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Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday
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davidnn5


Mar 26, 2010, 1:00 PM
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Re: [robdotcalm] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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robdotcalm wrote:
davidnn5 wrote:

Think back to the first time you set everything up and led a climb. Did you practise all the skills of setting anchors, placements etc, or did you just tie a few knots in random things, throw an ATC at your pal, say 'she'll be right' and start up the route?

Young man, when I first led we didn't use harnesses or belay devices. We tied into the end of the rope and belayed around our waists.

Gratias et valete bene!
RobertusPunctumPacificus

Sorry, I should have prefaced with "those of you who started climbing in the 20th or 21st century..."

SlyPirateWink


rock_fencer


Mar 26, 2010, 1:43 PM
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Re: [patto] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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Patto:
No the redirect was through a higher point in the anchor, it was simply through a biner on my leg loop as well. This simply increased the friction of the overall system because i was not sure of how much release would occur. Also the sling i used was shortened to just barely release the biner with my full weight on it to maximize control. Based on this i think in this situation its safe to say i used the guide in a safe way.

As for the friction as a normal TR in my experience with the guide, and im relatively light at 145ish, i have to feed rope through when the belay device is snuged up against a biner like it would be with the simple rotation.


karmiclimber


Mar 26, 2010, 1:50 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:
jt512 wrote:
agdavis wrote:
People are fucking morons.

Is that legal?

Jay

Is what legal?

Fucking morons.

Jay

Totally late to the party. But I see men especially doing this all of the time. Apparently brains are not a hot commodity for chicks. Or men just live in denial. Or something.


jt512


Mar 26, 2010, 5:53 PM
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Re: [IsayAutumn] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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IsayAutumn wrote:
And? How did you respond? Munter or redirect?

Redirect.


jt512


Mar 26, 2010, 6:01 PM
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Re: [IsayAutumn] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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IsayAutumn wrote:
davidnn5 wrote:
I think some of you are missing the point in a misguided effort to get people to agree your way is the best way. You've stated clearly that you wouldn't use/agree to someone using an ATC Guide, some of you regardless of whether the belayer has hands on it or not. Fine. Really. We get it.

This is bleedingly obvious, but it's worth reiterating a simple maxim: climbing is about assessing your level of competence relative to risk and using that assessment to make decisions about what you do. There are people here who rope solo. There are some who lead. There are some who only top-rope, and some for whom climbing stairs is an exercise in fear. There are some who use the texas trad rope trick, slackline on a high line without backup, free solo and do other potentially highly dangerous things.

These people have all made decisions (intelligent or otherwise) based on their level of experience and competence.
I don't think the fact that around 50% of respondents use an autoblock device indicates that they're a default or mostly-noob option. I think it's more of an indication that this thread is suffering from groupthink (everyone get that dangerous belayer!). I know many climbers with 20-30 years experience who use an autoblock for seconds. We all make our own decisions, period.

Think back to the first time you set everything up and led a climb. Did you practise all the skills of setting anchors, placements etc, or did you just tie a few knots in random things, throw an ATC at your pal, say 'she'll be right' and start up the route? Should you practise lowering before using an ATC Guide? Obviously.

Edit to clarify my leading example.

+1

You sure just lost some credibility in my eyes.

Jay


jt512


Mar 26, 2010, 6:03 PM
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Re: [karmiclimber] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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karmiclimber wrote:
jt512 wrote:
agdavis wrote:
jt512 wrote:
agdavis wrote:
People are fucking morons.

Is that legal?

Jay

Is what legal?

Fucking morons.

Jay

Totally late to the party. But I see men especially doing this all of the time.

So, you like to watch. That's new information.

Jay


jt512


Mar 26, 2010, 6:15 PM
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Re: [davidnn5] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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davidnn5 wrote:
This is bleedingly obvious, but it's worth reiterating a simple maxim: climbing is about assessing your level of competence relative to risk and using that assessment to make decisions about what you do. There are people here who rope solo. There are some who lead. There are some who only top-rope, and some for whom climbing stairs is an exercise in fear. There are some who use the texas trad rope trick, slackline on a high line without backup, free solo and do other potentially highly dangerous things.

