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Gdog42


Apr 18, 2013, 6:12 AM
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Dangerous belaying?
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I was at Devil's Lake, WI last fall and we came to a spot with a college group there also. They had a girl belaying in a very awkward way:

Her brake hand was upside-down above the belay device, parallel to her guide hand. This might have been ok with a self-locking device, but this was a conventional tube device. There was no way she would have been able to catch the guy if he fell (luckily he didn't)
When she took in slack she would pull up the rope with the brake hand, let go of it, and then move it back down to the previous unsafe position. The only time during the climb hat she actually locked the rope was at the end to lower him down.

I told her it was dangerous and said why, but she told me "it's ok; that's how I was taught!"

well ok then...

I didn't say anything else after that, but at least now she knows that if she ever does drop a climber she should consider checking her method.
I'm not blaming her btw; I'm blaming whoever taught her. That person obviously didn't care or didn't know themself how to do this safely.

Anyone else seen this kind of thing before? I don't usually point out to people things like this, but holy crap this was bad. I mean, this was pretty much what I was thinking when I saw her belaying like this...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxRX6LXDpWs

(This post was edited by Gdog42 on Apr 20, 2013, 10:12 AM)


Kartessa


Apr 18, 2013, 6:19 AM
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Re: [Gdog42] Dangerous belaying... [In reply to]
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Gdog42 wrote:
I was at Devil's Lake, WI last fall and we came to a spot with a college group there also. They had a girl belaying in a very awkward way:

Her brake hand was upside-down above the belay device, parallel to her guide hand. This might have been ok with a self-locking device, but this was a conventional tube device. There was no way she would have been able to catch the guy if he fell (luckily he didn't)
When she took in slack she would pull up the rope with the brake hand, let go of it, and then move it back down to the previous unsafe position. The only time during the climb hat she actually locked the rope was at the end to lower him down.

I told her it was dangerous and said why, but she told me "it's ok; that's how I was taught!"

well ok then...

I didn't say anything else after that, but at least now she knows that if she ever does drop a climber she should consider checking her method.
I'm not blaming her btw; I'm blaming whoever taught her. That person obviously didn't care or didn't know themself how to do this safely.

Anyone else seen this kind of thing before? I don't usually point out to people things like this, but holy crap this was bad. I mean, this was pretty much what I was thinking when I saw her belaying like this...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxRX6LXDpWs

She was probably taught in a gym, on a grigri. Its just that dumbshits don't know that not all skills transfer seamlessly.


dagibbs


Apr 18, 2013, 6:24 AM
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I travel a lot for work, and when I arrive different places, I generally try to find a local climbing gym, and at least boulder -- but hope to hook up with someone local for an evening of climbing. But, I arrived at one gym, and saw that most people seemed to be belaying in this style, with ATCs or equivalent, and I decided that I would just boulder there. I didn't feel safe climbing with someone at that gym, even if they were "approved" as safe to belay. From watching people catch falls -- I think the idea is that when someone starts to fall, at that point you lock off. And, just hope you lock-off fast enough, or something. Maybe, at a gym where they can make sure there is lots of friction on the top-rope (two wraps around a large diameter cylinder, for example), people get away with this. But, on an outdoor TR, where that may not be the case? Ugh.


Libbster


Apr 18, 2013, 6:27 AM
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While you can do her method it is still inproper and she should not be letting go of the brake...ever. She was complacent. That attitude is born in the gym.


Kartessa


Apr 18, 2013, 6:42 AM
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Libbster wrote:
While you can do her method it is still inproper and she should not be letting go of the brake...ever. She was complacent. That attitude is born in the gym.

I had to read that 4 times to get what you're trying to say, and then gave up.

But as for gym attitudes of letting go. My favourite game in the gym is finding the dude (or girl) with their friend hanging, grigri cammed shut, hands in their pockets, and "slap the cam" on the grigri.

