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Partner robdotcalm


Dec 13, 2009, 11:44 AM
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Re: [Trixie] Accident on Mt. Lemmon [In reply to]
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Trixie wrote:
Yes, we all would, but if you're unable to pull enough slack through the belay device because there's too much rope out AND you have nowhere to run to, all you're left with is diving for the ground and in my case, if there was still over 2' of slack out, that wouldn't help either. The only thing left, after all of this is grabbing the rope.

What else is left but sheer desperation? I suppose you could lie there and watch the action, but that's not something I could do.

The point is that grabbing the rope with your non-braking won't do any good (you can't stop someone that way) and can do harm in injuring the belayer's non-braking hand. This could be a serious issue on a multi-pitch climb. Also grabbing the rope can take time away from taking in rope on the brake side. What people have been telling you (usual internet insults aside) is that your proposed action has negative consequences. Not all acts of desperation are helpful.

Cheers,
Rob.calm


billl7


Dec 13, 2009, 11:48 AM
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Re: [jt512] Accident on Mt. Lemmon [In reply to]
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Correct me if I am wrong: You advocate palms up for the purpose of rapidly taking in slack.

In other words ... The brake hand grips the brake strand and reels in slack (edit: guide hand is assisting with moving the other strand). At the end of that take-up stroke it is bringing its strand quickly up to the guide hand which is around the strand on the climber's side (edit: and is also returning to full arm extension). Guide hand pinches the brake strand allowing the brake hand to finish the cycle by sliding back towards the belay device and to the neutral position. Yes?

Am not trying to build a case for anything or reignite analysis of this. ... just getting a fuller picture of your position.

Bill L

edit: ... and the full cycle of taking in one stroke of slack happens in a fraction of a second.


(This post was edited by billl7 on Dec 13, 2009, 12:00 PM)


jt512


Dec 13, 2009, 12:00 PM
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Re: [billl7] Accident on Mt. Lemmon [In reply to]
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billl7 wrote:
Correct me if I am wrong: You advocate palms up for the purpose of rapidly taking in slack.

In other words ... The brake hand grips the brake strand and reels in slack (edit: guide hand is assisting with moving the other strand). At the end of that take-up stroke it is bringing its strand quickly up to the guide hand which is around the strand on the climber's side (edit: and is also returning to full arm extension). Guide hand pinches the brake strand allowing the brake hand to finish the cycle by sliding back towards the belay device and to the neutral position. Yes?

Yeah, that sounds about right. To take up more than one armful of slack rapidly, both hands can pull out slack with a hand-under-hand motion on the brake side of the rope.

Jay


billl7


Dec 13, 2009, 12:01 PM
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Re: [jt512] Accident on Mt. Lemmon [In reply to]
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Thanks, Jay.


edge


Dec 13, 2009, 1:40 PM
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Re: [billl7] Accident on Mt. Lemmon [In reply to]
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It seems like the bottom line of this thread is to have experience equivalent to your pursuits.

Unfortunately it doesn't seem like the belayer or climber involved in the OP lived up to that criteria, but fortunately they will survive to live, learn, and climb another day. No one enters our sport with a complete comprehension of all of climbing's intricacies. However, many such failures of learning have led to great advances in the sport both technology wise and competency wise.

I will mention that Jay's belaying advise is sound, and is a great way to instruct beginners; indeed his methods apply to many world class climbers who have mastered those techniques. Are they the only viable techniques? I think not.

Personally, I have never belayed anyone with "palms up" because for me, it does not feel natural. I can reel in rope like no one's business with my left hand palms down and my dominant right, breaking hand also palm down. I let the rope tail furthest from the belay devise exit upwards between my ring and pinky finger, thus giving the rope a bit of a "stiffy" that the guide hand can grab easily. 99.5% of the time I never, ever match hand to hand, but am in a position to break at any given millisecond.

Think about it... Is it easier to throw your braking hand into a brake position palms up or palm down? For me it is the latter, however your determination should influence your own personal style once you have crossed that level of experience. This technique works for me personally, and using it I have never had anyone injured in a fall that I have belayed in 32 years of climbing.

Again, experience may dictate better methods of belaying to you, but until you have no reservations about yourself, nor do your partners, then sit down, shut up, and listen to those who know what they are talking about. Gyms open up a bag of worms here; you have the right to question the qualifications of ANYONE instructing you from a dominant position.

One last point: An experienced climber/belayer team will not need to communicate when someone is in the danger zone. Before the climb begins, they will have already discussed potential dangers, or will know intuitively.

Assessing the situation as it develops will tell the belayer if running will indeed pull in enough rope to assist in a leader fall, as much as yarding in rope willy nilly will. Similarly, diving to the turf to take up 2 1/2 feet of slack in a system with 4 feet of unaccounted rope could not only risk the safety of the climber, but the belayer and his response as well.