There are people here who rope solo. There are some who lead. There are some who only top-rope, and some for whom climbing stairs is an exercise in fear. There are some who use the texas trad rope trick, slackline on a high line without backup, free solo and do other potentially highly dangerous things.

These people have all made decisions (intelligent or otherwise) based on their level of experience and competence.

What the fuck does any of that have to do with whether to use an autoblocking belay device?

In reply to:
I don't think the fact that around 50% of respondents use an autoblock device indicates that they're a default or mostly-noob option.

It means that about 50% of the respondents to the poll use an autoblocking belay device most often. And if you accept the premise that such a device is suboptimal for ordinary cragging from both a performance and a safety standpoint, and should be reserved for unusual, special uses, then nearly half the respondents to the poll have chosen the wrong tool for the job.

In reply to:
I think it's more of an indication that this thread is suffering from groupthink (everyone get that dangerous belayer!).

No. You've got it completely backwards. The climbing population represented by the poll respondents are suffering from groupthink. How else can you explain that half of them are belaying their seconds up on tension by using a device that practically can't be used to give slack. (Like Rob and Rich said, this is a miserable experience for a competent second.) They're following the crowd and using the latest, trendy belay device, even though it is suboptimal for their purpose.

[Rest of irrelevant material deleted]

Jay


davidnn5


Mar 26, 2010, 6:36 PM
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Re: [jt512] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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Jay

To avoid the quotes of quotes of quotes issue:

Discussion about people making decisions about doing potentially dangerous things equates very well to deciding to use an ATC Guide, and by extension how you decide to use it. As it's potentially dangerous if used to lower people... Either you need to think through what I posted or you're being deliberately obtuse because you hate anyone else to have a valid point.

Re: tension - ropes don't feed themselves through belay devices. Any competent belayer can take in most, but not all of the slack, thereby ensuring the climber isn't short-roped Shocked. Again, I'm surprised you didn't come to this conclusion yourself. The device won't easily release once the rope's gone through, but how much you feed through is up to you.

Suggestions made here that people should think long and hard about using a Guide on pitches at the second's limit make good sense. That doesn't necessarily equate to "unusual, special uses" for everyone. Some people just like to climb, and are not particularly fussed about always doing so at their limit. If you are looking at a 22-hour slog on a 22 pitch 5.4, will you try to find ways to speed your climbing up?

I realise at this stage you think everything I say is definitively wrong because it comes from me, but do consider carefully before you rule out using something based on internet hyperbole.


jt512


Mar 26, 2010, 6:54 PM
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Re: [davidnn5] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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davidnn5 wrote:
Jay

To avoid the quotes of quotes of quotes issue:

You mean the "issue" whereby other people can actually figure out what is being responded to?

In reply to:
Discussion about people making decisions about doing potentially dangerous things equates very well to deciding to use an ATC Guide, and by extension how you decide to use it. As it's potentially dangerous if used to lower people...

That paragraph makes no sense whatsoever.

In reply to:
Either you need to think through what I posted or you're being deliberately obtuse because you hate anyone else to have a valid point.

David, neither one of us being deliberately obtuse; one of actually isn't obtuse, and the other isn't being it deliberately.

In reply to:
Re: tension - ropes don't feed themselves through belay devices. Any competent belayer can take in most, but not all of the slack, thereby ensuring the climber isn't short-roped Shocked. Again, I'm surprised you didn't come to this conclusion yourself. The device won't easily release once the rope's gone through, but how much you feed through is up to you.

As usual with you, that's not the issue. The issue, as Rob, Rich, and I have explained, is that if the climber wants to downclimb, even a move or two, he will have essentially forgone his free ascent.

In reply to:
Suggestions made here that people should think long and hard about using a Guide on pitches at the second's limit make good sense. That doesn't necessarily equate to "unusual, special uses" for everyone. Some people just like to climb, and are not particularly fussed about always doing so at their limit.

