Forums: Climbing Information: Technique & Training: Re: [cracklover] Belay technique question: Edit Log


Jun 5, 2013, 5:38 PM

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Registered: Apr 11, 2001
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Re: [cracklover] Belay technique question
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cracklover wrote:
jt512 wrote:
cracklover wrote:
jt512 wrote:
Using the "pinch-and-slide" belay technique, your non-brake hand is always on the non-brake side of the rope.

Not necessarily. Many people (myself included) now teach a pinch-and-slide method in which the non-brake hand comes completely off the climber-side rope when it does the "pinch". There is absolutely no benefit to leaving that hand on the climber-side rope while pinching the brake strand. And there is a serious potential downside to having the hand on both sides.

I myself originally learned the version you mention as the "only" way, but switched within a year or two. You should consider doing the same - if not for yourself, at least for any noobs you might teach.

And yes, this has all been hashed over before.


I see no advantage to doing it your way in general, and it will be slower than the standard method.

It is slower, in principle. In practice the difference is microseconds per pull at most. It may actually be faster, since the non-brake hand can move directly into place when pinching, rather than having to slide up the rope.

As for the advantage - I have personally witnessed three drops with an ATC style device. In all three cases I have been able to determine that the climber fell when the belayer was in the pinch phase, using your method, and the non-brake side reacted to the sudden force of the fall by clamping down on the ropes. The fact that the non-brake hand was still on the climber-side rope - effectively clamping the two of them together - prevented the brake hand from doing its job of locking off.

Then they were doing it wrong. Just as I have stated up-thread, you do not clamp your non-brake hand around the brake side of the rope. You just lightly pinch it between your thumb and index finger while keeping the rest of your fingers around the non-brake side, so that you can still lock off quickly should the need arise.

(This post was edited by jt512 on Jun 5, 2013, 5:39 PM)

Edit Log:
Post edited by jt512 () on Jun 5, 2013, 5:39 PM

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