9. Backups for Jumaring and Cleaning

In this video we review options for backing yourself up when jumaring and cleaning an aid climb. Backing yourself up when jumaring is a basic necessity for aid climbing survival. Different climbers have different styles—it is simply a matter of preference and application.

The idea with these videos and techniques is that we are providing you with a full tool box. From there you have to learn which tool is the best to use for the job you are performing. The technique you use may depend on what the pitch you are cleaning looks like.

Below are a few important starting points:

– We recommend clipping a carabiner through the top hole of the jumar so the rope is locked in the device.

– We also strongly recommend that you remain tied in to the end of the rope.

Now for some common ways to back yourself up:

1. Tie a simple figure eight on a bight, clip it to a locking carabiner and attach it to your belay loop. Repeat the process every 20-30-40 feet,—whatever your comfort level allows.

2. Use a GriGri by attaching it as you would for belaying. Periodically, pull rope through the device to shorten the amount of slack you have out on the rope. Eventually the weight of the rope below you will feed the rope automatically through the gri-gr.

3. A micro traxion is our least preferred backup as it has teeth that can damage the sheath of the rope, and doesn’t allow for certain transitions as the other two will.

Sometimes you can use these back-up styles in conjunction with one another. Or pick your preferred style and stick with it.

We hope you found this video helpful. Feel free to comment below with questions or thoughts!


Please remember, climbing is inherently dangerous. Climb at your own risk.