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Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday
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gblauer
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Mar 21, 2010, 8:11 PM
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Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday
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We saw the victim in the Mohonk truck on the way to the ambulance.

It was the talk of the cliff on Saturday.

Actually I don't have any of the facts, but, this is what told to me by several people in the vacinity of the climb.

Climber was on Agape or Ape and Essence (near classic/Jackie). She was being lowered by her belayer who was above at the top of the first pitch. Belayer apparently was lowering her without the benefit of a belay device. It was stated that he was lowering her using a biner only (no munter). As she cleared the roof, the friction in the system became non existent and he dropped the climber. She hit the her non helmeted head and then hit the tree on her way down. Some people suggest that the tree actually slowed her down enough for her belayer to gain control of the rope. Her belayer caught her 5 feet off the deck.

It was said that the belayer had 2nd/3rd degree burns on his hands. The climber had a head laceration and a hurt hip.

Again, I only saw the victim being transported. I only heard this from several climbers who were nearby.

I hope climber is ok and that the belayer recovers the use of his hands (and gets a belay device).


(This post was edited by gblauer on Mar 21, 2010, 8:14 PM)


TheRucat


Mar 21, 2010, 8:49 PM
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Re: [gblauer] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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Wow, sounds almost as bad as that rope cutting fiasco on High E a while back. Hope they recover. If your description turns out to be accurate thats just sad. I can't begin to imagine what the hell was going on.


(This post was edited by TheRucat on Mar 21, 2010, 8:50 PM)


jt512


Mar 21, 2010, 9:33 PM
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Re: [gblauer] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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gblauer wrote:
I hope climber is ok and that the belayer recovers the use of his hands (and gets a belay device).

This line says so much!

Jay


agdavis


Mar 21, 2010, 9:39 PM
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Re: [gblauer] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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gblauer wrote:
We saw the victim in the Mohonk truck on the way to the ambulance.

It was the talk of the cliff on Saturday.

Actually I don't have any of the facts, but, this is what told to me by several people in the vacinity of the climb.

Climber was on Agape or Ape and Essence (near classic/Jackie). She was being lowered by her belayer who was above at the top of the first pitch. Belayer apparently was lowering her without the benefit of a belay device. It was stated that he was lowering her using a biner only (no munter). As she cleared the roof, the friction in the system became non existent and he dropped the climber. She hit the her non helmeted head and then hit the tree on her way down. Some people suggest that the tree actually slowed her down enough for her belayer to gain control of the rope. Her belayer caught her 5 feet off the deck.

It was said that the belayer had 2nd/3rd degree burns on his hands. The climber had a head laceration and a hurt hip.

Again, I only saw the victim being transported. I only heard this from several climbers who were nearby.

I hope climber is ok and that the belayer recovers the use of his hands (and gets a belay device).

People are fucking morons. Enough said.


jt512


Mar 21, 2010, 9:43 PM
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Re: [agdavis] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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agdavis wrote:
People are fucking morons.

Is that legal?

Jay


milesenoell


Mar 21, 2010, 11:19 PM
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I've read about people catching a fall by just grabbing the rope before, but it just sounds totally inconceivable to me. Not just the pain of mangling your hands, but simply how much grip it would take to provide that kind of friction. I mean think about how slick your melted, bloody, destroyed hands would be after 20 or so feet have slid through your hands as you try to exert your full grip on the line. Despite sounding like a gumby mistake, I have to be impressed by the catch having been made at all. Especially since it was to save someone else's ass, rather than just self-preservation.


bill413


Mar 22, 2010, 6:24 AM
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Re: [jt512] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
agdavis wrote:
People are fucking morons.

Is that legal?

Jay

Apparently so, in many states.


gmggg


Mar 22, 2010, 9:22 AM
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Re: [jt512] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
agdavis wrote:
People are fucking morons.

Is that legal?

Jay


Where do you think all of these children came from?


smallclimber


Mar 22, 2010, 11:04 AM
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Re: [gblauer] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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How weird, they must have had a belay device to have climbed in the first place, why would you not use it to lower?

And what a waste of a beautiful day in the Gunks, if only every weekend this year will be like the last one....if you're going to get dropped do it at the end of the season.

Is your toe better or were you just watching the action?


gblauer
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Mar 22, 2010, 11:35 AM
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Re: [smallclimber] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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smallclimber wrote:
Is your toe better or were you just watching the action?

I had to use very creative foot placement; my toes are truly terrible. It's too early to climb, I am not recovered enough.

In the mean time, I am looking for a super stiff shoe and Mitch is trying to make me carbon fiber inserts for my shoes.

I see the doctor on the 1st, I am hoping he can give me some shred of hope. It seems to me that 3.5 months should me a more than adequate recovery and and I still worse off than when I went in for the surgery to begin with.


Partner j_ung


Mar 22, 2010, 11:40 AM
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Re: [gblauer] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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I know what you mean, gblauer. My back has been a bit of a problem the last month or so. It's not exactly how i wanted things to be going right about now.


agdavis


Mar 22, 2010, 12:08 PM
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Re: [jt512] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
agdavis wrote:
People are fucking morons.

Is that legal?

Jay

Is what legal?


edge


Mar 22, 2010, 12:14 PM
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Re: [j_ung] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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In reply to:
I know what you mean, gblauer. My back has been a bit of a problem the last month or so. It's not exactly how i wanted things to be going right about now.

Jay, if you would like me to fabricate something to make you feel better, send me a PM.

Sure it will be a piece of furniture made out of wood, but supporting starving artists always makes people feel better...

I'll even carry it indoors for you upon delivery.


(This post was edited by edge on Mar 22, 2010, 12:28 PM)


Partner j_ung


Mar 22, 2010, 12:28 PM
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edge wrote:
Jay, if you would like me to fabricate something to make you feel better, send me a PM.

Sure it will be a piece of furniture made out of wood, but supporting starving artists always makes people feel better...

I'll even carry it indoors for you upon delivery.

Laugh I forgot what thread this was and, for a second, I thought you were flaming me. Gimme a little time to get my financial situation in order, edge, and I may actually take you up on that.


Partner cracklover


Mar 22, 2010, 12:29 PM
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What a bizarre story. Raises so many more questions.

GO


bandycoot


Mar 22, 2010, 12:38 PM
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Re: [smallclimber] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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smallclimber wrote:
How weird, they must have had a belay device to have climbed in the first place, why would you not use it to lower?

You're making a rather large assumption that they had a belay device to get there in the first place.


gblauer
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Mar 22, 2010, 12:45 PM
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bandycoot wrote:
You're making a rather large assumption that they had a belay device to get there in the first place.

Yeah I once watched a guy "belaying" his wife doing top rope laps up Fancy Idiot at the Gunks...he never used a belay device...just held the rope in his hands. Not even a hip belay.


styndall


Mar 22, 2010, 1:01 PM
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gblauer wrote:
bandycoot wrote:
You're making a rather large assumption that they had a belay device to get there in the first place.

Yeah I once watched a guy "belaying" his wife doing top rope laps up Fancy Idiot at the Gunks...he never used a belay device...just held the rope in his hands. Not even a hip belay.

If she was doing laps, how did he lower her? Just hand over hand?


jt512


Mar 22, 2010, 1:02 PM
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Re: [agdavis] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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agdavis wrote:
jt512 wrote:
agdavis wrote:
People are fucking morons.

Is that legal?

Jay

Is what legal?

Fucking morons.

Jay


gblauer
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Mar 22, 2010, 1:12 PM
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styndall wrote:
If she was doing laps, how did he lower her? Just hand over hand?


Mostly he did it hand over hand, occastionally he would lower using belay device. (She would climb up, then he would put her on belay).


styndall


Mar 22, 2010, 2:01 PM
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That's completely insane.


jsh


Mar 22, 2010, 4:37 PM
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Interesting. I heard from two different parties that a reverso was used (tho, evidently not correctly). I also heard that the belayer was beyond devastated.

The Ape Call accident sounds fairly serious, and I wouldn't compare it to the High E hijinks of last year.

However, the "false alarm" I heard about from Saturday, in which "a harness came off", may well give the High E thing a run for its money. I heard about that secondhand too (albeit from the people who helped rescue the idiots in question), so I won't repeat it myself, outside of saying: gym climbers.

Gail, I'm so sorry your feet aren't better (yet)!


gblauer
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Mar 22, 2010, 4:41 PM
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jsh wrote:
so I won't repeat it myself, outside of saying: gym climbers.

Gail, I'm so sorry your feet aren't better (yet)!

I felt like the entire Trapps was populated by gym climbers. It seemed like everyone and their dog/baby/stroller/kid was out climbing this past weekend. Taking up bolted anchors for TRing, so that no one could rap on climbs etc. It was quite the weekend.

Thanks for the foot thing...I am very discouraged right now.


Gmburns2000


Mar 22, 2010, 4:54 PM
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gblauer wrote:
jsh wrote:
so I won't repeat it myself, outside of saying: gym climbers.

Gail, I'm so sorry your feet aren't better (yet)!

I felt like the entire Trapps was populated by gym climbers. It seemed like everyone and their dog/baby/stroller/kid was out climbing this past weekend. Taking up bolted anchors for TRing, so that no one could rap on climbs etc. It was quite the weekend.

Thanks for the foot thing...I am very discouraged right now.

keep your head up Gail, your better days will come and you'll thoroughly enjoy them when they do.


ClimbClimb


Mar 23, 2010, 11:45 AM
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jsh wrote:
Interesting. I heard from two different parties that a reverso was used (tho, evidently not correctly). I also heard that the belayer was beyond devastated.

Sounds like there may be more to the story and seems more believable.. Why not give people benefit of the doubt, instead of proclaiming them "morons" when both are seriously hurt and one is probably feeling as down as a person can?

Anyone have more details?


gblauer
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Mar 23, 2010, 11:53 AM
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Actually, when I was up there I heard 4 or 5 different versions of the story from people who, in their words "were right there".

It's amazing how people perceive things so differently. The common elements:
1) She was not wearing a helment
2) She was on a TR
3) She hit her head
4) She hit the tree (and her hip)
5) She did not deck (Stopped short 5-10 feet off the ground)
6) Belayer had 2nd degree burns on his hands and had to be assisted down from the top of the first pitch
7) Belayer was devastated
8) Climber was awake, talking etc

What we don't know is exactly what happened. was he using a carabiner as a belay device? A Reverso?


zeke_sf


Mar 23, 2010, 12:06 PM
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Cool. I'll have to watch out for the "Gunks belay" now.


acorneau


Mar 23, 2010, 12:50 PM
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Re: [gblauer] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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I'm going to take an armchair guess here...

My bet is that the belayer hooked the Reverso on to the anchor using the rope-side biner instead of attaching it via the anchoring hole/biner.

The belayer had basically no holding power since he would have had to have locked off the device in the opposite direction of the load (straight up).

Again, just my guess.


(This post was edited by acorneau on Mar 23, 2010, 12:55 PM)


ensonik


Mar 23, 2010, 4:31 PM
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From gunks.com
In reply to:
Before the "Pointless Hypothesis based on Hearsay" machine gets too badly spun up, I have an account of the incident on Ape Call (climber being lowered nearly decks) from the person who fell. I don't have her permission to share it but I do want to correct one piece of mis-info that is key. The climber was being lowered using an ATC in guide mode and not 'without a belay device'. Both climbers involved are very experienced and are badly shaken up. When they are ready I expect that they will feel more comfortable in unpacking this and we can make a reasoned attempt at understanding how and why and what not to do next time we are there. Until then, useless comments about Darwinism aren't helpful. It could be you next time, but for the grace of God and all that...

http://gunks.com/ubbthreads7/ubbthreads.php/topics/50922/Re_Accident_this_Past_Saturday#Post50922


shockabuku


Mar 23, 2010, 4:43 PM
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ensonik wrote:
From gunks.com
In reply to:
Before the "Pointless Hypothesis based on Hearsay" machine gets too badly spun up, I have an account of the incident on Ape Call (climber being lowered nearly decks) from the person who fell. I don't have her permission to share it but I do want to correct one piece of mis-info that is key. The climber was being lowered using an ATC in guide mode and not 'without a belay device'. Both climbers involved are very experienced and are badly shaken up. When they are ready I expect that they will feel more comfortable in unpacking this and we can make a reasoned attempt at understanding how and why and what not to do next time we are there. Until then, useless comments about Darwinism aren't helpful. It could be you next time, but for the grace of God and all that...

http://gunks.com/...t_Saturday#Post50922


mojomonkey


Mar 23, 2010, 4:59 PM
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And the belayer posted there:

In reply to:
I was the belayer in the Ape Call accident this past Saturday. Before I give my account, I would just like to say thank you to everyone that assisted. Also, I know that I am going to be ridiculed for whatever I say, but I would like to say that whatever you may say about me or poor judgement from the event has got absolutely nothing on the way that I already feel about what I put my friend/climbing partner through.

I led Ape Call, and belayed my friend to the top of the pitch. I was then going to lower her down, so that another member of our party could climb the pitch. I belayed her using an ATC Guide in autoblock mode. The device was attached directly to the anchor (tree to the right of the top of P1). I thought to switch the belay device over, so that I would lower off of my harness and have the rope re-dirceted through the power point of the anchor, but through poor judgement thought that I would be OK to lower with it in autoblock. To lower her, I girth hitched a sling to the belay biner and re-directed it through the anchor. I then kept by brake hand (left hand) on the brake strand, and used my right to pull on the sling to release tension from the belay device. At first, tension did not release, so I pulled slightly harder and the the rope went through very quickly. The bleay device was set up properly, and at no point did my brake hand let go of the rope. I thought I released the pressure instantly from the sling, but may have been mistaken, or may not have released enough pressure from the sling. I did eventually stop my partner, but not before she hit her head and her hip on the way down. I was able to lower her in a controlled manner the rest of the way to the ground.

Almost instantly there were a number of highly qualified people on scene to help out. Thanks again to everyone that played a part on Saturday, I really cannot thank you enough. I went to the hospital with my partner. She was checked out and they said she was ok, and they helped to clean my brake hand which has some pretty significant rope burns.

I know I exercised poor judgement in this situation by lowering her while still set up in autoblock. I know that many people on this site are going to be quick to chime in about my poor judgement and all the mistakes I made. I know this is going to happen, but I assure you that nothing anyone has to say could possibly make me feel any worse than I already do. Through the years I have spent climbing at the Gunks, all the ambulances that I have heard coming to and from the crag, and even carry outs I have helped with, I never knew what it was like to have the rescue efforts focused on me, now unfortunately I have had the terrible and much worse experience of knowing what it is like to have the rescue efforts focused on your partner, friend, and someone that has put their life in your hands.


johnwesely


Mar 23, 2010, 5:05 PM
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That is why it is crucial to practice releasing an auto block belay device on the ground when nothing is at stake.


meanandugly


Mar 23, 2010, 5:17 PM
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Good judgment comes from poor decisions. Lesson learned, I hope. Hopefully other will learn from your. I to have screwed up in the past and all you can do at this point is endeavor to do better.


patto


Mar 25, 2010, 5:42 AM
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johnwesely wrote:
That is why it is crucial to practice releasing an auto block belay device on the ground when nothing is at stake.

Or just use common sense.

It sounds like this guy was locking off with brake rope BELOW the device. This is absurd as the device gives no friction like this. Lock off above the device this should be obvious. (If you are going to be lowering for any distance then redirecting the brake rope through a bomber higher piece can be effective and allow you to brake in a more comfortable way.)

EDIT:

After reading the gunks page it seems many people do not understand how the belay device opperates in friction guide mode. It is scary.

JUST BECAUSE IT IS A BRAKE ROPE AND YOU ARE HOLDING IT IN YOUR BRAKE HAND DOESN'T MEAN IT WILL BRAKE!!!

You need to hold it at the correct angle. This is fundamental to the functioning of a belay device, think about it.

EDIT2:

OMFG!!!

Even Black Diamond don't know how to use their own device! Death video:
http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/...lay-rappel/atc-guide


(This post was edited by patto on Mar 25, 2010, 6:18 AM)


johnwesely


Mar 25, 2010, 6:11 AM
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Re: [patto] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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patto wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
That is why it is crucial to practice releasing an auto block belay device on the ground when nothing is at stake.

Or just use common sense.

It sounds like this guy was locking off with brake rope BELOW the device. This is absurd as the device gives no friction like this. Lock off above the device this should be obvious. (If you are going to be lowering for any distance then redirecting the brake rope through a bomber higher piece can be effective and allow you to brake in a more comfortable way.)

EDIT

After reading the gunks page it seems many people do not understand how the belay device opperates in friction guide mode. It is scary.

