Forums: Climbing Information: The Lab:
Escape The Belay Sessions: Backup Belay
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for The Lab

Premier Sponsor:

 
First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All


billl7


Mar 19, 2008, 9:16 PM
Post #1 of 37 (8039 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 1888

Escape The Belay Sessions: Backup Belay
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

A couple of escape-the-belay session are coming up here with an all-volunteer organization. And thoughts turn to a belay backup should the student lose rope control during the exercise. Likely, there is a myriad of ways to do the backup and attached is one of them.

How bad/good is it? What other backup belay config would be better? Why use live human for victims anyway? All comments welcome (well, almost all - this is the wild wild west after all).

Bill L

instructions
diagram


(This post was edited by billl7 on Feb 1, 2012, 6:13 AM)


truckyme


Mar 19, 2008, 10:53 PM
Post #2 of 37 (8008 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 30, 2006
Posts: 37

Re: [billl7] Escape The Belay Sessions: Backup Belay [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

why not let them learn it on the ground first and then let them do it "for real?"

escaping a belay (safely) isn't the simplest of things when you aren't used to the procedure.


billl7


Mar 20, 2008, 5:25 AM
Post #3 of 37 (7965 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 1888

Re: [truckyme] Escape The Belay Sessions: Backup Belay [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

truckyme wrote:
why not let them learn it on the ground first and then let them do it "for real?"
Good point. We typically do a dry run on the ground before letting them deal with the full weight of a person. But we want the backup because of course some students have difficulty with tieing a mule knot when under load.
truckyme wrote:
escaping a belay (safely) isn't the simplest of things when you aren't used to the procedure.
I totally agree. It is quite complex to escape the belay when the belay is from the harness ... I would say even when you are used to the procedure.

Bill L


billl7


Mar 20, 2008, 5:38 AM
Post #4 of 37 (7957 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 1888

Re: [billl7] Escape The Belay Sessions: Backup Belay [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Separately, I received a comment about how to connect the static line to the top rope. It was ...
In reply to:
A prussik cord attached to the top rope on the belay 'arm' would give you instant adjustability. Clip that to the secondary belay line with lockers. Easily derigged and yet another demonstration of the amazing prussik!
My thoughts are ...
In reply to:
I agree. With a prussik, adjusting the connection point would be smooth. On the other hand, literature generally indicates to always back up a prussik. Given the exercise, I think we should view this connection as a primary.

One could use two prussiks at that point. Still, various literature about the prussiking-up-a-rope exercise indicates to periodically back up them up (e.g., figure 8's on bytes clipped to harness).

Given this, I've come to view an unattended/unweighted prussik with suspicion.

If folks have additional comments on this then I'd like to hear about it.

Bill L


(This post was edited by billl7 on Mar 20, 2008, 6:00 AM)


jestering


Mar 20, 2008, 6:22 AM
Post #5 of 37 (7927 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 10, 2007
Posts: 62

Re: [billl7] Escape The Belay Sessions: Backup Belay [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

When I learned we rigged up a "toprope" over the branch of a tree and weighted it with a couple of jugs of water. Not as massive as a human being, but with big containers it's certainly enough to keep it under load. It was very good practice, and it helped me to learn in a hurry.


bigfatrock


Mar 20, 2008, 6:28 AM
Post #6 of 37 (7922 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 2, 2006
Posts: 1321

Re: [billl7] Escape The Belay Sessions: Backup Belay [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

The only reason you would need to escape the belay is to play a joke on your friend and leave him up on a route. Or to take a piss.


swaghole


Mar 20, 2008, 6:57 AM
Post #7 of 37 (7898 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 20, 2006
Posts: 371

Re: [bigfatrock] Escape The Belay Sessions: Backup Belay [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

In reply to:
The only reason you would need to escape the belay is to play a joke on your friend and leave him up on a route. Or to take a piss.

What about rescue scenarios? You need to escape the belay for most rescue scenarios. It's part of the basics.


billl7


Mar 20, 2008, 7:12 AM
Post #8 of 37 (7887 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 1888

Re: [jestering] Escape The Belay Sessions: Backup Belay [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

jestering wrote:
When I learned we rigged up a "toprope" over the branch of a tree and weighted it with a couple of jugs of water. Not as massive as a human being, but with big containers it's certainly enough to keep it under load. It was very good practice, and it helped me to learn in a hurry.
Good point - then a backup belay is not needed although I think it is desirable to have them eventually get to the 'full load'.