The trick to be avoid being a totall asshole is to come up behind them, and grab the brake end of the rope before doing the slap. This way, they won't deck, should the grigri not engage (a 0.0001% chance of happening). The sneaky approach is awesome too, because it really makes the idiot belayer shit their pants, and hopefully learn a lesson.


shimanilami


Apr 18, 2013, 7:51 AM
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Well played, sir.


amarius


Apr 18, 2013, 8:15 AM
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It is a little challenging to understand your narration. It seems to me that you were describing "pinch" method of belaying - "hands on rope palms up and pinkies toward the belay device, draw in rope; slide the feeding hand up and pinch both ropes; and recover the brake hand to the starting position" ( From here, and video ).
I also sounds as if her interpretation of that method was less than confidence inspiring


iknowfear


Apr 18, 2013, 10:45 AM
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Gdog42 wrote:
I was at Devil's Lake, WI last fall and we came to a spot with a college group there also. They had a girl belaying in a very awkward way:

Her brake hand was upside-down above the belay device, parallel to her guide hand. This might have been ok with a self-locking device, but this was a conventional tube device. There was no way she would have been able to catch the guy if he fell (luckily he didn't)
When she took in slack she would pull up the rope with the brake hand, let go of it, and then move it back down to the previous unsafe position. The only time during the climb hat she actually locked the rope was at the end to lower him down.

I told her it was dangerous and said why, but she told me "it's ok; that's how I was taught!"

well ok then...

I didn't say anything else after that, but at least now she knows that if she ever does drop a climber she should consider checking her method.
I'm not blaming her btw; I'm blaming whoever taught her. That person obviously didn't care or didn't know themself how to do this safely.

Anyone else seen this kind of thing before? I don't usually point out to people things like this, but holy crap this was bad. I mean, this was pretty much what I was thinking when I saw her belaying like this...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxRX6LXDpWs

maybe she was taught with a munter, and did not notice that tubers don't work that way... (I see that more often than I like!)


Gdog42


Apr 18, 2013, 11:37 AM
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Re: [amarius] Dangerous belaying... [In reply to]
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amarius wrote:
"hands on rope palms up and pinkies toward the belay device

That sounds like it. Her brake/bottom hand was up above the device next to her guide/top hand in that position you just described (upright) So if she did have to lock off to catch a fall her brake hand would have turned backwards, making the climber very awkward to hold.
To add another detail I forgot to mention, the thumb on her brake hand hasn't even curled around the rope! Shocked
She managed to lower him from that position anyway.

I'm heading to the gym later today. If I remember I'll take my camera and get a friend to take a picture of me on belay as she was so I can show you guys.


petsfed


Apr 18, 2013, 1:03 PM
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Re: [Kartessa] Dangerous belaying... [In reply to]
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Kartessa wrote:
She was probably taught in a gym, on a grigri, by an idiot. Its just that dumbshits don't know that not all skills transfer seamlessly.

Fixed that for you.

That's a shitty approach to using a gri-gri too.


Kartessa


Apr 18, 2013, 1:09 PM
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petsfed wrote:
Kartessa wrote:
She was probably taught in a gym, on a grigri, by an idiot. Its just that dumbshits don't know that not all skills transfer seamlessly.

Fixed that for you.

That's a shitty approach to using a gri-gri too.

Shitty, but surviveable


Tfinney110


Apr 18, 2013, 1:13 PM
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Kartessa wrote:
Libbster wrote:
While you can do her method it is still inproper and she should not be letting go of the brake...ever. She was complacent. That attitude is born in the gym.

I had to read that 4 times to get what you're trying to say, and then gave up.

But as for gym attitudes of letting go. My favourite game in the gym is finding the dude (or girl) with their friend hanging, grigri cammed shut, hands in their pockets, and "slap the cam" on the grigri.

