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landongw


Sep 14, 2005, 5:37 PM
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climbing commands - revision
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Several times i have had the experience, while on long climbs, of not hearing a command clearly. One in particular, "slack." which i often reply to with a "WHAT?" Because, "slack" and "take" can sound very similar over a distance with some wind.
As misinterpreting the command could be slightly dangerous, by either pulling your partner off or feeding out slack at a very inopportune time, i proposed the idea of dropped the command "slack" and replacing it with "give." Because it doesn't sound like anything else. We're using 3 commands for rope movement, give(slack) take(take in slack and lock off, cause it's easy to scream loud) and tension(remove slack, you slack ass belayer, I'm seconding like a rabid dog remember?[aka I'm scared, please hold my hand]).

What do you guys think of this idea, or do you have any better solution? My problem with the command "up-rope" is that is sounds too much like "rope" when throwing for a rap.

Also, does anyone know where to find standard rope signals to use when out of earshot? We figured the only two commands that were really necessary in this situation were off-belay and on-belay. Which we assigned 3 tugs for off and 5 for on.

So, the full list I'm currently using would go like this:

on-belay? (climber)
belay -on (belayer)
climbing (climber)
climb-on (belayer)
give x-feet (climber)
take (climber)
tension (climber)
how much (climber, referring to rope length)
5,10,20 (etc.) feet (belayer)
what (meaning please scream again louder)
off-belay (climber)
belay-off (belayer)
off-rappel
on-rappel

OK (i heard you)

rock! (dislodged something dangerous)
rope! (throwing a rap rope)

3 tugs (off belay, climber and belayer)
5 tugs (on belay, belaying the 2nd)

Feedback from people (experienced please) on this would also be appreciated. BTW, we do carry radios but i feel that reliance on them is unwise.


pixelguru


Sep 14, 2005, 6:22 PM
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My wife and I also use "give" instead of "slack"... it just seemed clearer. It just takes a little explaining when I climb with a different partner - and I don't suggest the explanation take place 40 feet up the first time you need some rope.


z_rock90


Sep 14, 2005, 6:30 PM
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I was outside last weekend, and some foreign exchange students from italy where climbing the wall beside me, they used whistle commands insted of shouting, it was realy cool.


eastvillage


Sep 14, 2005, 7:06 PM
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No amendments to the constitution.


slobmonster


Sep 14, 2005, 7:28 PM
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In reply to:
Feedback from people (experienced please) on this would also be appreciated.

Personally, I like the "Marmalade" system.

Me: "marmalade!"
Belayer: "marmalade!"

We seem to know what the other is talking about.


slobmonster


Sep 14, 2005, 7:29 PM
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In reply to:
Feedback from people (experienced please) on this would also be appreciated.

Personally, I like the "Marmalade" system.

Me: "marmalade!"
Belayer: "marmalade!"

We seem to know what the other is talking about.


petsfed


Sep 14, 2005, 8:12 PM
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First, take/take-up/tension mean the same thing to me. That is, they all mean take up the slack, don't give me any until I say "climbing" again.

"Give" is a good solution though. "Slack" and "take" sound the same more often than not. However virtually every single command works better when you preface it with your partner's name.

Thus...
"Jay! Belay-on!"
"Brian! Climbing"
"Jay! Climb-on"
"Brian! Take up!"
"Brian! Slack!"
etc...

The question "On belay?" is kind of pointless, just like having a different tug signal for on-belay vs. off-belay. Its implied, you know?

Something to integrate is polysylabic commands. "Take" becomes "Take-up" and so forth. Any single sylable command means "please repeat" no matter what.


lewisiarediviva


Sep 14, 2005, 8:16 PM
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No amendments to the constitution.