Bill L


stefanohatari


Mar 20, 2008, 7:26 AM
Post #9 of 37 (7876 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 9, 2004
Posts: 88

Re: [billl7] Escape The Belay Sessions: Backup Belay [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

We do this routinely in our Top Rope Site Management class. The easiest way to back up the belayer is to set up a 'belayed rappel' using what we call a 'Marge Simpson', after the diagram we took this from in Rock and Ice a couple years back.

In short, the climber is tied in and on belay, but is also on a single-strand rappel (on the other end of the same rope). He lowers, puts his weight on the belay, backs himself up on the rappel side with a prussik, and hangs out to watch the show.

We find realistic live weight exercises on-site to be a critical part of the learning curve. The 'belayed rappel' makes it safe(r).

Maybe someone recalls which issue of Rock and Ice this was in.

Steve


chilli


Mar 20, 2008, 7:59 AM
Post #10 of 37 (7856 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 11, 2007
Posts: 400

Re: [billl7] Escape The Belay Sessions: Backup Belay [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

billl7 wrote:
jestering wrote:
When I learned we rigged up a "toprope" over the branch of a tree and weighted it with a couple of jugs of water. Not as massive as a human being, but with big containers it's certainly enough to keep it under load. It was very good practice, and it helped me to learn in a hurry.
Good point - then a backup belay is not needed although I think it is desirable to have them eventually get to the 'full load'.

Bill L

i'd have to agree about the weights thing. when i learned to escape a belay and other rescue techniques, we never bothered weighting the rope with a person, we just used a big weighted block. granted it wasn't the weight of a person, but it was enough that we couldn't just walk around all willy-nilly while conected to the weight. i would think that would suffice just fine for practice, and negate the need for backup belay.

edit (addition): we DID use people to weight the ropes for bringing up a second on z-pulley/3:1, but the safety concern wasn't as great with that rig


(This post was edited by chilli on Mar 20, 2008, 8:01 AM)


billl7


Mar 20, 2008, 10:38 AM
Post #11 of 37 (7804 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 1888

Re: [chilli] Escape The Belay Sessions: Backup Belay [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

This does pretty quickly get off into a discussion about acceptable risk.

For using a person for the weight, is the risk acceptable for the benefit of doing the exercise under 'full load'? ... given that the person is, say, 15 feet off the deck, hanging statically, and might fall a couple feet onto a tied-off backup belay.


altelis


Mar 20, 2008, 10:56 AM
Post #12 of 37 (7792 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 10, 2004
Posts: 2168

Re: [billl7] Escape The Belay Sessions: Backup Belay [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

From my experience of being taught this skill and having taught many this skill, here is my suggestion:

Teach escaping the belay from belay from the top directly off the harness situation. There are a few reasons this works well:

1) There is a LOT more weight on the belayer- this makes the situation a little more stressful and it also makes rope management more important. You definitely don't want weighted strands running over your leg or over a non-weighted strand you need access to. If you can successfully and quickly escape the belay from here escaping from a standing from below or belay off the anchor from above will be a piece of cake.

2)Setting up a backup is so simple. have the "dummy" tie into both ends of the same rope. One side is the belay and the other is the backup. Have the belayer lower the dummy/victim down a dozen or so feet. Depending on the skills of the belayer just feed out the backup strand or attach it via grigri or munter directly to the anchor (or a separate anchor if this produces too much cluster). Once the victim is at the desired height, put a little slack in the rope to account for the inevitable slip that will occur (1-2 ft should be PLENTY) and tie off the belay on the backup strand with munter mule. If anything goes wrong they are covered and one rope is plenty long enough and this produces the least amount of cluster

3)depending on the skills you want to teach you can very easily transition directly from escaping the belay to haul systems


irregularpanda


Mar 20, 2008, 11:10 AM
Post #13 of 37 (7780 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 13, 2007
Posts: 1364

Re: [billl7] Escape The Belay Sessions: Backup Belay [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

billl7 wrote:
Separately, I received a comment about how to connect the static line to the top rope. It was ...
In reply to:
A prussik cord attached to the top rope on the belay 'arm' would give you instant adjustability. Clip that to the secondary belay line with lockers. Easily derigged and yet another demonstration of the amazing prussik!
My thoughts are ...
In reply to:
I agree. With a prussik, adjusting the connection point would be smooth. On the other hand, literature generally indicates to always back up a prussik. Given the exercise, I think we should view this connection as a primary.

One could use two prussiks at that point. Still, various literature about the prussiking-up-a-rope exercise indicates to periodically back up them up (e.g., figure 8's on bytes clipped to harness).

Given this, I've come to view an unattended/unweighted prussik with suspicion.

If folks have additional comments on this then I'd like to hear about it.

Bill L

To put it succinctly my view on escaping belays is this: there are two ways to do it. The fast way (prusik) and the right way (everything else).

