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local gym teaching poor belaying?
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justthemaid


Mar 6, 2006, 10:28 AM
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Re: local gym teaching poor belaying? [In reply to]
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I doubt that she was taught to keep the ropes parallel in front of her all the time. Sounds like a mis-communication to me.
Jay

I would have thought the same thing... until yesterday. I witnessed not one but 4 people belaying in this method at my gym yesterday. I had never actually seen this before even with rank noobs.

Description: When belaying- ropes parallel. When taking up slack- ropes parallel. When at rest (climber not moving up or down or working out a move)- ropes parallel. This "at rest" position is where the majority of us will have our brake hand in the 45- 90 degree downward position you described- regardless of their belay method. Most disconcerting of all the rope was also parallel when they were lowering their partners. The lowers were jerky and clearly not very controlled.

Freaky

I'm assuming this might be what the OP was talking about. (Correct me if I'm wrong.)


boss


Mar 6, 2006, 10:59 AM
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Re: local gym teaching poor belaying? [In reply to]
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Since we're on the topic of belay technique, what are your opinions on this: Belay is with an ATC. Left hand is always on the rope end going to the climber. Right hand is brake and never comes off of the rope. Instead of going to a hands up position to move the brake hand, the brake hand stays down and slips up the rope to readjust position (hand never comes off of the rope just loosens slightly to allow for repositioning). Left hand is left to take in or pay out slack. Overall, rope never reaches a full upward position making lockdown of the belay easy and quick. Safe or not safe?

Boss


landgolier


Mar 6, 2006, 11:36 AM
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Since we're on the topic of belay technique, what are your opinions on this: Belay is with an ATC. Left hand is always on the rope end going to the climber. Right hand is brake and never comes off of the rope. Instead of going to a hands up position to move the brake hand, the brake hand stays down and slips up the rope to readjust position (hand never comes off of the rope just loosens slightly to allow for repositioning). Left hand is left to take in or pay out slack. Overall, rope never reaches a full upward position making lockdown of the belay easy and quick. Safe or not safe?

Boss

Add a teaspoon of dried rosemary and salt and pepper to taste, and you have the recipe for monster rope burn, just like mamma used to make it.


cintune


Mar 6, 2006, 11:51 AM
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The is getting ri-god-damned-diculous.There is no single fail-safe belay technique. It all depends on dozens of mitigating factors. Experience is everything, dogmatic theory is worthless. DON'T LET GO OF THE BRAKE STRAND is the only hard and fast rule. Whatever you have to do to make sure you can lock off instantly, do that. You can dance a fucking jig while you're at it, just don't let go.


boss


Mar 6, 2006, 1:14 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Since we're on the topic of belay technique, what are your opinions on this: Belay is with an ATC. Left hand is always on the rope end going to the climber. Right hand is brake and never comes off of the rope. Instead of going to a hands up position to move the brake hand, the brake hand stays down and slips up the rope to readjust position (hand never comes off of the rope just loosens slightly to allow for repositioning). Left hand is left to take in or pay out slack. Overall, rope never reaches a full upward position making lockdown of the belay easy and quick. Safe or not safe?

Boss

Add a teaspoon of dried rosemary and salt and pepper to taste, and you have the recipe for monster rope burn, just like mamma used to make it.

No more than when in a hands up position I would imagine.


tisakson


Jun 25, 2006, 11:31 PM
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Re: local gym teaching poor belaying? [In reply to]
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uggg....I see it all the time at every crag I go to. Every person is doing the "raise the brake rope up parallel and then slide down with the brake hand not in rapell position". This will not only twist your hand and make it hard to catch a fall but also unsafe as the brake hand is way up in the air most of the time! common sense and geometry says this isn't safe. Our local gym, fortunately, teaches the proper belay technique.


c4c


Jun 26, 2006, 4:13 AM
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Our society is going downhill fast! kids(adults) no longer have the patience/attention span/inteligence to learn proper technique so we just give them the quickest/easiest method and let them go. a Grigri would be fool-proof except that fools are so ingenius.


