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jt512


Mar 17, 2009, 11:29 PM
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Re: [curt] Safest belay technique [In reply to]
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curt wrote:
jt512 wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
reno wrote:
jt512 wrote:
I'll tell you something, Dingus. In 15 years of arguing about belaying on the Internet—palms-up, palms-down, dynamic, "running", just stand there locked off like an idiot, 5-point nonsense, pinch-and-slide, etc.—until this week, not once, in 15 years, have I seen anyone have the audacity to suggest that shuffling your brake hand up the rope is a legitimate belay technique.

Oh. Well, if you've never heard it on the internet, that must mean you're right.

In an age when people look to the internet as a source of employment, news, communication and entertainment, the real humor in this quip is a bit more subtle than it first appears.

Reno (and you, probably) is too young to remember the old days, when it was the smartest people in the world who used the Internet.

Jay

Well, that surely isn't the case anymore. However, always remember that a prominent east coast climber (unlike Al Gore) did play a major role in inventing it.

Curt

Eugene Miya? Someone should tell him that he doesn't really need to run those rotating FAQ scripts in rec.climbing anymore.

Jay


curt


Mar 18, 2009, 12:05 AM
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Re: [jt512] Safest belay technique [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
curt wrote:
jt512 wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
reno wrote:
jt512 wrote:
I'll tell you something, Dingus. In 15 years of arguing about belaying on the Internet—palms-up, palms-down, dynamic, "running", just stand there locked off like an idiot, 5-point nonsense, pinch-and-slide, etc.—until this week, not once, in 15 years, have I seen anyone have the audacity to suggest that shuffling your brake hand up the rope is a legitimate belay technique.

Oh. Well, if you've never heard it on the internet, that must mean you're right.

In an age when people look to the internet as a source of employment, news, communication and entertainment, the real humor in this quip is a bit more subtle than it first appears.

Reno (and you, probably) is too young to remember the old days, when it was the smartest people in the world who used the Internet.

Jay

Well, that surely isn't the case anymore. However, always remember that a prominent east coast climber (unlike Al Gore) did play a major role in inventing it.

Curt

Eugene Miya? Someone should tell him that he doesn't really need to run those rotating FAQ scripts in rec.climbing anymore.

Jay

No. Willie Crowther.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Crowther

Curt


notapplicable


Mar 18, 2009, 12:22 AM
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Re: [jt512] Safest belay technique [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
reno wrote:
jt512 wrote:
I'll tell you something, Dingus. In 15 years of arguing about belaying on the Internet—palms-up, palms-down, dynamic, "running", just stand there locked off like an idiot, 5-point nonsense, pinch-and-slide, etc.—until this week, not once, in 15 years, have I seen anyone have the audacity to suggest that shuffling your brake hand up the rope is a legitimate belay technique.

Oh. Well, if you've never heard it on the internet, that must mean you're right.

In an age when people look to the internet as a source of employment, news, communication and entertainment, the real humor in this quip is a bit more subtle than it first appears.

Reno (and you, probably) is too young to remember the old days, when it was the smartest people in the world who used the Internet.

Jay

True but I'd wager it's a lot funnier now that all the low IQ's are running rampant in here.


jt512


Mar 18, 2009, 12:37 AM
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Re: [notapplicable] Safest belay technique [In reply to]
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notapplicable wrote:
jt512 wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
reno wrote:
jt512 wrote:
I'll tell you something, Dingus. In 15 years of arguing about belaying on the Internet—palms-up, palms-down, dynamic, "running", just stand there locked off like an idiot, 5-point nonsense, pinch-and-slide, etc.—until this week, not once, in 15 years, have I seen anyone have the audacity to suggest that shuffling your brake hand up the rope is a legitimate belay technique.

Oh. Well, if you've never heard it on the internet, that must mean you're right.

In an age when people look to the internet as a source of employment, news, communication and entertainment, the real humor in this quip is a bit more subtle than it first appears.