There are so many other ways to escape the belay, and many of them (in real life) must be done one handed, at least until your hands are free. My question is this: if your students are still giving belays with a backup belayer, then why are they learning to escape a belay already? Are you with the mountaineers?


billl7


Mar 20, 2008, 12:07 PM
Post #14 of 37 (7759 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 1888

Re: [irregularpanda] Escape The Belay Sessions: Backup Belay [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

irregularpanda, Your quote from me about prussiks has nothing to do with actually escaping the belay while the first part of your response does. (?)

No, I am not with the mountaineers. Is that good or bad? Probably hard for either one of us to say.

As part of the sessions, students transission from having their belays backed up to not - although you are getting pretty far off topic.

Bill L


shockabuku


Mar 20, 2008, 12:09 PM
Post #15 of 37 (7756 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 20, 2006
Posts: 4867

Re: [billl7] Escape The Belay Sessions: Backup Belay [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

billl7 wrote:
...this is the wild wild west after all).

Bill L

Yes it is. Sometimes I even miss it.


majid_sabet


Mar 20, 2008, 12:38 PM
Post #16 of 37 (7734 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 12, 2002
Posts: 8368

Re: [shockabuku] Escape The Belay Sessions: Backup Belay [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

 How could you escape a belay if your belayer gets hit by a rock and locks the rope on his GG while you were leading a pitch with several protection in place and now you are hanging on your last protection, 80 feet up under some nasty roof?


shockabuku


Mar 20, 2008, 1:37 PM
Post #17 of 37 (7705 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 20, 2006
Posts: 4867

Re: [majid_sabet] Escape The Belay Sessions: Backup Belay [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

majid_sabet wrote:
How could you escape a belay if your belayer gets hit by a rock and locks the rope on his GG while you were leading a pitch with several protection in place and now you are hanging on your last protection, 80 feet up under some nasty roof?

I'm sure you'll tell me a better answer, but I guess off the top of my head I'll use my Ti bloc and a prussik made out of my nut tool leash to ascend up to my last piece, tie an eight on a bight in the slack I just created, clip it into my belay loop so that I'm now clipped in as close to the pro as possible, regain my last position on the roof, pull the gear and fall. Then do it all over again until I've downclimbed to my belayer.


winkwinklambonini


Mar 20, 2008, 3:34 PM
Post #18 of 37 (7675 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 16, 2002
Posts: 1579

Re: [shockabuku] Escape The Belay Sessions: Backup Belay [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

shockabuku wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
How could you escape a belay if your belayer gets hit by a rock and locks the rope on his GG while you were leading a pitch with several protection in place and now you are hanging on your last protection, 80 feet up under some nasty roof?

I'm sure you'll tell me a better answer, but I guess off the top of my head I'll use my Ti bloc and a prussik made out of my nut tool leash to ascend up to my last piece, tie an eight on a bight in the slack I just created, clip it into my belay loop so that I'm now clipped in as close to the pro as possible, regain my last position on the roof, pull the gear and fall. Then do it all over again until I've downclimbed to my belayer.

Don't fall with a biner as your attachment, I'd tie a bowline with a bight with the slack.

But, even better, if you have gear, supplement that piece to make an anchor and descend the rope with prussiks.


(This post was edited by winkwinklambonini on Mar 20, 2008, 3:39 PM)


billl7


Mar 20, 2008, 4:40 PM
Post #19 of 37 (7656 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 1888

Re: [altelis] Escape The Belay Sessions: Backup Belay [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

altelis, Escaping the belay from above sounds like the ultimate way to do the test. And I agree with the 1 to 2 feet slack in the backup belay being plenty.

Bill L


majid_sabet


Mar 20, 2008, 4:54 PM
Post #20 of 37 (7644 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 12, 2002
Posts: 8368

Re: [shockabuku] Escape The Belay Sessions: Backup Belay [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

shockabuku wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
How could you escape a belay if your belayer gets hit by a rock and locks the rope on his GG while you were leading a pitch with several protection in place and now you are hanging on your last protection, 80 feet up under some nasty roof?

I'm sure you'll tell me a better answer, but I guess off the top of my head I'll use my Ti bloc and a prussik made out of my nut tool leash to ascend up to my last piece, tie an eight on a bight in the slack I just created, clip it into my belay loop so that I'm now clipped in as close to the pro as possible, regain my last position on the roof, pull the gear and fall. http://Then do it all over again until I've downclimbed to my belayer.


