Assisted breaking device + dodgy belaying

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dirktalma
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Assisted breaking device + dodgy belaying

Post by dirktalma »

A few weekend back I witnessed someone taking a lekker fall on Panty Slapped at Hallucinogen, Boven.

The belayer used a Cinch and the rope was a brand spanking new Edelrid Cobra (10.3mm). The climber fell from about the 5th bolt and landed on the belayer's shoulders. (Does that count as decking?)

What I saw was that the belayer didn't have his hand on the bottom part of the rope below the Cinch. I think the rope slipped straight through the Cinch without it catching the rope. The guys came down like a sack of beans. Its probably more proper to keep your hand on the bottom rope, but the reason why you pay more than half a grand is to have the device do the catching, if you ask me.

Has anyone ever seen this happen? Has it ever happened with a Grig? I believe it's because the rope may be too slippery when new or could it be that a Cinch is a bit suspect by not twisting the rope enough?

From now on, I will keep one hand on the bottom part of the rope when using new ropes with a Cinch.

BTW, I was impressed when Alex immediately started climbing again after decking on Mo's shoulders. Took some cahones after that fall


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Hann
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Re: Cinch with a new Edelrid Cobra - Dodgy

Post by Hann »

dirktalma wrote: the belayer didn't have his hand on the bottom part of the rope below the Cinch
Hahaha....

Don't you just love sport climbing gear.
It seems specifically designed to eliminate idiots from the gene pool.

Yes, it has happened with a GriGri.
Yes, it has happened with a Eddy.
And now it has happened with a Cinch.

All of these are designed as 'belay-assisting' devices, not self belay devices.

But sure, if you want to kill your climbing partner, don't hold the dead end of the rope.
Let me emphasize:
You will have to face your climbing partner's mother after he has taken a fatal fall because you were to cool to belay properly.

I have witnessed a belayer rubbing his hands together while his climber was on the crux of a 24 at Montagu.
He was belaying with an ATC.
I have reprimanded a belayer for sloppy belaying while using a Grigri, and got major attitude in return.

Who was this belayer?
I'd like to cross him off my list of potential climbing partners.
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Re: Cinch with a new Edelrid Cobra - Dodgy

Post by pierre.joubert »

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Last edited by pierre.joubert on Mon Apr 12, 2021 11:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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justin
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Re: Cinch with a new Edelrid Cobra - Dodgy

Post by justin »

I 2nd Pierre "the Cinch is not suspect, it is the belayer".

If you read the instructions for any 'belay assist' device, you will see that they all say hold onto the bottom rope.

Agreed, a new rope does aid to the slippage factor (all the more reason to hold onto the rope :eye:

IMO the Cinch appears to be a completely different animal to other Auto Lock Devices.

On the Trango website they say - "The Cinch offers up a lightning-fast rope feed, with bomber locking-assist stop and a smooth lower, all while controlling the brake strand".
The last six words say it all.

Think of the Cinch as a standard belay device with a lock function (once a fall has been arrested).

There are pro's and con's with every piece of equipment out there, best find out what these are :)
Glad to hear no one was hurt.
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proze
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Re: Cinch with a new Edelrid Cobra - Dodgy

Post by proze »

People belay horribly with GriGris (and so I assume the other "auto" lockers) in SA. An American friend was appalled! Check out this vid from Petzl:

http://www.petzl.com/en/outdoor/news/pr ... king#video

The "new" technique (that the half-wit from 8a.nu claims to have invented) works very nicely with both versions of the GriGri. The important note being that the brake-hand is still the brake-hand, always holding the rope.
9ja
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Re: Cinch with a new Edelrid Cobra - Dodgy

Post by 9ja »

Hann wrote:
dirktalma wrote: the belayer didn't have his hand on the bottom part of the rope below the Cinch
Hahaha....

Don't you just love sport climbing gear.
It seems specifically designed to eliminate idiots from the gene pool.

Yes, it has happened with a GriGri.
Yes, it has happened with a Eddy.
And now it has happened with a Cinch.

All of these are designed as 'belay-assisting' devices, not self belay devices.

But sure, if you want to kill your climbing partner, don't hold the dead end of the rope.
Let me emphasize:
You will have to face your climbing partner's mother after he has taken a fatal fall because you were to cool to belay properly.

I have witnessed a belayer rubbing his hands together while his climber was on the crux of a 24 at Montagu.
He was belaying with an ATC.
I have reprimanded a belayer for sloppy belaying while using a Grigri, and got major attitude in return.

Who was this belayer?
I'd like to cross him off my list of potential climbing partners.
So true. It's amazing how sloppy some belayers are. I often wonder if it's because a lot of climbers just never belay using an ATC. When I was a kid climbing at school all we had were Sticht plates and figure 8. This really stamps home the idea of having a break hand.