Their's a constitution? I thought we just had amendments.


landongw


Sep 14, 2005, 11:04 PM
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I disagree that having a separate command for on-belay vs. off-belay is pointless. many times i don't run out the pitch to the end of the rope because of... rope drag from ledges, traversing, to get a more comfortable belay station, etc. So there may be as much as 50' of rope remaining, and it's awfully slow to pull all of that rope through any belay device.

So i say "off belay", pull in all the rope and then put the 2nd on belay. Thus, two commands, in the interest of speed. Without two commands i would arrive at a belay station, put my 2nd on belay, and then have to pull in all of the remaining rope through my belay device Or pull all of the remaining rope through my belayers device.

i have also heard of a few accidents when a leader thought he was on belay and was not. so i never hesitate to ask if my belayer hasn't already told me.

But, i agree that having more than one tug command is pointless. I conceded that one to my partner.


grk10vq


Sep 14, 2005, 11:17 PM
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In reply to:
Several times i have had the experience, while on long climbs, of not hearing a command clearly.

motorollas.


granite_grrl


Sep 15, 2005, 5:57 AM
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If I've gone up a route where I can no longer hear my partner there could also be enough rope drag in the system that the tug method doesn't work very well either. I find it better to make sure that there is an understanding between you and your partner that that once all the rope is taken up and its still getting tugged on that either you're on belay....or you have to simul-climb (not that the latter has ever happened). Either way break down that anchor and get yer ass up the wall.

Just make sure that the leader knows that they better have you on belay within a few seconds (about the time it take to slap the rope in the belay device) after the rope is take up.


bandidopeco


Sep 15, 2005, 7:29 AM
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One note on rope left:

When asking how much rope you have left 15 and 50 are almost indistinguishable. For clarity I like to always say 51 feet.

Also a funny story.

While climbing at the snowshed wall I climbed passed the chains following the crack. I ran out of rope so I made an anchor and had to tell my partner to start climbing.
The problem? The wind was gusting so hard you could only hear that someone was screaming. I couldn't quite tell if it was Dax or another climber, and I certainly had no idea what was being said. So I sat around for about 10 minutes tugging at the rope and screaming myself.
The solution? I realized I had my cell in my pocket so I took it out and gave him a call. He didn't pick up, but called me back in like 30 seconds. Problem solved.


keithlester
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Sep 15, 2005, 7:32 AM
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Over this side of the pond we say slack to ask for slack, especially just before we clip a bit of gear, but instead of take, we shout "watch me" It doesn,t sound like any other signal, and expresses the urgency of our need quite well. Try it, it works.


onbelay_osu


Sep 15, 2005, 7:38 AM
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You know the way I have always taught climbing is that the commands are not as important as making sure the point gets across. So if you would rather have the communication go:

climber: Purple Porta Potties
Belayer:In a Purple Haze

be you commands for on belay and so forth that is cool as long as it is a mutal agreement. so yea the term take (which is what i use :D ) works. the whole idea paul petzholdt had when we set up the commands was to have a simplistic way to communicate during a climb. You are not going to be banished from the sport cause you said "Take" instead of "slack"....
well it is about that time that i go ahead and step off my soap box and move on to better things in my life.


dingus


Sep 15, 2005, 7:42 AM
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When I want slack I holler MARMALADE!

Up Rope is BULLDOZER!

On Belay is YUGO!

Off belay is ELEPHANT!

ROCK is PILLOW!

And "Don't bogart that joint my friend" is "Don't bogart that joint my friend (pass it over to me).

No.... seriously.

DMT


dingus


Sep 15, 2005, 7:49 AM
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OK, we don't say marmalade. We're low class and we really say JELLY.

I like old partnerships (and it doesn't seem to matter, climbing, marriage, business, beer drinking buddies)... communication evolves to the point where volumes are communicated with one or two words, or a look.

I find it pleasing to go to a crowded sport area (for example) with someone like Angus and as a climbing team remain completely silent while those around us are braying commands at the top of their lungs. We get the strangest looks at times.

Trad too.