Your system will work but I do not like the idea of taking stuff out if you do not need it plus you could shock your system

Another option

Climb up to the last pro then beef if up if possible. Use your shoe laces for the prussic, tie a fig 8 of the last pro , get yourself out of the fig 8 run your rap gear (assuming you got few feet of slack). Rap down to the next pro, by pass it but leave it there with rope running thru it. Continue till you reach belayer.

If for any reason the top piece comes off, it will fall in to the lower piece but you are still attached to the system.


(This post was edited by majid_sabet on Mar 20, 2008, 4:55 PM)


hugepedro


Mar 20, 2008, 5:06 PM
Post #21 of 37 (7637 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 28, 2002
Posts: 2875

Re: [billl7] Escape The Belay Sessions: Backup Belay [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Any time I've taught self rescue or crevasse extraction I just hang a pack. It sucks for the “dummy” to hang in the harness that long, and if the student effs up the falling pack makes for a nice object lesson.


billl7


Mar 20, 2008, 8:44 PM
Post #22 of 37 (7595 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 1888

Re: [hugepedro] Escape The Belay Sessions: Backup Belay [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Scenarios I have seen for a different exercise but with a similar difference:

In a simulated catch-the-falling-leader exercise, the rock was maybe 40 pounds and most every relatively inexperienced belayer could manage a 'surprise' fall quite well.

Later in the same day, the same set of students assumed different upper-belay positions while a climber below would take maybe 3 or 4 foot falls. It was not uncommon to see a poorly positioned belayer get jacked around a bit.

Bill L


irregularpanda


Mar 21, 2008, 3:24 PM
Post #23 of 37 (7522 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 13, 2007
Posts: 1364

Re: [majid_sabet] Escape The Belay Sessions: Backup Belay [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

majid_sabet wrote:
shockabuku wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
How could you escape a belay if your belayer gets hit by a rock and locks the rope on his GG while you were leading a pitch with several protection in place and now you are hanging on your last protection, 80 feet up under some nasty roof?

I'm sure you'll tell me a better answer, but I guess off the top of my head I'll use my Ti bloc and a prussik made out of my nut tool leash to ascend up to my last piece, tie an eight on a bight in the slack I just created, clip it into my belay loop so that I'm now clipped in as close to the pro as possible, regain my last position on the roof, pull the gear and fall. http://Then do it all over again until I've downclimbed to my belayer.


Your system will work but I do not like the idea of taking stuff out if you do not need it plus you could shock your system

Another option

Climb up to the last pro then beef if up if possible. Use your shoe laces for the prussic, tie a fig 8 of the last pro , get yourself out of the fig 8 run your rap gear (assuming you got few feet of slack). Rap down to the next pro, by pass it but leave it there with rope running thru it. Continue till you reach belayer.

If for any reason the top piece comes off, it will fall in to the lower piece but you are still attached to the system.

This is an excellent question as this is a very likely situation in certain rock types. However, Majid, your answer is misleading. I'm assuming you use the prussik to simply back up yourself and prevent falls.
Secondly, why tie and 8-on-a-bight, simply to untie it 2 minutes later? Most of the time, I would use the simplest solution possible to prevent unnecessary confusion. Also, how are you rappelling off a tensioned line? Clarify please.
I would climb to the pro under the roof, beef it up to real anchor status, and then tie 2 prussiks. (decision point: do you have 2 ropes or 1? Do you have less than half of the rope out or more than half?) If I had 2 ropes, and more than half of the rope out, then I would be forced to leave 1 behind Unimpressed. Tie this rope to the anchor using an 8-on-a-bight, and this rope will be descended using the 2 prussiks. The other rope could simply be dropped to the belayer or just be unclipped from every piece of pro as you go. If you are lucky enough to have less than half the rope out, then you could simply lower yourself on the same prussiks, but let the rope run through the anchor. Then you'd be able to pull the rope. This is one reason I use twin ropes.


Then comes a complicated rescue.... cow tail anyone? Also, I usually climb with partners who have helmets, it's kinda a rule on multi pitch climbs.


(This post was edited by irregularpanda on Mar 21, 2008, 3:26 PM)


billl7


Mar 21, 2008, 4:35 PM
Post #24 of 37 (7490 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 1888

Re: [irregularpanda] Escape The Belay Sessions: Backup Belay [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

edit: [snip]

Tried this out for several practice sessions and it worked very well.


(This post was edited by billl7 on Jun 7, 2008, 7:30 AM)


billl7


Feb 1, 2012, 6:14 AM
Post #25 of 37 (5952 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 1888

Re: [billl7] Escape The Belay Sessions: Backup Belay [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Edited the original post to clarify (?) the instructions and added a diagram.

First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All

Forums : Climbing Information : The Lab

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook