|The category multi-pitch bolt routes
is a wide ranging one that encompasses routes very different in nature. A perfectly bolted three pitch route to the top of a crag can be classed in much the same way as multi-pitch bolt routes at altitude, such as those found on Mt Blanc. For even though these two types of routes differ considerably in overall length, situation and quality of in-situ gear, they still share the fact that they rely on bolts for protection on both the route and stances.
It is obviously difficult
to generalise, but routes equipped by abseil tend to have equally spaced, good quality bolts (10mm, resined, abseil chains on the stances, etc.). On the other hand, routes bolted on lead tend be more run-out, with bolts either being 8mm hand placed or 10mm drilled. Often these routes require some other form of natural pro on the easier sections, especially if they are in the mountains. And, in general, stances tend to be best when the descent is via abseil.
Bearing in mind
all these different factors, it is essential to know the fundamental techniques and the necessary gear to safely climb a multi-pitch route. These techniques and manoeuvres are described below in a detailed, step-by-step analysis.
This article is not aimed
at the beginner, nor does it cover trad routes or ice routes. It is not intended as an exhaustive reference sheet concerning this complex topic.
For more detailed advice
on how best to proceed on the types of routes not discussed in this article, please consult the numerous manuals available.
Types of stances
1) Twin bolt stance not connected
2) Twin bolt stance connected by a chain
3) Twin bolt stance connected by threads