JUST BECAUSE IT IS A BRAKE ROPE AND YOU ARE HOLDING IT IN YOUR BRAKE HAND DOESN'T MEAN IT WILL BRAKE!!!

You need to hold it at the correct angle. This is fundamental to the functioning of a belay device, think about it.

If you were to practice on the ground, it would take you all of five seconds to figure that out. I know it is not a replacement for common sense, but it probably would have prevented this accident.


Gmburns2000


Mar 25, 2010, 6:14 AM
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Re: [mojomonkey] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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thanks for posting that here, MM.

I hope everyone involved recovers quickly, both physically and emotionally.

mojomonkey wrote:
And the belayer posted there:

In reply to:
I was the belayer in the Ape Call accident this past Saturday. Before I give my account, I would just like to say thank you to everyone that assisted. Also, I know that I am going to be ridiculed for whatever I say, but I would like to say that whatever you may say about me or poor judgement from the event has got absolutely nothing on the way that I already feel about what I put my friend/climbing partner through.

I led Ape Call, and belayed my friend to the top of the pitch. I was then going to lower her down, so that another member of our party could climb the pitch. I belayed her using an ATC Guide in autoblock mode. The device was attached directly to the anchor (tree to the right of the top of P1). I thought to switch the belay device over, so that I would lower off of my harness and have the rope re-dirceted through the power point of the anchor, but through poor judgement thought that I would be OK to lower with it in autoblock. To lower her, I girth hitched a sling to the belay biner and re-directed it through the anchor. I then kept by brake hand (left hand) on the brake strand, and used my right to pull on the sling to release tension from the belay device. At first, tension did not release, so I pulled slightly harder and the the rope went through very quickly. The bleay device was set up properly, and at no point did my brake hand let go of the rope. I thought I released the pressure instantly from the sling, but may have been mistaken, or may not have released enough pressure from the sling. I did eventually stop my partner, but not before she hit her head and her hip on the way down. I was able to lower her in a controlled manner the rest of the way to the ground.

Almost instantly there were a number of highly qualified people on scene to help out. Thanks again to everyone that played a part on Saturday, I really cannot thank you enough. I went to the hospital with my partner. She was checked out and they said she was ok, and they helped to clean my brake hand which has some pretty significant rope burns.

I know I exercised poor judgement in this situation by lowering her while still set up in autoblock. I know that many people on this site are going to be quick to chime in about my poor judgement and all the mistakes I made. I know this is going to happen, but I assure you that nothing anyone has to say could possibly make me feel any worse than I already do. Through the years I have spent climbing at the Gunks, all the ambulances that I have heard coming to and from the crag, and even carry outs I have helped with, I never knew what it was like to have the rescue efforts focused on me, now unfortunately I have had the terrible and much worse experience of knowing what it is like to have the rescue efforts focused on your partner, friend, and someone that has put their life in your hands.


patto


Mar 25, 2010, 6:20 AM
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Re: [johnwesely] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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johnwesely wrote:
If you were to practice on the ground, it would take you all of five seconds to figure that out. I know it is not a replacement for common sense, but it probably would have prevented this accident.

It seems that Black Diamond didn't figure it out in their how to video:

Shocked

http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/...lay-rappel/atc-guide

Direct link:
http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/...TO_ATC_Guide_Use.flv


benmoreite


Mar 25, 2010, 6:34 AM
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Re: [johnwesely] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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johnwesely wrote:
patto wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
That is why it is crucial to practice releasing an auto block belay device on the ground when nothing is at stake.

Or just use common sense.

It sounds like this guy was locking off with brake rope BELOW the device. This is absurd as the device gives no friction like this. Lock off above the device this should be obvious. (If you are going to be lowering for any distance then redirecting the brake rope through a bomber higher piece can be effective and allow you to brake in a more comfortable way.)

EDIT

After reading the gunks page it seems many people do not understand how the belay device opperates in friction guide mode. It is scary.

JUST BECAUSE IT IS A BRAKE ROPE AND YOU ARE HOLDING IT IN YOUR BRAKE HAND DOESN'T MEAN IT WILL BRAKE!!!

You need to hold it at the correct angle. This is fundamental to the functioning of a belay device, think about it.

If you were to practice on the ground, it would take you all of five seconds to figure that out. I know it is not a replacement for common sense, but it probably would have prevented this accident.

My initial reaction was similar to the above, but then I went and took a look at the BD instructions and their instructional video. I found the video, the written instructions on lowering, and the pictograms that accompany the written instructions to all be lacking.

I would also add that practicing on the ground does not provide the kinds of load on the climbers end to teach a new Guide user the importance of the angle on the break side. Until you are trying to release that sucker with a full hanging load on it, there is just no way to appreciate how hard it is to release and control.

When lowering with the guide, especially on vertical to overhanging terrain, I like to either redirect the break-strand through a high carabiner, or run the break-strand from the ATC to a carabiner on my harness with a munter hitch. Both of these options provide a simple way to add a lot of friction while lowering in guide mode.

My best wishes to all involved for a speedy recovery.


johnwesely


Mar 25, 2010, 6:38 AM
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Re: [benmoreite] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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When I practiced, I used about twenty five pounds of stuff to act as my climber. I actually had to lower my climber on a auto blocking device (Trango B-52) last weekend. I was surprised by how difficult it was to release but was prepared for the system going from being completely blocked off to no friction at all in an instant.


brianri


Mar 25, 2010, 6:40 AM
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Re: [shockabuku] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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This always occurs after an accident. The "Pointless Hypothesis based on Hearsay" of people who weren't there come out of the woodwork and second guess what happened. They are the real fucking morons.

I had a similar problem when lowering using the Black Diamond ATC Guide. I was able to recover quickly so it didn't result in an accident but the person I was lowering got a sudden quick ride that I'm sure she didn't appreciate.

I was lowering exactly how BD shows in their video. So if you use one of these be careful. It is very easy to get the lower out of control with a slight tug.
http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en-us/shop/climb/belay-rappel/atc-guide


(This post was edited by brianri on Mar 25, 2010, 6:55 AM)


Partner j_ung


Mar 25, 2010, 6:53 AM
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Re: [brianri] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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brianri wrote:
This always occurs after an accident. The "Pointless Hypothesis based on Hearsay" of people who weren't there come out of the woodwork and second guess what happened. They are the real fucking morans.

I had a similar problem when lowering using the Black Diamond ATC Guide. I was able to recover quickly so it didn't result in an accident but the person I was lowering got a sudden quick ride that I'm sure she didn't appreciate.

I was lowering exactly how BD shows in their video. So if you use one of these be careful. It is very easy to get the lower out of control with a slight tug.
http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en-us/shop/climb/belay-rappel/atc-guide

The correct spelling is morOn. Tongue


kaizen


Mar 25, 2010, 7:04 AM
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Re: [j_ung] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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Honest question here. If you knew ahead of time you were going to lower someone once they reached the top of the pitch, why would you even set the device up in autoblock mode? Is it just so the belayer can have that extra back-up/less focused belay?

Or is there another reason I am just not getting here...


brianri


Mar 25, 2010, 7:13 AM
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In reply to:
The correct spelling is morOn. Tongue

Thanks. I fixed it. What an inopportune word not to run the spell check on. Blush


Partner cracklover


Mar 25, 2010, 7:49 AM
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Re: [brianri] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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brianri wrote:
This always occurs after an accident. The "Pointless Hypothesis based on Hearsay" of people who weren't there come out of the woodwork and second guess what happened. They are the real fucking morons.

I had a similar problem when lowering using the Black Diamond ATC Guide. I was able to recover quickly so it didn't result in an accident but the person I was lowering got a sudden quick ride that I'm sure she didn't appreciate.

I was lowering exactly how BD shows in their video. So if you use one of these be careful. It is very easy to get the lower out of control with a slight tug.
http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en-us/shop/climb/belay-rappel/atc-guide

I just tried to replicate this yesterday. I found that when you pull on the brake strand of the rope in addition to pulling on the pull cord, with a full (115 lbs) of force on the rope, the device will invert completely. At that point you must either completely brake with the brake strand, or *release* the brake strand and release the pull cord, otherwise the climber will fall out of control.

GO


benmoreite


Mar 25, 2010, 8:09 AM
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Re: [cracklover] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
I just tried to replicate this yesterday. I found that when you pull on the brake strand of the rope in addition to pulling on the pull cord, with a full (115 lbs) of force on the rope, the device will invert completely. At that point you must either completely brake with the brake strand, or *release* the brake strand and release the pull cord, otherwise the climber will fall out of control.

GO

Indeed, when fully weighted, releasing the autoblock turns the whole setup into little more than a redirect, and you must break by pulling the rope in the opposite direction (i.e. up when setup in guide mode), which is incredibly difficult if you have set your anchor high (as is preferable for actually belaying) and you are using your body weight to unlock the device in the first place.

Using some kind of assist makes this whole process much easier and far safer imho. The attached document shows some ways to lower effectively with a plaquette, the directions from BD (which I find misleading and ineffective), and lowering with a GriGri, which has similar issues to the plaquettes.
Attachments: AutoBlock Belay Device Tricks.pdf (138 KB)


jt512


Mar 25, 2010, 8:32 AM
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Re: [johnwesely] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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johnwesely wrote:
That is why it is crucial to practice releasing an auto block belay device on the ground when nothing is at stake.

Or not use it in "guide mode" in the first place without a really good reason, especially when you might have to lower the climber. Since there is almost always the possibility that you'll have to lower the climber, it stands to reason that you should almost never use the device in this configuration.

Jay


iron106


Mar 25, 2010, 8:37 AM
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Re: [benmoreite] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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Maybe these instructions should show that you have to redirect, none really appear to. The ATC guide instructions only say to have a firm grip on the brake side of the rope.

People will disagree with me and bash me about this also but....I am impressed with this belayers ability to stop the climber in this situation. That is the important thing. I can only imagine how hard he had to squeeze that rope to stop the climber. Good job. holding the brake side or the rope. No matter what don't let go of the brake!


IsayAutumn


Mar 25, 2010, 8:43 AM
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Re: [jt512] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
That is why it is crucial to practice releasing an auto block belay device on the ground when nothing is at stake.

Or not use it in "guide mode" in the first place without a really good reason, especially when you might have to lower the climber. Since there is almost always the possibility that you'll have to lower the climber, it stands to reason that you should almost never use the device in this configuration.

Jay

Or you could learn how to do it correctly and safely. Guide mode offers a lot of advantages. Just because something requires effort to learn does not mean it "stands to reason" that it should never be done.


Partner cracklover


Mar 25, 2010, 8:49 AM
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Re: [benmoreite] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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benmoreite wrote:
cracklover wrote:
I just tried to replicate this yesterday. I found that when you pull on the brake strand of the rope in addition to pulling on the pull cord, with a full (115 lbs) of force on the rope, the device will invert completely. At that point you must either completely brake with the brake strand, or *release* the brake strand and release the pull cord, otherwise the climber will fall out of control.

GO

Indeed, when fully weighted, releasing the autoblock turns the whole setup into little more than a redirect, and you must break by pulling the rope in the opposite direction (i.e. up when setup in guide mode), which is incredibly difficult if you have set your anchor high (as is preferable for actually belaying) and you are using your body weight to unlock the device in the first place.

Actually, the interesting thing was that it didn't require me "fully weighting" the release to get this to happen. Basically, once the device started to partially release, a slight tug sideways or upwards on the brake strand caused it to open/release completely. In other words, I initiated the release with the cord, but then pulling on the brake strand of the rope released the block completely. At which point the only way to get the climber back in control was to either pull *harder* on the brake strand (counter-intuitive, as this is what opened the device so much in the first place), or simultaneously fully release both the brake strand of the rope and the pull cord.

GO

(edited to add a word for clarity)


(This post was edited by cracklover on Mar 25, 2010, 8:50 AM)


benmoreite


Mar 25, 2010, 8:57 AM
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Re: [cracklover] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
benmoreite wrote:
cracklover wrote:
I just tried to replicate this yesterday. I found that when you pull on the brake strand of the rope in addition to pulling on the pull cord, with a full (115 lbs) of force on the rope, the device will invert completely. At that point you must either completely brake with the brake strand, or *release* the brake strand and release the pull cord, otherwise the climber will fall out of control.

GO

Indeed, when fully weighted, releasing the autoblock turns the whole setup into little more than a redirect, and you must break by pulling the rope in the opposite direction (i.e. up when setup in guide mode), which is incredibly difficult if you have set your anchor high (as is preferable for actually belaying) and you are using your body weight to unlock the device in the first place.

Actually, the interesting thing was that it didn't require me "fully weighting" the release to get this to happen. Basically, once the device started to partially release, a slight tug sideways or upwards on the brake strand caused it to open/release completely. In other words, I initiated the release with the cord, but then pulling on the brake strand of the rope released the block completely. At which point the only way to get the climber back in control was to either pull *harder* on the brake strand (counter-intuitive, as this is what opened the device so much in the first place), or simultaneously fully release both the brake strand of the rope and the pull cord.

GO

(edited to add a word for clarity)

Sorry, I didn't mean when the belayer fully weights the release, I meant when the climber is fully weighting their end of the rope. I find the experience of releasing the guide to "feel" very different when a climber is able to take some of their weight off, versus when they cannot. As you described, there is a very sudden and complete release that occurs when the climber is fully weighting the rope. This is, I think, why practicing loweing with a plaquette on the ground is inadequate practice for the real thing. The device responds very differently when fully weighted (by the climber).


whipper


Mar 25, 2010, 9:13 AM
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Re: [jt512] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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Why do people love using their guides in guide mode, I just dont get it, it is NOT hard to do a redirected belay. I really see very little use for these devices, esp in the hands of inexperienced climbers.


Gmburns2000


Mar 25, 2010, 9:14 AM
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cracklover wrote:
benmoreite wrote:
cracklover wrote:
I just tried to replicate this yesterday. I found that when you pull on the brake strand of the rope in addition to pulling on the pull cord, with a full (115 lbs) of force on the rope, the device will invert completely. At that point you must either completely brake with the brake strand, or *release* the brake strand and release the pull cord, otherwise the climber will fall out of control.

GO

Indeed, when fully weighted, releasing the autoblock turns the whole setup into little more than a redirect, and you must break by pulling the rope in the opposite direction (i.e. up when setup in guide mode), which is incredibly difficult if you have set your anchor high (as is preferable for actually belaying) and you are using your body weight to unlock the device in the first place.

Actually, the interesting thing was that it didn't require me "fully weighting" the release to get this to happen. Basically, once the device started to partially release, a slight tug sideways or upwards on the brake strand caused it to open/release completely. In other words, I initiated the release with the cord, but then pulling on the brake strand of the rope released the block completely. At which point the only way to get the climber back in control was to either pull *harder* on the brake strand (counter-intuitive, as this is what opened the device so much in the first place), or simultaneously fully release both the brake strand of the rope and the pull cord.

GO

(edited to add a word for clarity)

So, if I'm reading this correctly, does that mean it is best to not pull on the brake strand when lowering (just keep your hand there, but use the sling - or whatever you're using to release the "lock" - to control the release of rope when lowering the climber)?


jt512


Mar 25, 2010, 9:14 AM
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IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
That is why it is crucial to practice releasing an auto block belay device on the ground when nothing is at stake.

Or not use it in "guide mode" in the first place without a really good reason, especially when you might have to lower the climber. Since there is almost always the possibility that you'll have to lower the climber, it stands to reason that you should almost never use the device in this configuration.

Jay

Or you could learn how to do it correctly and safely. Guide mode offers a lot of advantages.

I can't think of anything you can do in "guide mode" that you can't with a munter hitch, and with a munter hitch, you can actually lower the climber. I suspect that most people belaying in "guide mode" are on more of an ego trip, than anything.

Jay


jt512


Mar 25, 2010, 9:18 AM
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whipper wrote:
Why do people love using their guides in guide mode...

Because it has the word "guide" in it.

Jay


IsayAutumn


Mar 25, 2010, 9:21 AM
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jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
That is why it is crucial to practice releasing an auto block belay device on the ground when nothing is at stake.

Or not use it in "guide mode" in the first place without a really good reason, especially when you might have to lower the climber. Since there is almost always the possibility that you'll have to lower the climber, it stands to reason that you should almost never use the device in this configuration.

Jay

Or you could learn how to do it correctly and safely. Guide mode offers a lot of advantages.

I can't think of anything you can do in "guide mode" that you can't with a munter hitch, and with a munter hitch, you can actually lower the climber. I suspect that most people belaying in "guide mode" are on more of an ego trip, than anything.

Jay

Easy to belay your second while drinking, taking photos, changing clothes, etc. Also easy to belay two seconds at the same time. You didn't think very hard, Jay. As for the ego trip, that's quite a leap. Speak for yourself.


jt512


Mar 25, 2010, 9:33 AM
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IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
That is why it is crucial to practice releasing an auto block belay device on the ground when nothing is at stake.