And our point has been that it is on exactly those sorts of climbs that an autoblock most sucks.

In reply to:
I realise at this stage you think everything I say is definitively wrong because it comes from me, but do consider carefully before you rule out using something based on internet hyperbole.

At this stage? I figured that out after your very first post, and I killfiled you then. Later someone quoted something interesting you said, and I let you back out, a mistake, given that I have a hard time letting profoundly stupid comments go unchallenged.

Jay


(This post was edited by jt512 on Mar 26, 2010, 6:55 PM)


stagg54


Mar 26, 2010, 6:55 PM
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Re: [jt512] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
No. You've got it completely backwards. The climbing population represented by the poll respondents are suffering from groupthink. How else can you explain that half of them are belaying their seconds up on tension by using a device that practically can't be used to give slack. (Like Rob and Rich said, this is a miserable experience for a competent second.) They're following the crowd and using the latest, trendy belay device, even though it is suboptimal for their purpose.

Jay

I disagree. I've been climbing for at least 5 years. I don't consider myself a noob and I use a Reverso quite often in autolooking mode to belay up a second. And yes I DO take my brake hand off (gasp) If you can't do that safely then why the hell would anyone ever use one?

I think they are perfectly optimal for the job. Having my hands free allows to flake the rope, eat, drink, check out the topo, put on or take off a belay jacket, perhaps take a piss and do a variety of other activities, thus dramatically speeding up belay changeovers.

Yes it is a pain in the ass to feed out slack, but why would you ever want to do that. If you have a prussick, its pretty damn easy to make a z pulley. If your second gets stuck, haul them up. It maintains upward progress. If you absolutely have to lower someone you can do so very safely, its just a pain in the ass to do it the right way.

Works for me.


jt512


Mar 26, 2010, 6:58 PM
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Re: [stagg54] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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stagg54 wrote:
I disagree. I've been climbing for at least 5 years. I don't consider myself a noob and I use a Reverso quite often in autolooking mode to belay up a second. And yes I DO take my brake hand off (gasp) If you can't do that safely then why the hell would anyone ever use one?

I think they are perfectly optimal for the job. Having my hands free allows to flake the rope, eat, drink, check out the topo, put on or take off a belay jacket, perhaps take a piss and do a variety of other activities...

It would seem to allow you to everything a belayer would ever want to do, except belay.

In reply to:
Yes it is a pain in the ass to feed out slack, but why would you ever want to do that.

If you have to ask that question, then you are a profoundly terrible belayer (and your reading comprehension could use a little work as well).

Jay


(This post was edited by jt512 on Mar 26, 2010, 7:08 PM)


redlude97


Mar 26, 2010, 7:00 PM
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Re: [stagg54] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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stagg54 wrote:
jt512 wrote:
No. You've got it completely backwards. The climbing population represented by the poll respondents are suffering from groupthink. How else can you explain that half of them are belaying their seconds up on tension by using a device that practically can't be used to give slack. (Like Rob and Rich said, this is a miserable experience for a competent second.) They're following the crowd and using the latest, trendy belay device, even though it is suboptimal for their purpose.

Jay

I disagree. I've been climbing for at least 5 years. I don't consider myself a noob and I use a Reverso quite often in autolooking mode to belay up a second. And yes I DO take my brake hand off (gasp) If you can't do that safely then why the hell would anyone ever use one?

I think they are perfectly optimal for the job. Having my hands free allows to flake the rope, eat, drink, check out the topo, put on or take off a belay jacket, perhaps take a piss and do a variety of other activities, thus dramatically speeding up belay changeovers.

Yes it is a pain in the ass to feed out slack, but why would you ever want to do that. If you have a prussick, its pretty damn easy to make a z pulley. If your second gets stuck, haul them up. It maintains upward progress. If you absolutely have to lower someone you can do so very safely, its just a pain in the ass to do it the right way.

