Forums: Climbing Information: Beginners: Re: [math3780] Top-Belaying questions.: Edit Log


Jul 13, 2012, 9:20 AM

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Re: [math3780] Top-Belaying questions.
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math3780 wrote:
First off, I know this is in other threads many times over but i've had quite a bit of difficulty finding specific answers that I can understand.

Background: I'm a fairly experienced climbing (few years) and have tried just about every type of climbing or belaying I've ever heard of EXCEPT top belaying. Not sure how it hasn't come up yet, but it just hasn't.

I'm heading up to Tettegouche State Park in Minnesota (amazing place). It is an equivilant environment to a sea cliff (just on lake superior).

How do I go about setting up a top belay and lowering the climber? Where should the anchor beaners be? Over the edge or above the edge? (if above, what do I do to protect the rope from the sharp edges). Where should my body be as a belayer?

I know how to set up an anchor safely, I'm just not sure where my body should be in relation to the anchor? Also, hypothetically if the climber is hanging and sustains an injury, how do I get them up?

Would it be best to use a rap-style belay device or GriGri2?

I just want to be as prepared as possible. Please feel free to include pictures if it makes it easier to understand. I am bringing a lot of novice climbers a long so safety falls on me more then anyone.

I've done a fair bit of climbing up on the North Shore and here is my setup for creating a top rope, top belay anchor.

This style of climbing you must know how to rig a 3:1 pully system to raise a stuck climber. If you don't know how raise an injured climber do not climb in this style.

1.) I like to set up my master point with a figure eight on a bight and a belay shelf about 3 feet from the cliff edge.

2.) I find the middle of my 60m rope and tie a figure eight on a bight in and secure that to the belay shelf via a locking biner. This portion of the rope gets tossed over the edge and is used as the rappel line.

3.) Next I attach my gri gri to the master point via a figure eight.

4.) At this point you'll have one side of your rope hanging over the cliff edge acting as a fixed rappel line. The belay line is set up through the gri gir with all of the belay line stacked neatly off the right of the gri gri.

5.) When belaying your climber I like to sit just in front and to the left of the gri gri to make it easier to belay and pull the rope through. On some climbs this will mean your feet are hanging over the edge of the cliff, others you'll be a couple feet from the edge. As such you'll need to make sure that you're attached to the anchor via your choice personal anchor. I recommend you attach to the belay shelf instead of the master point, this keeps the master point and attached gri gri much easier to manage.

6.) When someone is going to climb they tie into the belay line. I place them on belay and they then approach the edge and set up on the rappel line. Once done I open the gri gri and they rappel down. Basically I am belaying them down while the rappel, acting as a backup.

7.) Once the climber reaches the start of the route they go off rappel and they climb back up. You can leave the rappel line down or pull it back up. If the climber gets stuck on the route the fixed rappel line can be used as a haul line (you'll want a jamaur and acender for this).

I will restate that you must know how to raise an injured climber to climb in this style. Also keep in mind that top rope top belay requires you to do some rope management in order to keep your anchor and belay easy to manage.

If you want any help with this setup I live in Duluth, MN and would be happy to show you the system I use. Feel free to PM me if you want to set something up.

(This post was edited by chadnsc on Jul 13, 2012, 9:24 AM)

Edit Log:
Post edited by chadnsc () on Jul 13, 2012, 9:24 AM

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