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Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday
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Rudmin


Mar 26, 2010, 7:40 AM
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Re: [swede] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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The main point is that holding on to the brake strand really doesn't isn't much of a "backup" for an autoblocking device. It's an all or nothing device. If it did fail, you would just be holding onto the weight of the climber running over a carabiner. If you really want redundancy, you would throw a second belay device or a progress capture on there. The same would apply to an atc.


IsayAutumn


Mar 26, 2010, 7:47 AM
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Re: [Rudmin] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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Rudmin wrote:
The main point is that holding on to the brake strand really doesn't isn't much of a "backup" for an autoblocking device. It's an all or nothing device. If it did fail, you would just be holding onto the weight of the climber running over a carabiner. If you really want redundancy, you would throw a second belay device or a progress capture on there. The same would apply to an atc.

Exactly. And that's why I think people who have never used an ATC Guide are getting mixed up. I keep seeing comparisons to a gri gri. There is nothing about a gri gri that resembles an ATC Guide. Backing up the ATC Guide while in guide mode is akin to backing up your brake hand while using a regular ATC during a lead belay. There is no need to do it. The guide is already in "brake mode." That's how it brakes!

If you trust an ATC Guide to be used in guide mode, then you trust not having your brake hand on the rope, as it will not do much to ensure the safety of your climber if the ATC Guide "fails."

This is all said assuming that the belayer, whether or not his hand is on the rope, is paying attention and providing an otherwise competent belay.


IsayAutumn


Mar 26, 2010, 7:54 AM
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Re: [swede] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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swede wrote:
[quote "IsayAutumn
What kills me is, there are people in this thread piling on me who HAVE NEVER USED an ATC Guide. They have no place in this discussion./quote]

Please stop getting itched and start listening. People who have never used an ATC guide do have a place in this discussion. They might have other knowledge like;

- VERY long climbing experience
- mechanics
- risk handling
- or using the Reverso.

Risk handling will tell you, amongst other things, how important it is to hard wire things that must not fail, ie not letting go of your brake hand. Or that complicating things increases risk.

Understanding mechanics will tell you that lowering by releasing the autoblock function is something potentially very risky.

I know this might be slightly off topic, but if you do trust the autoblock function for a few seconds WITHOUT telling your second, he/she might be doing a dangerous move during just those seconds.

I think guide-mode is an excellent idea, but it complicates something that trial and error has made safe and invites to risky behavior (jackets, no hands etc). The GriGri was also a great idea - but accidents did in fact increase (at least in the beginning).

Swede, please see my post above. I wrote it before I read your reply.

I am getting itched because people who have not used an ATC Guide don't seem to understand that having your hand on the brake strand is not necessary to arrest a fall, nor will it provide much of a "back up" for the device if it should ever "fail." As rudamin says, backing up the device in guide mode would be like backing up your ATC (and with only a carabiner). It isn't necessary and it wouldn't work very well anyway.

What is necessary is to keep a vigilant belay. Again, I'm not saying that I or anyone else should be asleep at the wheel while belaying with this device. But the armchair safety police out there who have never used this device but feel the need to try to push their concept of safety are annoying. Sorry if I'm annoying in my response to them.

I think I've gotten all I need out of this thread.


(This post was edited by IsayAutumn on Mar 26, 2010, 8:00 AM)


swede


Mar 26, 2010, 8:03 AM
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Re: [Rudmin] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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Rudmin wrote:
It's an all or nothing device.

It´s DESIGNED to be an all or nothing device. If everything always worked as designers anticipated this accident wouldn´t have happened. Or the Three Miles Islands 30 years ago.

But I do agree with you to a certain extent. If there is a CATASTROPHIC failing you couldn´t hold the rope by hand.

Please do note that my main complaint of letting the rope go is NOT that the ATC Guide would not work in autoblocking a non-moving climber.


ClimbClimb


Mar 26, 2010, 8:06 AM
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Re: [swede] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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What's wrong with simply redirecting the climber-side rope through the anchor above, clipping the ATC through belayer's harness and lowering the second in the old & boring way[?


swede


Mar 26, 2010, 8:17 AM
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Re: [IsayAutumn] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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IsayAutumn wrote:
I am getting itched because people who have not used an ATC Guide don't seem to understand that having your hand on the brake strand is not necessary to arrest a fall, nor will it provide much of a "back up" for the device if it should ever "fail."