Or not use it in "guide mode" in the first place without a really good reason, especially when you might have to lower the climber. Since there is almost always the possibility that you'll have to lower the climber, it stands to reason that you should almost never use the device in this configuration.

Jay

Or you could learn how to do it correctly and safely. Guide mode offers a lot of advantages.

I can't think of anything you can do in "guide mode" that you can't with a munter hitch, and with a munter hitch, you can actually lower the climber. I suspect that most people belaying in "guide mode" are on more of an ego trip, than anything.

Jay

Easy to belay your second while drinking, taking photos, changing clothes, etc. ... You didn't think very hard, Jay.

It's not that I didn't think hard; it's that I don't climb with people whose priorities are eating, drinking, taking pictures, and changing their clothes while they're supposed to be belaying me.

In reply to:
Also easy to belay two seconds at the same time.


I'd imagine that it would be somewhat easier to do that with an autoblocking device than with two munter hitches, and if I frequently climbed with two seconds, I might get such a device, but then I'd basically be climbing as a guide, which, as the name suggests, is what "guide mode" is intended for.

In reply to:
As for the ego trip, that's quite a leap.

Not at all. It's clear from these discussions what's going on.

In reply to:
Speak for yourself.

Well I don't pretend to be a guide, and I don't use "guide mode," so I'm happy to speak for myself.

Jay


IsayAutumn


Mar 25, 2010, 9:40 AM
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jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
That is why it is crucial to practice releasing an auto block belay device on the ground when nothing is at stake.

Or not use it in "guide mode" in the first place without a really good reason, especially when you might have to lower the climber. Since there is almost always the possibility that you'll have to lower the climber, it stands to reason that you should almost never use the device in this configuration.

Jay

Or you could learn how to do it correctly and safely. Guide mode offers a lot of advantages.

I can't think of anything you can do in "guide mode" that you can't with a munter hitch, and with a munter hitch, you can actually lower the climber. I suspect that most people belaying in "guide mode" are on more of an ego trip, than anything.

Jay

Easy to belay your second while drinking, taking photos, changing clothes, etc. ... You didn't think very hard, Jay.

It's not that I didn't think hard; it's that I don't climb with people whose priorities are eating, drinking, taking pictures, and changing their clothes while they're supposed to be belaying me.

In reply to:
Also easy to belay two seconds at the same time.


I'd imagine that it would be somewhat easier to do that with an autoblocking device than with two munter hitches, and if I frequently climbed with two seconds, I might get such a device, but then I'd basically be climbing as a guide, which, as the name suggests, is what "guide mode" is intended for.

In reply to:
As for the ego trip, that's quite a leap.

Not at all. It's clear from these discussions what's going on.

In reply to:
Speak for yourself.

Well I don't pretend to be a guide, and I don't use "guide mode," so I'm happy to speak for myself.

Jay

I never suggested that using "guide mode" at a sport crag was worthwhile. But I'm sure you can imagine why eating, drinking, taking pictures, and changing clothes might be important to do while simultaneously belaying when you are trad climbing (sometimes) or alpine climbing (most of the time).

As for people pretending to be guides, I think we all know there is only one person on this site who fits into that category. I don't think that just because you use a product that has something called "guide mode" means that you have an ego or are delusional.


Partner cracklover


Mar 25, 2010, 10:32 AM
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Re: [Gmburns2000] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
cracklover wrote:
benmoreite wrote:
cracklover wrote:
I just tried to replicate this yesterday. I found that when you pull on the brake strand of the rope in addition to pulling on the pull cord, with a full (115 lbs) of force on the rope, the device will invert completely. At that point you must either completely brake with the brake strand, or *release* the brake strand and release the pull cord, otherwise the climber will fall out of control.

GO

Indeed, when fully weighted, releasing the autoblock turns the whole setup into little more than a redirect, and you must break by pulling the rope in the opposite direction (i.e. up when setup in guide mode), which is incredibly difficult if you have set your anchor high (as is preferable for actually belaying) and you are using your body weight to unlock the device in the first place.

Actually, the interesting thing was that it didn't require me "fully weighting" the release to get this to happen. Basically, once the device started to partially release, a slight tug sideways or upwards on the brake strand caused it to open/release completely. In other words, I initiated the release with the cord, but then pulling on the brake strand of the rope released the block completely. At which point the only way to get the climber back in control was to either pull *harder* on the brake strand (counter-intuitive, as this is what opened the device so much in the first place), or simultaneously fully release both the brake strand of the rope and the pull cord.

GO

(edited to add a word for clarity)

So, if I'm reading this correctly, does that mean it is best to not pull on the brake strand when lowering (just keep your hand there, but use the sling - or whatever you're using to release the "lock" - to control the release of rope when lowering the climber)?

In the extremely limited testing I did, I found that the easiest way to lower the climber was just that. If one redirects the pull cord through the anchor, one can lower the climber slowly by variably weighting the cord.

This is exactly what BD's video shows, and, I suspect, more or less exactly what the belayer who dropped the climber did.

In this instance, I think the easiest way is absolutely inferior, because if things get out of control, or the device does not behave well you are not in a good position to brake with the brake strand only.

So if I'm ever in this position, I will redirect the brake strand through the anchor above, and once the device is released, I will lower the climber using force on the brake strand only.

This, to me, seems much safer than assuming one can get the friction level of the device correct merely by varying the amount of pull on the release cord, especially considering that a little pull on the brake strand can work in concert with the pull cord to *lower* the friction.

GO


Partner cracklover


Mar 25, 2010, 10:36 AM
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jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
That is why it is crucial to practice releasing an auto block belay device on the ground when nothing is at stake.

Or not use it in "guide mode" in the first place without a really good reason, especially when you might have to lower the climber. Since there is almost always the possibility that you'll have to lower the climber, it stands to reason that you should almost never use the device in this configuration.

Jay

Or you could learn how to do it correctly and safely. Guide mode offers a lot of advantages.

I can't think of anything you can do in "guide mode" that you can't with a munter hitch, and with a munter hitch, you can actually lower the climber. I suspect that most people belaying in "guide mode" are on more of an ego trip, than anything.

Jay

Nah, I think most folks who use it in that mode do so simply because of the convenience factor.

GO


boymeetsrock


Mar 25, 2010, 10:44 AM
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Re: [cracklover] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
That is why it is crucial to practice releasing an auto block belay device on the ground when nothing is at stake.

Or not use it in "guide mode" in the first place without a really good reason, especially when you might have to lower the climber. Since there is almost always the possibility that you'll have to lower the climber, it stands to reason that you should almost never use the device in this configuration.

Jay

Or you could learn how to do it correctly and safely. Guide mode offers a lot of advantages.

I can't think of anything you can do in "guide mode" that you can't with a munter hitch, and with a munter hitch, you can actually lower the climber. I suspect that most people belaying in "guide mode" are on more of an ego trip, than anything.

Jay

Nah, I think most folks who use it in that mode do so simply because of the convenience factor.

GO

Speak for yourself. I TOTALLY use guide mode for the ego trip. Crazy

Now, posting for the ego trip... Well that is more of Jay's specialty. Tongue


jt512


Mar 25, 2010, 10:45 AM
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Re: [IsayAutumn] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
That is why it is crucial to practice releasing an auto block belay device on the ground when nothing is at stake.

Or not use it in "guide mode" in the first place without a really good reason, especially when you might have to lower the climber. Since there is almost always the possibility that you'll have to lower the climber, it stands to reason that you should almost never use the device in this configuration.

Jay

Or you could learn how to do it correctly and safely. Guide mode offers a lot of advantages.

I can't think of anything you can do in "guide mode" that you can't with a munter hitch, and with a munter hitch, you can actually lower the climber. I suspect that most people belaying in "guide mode" are on more of an ego trip, than anything.

Jay

Easy to belay your second while drinking, taking photos, changing clothes, etc. ... You didn't think very hard, Jay.

It's not that I didn't think hard; it's that I don't climb with people whose priorities are eating, drinking, taking pictures, and changing their clothes while they're supposed to be belaying me.

In reply to:
Also easy to belay two seconds at the same time.


I'd imagine that it would be somewhat easier to do that with an autoblocking device than with two munter hitches, and if I frequently climbed with two seconds, I might get such a device, but then I'd basically be climbing as a guide, which, as the name suggests, is what "guide mode" is intended for.

In reply to:
As for the ego trip, that's quite a leap.

Not at all. It's clear from these discussions what's going on.

In reply to:
Speak for yourself.

Well I don't pretend to be a guide, and I don't use "guide mode," so I'm happy to speak for myself.

Jay

I never suggested that using "guide mode" at a sport crag was worthwhile. But I'm sure you can imagine why eating, drinking, taking pictures, and changing clothes might be important to do while simultaneously belaying when you are trad climbing (sometimes) or alpine climbing (most of the time).

You've been climbing, what, a year, and you're lecturing us on the indispensability of an autoblocking belay device. I've probably led 100 trad pitches for every one you have, and I have never, even once, changed my clothes or taken a picture while belaying, nor have I ever used, or felt the need to use, an autoblocking belay device. My hand stays on the brake side of the rope from the moment I say "on belay" till the moment I say "off belay." That is true whether I'm using an ATC or a grigri, and it would be just as true if I were using an autblocking belay device. So, no, for me, using an autoblocking device would not make it the least bit easier to eat, drink, shit, fuck, take pictures, change my clothes, or do anything else while belaying.

Jay


IsayAutumn


Mar 25, 2010, 10:53 AM
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Re: [jt512] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
That is why it is crucial to practice releasing an auto block belay device on the ground when nothing is at stake.

Or not use it in "guide mode" in the first place without a really good reason, especially when you might have to lower the climber. Since there is almost always the possibility that you'll have to lower the climber, it stands to reason that you should almost never use the device in this configuration.

Jay

Or you could learn how to do it correctly and safely. Guide mode offers a lot of advantages.

I can't think of anything you can do in "guide mode" that you can't with a munter hitch, and with a munter hitch, you can actually lower the climber. I suspect that most people belaying in "guide mode" are on more of an ego trip, than anything.

Jay

Easy to belay your second while drinking, taking photos, changing clothes, etc. ... You didn't think very hard, Jay.

It's not that I didn't think hard; it's that I don't climb with people whose priorities are eating, drinking, taking pictures, and changing their clothes while they're supposed to be belaying me.

In reply to:
Also easy to belay two seconds at the same time.


I'd imagine that it would be somewhat easier to do that with an autoblocking device than with two munter hitches, and if I frequently climbed with two seconds, I might get such a device, but then I'd basically be climbing as a guide, which, as the name suggests, is what "guide mode" is intended for.

In reply to:
As for the ego trip, that's quite a leap.

Not at all. It's clear from these discussions what's going on.

In reply to:
Speak for yourself.

Well I don't pretend to be a guide, and I don't use "guide mode," so I'm happy to speak for myself.

Jay

I never suggested that using "guide mode" at a sport crag was worthwhile. But I'm sure you can imagine why eating, drinking, taking pictures, and changing clothes might be important to do while simultaneously belaying when you are trad climbing (sometimes) or alpine climbing (most of the time).

You've been climbing, what, a year, and you're lecturing us on the indispensability of an autoblocking belay device. I've probably led 100 trad pitches for every one you have, and I have never, even once, changed my clothes or taken a picture while belaying, nor have I ever used, or felt the need to use, an autoblocking belay device. My hand stays on the brake side of the rope from the moment I say "on belay" till the moment I say "off belay." That is true whether I'm using an ATC or a grigri, and it would be just as true if I were using an autblocking belay device. So, no, for me, using an autoblocking device would not make it the least bit easier to eat, drink, shit, fuck, take pictures, change my clothes, or do anything else while belaying.

Jay

Haha! Sorry to anger you.

No, I haven't been climbing as long as you. But I do make use of my autolocking belay device quite often. And I'm not lecturing anyone. You are the only one that has made the case that they are worthless. They are not. I personally have done all of those things you described while belaying, except for one, sadly. And guess what? It didn't make my climber any less safe. That is the value of the device.

Oh yeah, and keeping your hand perpetually on an autolocking belay device while you belay a second (as you claimed you would do if you had one) is stupid and superfluous. Look how it worked for the dude in the accident. You don't need to do it. That's the point.


jt512


Mar 25, 2010, 10:57 AM
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IsayAutumn wrote:

Oh yeah, and keeping your hand perpetually on an autolocking belay device while you belay a second (as you claimed you would do if you had one) is stupid and superfluous.

If you think that, that we won't be climbing together.

Jay


jt512


Mar 25, 2010, 11:01 AM
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Re: [cracklover] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:

In the extremely limited testing I did, I found that the easiest way to lower the climber was just that. If one redirects the pull cord through the anchor, one can lower the climber slowly by variably weighting the cord.

This is exactly what BD's video shows, and, I suspect, more or less exactly what the belayer who dropped the climber did.

In this instance, I think the easiest way is absolutely inferior, because if things get out of control, or the device does not behave well you are not in a good position to brake with the brake strand only.

So if I'm ever in this position, I will redirect the brake strand through the anchor above, and once the device is released, I will lower the climber using force on the brake strand only.

This, to me, seems much safer than assuming one can get the friction level of the device correct merely by varying the amount of pull on the release cord, especially considering that a little pull on the brake strand can work in concert with the pull cord to *lower* the friction.

GO

The ATC-Guide is starting to sound like a belay device I want to have no part of, regardless of which end of the rope I'm on.

Jay


boymeetsrock


Mar 25, 2010, 11:01 AM
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Re: [IsayAutumn] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
That is why it is crucial to practice releasing an auto block belay device on the ground when nothing is at stake.

Or not use it in "guide mode" in the first place without a really good reason, especially when you might have to lower the climber. Since there is almost always the possibility that you'll have to lower the climber, it stands to reason that you should almost never use the device in this configuration.

Jay

Or you could learn how to do it correctly and safely. Guide mode offers a lot of advantages.

I can't think of anything you can do in "guide mode" that you can't with a munter hitch, and with a munter hitch, you can actually lower the climber. I suspect that most people belaying in "guide mode" are on more of an ego trip, than anything.

Jay

Easy to belay your second while drinking, taking photos, changing clothes, etc. ... You didn't think very hard, Jay.

It's not that I didn't think hard; it's that I don't climb with people whose priorities are eating, drinking, taking pictures, and changing their clothes while they're supposed to be belaying me.

In reply to:
Also easy to belay two seconds at the same time.


I'd imagine that it would be somewhat easier to do that with an autoblocking device than with two munter hitches, and if I frequently climbed with two seconds, I might get such a device, but then I'd basically be climbing as a guide, which, as the name suggests, is what "guide mode" is intended for.

In reply to:
As for the ego trip, that's quite a leap.

Not at all. It's clear from these discussions what's going on.

In reply to:
Speak for yourself.

Well I don't pretend to be a guide, and I don't use "guide mode," so I'm happy to speak for myself.

Jay

I never suggested that using "guide mode" at a sport crag was worthwhile. But I'm sure you can imagine why eating, drinking, taking pictures, and changing clothes might be important to do while simultaneously belaying when you are trad climbing (sometimes) or alpine climbing (most of the time).

You've been climbing, what, a year, and you're lecturing us on the indispensability of an autoblocking belay device. I've probably led 100 trad pitches for every one you have, and I have never, even once, changed my clothes or taken a picture while belaying, nor have I ever used, or felt the need to use, an autoblocking belay device. My hand stays on the brake side of the rope from the moment I say "on belay" till the moment I say "off belay." That is true whether I'm using an ATC or a grigri, and it would be just as true if I were using an autblocking belay device. So, no, for me, using an autoblocking device would not make it the least bit easier to eat, drink, shit, fuck, take pictures, change my clothes, or do anything else while belaying.

Jay

Haha! Sorry to anger you.

No, I haven't been climbing as long as you. But I do make use of my autolocking belay device quite often. And I'm not lecturing anyone. You are the only one that has made the case that they are worthless. They are not. I personally have done all of those things you described while belaying, except for one, sadly. And guess what? It didn't make my climber any less safe. That is the value of the device.

Oh yeah, and keeping your hand perpetually on an autolocking belay device while you belay a second (as you claimed you would do if you had one) is stupid and superfluous. Look how it worked for the dude in the accident. You don't need to do it. That's the point.

Damn... I was right there with you up until that last paragraph. Even though it is an autoblocking devise your hand should still remain on the brake line at all times. The advantage is that you can leave a loop of slack between your brake hand and the belay devise while fussing with various sundries. And your example RE the OP is really not correct.


