Belaying method to consider!

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SNORT
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Belaying method to consider!

Post by SNORT » Sat Mar 14, 2020 9:22 am


Josh78
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Re: Belaying method to consider!

Post by Josh78 » Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:40 pm

Excellent video, thanks for sharing.

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XMod
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Re: Belaying method to consider!

Post by XMod » Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:59 am

This is only good advice if you are using a dynamic belay device such as an ATC. Even then allowing rope slippage is a pretty advanced technique and may actually not be the best idea if the climber is a above a ledge, The impact from a fall is so violent, so sudden and happens so quickly that only a very practiced climber is going to be able to employ rope slippage and know when to use it and when not. It is also not something you should attempt without using gloves. Gloves make rope handling difficult and are not advised for novice climbers.

For sport climbing when using an autolock or lock assist device a dynamic belay is still the best option. When trad climbing always ensure your attachment to the wall is tight and that you cannot be slammed into the rock or whipped upwards into an overhang.

This video is misleading. Belaying directly off anchors is only good when the anchors are absolutely solid - note they are belaying off bolts. If you do not employ rope slippage when belaying directly off anchors you will create extremely high loads that not only stress the running gear but can be very dangerous for the falling climber more than likely slamming them into the rock face with a LOT of force. Always clip yourself to the belay device as well when belaying directly off trad anchors - if you do not and they fail, there is nothing to slow the climbers fall.

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Nic Le Maitre
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Re: Belaying method to consider!

Post by Nic Le Maitre » Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:47 am

All belay devices work by allowing rope slippage through the device, with larger fall forces, more rope moves through. If they stopped the rope dead, it'd probably melt.
Happy climbing
Nic

SNORT
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Re: Belaying method to consider!

Post by SNORT » Fri Mar 27, 2020 11:01 am

No true Nick. Slippage plays a very small part in fall arrest unless the belayer loses control of the rope or deliberately allows slippage. Grigris pretty much lock down dead as do Jul's and other devices. The softening of the fall is related whether the belay device is fixed to a solid object or to a person (of variable weight) who is pulled upwards with force required to overcome inertia and then there is in effect slippage but not trought the device. But primarily the softening is related to the stretch in the rope.

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Re: Belaying method to consider!

Post by XMod » Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:09 pm

Nic try using a SUM belay device, it is an auto-lock and it snatches at the rope like crazy. A Grigri is soft by comparison. Yes there is some very small amount of rope movement which actuates the device but it is negligible. Snort is correct that most of the shock absorbtion is in the rope stretch.

I make the above comments simply out of concern that new comers will get the impression that attaching their Grigri directly to the rock is good practice - it is a TERRIBLE idea! Properly controlled rope slippage IS extremely effective at creating a soft catch but it takes practice to get it right and only works with specific devices. It is not a technique that beginners should be attempting on their first few outings.

Probably the best compromise for newcomers is to get used to lock-assist devices such as the Petzl Reverso or Mammut Smart which offer softer catches than Grigris or SUMs but still have an extra layer of protection built in, in that they initiate the breaking automatically without actually locking up.

The ultimate device for a soft catch, totally suitable for direct belaying of the anchors, would be something like the DMM bug but this is not a belay device I would advise a newcomer to start with, there is zero back-up in the case of a fumble. ATC's also work but require a deliberately slowed (not too slow!) actuation arc of the belay hand in order to be truly soft dynamic devices. Falls happen so fast and suddenly only an advanced climber is going to get the catch off a direct connection to the belays right.

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Nic Le Maitre
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Re: Belaying method to consider!

Post by Nic Le Maitre » Sat Mar 28, 2020 3:50 pm

I challenge you when you can get out on rock to go hold some lead falls and mark where the rope leaves the device before the fall and see where it ends up. They all allow slippage through the device. Yes, a lot of absorption comes from the rope and other dynamic components of the system (like your squishy body), but an important art is the rope moving through the device.
Happy climbing
Nic

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Re: Belaying method to consider!

Post by XMod » Sat Mar 28, 2020 10:01 pm

Nic - did you read my post? Have you tried a SUM?

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