The trick to be avoid being a totall asshole is to come up behind them, and grab the brake end of the rope before doing the slap. This way, they won't deck, should the grigri not engage (a 0.0001% chance of happening). The sneaky approach is awesome too, because it really makes the idiot belayer shit their pants, and hopefully learn a lesson.

I had to read that 4 times to get what you're trying to say, and then I gave up. *FACEPALM*


Kartessa


Apr 18, 2013, 1:25 PM
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Tfinney110 wrote:
Kartessa wrote:
Libbster wrote:
While you can do her method it is still inproper and she should not be letting go of the brake...ever. She was complacent. That attitude is born in the gym.

I had to read that 4 times to get what you're trying to say, and then gave up.

But as for gym attitudes of letting go. My favourite game in the gym is finding the dude (or girl) with their friend hanging, grigri cammed shut, hands in their pockets, and "slap the cam" on the grigri.

The trick to be avoid being a totall asshole is to come up behind them, and grab the brake end of the rope before doing the slap. This way, they won't deck, should the grigri not engage (a 0.0001% chance of happening). The sneaky approach is awesome too, because it really makes the idiot belayer shit their pants, and hopefully learn a lesson.

I had to read that 4 times to get what you're trying to say, and then I gave up. *FACEPALM*

Difference is: I'm high... he's not.


Syd


Apr 18, 2013, 2:51 PM
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I think the problem is that at many gyms, including my local gym, the staff are incompetent. Gym staff chat to each other behind the counter rather than wandering about watching belayers and climbers. (ClimbFit is an exception - the staff are great). Staff allow people to develop bad habits, even if they don't teach them.

The most common error is the belayer allowing the rope to run freely when lowering. The top friction pulley allows belayers to get away with murder.


redlude97


Apr 18, 2013, 3:06 PM
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Gdog42 wrote:
amarius wrote:
"hands on rope palms up and pinkies toward the belay device

That sounds like it. Her brake/bottom hand was up above the device next to her guide/top hand in that position you just described (upright) So if she did have to lock off to catch a fall her brake hand would have turned backwards, making the climber very awkward to hold.
To add another detail I forgot to mention, the thumb on her brake hand hasn't even curled around the rope! Shocked
She managed to lower him from that position anyway.

I'm heading to the gym later today. If I remember I'll take my camera and get a friend to take a picture of me on belay as she was so I can show you guys.
Pinch and slide is perfectly acceptable if done correctly, nothing wrong with the brake hand in either orientation. Sounds like you're the noob.


theguy


Apr 18, 2013, 3:52 PM
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You could have said you agreed with the OP in this thread instead of starting a new one.

In case you care, JT512 prefers the approach of your girl (presuming it's done correctly of course) for sport-climbing with a gri-gri since he finds there's less risk of being short-roped on long clips.

Guessing that's not much of an issue for Devil's Lake though; sounds like a case of someone inappropriately transferring a technique to a different context, as others have suggested. Was her partner top-roping or trad-leading, and what was belay device? I'm guessing not sport-leading at Devil's Lake.

FWIW I was taught the thumbs-up method by a guide service for top-roping with Gri-Gri outdoors.


moose_droppings


Apr 18, 2013, 4:05 PM
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In reply to:
Pinch and slide is perfectly acceptable if done correctly, nothing wrong with the brake hand in either orientation.

This is correct and there have been plenty of threads on this. When belaying a climber above you with your brake hand upside down above the device puts your hand in a better position of strength when pulled below the device for braking IMO.


(This post was edited by moose_droppings on Apr 18, 2013, 5:06 PM)


Gdog42


Apr 18, 2013, 7:33 PM
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theguy wrote:
You could have said you agreed with the OP in this thread instead of starting a new one.

In case you care, JT512 prefers the approach of your girl (presuming it's done correctly of course) for sport-climbing with a gri-gri since he finds there's less risk of being short-roped on long clips.

Guessing that's not much of an issue for Devil's Lake though; sounds like a case of someone inappropriately transferring a technique to a different context, as others have suggested. Was her partner top-roping or trad-leading, and what was belay device? I'm guessing not sport-leading at Devil's Lake.