Reno (and you, probably) is too young to remember the old days, when it was the smartest people in the world who used the Internet.

Jay

True but I'd wager it's a lot funnier now that all the low IQ's are running rampant in here.

No, quite the opposite, actually.

Jay


jt512


Mar 18, 2009, 12:39 AM
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Re: [curt] Safest belay technique [In reply to]
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curt wrote:
jt512 wrote:
curt wrote:
jt512 wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
reno wrote:
jt512 wrote:
I'll tell you something, Dingus. In 15 years of arguing about belaying on the Internet—palms-up, palms-down, dynamic, "running", just stand there locked off like an idiot, 5-point nonsense, pinch-and-slide, etc.—until this week, not once, in 15 years, have I seen anyone have the audacity to suggest that shuffling your brake hand up the rope is a legitimate belay technique.

Oh. Well, if you've never heard it on the internet, that must mean you're right.

In an age when people look to the internet as a source of employment, news, communication and entertainment, the real humor in this quip is a bit more subtle than it first appears.

Reno (and you, probably) is too young to remember the old days, when it was the smartest people in the world who used the Internet.

Jay

Well, that surely isn't the case anymore. However, always remember that a prominent east coast climber (unlike Al Gore) did play a major role in inventing it.

Curt

Eugene Miya? Someone should tell him that he doesn't really need to run those rotating FAQ scripts in rec.climbing anymore.

Jay

No. Willie Crowther.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Crowther

Curt

I think Miya was involved in ARPAnet development, too.

Jay


dingus


Mar 18, 2009, 6:24 AM
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Re: [jt512] Safest belay technique [In reply to]
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Eugene is HAL's little brother.

"Turn off the USENET Eugene."

"I'm afraid I can't do that Dave..."

DMT


JAB


Mar 18, 2009, 7:00 AM
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Re: [dingus] Safest belay technique [In reply to]
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Have to agree with JT here. Sliding your hand up the rope means that you are letting go, and that is a big NO NO in my books.

Yes, it is true that it only takes a fraction of a second to slide your hand up the rope. Yes, if you pay attention you will have time to squeeze your grip. But, moving your guide hand down for a second to ensure a firm grip during this short interval is not exactly difficult, nor does it in any way disturb your belaying. As I see it, if the belayer can't be bothered to do this simple manouver which increases the safety (as has been made quite clear already, by how much is pure speculation), maybe he won't be bothered to pay much attention otherwise either.


onceahardman


Mar 18, 2009, 8:08 AM
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Re: [JAB] Safest belay technique [In reply to]
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In reply to:
As I see it, if the belayer can't be bothered to do this simple manouver which increases the safety (as has been made quite clear already, by how much is pure speculation), maybe he won't be bothered to pay much attention otherwise either.

Actually, this has not been made clear, as even Jay has admitted. There is no supporting data.

Look, if I was responsible for setting a national standard for belaying, I'd likely use something more like Jay's method. It may well be more idiot-proof, but we don't really know. Perhaps the seeming "bombproof-ness" of his method could lead to mental slackness, less paying of attention. But we really don't know.

Fortunately, the gov't has not set standars for how I, as an individual climber, must belay. Yet.


dingus


Mar 18, 2009, 8:19 AM
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Re: [onceahardman] Safest belay technique [In reply to]
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Bunch of trad noobs sitting on spacious ledges, bored whilst waiting for the leader to do something, sitting there cocked and loaded in palms up V position and ready to by god react?????

Almost inevitable someone gets dropped via this dreaded loose grip, I agree. The rope is already held in 'feeder position' (to achieve this fast reaction time) anyway. Aye I can see that.

Now reverse the brake hand of that bored belayer. Pull the rope down to locked position while the leader is fiddling around.

Now the chances of dropping the leader due to loose grip are very, very small. The issue virtually disappears with simple twist of the hand. To suggest this is a bad idea is ludicrous. Presenting reaction time as a safety issue, in all belay situations, is equally ludicrous.

The loose grip issue is a downside of the more reactive palm up V method. It is NOT a downside of a palm down locked position.

