Mammut Smart Alpine

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IvanaClimbalot
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Mammut Smart Alpine

Post by IvanaClimbalot » Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:30 am

Hi,

I am thinking of buying the Mammut Smart Alpine device but I would like to hear some reviews on it first. I will use it mainly for Trad in which case I would like to know if this device belays nicely from above, and can it be used in guide mode? If so, does it work well in guide mode when belaying as lead climber at the top of a pitch and does it auto-lock well? If it auto-locks (from above), can you release it easily and practically when the climber needs some slack?

I'd appreciate some helpful comments, Thanks!

MalcolmG
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Re: Mammut Smart Alpine

Post by MalcolmG » Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:52 am

I bought a Mammut Smart (single rope version) for my partner as a sport belay device.
I was so impressed with the way the device worked that I then bought the twin rope version for trad climbing.
Unfortunately the twin rope version did not work as well as expected, specifically when bringing up a second.

Here are some of the draw backs.
    I found that if you have the device connected to the stance, and not into your belay loop on your harness, and the seconder takes a fall, I found it almost impossible to release the lock.
      The device is large compared to the Petzel Reverso or BD Guide.

      On the plus side the Mammut Smart does lock off when abseiling eliminating the need to a prusik as backup.

      In summary, I would not recommend the twin rope version, but HIGHLY recommend the single rope version.

      francoisP
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      Re: Mammut Smart Alpine

      Post by francoisP » Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:04 pm

      I use a Mammut Smart Alpine device for trad climbing and I highly recommend it.

      According to this video, you don't have to tie the brake strand to a munter hitch when lowering a climber in guide mode (the manual for an ATC Guide says you have to do it for an ATC Guide). I haven't had to lower a climber so I can't comment on how well it works in practice.

      The manual for the Smart suggests extending the device with a sling and using a prusik on the brake strand when rappelling (like you will do with an ATC) but I find rappelling with this setup hard - you have to unlock the prusik with one hand and the Smart with the other and then you don't have another hand to control the rope. If I rappel with the Smart connected directly to the belay loop without a prusik it works pretty well and I think the autolocking will work as reliably as a prusik on an ATC anyway.

      Guardian
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      Re: Mammut Smart Alpine

      Post by Guardian » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:01 pm

      Bought the smart alpine to add a bit of safety to trad falls last year because I am not confident it will be easy to catch a large fall on 8mm mammut twins with the BD ATC Guide.

      Experience so far (No big falls or having to release a second yet, just 30 or so trad pitches with my 8mm's).
      Falling: I found it actually doesn't lock too well with short, slow, small falls and I still want to test it a bit with proper falls before I can really say.
      Belaying: Bit more clumsy than BD to pay out and manage rope, locks up a bit and needs some getting used to. Assisted break takes some pressure of the belay though.
      Guide mode: Much more of a struggle than the BD. Friction, size.
      Abseiling: Its a struggle to get the rope to feed in nicely, typically tangles and comes in from the side and once nearly got it jammed in the middle of fountains ledge. Particularly hard to manage the device if you extend it with a sling as it starts twisting and you run out of hands. I see the other commenters say they don't use a prussic with it, I don't actually trust it enough.

      Summary, I don't trust it and clearly, I should go out and test it a bit more. But If it stops a catastrophic trad fall from slipping through my fingers, I feel the effort would be worth it. And it was cheap... Right now we use it for lead belaying and take a ATC guide along for guide mode and abseils.

      What device would be better ?
      There is nothing more beautiful than a well dressed alpine butterfly.

      wildx
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      Re: Mammut Smart Alpine

      Post by wildx » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:54 pm

      Agree with Guardian on most points.

      It works well for:
      1. Belaying someone on trad with nice half ropes. It does its job really well, especially because it works more like a gri gri when feeding rope and thus a bit easier giving rope on individual strands. (Novices to half ropes find it easier to work with.)
      2. It does lock when you take falls on the device, I have done it enough to trust its locking capabilities.