IsayAutumn


Mar 25, 2010, 11:02 AM
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jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:

Oh yeah, and keeping your hand perpetually on an autolocking belay device while you belay a second (as you claimed you would do if you had one) is stupid and superfluous.

If you think that, that we won't be climbing together.

Jay

I'm sorry you think that.

I know you don't use one, but your statement betrays an ignorance of the device when used in guide mode. Holding onto the break strand does not make it any easier to catch a fall while belaying. Plus, it makes it harder to fuck.


jt512


Mar 25, 2010, 11:05 AM
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IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:

Oh yeah, and keeping your hand perpetually on an autolocking belay device while you belay a second (as you claimed you would do if you had one) is stupid and superfluous.

If you think that, that we won't be climbing together.

Jay

I'm sorry you think that.

It looks like "boymeetsrock" thinks that, too. If you persist in your habit of removing your brake hand from the rope, I'd say you're down two potential partners, and counting.

Jay


IsayAutumn


Mar 25, 2010, 11:07 AM
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boymeetsrock wrote:
Damn... I was right there with you up until that last paragraph. Even though it is an autoblocking devise your hand should still remain on the brake line at all times. The advantage is that you can leave a loop of slack between your brake hand and the belay devise while fussing with various sundries. And your example RE the OP is really not correct.

I do not understand this. Could you please clarify? The autolocking device, in my experience, will catch a fall, even if you should be caught without your hands on the device.

Of course, most people will have a hand on the device most of the time to collect slack as the climber ascends, but this is not strictly necessary to safely arrest a fall. My point to Jay was that, by keeping your hands on the device at all times and forgoing the "fussing with various sundries," you eliminate the advantages of the device. If you want to throw a jacket on while belaying with the thing in guide mode, go ahead. Am I wrong?


boymeetsrock


Mar 25, 2010, 11:07 AM
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jt512 wrote:
cracklover wrote:

In the extremely limited testing I did, I found that the easiest way to lower the climber was just that. If one redirects the pull cord through the anchor, one can lower the climber slowly by variably weighting the cord.

This is exactly what BD's video shows, and, I suspect, more or less exactly what the belayer who dropped the climber did.

In this instance, I think the easiest way is absolutely inferior, because if things get out of control, or the device does not behave well you are not in a good position to brake with the brake strand only.

So if I'm ever in this position, I will redirect the brake strand through the anchor above, and once the device is released, I will lower the climber using force on the brake strand only.

This, to me, seems much safer than assuming one can get the friction level of the device correct merely by varying the amount of pull on the release cord, especially considering that a little pull on the brake strand can work in concert with the pull cord to *lower* the friction.

GO

The ATC-Guide is starting to sound like a belay device I want to have no part of, regardless of which end of the rope I'm on.

Jay


You're probably right here. The ATC-Guide or similar devices aren't really the best device for the type of climbing you do most regularly (single pitch sport). In fact a Gri-Gri used in auto-block mode wouldn't be recommended either I would think.

However, in the multi-pitch arena they have some real advantages, as discussed above.


boymeetsrock


Mar 25, 2010, 11:09 AM
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jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:

Oh yeah, and keeping your hand perpetually on an autolocking belay device while you belay a second (as you claimed you would do if you had one) is stupid and superfluous.

If you think that, that we won't be climbing together.

Jay

I'm sorry you think that.

It looks like "boymeetsrock" thinks that, too. If you persist in your habit of removing your brake hand from the rope, I'd say you're down two potential partners, and counting.

Jay

Apparently, you didn't read my post two above yours.


jt512


Mar 25, 2010, 11:11 AM
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boymeetsrock wrote:
jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:

Oh yeah, and keeping your hand perpetually on an autolocking belay device while you belay a second (as you claimed you would do if you had one) is stupid and superfluous.

If you think that, that we won't be climbing together.

Jay

I'm sorry you think that.

It looks like "boymeetsrock" thinks that, too. If you persist in your habit of removing your brake hand from the rope, I'd say you're down two potential partners, and counting.

Jay

Apparently, you didn't read my post two above yours.

The one where you told him to keep his brake hand on the rope?

Jay


boymeetsrock


Mar 25, 2010, 11:13 AM
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IsayAutumn wrote:
boymeetsrock wrote:
Damn... I was right there with you up until that last paragraph. Even though it is an autoblocking devise your hand should still remain on the brake line at all times. The advantage is that you can leave a loop of slack between your brake hand and the belay devise while fussing with various sundries. And your example RE the OP is really not correct.

I do not understand this. Could you please clarify? The autolocking device, in my experience, will catch a fall, even if you should be caught without your hands on the device.

Of course, most people will have a hand on the device most of the time to collect slack as the climber ascends, but this is not strictly necessary to safely arrest a fall. My point to Jay was that, by keeping your hands on the device at all times and forgoing the "fussing with various sundries," you eliminate the advantages of the device. If you want to throw a jacket on while belaying with the thing in guide mode, go ahead. Am I wrong?


Yes, you are wrong. Even though the devise is an auto-blocking devise you should always have your hand on the brake line. ALWAYS. The belay devise SHOULD always lock off in auto-block mode. Accidents can happen though, and redundancy is key. Keep a hand on the brake line.


boymeetsrock


Mar 25, 2010, 11:14 AM
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jt512 wrote:
boymeetsrock wrote:
jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:

Oh yeah, and keeping your hand perpetually on an autolocking belay device while you belay a second (as you claimed you would do if you had one) is stupid and superfluous.

If you think that, that we won't be climbing together.

Jay

I'm sorry you think that.

It looks like "boymeetsrock" thinks that, too. If you persist in your habit of removing your brake hand from the rope, I'd say you're down two potential partners, and counting.

Jay

Apparently, you didn't read my post two above yours.

The one where you told him to keep his brake hand on the rope?

Jay


Sorry, I misunderstood your intent. I thought you were disagreeing with me. My B.


iron106


Mar 25, 2010, 11:17 AM
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In reply to:
Oh yeah, and keeping your hand perpetually on an autolocking belay device while you belay a second (as you claimed you would do if you had one) is stupid and superfluous. Look how it worked for the dude in the accident. You don't need to do it. That's the point.

Actually look how it worked out for him, holding on to the brake. He held on and she did not deck. He held it no matter what.


IsayAutumn


Mar 25, 2010, 11:18 AM
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boymeetsrock wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
boymeetsrock wrote:
Damn... I was right there with you up until that last paragraph. Even though it is an autoblocking devise your hand should still remain on the brake line at all times. The advantage is that you can leave a loop of slack between your brake hand and the belay devise while fussing with various sundries. And your example RE the OP is really not correct.

I do not understand this. Could you please clarify? The autolocking device, in my experience, will catch a fall, even if you should be caught without your hands on the device.

Of course, most people will have a hand on the device most of the time to collect slack as the climber ascends, but this is not strictly necessary to safely arrest a fall. My point to Jay was that, by keeping your hands on the device at all times and forgoing the "fussing with various sundries," you eliminate the advantages of the device. If you want to throw a jacket on while belaying with the thing in guide mode, go ahead. Am I wrong?


Yes, you are wrong. Even though the devise is an auto-blocking devise you should always have your hand on the brake line. ALWAYS. The belay devise SHOULD always lock off in auto-block mode. Accidents can happen though, and redundancy is key. Keep a hand on the brake line.

Most of the time when I use the device in guide mode, it is high above my head. Often I extend my belay several feet away from the anchor via my tie-in with the rope so I can see my second climbing. Can you explain how I would stop my second from falling with my hand on the brake strand if the device should fail to arrest a fall? That was my point about mentioning the accident scenario. If the device should fail (has anyone heard of this happening?), you will not be able to arrest the fall unless you can get your hand above the belay device or redirect the rope in some fashion.

Has anyone had an ATC fail on them? This seems about as likely as a carabiner breaking.


IsayAutumn


Mar 25, 2010, 11:21 AM
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iron106 wrote:
In reply to:
Oh yeah, and keeping your hand perpetually on an autolocking belay device while you belay a second (as you claimed you would do if you had one) is stupid and superfluous. Look how it worked for the dude in the accident. You don't need to do it. That's the point.

Actually look how it worked out for him, holding on to the brake. He held on and she did not deck. He held it no matter what.

OK OK. But his device did not fail. He released the autoblock mechanism on purpose and should have been ready for it.

Had he not released the autoblock to lower her, he could have belayed her up the climb safely with his teeth.


jt512


Mar 25, 2010, 11:24 AM
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IsayAutumn wrote:
Most of the time when I use the device in guide mode, it is high above my head. Often I extend my belay several feet away from the anchor via my tie-in with the rope so I can see my second climbing. Can you explain how I would stop my second from falling with my hand on the brake strand if the device should fail to arrest a fall?

Well, that sounds patently unsafe. If I'm understanding this correctly, you have no way of safely unlocking the device to lower the climber.

Jay


whipper


Mar 25, 2010, 11:26 AM
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Re: [IsayAutumn] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
That is why it is crucial to practice releasing an auto block belay device on the ground when nothing is at stake.

Or not use it in "guide mode" in the first place without a really good reason, especially when you might have to lower the climber. Since there is almost always the possibility that you'll have to lower the climber, it stands to reason that you should almost never use the device in this configuration.

Jay

Or you could learn how to do it correctly and safely. Guide mode offers a lot of advantages.

I can't think of anything you can do in "guide mode" that you can't with a munter hitch, and with a munter hitch, you can actually lower the climber. I suspect that most people belaying in "guide mode" are on more of an ego trip, than anything.

Jay

Easy to belay your second while drinking, taking photos, changing clothes, etc. Also easy to belay two seconds at the same time. You didn't think very hard, Jay. As for the ego trip, that's quite a leap. Speak for yourself.

I have never had a hard time doing any of that while belaying with any device, really, you cant top rope belay and DRINK?
Also if it is a top rope situation, shouldn't you be taking up rope instead of doing all this other stuff you feel the need to do. I really cant believe that I am agreeing with Jay on something, but hey, he cant be wrong all the time. I have climbed a ton of alpine, and have never felt the need for these, plus if you are really alpine climbing and climbing fast, I dont want you to be dicking with the belay when I get to your station, I want to grab gear and climb past without going off of belay. Tie in with the rope to 2 good pieces, put me one belay, redirect the belay and go!


(This post was edited by whipper on Mar 25, 2010, 11:39 AM)


iron106


Mar 25, 2010, 11:30 AM
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Re: [IsayAutumn] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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IsayAutumn wrote:
iron106 wrote:
In reply to:
Oh yeah, and keeping your hand perpetually on an autolocking belay device while you belay a second (as you claimed you would do if you had one) is stupid and superfluous. Look how it worked for the dude in the accident. You don't need to do it. That's the point.

Actually look how it worked out for him, holding on to the brake. He held on and she did not deck. He held it no matter what.

OK OK. But his device did not fail. He released the autoblock mechanism on purpose and should have been ready for it.

Had he not released the autoblock to lower her, he could have belayed her up the climb safely with his teeth.

I am sure he did belay her up correctly. But since he held on to the rope when he lowered her ( the way the directions indicated? not 100% on that now) she did not deck.

It is like saying that it only matters placing gear correctly if you are going to fall on it. It is just something you should always do. No matter what devise you are using. Hold on to the brake of the rope.


IsayAutumn


Mar 25, 2010, 11:31 AM
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jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
Most of the time when I use the device in guide mode, it is high above my head. Often I extend my belay several feet away from the anchor via my tie-in with the rope so I can see my second climbing. Can you explain how I would stop my second from falling with my hand on the brake strand if the device should fail to arrest a fall?

Well, that sounds patently unsafe. If I'm understanding this correctly, you have no way of safely unlocking the device to lower the climber.

Jay

No, you are not understanding it correctly. I would simply walk back to the anchor to release the autoblocking mechanism in order to lower my climber. If that is patently unsafe, then take your grievance to BD.

I think I was misunderstood at some point in this thread. I do not kick back and lounge with my hands behind my head as my second climbs. I am a careful and attentive belayer. But, the advantage to having an autoblocking device is that, if you are in a hurry on a route, you can throw on an extra layer while your second is climbing. Yes, this may involve taking BOTH hands away from the device momentarily. As I understand it, that is the point of an autoblocking system. Not only to give an extra margin of safety, but to permit hands free use in certain situations.

If you or anyone else would not climb with me because I do that, I'll live with that.


IsayAutumn


Mar 25, 2010, 11:33 AM
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Re: [iron106] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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iron106 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
iron106 wrote:
In reply to:
Oh yeah, and keeping your hand perpetually on an autolocking belay device while you belay a second (as you claimed you would do if you had one) is stupid and superfluous. Look how it worked for the dude in the accident. You don't need to do it. That's the point.

Actually look how it worked out for him, holding on to the brake. He held on and she did not deck. He held it no matter what.

OK OK. But his device did not fail. He released the autoblock mechanism on purpose and should have been ready for it.

Had he not released the autoblock to lower her, he could have belayed her up the climb safely with his teeth.

I am sure he did belay her up correctly. But since he held on to the rope when he lowered her ( the way the directions indicated? not 100% on that now) she did not deck.

It is like saying that it only matters placing gear correctly if you are going to fall on it. It is just something you should always do. No matter what devise you are using. Hold on to the brake of the rope.

Now I am not climbing with you.


boymeetsrock


Mar 25, 2010, 11:37 AM
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Re: [IsayAutumn] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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IsayAutumn wrote:
boymeetsrock wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
boymeetsrock wrote:
Damn... I was right there with you up until that last paragraph. Even though it is an autoblocking devise your hand should still remain on the brake line at all times. The advantage is that you can leave a loop of slack between your brake hand and the belay devise while fussing with various sundries. And your example RE the OP is really not correct.

I do not understand this. Could you please clarify? The autolocking device, in my experience, will catch a fall, even if you should be caught without your hands on the device.

Of course, most people will have a hand on the device most of the time to collect slack as the climber ascends, but this is not strictly necessary to safely arrest a fall. My point to Jay was that, by keeping your hands on the device at all times and forgoing the "fussing with various sundries," you eliminate the advantages of the device. If you want to throw a jacket on while belaying with the thing in guide mode, go ahead. Am I wrong?


Yes, you are wrong. Even though the devise is an auto-blocking devise you should always have your hand on the brake line. ALWAYS. The belay devise SHOULD always lock off in auto-block mode. Accidents can happen though, and redundancy is key. Keep a hand on the brake line.

Most of the time when I use the device in guide mode, it is high above my head. Often I extend my belay several feet away from the anchor via my tie-in with the rope so I can see my second climbing. Can you explain how I would stop my second from falling with my hand on the brake strand if the device should fail to arrest a fall? That was my point about mentioning the accident scenario. If the device should fail (has anyone heard of this happening?), you will not be able to arrest the fall unless you can get your hand above the belay device or redirect the rope in some fashion.

Has anyone had an ATC fail on them? This seems about as likely as a carabiner breaking.

The reason to keep your hand on the brake line is that the rope could slip through the device (this does NOT equate to device failure). It is unlikely in my experience, but it is possible. By keeping your hand on the brake line you should be able to help the rope to grip itself.

The example in the OP has no relation to what we are discussing though. By lifting the belay devise, in order to lower his partner, he took the belay devise out of auto-block mode. Hence his problem controlling the rope. As long as the device remains in auto-block mode, you should be able to arrest a fall with your brake hand.


jt512


Mar 25, 2010, 11:43 AM
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IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
Most of the time when I use the device in guide mode, it is high above my head. Often I extend my belay several feet away from the anchor via my tie-in with the rope so I can see my second climbing. Can you explain how I would stop my second from falling with my hand on the brake strand if the device should fail to arrest a fall?

Well, that sounds patently unsafe. If I'm understanding this correctly, you have no way of safely unlocking the device to lower the climber.

Jay

No, you are not understanding it correctly. I would simply walk back to the anchor to release the autoblocking mechanism in order to lower my climber.

It's having the device "high above [your] head" that sounds unsafe. To release the device safely, you have to lock it off, which means getting your brake hand higher than the device, which would vary from awkward to impossible, depending on how high above your head you have rigged the device.

In reply to:
If that is patently unsafe, then take your grievance to BD.

If it's patently unsafe, I'm taking my grievance to you for belaying unsafely. You take it to BD. You're the one who bought the thing.

In reply to:
As I understand it, that is the point of an autoblocking system. Not only to give an extra margin of safety, but to permit hands free use in certain situations.

If you or anyone else would not climb with me because I do that, I'll live with that.

Three and counting.

Jay


kaizen


Mar 25, 2010, 11:43 AM
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jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
Most of the time when I use the device in guide mode, it is high above my head. Often I extend my belay several feet away from the anchor via my tie-in with the rope so I can see my second climbing. Can you explain how I would stop my second from falling with my hand on the brake strand if the device should fail to arrest a fall?