I've seen people deck using GriGri's before as well. If the device is used properly there is no reason this should happen. A common mistake as well is for a belayer to hold the GriGri open to pay out rope, then when the fall happens the rope just glides through. Thing is as well that we sometimes forget how quickly these things happen. One minute you are standing there, daydreaming, next minute your partner has landed on your head.

Dropping your partner like this story is like cheating on your wife. You will never have the trust again. How cool it is to know that when you are strung out on a hard move, high up, your buddy's got your back. It's simple, stick to the rules, pay attention.
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Re: Cinch with a new Edelrid Cobra - Dodgy

Post by Paul Goddard »

On my 1st excursion to Higgovale quarry I decided to give the ''Nefarious crack'' a go.
My old friend with his new Gri-Gri was belaying me. My friend has enough experience with Sport climbing but had very little experience belaying with a gri gri. I suppose i should have asked him ''Hey, do you know how to use that new shiny thing?''
Pumped and desperate I came off above the 5th bolt.
I recall falling long enough to actually think ''has my knot come undone because this should not be happening''......eventually I stopped facing outwards with my toes LITERALLY 30cm's from the ground.
Tony Lourens & Wille Koen where there to see it happen.
We packed up and went home immediately with my partner dry mouthed, eyes like saucers repeating ''dude, I'm so sorry'' about 100 times on the two minute walk out.
It's the kind of mistake you only make once, luckily this one had no consequences other than a properly dented ego for my mate. The upside for me was i felt two inches taller. :thumleft:

I suppose i should have been more anal about asking him if he knew how to use it. I didn't ask as that's not what good friends do right ? WRONG !
I should have asked.
You will be amazed how many people who arrive at crags in odd numbers(typically a group of 3) who suddenly hook up with another climber they have never met(with gri gri) and put their lives in this ''strangers'' hand.
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Re: Cinch with a new Edelrid Cobra - Dodgy

Post by justin »

Paul Goddard wrote:You will be amazed how many people who arrive at crags in odd numbers (typically a group of 3) who suddenly hook up with another climber they have never met (with gri gri) and put their lives in this ''strangers'' hand.
Very true. This situation came about last weekend... these days I do not hesitate in checking peoples credentials - if someone gets offended, then they can 'go away' (that's me being polite).

When it comes to auto-locking devices, my preference is the Grigri 2. When Grigri's first arrived on the scene the norm was to 'just let it do its job' (i.e. no need to do anything).

The Grigri 2 came out with great improvements :thumleft:
I wrote a review on the Grigri 2 - click here to see it
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Nic Le Maitre
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Re: Cinch with a new Edelrid Cobra - Dodgy

Post by Nic Le Maitre »

Hi

A friend of mine was climbing at Higgovale recently when he noticed some guys climbing using a really skinny rope (~9mm) and a GriGri also using the "no brake hand" technique. He told them politely that the GriGri is not designed to work on rope smaller than 10mm and that you always need to have a hand on the dead end of the rope. Basically they told him he could put his advice where the sun doesn't shine. So, feeling rather put out, he carries on climbing only to see, a few minutes later, one of the climbers deck from a few meters up, breaking his leg. Karma?

IMO, no one should ever learn to belay using an autolocking device, everyone should learn using a Bug/ATC/tube style belay device, that way it is drilled into you from the start that you ALWAYS control the dead end of the rope.
Happy climbing
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Re: Cinch with a new Edelrid Cobra - Dodgy

Post by justin »

Nic Le Maitre wrote:a few minutes later, one of the climbers deck from a few meters up, breaking his leg. Karma?

IMO, no one should ever learn to belay using an autolocking device
Classic :P

And yes, I agree with you that newbies should learn to belay with a manual device.
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Hann
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Re: Cinch with a new Edelrid Cobra - Dodgy

Post by Hann »

I'd love to hear Mo's side of the story and/or the lesson learned.
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Re: Cinch with a new Edelrid Cobra - Dodgy

Post by 9ja »

Nic Le Maitre wrote:Hi

A friend of mine was climbing at Higgovale recently when he noticed some guys climbing using a really skinny rope (~9mm) and a GriGri also using the "no brake hand" technique. He told them politely that the GriGri is not designed to work on rope smaller than 10mm and that you always need to have a hand on the dead end of the rope. Basically they told him he could put his advice where the sun doesn't shine. So, feeling rather put out, he carries on climbing only to see, a few minutes later, one of the climbers deck from a few meters up, breaking his leg. Karma?