Come up to a belay on some busy route, share a ledge with the team above for a few minutes. Set the belay, tug the rope a few times (when we tug, if your left nut is beneath the fold of your leg loop? You're pretty much done climbing for the day. We don't tug, we TUG. Rope drag is irrelevant with this technique, it only fails if the rope is completely stuck. Besides, Angus will just start climbing when the rope comes tight, he knows it, I know it the American people know it), and viola my Bro is climbing.

She arrives, we exchange gear and a smoke, then she's off on the next lead. She disappears. Soon enough the pile of rope at my feet disappears. When there is about 20 feet left I start breaking down the belay. That is sure to garner a look from a certain crowd. By the time the last 5 feet of slack remain, I have one piece left in the belay, one knot left to tie in, my pack is on, my chalk bag is open, I've had my last drink and I'm ready to go. So as soon as she sets the belay (or decides to just keep going with a running belay) and the rope comes tight, I am SO climbing.

And we like it that way.

DMT


sweetchuck


Sep 15, 2005, 8:29 AM
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That's funny, me and my partner both just say "Popcorn". Not too smart, but hey, I have made it this far.


caughtinside


Sep 15, 2005, 9:05 AM
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Angus is a chick?


dingus


Sep 15, 2005, 9:08 AM
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No. I just like to mix up gender in my writing as a protest to antiquated english pronouns. REVOLT!

DMT


waltereo


Sep 15, 2005, 10:09 AM
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Just use french simple and no confusion :

take = avale
slack = mou
tight = sec


caughtinside


Sep 15, 2005, 10:12 AM
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No. I just like to mix up gender in my writing as a protest to antiquated english pronouns. REVOLT!

DMT

Well then,

Marma-lady?
Marma-lady!


tadam2000


Sep 15, 2005, 10:23 AM
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climber: falling!

belayer: hold on, let me get the cap back on the water bottle.



Actually, my old partner and I kept it simple and informal. But then again, we were young and arrogant and thought we were much too cool to use the traditional commands.

Climber: "Got me?"
Belayer: "Gotcha."
Climber: " 'right -- here I go".
Belayer: "go" or "go for it".


markc


Sep 15, 2005, 11:10 AM
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In reply to:
I disagree that having a separate command for on-belay vs. off-belay is pointless.

I may be wrong, but I interpreted that comment differently. Two points of discussion:

First, on a multipitch route you should rarely have to ask if you're on belay. When the rope comes tight and you shout, "That's me," your partner should be rigging the belay device. The next communication should be "Belay on." If I sit for longer than a minute, I'd give a shout, but that's pretty infrequent.

Next, I think the suggestion was the rope command for "off belay" and "belay on" can be the same number of pulls. You'll get to the end of the pitch and give the rope command for "off belay." Your partner signals "belay off," and you take rope. You then put your partner on belay and tug "belay on." It's not as if you can get out of sequence.

The rope pull signal that makes the most sense to me is one pull for each syllable. "Off belay" and "belay on" would both be three tugs; "climbing" and "climb on" are each two tugs. Easy to remember, but with enough drag your partner may have some trouble differentiating.


arete


Sep 15, 2005, 11:55 AM
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Climber: Hideeho and away I go
Belayer: Okee dokee

For years I've also used a hand signal system which works well when its hard to hear but you can still see each other.

One wave of the arm: off belay.
Two waves of the arm: on belay.
Back of the hand with middle finger extended: I don't like you anymore so you better not fall on that crux since you're no longer on belay. :twisted:


veganboyjosh


Sep 15, 2005, 11:59 AM
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Climber: Hideeho and away I go
Belayer: Okee dokee

For years I've also used a hand signal system which works well when its hard to hear but you can still see each other.

One wave of the arm: off belay.
Two waves of the arm: on belay.
Back of the hand with middle finger extended: I don't like you anymore so you better not fall on that crux since you're no longer on belay. :twisted:

:shock: :shock: :shock:

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