FWIW I was taught the thumbs-up method by a guide service for top-roping with Gri-Gri outdoors.

Yes, it probably would have been acceptable for a lead climb, and if she was using a self-locking device.
However, this was not the case. Her partner was top-roping, and she was using an ATC belay device.

She was sat down and was positioned exactly like this:

err... ok I'm new on this forum. Could someone please tell me how I upload an image in a post? I have it, I just don't know how to do this. (I tried placing the tags around the URL but it didn't work.)

(This post was edited by Gdog42 on Apr 18, 2013, 7:33 PM)


qwert


Apr 19, 2013, 2:16 AM
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iknowfear wrote:
Gdog42 wrote:
Ö

maybe she was taught with a munter, and did not notice that tubers don't work that way... (I see that more often than I like!)
From what it sounds like (though it sounds rather hard to understand) that might be the case, but it was my understanding that the munter is rather uncommon in the USA?

fun fact: The Austrian alpine clubs official way of teaching the munter hitch is to operate it with the brake hand below the device (just like one would do with an ATC), in order to avoid the scenario described above.

qwert


qwert


Apr 19, 2013, 2:20 AM
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Gdog42 wrote:

She was sat down and was positioned exactly like this:

err... ok I'm new on this forum. Could someone please tell me how I upload an image in a post? I have it, I just don't know how to do this. (I tried placing the [IMAGE] tags around the URL but it didn't work.)
If you have uploaded the image somewhere (flickr, some other image host, fbook etc) you need to get the images full adress (right click on the image, "copy image adress" or something) and place it in the tags like so:

Code
[image]http://somesite.tld/images/somerandompath/maybesomethingelse/belay.jpg[/image]

Or just post the url, and someone might embed it for you.

Or just attach it to your post and host the image on this site (the attachment box below your text box).

qwert


iknowfear


Apr 19, 2013, 3:48 AM
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qwert wrote:
iknowfear wrote:
Gdog42 wrote:
Ö

maybe she was taught with a munter, and did not notice that tubers don't work that way... (I see that more often than I like!)
From what it sounds like (though it sounds rather hard to understand) that might be the case, but it was my understanding that the munter is rather uncommon in the USA?

fun fact: The Austrian alpine clubs official way of teaching the munter hitch is to operate it with the brake hand below the device (just like one would do with an ATC), in order to avoid the scenario described above.

qwert

the swiss alpine club also changed to the "E-" configuration. However, I recently saw someone (that should have known better...) still teaching the paralell strand method...


Gdog42


Apr 19, 2013, 4:38 AM
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qwert wrote:
If you have uploaded the image somewhere (flickr, some other image host, fbook etc) you need to get the images full adress (right click on the image, "copy image adress" or something) and place it in the tags like so:

Code
[image]http://somesite.tld/images/somerandompath/maybesomethingelse/belay.jpg[/image]

Or just post the url, and someone might embed it for you.

Or just attach it to your post and host the image on this site (the attachment box below your text box).

qwert

This is what I ried doing but I didn't see an image in the Preview Post.
I uploaded the image to PicasaWeb. I also tried doing it directly from the SD card by opening the file with IE, but I still didn't see anything.


qwert


Apr 19, 2013, 5:38 AM
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Gdog42 wrote:
qwert wrote:
If you have uploaded the image somewhere (flickr, some other image host, fbook etc) you need to get the images full adress (right click on the image, "copy image adress" or something) and place it in the tags like so:

Code
[image]http://somesite.tld/images/somerandompath/maybesomethingelse/belay.jpg[/image]

Or just post the url, and someone might embed it for you.