      It doesn't work well for:
      1.Abseiling (hard to explain why it doesn't work, but bulky and hard to control is definitely part of it) And you still have to add a prusik! It is not a hands-free device and wont fully lock when abseiling down any sizeable cliff. ALWAYS use a prusik...
      2. Guide mode sucks. Too much friction. You can really get pumped after belaying someone on guide mode on a relatively long route. The reverso is much smoother and better for this job. (It does lock though)
      3. Hard to feed rope fast. (only a real problem in sport climbing.)

      Personally, I am glad I have this device because I trust its locking capabilities when leading and helps me feel more comfortable with falling on thin half ropes, but it isn't a great device for many other reasons ... I use it only for belaying the leader and in that scenario, it works very well. And the leader will carry a reverso to use in guide mode.

      IvanaClimbalot
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      Re: Mammut Smart Alpine

      Post by IvanaClimbalot » Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:16 pm

      Thank you for all the feedback everyone. It is quite helpful!

      francoisP
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      Re: Mammut Smart Alpine

      Post by francoisP » Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:47 pm

      I noticed that most people struggle to pay out slack the first time they use a Smart, there is a little trick to it that makes it easier: Start with brake hand on brake strand (probably 10 cm away from the device) and other hand on the climber's side of the rope. First take as much slack as you can in the brake strand by moving your brake hand down the rope then move your brake hand up (gripping the rope) and unlock the device by pushing out on the handle and use your other hand to pull the slack through. You will now be in the starting possition again and can repeat the procedure.

      I have to admit that the Smart is much more sensitive to twisted ropes (when using double ropes) than an ATC when belaying. Sometimes you have to keep one finger of your brake hand between the two ropes to feed them properly into the device which is a real pain.

      When looking for the Smart's manual today I found out that it is possible to rig the device upside down when abseiling, which makes it not auto-lock, so then it works pretty much like an ATC. I tested that and it seems to do the trick. I also tested giving slack in guide mode on a tight rope and it feels pretty much the same as an ATC in that it unlocks really suddenly; contrary to my previous post I don't think I'll try to lower someone in guide mode with a Smart without using a munter or something on the brake hand. My philosophy is if you're being belayed in guide mode then you better know how to prusik up the rope if you fall because I will not be too keen to try and give slack in this scenario. If I think the second may have to be lowered after a fall I will rather belay from my harness.

      Brigitte
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      Re: Mammut Smart Alpine

      Post by Brigitte » Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:07 am

      Thank you francoisP this is the best solution to the abseiling problem with the Mammut Smart. "When looking for the Smart's manual today I found out that it is possible to rig the device upside down when abseiling, which makes it not auto-lock, so then it works pretty much like an ATC. I tested that and it seems to do the trick." Standard/Important to rig it with a prussik while absailing with it too. :thumright

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      Nic Le Maitre
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      Re: Mammut Smart Alpine

      Post by Nic Le Maitre » Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:55 am

      The CT Alpine Up apparently autolocks both on belay and abseil. Dunno if it is easier to use though.

      Image

      I recently got a DMM Pivot and had to use it to lower while in guide mode for the first time and it works really well, with a very gradual release of the rope. Much less abrupt than the BD Guide/Petzl Reverso IMO.
      Happy climbing
      Nic

      JanoSA
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      Re: Mammut Smart Alpine

      Post by JanoSA » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:15 am

      Intrigued and tempted by the CT Alpine up. It's a shame it's not available locally.

      BAbycoat
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      Re: Mammut Smart Alpine

      Post by BAbycoat » Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:14 pm

      My climbing partner had an Alpine Up. He hated it. I think he's selling it cheap.

      I hated it more: felt like it jammed when you didn't want it to, but didn't catch when you wanted it to. Bulky, with no benefits. Wasn't willing to part ways with even $0.01 for it.

