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blueeyedclimber


Oct 10, 2008, 5:51 AM
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belaying a leader directly off the anchor
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In this thread, http://www.rockclimbing.com/...orum_view_collapsed;, something was mentioned about belaying a leader directly off the anchor. I said NEVER to do this, but then a comment was made without any other information about it being done in Europe. Then, I received a pm from someone I don't know, about Canadian guides doing this off of bolted anchors, because it was said that otherwise you would not be able to catch a factor 2 fall while belaying off your harness. I searched both on rc.com and google and the best relevant hits were actually of the thread I just mentioned. I couldn't find anything on it.

So, I have two questions.

1) Is this an actual practice, even if it's just in certain situations. The obvious problems with doing this are the following.
a) Not being able to give a soft catch.
b) The anchor being subjected to loading in an upward or other (possibly not anticipated) direction.
c)braking direction of atcs being upward rather than downward, therfore only munter hitch or gri gri-type locking devices would work.

2) WHo here has been involved, whether being the belayer or the leader, in a factor 2 fall (or close to it)? Is it possible to catch a factor 2 fall with an atc?

I have two followup questions: 1) WHo here wears gloves while belaying for this very reason? 2) If anyone answered yes to the previous question #2, were you or your belayer wearing gloves?

Josh


altelis


Oct 10, 2008, 6:09 AM
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***DISCLAIMER: I'VE BEEN KNOWN TO MAKE IDIOTIC ERRORS WHEN TRYING TO DO SPACIAL REASONING IN MY HEAD****


blueeyedclimber wrote:
c)braking direction of atcs being upward rather than downward, therfore only munter hitch or gri gri-type locking devices would work.


i think you may be getting it backwards here. if the anchor pp has any room to be pulled upward (as it MUST unless you are belaying directly off a bolt) then the direction of pull doesn't affect the braking orientation.

think of it this way, via example. i've taught a fair number of people to lead and lead belay and often their is definitely a weight discrepancy b/w belayer and climber. and sometimes there really isn't any good place for a ground anchor. its a new belayer and i want them to have the opportunity to catch a lead fall of some magnitude in a somewhat controlled setting, so i have the leader lob onto a bolt (given a good clean sport line....) and i hold onto the brake-end of the rope coming out of the atc. if the belayer is pulled off the ground i still have total control of the brake strand..

or, if you like- the easier to understand scenario (d'oh!)-- this is just essentially what happens when you give a fireman's belay.

if you just hold onto the brake strand and the atc can get pulled above your hand, you actually just sit there and the atc kinda brakes for you.

the only time i can think of when the orientation of braking becomes an issue is if the pp is above your waist (really like nipple line or higher) AND you are belaying a SECOND directly off the anchor with an atc. THEN it becomes very awkward to lock off. and it is in THESE situations that the munter becomes very useful.

savy?


tomcat


Oct 10, 2008, 6:33 AM
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Re: [altelis] belaying a leader directly off the anchor [In reply to]
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The ATC issue is that,if the leader falls past you with nothing in,you can get whipped around and lose the critical "bend back" aspect at the ATC.

If I think there is much chance of this,I have the belayer pull up twenty feet or whatever,and knot it off with a loose overhand that won't pass the ATC.Once everyone is breathing again you just remove the knot.

I don't ever belay a second or leader from an anchor directly.


altelis


Oct 10, 2008, 6:36 AM
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right right- the issue of the braking was in the factor 2 fall NOT in a normal leader fall.

i knew i missed something obvious Blush


billl7


Oct 10, 2008, 6:51 AM
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Re: [blueeyedclimber] belaying a leader directly off the anchor [In reply to]
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blueeyedclimber wrote:
1) Is this an actual practice, even if it's just in certain situations. The obvious problems with doing this are the following ... c)braking direction of atcs being upward rather than downward ...
Isn't the breaking position of an ATC in the direction opposite of the direction of pull? a la - if the pull is up then break is down, if down then up, if to the right then left.

Bill

Edit: I usually wear belay gloves for dealing with possible rope slippage.


(This post was edited by billl7 on Oct 10, 2008, 7:04 AM)


vegastradguy


Oct 10, 2008, 7:56 AM
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i've seen pictures of it being done- the atc clipped to one of the anchor bolts instead of the belayers waist. i have no idea why you would do this. the potential for crossloading and general lack of control seems like deal-breakers to me.

as for the factor 2 thing- i've taken a 1.7ish fall and my partner caught me fine, and i've caught a 1.7ish fall as well when my partner blew it on the crux of the east butt of el cap. no problems- just like any other fall, as far as i could tell.


jt512


Oct 10, 2008, 8:16 AM
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blueeyedclimber wrote:
2) WHo here has been involved, whether being the belayer or the leader, in a factor 2 fall (or close to it)? Is it possible to catch a factor 2 fall with an atc?

I haven't, but plenty of people have, so it is obviously possible to do. But that is not to imply that it is an easy job or that an unprepared or sloppy belayer would necessarily be able to do it.

In reply to:
I have two followup questions: 1) WHo here wears gloves while belaying for this very reason?