Or just attach it to your post and host the image on this site (the attachment box below your text box).

qwert

This is what I ried doing but I didn't see an image in the Preview Post.
I uploaded the image to PicasaWeb. I also tried doing it directly from the SD card by opening the file with IE, but I still didn't see anything.
What is the PicasaWeb url?

qwert


amarius


Apr 19, 2013, 5:54 AM
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Check permissions - they should be Public or Limited, Public is preferred.
Public - anyone can view it
Limited - anyone with URL can view it.


curt


Apr 19, 2013, 10:11 AM
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Gdog42 wrote:
theguy wrote:
You could have said you agreed with the OP in this thread instead of starting a new one.

In case you care, JT512 prefers the approach of your girl (presuming it's done correctly of course) for sport-climbing with a gri-gri since he finds there's less risk of being short-roped on long clips.

Guessing that's not much of an issue for Devil's Lake though; sounds like a case of someone inappropriately transferring a technique to a different context, as others have suggested. Was her partner top-roping or trad-leading, and what was belay device? I'm guessing not sport-leading at Devil's Lake.

FWIW I was taught the thumbs-up method by a guide service for top-roping with Gri-Gri outdoors.

Yes, it probably would have been acceptable for a lead climb, and if she was using a self-locking device.
However, this was not the case. Her partner was top-roping, and she was using an ATC belay device.

She was sat down and was positioned exactly like this:

err... ok I'm new on this forum. Could someone please tell me how I upload an image in a post? I have it, I just don't know how to do this. (I tried placing the [IMAGE] tags around the URL but it didn't work.)

If the picture is on your computer, the easiest thing to do is:

1) Where it says Attachment: click the "Choose file" button
2) Select the pic
3) Click on "Upload attachment"
4) Use the inline command [inline filename] to make the pic appear in your post.

Curt


donald949


Apr 19, 2013, 11:08 AM
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link a picture the same way you linked the youtube viddy. except use "image" and "/image" tags instead of "url"
Now regarding the belaying...
Are you saying she was using the palms up or the palms down method. Because if done properly, brake hand stay on the rope and thumb wraps around the fingers, both are acceptable. From me you're getting a palms up, and I promise to keep my brake hand on the rope. I even got an origonal Lowe Tuber or two I can give you one with. Although when the trango pyramid came out, I grabbed one of those in a hot second. Never liked a fig 8, put too much twist in the rope and the body belay turned my shirts black, but you ask nice I'll give one anyway.
Don


Gdog42


Apr 19, 2013, 1:08 PM
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Ok, here we go! Thanks for the help guys!

So, like I said this is exactly how she was positioned for the entire climb, using a ATC belay device with the climber on a toprope. I know I wouldn't trust anyone who belays like this with an ATC on a toprope. Maybe the guy she was belaying was the one who taught her since he was fine about it?


^ How not to belay. (there wasn't anyone on the other end of this rope when this picture was taken)

This should clear things up for anyone who might have misunderstood what I was trying to describe (I wouldn't blame you- it's kind of complicated to explain!)

Anyway, the point of this thread was to say that belaying like this with this setup isn't really a good idea.

(This post was edited by Gdog42 on Apr 19, 2013, 1:13 PM)


redlude97


Apr 19, 2013, 1:14 PM
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Re: [Gdog42] Dangerous belaying... [In reply to]
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Gdog42 wrote:
Ok, here we go! Thanks for the help guys!

So, like I said this is exactly how she was positioned for the entire climb, using a ATC belay device with the climber on a toprope. I know I wouldn't trust anyone who belays like this with an ATC on a toprope. Maybe the guy she was belaying was the one who taught her since he was fine about it?

[image]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-J-yhU3r0UnQ/UXCq484BP_I/AAAAAAAAAGg/Q3DM3VZoMU0/s668/IMAG0058.JPG[/image]
^ How not to belay. (there wasn't anyone on the other end of this rope when this picture was taken)

This should clear things up for anyone who might have misunderstood what I was trying to describe (I wouldn't blame you- it's kind of complicated to explain!)