Well, that sounds patently unsafe. If I'm understanding this correctly, you have no way of safely unlocking the device to lower the climber.

Jay

I totally agree with Jay here. I have an ATC-Guide, and it's one of my favorite devices, probably only behind the piu. If you know you are going to be lowering someone, there is absolutely no reason to be using the autoblock mode - period. If you're bringing up a second, go for it. But the feature is intended to prevent a fall for a second, not as a means to change clothes, take pictures, or provide a no-hands belay - I know some famous climbers use the autoblock function to do this, but it's not what it was designed for.

And taking your brake hand off the rope on the assumption that the autoblock is used for a lazy belay? Incorrect. I have had a gri-gri slip on me while cleaning a route - luckily I was only 10 feet up. Shit fails, that is the point of redundancy, and the reason you keep your hands on the brake at all times, even if you're in "Guide Mode."

I don't mean any offense here, I'm not trying to pick a fight. But I would never want you as my belayer, and I hope that those that you belay are notified how you intend to belay.

Sorry if this sounds rude, but someone can get killed based on your posting.


IsayAutumn


Mar 25, 2010, 11:44 AM
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boymeetsrock wrote:
As long as the device remains in auto-block mode, you should be able to arrest a fall with your brake hand.

And as long as the device remains in auto-block mode, the rope shouldn't slip through the device. I've never had it happen. I've never heard of it happening. I don't go around and ask, however. It's possible it could. If this actually happens, then I will rethink my method of belaying a second in guide mode.

Also, I have to disagree about this not pertaining to the dude who dropped his partner. Although he was not in auto-block mode when he dropped her, how is that any different from if the rope were "to slip through the device" when it is in auto-block mode? Seems to me that the rope slipping through the device indicates that something has gone wrong with the auto-block mode.


shockabuku


Mar 25, 2010, 11:44 AM
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IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
Most of the time when I use the device in guide mode, it is high above my head. Often I extend my belay several feet away from the anchor via my tie-in with the rope so I can see my second climbing. Can you explain how I would stop my second from falling with my hand on the brake strand if the device should fail to arrest a fall?

Well, that sounds patently unsafe. If I'm understanding this correctly, you have no way of safely unlocking the device to lower the climber.

Jay

No, you are not understanding it correctly. I would simply walk back to the anchor to release the autoblocking mechanism in order to lower my climber. If that is patently unsafe, then take your grievance to BD.

I think I was misunderstood at some point in this thread. I do not kick back and lounge with my hands behind my head as my second climbs. I am a careful and attentive belayer. But, the advantage to having an autoblocking device is that, if you are in a hurry on a route, you can throw on an extra layer while your second is climbing. Yes, this may involve taking BOTH hands away from the device momentarily. As I understand it, that is the point of an autoblocking system. Not only to give an extra margin of safety, but to permit hands free use in certain situations.

If you or anyone else would not climb with me because I do that, I'll live with that.

I believe that your understanding is imperfect. Add me to the list of people with whom you won't be climbing.


jt512


Mar 25, 2010, 11:47 AM
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shockabuku wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
Most of the time when I use the device in guide mode, it is high above my head. Often I extend my belay several feet away from the anchor via my tie-in with the rope so I can see my second climbing. Can you explain how I would stop my second from falling with my hand on the brake strand if the device should fail to arrest a fall?

Well, that sounds patently unsafe. If I'm understanding this correctly, you have no way of safely unlocking the device to lower the climber.

Jay

No, you are not understanding it correctly. I would simply walk back to the anchor to release the autoblocking mechanism in order to lower my climber. If that is patently unsafe, then take your grievance to BD.

I think I was misunderstood at some point in this thread. I do not kick back and lounge with my hands behind my head as my second climbs. I am a careful and attentive belayer. But, the advantage to having an autoblocking device is that, if you are in a hurry on a route, you can throw on an extra layer while your second is climbing. Yes, this may involve taking BOTH hands away from the device momentarily. As I understand it, that is the point of an autoblocking system. Not only to give an extra margin of safety, but to permit hands free use in certain situations.

If you or anyone else would not climb with me because I do that, I'll live with that.

I believe that your understanding is imperfect. Add me to the list of people with whom you won't be climbing.

Five, and still counting.

Jay


Gmburns2000


Mar 25, 2010, 11:47 AM
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IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:

Oh yeah, and keeping your hand perpetually on an autolocking belay device while you belay a second (as you claimed you would do if you had one) is stupid and superfluous.

If you think that, that we won't be climbing together.

Jay

I'm sorry you think that.

I know you don't use one, but your statement betrays an ignorance of the device when used in guide mode. Holding onto the break strand does not make it any easier to catch a fall while belaying. Plus, it makes it harder to fuck.

Why?!?!


IsayAutumn


Mar 25, 2010, 11:49 AM
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jt512 wrote:
shockabuku wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
Most of the time when I use the device in guide mode, it is high above my head. Often I extend my belay several feet away from the anchor via my tie-in with the rope so I can see my second climbing. Can you explain how I would stop my second from falling with my hand on the brake strand if the device should fail to arrest a fall?

Well, that sounds patently unsafe. If I'm understanding this correctly, you have no way of safely unlocking the device to lower the climber.

Jay

No, you are not understanding it correctly. I would simply walk back to the anchor to release the autoblocking mechanism in order to lower my climber. If that is patently unsafe, then take your grievance to BD.

I think I was misunderstood at some point in this thread. I do not kick back and lounge with my hands behind my head as my second climbs. I am a careful and attentive belayer. But, the advantage to having an autoblocking device is that, if you are in a hurry on a route, you can throw on an extra layer while your second is climbing. Yes, this may involve taking BOTH hands away from the device momentarily. As I understand it, that is the point of an autoblocking system. Not only to give an extra margin of safety, but to permit hands free use in certain situations.

If you or anyone else would not climb with me because I do that, I'll live with that.

I believe that your understanding is imperfect. Add me to the list of people with whom you won't be climbing.

Five, and still counting.

Jay

Something tells me your list would be longer. You are a child.


jt512


Mar 25, 2010, 11:52 AM
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IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
shockabuku wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
Most of the time when I use the device in guide mode, it is high above my head. Often I extend my belay several feet away from the anchor via my tie-in with the rope so I can see my second climbing. Can you explain how I would stop my second from falling with my hand on the brake strand if the device should fail to arrest a fall?

Well, that sounds patently unsafe. If I'm understanding this correctly, you have no way of safely unlocking the device to lower the climber.

Jay

No, you are not understanding it correctly. I would simply walk back to the anchor to release the autoblocking mechanism in order to lower my climber. If that is patently unsafe, then take your grievance to BD.

I think I was misunderstood at some point in this thread. I do not kick back and lounge with my hands behind my head as my second climbs. I am a careful and attentive belayer. But, the advantage to having an autoblocking device is that, if you are in a hurry on a route, you can throw on an extra layer while your second is climbing. Yes, this may involve taking BOTH hands away from the device momentarily. As I understand it, that is the point of an autoblocking system. Not only to give an extra margin of safety, but to permit hands free use in certain situations.

If you or anyone else would not climb with me because I do that, I'll live with that.

I believe that your understanding is imperfect. Add me to the list of people with whom you won't be climbing.

Five, and still counting.

Jay

Something tells me your list would be longer. You are a child.

So let me get this straight. Faced with mounting evidence that your belay technique is considered unsafe, rather than do the mature thing and admit you have made a mistake, you turn around and call me a child.

Jay


shockabuku


Mar 25, 2010, 11:52 AM
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IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
shockabuku wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
Most of the time when I use the device in guide mode, it is high above my head. Often I extend my belay several feet away from the anchor via my tie-in with the rope so I can see my second climbing. Can you explain how I would stop my second from falling with my hand on the brake strand if the device should fail to arrest a fall?

Well, that sounds patently unsafe. If I'm understanding this correctly, you have no way of safely unlocking the device to lower the climber.

Jay

No, you are not understanding it correctly. I would simply walk back to the anchor to release the autoblocking mechanism in order to lower my climber. If that is patently unsafe, then take your grievance to BD.

I think I was misunderstood at some point in this thread. I do not kick back and lounge with my hands behind my head as my second climbs. I am a careful and attentive belayer. But, the advantage to having an autoblocking device is that, if you are in a hurry on a route, you can throw on an extra layer while your second is climbing. Yes, this may involve taking BOTH hands away from the device momentarily. As I understand it, that is the point of an autoblocking system. Not only to give an extra margin of safety, but to permit hands free use in certain situations.

If you or anyone else would not climb with me because I do that, I'll live with that.

I believe that your understanding is imperfect. Add me to the list of people with whom you won't be climbing.

Five, and still counting.

Jay

Something tells me your list would be longer. You are a child.

Oh, the irony!


IsayAutumn


Mar 25, 2010, 12:00 PM
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Re: [jt512] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
shockabuku wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
Most of the time when I use the device in guide mode, it is high above my head. Often I extend my belay several feet away from the anchor via my tie-in with the rope so I can see my second climbing. Can you explain how I would stop my second from falling with my hand on the brake strand if the device should fail to arrest a fall?

Well, that sounds patently unsafe. If I'm understanding this correctly, you have no way of safely unlocking the device to lower the climber.

Jay

No, you are not understanding it correctly. I would simply walk back to the anchor to release the autoblocking mechanism in order to lower my climber. If that is patently unsafe, then take your grievance to BD.

I think I was misunderstood at some point in this thread. I do not kick back and lounge with my hands behind my head as my second climbs. I am a careful and attentive belayer. But, the advantage to having an autoblocking device is that, if you are in a hurry on a route, you can throw on an extra layer while your second is climbing. Yes, this may involve taking BOTH hands away from the device momentarily. As I understand it, that is the point of an autoblocking system. Not only to give an extra margin of safety, but to permit hands free use in certain situations.

If you or anyone else would not climb with me because I do that, I'll live with that.

I believe that your understanding is imperfect. Add me to the list of people with whom you won't be climbing.

Five, and still counting.

Jay

Something tells me your list would be longer. You are a child.

So let me get this straight. Faced with mounting evidence that your belay technique is considered unsafe, rather than do the mature thing and admit you have made a mistake, you turn around and call me a child.

Jay

If someone shows me actual evidence that it is unsafe to use the belay device in the way that I described, then I will gladly admit that I am wrong. I don't care about being wrong. My ego can take it. I care about using my gear safely and appropriately, without negating the advantages of having a particular piece of gear.

Jay, you are the one that is always demanding proof. In this case I have not seen any. I'm not trying to taunt you or anyone else on this forum. I was confident that I was correct, and now that some people who actually use the device (it seems there have been two) are saying that they think the way I'm doing it is unsafe. If that can be confirmed, then I will no longer use the device in that manner.

Unlike you, and the reason I say you are a child, I don't get on these forums to score points.


benmoreite


Mar 25, 2010, 12:10 PM
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Re: [IsayAutumn] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
shockabuku wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
Most of the time when I use the device in guide mode, it is high above my head. Often I extend my belay several feet away from the anchor via my tie-in with the rope so I can see my second climbing. Can you explain how I would stop my second from falling with my hand on the brake strand if the device should fail to arrest a fall?

Well, that sounds patently unsafe. If I'm understanding this correctly, you have no way of safely unlocking the device to lower the climber.

Jay

No, you are not understanding it correctly. I would simply walk back to the anchor to release the autoblocking mechanism in order to lower my climber. If that is patently unsafe, then take your grievance to BD.

I think I was misunderstood at some point in this thread. I do not kick back and lounge with my hands behind my head as my second climbs. I am a careful and attentive belayer. But, the advantage to having an autoblocking device is that, if you are in a hurry on a route, you can throw on an extra layer while your second is climbing. Yes, this may involve taking BOTH hands away from the device momentarily. As I understand it, that is the point of an autoblocking system. Not only to give an extra margin of safety, but to permit hands free use in certain situations.

If you or anyone else would not climb with me because I do that, I'll live with that.

I believe that your understanding is imperfect. Add me to the list of people with whom you won't be climbing.

Five, and still counting.

Jay

Something tells me your list would be longer. You are a child.

So let me get this straight. Faced with mounting evidence that your belay technique is considered unsafe, rather than do the mature thing and admit you have made a mistake, you turn around and call me a child.

Jay

If someone shows me actual evidence that it is unsafe to use the belay device in the way that I described, then I will gladly admit that I am wrong. I don't care about being wrong. My ego can take it. I care about using my gear safely and appropriately, without negating the advantages of having a particular piece of gear.

Jay, you are the one that is always demanding proof. In this case I have not seen any. I'm not trying to taunt you or anyone else on this forum. I was confident that I was correct, and now that some people who actually use the device (it seems there have been two) are saying that they think the way I'm doing it is unsafe. If that can be confirmed, then I will no longer use the device in that manner.

Unlike you, and the reason I say you are a child, I don't get on these forums to score points.

From Black Diamond's instructions for the ATC Guide: "To belay the seconding climber(s), feed rope(s) into the device with one hand while pulling the slack through the device with the breaking hand (fig. 5). The device will lock if the climber(s) falls. It will still be possible to take in the rope of one climber even if the other had fallen. WARNING - Never take your breaking hand off either rope under any circumstances."


Partner drector


Mar 25, 2010, 12:12 PM
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Re: [IsayAutumn] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
shockabuku wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
Most of the time when I use the device in guide mode, it is high above my head. Often I extend my belay several feet away from the anchor via my tie-in with the rope so I can see my second climbing. Can you explain how I would stop my second from falling with my hand on the brake strand if the device should fail to arrest a fall?

Well, that sounds patently unsafe. If I'm understanding this correctly, you have no way of safely unlocking the device to lower the climber.

Jay

No, you are not understanding it correctly. I would simply walk back to the anchor to release the autoblocking mechanism in order to lower my climber. If that is patently unsafe, then take your grievance to BD.

I think I was misunderstood at some point in this thread. I do not kick back and lounge with my hands behind my head as my second climbs. I am a careful and attentive belayer. But, the advantage to having an autoblocking device is that, if you are in a hurry on a route, you can throw on an extra layer while your second is climbing. Yes, this may involve taking BOTH hands away from the device momentarily. As I understand it, that is the point of an autoblocking system. Not only to give an extra margin of safety, but to permit hands free use in certain situations.

If you or anyone else would not climb with me because I do that, I'll live with that.

I believe that your understanding is imperfect. Add me to the list of people with whom you won't be climbing.

Five, and still counting.

Jay

Something tells me your list would be longer. You are a child.

So let me get this straight. Faced with mounting evidence that your belay technique is considered unsafe, rather than do the mature thing and admit you have made a mistake, you turn around and call me a child.

Jay

If someone shows me actual evidence that it is unsafe to use the belay device in the way that I described, then I will gladly admit that I am wrong. I don't care about being wrong. My ego can take it. I care about using my gear safely and appropriately, without negating the advantages of having a particular piece of gear.

Jay, you are the one that is always demanding proof. In this case I have not seen any. I'm not trying to taunt you or anyone else on this forum. I was confident that I was correct, and now that some people who actually use the device (it seems there have been two) are saying that they think the way I'm doing it is unsafe. If that can be confirmed, then I will no longer use the device in that manner.

Unlike you, and the reason I say you are a child, I don't get on these forums to score points.

Six. For a safety device, I want clear evidence that it works as it should. On the other hand, even the possibility of failure is enough to warrant not using the device. I don't need proof. I have an ATC Guide and I will never take my brake hand off the brake strand. Even the slightest possibility of failure warrants taking the steps necessary to minimize that danger. The life of my partner is not something to dick around with.

And taking pictures and fucking are certainly out of the question. Like the gunfighter says, you want to belay, belay, don't talk.

Just because Jay is blunt or said something some other time that you felt was wrong doesn't mean he is unsafe or wrong on any point here and now.

Dave


scotty1974


Mar 25, 2010, 12:18 PM
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Re: [whipper] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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I find that they can be handy on multi-pitch scenarios where I'm stacking the rope over my attachment strand. It allows me to feed the rope in front of me, which make for easier stacking.

That being said I've never tried to lower off it.


benmoreite


Mar 25, 2010, 12:18 PM
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Re: [cracklover] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
cracklover wrote:
benmoreite wrote:
cracklover wrote:
I just tried to replicate this yesterday. I found that when you pull on the brake strand of the rope in addition to pulling on the pull cord, with a full (115 lbs) of force on the rope, the device will invert completely. At that point you must either completely brake with the brake strand, or *release* the brake strand and release the pull cord, otherwise the climber will fall out of control.

GO

Indeed, when fully weighted, releasing the autoblock turns the whole setup into little more than a redirect, and you must break by pulling the rope in the opposite direction (i.e. up when setup in guide mode), which is incredibly difficult if you have set your anchor high (as is preferable for actually belaying) and you are using your body weight to unlock the device in the first place.

