Other than the typical anchor set-up and personal climbing gear the following demonstration is done with the use of:
1) uAscend from Grandwall equipment (Main belay device)
2) Micro Traxion from Petzl (Back-up belay device)
3) Rappel device
Important note: Using a single ascender or self-belay device is not safe. Always use a back-up.
Once you tied your single rope anchor at the top, the rigging of the belay devices goes like this:
The uAscend is used on top as it doesn’t have actual teeth and this will be a lot easier on the rope. Reducing wear and tear. Both devices are clipped with locking biners to the belay loop.
The key to this system is to make yourself an elastic tether sling. On the picture below I used an old set of suspenders with elastic strings.
The nice fat strap is easier on the neck. You don’t want this to be too tight. You only need a little tension so the uAscend glides on its own, providing you weighted the excess rope at the bottom. The Micro Traxion isn’t weighted at all when falling because the tether sling brings the uAscend higher continuously. After falling, simply start climbing. No need to unlock anything. This system is very smooth.
On the next picture, you can see that I use two independent elastic strings on either side of the uAscend. Keeping everything balanced and in the proper working direction.
When possible, it’s a good idea to tie the middle of your rope at the anchor. This way, before taking off the self belays, you can simply switch on the loose end to rap down for another burn while remaining on belay.
This simple setup was what I use when working on La solitude ne tue pas (5.12+). I personally prefer this to a chest harness. If you want to learn more about rope soloing we recommend our friends at blissclimbing.com.
Enjoy climbing and be safe!