Anyway, the point of this thread was to say that belaying like this with this setup isn't really a good idea.
Exactly as I suspected. You're a fucking noob.


csproul


Apr 19, 2013, 1:16 PM
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Re: [Gdog42] Dangerous belaying... [In reply to]
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Gdog42 wrote:
Ok, here we go! Thanks for the help guys!

So, like I said this is exactly how she was positioned for the entire climb, using a ATC belay device with the climber on a toprope. I know I wouldn't trust anyone who belays like this with an ATC on a toprope. Maybe the guy she was belaying was the one who taught her since he was fine about it?

[image]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-J-yhU3r0UnQ/UXCq484BP_I/AAAAAAAAAGg/Q3DM3VZoMU0/s668/IMAG0058.JPG[/image]
^ How not to belay. (there wasn't anyone on the other end of this rope when this picture was taken)

This should clear things up for anyone who might have misunderstood what I was trying to describe (I wouldn't blame you anyway- it's kind of complicated to explain!)

Anyway, the point of this thread was to say that belaying like this with this setup isn't really a good idea.
Yawn. In and of itself, not really dangerous. I wouldn't want an inexperienced belayer doing this with me, but for somebody who knows what they are doing, it's fine. Are you sure which category you fall into? Are you sure you can tell the difference?

Letting go of the brake-hand...now that's a different matter.


budman


Apr 19, 2013, 1:21 PM
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Re: [Gdog42] Dangerous belaying... [In reply to]
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That is the way I was taught to belay before the stitch plate was invented and you were doing the hip belay. Things haven't changed much since then except people don't know the origins or the reasons why. As long as she did not let the rope go with the right hand and was ready to catch a fall by throwing the right hand down by her side to arrest the fall I'd have her on my other end of the rope anytime. Oh yeh that thingy your biner is attached to wasn't present on the first sewn harnesses.


Gdog42


Apr 19, 2013, 1:53 PM
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Re: [budman] Dangerous belaying... [In reply to]
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You can't always rely on the thought that you're " ready to catch a fall by throwing the right hand down".
True, with most climbers I've belayed I can see what they're doing and can predict what's going to happen.
However, that's not always how it is.
I can understand this if they're moving and you have no choice but to raise the lower hand, but if they're not moving it's best to keep it locked.

If you think that this is a safe way of belaying, that's fine. I've just been unaware of it and have only seen this person belaying like this with an ATC. Everyone else I've ever seen, except some of those who new to belaying, have always kept the rope locked when the climber is stationary. I guess people are more commonly being taught like that now.

The reason I was thinking that this was an unsafe method (and still do) is because the belayer can't guarantee that they will always lock the rope when the climber falls; whereas if it's already locked when there climber isn't moving they don't have to.

In my opinion it's best to be safe than sorry.

Thanks budman for explaining why some climbers do this.

(This post was edited by Gdog42 on Apr 19, 2013, 1:57 PM)


jktinst


Apr 20, 2013, 5:33 AM
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Re: [qwert] Dangerous belaying... [In reply to]
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qwert wrote:
...fun fact: The Austrian alpine clubs official way of teaching the munter hitch is to operate it with the brake hand below the device (just like one would do with an ATC), in order to avoid the scenario described above.
qwert

Wow! Munter belaying with brake hand down, eh ?

There are 4 ways to loop the rope for a Munter, times 2 ways to clip the biner equals 8 possible combinations. When Munter belaying with hands side-by-side, it doesn't matter one bit whichever way you end up with but if you're going to belay with brake hand down, only one of these 8 combinations will allow you to belay in a way that 1) places the Munterís brake strand on the side of your habitual ATC brake hand, 2) allows you to increase friction/braking by keeping that hand outward and down as with an ATC (as opposed to seriously decreasing braking when doing so), and 3) will not risk forcing the brake strand to drag over the biner's gate.