Like I said, experience counts more than web posts or gym visits.


troutboy


Dec 13, 2009, 1:58 PM
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Re: [jt512] Accident on Mt. Lemmon [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
But something has gone desperately wrong with the way climbers are being introduced to the sport.
Jay

No kidding. I know I've responded at least a dozen times to posts on rc.com where it was either stated or implied that "anybody" can sport climb. The attitude seems to be all you need to do is climb, clip, and lower. But there is so much more to climbing safely. And even after the myriad intricacies involved with sport climbing are pointed out, the attitude still seems to be "so what, it's easy".

Guess what. It's not so easy or simple.

Also, I think this is a classic situation where watching your climber at all times is so important (not to imply the belayer in this case was not doing that). Seeing the fall (or even the pre-fall) and taking in slack from the get-go can save a person's life. That extra time you lose by not watching your leader's every move can kill them. Obviously, not applicable in situations where the climber is out of sight, but that is not so common on sport climbs.

If you are belaying me and I am within sight, you darn well better have your head looking up and your eyes on me, or you won't be belaying me ever again
(some rare situations excepted).

TS


notapplicable


Dec 13, 2009, 2:00 PM
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Re: [jcrew] Accident on Mt. Lemmon [In reply to]
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jcrew wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
I think the rather nuanced art of belaying doesn't receive nearly enough focus or respect during the first few years of most peoples climbing careers. It's treated as a nuisance and approached rather mechanically. I don't know what can be done to change that though. Unfortunately.

i think we all agree on that. i like to have belayers who are really lead hogs at heart. they "know how it is" to be "out there." i have less confidence in belayers that don't actively, regularly lead .

Very true. A lot of what constitutes a solid belay become more intuitive after you've put in some time on the sharp end.


mrmikewikowski


Dec 14, 2009, 6:50 PM
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Re: [notapplicable] Accident on Mt. Lemmon [In reply to]
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Not to belittle the importance of good belaying and partner communication, but the climb where this accident occurred is NOT a sport line. It is a trad line with two bolts on it. Normally two pieces of pro are placed between the bolts, and so if the leader slipped while trying to clip the second bolt he was way into ground fall territory. While the belayer might have been able to do a slight better job the leader used some very poor judgment. Bolts do not equal sport climbing.


climbsomething


Dec 14, 2009, 7:28 PM
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Re: [Trixie] Accident on Mt. Lemmon [In reply to]
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Trixie wrote:
Thanks sooo much for your encouragement Mad I'll remember never to be so impertinent to ask questions again and will remain in a state of rampant ignorance, allowing you to remain contemptuous. I'm obviously not worthy Unsure
That's great that you know big words, but every defensive poke slides you further down the gumby slope.


caughtinside


Dec 14, 2009, 10:29 PM
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Re: [climbsomething] Accident on Mt. Lemmon [In reply to]
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climbsomething wrote:
Trixie wrote:
Thanks sooo much for your encouragement Mad I'll remember never to be so impertinent to ask questions again and will remain in a state of rampant ignorance, allowing you to remain contemptuous. I'm obviously not worthy Unsure
That's great that you know big words, but every defensive poke slides you further down the gumby slope.

not to worry, there will soon be a crag of 5.5s for the new sportos in Tuscon to clip up

http://www.mountainproject.com/..._on_lemmon/106628619


Trixie


Dec 15, 2009, 1:55 AM
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Re: [climbsomething] Accident on Mt. Lemmon [In reply to]
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In reply to:
That's great that you know big words, but every defensive poke slides you further down the gumby slope.

Nah, I don't know big words, I took it from the sig line of the poster I was replying to.

Anyway, the point of my reply was to try to point out that, in explaining something to a self-confessed noob, insults and assumptions really don't help. I was genuinely trying to understand how the decking could have been prevented/mitigated. I'm not trying to defend my thoughts on the situation, I'm trying to learn why my thoughts might be wrong. The only thing I was trying to defend was my willingness to learn.

At some point everyone has to learn. I thought that the Accident and Incident Analysis subforum was intended to help us all understand what went wrong and how to avoid repeating the same accident. The easiest way is to explain your thoughts on the incident and then for more experienced climbers to explain why you are wrong. By all means, criticise my opinions, but criticising me as a person teaches me (any any other noob reading) absolutely nothing except that asking questions and trying to learn only opens you up to attack. If defending myself (and my attempts to learn) from irrelevant insults slides me further down the gumby slope, so be it, if it means I end up a slightly safer gumby.

I suppose the corollary is true and that attacking pokes move you much further away from being a gumby. That's something I must bear in mind.

Trixie Cool


billl7


Dec 15, 2009, 5:46 AM
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Re: [Trixie] Accident on Mt. Lemmon [In reply to]
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When the authorities are on a religious mandate, individuals do not matter. It is like being a bug on a windshield. And the asocial aren't going to help. Fortunately, this on-line stuff mostly amounts to just a bunch of electrons flying around.