Actually, the interesting thing was that it didn't require me "fully weighting" the release to get this to happen. Basically, once the device started to partially release, a slight tug sideways or upwards on the brake strand caused it to open/release completely. In other words, I initiated the release with the cord, but then pulling on the brake strand of the rope released the block completely. At which point the only way to get the climber back in control was to either pull *harder* on the brake strand (counter-intuitive, as this is what opened the device so much in the first place), or simultaneously fully release both the brake strand of the rope and the pull cord.

GO

(edited to add a word for clarity)

So, if I'm reading this correctly, does that mean it is best to not pull on the brake strand when lowering (just keep your hand there, but use the sling - or whatever you're using to release the "lock" - to control the release of rope when lowering the climber)?

In the extremely limited testing I did, I found that the easiest way to lower the climber was just that. If one redirects the pull cord through the anchor, one can lower the climber slowly by variably weighting the cord.

This is exactly what BD's video shows, and, I suspect, more or less exactly what the belayer who dropped the climber did.

In this instance, I think the easiest way is absolutely inferior, because if things get out of control, or the device does not behave well you are not in a good position to brake with the brake strand only.

So if I'm ever in this position, I will redirect the brake strand through the anchor above, and once the device is released, I will lower the climber using force on the brake strand only.

This, to me, seems much safer than assuming one can get the friction level of the device correct merely by varying the amount of pull on the release cord, especially considering that a little pull on the brake strand can work in concert with the pull cord to *lower* the friction.

GO

I agree that this is how the BD literature seems to show the lowering procedure, however, I don't think this is the intent. Lowering the with ATC in guide mode is meant to be achieved by fully unlocking the autoblock and then varying the angle of the break strand, as per normal belaying. BD does state that you can use a "secondary belay method as a backup" to gain more security. Options would include a redirect or a munter off the harness.

Using your body to lock and unlock the device is counter-indicated, much like using the lever on a grigri to control a climber's descent.


Gmburns2000


Mar 25, 2010, 12:20 PM
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Re: [drector] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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drector wrote:

Just because Jay is blunt or said something some other time that you felt was wrong doesn't mean he is unsafe or wrong on any point here and now.

Dave

well, he's wrong about this:

jt512 wrote:

I suspect that most people belaying in "guide mode" are on more of an ego trip, than anything.

Jay

that's just a stupid suspicion.


mojomonkey


Mar 25, 2010, 12:21 PM
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Re: [mojomonkey] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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It seems to be missed here that the description the belayer provided is not the correct usage, per Black Diamond.

the belayer wrote:
To lower her, I girth hitched a sling to the belay biner and re-directed it through the anchor.

The "pull cord" is supposed to be girth hitched to the little notch on the device, not to the belay carabiner. Someone on Gunks.com asked the belayer if that was really what he did, or a typo, but there has been no response yet.


IsayAutumn


Mar 25, 2010, 12:21 PM
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Re: [benmoreite] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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OK, fine. I won't post here or anywhere else saying that it is safe to temporarily take your hands off the ropes when using an autolocking device to belay a second. If you'd like me to delete any given post, let me know.

Also, just as an FYI, there are several sites out there that should change their product descriptions. Here is the ATC Guide description from backcountry.com as an example:

The self-locking capability of the Black Diamond ATC Guide belay device makes it an excellent choice when you cast off on multi-pitch trad, ice, and alpine climbs. The ATC Guide—winner of the Climbing Magazine Editor's Choice Award—belays a leader just like any other tube-style device, but it can also be connected directly to your anchor to create a self-locking system when you're belaying one or two following climbers. This allows you to eat, drink, tie your shoes, and take pictures as you belay with confidence that your partners are completely safe. Its unique release point lets you lower a following climber when the ATC Guide is in self-locking mode, even if he's way heavier than you. The aggressive V-notch allows this belay device to work on ropes from 7.7 to 11mm—even when they're icy.


How can you belay both partners and eat, drink, and take pictures and tie your shoes as you belay with confidence that your partners are safe if you have to keep your hands on the ropes at all times?

I will most likely continue to do this (i.e., put a jacket on or snap a photo while I am belaying a second). However, you have convinced me that I will ask my partners before I do it. I climb with several people that do the same thing, so I will alert them to this ground breaking thread and hope that they too won't stop climbing with me.


Partner cracklover


Mar 25, 2010, 12:22 PM
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Re: [benmoreite] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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I'm not an all or never kinda guy, but I'll go so far as to say that I'd gladly rope up with the guy who dropped his partner at the Gunks last weekend long before I'd rope up with ISayAutumn.

GO


benmoreite


Mar 25, 2010, 12:24 PM
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Re: [IsayAutumn] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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I am a pretty big fan of the guide in select applications, but that being said, I, like many others, don't climb with anyone who can't or won't keep their hand on the brake strand, it doesn't matter what device you are using.

The guide is a good device that, when used correctly, facilitates doing many things that, as Jay has said, don't require a specialized device. In most situations a munter is as good, if not better, than a guide. But I like the guide and will keep using it when the situation warrants.

As for my ego, would it be better if I used a Reverso, or just called it a plaquette?


jt512


Mar 25, 2010, 12:25 PM
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Re: [benmoreite] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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benmoreite wrote:
From Black Diamond's instructions for the ATC Guide: "To belay the seconding climber(s), feed rope(s) into the device with one hand while pulling the slack through the device with the breaking hand (fig. 5). The device will lock if the climber(s) falls. It will still be possible to take in the rope of one climber even if the other had fallen. WARNING - Never take your breaking hand off either rope under any circumstances."

You beat me to it. To clarify, the above quote is from the section of the manual entitled "Using the ATC–Guide in Guide Mode."

Link to the manual.

Jay


Gmburns2000


Mar 25, 2010, 12:27 PM
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Re: [cracklover] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
cracklover wrote:
benmoreite wrote:
cracklover wrote:
I just tried to replicate this yesterday. I found that when you pull on the brake strand of the rope in addition to pulling on the pull cord, with a full (115 lbs) of force on the rope, the device will invert completely. At that point you must either completely brake with the brake strand, or *release* the brake strand and release the pull cord, otherwise the climber will fall out of control.

GO

Indeed, when fully weighted, releasing the autoblock turns the whole setup into little more than a redirect, and you must break by pulling the rope in the opposite direction (i.e. up when setup in guide mode), which is incredibly difficult if you have set your anchor high (as is preferable for actually belaying) and you are using your body weight to unlock the device in the first place.

Actually, the interesting thing was that it didn't require me "fully weighting" the release to get this to happen. Basically, once the device started to partially release, a slight tug sideways or upwards on the brake strand caused it to open/release completely. In other words, I initiated the release with the cord, but then pulling on the brake strand of the rope released the block completely. At which point the only way to get the climber back in control was to either pull *harder* on the brake strand (counter-intuitive, as this is what opened the device so much in the first place), or simultaneously fully release both the brake strand of the rope and the pull cord.

GO

(edited to add a word for clarity)

So, if I'm reading this correctly, does that mean it is best to not pull on the brake strand when lowering (just keep your hand there, but use the sling - or whatever you're using to release the "lock" - to control the release of rope when lowering the climber)?

In the extremely limited testing I did, I found that the easiest way to lower the climber was just that. If one redirects the pull cord through the anchor, one can lower the climber slowly by variably weighting the cord.

This is exactly what BD's video shows, and, I suspect, more or less exactly what the belayer who dropped the climber did.

In this instance, I think the easiest way is absolutely inferior, because if things get out of control, or the device does not behave well you are not in a good position to brake with the brake strand only.

So if I'm ever in this position, I will redirect the brake strand through the anchor above, and once the device is released, I will lower the climber using force on the brake strand only.

This, to me, seems much safer than assuming one can get the friction level of the device correct merely by varying the amount of pull on the release cord, especially considering that a little pull on the brake strand can work in concert with the pull cord to *lower* the friction.

GO

Hmmm...well, I've lowered before and haven't had a problem, but that may be my paranoia about letting it open up too much. Thus, my lowering has been slow.

I'll see if I can try that redirect with the brake strand to see how that works. it still sounds as if there's potential for not being able to control it well, though, but that just may be because my grip is weak.


benmoreite


Mar 25, 2010, 12:30 PM
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Re: [mojomonkey] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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mojomonkey wrote:
It seems to be missed here that the description the belayer provided is not the correct usage, per Black Diamond.

the belayer wrote:
To lower her, I girth hitched a sling to the belay biner and re-directed it through the anchor.

The "pull cord" is supposed to be girth hitched to the little notch on the device, not to the belay carabiner. Someone on Gunks.com asked the belayer if that was really what he did, or a typo, but there has been no response yet.

You are right that the BD instructions say to girth hitch off of the little notch. However, releasing a plaquette, like the B-52, was traditionally achieved by hitching the biner, and this works fine. Whether BD would support that configuration, you'd have to ask them. Adding the release notch, as BD and Petzl have done, is, IMO, mostly a marketing gimmick. Maybe the notch is "better" in some way, but not that I am aware of.

At any rate, if that's that the dude at the Gunks did, I do not believe it contributed to the accident.


yokese


Mar 25, 2010, 12:32 PM
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Re: [scotty1974] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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scotty1974 wrote:
I find that they can be handy on multi-pitch scenarios where I'm stacking the rope over my attachment strand. It allows me to feed the rope in front of me, which make for easier stacking.

That being said I've never tried to lower off it.

+1

I don't have an ATC guide, but I've used a Gigi plate for multipitch climbing for many years. And, like you, I've never tried to lower anyone off it.


Partner cracklover


Mar 25, 2010, 12:33 PM
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Re: [Gmburns2000] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
cracklover wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
cracklover wrote:
benmoreite wrote:
cracklover wrote:
I just tried to replicate this yesterday. I found that when you pull on the brake strand of the rope in addition to pulling on the pull cord, with a full (115 lbs) of force on the rope, the device will invert completely. At that point you must either completely brake with the brake strand, or *release* the brake strand and release the pull cord, otherwise the climber will fall out of control.

GO

Indeed, when fully weighted, releasing the autoblock turns the whole setup into little more than a redirect, and you must break by pulling the rope in the opposite direction (i.e. up when setup in guide mode), which is incredibly difficult if you have set your anchor high (as is preferable for actually belaying) and you are using your body weight to unlock the device in the first place.

Actually, the interesting thing was that it didn't require me "fully weighting" the release to get this to happen. Basically, once the device started to partially release, a slight tug sideways or upwards on the brake strand caused it to open/release completely. In other words, I initiated the release with the cord, but then pulling on the brake strand of the rope released the block completely. At which point the only way to get the climber back in control was to either pull *harder* on the brake strand (counter-intuitive, as this is what opened the device so much in the first place), or simultaneously fully release both the brake strand of the rope and the pull cord.

GO

(edited to add a word for clarity)

So, if I'm reading this correctly, does that mean it is best to not pull on the brake strand when lowering (just keep your hand there, but use the sling - or whatever you're using to release the "lock" - to control the release of rope when lowering the climber)?

In the extremely limited testing I did, I found that the easiest way to lower the climber was just that. If one redirects the pull cord through the anchor, one can lower the climber slowly by variably weighting the cord.

This is exactly what BD's video shows, and, I suspect, more or less exactly what the belayer who dropped the climber did.

In this instance, I think the easiest way is absolutely inferior, because if things get out of control, or the device does not behave well you are not in a good position to brake with the brake strand only.

So if I'm ever in this position, I will redirect the brake strand through the anchor above, and once the device is released, I will lower the climber using force on the brake strand only.

This, to me, seems much safer than assuming one can get the friction level of the device correct merely by varying the amount of pull on the release cord, especially considering that a little pull on the brake strand can work in concert with the pull cord to *lower* the friction.

GO

Hmmm...well, I've lowered before and haven't had a problem, but that may be my paranoia about letting it open up too much. Thus, my lowering has been slow.

I'll see if I can try that redirect with the brake strand to see how that works. it still sounds as if there's potential for not being able to control it well, though, but that just may be because my grip is weak.

Yes, as I said, I think your method is the quickest and easiest one. And I have no doubt that it is often successful. However, given that I was able to re-create a problem situation, and the fact that vegastradguy had a similar issue once, I will instead use the brake-strand-redirect method if I'm ever in the situation where lowering someone on an atc guide in guide mode is required.

You will do whatever you think is best.

GO


benmoreite


Mar 25, 2010, 12:34 PM
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jt512 wrote:
benmoreite wrote:
From Black Diamond's instructions for the ATC Guide: "To belay the seconding climber(s), feed rope(s) into the device with one hand while pulling the slack through the device with the breaking hand (fig. 5). The device will lock if the climber(s) falls. It will still be possible to take in the rope of one climber even if the other had fallen. WARNING - Never take your breaking hand off either rope under any circumstances."

You beat me to it. To clarify, the above quote is from the section of the manual entitled "Using the ATC–Guide in Guide Mode."

Link to the manual.

Jay

Just to add:

The instructions from BD also say:
WARNING - Make absolutely sure you have a firm hold on the rope with the brake hand before releasing the device because a locked rope can release quickly.

This is a little misleading since it requires more than just a firm grip but also a sufficient angle to create friction. However, the warning is accurate in that the rope can go from locked to free very quickly.


benmoreite


Mar 25, 2010, 12:37 PM
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Re: [Gmburns2000] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
cracklover wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
cracklover wrote:
benmoreite wrote:
cracklover wrote:
I just tried to replicate this yesterday. I found that when you pull on the brake strand of the rope in addition to pulling on the pull cord, with a full (115 lbs) of force on the rope, the device will invert completely. At that point you must either completely brake with the brake strand, or *release* the brake strand and release the pull cord, otherwise the climber will fall out of control.

GO

Indeed, when fully weighted, releasing the autoblock turns the whole setup into little more than a redirect, and you must break by pulling the rope in the opposite direction (i.e. up when setup in guide mode), which is incredibly difficult if you have set your anchor high (as is preferable for actually belaying) and you are using your body weight to unlock the device in the first place.

Actually, the interesting thing was that it didn't require me "fully weighting" the release to get this to happen. Basically, once the device started to partially release, a slight tug sideways or upwards on the brake strand caused it to open/release completely. In other words, I initiated the release with the cord, but then pulling on the brake strand of the rope released the block completely. At which point the only way to get the climber back in control was to either pull *harder* on the brake strand (counter-intuitive, as this is what opened the device so much in the first place), or simultaneously fully release both the brake strand of the rope and the pull cord.

GO

(edited to add a word for clarity)

So, if I'm reading this correctly, does that mean it is best to not pull on the brake strand when lowering (just keep your hand there, but use the sling - or whatever you're using to release the "lock" - to control the release of rope when lowering the climber)?

In the extremely limited testing I did, I found that the easiest way to lower the climber was just that. If one redirects the pull cord through the anchor, one can lower the climber slowly by variably weighting the cord.

This is exactly what BD's video shows, and, I suspect, more or less exactly what the belayer who dropped the climber did.

In this instance, I think the easiest way is absolutely inferior, because if things get out of control, or the device does not behave well you are not in a good position to brake with the brake strand only.

So if I'm ever in this position, I will redirect the brake strand through the anchor above, and once the device is released, I will lower the climber using force on the brake strand only.

This, to me, seems much safer than assuming one can get the friction level of the device correct merely by varying the amount of pull on the release cord, especially considering that a little pull on the brake strand can work in concert with the pull cord to *lower* the friction.

GO

Hmmm...well, I've lowered before and haven't had a problem, but that may be my paranoia about letting it open up too much. Thus, my lowering has been slow.

I'll see if I can try that redirect with the brake strand to see how that works. it still sounds as if there's potential for not being able to control it well, though, but that just may be because my grip is weak.

If you didn't catch it, I attached a file a few pages back with a pdf of a tech tip from climbing magazine that shows a couple of ways to lower with a guide using a redirect and/or a munter hitch. Both of these options work really well and are superior, imo, to trying to control how "open" you let the device get. If you are concerned about your grip (not sure if that was sarcasm), using the munter should be just the ticket.


ClimbClimb


Mar 25, 2010, 12:38 PM
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Re: [benmoreite] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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I still don't really understand what happened in the original accident. Does anyone have a diagram?

P.S. As for holding onto the brake side of the rope, add me to the list... I don't really care how many "automagic" belay devices there are, I want my belayer with his/her hand on the rope. Call it a pet peeve preference.


Gmburns2000


Mar 25, 2010, 12:51 PM
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Re: [benmoreite] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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benmoreite wrote:

If you didn't catch it, I attached a file a few pages back with a pdf of a tech tip from climbing magazine that shows a couple of ways to lower with a guide using a redirect and/or a munter hitch. Both of these options work really well and are superior, imo, to trying to control how "open" you let the device get. If you are concerned about your grip (not sure if that was sarcasm), using the munter should be just the ticket.