I do. I consider gloves essential on multi-pitch routes.

Jay


blueeyedclimber


Oct 10, 2008, 8:24 AM
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jt512 wrote:

I haven't, but plenty of people have, so it is obviously possible to do. But that is not to imply that it is an easy job or that an unprepared or sloppy belayer would necessarily be able to do it.

That's my feeling as well, but I, having never been involved in a fall that even approached a factor 2, wanted firsthand information from someone who has.

In reply to:
In reply to:
I have two followup questions: 1) WHo here wears gloves while belaying for this very reason?

I do. I consider gloves essential on multi-pitch routes.

Jay

I don't wear them but have been considering them. I do, however, do everything I can to protect against that type of fall.

Josh


jt512


Oct 10, 2008, 8:41 AM
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blueeyedclimber wrote:
jt512 wrote:

I haven't, but plenty of people have, so it is obviously possible to do. But that is not to imply that it is an easy job or that an unprepared or sloppy belayer would necessarily be able to do it.

That's my feeling as well, but I, having never been involved in a fall that even approached a factor 2, wanted firsthand information from someone who has.

In reply to:
In reply to:
I have two followup questions: 1) WHo here wears gloves while belaying for this very reason?

I do. I consider gloves essential on multi-pitch routes.

Jay

I don't wear them but have been considering them. I do, however, do everything I can to protect against that type of fall.

Josh

There's not much you can do. Unless you can put your first piece in from the belay, you're going to be above the anchor without running pro at least for a move or two. You can clip the high piece of the anchor, but I don't think that that is the "no-brainer" that some people seem to, since a fall would subject a single piece of the belay anchor to a very high force.

Jay


carabiner96


Oct 10, 2008, 9:19 AM
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Re: [tomcat] belaying a leader directly off the anchor [In reply to]
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tomcat wrote:
I don't ever belay a second or leader from an anchor directly.

I don't belay a leader right off the anchor, but I almost always belay the second off of the anchor.

(And by anchor I mean power point/master point)


troutboy


Oct 10, 2008, 9:43 AM
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blueeyedclimber wrote:
Then, I received a pm from someone I don't know, about Canadian guides doing this off of bolted anchors, because it was said that otherwise you would not be able to catch a factor 2 fall while belaying off your harness.
Josh

It would be interesting to hear for sure that Euros are doing this and why.

As for Canadian guides doing it, why would a guide be belaying a client on lead? I only know one guide who ever allows clients to actually lead climbs. Not questioning your statement, Josh, just really curious if this is actually a common practice in Canuckland.

Or do they mean guides climbing on a busman's holiday w/non-paying persons ?

Anyway, very interesting discussion.

TS


moose_droppings


Oct 10, 2008, 10:02 AM
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carabiner96 wrote:
tomcat wrote:
I don't ever belay a second or leader from an anchor directly.

I don't belay a leader right off the anchor, but I almost always belay the second off of the anchor.

(And by anchor I mean power point/master point)

Ditto.

Most of my anchors will also have an oppositional piece. I think this is becoming less popular than it used to be, unfortunately.

I always carry and wear gloves for belaying. My hands have been fried once before.

I'll clip (or make the leader clip) into a piece of the anchor if there's no place for a piece right off the belay for a ways.


hafilax


Oct 10, 2008, 10:54 AM
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carabiner96 wrote:
tomcat wrote:
I don't ever belay a second or leader from an anchor directly.

I don't belay a leader right off the anchor, but I almost always belay the second off of the anchor.

(And by anchor I mean power point/master point)
So in the belay a second thread you post about seeing people belaying leaders off the anchor and in the belaying off the anchor thread you post that you often belay seconds off the anchor. Crazy


vegastradguy


Oct 10, 2008, 10:56 AM
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Re: [troutboy] belaying a leader directly off the anchor [In reply to]
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troutboy wrote:

As for Canadian guides doing it, why would a guide be belaying a client on lead? I only know one guide who ever allows clients to actually lead climbs. Not questioning your statement, Josh, just really curious if this is actually a common practice in Canuckland.

its not uncommon for guides to share leads with their clients- i know several guides here in the states that do this from time to time.


carabiner96


Oct 10, 2008, 11:09 AM
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hafilax wrote:
carabiner96 wrote:
tomcat wrote:
I don't ever belay a second or leader from an anchor directly.

I don't belay a leader right off the anchor, but I almost always belay the second off of the anchor.

(And by anchor I mean power point/master point)
So in the belay a second thread you post about seeing people belaying leaders off the anchor and in the belaying off the anchor thread you post that you often belay seconds off the anchor. Crazy

I guess I don't understand what you don't understand.


shorty


Oct 10, 2008, 11:13 AM
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vegastradguy wrote:
troutboy wrote:
As for Canadian guides doing it, why would a guide be belaying a client on lead? I only know one guide who ever allows clients to actually lead climbs. Not questioning your statement, Josh, just really curious if this is actually a common practice in Canuckland.

its not uncommon for guides to share leads with their clients- i know several guides here in the states that do this from time to time.
I can personally state that some guides are willing to swing leads with clients. AMGA and IFMGA guides have allowed me to lead in the USA, Canada, and Europe. IMO, guides only do this when they are comfortable with their clients (mimimum of a few days climbing with each other), are not pressured for time, the route is well within the client's capabilities, and the possibility of injury is low. It all comes down to the guide's judgement.