Bill L


climbsomething


Dec 15, 2009, 11:18 AM
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Re: [Trixie] Accident on Mt. Lemmon [In reply to]
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This post was fine until you got huffy at the end. Which is, by the way, a classic symptom of Gumby.


notapplicable


Dec 15, 2009, 9:09 PM
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Re: [mrmikewikowski] Accident on Mt. Lemmon [In reply to]
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mrmikewikowski wrote:
Not to belittle the importance of good belaying and partner communication, but the climb where this accident occurred is NOT a sport line. It is a trad line with two bolts on it. Normally two pieces of pro are placed between the bolts, and so if the leader slipped while trying to clip the second bolt he was way into ground fall territory. While the belayer might have been able to do a slight better job the leader used some very poor judgment. Bolts do not equal sport climbing.

Obviously none of us were there so we can't say whether keeping the climber off the ground would be a reasonable expectation in the fall that took place. No way to tell and I don't think anyone has argued as much. The main point being made is that there are better, more productive things that could have been done. That is all.

I do have to disagree with the overall tone of your post though. Generally speaking a sport belay has the widest margin of error and the pedigree of the belayer only becomes more important as you slide toward gear protected or runout climbing. When the climbing becomes R-rated I expect topnotch belaying, not an "it's not sport climbing so I hope you don't expect too much from this belay" kind of attitude.


climbsomething


Dec 15, 2009, 10:40 PM
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Re: [notapplicable] Accident on Mt. Lemmon [In reply to]
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notapplicable wrote:
When the climbing becomes R-rated I expect topnotch belaying, not an "it's not sport climbing so I hope you don't expect too much from this belay" kind of attitude.
The curmudgeon who really taught me how to belay expects topnotch even on sport routes. I know plenty of people take a "meh"approach to belaying when it's "only" sport climbing but that's totally unacceptable.


jt512


Dec 15, 2009, 10:45 PM
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Re: [notapplicable] Accident on Mt. Lemmon [In reply to]
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notapplicable wrote:
Generally speaking a sport belay has the widest margin of error and the pedigree of the belayer only becomes more important as you slide toward gear protected or runout climbing.

Bullshit. But regardless, I'll take a belay from an experienced sport climber over an equally experienced trad climber any day, whether I'm climbing sport or trad.

Jay


(This post was edited by jt512 on Dec 15, 2009, 10:47 PM)


aerili


Dec 15, 2009, 11:22 PM
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Re: [notapplicable] Accident on Mt. Lemmon [In reply to]
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notapplicable wrote:
Generally speaking a sport belay has the widest margin of error and the pedigree of the belayer only becomes more important as you slide toward gear protected or runout climbing.

Yeah, I disagree. I think sport climbing requires more precise belaying than the average trad route.

People who learned to belay on trad routes primarily often scare me when belaying on sport routes: they tend to not watch you, have more slack in the rope, and anticipate your moves less.


zeke_sf


Dec 16, 2009, 1:15 AM
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Re: [jt512] Accident on Mt. Lemmon [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
Generally speaking a sport belay has the widest margin of error and the pedigree of the belayer only becomes more important as you slide toward gear protected or runout climbing.

Bullshit. But regardless, I'll take a belay from an experienced sport climber over an equally experienced trad climber any day, whether I'm climbing sport or trad.

Jay

Because the sport belayer has presumably caught more falls? Or because this statement more fully perpetuates the overly wrought troll this thread has become?

*edited for syntax and to point out that, yes, kids, editing is weke***

**weak


(This post was edited by zeke_sf on Dec 16, 2009, 1:26 AM)


wonderwoman


Dec 16, 2009, 5:27 AM
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Re: [aerili] Accident on Mt. Lemmon [In reply to]
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aerili wrote:
People who learned to belay on trad routes primarily often scare me when belaying on sport routes: they tend to not watch you, have more slack in the rope, and anticipate your moves less.

I have the same fears when a sport climber belays me on trad. All that you said, plus I usually have to ask them to come closer to the wall so that they're closer to being under the first piece of gear.

We all have to be ready to catch - sport or trad. In this case, it sounds as if the leader had unfortunately left the 'no-fall-zone' and it was probably ouside the experiences of both leader and belayer. It doesn't sound like the leader planned ahead for the route he was on, communicated to the newbie belayer the potential risks of a fall, or had enough experience himself to know when to back down.

That being said, I'm glad the leader is alive & hope both the belayer and leader can reflect on what the hell went wrong. While it sucks to learn lessons the hard way, self reflection may lead to self preservation. And being choosy with whom you climb.


billl7


Dec 16, 2009, 5:50 AM
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Re: [wonderwoman] Accident on Mt. Lemmon [In reply to]
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what a nightmare. i can see the next I&A thread ...

