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Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday
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IsayAutumn


Mar 25, 2010, 11:21 AM
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Re: [iron106] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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iron106 wrote:
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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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Re: [IsayAutumn] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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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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Re: [jt512] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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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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Re: [IsayAutumn] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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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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Re: [jt512] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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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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Re: [boymeetsrock] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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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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Re: [IsayAutumn] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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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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Re: [shockabuku] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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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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Re: [IsayAutumn] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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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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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 Guideówinner of the Climbing Magazine Editor's Choice Awardóbelays 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 11mmóeven 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

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