Slower reaction time is a downside of the palm down locked position. But if lightning fast reaction time is irrelevant for a given situation, then so too is the strength of this belay method, FOR that situation.

Now you may just like belaying that way better. Bully for you. But spare me the hand off the rope crap. I don't buy it. A loose slide grip is NOT 'letting go.'

DMT


GeneralZon


Mar 18, 2009, 9:10 AM
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Re: [dingus] Safest belay technique [In reply to]
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I think after a 3 year hiatus from the OP and 3 days of good discussions by all parties involved I offer the following award to this forum.



Tongue


jt512


Mar 18, 2009, 10:20 AM
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Re: [dingus] Safest belay technique [In reply to]
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dingus wrote:
Eugene is HAL's little brother.

"Turn off the USENET Eugene."

"I'm afraid I can't do that Dave..."

DMT

His brother? More like his father! (See, for example, this). But that would still explain the similarity of their tendencies.

Jay


notapplicable


Mar 18, 2009, 10:53 AM
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Re: [JAB] Safest belay technique [In reply to]
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JAB wrote:
moving your guide hand down for a second to ensure a firm grip during this short interval is not exactly difficult, nor does it in any way disturb your belaying.

Actually, if I'm belaying a climber by feel, constantly taking my guide hand off the rope amounts to having rampant static on a phone line. It constantly disrupts the data stream and compromises the belay on multiple levels.

JAB wrote:
As I see it, if the belayer can't be bothered to do this simple manouver which increases the safety (as has been made quite clear already, by how much is pure speculation), maybe he won't be bothered to pay much attention otherwise either.

Huh??

Speculation implies ambiguity not clarity or certainty.

This link may be of some use - http://dictionary.reference.com/


michael_lassen


Mar 18, 2009, 4:03 PM
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Re: [nolan_fox] Safest belay technique [In reply to]
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I recently found that our climbing club have two camps wrt. belay technique.

The official way to teach new climbers how to belay a leader is like this:

1. Keep both hands below device, palms down, locked off, in default position
2. Feed out slack by sliding brake hand down the rope, move guide hand to guide side to feed out, move guide hand back below device to get back to default position.

Nobody in the club actually does this, since everybody knows that it is a sure way to shortrope the leader, but people are apparently divided as to what they do instead.

Camp one (which I belong to) keeps guide hand on the guide side when the leader advances or clips. The brake hand slides down the rope when feeding out slack.

Camp two moves the guide hand back and forth between the guide and brake side, but keeps a large loop of slack between the two hands to be ready to feed out a large amount of slack.

This technique will sometimes give you a really soft catch, which often is exactly what is desired, but when the climber is close to the ground or on slab, it is not appropriate.

So yesterday I was giving a lead belay check to two girls. I notice that they had a tendency to keep the guide hand on the guide side with a somewhat large amount of slack between the device and the brake hand. I wanted to rectify, and since the guide hand on the guide side looks natural to me I told them to keep the brake hand closer to the device, when the climber is close to the floor. To day I have discovered that what I was supposed to tell them was to keep both hands below device when not feeding out slack..

Now, I am getting curious. Is this way of belaying a local specialty, or do any of you expert belayers out there belay in the style of camp two?


curt


Mar 18, 2009, 5:43 PM
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Re: [michael_lassen] Safest belay technique [In reply to]
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michael_lassen wrote:
...Camp one (which I belong to) keeps guide hand on the guide side when the leader advances or clips. The brake hand slides down the rope when feeding out slack.

Camp two moves the guide hand back and forth between the guide and brake side, but keeps a large loop of slack between the two hands to be ready to feed out a large amount of slack...

I'm also in Camp 1. Camp 2, while perhaps OK for some certain gym or sport climbing situations, simply doesn't give the belayer enough flexibility in regard to quickly feeding out, or reeling in slack in the rope.