IMO, no one should ever learn to belay using an autolocking device, everyone should learn using a Bug/ATC/tube style belay device, that way it is drilled into you from the start that you ALWAYS control the dead end of the rope.
I think what happens is that nobody likes to be told they are wrong. The ego steps in and there is zero pathway for learning then. The fact that folks will go and buy a Gri-Gri and not read the manual still amazes me. It's not like buying a TV and chucking the manual out.

Another thing people don't learn when just using GriGris is dynamic braking. People get the idea then that to belay is to be a dead weight on the bottom of the rope, and when the climber falls it's merely to lock down and hold, which in part is true, but not always, and especially not trad climbing. I'd say noob climbers should stick to the ATC exclusively. Get the basics properly nailed down, learning to hold your hand the correct way with the thumb on top. They can start out practising catching with a fat knot a couple meters below the braking hand until they become comfortable with the responsibility of holding someone's life in their hand(s), literally.

It's a problem that anyone can go into Cape Union Mart, walk out with a rope and all the gear, and not be expected to have some sort of course behind them. Look at any other sport that has death as a factor for failure; scuba, paragliding, skydiving; they all require the participant to properly learn the skills. It's the only way. Where do people go and learn to climb? Unless they have a great mentor, these habits get passed on and on.

To the OP: I think it'd be fair if you edit the title of this thread. There is nothing wrong with the Cinch if used correctly. The belaying was dodgy, especially on Panty Slapped. That's a low climb and the crux is solid. That's really bad belaying for hard climbing and the only consolation is that the climber landed on the belayer so at least there was less need to PK the belayer afterwards.
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Re: Cinch with a new Edelrid Cobra - Dodgy

Post by Gustav »

To the OP: I think it'd be fair if you edit the title of this thread.
I agree: "Assisted breaking device with new rope & dodgy belayer - remains dodgy" may be a better title?
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Re: Cinch with a new Edelrid Cobra - Dodgy

Post by justin »

9ja wrote:To the OP: I think it'd be fair if you edit the title of this thread.
Noted and changed. tx
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Re: Assisted breaking device + dodgy belaying

Post by brianweaver »

I taught my girlfriend to belay me on a "Tre" which is an autolocking device. Eventually we bought a grigri and I taught her the correct technique to belay using the grigri. I don't know if she has ever used a non-autolocking device but due to the methods I used to teach her I would never be worried about her belaying if I would give her an ATC to use.

The key lesson to be learned is how the belay is taught to belay, not necessarily the device used. If one teaches that it is paramount to keep the brake end of the rope in-hand all the time then that is what is taken in during the learning process. The worst advice that could ever be given to someone in relation to an autolocking device is "the device will stop the fall". This may be true in most cases, but in the end it is still up to the belayer to ensure that the device is in the position to do so and it is in fact the brake hand that causes the device to lock, particularly in the case of a smaller-diameter rope, a wet rope or a lapse of concentration involving one's finger on the camming mechanism.

If one holds the rope: none of these aforementioned situations will become an accident/injury.

USE BOTH HANDS ACCORDING TO THE INSTRUCTIONS!!!
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Re: Assisted breaking device + dodgy belaying

Post by Gustav »

Do you still have/use the TRE? :?
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Re: Assisted breaking device + dodgy belaying

Post by brianweaver »

I do... I keep it for trad climbing nowadays. Love it.
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Re: Assisted breaking device + dodgy belaying

Post by garvinj »

I think Brian said it best, it is really about keeping that hand on the rope. At the same time I must say that with my hand on the rope I nearly dropped Martin Renz a while back. It was cold , I was wearing a big jacket and the Gri-gri must have hooked in the open position on the jacket. So when he fell the rope jerked through my hand(I was obviously not holding very hard). Lucky for me when my right hand let go for fear of the burn I managed to wrap my left arm around the rope and held to fall manually. What some may call "dom krag" and yes it was a much worse burn then the other hand would have got.
My point is, its not just one thing. So much can go wrong and we must keep on our toes when belaying. Be cool when your in the shopping mall. Belaying is serious stuff.

I like this one "The ego steps in and there is zero pathway for learning then." I've had people look at me with that "who the F@#$k do you think you are" when trying to correct them on something.
I think when someone f@#Ks up it reflects on us all and so I feel nothing to correct people.
My ego is as big or even bigger that yours and I will not have it dragger through the dirt by anyone. ( Its so easy to talk big on the forum. I love it. :lol: )

On the bright side there are some great belayers out there. Lara a women from Grahamstown held her climber inches of a ledge while being pummelled by soccer ball size rocks that he dislodged. She also suffered a 12 cm cut down to the bone in her leg during the rock fall. While we were trying to keep pressure on the cut, look for a bandage and organise how to get her to hospital all she did is hold onto the rope until someone cold take over the belay. :thumleft:
She still has 6 weeks to go before she can walk without a brace and crutch. he off course doesn't have a scratch to show.