Works for me.
Your solution to not being able to lower is the haul the other climber up? Unsure


stagg54


Mar 26, 2010, 7:08 PM
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Re: [redlude97] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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redlude97 wrote:

Your solution to not being able to lower is the haul the other climber up? Unsure

I just don't often run into a situation that requires me to lower someone.

How often do you have to lower someone on a multipitch climb?

If your partner falls out into space instead of lowering them for them to try it again, just haul them.

If you just need to give them a little slack because you are pulling them off then that is easy too.

If you have to lower them, chances are because you have to bail, You could just haul them up to you and you can both rap off or lower them from there.



So I don't really understand why it being a pain in the ass to lower someone is such a big deal.
How often does it come up?


redlude97


Mar 26, 2010, 7:16 PM
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stagg54 wrote:
redlude97 wrote:

Your solution to not being able to lower is the haul the other climber up? Unsure

I just don't often run into a situation that requires me to lower someone.

How often do you have to lower someone on a multipitch climb?

If your partner falls out into space instead of lowering them for them to try it again, just haul them.

If you just need to give them a little slack because you are pulling them off then that is easy too.

If you have to lower them, chances are because you have to bail, You could just haul them up to you and you can both rap off or lower them from there.



So I don't really understand why it being a pain in the ass to lower someone is such a big deal.
How often does it come up?
My partner and I like to climb near our max, and also like to get each pitch "clean" that sometimes involves working a section even as the second, and occassionally lowering to the start of the pitch to get it clean. If your only goal is to make it up a climb no matter what, then hauling is acceptable I guess....


IsayAutumn


Mar 26, 2010, 7:42 PM
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In reply to:
You sure just lost some credibility in my eyes.

hard to lose what you don't have.


benmoreite


Mar 26, 2010, 8:44 PM
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Re: [IsayAutumn] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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The use of a plaquette versus a standard tuber is not an either/or proposition. All plaquette devices work equally well as a normal tuber type device. By carrying a plaquette, I have opened up my options. I can belay with a redirect, or an autoblock, and I enjoy having the choice.

To ISA and the handsfree crowd I say thanks, but no thanks. I appreciate the efforts ISA has made to document other sources who have stated that going hands free with a plaquette is acceptable practice. It gives me faith that these devices work as intended, most of the time. However, I can imagine a good many situations in which the device would not perform appropriately, and therefore choose to keep at least a "light touch" at all times. If for no other reason than the symbolism of keeping my hand on the rope. Others will disagree that this symbolism is important, but I believe it is. I will never be a great climber, or climb hard routes. For me, climbing is largely about the shared experience with my partner, and to take my hand off the rope would somehow degrade that experience. I do agree that using a plaquette facilitates doing other things, like grabbing a bite to eat, or donning my belay parka, but I find no trouble in doing those things AND keeping a hand on the rope.

To Jay and the naysayers: I am probably not going to give up my plaquette. However, I am grateful for the lesson on respectful belaying of the second. Of all the arguments against these devices, I think this one holds the most merit. Plaquettes have a steep learning curve, especially when it comes to lowering, but I believe that once you have mastered the requisite skills, raising and lowering can be done easily. The only real grievance that I have with the device is the loss of feel between me and the second. I have always over looked this issue as something trivial, but your comments on giving a good belay to the second have helped me to crystalize why the loss of feel has bothered me. I am looking forward to discussing this more with my climbing partners.

Cheers,
Ben


benmoreite


Mar 26, 2010, 8:52 PM
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Re: [cracklover] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
jt512 wrote:
jt512 wrote:
robdotcalm wrote:
This is from “RG” on the Gunks thread concerning the accident (I assume this is the same as our RGold). It says exactly what I’ve been thinking and said it so well I’m posting it here.

