Forums: Climbing Information: Gear Heads: Re: [cracklover] Best belay device: Edit Log


Dec 18, 2012, 7:20 PM

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Registered: Jun 29, 2010
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Re: [cracklover] Best belay device
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The thread in question did not go into all the practical implications and resulting sequences of the different "no-FF2" approaches. I explored those later. However, your questions have led me to work through different scenarios and I have to admit that there could be a worst case situation where this technique would be more dangerous than the standard one.

Say the leader is at a point in the sequence where he is being belayed only on the short rope clipped to the first progression pro but the belayer has not yet paid out slack on the climbing rope for clipping the second progression pro and he falls. Say further that the belayer catches him on the 1st pro but that pro pops (boy, that sure was a crappy placement for it to pop on such an easy, TR-type catch with next to no slack on the rope but there you are, shit happens). He now faces a longer fall with a much higher FF to be arrested by the next clip down (a locker clipped to the CP of the main belay anchor) on a skinny short rope attached to his harness through a clove hitch on a locker.

Thatís not so good. If instead, both ropes had been held by the belayer, the higher FF would be arrested more easily on both ropes together. On the other hand, if the belayer had already paid out the slack on the climbing rope at the time of the fall, this rope would again be just as ineffective at arresting the fall as if it had not been held at all: the arrest could only be done by the short rope. Even if the belayer was unable to block it, the fall would still be arrested very soon after, when the knot at the end of that short rope jammed the ATC. Of course, if instead of the first progression pro popping, it holds as it really should, then there is absolutely no problem in arresting the TR fall with only one hand braking the short rope as we do with TR falls all the time.

Still, avoiding the occasional trouble with paying out slack is not worth the risk of that one worst case scenario, no matter how unlikely. So thanks for the heads up. I expect I will switch back to standard belaying throughout. I will keep the sequence I worked out for armís length clipping of the first 2 pros that ensures an extremely low likelihood of high FF over those first few moves and, no, I will not detail the 20 or so steps that make up this sequence. I will say that, even though it may sound ridiculously complicated and time-consuming, with a little bit of practice on the part of the leader and the belayer, it really goes fairly smoothly and quickly although, obviously not as smoothly and quickly as just clipping the highest pro of the belay anchor and leading out from there, which seems to be what a lot of leaders prefer.

And now, I probably should stop hijacking this thread

(edited for clarity)

(This post was edited by jktinst on Dec 18, 2012, 8:21 PM)

Edit Log:
Post edited by jktinst () on Dec 18, 2012, 8:21 PM

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