I think I've gotten all I need out of this thread.

Please note that I am absolutely sure that Jay and others DO understand the above mentioned. But keeping your hand "handy" will be a vital habit if you ever use a non-guide device - and one of the few things that might save you if something NONCATASTROFIC happens even with a guide.

Have a little patience with Jay. My experience is that if I does not agree with him - it´s more than common I agree after reading a second or third time.


IsayAutumn


Mar 26, 2010, 8:20 AM
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Re: [swede] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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I respect Jay's knowledge, and you're right ... I've had the same experience reading his posts in the past. He generally knows what he's talking about. He's also very easy to get frustrated with, partly for that same reason.


swede


Mar 26, 2010, 8:20 AM
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Re: [ClimbClimb] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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ClimbClimb wrote:
What's wrong with simply redirecting the climber-side rope through the anchor above, clipping the ATC through belayer's harness and lowering the second in the old & boring way[?

If using the device in guide mode its much more compelling to not to. That is why engineers have to come up with a way to release the guide mode and use it for lowering. Which seem to be not perfect yet.


(This post was edited by swede on Mar 26, 2010, 8:26 AM)


IsayAutumn


Mar 26, 2010, 8:24 AM
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Re: [IsayAutumn] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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I know some people don't think that this dude knows what he is talking about, but it is obvious he has a lot of experience in the mountains and probably at the crags as well. Take a look at what he does and says around the 2:45 mark in this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGnbmiJEGWk

Obviously, what someone on youtube says should not be taken as gospel. But I have seen other very experienced climbers doing the same thing, either bringing up two seconds or a single climber.

Edited to add an article by Kelly Cordes, whom I know a lot of people respect:

http://www.spadout.com/...y-the-belay-station/

And a review by Stephen Koch, whom I suspect most climbers will know by name and reputation (this review is of the Reverso, but same idea):

http://www.backcountry.com/...tanding-belay-device


(This post was edited by IsayAutumn on Mar 26, 2010, 8:45 AM)


shockabuku


Mar 26, 2010, 8:46 AM
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Re: [IsayAutumn] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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IsayAutumn wrote:
Rudmin wrote:
The main point is that holding on to the brake strand really doesn't isn't much of a "backup" for an autoblocking device. It's an all or nothing device. If it did fail, you would just be holding onto the weight of the climber running over a carabiner. If you really want redundancy, you would throw a second belay device or a progress capture on there. The same would apply to an atc.

Exactly. And that's why I think people who have never used an ATC Guide are getting mixed up. I keep seeing comparisons to a gri gri. There is nothing about a gri gri that resembles an ATC Guide. Backing up the ATC Guide while in guide mode is akin to backing up your brake hand while using a regular ATC during a lead belay. There is no need to do it. The guide is already in "brake mode." That's how it brakes!

If you trust an ATC Guide to be used in guide mode, then you trust not having your brake hand on the rope, as it will not do much to ensure the safety of your climber if the ATC Guide "fails."

This is all said assuming that the belayer, whether or not his hand is on the rope, is paying attention and providing an otherwise competent belay.

How can you be paying attention and providing a competent belay when you're otherwise engaged in doing whatever to the point where you can't bother to hold onto the rope?


IsayAutumn


Mar 26, 2010, 8:50 AM
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Re: [shockabuku] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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In reply to:
How can you be paying attention and providing a competent belay when you're otherwise engaged in doing whatever to the point where you can't bother to hold onto the rope?

It's possible. Have you ever adjust something, gotten a drink, or put on a coat or quickly done anything else while belaying a second? Did you keep your hand on the brake strand? If you did, then you were providing the exact same level of attention to the belay and climber you would if you were to do that with an ATC Guide while removing your hand temporarily from the rope. Having your hand on or off the rope does not affect the level of attention you can pay to your climber if using an auto-blocking device like the ATC Guide. At least, it does not affect mine.


swede


Mar 26, 2010, 8:51 AM
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Re: [IsayAutumn] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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IsayAutumn wrote:
I know some people don't think that this dude knows what he is talking about, but it is obvious he has a lot of experience in the mountains and probably at the crags as well. Take a look at what he does and says around the 2:45 mark in this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGnbmiJEGWk

Obviously, what someone on youtube says should not be taken as gospel. But I have seen other very experienced climbers doing the same thing, either bringing up two seconds or a single climber.