«Autolocking belay devices have their place for experienced climbers moving fast on multipitch or
clients moving up. For cragging, I think they suck for giving upper belays because of the difficulty of paying rope back out to a second who wants to step down. Guides don't care much about this; let the client end up on tension, but for seconds who would actually like to climb the pitch, an autolocker belay is an annoyance. When it comes to lowering, they also stink. Depending on how much of the climber's weight is transmitted up to the belayer, the belayer might have to exert a lot of force in order to rotate the plate into lowering position. They might be tempted to use both hands to do this. When you release a loaded autolocker, there is a quite sudden loss of friction and the potential for a rapid drop, although the plate should lock back up in that situation once the raising force is released. All in all, what we have is a solution to a problem that never existed. Yes, it is slightly more convenient to use guide mode, easier on your back, for instance, but you are interposing another layer of technology and then practically inviting disaster by enjoying all the hands-free "benefits" conferred by the device.»

As usual, Rich sums up my thoughts better than I do.

Jay

As Rich states, autoblock devices are generally a poor choice for ordinary cragging. They are best reserved for situations in which advanced climbers need speed at the expense of the second's ability to free climb the pitch, and other special situations. I have hypothesized that, despite their being a poor choice for routine climbing, they have become, for no good reason, the default choice among many climbers (especially n00bs, though I can't prove that). And now the data bears this out. Prompted by this thread, someone has started a poll in another thread, asking "How do you belay your second?" Here are the results to date.

Half of all leaders responding to the poll say they belay their seconds (most often, we must presume, since respondents were forced to choose a single response), using an autoblocking device in autoblock configuration. Furthermore, if you want the benefits of a direct belay off the anchor, then the best "device" for this purpose—the munter hitch—is used the least.

Jay

I'd be very curious to see years of trad leading experience appended to that data.

GO

I would too. I think a cross-tabulation of belay method and years climbing would provide some fascinating insight into this whole debate. I think that Jay is probably right that groupthink is driving a lot of the guide/reverso users out there. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't at least a little motivated by gear envy when I bought mine.

I would also be eager to see a comparison of those using a plaquette versus those who have:
-read the instructions for lowering
-have practiced lowering on the ground
-have practiced lowering in the vertical with some weight
-have practiced lowering in the vertical with full weight

To me, the most shocking part of this whole discussion has been the number of folks that have described using a plaquette without having full knowledge and ability to perform a competent and safe lower. I say use whatever device you want, but you damn well better know it backwards, forwards, and inside out.

edit because I can't spell


(This post was edited by benmoreite on Mar 26, 2010, 8:56 PM)


mojomonkey


Mar 26, 2010, 9:06 PM
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stagg54 wrote:
If your partner falls out into space instead of lowering them for them to try it again, just haul them.

You keep saying how easy it is to just rig a z-pulley and haul your partner up... Have you ever actually tried to haul someone hanging away from the rock in this fashion?


davidnn5


Mar 26, 2010, 9:10 PM
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davidnn5 wrote:
Re: tension - ropes don't feed themselves through belay devices. Any competent belayer can take in most, but not all of the slack, thereby ensuring the climber isn't short-roped Shocked. Again, I'm surprised you didn't come to this conclusion yourself. The device won't easily release once the rope's gone through, but how much you feed through is up to you.

jt512 wrote:
As usual with you, that's not the issue. The issue, as Rob, Rich, and I have explained, is that if the climber wants to downclimb, even a move or two, he will have essentially forgone his free ascent.

Do you actually communicate with your belayers? Something like "hey, not sure about this next set of moves, leave me a little slack" perhaps? In any case, this goes against the main premise - that you'd be using it on such easy climbs that downclimbs should never be required (specially when you just got to watch every move as the first guy led it).

davidnn5 wrote:
... Yada about Guides may not be good on hard pitches

jt512 wrote:
And our point has been that it is on exactly those sorts of climbs that an autoblock most sucks.

I'm fine with that, as stated. I just don't understand why that became a general denunciation of the device, to the point that you inferred that anyone using it must be an idiot, noob, follower, etc.


jt512


Mar 26, 2010, 9:53 PM
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davidnn5 wrote:

Do you actually communicate with your belayers? Something like "hey, not sure about this next set of moves, leave me a little slack" perhaps?

Do you actually climb? When your seconds start feeling insecure about the "next set of moves," how often do they request more slack?