In addition, that only works if you only take in the rope or only pay it out. The second you have to flip the hitch around to go from one to the other (eg lowering after a toprope climb), not only does the brake strand switches around side-to-side, but maintaining friction in the down position now requires the belayer to pull towards himself instead of outward (which kills all pretense of mimicking the ATC), potentially dragging the brake strand over the gate and, for a bonus feature, in a way that any feeding of the rope in that configuration will unscrew the gate!!

By comparison, when Munter belaying with hands side-by-side, not only can you make the hitch and clip it whichever way you want. You can also flip it around as often as you want without ever changing hand positions, keeping the same amount of friction on the brake strand at all times (unless you intentionally want to decrease it) and keeping it well-away from the gate.

I find the Munter most useful to bring up a second. Unlike the ATC Guide or Reverso in guide mode, it allows you to give a tight rope if your second needs it and to lower him (or give him slack) easily, even if he is hanging. Like the ATC in guide mode, it lets you belay with both hands side-by-side, which is more comfortable and practical for the leader than hands pointing in opposite directions.

So it does not allow one-handed belaying of the second. So what. I can certainly live with this minor "inconvenience" given all the other advantages. I learned climbing in France in the early 80s and started on multipitch trad pretty much right from the start (seconding for the first few times and starting to lead easy stuff soon after). I used the Munter for all my belaying needs for my first 10 years of on-again-off-again climbing and have continued using it to bring up seconds after I started using tubular devices. Despite all the comments Iíve seen about the Munter twisting the rope, my experience has been that a few ropes twist a fair bit but most twist only a little if at all. My current Edelrid 10.5 mm twists big time just top-roping at the gym with ATC-type devices but does not twist at all bringing up a second with the Munter. Go figure.

(edited for correct terminololgy: hitch inst. of knot, etc.)

(This post was edited by jktinst on Apr 20, 2013, 1:51 PM)


shockabuku


Apr 20, 2013, 10:02 AM
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Re: [Gdog42] Dangerous belaying... [In reply to]
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Gdog42 wrote:
You can't always rely on the thought that you're " ready to catch a fall by throwing the right hand down".
True, with most climbers I've belayed I can see what they're doing and can predict what's going to happen.
However, that's not always how it is.
I can understand this if they're moving and you have no choice but to raise the lower hand, but if they're not moving it's best to keep it locked.

If you think that this is a safe way of belaying, that's fine. I've just been unaware of it and have only seen this person belaying like this with an ATC. Everyone else I've ever seen, except some of those who new to belaying, have always kept the rope locked when the climber is stationary. I guess people are more commonly being taught like that now.

The reason I was thinking that this was an unsafe method (and still do) is because the belayer can't guarantee that they will always lock the rope when the climber falls; whereas if it's already locked when there climber isn't moving they don't have to.

In my opinion it's best to be safe than sorry.

Thanks budman for explaining why some climbers do this.

Nothing wrong with the method for sport climbing where you can see your climber but it does require you to be attentive and react appropriately. Of course, your belayer should do that anyway. I belay like that for TR because I find it much easier and on TR I don't have to worry about my climber free-falling before the rope comes tight. Perhaps when you have more experience you'll develop a different opinion about it.


Gdog42


Apr 20, 2013, 10:36 AM
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Re: [shockabuku] Dangerous belaying... [In reply to]
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shockabuku wrote:
Nothing wrong with the method for sport climbing where you can see your climber but it does require you to be attentive and react appropriately. Of course, your belayer should do that anyway. I belay like that for TR because I find it much easier and on TR I don't have to worry about my climber free-falling before the rope comes tight. Perhaps when you have more experience you'll develop a different opinion about it.

Yes, you're completely right about this being ok for sport climbing, in which you have to pay out constant slack to the climber (unless he/she clips into a draw and then asks me to take in slack for whatever reason)
Last week my friend was leading a rope and I was belaying him, and I was using this method for that.