Curt


jt512


Mar 18, 2009, 9:11 PM
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Re: [michael_lassen] Safest belay technique [In reply to]
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michael_lassen wrote:
Camp two moves the guide hand back and forth between the guide and brake side, but keeps a large loop of slack between the two hands to be ready to feed out a large amount of slack.

This technique will sometimes give you a really soft catch, which often is exactly what is desired

There is nothing in your description of that technique that would soften the catch. With extra slack out, the catch will be harder than normal, and the fall longer—the worst of both worlds.

Jay


JAB


Mar 18, 2009, 11:58 PM
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Re: [notapplicable] Safest belay technique [In reply to]
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notapplicable wrote:
Actually, if I'm belaying a climber by feel, constantly taking my guide hand off the rope amounts to having rampant static on a phone line. It constantly disrupts the data stream and compromises the belay on multiple levels.

Why would you "constantly" move your guide hand off the rope? You only move your guide hand to the dead part of the rope when taking in slack, which in a normal lead situation is not very often.


spikeddem


Mar 19, 2009, 12:40 AM
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Re: [JAB] Safest belay technique [In reply to]
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I'm confused. It seems this began (when revived) as a BUS versus P&S. It really seems to me that what JT has in mind (and maybe others, too?) is like a lazy version of the BUS (essentially missing the U, ironically enough!).

Taking in slack:

BUS:
Brake: Brake hand goes to locked-off position.
Under: Guide hand is set behind the brake hand.
Slide: Brake hand is slid up.

Following this, the guide hand is returned to the guide position. This is essentially a P&S with the palm facing down while keeping the angle between the ends of the rope maximized.

Is the argument that BUS - U = BS? (According to JT.)

It seems to me JT's main concern is that without the "U" step, the rope can run through the device easily. Is that not cured by following BUS properly?

Another confusing thing is that JT mentioned being caught off-guard when trying to give out slack, but I don't see how it would differ at all compared to a P&S.

I must admit, I'd feel more comfortable with a belayer doing either P&S or BUS than BS.


jt512


Mar 19, 2009, 1:08 AM
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Re: [spikeddem] Safest belay technique [In reply to]
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spikeddem wrote:
I'm confused. It seems this began (when revived) as a BUS versus P&S. It really seems to me that what JT has in mind (and maybe others, too?) is like a lazy version of the BUS (essentially missing the U, ironically enough!).

Taking in slack:

BUS:
Brake: Brake hand goes to locked-off position.
Under: Guide hand is set behind the brake hand.
Slide: Brake hand is slid up.

Following this, the guide hand is returned to the guide position. This is essentially a P&S with the palm facing down while keeping the angle between the ends of the rope maximized.

Is the argument that BUS - U = BS? (According to JT.)

BS. Nice acronym. The only problem is that the people who are using this "method" aren't really sliding their brake hand up the rope. They are releasing their grip and repositioning their hand higher up the rope. They may have their hand encircling the rope while they move their hand up, but they aren't holding on to it.

In reply to:
It seems to me JT's main concern is that without the "U" step, the rope can run through the device easily. Is that not cured by following BUS properly?

In reply to:
Another confusing thing is that JT mentioned being caught off-guard when trying to give out slack, but I don't see how it would differ at all compared to a P&S.

I think I've explained that several times already, but here it is once more: Using the P&S method, you can maintain a firm grip with your brake hand throughout the entire belay cycle¹. If the climber falls during the "slide phase" while you're not watching the climber, the rope won't slide through your brake hand, since you are gripping it firmly; rather your brake hand will start to get pulled toward the belay device. Simultaneously, the rope will start to stretch because the muscular resistance you are providing with your brake hand will create friction around your belay carabiner. Thus, you never lose control of the rope. You will feel the tension in your brake hand, and, if properly trained, will lock off immediately. You should have no problem catching the fall, although a little rope may slip through the belay device (which, by reducing the impact force of the fall, usually does more good than harm, anyway).