Edited to add an article by Kelly Cordes, whom I know a lot of people respect:

http://www.spadout.com/...y-the-belay-station/

Being from the other side of the pond (the Atlantic) have absolutely no idea who Kelly Cordes is. But I would like to know if he really has introduced the command "Stopped cleaning gear" in his climbing vocabulary. Otherwise I would say that his approach basically only applies to a climber not moving upwards very often.

I do in fact using the commands "staying put" and "climbing" (afterwards) in certain situations, but I sure want my belayer to be on attentive belay then they have said so. I do not want to ask them if they are doing something else everytime before I move.

Well, have to go home. My wife is waiting and wanting me to prepare dinner.


(This post was edited by swede on Mar 26, 2010, 8:52 AM)


IsayAutumn


Mar 26, 2010, 8:54 AM
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Re: [swede] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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swede wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
I know some people don't think that this dude knows what he is talking about, but it is obvious he has a lot of experience in the mountains and probably at the crags as well. Take a look at what he does and says around the 2:45 mark in this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGnbmiJEGWk

Obviously, what someone on youtube says should not be taken as gospel. But I have seen other very experienced climbers doing the same thing, either bringing up two seconds or a single climber.

Edited to add an article by Kelly Cordes, whom I know a lot of people respect:

http://www.spadout.com/...y-the-belay-station/

Being from the other side of the pond (the Atlantic) have absolutely no idea who Kelly Cordes is. But I would like to know if he really has introduced the command "Stopped cleaning gear" in his climbing vocabulary. Otherwise I would say that his approach basically only applies to a climber not moving upwards very often.

I do in fact using the commands "staying put" and "climbing" (afterwards) in certain situations, but I sure want my belayer to be on attentive belay then they have said so.

Well, have to go home. My wife is waiting and wanting me to prepare dinner.

Well, I have said throughout this thread that I would not be doing anything other than concentrating 100% on the belay if a climber was on remotely difficult ground. I'm not using the ATC Guide to belay someone up their redpoint project. I'm using it on moderate climbs or in alpine terrain, where falling does not usually happen. And just like Kelly Cordes suggests, going hands free for a moment is done 95% of the time when the climber is stopped or removing gear. Not while they're gaining ground rapidly or working a sequence out.


(This post was edited by IsayAutumn on Mar 26, 2010, 9:03 AM)


shockabuku


Mar 26, 2010, 8:57 AM
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Re: [IsayAutumn] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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IsayAutumn wrote:
In reply to:
How can you be paying attention and providing a competent belay when you're otherwise engaged in doing whatever to the point where you can't bother to hold onto the rope?

It's possible. Have you ever adjust something, gotten a drink, or put on a coat or quickly done anything else while belaying a second? Did you keep your hand on the brake strand? If you did, then you were providing the exact same level of attention to the belay and climber you would if you were to do that with an ATC Guide while removing your hand temporarily from the rope. Having your hand on or off the rope does not affect the level of attention you can pay to your climber if using an auto-blocking device like the ATC Guide. At least, it does not affect mine.

I call bullshit on that one. Physical contact is, in itself, a higher level of attention than visual observation.


IsayAutumn


Mar 26, 2010, 9:00 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:
In reply to:
How can you be paying attention and providing a competent belay when you're otherwise engaged in doing whatever to the point where you can't bother to hold onto the rope?

It's possible. Have you ever adjust something, gotten a drink, or put on a coat or quickly done anything else while belaying a second? Did you keep your hand on the brake strand? If you did, then you were providing the exact same level of attention to the belay and climber you would if you were to do that with an ATC Guide while removing your hand temporarily from the rope. Having your hand on or off the rope does not affect the level of attention you can pay to your climber if using an auto-blocking device like the ATC Guide. At least, it does not affect mine.

I call bullshit on that one. Physical contact is, in itself, a higher level of attention than visual observation.

OK. I guess I don't see your point. Are you saying that it is unsafe to do as I have described with an ATC Guide? If so, then good for you. Go ahead and add yourself to the list.


notapplicable


Mar 26, 2010, 9:06 AM
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IsayAutumn wrote:
patto wrote:
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.

Patto, thanks for clearly expressing something that I was plainly unable to. It makes sense that BD would, for liability reasons, have this in their manual.