My complaint was that she was belaying a top roper like this with an ATC. She could have at least locked the rope when possible. It might be because I'm from the UK and there, most people are taught to belay with ATCs so that the rope is always locked off between movements. Because of this I honestly never saw anyone else there belay like this on a top rope without a self-locking device.

I only just started climbing in the US last year, so when I went out and saw this I guess it was a bit of a surprise. What also surprised me (when I was at Red River, KY earlier last year) was how I didn't see anyone using an autoblock when abseiling down 60+ft routes when cleaning the anchors. Most European climbers always do this.
I don't know if this is also common practice in the US, but I'm glad I found out I was just over-reacting about this because I might have asked about lacking an autoblock on this forum, too.
Same goes with Figure 8 devices; so far I haven't seen anyone here using them, but I prefer the ATCs anyway!
Oh well, looks like I'll just have to get more used to American climbing customs.

Sorry about this, people. I suppose making myself look kind of daft wasn't exactly the best way to start my first thread on this forum, but sometimes that's just the way things are. Unsure

If I could I'd give you all free bacon for accidentally wasting your time! Tongue

(This post was edited by Gdog42 on Apr 20, 2013, 10:40 AM)


6pacfershur


Apr 20, 2013, 2:42 PM
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Re: [Gdog42] Dangerous belaying... [In reply to]
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Gdog42 wrote:

If I could I'd give you all free bacon for accidentally wasting your time!

that just might persuade kartessa to not slap your grigri or cut your rope....


Partner rgold


Apr 22, 2013, 5:54 AM
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Re: [Gdog42] Dangerous belaying... [In reply to]
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The palm-up hand position is a much more effective way to pump slack to a leader who is clipping. The palm-down method is not as fast, and at least in my experience, even the best belayers sometimes lock up their devices when pumping slack palms down, short-roping the leader at a critical moment.

When using half-ropes, the palm-up position is far better for managing two strands.

The palm-up position is the appropriate position for belaying with a Munter hitch. Dropping the brake hand means losing a significant amount of friction, negating one of the advantages of the hitch.

There is no reason why the device can't be kept locked off when the leader isn't moving, regardless of palm position. As for the belayer reacting to a fall, it is only in the modern era of distracted and complacent belaying that this had become an issue. The belayer is supposed to be giving full attention to the leader. If they are, there is no problem with dropping the hand to catch a fall.

The trouble with palm-up belaying is that the belayer cannot grip as hard and might have trouble holding a big fall. I know some people who burned their hands on big falls held palm up and switched to palm-down as a result. I think this is a real issue and is the primary reason for palm-down belaying.

My observation is that palm-down belaying seems to encourage a brake hand position barely below and almost touching the device. This is not at all optimal; there is the risk of pinching skin and, more critically, the inertial phase of a big-fall catch is entirely eliminated, making it more likely that rope will run if the belay load is high.

I think the solution to all these issues is an assisted-locking device. The Mammut Smart, the Alpine Up, and the Edelrid Mega Jul are the current contenders. Of these, I think the Alpine Up is best suited belaying palm-up, especially with half-ropes, but the technology is developing rapidly, and there will probably be new devices and improvements on the existing devices.

ATC-style devices are, I think, headed for extinction.


bearbreeder


Apr 22, 2013, 6:33 AM
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Re: [rgold] Dangerous belaying... [In reply to]
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rgold wrote:


ATC-style devices are, I think, headed for extinction.

which means basic belaying skills are headed for extinction Wink

i like the smart ... but being able to use a tuber and be VERY conscious of the brake hand is a very basic needed skill


Partner rgold


Apr 22, 2013, 6:38 AM
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Re: [bearbreeder] Dangerous belaying... [In reply to]
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This is the second time I'm hearing this, the first time being when devices replaced the hip belay. And indeed, few people, mostly those who do a lot of alpine climbing, have any idea about how to set up a properly braced stance.

Don't get me wrong, I don't disagree with you, but it does seem that basic belaying skills are headed for extinction as it is.


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