In contrast, using the BS method, if the climber falls while you are moving your hand up the rope and you are not watching the climber, the rope will start sliding through your brake hand. In a sense, you have already lost control of the belay, and now you must regain control. it is much harder to grab and stop a moving rope than it is to lock off a rope that you are holding onto, even if you have to lock off from a starting position of the ropes parallel to each other.

In reply to:
I must admit, I'd feel more comfortable with a belayer doing either P&S or BUS than BS.

I couldn't agree more. In fact, I would probably not allow myself to be belayed by a BS belayer.

Jay

______________________

¹Thanks to bill413 for the phrase "belay cycle".


(This post was edited by jt512 on Mar 19, 2009, 1:15 AM)


curt


Mar 19, 2009, 1:34 AM
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jt512 wrote:
I couldn't agree more. In fact, I would probably not allow myself to be belayed by a BS belayer.

Jay

You already have and I have caught you many times, because you happen to fall quite frequently.

Curt


jt512


Mar 19, 2009, 1:47 AM
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curt wrote:
jt512 wrote:
I couldn't agree more. In fact, I would probably not allow myself to be belayed by a BS belayer.

Jay

You already have and I have caught you many times, because you happen to fall quite frequently.

Curt

I routinely see people using the BS technique who repeatedly blatantly let go with their brake hand. I would not allow anyone whom I observed doing that to belay me. I don't know if you do that or not; I haven't watched you that closely. If I do see you do that, you won't belay me again. It seems to be a moot point anyway, since you rope climb so seldomly.

Jay


DexterRutecki


Mar 19, 2009, 1:50 AM
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So, I've always just lurked on here, and kind of wish my first post wasn't in this thread, but there's a few things I really could use clarification on.

I've been climbing about 8 months, and really try to pay attention to safety/using the right technique.

I was taught to belay by my gym, and they used the BUS method. I do notice that most of the "better" climbers at my gym (based purely on the grades they climb), usually use the P+S technique. I watch what others do a lot, and if you asked me, I generally would prefer not to be belayed by them. I don't know if it's because they're lazy, or what, but here is what I observe (this is for top rope, and at my gym all top roping is done on gri-gris):

When pulling in slack, they basically throw the rope up at their guide hand, and catch it in their pinky (the "pinch"), then, it looks to me like they move their brake hand down VERY quickly toward the belay device, and lock off again. I take it this is "the slide", but it looks a hell of a lot more like basically taking your hand off the rope then the controlled slide/firm grip that JT is talking about. My gut feeling is that if I happened to take a fall during this "slide", their chances of catching the rope would be a lot lower than with someone using BUS. (I realize that while top roping, on a gri-gri, I'd probably be pretty safe.)

I guess my question here is, is my observation just flawed, or are they likely lazy or using poor technique?

On a related note, I will say that if the climber I'm belaying is going up quickly, taking in the slack using the BUS method can make it difficult to keep up, and frequently the belay device will be more or less hanging down off the belay loop, which something tells me is less than ideal. Is one of the reasons to use the P+S technique that taking in slack quickly is much easier?

Second topic - I've recently started leading. When feeding slack, I keep both my guide and brake hands firmly gripped on the rope, and slide the rope through my ATC. When my brake hand gets close to the device, I slide my hand back down (by down here I mean toward the ground/away from the climber) the rope, then do the same with the guide hand, and repeat the sequence if neccessary. Is this unsafe? I will say I feel like I have a good grip on the rope, despite being able to slide my brake hand down it.

This is again, what the gym taught (i took a lead class), and I don't have any particular reason to believe it is unsafe, except that it seems to me exactly like the "BS" method, with the difference being that I am sliding my hand down the rope, as opposed to up toward the device.

Sorry if that was long winded, but I'd greatly appreciate people's answers/opinions, I've been wondering for a while.


curt


Mar 19, 2009, 2:02 AM
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jt512 wrote:
curt wrote:
jt512 wrote:
I couldn't agree more. In fact, I would probably not allow myself to be belayed by a BS belayer.

Jay

You already have and I have caught you many times, because you happen to fall quite frequently.