Well, it wasn't really sarcasm but also not completely true either. I've never had a problem belaying (holding strength is not an issue really), but I have to wear gloves when reppelling because my hands get hot really quickly, and that's on a slow rap, too. So, if the rope were to feed faster than expected then I'd likely have a problem. But of course my instinct would be let go of the sling in the notch before pulling the brake strand, which seems problematic according to Gabe's thoughts.

I like the Guide, though, over the munter because of the rope twists one can get from a munter. I also like it because I often have to really think before using a munter so as to not confuse it with that other knot one uses to tie in (wow - talk about a brain freeze Crazy).

But I'll check out those links you provided up above. Thanks.


jt512


Mar 25, 2010, 12:58 PM
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Re: [IsayAutumn] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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IsayAutumn wrote:
OK, fine. I won't post here or anywhere else saying that it is safe to temporarily take your hands off the ropes when using an autolocking device to belay a second. ...

I will most likely continue to do this (i.e., put a jacket on or snap a photo while I am belaying a second). However, you have convinced me that I will ask my partners before I do it. I climb with several people that do the same thing, so I will alert them to this ground breaking thread and hope that they too won't stop climbing with me.

IsayAutumn, subsequent to your posting the above partial rescission of your practice of belaying hands off, Benmoreite posted the following quote from the "Guide Mode" section of the ATC–Guide instruction manual:

"WARNING - Never take your braking hand off either rope under any circumstances,"

which states using the absolute terms "never...under any circumstances," is it permissible to take your brake hand off the rope.

So, having been made aware of this, do you still plan on ever taking your brake hand off the rope?

Jay


(This post was edited by jt512 on Mar 25, 2010, 12:59 PM)


jt512


Mar 25, 2010, 1:01 PM
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Re: [Gmburns2000] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
I like the Guide, though, over the munter because of the rope twists one can get from a munter. I also like it because I often have to really think before using a munter so as to not confuse it with that other knot one uses to tie in (wow - talk about a brain freeze Crazy).

Have I ever mentioned that you're a gumby?

Jay


Gmburns2000


Mar 25, 2010, 1:02 PM
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Re: [jt512] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
I like the Guide, though, over the munter because of the rope twists one can get from a munter. I also like it because I often have to really think before using a munter so as to not confuse it with that other knot one uses to tie in (wow - talk about a brain freeze Crazy).

Have I ever mentioned that you're a gumby?

Jay

no


davidnn5


Mar 25, 2010, 1:03 PM
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Re: [ClimbClimb] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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While I agree (of course) that you want people keeping a brake hand on at all times, I can understand ISayAutumn not taking advice from Jay on how to use a Guide.

... Given he's not only never used it, he's able to form opinions about those who do simply based on... what, complete conjecture?

I think that people who use Reversos are very contrary. Because it's a "Reverso". Yeah.


jt512


Mar 25, 2010, 1:06 PM
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Re: [Gmburns2000] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
jt512 wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
I like the Guide, though, over the munter because of the rope twists one can get from a munter. I also like it because I often have to really think before using a munter so as to not confuse it with that other knot one uses to tie in (wow - talk about a brain freeze Crazy).

Have I ever mentioned that you're a gumby?

Jay

no

Then it was an oversight.

Jay


Gmburns2000


Mar 25, 2010, 1:08 PM
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Re: [jt512] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
jt512 wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
I like the Guide, though, over the munter because of the rope twists one can get from a munter. I also like it because I often have to really think before using a munter so as to not confuse it with that other knot one uses to tie in (wow - talk about a brain freeze Crazy).

Have I ever mentioned that you're a gumby?

Jay

no

Then it was an oversight.

Jay

huh. funny, I thought you couldn't see over anything.


IsayAutumn


Mar 25, 2010, 1:12 PM
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Re: [jt512] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
OK, fine. I won't post here or anywhere else saying that it is safe to temporarily take your hands off the ropes when using an autolocking device to belay a second. ...

I will most likely continue to do this (i.e., put a jacket on or snap a photo while I am belaying a second). However, you have convinced me that I will ask my partners before I do it. I climb with several people that do the same thing, so I will alert them to this ground breaking thread and hope that they too won't stop climbing with me.

IsayAutumn, subsequent to your posting the above partial rescission of your practice of belaying hands off, Benmoreite posted the following quote from the "Guide Mode" section of the ATC–Guide instruction manual:

"WARNING - Never take your braking hand off either rope under any circumstances,"

which states using the absolute terms "never...under any circumstances," is it permissible to take your brake hand off the rope.

So, having been made aware of this, do you still plan on ever taking your brake hand off the rope?

Jay

Haha. I'll bite...again.

Don't worry Jay. Sounds like we won't be climbing together anyway. You won't deck with me at the helm.

For people that actually would climb with me, the situations under which I have ever taken my hands off the rope have been limited situations, as I described earlier in the thread. I know how this forum works, so obviously I'm not going to try to too hard to change anyone's opinion. So I may as well be honest. Stirring debate and being a pariah isn't all bad.

(1) I would take my hand off the brake strand of an ATC-Guide in guide mode if I needed to get something out of my back pack. I would only do this temporarily and after I had been sure to take in as much slack as possible.

(2) I would take my hand off the brake strand of an ATC-Guide in guide mode to throw on a jacket, again after having taken in slack.

(3) I would take my hand off the brake strand of an ATC-Guide in guide mode to otherwise do necessary things that would not leave the belay device unattended for more than a few seconds.

(4) Bees.

(5) I would only do this if I could not keep a loop of slack from the brake line in my hand while I am doing any of the above-mentioned things.

However, I offer this caveat. This is obviously against what BD has put in the instruction booklet for the ATC Guide. But, I believe that this is not inherently unsafe because of the autoblocking mechanism on the ATC Guide. Sometimes you just gotta do things, and that's climbing. I would suspect that there are some other people who have used the device in this manner before. I have personally seen people doing this. I realize that doesn't mean that it is safe, but in this case I believe that it is, at least in the way I've been doing it.

There. I've been honest. Have at me.

[Edited to add another circumstance.]


(This post was edited by IsayAutumn on Mar 25, 2010, 1:22 PM)


jt512


Mar 25, 2010, 1:17 PM
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Re: [ClimbClimb] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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ClimbClimb wrote:
I still don't really understand what happened in the original accident. Does anyone have a diagram?

For all intents and purposes there is a video of it on Black Diamond's website. It doesn't take much imagination to see how the rope could get away from the belayer, by lowering in that manner.

Moreover, I suspect that the safety of lowering with this method is rope dependent. When lowering with a grigri, it is very difficult to control the rate of descent with certain ropes; when you unlock the device it, it does so suddenly and completely, and if you're not absolutely ready for it, you can lose control of the descent. Oddly enough, you can't accurately predict, based on rope thickness, slickness, or newness, which ropes behave this way. As DavidNinny unhelpfully points out, I haven't used an ATC–Guide, but I suspect based on my experience with the Grigri, that there may be a similar phenomenon.

Jay


jt512


Mar 25, 2010, 1:21 PM
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Re: [Gmburns2000] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
jt512 wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
jt512 wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
I like the Guide, though, over the munter because of the rope twists one can get from a munter. I also like it because I often have to really think before using a munter so as to not confuse it with that other knot one uses to tie in (wow - talk about a brain freeze Crazy).

Have I ever mentioned that you're a gumby?

Jay

no

Then it was an oversight.

Jay

huh. funny, I thought you couldn't see over anything.

These days I can't see anything, period. I wouldn't have gotten scooped on the warning in the manual if BD had used a font size readable without a magnifying glass.

Jay


jt512


Mar 25, 2010, 1:23 PM
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Re: [davidnn5] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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davidnn5 wrote:
While I agree (of course) that you want people keeping a brake hand on at all times, I can understand ISayAutumn not taking advice from Jay on how to use a Guide.

... Given he's not only never used it, he's able to form opinions about those who do simply based on... what, complete conjecture?

And yet his conjectures were correct. Hmm, whaddaya know?

Jay


jt512


Mar 25, 2010, 1:32 PM
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Re: [IsayAutumn] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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IsayAutumn wrote:
For people that actually would climb with me, the situations under which I have ever taken my hands off the rope have been limited situations, as I described earlier in the thread. I know how this forum works, so obviously I'm not going to try to too hard to change anyone's opinion. So I may as well be honest. Stirring debate and being a pariah isn't all bad.

But taking your brake hand off the rope is bad. You're violating the most important rule in climbing, one that you should have been taught your very first day.

In reply to:
(1) I would take my hand off the brake strand of an ATC-Guide in guide mode if I needed to get something out of my back pack. I would only do this temporarily and after I had been sure to take in as much slack as possible.

(2) I would take my hand off the brake strand of an ATC-Guide in guide mode to throw on a jacket, again after having taken in slack.

(3) I would take my hand off the brake strand of an ATC-Guide in guide mode to otherwise do necessary things that would not leave the belay device unattended for more than a few seconds.

(4) Bees.

(5) I would only do this if I could not keep a loop of slack from the brake line in my hand while I am doing any of the above-mentioned things.

But you can do any of those things (well, I'm not sure what you mean by "bees") while keeping your brake hand on the rope. We've all eaten, drunk, and put layers of clothing on and off while belaying with a brake a hand continuously on the rope.

In reply to:
Sometimes you just gotta do things, and that's climbing.

But keeping your brake hand on the rope takes priority.

Jay


benmoreite


Mar 25, 2010, 1:34 PM
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Re: [IsayAutumn] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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IsayAutumn wrote:
Haha. I'll bite...again.

Don't worry Jay. Sounds like we won't be climbing together anyway. You won't deck with me at the helm.

For people that actually would climb with me, the situations under which I have ever taken my hands off the rope have been limited situations, as I described earlier in the thread. I know how this forum works, so obviously I'm not going to try to too hard to change anyone's opinion. So I may as well be honest. Stirring debate and being a pariah isn't all bad.

(1) I would take my hand off the brake strand of an ATC-Guide in guide mode if I needed to get something out of my back pack. I would only do this temporarily and after I had been sure to take in as much slack as possible.

(2) I would take my hand off the brake strand of an ATC-Guide in guide mode to throw on a jacket, again after having taken in slack.

(3) I would take my hand off the brake strand of an ATC-Guide in guide mode to otherwise do necessary things that would not leave the belay device unattended for more than a few seconds.

(4) Bees.

(5) I would only do this if I could not keep a loop of slack from the brake line in my hand while I am doing any of the above-mentioned things.

However, I offer this caveat. This is obviously against what BD has put in the instruction booklet for the ATC Guide. But, I believe that this is not inherently unsafe because of the autoblocking mechanism on the ATC Guide. Sometimes you just gotta do things, and that's climbing. I would suspect that there are some other people who have used the device in this manner before. I have personally seen people doing this. I realize that doesn't mean that it is safe, but in this case I believe that it is, at least in the way I've been doing it.

There. I've been honest. Have at me.

[Edited to add another circumstance.]

What you said in #5, is almost always a possibility, and is certainly preferable to just letting go. If you need to do something, and can't manage it while maintaining at least the semblance that your brake hand is on the rope, than you don't get to do that thing. Need a snack, keep your hand on the rope, or forego the drink. Bee attack, sorry deal with it. And so on, and so forth.

As for your two statements at the end, with all due respect, they're just absurd. Taking your brake hand off the rope while belaying is in no way a part of climbing. When I agree to belay someone, I am agreeing to keep my hand on the rope unless I am unconscious or dead. I would expect the same in return.


benmoreite


Mar 25, 2010, 1:35 PM
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Re: [benmoreite] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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D'oh, Jay scooped me back.


ClimbClimb


Mar 25, 2010, 1:46 PM
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jt512 wrote:
For all intents and purposes there is a video of it on Black Diamond's website. It doesn't take much imagination to see how the rope could get away from the belayer, by lowering in that manner.

Thanks Jay. Much clearer after watching it. For some reason, that setup just looks dicey to me, even though I can't explain it in words -- if I saw someone doing it, I'd ask questions. But maybe that's just prejudice from reading the accident report.

Did anyone notice several posts from 2009 below the video that, among other things, point out that a reviewer tried it and DROPPED A CLIMBER?

Hopefully that is some comfort to both of the injured parties in this accident.


(This post was edited by ClimbClimb on Mar 25, 2010, 2:04 PM)


Gmburns2000


Mar 25, 2010, 1:47 PM
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jt512 wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
jt512 wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
jt512 wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
I like the Guide, though, over the munter because of the rope twists one can get from a munter. I also like it because I often have to really think before using a munter so as to not confuse it with that other knot one uses to tie in (wow - talk about a brain freeze Crazy).

Have I ever mentioned that you're a gumby?

Jay

no

Then it was an oversight.

Jay

huh. funny, I thought you couldn't see over anything.

These days I can't see anything, period. I wouldn't have gotten scooped on the warning in the manual if BD had used a font size readable without a magnifying glass.

Jay

Well, I'm blind as a bat, too, but I figure that my blindness will come in handy when I do crater one of these days: I figure it'll be more fun if I'm falling and can't actually see ground, thus leaving more time to say, "weeee!" as opposed to, "oh shit!"


IsayAutumn


Mar 25, 2010, 1:47 PM
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In reply to:
Taking your brake hand off the rope while belaying is in no way a part of climbing.

I agree. But when you have an auto-locking device, your second would have to fall and the device would have to fail for the climber to be unsafe because of the lack of hand on the brake strand. The device locks automatically in the event of a fall.

Also, to clarify, I am not taking my hand off the brake strand if I am belaying someone on a climb that is difficult for that person. But even if it were difficult, would the device not lock off in the event of a fall even if you were unconscious as the belayer.

Should we start another thread for this? Also, I would really like to see this tested in some way. I would be willing to provide an ATC Guide if adatesman would test. Yes, I know that BD has a warning against taking your hand off the brake strand in guide mode, so why, you might ask, do we need to test this? I know I'll get killed for this, but I suspect this is done more often than people admit.


johnwesely


Mar 25, 2010, 1:50 PM
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jt512 wrote:
ClimbClimb wrote:
I still don't really understand what happened in the original accident. Does anyone have a diagram?

For all intents and purposes there is a video of it on Black Diamond's website. It doesn't take much imagination to see how the rope could get away from the belayer, by lowering in that manner.

Moreover, I suspect that the safety of lowering with this method is rope dependent. When lowering with a grigri, it is very difficult to control the rate of descent with certain ropes; when you unlock the device it, it does so suddenly and completely, and if you're not absolutely ready for it, you can lose control of the descent. Oddly enough, you can't accurately predict, based on rope thickness, slickness, or newness, which ropes behave this way. As DavidNinny unhelpfully points out, I haven't used an ATC–Guide, but I suspect based on my experience with the Grigri, that there may be a similar phenomenon.

Jay

I have never done it with the guide, but I would never in a hundred years consider lowering with an autoblocking device without a munter backup. When the thing releases, it is sudden and you almost have no friction whatsoever.


boymeetsrock


Mar 25, 2010, 1:54 PM
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The rope COULD slip through the device. There is really nothing else to discuss.

Isayautumn, you are essential right IN PRINCIPLE, that the devise should catch the fall even if your hand is not on the rope. But, the fact of the matter is that the manufacturer tells you not to take you brake hand off the rope. So does climbing "law," if you will. Remember redundancy is VERY important in climbing. Your hand is the redundant part of this belay technique.


Rudmin


Mar 25, 2010, 1:58 PM
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ClimbClimb wrote:
jt512 wrote:
For all intents and purposes there is a video of it on Black Diamond's website. It doesn't take much imagination to see how the rope could get away from the belayer, by lowering in that manner.

Thanks Jay. Much clearer after watching it. For some reason, that setup just looks dicey to me, even though I can't explain it in words -- if I was someone doing it, I'd ask questions. But maybe that's just prejudice from reading the accident report.

Did anyone notice several posts from 2009 below the video that, among other things, point out that a reviewer tried it and DROPPED A CLIMBER?

Hopefully that is some comfort to both of the injured parties in this accident.

The difference between the video and the description is that the guy hitched the belay carabiner rather than the hold in the nose. That means that as soon as it stops working as an autoblock, it also stops working as belay device. If you pull up on the nose hole, you at least have an upside down belay device if you pull too hard.


IsayAutumn


Mar 25, 2010, 1:59 PM
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Re: [boymeetsrock] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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boymeetsrock wrote:
The rope COULD slip through the device. There is really nothing else to discuss.