      If you're interested I can put you in touch with him (except he's moved to France).

      IMHO the only improvements over the ATC Guide is the Tre (and it's derivative, the Zap-o-Mat).

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      Nic Le Maitre
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      Re: Mammut Smart Alpine

      Post by Nic Le Maitre » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:47 am

      BAbycoat wrote:
      Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:14 pm
      IMHO the only improvements over the ATC Guide is the Tre (and it's derivative, the Zap-o-Mat).
      Have you tried a DMM Pivot? As nice as the Guide and much nicer to release rope under load when in guide mode.

      There's also the Edelrid MegaJul 2
      Image
      Happy climbing
      Nic

      Brigitte
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      Re: Mammut Smart Alpine

      Post by Brigitte » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:19 am

      I could not find much on the Tre beside this link with pretty good reviews (http://www.rockclimbing.com/gear/Essent ... _1302.html). The reviews are pretty good for this device as a double rope belay device with assisted breaking mechanism. It is however not available in South Africa from my little bit of googling. I am skeptical of the Alpine Up just because there are so many moving parts, I can't say its good or bad since I never used one.

      The reason I like the Mammut smart alpine is that it is one solid piece, no moving parts. Drop it in the sand and there is nothing that can get jammed or malfunction, its light, and has the desired assisted breaking on double ropes (for trad diameter). Note the Mammut smart (excluding alpine) is of thicker diameter 8-10.5mm and not ideal for Trad.

      Ultimately for the purpose of trad multi-pitching, the Mammut smart Alpine is the only affordable and available device I could get my hands on that has the assisted breaking mechanism I was looking for when belaying a heavier person on a trad climb.

      The drawbacks in my view are the following:
      -You need to spend the extra money to have a wide Pear shaped Carabiner that fits the device correctly
      -It takes time to get used to how to give slack by releasing the assisted breaking (on a positive it really does break assisted effectively)
      -The smaller the half ropes diameter (less than 8.5mm) the assisted breaking suffers from more rope creep
      -The abseil problem is solved by the issue mentioned by the previous posts by turning it around it acts just like an ATC with a prussik for lowering

      Hope this was useful. Safe and happy climbing.

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      Nic Le Maitre
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      Re: Mammut Smart Alpine

      Post by Nic Le Maitre » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:09 am

      The Tre is (apparently) the greatest belay device that only a handful of people have ever seen, let alone actually used.

      It's no longer in production, nor is anything similar being made. Despite the endless praises heaped upon it, no manufacturer seems willing to produce it but they rather stick with their (apparently) inferior, difficult to use products for some reason. Weird, it's like they don't want happy customers.
      Happy climbing
      Nic

      BAbycoat
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      Re: Mammut Smart Alpine

      Post by BAbycoat » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:30 pm

      Nic Le Maitre wrote:
      Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:09 am
      nor is anything similar being made.
      Nic Le Maitre wrote:
      Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:09 am
      no manufacturer seems willing to produce it.
      As far as I can make out, Edelrid bought the copyright and produced the Zap-o-Mat as a single rope version. I have both - the work the same, they feel the same. But the Zap-o-Mat never really took off.

      My bucket-list includes using KickStarter to resuscitate the Tre - I reckon I can get pre-funding for a production run of ~5,000 units (unless someone gets there first). In the mean time ... the I'd stick with the Guide (or a Bugette for really skinny ropes). The Smart Alpine is nice, but it doesn't offer enough functionality for the added bulk - IMHO.

      Brigitte
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      Re: Mammut Smart Alpine

      Post by Brigitte » Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:11 pm

      Nic Le Maitre wrote:
      Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:47 am
      BAbycoat wrote:
      Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:14 pm
      IMHO the only improvements over the ATC Guide is the Tre (and it's derivative, the Zap-o-Mat).
      Have you tried a DMM Pivot? As nice as the Guide and much nicer to release rope under load when in guide mode.