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Re: Assisted breaking device + dodgy belaying

Post by Hann »

Still no word from the belayer?

I'm sure he'll be able to make a positive contribution to the collective learning curve here.
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Re: Assisted breaking device + dodgy belaying

Post by hendriks »

So we were out at Montagu this weekend where I learned a very valuable lesson when it comes to belaying. I was belaying a buddy using a atc belay device. He came of the rock while still very close to the ground, at the 3'rd bolt, which he hadn't clipped yet, on a very overhanging route. I only managed to arrest his fall very close to the ground, in fact I would go so far as to say that he decked, as I only managed to stop him about 0.5 - 1m above the ground. This all happened for one reason only, I wasn't paying as much attention as I should have and was very lucky to avoid getting someone seriously injured. What I am trying to say is that no matter what type of belay device or safety equipment you are using, it will only function as good as the person using it. As a belayer you should have your undevided attention on the climber at the other end of the rope and if he/she is a bit run out or there is some slack in the system, you should decide before hand how you are going to react when or if he/she were to fall. I just hope that someone gets something valuable from my experience as this is a mistake I would not have made, had I been concentrating on what I was doing. It is a mistake I will not make again. If you always concentrate on what you are doing, then incidents such as this could be avoided.
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Re: Assisted breaking device + dodgy belaying

Post by justin »

Thanks for your input, the first 3 bolts of a route are always the most dangerous. As a matter of interest what route where you on?

I also heard about a girl who busted her foot/ankle on 'Walk On By' (the 23 on the left) at Waterworld recently - she apparently did not hit the ground.
Does anyone have details on this incident?
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Re: Assisted breaking device + dodgy belaying

Post by hendriks »

We were on The Mission(24?), but we were only climbing the first section which is about a 18/19? Pretty bummed about the incident but I'm glad it turned out OK and a valuable lesson learned.
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Re: Assisted breaking device + dodgy belaying

Post by justin »

Sounds like 'Half a Mission' :wink:

A save is a save, I wouldn't go flogging yourself about it :cyclops:
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Re: Assisted breaking device + dodgy belaying

Post by Dark Horse »

Thought I'd share some great belaying I spotted while on my travels :cyclops: the guy was leading a trad route, looked super sketchy kicking his feet and grunting a lot, only had one piece of gear out, a badly placed nut. They were really loud too...
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Re: Assisted breaking device + dodgy belaying

Post by Gustav »

So? The dude is left handed and he doesn't want to be underneath his partner that might be dropping cams on his head. The loop adds up to a meter of slack which help make the fall softer. Depends where is pro is at this stage?

It is by no means a perfect belay but I have seen worse...
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Re: Assisted breaking device + dodgy belaying

Post by Dark Horse »

The best idea for dropped objects is a helmet? .The leader looked anything but confident and comfortable IE: just about to fall....altho...

Got my friends(who is an engineer) daughter to work it all out :

.The Climber is 10.1 meters off the ground
.His gear is 2.1 meters below his feet
.The belayer is sitting 4.32 meters away from the cliff face
.If the belayer was directly below him his fall(provided the gear held) with rope stretch would be 4.6 meters
. Where he is sitting although well braced and concentrating he would be pulled in 3.5 meters and up 1.5 meters extending the leader fall by 5.32 meters
. Total fall = 9.92 meters

So you are totally right he would have been fine..

I'm not sure I have seen worse but I guess I do come from Cape Town :o ha ha
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Re: Assisted breaking device + dodgy belaying

Post by Gustav »

:thumright
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Re: Assisted breaking device + dodgy belaying

Post by Dark Horse »

Someone just told me... I forgot to include the slight loop of slack he has out which would increase the totall fall to 10.11 oops that means he would've hit the ground, oh well it is only 10.1 meters with a fairly flat landing and I have this doctor friend and he says: "that when falling from 10.1 meters as long as he bent his knees slightly, then tucked and rolled on impact he'd have been fine maybe a few bruises and scrapes.

Although this is all just a theory in my opinion, he didn't fall so I have no proof perhaps someone might be willing to do a re-enactment? Gustav?
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Re: Assisted breaking device + dodgy belaying

Post by Turtle »

:lol:

I sometimes hope for the Darwin effect... these un-teachable ouks really makes me glum...

ai tog.
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Re: Assisted breaking device + dodgy belaying

Post by henkg »

Dark Horse wrote:Thought I'd share some great belaying I spotted while on my travels :cyclops: the guy was leading a trad route, looked super sketchy kicking his feet and grunting a lot, only had one piece of gear out, a badly placed nut. They were really loud too...

Darwin awards for those two! The photo just crack me up! (So it's not only sport climbers behaving badly?!) Most likely the angle will rip the nut.
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