Isayautumn, you are essential right IN PRINCIPLE, that the devise should catch the fall even if your hand is not on the rope. But, the fact of the matter is that the manufacturer tells you not to take you brake hand off the rope. So does climbing "law," if you will. Remember redundancy is VERY important in climbing. Your hand is the redundant part of this belay technique.

OK, you've convinced me. I'll tie the damn rope off if I need to go hands free for any reason. I wouldn't want to violate "climbing law," although I think you guys are being strict constructionists.


jt512


Mar 25, 2010, 2:00 PM
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Re: [IsayAutumn] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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IsayAutumn wrote:
Should we start another thread for this? Also, I would really like to see this tested in some way. I would be willing to provide an ATC Guide if adatesman would test. Yes, I know that BD has a warning against taking your hand off the brake strand in guide mode, so why, you might ask, do we need to test this?

It's untestable. We already know that the device will almost surely lock up. What are you going to do: a sample size of 10 million, using new, old, wet, dry, muddy, thick, and thin ropes from a variety of manufacturers, each tested with a variety of loads?

The problem here is your attitude. You are willingly and knowingly violating a principle that transcends whatever belay device you happen to be using. Maybe the ATC–Guide really is foolproof and will lock up with certainty with no brake hand on the rope. But you keep talking about belaying hands-off being acceptable on "autolocking belay devices" generically. What other autolocking belay devices do you plan to use with a brake hand off the rope? I can tell you for a fact that if you do this for long enough using a grigri it is inevitable that you will eventually drop your partner. Were you aware of that, or would you have haplessly applied your attitude that it is OK to let go with the brake hand on an autolocking belay device to the grigri?

Jay


(This post was edited by jt512 on Mar 25, 2010, 2:03 PM)


jt512


Mar 25, 2010, 2:01 PM
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Re: [IsayAutumn] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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IsayAutumn wrote:
boymeetsrock wrote:
The rope COULD slip through the device. There is really nothing else to discuss.

Isayautumn, you are essential right IN PRINCIPLE, that the devise should catch the fall even if your hand is not on the rope. But, the fact of the matter is that the manufacturer tells you not to take you brake hand off the rope. So does climbing "law," if you will. Remember redundancy is VERY important in climbing. Your hand is the redundant part of this belay technique.

OK, you've convinced me. I'll tie the damn rope off if I need to go hands free for any reason.

OK. Then we're done here.

Jay


IsayAutumn


Mar 25, 2010, 2:07 PM
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Re: [jt512] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
Should we start another thread for this? Also, I would really like to see this tested in some way. I would be willing to provide an ATC Guide if adatesman would test. Yes, I know that BD has a warning against taking your hand off the brake strand in guide mode, so why, you might ask, do we need to test this?

It's untestable. We already know that the device will almost surely lock up. What are you going to do: a sample size of 10 million, using new, old, wet, dry, muddy, thick, and thin ropes from a variety of manufacturers, each tested with a variety of loads?

Edited to add: The reason why I wouldn't do this with a gri-gri or another device is because I haven't learned to do it that way. I have learned through watching partners belay seconds that taking your hands off the brake strand with an ATC Guide in guide mode for a brief moment to do something is OK. That is why I thought it was OK. It wasn't because I just assumed it was OK.

The problem here is your attitude. You are willingly and knowingly violating a principle that transcends whatever belay device you happen to be using. Maybe the ATC–Guide really is foolproof and will lock up with certainty with no brake hand on the rope. But you keep talking about belaying hands-off being acceptable on "autolocking belay devices" generically. What other autolocking belay devices do you plan to use with a brake hand off the rope? I can tell you for a fact that if you do this for long enough using a grigri it is inevitable that you will eventually drop your partner? Were you aware of that, or would you have haplessly applied your attitude that it is OK to let go with the brake hand on an autolocking belay device to the grigri?

Jay

I never said I would let go of the rope with a gri-gri. We have been talking about ATC-Guides the whole time, and if I was unclear, let me clarify beyond any doubt right here: I have been talking about ATC Guides, used in "guide mode" or autoblock mode.

What I am unclear on, and what testing could possibly clear up if someone here can't, is what would happen if you DID have your brake hand on the rope and the ATC Guide failed while in guide mode. If it isn't autolocking, how are you going to stop your climber from falling without getting your hand above the device anyway? Or do you think that the device could fail momentarily, and then your hand on the brake strand would pop it back into autoblocking mode? I'm not trying to be cute here; I'm curious.


(This post was edited by IsayAutumn on Mar 25, 2010, 2:10 PM)


boymeetsrock


Mar 25, 2010, 2:15 PM
Post #134 of 360 (3143 views)
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Re: [IsayAutumn] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
Should we start another thread for this? Also, I would really like to see this tested in some way. I would be willing to provide an ATC Guide if adatesman would test. Yes, I know that BD has a warning against taking your hand off the brake strand in guide mode, so why, you might ask, do we need to test this?

It's untestable. We already know that the device will almost surely lock up. What are you going to do: a sample size of 10 million, using new, old, wet, dry, muddy, thick, and thin ropes from a variety of manufacturers, each tested with a variety of loads?

The problem here is your attitude. You are willingly and knowingly violating a principle that transcends whatever belay device you happen to be using. Maybe the ATC–Guide really is foolproof and will lock up with certainty with no brake hand on the rope. But you keep talking about belaying hands-off being acceptable on "autolocking belay devices" generically. What other autolocking belay devices do you plan to use with a brake hand off the rope? I can tell you for a fact that if you do this for long enough using a grigri it is inevitable that you will eventually drop your partner? Were you aware of that, or would you have haplessly applied your attitude that it is OK to let go with the brake hand on an autolocking belay device to the grigri?

Jay

I never said I would let go of the rope with a gri-gri. We have been talking about ATC-Guides the whole time, and if I was unclear, let me clarify beyond any doubt right here: I have been talking about ATC Guides, used in "guide mode" or autoblock mode.

What I am unclear on, and what testing could possibly clear up if someone here can't, is what would happen if you DID have your brake hand on the rope and the ATC Guide failed while in guide mode. If it isn't autolocking, how are you going to stop your climber from falling without getting your hand above the device anyway? Or do you think that the device could fail momentarily, and then your hand on the brake strand would pop it back into autoblocking mode? I'm not trying to be cute here; I'm curious.

I think you may be confusing something here. The reason the rope got away from the OP is because the devise was no longer in auto-block mode. When he lifted the device it was essentially like having the rope run through a 'biner.

Barring catastrophic failure, if the device is in auto-block mode and the rope slips through the device; your grip should be sufficient to arrest the fall.

If the ATC Guide, or any other belay device for that matter, fails catastrophically, you're fucked. But we aren't really talking about catastrophic failure. This is where I think you may be getting confused.


davidnn5


Mar 25, 2010, 2:43 PM
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Re: [IsayAutumn] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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ISay: As others have said, redundancy is always a good thing. Don't forget that any device that relies on friction can be subject to events that prevent enough friction going through the device for it to block. That might be an infinitesimally small chance, particularly if you're paying attention to elements, state of the rope etc, but it's a chance.

JayJaysiewoobles: I love that we now have pet names for each other. I can't wait to consummate this relationship.


patto


Mar 25, 2010, 2:47 PM
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Re: [IsayAutumn] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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I've got your back IsayAutumn.

These things would not be recommended for belaying two at once if they could not be relied upon locking up in a fall. Simple as that. BD, Petzl only recommend never letting go for liability reasons. It would be silly not to.

Holding the brake on an autoblocking plate is like driving a Mack and having your foot our the cabin door ready to stop in case the brakes fail.

These devices work based on the pressure of the loaded climber side squeezing the brake side. Your single hand braking strength isn't even close to this.

I was going to write more but I need to go. Suffice to say there are numerous people out there climbing and using these devices who shouldn't be.


mojomonkey


Mar 25, 2010, 2:54 PM
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Re: [IsayAutumn] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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IsayAutumn wrote:
But when you have an auto-locking device, your second would have to fall and the device would have to fail for the climber to be unsafe because of the lack of hand on the brake strand.

Not getting bitten by something doesn't make it safe.

Imagine the device was placed such that the rock interferes with the device/carabiner, increasing the chance that it fails to lock. Just because the climber didn't fall and therefore pay a price for that setup doesn't mean you should advocate setting up the device where rock interferes.


Partner cracklover


Mar 25, 2010, 2:57 PM
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Re: [johnwesely] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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johnwesely wrote:
jt512 wrote:
ClimbClimb wrote:
I still don't really understand what happened in the original accident. Does anyone have a diagram?

For all intents and purposes there is a video of it on Black Diamond's website. It doesn't take much imagination to see how the rope could get away from the belayer, by lowering in that manner.

Moreover, I suspect that the safety of lowering with this method is rope dependent. When lowering with a grigri, it is very difficult to control the rate of descent with certain ropes; when you unlock the device it, it does so suddenly and completely, and if you're not absolutely ready for it, you can lose control of the descent. Oddly enough, you can't accurately predict, based on rope thickness, slickness, or newness, which ropes behave this way. As DavidNinny unhelpfully points out, I haven't used an ATC–Guide, but I suspect based on my experience with the Grigri, that there may be a similar phenomenon.

Jay

I have never done it with the guide, but I would never in a hundred years consider lowering with an autoblocking device without a munter backup. When the thing releases, it is sudden and you almost have no friction whatsoever.

My limited experience with the reverso and gigi is exactly as you say, but 1 - I'd never used an ATC guide, and 2 - many (including my wife) said that the ATC guide is much smoother in going in and out of blocking. Since I'd never actually tried it with an ATC Guide, I thought I should do so, rather than claiming (as you are) something I don't know. In testing, I found that they (and the video) are right - it does seem quite easy to moderate the speed of descent by way of pulling the sling used to unblock the device. That's why most people seem to do it that way.

Unfortunately, it would appear that there are scenarios in which the device *does* suddenly, and without warning, release.

It may, (as Jay hypothesizes) be due to rope characteristics, it may be due to the action of the brake strand (as I suggested), it may in this case (though not in vegastradguy's case) have something to do with pulling on the biner rather than the device, or it may be something as basic as interference in the movement of the device by the rock or something else on the anchor. Whatever the cause, it's clear that while this rarely occurs, it can and does happen, and so it should be assumed for safety's sake that it will.

GO


johnwesely


Mar 25, 2010, 3:06 PM
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Re: [cracklover] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
jt512 wrote:
ClimbClimb wrote:
I still don't really understand what happened in the original accident. Does anyone have a diagram?

For all intents and purposes there is a video of it on Black Diamond's website. It doesn't take much imagination to see how the rope could get away from the belayer, by lowering in that manner.

Moreover, I suspect that the safety of lowering with this method is rope dependent. When lowering with a grigri, it is very difficult to control the rate of descent with certain ropes; when you unlock the device it, it does so suddenly and completely, and if you're not absolutely ready for it, you can lose control of the descent. Oddly enough, you can't accurately predict, based on rope thickness, slickness, or newness, which ropes behave this way. As DavidNinny unhelpfully points out, I haven't used an ATC–Guide, but I suspect based on my experience with the Grigri, that there may be a similar phenomenon.

Jay

I have never done it with the guide, but I would never in a hundred years consider lowering with an autoblocking device without a munter backup. When the thing releases, it is sudden and you almost have no friction whatsoever.

My limited experience with the reverso and gigi is exactly as you say, but 1 - I'd never used an ATC guide, and 2 - many (including my wife) said that the ATC guide is much smoother in going in and out of blocking. Since I'd never actually tried it with an ATC Guide, I thought I should do so, rather than claiming (as you are) something I don't know. In testing, I found that they (and the video) are right - it does seem quite easy to moderate the speed of descent by way of pulling the sling used to unblock the device. That's why most people seem to do it that way.

Unfortunately, it would appear that there are scenarios in which the device *does* suddenly, and without warning, release.

It may, (as Jay hypothesizes) be due to rope characteristics, it may be due to the action of the brake strand (as I suggested), it may in this case (though not in vegastradguy's case) have something to do with pulling on the biner rather than the device, or it may be something as basic as interference in the movement of the device by the rock or something else on the anchor. Whatever the cause, it's clear that while this rarely occurs, it can and does happen, and so it should be assumed for safety's sake that it will.

GO

Sorry about the assumption, it was based on my, apparently incorrect, supposition that all autoblockers would un block the same way. Still, the fact that the Guide can, in certain condition, un block in a manner similar to other autoblockers proves that my prudence is not unwarranted. If the belayer in the accident, was using a munter backup, I doubt this whole thing wouldn't have happened. Sorry, again, for the assumption.


patto


Mar 25, 2010, 5:36 PM
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Re: [johnwesely] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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Autoblocking plates vary significantly in design and aren't meant to provide slip friction when in autoblocking mode. Even if you manage to get slip friction working in an autoblocking configuration working then you will be providing this friction via rope on rope contact. This is not desirable.

Effectively the autoblocking aspect on these devices is binary with very little cross over. If you wish to lower then the friction mechanics are completely different so you better be ready with your brake rope in a brake position to lower. If you for some reason believe it isn't binary it is probably because you had the brake rope in a high friction position anyway.

This all should be obvious if you understand how the device works. Unfortunately many people these days have little understanding of the equipment they use.


(This post was edited by patto on Mar 25, 2010, 5:38 PM)


ensonik


Mar 25, 2010, 6:18 PM
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Re: [gblauer] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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For those who, like me, couldn't wrap their head about how the belayer had it all setup, this dude over at gunks.com shows it pretty well.

http://gunks.com/...t_Saturday#Post51025


rock_fencer


Mar 25, 2010, 7:45 PM
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Re: [ensonik] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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there is a difference between hitching the notch and hitching the biner. Hitching the notch and re-directing the pull cord through the anchor rotates the device and removes the pinching of the rope that occurs when the device is loaded in guide mode but the rope still pulls on the biner and the whole setup maintains the friction of a normal TR belay. Hitching the biner and redirecting it not only removes the pinching but also lifts the biner up away from the device essentially providing 2 parallel strands with no friction.

I recently decided to lower a climber when i was in guide mode and hitched the biner. i automatically redirected through the harness leg loop and then through an extended draw off the anchor creating a Z for added friction because i was not sure how the device would release. I'm glad my instinct was right on that account as doing so can clearly have dire consequences. Definitely plan on seeing if hitching the notch provides more control next time out.

Still like people have said, no excuse for taking break hand off the rope and not knowing how to use your equipment. Also if you try something new, then you better think it through and have a backup system you know and trust (aka munter or a redirect)


patto


Mar 25, 2010, 7:59 PM
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Re: [rock_fencer] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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rock_fencer wrote:
Still like people have said, no excuse for taking break hand off the rope and not knowing how to use your equipment. Also if you try something new, then you better think it through and have a backup system you know and trust (aka munter or a redirect)

I do know the equipment which is why I know when it is safe to take the brake hand off the rope. Although your caution saved you it sounds like you didn't know your equipment as you still weren't locking off ABOVE the device. If you were running a redirect it should be above the device.

rock_fencer wrote:
there is a difference between hitching the notch and hitching the biner. Hitching the notch and re-directing the pull cord through the anchor rotates the device and removes the pinching of the rope that occurs when the device is loaded in guide mode but the rope still pulls on the biner and the whole setup maintains the friction of a normal TR belay.

It most certainly does not retain the friction of a normal TR belay. The rope needs to be locked off in a direction that is 180 degrees to the load!


Adk


Mar 25, 2010, 8:58 PM
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Re: [jt512] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
Most of the time when I use the device in guide mode, it is high above my head. Often I extend my belay several feet away from the anchor via my tie-in with the rope so I can see my second climbing. Can you explain how I would stop my second from falling with my hand on the brake strand if the device should fail to arrest a fall?

Well, that sounds patently unsafe. If I'm understanding this correctly, you have no way of safely unlocking the device to lower the climber.

Jay

No, you are not understanding it correctly. I would simply walk back to the anchor to release the autoblocking mechanism in order to lower my climber.

It's having the device "high above [your] head" that sounds unsafe. To release the device safely, you have to lock it off, which means getting your brake hand higher than the device, which would vary from awkward to impossible, depending on how high above your head you have rigged the device.

In reply to:
If that is patently unsafe, then take your grievance to BD.

If it's patently unsafe, I'm taking my grievance to you for belaying unsafely. You take it to BD. You're the one who bought the thing.

In reply to:
As I understand it, that is the point of an autoblocking system. Not only to give an extra margin of safety, but to permit hands free use in certain situations.

If you or anyone else would not climb with me because I do that, I'll live with that.

Three and counting.

Jay

Make that 4 and counting!!!

If my belayer takes their hand off the brake side of the rope and I see it somehow...they and the rest of the crag are going to hear me!!!Mad


Adk


Mar 25, 2010, 9:03 PM
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