Curt

I routinely see people using the BS technique who repeatedly blatantly let go with their brake hand. I would not allow anyone whom I observed doing that to belay me. I don't know if you do that or not; I haven't watched you that closely. If I do see you do that, you won't belay me again. It seems to be a moot point anyway, since you rope climb so seldomly.

Jay

I've done far more trad, multi-pitch, big wall and alpine routes than you are ever likely to do in your lifetime. However, if you are not comfortable with me belaying you in the future, that is completely fine with me. Get some gumby who buys into your particular brand of nonsense to do it.

Curt


jt512


Mar 19, 2009, 2:09 AM
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curt wrote:
jt512 wrote:
curt wrote:
jt512 wrote:
I couldn't agree more. In fact, I would probably not allow myself to be belayed by a BS belayer.

Jay

You already have and I have caught you many times, because you happen to fall quite frequently.

Curt

I routinely see people using the BS technique who repeatedly blatantly let go with their brake hand. I would not allow anyone whom I observed doing that to belay me. I don't know if you do that or not; I haven't watched you that closely. If I do see you do that, you won't belay me again. It seems to be a moot point anyway, since you rope climb so seldomly.

Jay

I've done far more trad, multi-pitch, big wall and alpine routes than you are ever likely to do in your lifetime. However, if you are not comfortable with me belaying you in the future, that is completely fine with me. Get some gumby who buys into your particular brand of nonsense to do it.

Curt

And in spite of the fact that you have climbed longer than I have, guess who's caught more falls. If you want to learn how to belay proficiently, the veteran trad climber is not the one to go to.

Jay


JAB


Mar 19, 2009, 2:11 AM
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Re: [DexterRutecki] Safest belay technique [In reply to]
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DexterRutecki wrote:
Second topic - I've recently started leading. When feeding slack, I keep both my guide and brake hands firmly gripped on the rope, and slide the rope through my ATC. When my brake hand gets close to the device, I slide my hand back down (by down here I mean toward the ground/away from the climber) the rope, then do the same with the guide hand, and repeat the sequence if neccessary. Is this unsafe? I will say I feel like I have a good grip on the rope, despite being able to slide my brake hand down it.

This is again, what the gym taught (i took a lead class), and I don't have any particular reason to believe it is unsafe, except that it seems to me exactly like the "BS" method, with the difference being that I am sliding my hand down the rope, as opposed to up toward the device.

That is perfectly safe and how you should do it. When you are sliding your hand down the rope, you are keeping the rope in a locked off position, and can keep a grip on the rope during the slide (the rope is tensioned between the belay device and your hand). That is not possible when moving your hand up towards the belay device - unless you first move your guide hand down!


curt


Mar 19, 2009, 2:20 AM
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Re: [jt512] Safest belay technique [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
curt wrote:
jt512 wrote:
curt wrote:
jt512 wrote:
I couldn't agree more. In fact, I would probably not allow myself to be belayed by a BS belayer.

Jay

You already have and I have caught you many times, because you happen to fall quite frequently.

Curt

I routinely see people using the BS technique who repeatedly blatantly let go with their brake hand. I would not allow anyone whom I observed doing that to belay me. I don't know if you do that or not; I haven't watched you that closely. If I do see you do that, you won't belay me again. It seems to be a moot point anyway, since you rope climb so seldomly.

Jay

I've done far more trad, multi-pitch, big wall and alpine routes than you are ever likely to do in your lifetime. However, if you are not comfortable with me belaying you in the future, that is completely fine with me. Get some gumby who buys into your particular brand of nonsense to do it.

Curt

And in spite of the fact that you have climbed longer than I have, guess who's caught more falls. If you want to learn how to belay proficiently, the veteran trad climber is not the one to go to.

Jay

I disagree. You may have caught more falls than I have because sport climbing is all about falling--and not about climbing. However, I have certainly caught more falls than you have under unique circumstances. Knowing how to belay "proficiently" involves much more than knowing how to do the same thing over and over.

Curt

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