mm diameter. This type of static cord would typically be used as a tag line to retrieve a rappel rope. One has to be gentle on it, avoiding abrasive rappels and lowering slowly to prevent overheating the rope.

The lightweight rope allowed me to get a longer rope (80m) which means I have fewer anchors to build. Efficiency during short winter daylight hours and in bitter cold conditions is essential for success and survival. I tested the rope during a training session in Canmore to ensure that my Edelrid MicroJul belay device provided enough friction given the unconventionally small diameter of the “rope”. Together with a Prusik back-up, I’m set to go for my solo climbs.

Thank you BlueWater Ropes!

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