      There's also the Edelrid MegaJul 2
      Image
      So Friday I got to try out the Edelrid MegaJul device from some European that had one. It definitely has an "assisted breaking mechanism" which I like but felt like even with a 10mm sport-rope there was significantly more rope creep compared to the Mammut smart. The principle works exactly the same.

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      Stefan Smeda
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      Re: Mammut Smart Alpine

      Post by Stefan Smeda » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:54 pm

      Nic Le Maitre wrote:
      Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:09 am
      The Tre is (apparently) the greatest belay device that only a handful of people have ever seen, let alone actually used.

      It's no longer in production, nor is anything similar being made. Despite the endless praises heaped upon it, no manufacturer seems willing to produce it but they rather stick with their (apparently) inferior, difficult to use products for some reason. Weird, it's like they don't want happy customers.
      Nic. The mythical TRE is like a unicorn. Just because you don't see one everyday doesn't mean they're not out there being magical. The TRE is like the golden sword that gets unlocked for level 60 climbers after they've beaten the big boss at the end of the game.

      Old Smelly
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      Re: Mammut Smart Alpine

      Post by Old Smelly » Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:52 pm

      :lol:

      Yes the TRE seems to have developed mythical status - I don't remember it being that great...

      The CT Alpine UP seems to take some getting used to but definitely sits well in the category of auto-lock type devices - not so sure that I need that when it comes to trad, as most often the belay is more "loose" and distant when it comes to Trad - as another said- in Trad the catch is often not so sharp and instantaneous. Still maybe if you are pushing the limits then that is the type of device you need... As I said it works well in THAT application.

      I have some concerns over the MegaJul as it is stainless steel, so I do not think that it will play well with an Aluminium Belay Biner (I am pretty sure that is why DMM never released their stainless belay device)

      Which brings me to Nic's point - the DMM Pivot is an excellent Trad belay device and I would buy it before any other. It does normal belay well, it does guide mode well - yes you can gently release a locked off second and it abseils well. For me it is the bees knees.
      Really, its not that bad...I think it's my shoes...

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      Nic Le Maitre
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      Re: Mammut Smart Alpine

      Post by Nic Le Maitre » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:11 pm

      Old Smelly wrote:
      Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:52 pm
      Which brings me to Nic's point - the DMM Pivot is an excellent Trad belay device and I would buy it before any other. It does normal belay well, it does guide mode well - yes you can gently release a locked off second and it abseils well. For me it is the bees knees.
      It's great for ab-ing with a prusik safety below the device if you thread it the "wrong way" around, with the anchor side of the rope coming in over the v-slots and exiting over the pivot. The balance between friction and control is just right.
      Happy climbing
      Nic

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      Nic Le Maitre
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      Re: Mammut Smart Alpine

      Post by Nic Le Maitre » Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:47 pm

      Stefan Smeda wrote:
      Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:54 pm
      Nic. The mythical TRE is like a unicorn. Just because you don't see one everyday doesn't mean they're not out there being magical. The TRE is like the golden sword that gets unlocked for level 60 climbers after they've beaten the big boss at the end of the game.
      I think owning one is like knowing the secret Masonic handshake. It's not good for anything but it confirms you as one of the cool kids :thumleft:
      Happy climbing
      Nic

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      Gustav
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      Re: Mammut Smart Alpine

      Post by Gustav » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:50 am

      Not good for anything? If you have one collecting dust, I'll drive down to Cape Town to help you clear out the space!

      Love my Tre!
      Gustav
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      Nic Le Maitre
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      Re: Mammut Smart Alpine

      Post by Nic Le Maitre » Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:31 am

      This is how you find the Masons, claim to have a Tre for sale.
      Happy climbing
      Nic

      PeterHS
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      Re: Mammut Smart Alpine

      Post by PeterHS » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:57 am

      This is old but may interest all: viewtopic.php?t=5172 Ciao. Peter

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