Hello Steph and greetings from Croatia!
First of I all I would like to say that you are other free solo climbers were an inspiration for me to start climbing (which was 5 months ago). I was watching the First Ascent series Alone on the Wall and I was like… jezz… if these guys ( and gals ) can climb without protection I can climb with it. Anyway since then I climb almost every other than ˙but a week ago I was partnerless in my climbing gym and I decided to try top rope solo. I was scary but I was pretty familiar with the gym wall not to get too scared.
since then I used it a couple of times in the gym and this weekend I climbed outside like this and the feeling was non-comparable to climbing with a partner… so much freedom, only you and the rock, whispering to each other and also I climb much better than with a partner.
Anyway I would like to hear your opinion on the setup I was using. The rope was going from my harness to the top anchor, back to me where it went trough a grigri2 connected with a steel biner to my harness and as I climbed I used my free hand to pull the slack from the system. It is a bit hard since you have to pull the slack constantly but I only see it as a plus since I’m training my endurance as I hang to pull slack from the system.
The Grigri set up is a decent way to toprope solo, but it does require you to pull the slack through all the time….
I like to use two mini-traxions (two because I back up everything, especially when up high alone), but it’s only the top one that is doing anything…the second one just follows behind, clipped into a loop on my daisy chain as well as the belay loop. Back ups!
A static rope is best. If there are no cruxes off the ground, I also just pull the rope through with one hand until the weight of the rope allows the mini-traxions to feed by themselves. If there’s a crux near the ground, I’ll clip something to the end of the rope: a water bottle, my shoes, a few cams, or a cloth grocery bag with a rock in it, and then clip a directional above that if the route is steep or angling.