What kills me is, there are people in this thread piling on me who HAVE NEVER USED an ATC Guide. They have no place in this discussion.

It amazes me you can't just admit that you are wrong on this one issue, learn from having been so and move on.

You almost, half-heartedly, kinda sorta did but now your back tracking. *Shakes head*


IsayAutumn


Mar 26, 2010, 9:13 AM
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In reply to:
You almost, half-heartedly, kinda sorta did but now your back tracking. *Shakes head

That's because I never believed that I was wrong. And I wont' be convinced that I am.

But with several people (many of whom don't use the device) saying that my practice was unsafe, I started to doubt it. Until people who know better also chimed in. Then I got my confidence back! I also started doing my own research. This is how a lot of people use this device. If you don't like it, then I suggest you check with your belayer before they bring you up with one, because a lot of people do it.

Now sadly it has become, for me, more than just trying to defend my practice. I guess I'm not immune to getting suckered into lousy debates online.


shockabuku


Mar 26, 2010, 9:14 AM
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IsayAutumn wrote:
shockabuku wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
In reply to:
How can you be paying attention and providing a competent belay when you're otherwise engaged in doing whatever to the point where you can't bother to hold onto the rope?

It's possible. Have you ever adjust something, gotten a drink, or put on a coat or quickly done anything else while belaying a second? Did you keep your hand on the brake strand? If you did, then you were providing the exact same level of attention to the belay and climber you would if you were to do that with an ATC Guide while removing your hand temporarily from the rope. Having your hand on or off the rope does not affect the level of attention you can pay to your climber if using an auto-blocking device like the ATC Guide. At least, it does not affect mine.

I call bullshit on that one. Physical contact is, in itself, a higher level of attention than visual observation.

OK. I guess I don't see your point. Are you saying that it is unsafe to do as I have described with an ATC Guide? If so, then good for you. Go ahead and add yourself to the list.

I guess you weren't paying attention; I added myself to that list a while ago. We will, apparently, agree to disagree.


jt512


Mar 26, 2010, 9:15 AM
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IsayAutumn wrote:
patto wrote:
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.

Patto, thanks for clearly expressing something that I was plainly unable to. It makes sense that BD would, for liability reasons, have this in their manual.

What kills me is, there are people in this thread piling on me who HAVE NEVER USED an ATC Guide. They have no place in this discussion.

Yeah, but some of us have been climbing for over 20 years and have used a dozen different belay devices, some of which work on the same principle as the ATC–Guide, but just haven't used that one specific device. And so maybe we understand basic principles of belaying better than you. You'll notice that even though I haven't used an ATC–Guide, the majority of those in the thread who have have agreed with me, not you. You don't take your hand brake hand off the rope. It is pretty fucking ridiculous that after 10 pages, a 1-year climber is still arguing against the most fundamental rule in climbing.

Jay


jt512


Mar 26, 2010, 9:22 AM
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Re: [ClimbClimb] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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ClimbClimb wrote:
What's wrong with simply redirecting the climber-side rope through the anchor above, clipping the ATC through belayer's harness and lowering the second in the old & boring way[?

For a competent second, it is superior in every respect, and in fact is more respectful to the second. However, it's not cool, it's not the latest gimmick, it doesn't let the belayer be lazy, it doesn't have the word "guide" in it, and it's a lot of work to "bring up" your girlfriend whom you've "put on" a route two number grades above her climbing level.

Jay


(This post was edited by jt512 on Mar 26, 2010, 9:36 AM)


IsayAutumn


Mar 26, 2010, 9:26 AM
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jt512 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
patto wrote:
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.

Patto, thanks for clearly expressing something that I was plainly unable to. It makes sense that BD would, for liability reasons, have this in their manual.

What kills me is, there are people in this thread piling on me who HAVE NEVER USED an ATC Guide. They have no place in this discussion.

Yeah, but some of us have been climbing for over 20 years and have used a dozen different belay devices, some of which work on the same principle as the ATC–Guide, but just haven't used that one specific device. And so maybe we understand basic principles of belaying better than you. You'll notice that even though I haven't used an ATC–Guide, the majority of those in the thread who have have agreed with me, not you. You don't take your hand brake hand off the rope. It is pretty fucking ridiculous that after 10 pages, a 1-year climber is still arguing against the most fundamental rule in climbing.

