Forums: Climbing Information: General: Re: [parseeker] Weird gym lowering method. Has anybody heard of this?: Edit Log


Jul 5, 2013, 2:06 PM

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Registered: Jun 30, 2001
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Re: [parseeker] Weird gym lowering method. Has anybody heard of this?
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In reply to:
They teach you to take your hand off of the rope and grab the slack, putting it behind you and doing a sort of hybrid body belay with a grigri.

It's unnecessary to take your hand of the brake side of the rope. You have two hands. You can manage to always keep one on.

More importantly, it is unnecessary (or rather against intended use) to pass the rope behind your back. The rope should be running down over the curved edge of the device. Petzl's instructions can be found here with a picture on page 4 and a written description on page 5.
In reply to:
My second question is, why the hell do they anchor the grigris to the ground?

Different gyms have different reasons. It could be they want to trust you as little as possible with regard to setting up the belay. It could be they want the belay stations to stay in a tightly fixed spot if space is limited. It could be they think it is a more comfortable belay set up to run from a floor anchor than off the harness. It could be they think it is safer.

In reply to:
Is it really safer?

No. As long as the anchor is set correctly, it shouldn't be less safe for top-roping in the gym either. The rope behind the back... I'd say that is less safe than using the device as Petzl intended. I wouldn't do it. Why would I want a coarse rope running across my clothes or my body for no damn reason?

In reply to:
Is it normal for the grigri to be slightly below hip height?

It is if you are 6'6 belaying from a floor anchor at a gym. In most other contexts, ideally you would not be belaying from that position, but if it is only slightly below, you should be able to lower competently.

In reply to:
Are there any solutions to my problem.

You'll have to adapt, or discuss it with the gym's manager. In terms of the anchor twisting, that's bound to happen with permanent tr set ups. The rope will start to twist which will result in the anchor twisting with it. You or the gym's staff need to let the rope untwist and straighten out the anchors periodically to keep if from getting to severe. I doubt they would yield on their anchor set up, but the brake hand position during lowering is a different matter. If you don't feel you have enough experience to back up your position, consider printing out the pdf in the link above and say, "This is how the manufacturer intended lowering and that is how I feel comfortable doing it".

(This post was edited by kriso9tails on Jul 5, 2013, 2:08 PM)

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Post edited by kriso9tails () on Jul 5, 2013, 2:08 PM

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