So, you’ve either been belaying with a munter, lowering off through a stiff anchor like rings without a chain , or you’ve tried to untangle it and got it all twisted up.
Either way, you’re not going to have to go and manually untwist your rope, you’ll be glad to know.
Ropes are long. Getting twists and kinks out manually would take forever, so I’ll show you how to get the job done as quickly and easily as possible.
The Fastest Way
All you’ll need is your locking carabiner, a belay device and some cord to tie a friction hitch with.
Oh, and you’ll need your partner. If they’re not around, you can use a sling around a rock or a tree to put it “on belay” while you do this.
For clarity’s sake, let’s assume you’re doing this with your partner. Start by setting up your belay like usual, except have your partner hold the rope rather than tying themselves in.
As much of the rope as possible will be your dead rope.
Set a prussik, or whatever friction hitch you find easiest to tie, on that dead rope side, and hold it somewhat tight.
Now you’re all set.
Get your partner to pull the entire length of the rope hard through your belay device, and all of the kinks and twists will be evened out.
“How Does This Work?”
Simply put, the prussik straightens up your rope enough to pass through the belay device, which will iron out all the rest of those kinksin the rope.
Without the prussik, you’d have to do this more than once, so it’s easily the fastest way if you use one.
Of course, go ahead and do it without one if you don’t have any spare cord. Just don’t use your hands unless you like the the smell of burning flesh. That friction will just melt them, which is why we use belay devices in climbing in the first place, no matter how strong we might get.
“What if My Friend is Busy?”
If your friend is busy, you’ll just have to hold the prussik with one hand and pull the rope through with the other. You can do this more easily if you’ve tied the carabiner and belay device around a tree, like I mentioned before.
If you don’t have any slings around, then you could do it on your own harness, but it’s going to be pretty tiring on your rope-pulling arm with all that friction because of the angle you’ll be pulling at.
In that case, you might be better off going without the prussik and just pulling the full length of rope through your belay device a couple of times.
It’ll still do the trick, but it’s much better when you use a bit of teamwork and do it properly – just like climbing.