"i went trad/sport climbing and my belayer was a sport/trad belayer because I read that they were usually better belayers. oh boy did that not work out ...."

I'd suggest that the lax belays often come from folks who don't/can't see a way to trusting each other and/or who do not push their climbing limits.

Climb after climb,
* the leader never falls,
* the leader never expresses fear on lead,
* the leader never talks about why she down-climbed to clip the rope even though a blown clip there would have meant decking,
* the leader never explains how the belayer could have done a better job the next time <something> comes up,
* the leader never thanks the belayer for catching them.

... belaying is reduced pretty much to knowing what to do if the leader sez "take" and "lower". That and ... (whew!) ... we don't have to have a relationship or partnership.

Of course, there will always be some belayers who just don't take it seriously, sport or trad.

Bill L


wonderwoman


Dec 16, 2009, 5:56 AM
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Re: [billl7] Accident on Mt. Lemmon [In reply to]
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billl7 wrote:
what a nightmare. i can see the next I&A thread ...

"i went trad/sport climbing and my belayer was a sport/trad belayer because I read that they were usually better belayers. oh boy did that not work out ...."

I'd suggest that the lax belays often come from folks who don't/can't see a way to trusting each other and/or who do not push their climbing limits.

Climb after climb,
* the leader never falls,
* the leader never expresses fear on lead,
* the leader never talks about why she down-climbed to clip the rope even though a blown clip there would have meant decking,
* the leader never explains how the belayer could have done a better job the next time <something> comes up,
* the leader never thanks the belayer for catching them.

... belaying is reduced pretty much to knowing what to do if the leader sez "take" and "lower". That and ... (whew!) ... we don't have to have a relationship or partnership.

Of course, there will always be some belayers who just don't take it seriously, sport or trad.

Bill L

well said!


markc


Dec 16, 2009, 7:16 AM
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Re: [robdotcalm] Accident on Mt. Lemmon [In reply to]
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robdotcalm wrote:
Trixie wrote:
Yes, we all would, but if you're unable to pull enough slack through the belay device because there's too much rope out AND you have nowhere to run to, all you're left with is diving for the ground and in my case, if there was still over 2' of slack out, that wouldn't help either. The only thing left, after all of this is grabbing the rope.

What else is left but sheer desperation? I suppose you could lie there and watch the action, but that's not something I could do.

The point is that grabbing the rope with your non-braking won't do any good (you can't stop someone that way) and can do harm in injuring the belayer's non-braking hand. This could be a serious issue on a multi-pitch climb. Also grabbing the rope can take time away from taking in rope on the brake side. What people have been telling you (usual internet insults aside) is that your proposed action has negative consequences. Not all acts of desperation are helpful.

Cheers,
Rob.calm

Agreed. The best comparison I can think of is the use of the mom arm when driving. There's no way that throwing your arm across the passenger's chest is going to be of use given the forces of a sudden stop or accident. It's an instinctual and protective reaction, but could potentially cause more harm than good.

As has been said, any slack that the belayer tries to hold on the climber strand is going to be promptly ripped through her hand with negligible benefit. While the sentiment is honorable, I'd rather leave myself uninjured.


jt512


Dec 16, 2009, 9:51 AM
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Re: [wonderwoman] Accident on Mt. Lemmon [In reply to]
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wonderwoman wrote:
aerili wrote:
People who learned to belay on trad routes primarily often scare me when belaying on sport routes: they tend to not watch you, have more slack in the rope, and anticipate your moves less.

I have the same fears when a sport climber belays me on trad. All that you said, plus I usually have to ask them to come closer to the wall so that they're closer to being under the first piece of gear.

I suspect our definitions of "sport climber" are different. Every sport climber I know started out as a trad climber. And why isn't your first piece of gear multi-directional?

Jay


jt512


Dec 16, 2009, 9:54 AM
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Re: [billl7] Accident on Mt. Lemmon [In reply to]
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billl7 wrote:
* the leader never thanks the belayer for catching them.

No wonder I get hard catches.

Jay


wonderwoman


Dec 16, 2009, 10:01 AM
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Re: [jt512] Accident on Mt. Lemmon [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
wonderwoman wrote:
aerili wrote:
People who learned to belay on trad routes primarily often scare me when belaying on sport routes: they tend to not watch you, have more slack in the rope, and anticipate your moves less.

I have the same fears when a sport climber belays me on trad. All that you said, plus I usually have to ask them to come closer to the wall so that they're closer to being under the first piece of gear.

I suspect our definitions of "sport climber" are different. Every sport climber I know started out as a trad climber. And why isn't your first piece of gear multi-directional?

Jay

My first piece of gear is always multi-directional, thank you very much. But it always reduces the pull in different directions when the belayer stands as close to underneath it as possible.

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