Jay

I understand you have a lot of experience, as do others in this thread that disagree with me. Unfortunately for this thread, that doesn't change my opinion of the safety of the ATC Guide, if you use it how I've suggested.

Here is another source, this time from Climbing Self Rescue by the publisher Mountaineer's Books. I know you hate FOTH, but you can't deny that many of the people involved in this publishing group know about climbing:

http://www.mountainzone.com/...sp?aid=412&pid=2

As you can see, they do state that the manufacturers advise leaving a "light" hand on the brake strand. But they also wouldn't talk about going "hands-free" to adjust things and add layers if they thought it was horrifically unsafe.

You've already stated that you disagree with me, and that's fine. So have many others. I will keep debating this until I get bored, if you want to. And if not, then, well ... bye.


shockabuku


Mar 26, 2010, 9:29 AM
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IsayAutumn wrote:
shockabuku wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
In reply to:
How can you be paying attention and providing a competent belay when you're otherwise engaged in doing whatever to the point where you can't bother to hold onto the rope?

It's possible. Have you ever adjust something, gotten a drink, or put on a coat or quickly done anything else while belaying a second? Did you keep your hand on the brake strand? If you did, then you were providing the exact same level of attention to the belay and climber you would if you were to do that with an ATC Guide while removing your hand temporarily from the rope. Having your hand on or off the rope does not affect the level of attention you can pay to your climber if using an auto-blocking device like the ATC Guide. At least, it does not affect mine.

I call bullshit on that one. Physical contact is, in itself, a higher level of attention than visual observation.

OK. I guess I don't see your point. Are you saying that it is unsafe to do as I have described with an ATC Guide? If so, then good for you. Go ahead and add yourself to the list.

I think it increases the likelihood of an accident. There are enough historical instances of unforeseen accidents that I don't think it's wise to increase the risk for minor convenience. If I want to let go of the rope, I tie it off.

I can see three advantages to keeping a hand on the brake strand:
1. It keeps your attention on the belay.
2. You always have positive control of the rope should something happen.
3. The brake strand does provide some amount of friction to the system since it is necessarily bent at 90 degrees when inserted into the device and the device is hanging vertically and the climber's path is generally downward (as opposed to out across a ledge).

We all make our choices about risk, I would hope you share yours with your partner ahead of time.


altelis


Mar 26, 2010, 9:31 AM
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Re: [jt512] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
ClimbClimb wrote:
What's wrong with simply redirecting the climber-side rope through the anchor above, clipping the ATC through belayer's harness and lowering the second in the old & boring way[?

It's not cool.

Jay

To be fair (wrong site, right?), there are two situations in which one would lower the second.

1) The second is weighting the rope
2) The second is not weighting the rope.

In all situations under 2, and in many under 1 (where they are able to unweight the rope), the easy, obvious and superior method is to redirect the climber side. Its really easy to transfer the belay too, since the biner that creates the autoblock isn't clipped to anything but the rope. So clip that into the belay loop, unclip the device from the anchor, and voila. You are done.

But you better hope you're cool if the second is weighting the rope and can't really effectively unweight it. Time for some trickery.

Of course, there is probably a (good) argument to be made that if there is a possibility that your second will need to be lowered and may not be able to unweight the rope in the process, an autolocking device isn't the best solution for that route's belaying needs.


IsayAutumn


Mar 26, 2010, 9:32 AM
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Re: [jt512] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
ClimbClimb wrote:
What's wrong with simply redirecting the climber-side rope through the anchor above, clipping the ATC through belayer's harness and lowering the second in the old & boring way[?

For a competent second, it is superior in every respect, and in fact is more respectful to the second. However, it's not cool, it's not the latest gimmick, it doesn't let the belayer be lazy, it doesn't have the word "guide" in it, and it's a lot of work, to "bring up" your girlfriend whom you've "put on" a route two number grades above her climbing level.

Jay

How is it "more respectful to the second"?


altelis


Mar 26, 2010, 9:33 AM
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Re: [IsayAutumn] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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IsayAutumn wrote:

(SNIP)

I understand you have a lot of experience, as do others in this thread that disagree with me. Unfortunately for this thread ME, that doesn't change my opinion of the safety of the ATC Guide, if you use it how I've suggested.

(SNIP).

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