sweetchuck


Jun 26, 2006, 5:49 AM
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My gym also teaches the parallel all the time method. I look around and cringe, but what can I say? Everyone is doing it the way the gym taught them. They have their hands up at their nose, and the rope parallel. When someone falls they have to whip the rope in an arc of about 3 feet to get to the brake position as the rope is whizzing through the device and their brake fingers rocket towards the hungry ATC. Most people seem to drop the climber about 3 feet, some much more. There is only top roping at my gym so there is no short roping. It’s all about pulling in slack. Personally, I use a method I saw in Quebec. Since the belay device is on the belay loop (something I am still getting used to), the rope to the climber is on top and the brake side is down. I keep both hands below the device and do a shimmy kind of thing to bring in slack. I always have one hand on break, usually two. I can pull in slack as fast as my partner can climb, and if my partner falls I have to move my hands a matter of inches at most to get a good break. They fall inches, not feet. Now, when I belay a leader, my method is similar to the one jt512 detailed.


camp5


Aug 1, 2006, 11:52 PM
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As a manager of a climbing gym my advice is to speak to the management as often gym staff try to implant their personal practices which may in fact conflict with the operational standards of the gym. Also gyms accumulate input from various sources, when deciding standards and one of those sources is feedback from customers.

Regarding whether infact the technique is safe or not, it is not a YES / NO answer, as pointed out in the other replies it would depend of various factors such as:
- type of protection (solid sport bolts or dodgy pro gear)
- weight difference between climber and belayer (obviously if the climber is heavier it would be wise to keep the brake hand down)
- type of belay device.

When taking all these factors into account we can conclude that the question is not black and white but shades of grey. For example a burly dad belaying his 10 year old daughter would not experience any issue if the ropes were parallel, also if he were using a figure8 as opposed to a ATC the effect would be even less. However just as the BD ATC XP has two friction modes it is pointed out in the reduced friction mode RFM is recommended when climbing on placed protection, for that very reason a potential "slippage" can be a positive - but again only if the weight difference between climber and belayer does not put the climber is a compromised situation.

In the end it’s a judgement call based on levels of experience, ability and needs.

It is my experience also that the technique shown in the illustrations is only prevalent in US and not common in other areas of the world. It is also my opinion that the technique is comes from the days prior to stitch plates, when figure8 or munter was the belay system, and as such it could be argued that the technique is no longer acceptable or safe when using some belay devices. For example with the figure8 belay device (which by the way is not identified by most manufacturers as a ‘descender’ and the many cases the recommended belay method is to use bight of rope pushed through the ‘smaller’ circle in the fashion of a ATC) even when the ropes are parallel there is still a considerable amount of friction as compared to an ATC or stitch plate type device.

As a general rule, and a policy by which my gym, and many others I know, apply their standards. We will accept whatever the manufacturer outlines as the correct use. Therefore always refer to the “manual” and consider strongly the potential implications of any deviation from these instructions.


curtis_g


Aug 2, 2006, 9:49 AM
Post #60 of 61 (7288 views)
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Re: local gym teaching poor belaying? [In reply to]
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However it is not surface area and angle of contact that make the difference, it is purely friction

Hate to pick such a minor point in a post so clearly aimed at backing up my oppinion (thanks for that) but surface area increases friction, and the more obtuse the angle between the belay rope and live rope the more pressure exerted on the frictional surfaces, which also further increases the friction. I was just trying to skip a step since I 'assumed' that everyone would know that friction was what made a friction braking device work.

Now I hate to add even more to a resurrected thread, but I wsa reading some of the old stuff and I'd like to say that if you're going to nit-pick, do it rite.

Surface area does not increase friction. And increase in surface area with a constant force of preassure (like psi), would increase friction, but it wouldn't just be an increase in surface area. See, to keep a constant preassure and increase surface area at the same time you must increase your preassure that would now be distributed (divided) over a larger area (think hard, say it out loud "pounds per square inch"). So really, to increase friction you increase force/preassure between two surfaces.

peace
Curtis


Ruff_Dog


Apr 20, 2013, 4:06 PM
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Re: [jimdavis] local gym teaching poor belaying? [In reply to]
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I know that post was 7 years ago, but they still teach that way! I go there semi-regularly now and that's the only way they let you.

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