In reply to:
In any case, this goes against the main premise - that you'd be using it on such easy climbs that downclimbs should never be required...

As I have recently learned, what you have just done is to add a "defensive hypothesis."

In reply to:
(specially when you just got to watch every move as the first guy led it).

If you actually had any reasonable amount of climbing experience at all, you could not help but know that it often the case that the second cannot see every move the leader has made, remember every move he has seen, or be helped by every move he has remembered.

In reply to:
jt512 wrote:
And our point has been that it is on exactly those sorts of climbs that an autoblock most sucks.

I'm fine with that, as stated. I just don't understand why that became a general denunciation of the device, to the point that you inferred that anyone using it must be an idiot, noob, follower, etc.

I don't know what you mean by a "general" denunciation of the device. Some of us have denounced the device in autoblock mode for general climbing, and we have clearly stated our reasons for doing so.

Jay


davidnn5


Mar 27, 2010, 12:01 AM
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Re: [jt512] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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I read my post and remembered I just don't give a crap.

Anyone know how the climber/belayer are doing?


(This post was edited by davidnn5 on Mar 27, 2010, 12:13 AM)


socalclimber


Mar 27, 2010, 4:16 AM
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Re: [davidnn5] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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"I read my post and remembered I just don't give a crap. "

Then you shouldn't be posting to this thread.

"Anyone know how the climber/belayer are doing? "

Lousy attempt at redirecting the attention from yourself.


The modern day climber (which appears to about 99% of this site) seems to be smitten with gear. Shiny objects. There is absolutely no reason to be using a device like the reverso or atc guide in everyday climbing. Anything you can do with one of those devices can easily and efficiently be accomplished with a standard atc style belay device and a few slings.

The "bad judgement" that caused this accident had nothing to do with the improper use of the device. The "bad judgement" was using this device in the first place.


(This post was edited by socalclimber on Mar 27, 2010, 4:18 AM)


stagg54


Mar 27, 2010, 5:29 AM
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Re: [mojomonkey] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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mojomonkey wrote:
stagg54 wrote:
If your partner falls out into space instead of lowering them for them to try it again, just haul them.

You keep saying how easy it is to just rig a z-pulley and haul your partner up... Have you ever actually tried to haul someone hanging away from the rock in this fashion?

Yes I have and it is not that bad. I've never tried it with someone weighing more than 200lbs. But it is definitely doable.


stagg54


Mar 27, 2010, 5:30 AM
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Re: [redlude97] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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redlude97 wrote:
stagg54 wrote:
redlude97 wrote:

Your solution to not being able to lower is the haul the other climber up? Unsure

I just don't often run into a situation that requires me to lower someone.

How often do you have to lower someone on a multipitch climb?

If your partner falls out into space instead of lowering them for them to try it again, just haul them.

If you just need to give them a little slack because you are pulling them off then that is easy too.

If you have to lower them, chances are because you have to bail, You could just haul them up to you and you can both rap off or lower them from there.



So I don't really understand why it being a pain in the ass to lower someone is such a big deal.
How often does it come up?
My partner and I like to climb near our max, and also like to get each pitch "clean" that sometimes involves working a section even as the second, and occassionally lowering to the start of the pitch to get it clean. If your only goal is to make it up a climb no matter what, then hauling is acceptable I guess....

I usually do long alpine routes, so speed is more important than style.


Partner j_ung


Mar 27, 2010, 8:24 AM
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Re: [stagg54] Interesting accident at the gunks on Saturday [In reply to]
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stagg54 wrote:
mojomonkey wrote:
stagg54 wrote:
If your partner falls out into space instead of lowering them for them to try it again, just haul them.

You keep saying how easy it is to just rig a z-pulley and haul your partner up... Have you ever actually tried to haul someone hanging away from the rock in this fashion?

Yes I have and it is not that bad. I've never tried it with someone weighing more than 200lbs. But it is definitely doable.

I'm going to pick a nit here... It's not definitely doable. It's sometimes doable, depending on a variety of factors.

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Forums : Climbing Information : Accident and Incident Analysis

 


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