Throughout my travels, I have never seen a guide belay a leader directly off the anchor. I would never do this, either. But with increasing frequency, I have seen guides belay seconds directly from the anchor -- a procedure I now sometimes do.


troutboy


Oct 10, 2008, 11:33 AM
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shorty wrote:


I can personally state that some guides are willing to swing leads with clients. AMGA and IFMGA guides have allowed me to lead in the USA, Canada, and Europe. IMO, guides only do this when they are comfortable with their clients (mimimum of a few days climbing with each other), are not pressured for time, the route is well within the client's capabilities, and the possibility of injury is low. It all comes down to the guide's judgement.

Cool. Thanks for the info guys. Guess I need to get out more Cool

As for belaying a second off the anchor: I almost always do it with bolted anchors, will do it off a solid tree, and rarely will do it off a gear anchor, depending on the climb, the climber, and the anchor.

TS


blueeyedclimber


Oct 10, 2008, 11:42 AM
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troutboy wrote:
As for Canadian guides doing it, why would a guide be belaying a client on lead? I only know one guide who ever allows clients to actually lead climbs. Not questioning your statement, Josh, just really curious if this is actually a common practice in Canuckland.

Or do they mean guides climbing on a busman's holiday w/non-paying persons ?

Anyway, very interesting discussion.

TS

I have sent a pm to this person encouraging them to join this thread to further explain. If he doesn't, then I will probably just cut and paste everything that he has sent me. It is secondhand knowledge from a "guide" friend of his, so I feel there are still a lot of questions left unanswered, but we will see. I will give him a chance first.

Josh


sspssp


Oct 10, 2008, 11:45 AM
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Re: [vegastradguy] belaying a leader directly off the anchor [In reply to]
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vegastradguy wrote:
i've seen pictures of it being done- the atc clipped to one of the anchor bolts instead of the belayers waist. i have no idea why you would do this.

Well, if the leader takes a bad fall, it sure would be easy to "escape" the belay if the atc is on the bolts instead of your waist.


blueeyedclimber


Oct 10, 2008, 11:46 AM
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troutboy wrote:

As for belaying a second off the anchor: I almost always do it with bolted anchors, will do it off a solid tree, and rarely will do it off a gear anchor, depending on the climb, the climber, and the anchor.

TS

At the risk of creating thread drift, why wouldn't you do it with gear, but it's fine with bolts or a tree?


wonderwoman


Oct 10, 2008, 11:57 AM
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carabiner96 wrote:
hafilax wrote:
carabiner96 wrote:
tomcat wrote:
I don't ever belay a second or leader from an anchor directly.

I don't belay a leader right off the anchor, but I almost always belay the second off of the anchor.

(And by anchor I mean power point/master point)
So in the belay a second thread you post about seeing people belaying leaders off the anchor and in the belaying off the anchor thread you post that you often belay seconds off the anchor. Crazy

I guess I don't understand what you don't understand.

No kidding... Seems pretty clear to me, too. Why isn't hafilax calling out every other person here who belays a second off the anchor?


Partner cracklover


Oct 10, 2008, 12:01 PM
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Re: [blueeyedclimber] belaying a leader directly off the anchor [In reply to]
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Josh,

1 - Petzl shows it as at least an "acceptable" practice when using a grigri or a munter in the following cartoon:



2 - According to CLC, the Euro guides are actually promoting this as the "correct" practice on mulitpitch bolted routes:

In reply to:
Even now my ACMG guiding friend was saying in europe they belay the leader right from the bolted anchor .

3 - Carabiner96 reports that the practice is widespread where she climbs as well:
In reply to:
IDK, lately i've seen a lot of people belaying a leader right off the anchor

4 - Here's a report from a Euro who practices this regularly:

walkonyourhands wrote:
I usually belay the leader from the anchors with a munter for several reasons. (bolted belay)

Several people in the thread expressed their surprise at this method, and wondered if it was real, so he replied:

walkonyourhands wrote:
The Euro belay is as safe as yours, Yankees!

So yeah, I think it's the real deal.

Personally, I've never seen it done. But then the only real application for this method is multi-pitch sport climbing. And the only place I know that has a significant amount of that is in Europe.

Think about it, if you've got a gear anchor, you just can't easily feed rope up through a gri-gri. It just won't work. You need the gri-gri (or munter) to be fixed directly to a bolt on the wall for this method to work.

So I'd suggest trolling the Euro-Freaks thread if you want to get better first hand responses.

GO


troutboy


Oct 10, 2008, 12:09 PM
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blueeyedclimber wrote:

At the risk of creating thread drift, why wouldn't you do it with gear, but it's fine with bolts or a tree?

Mostly because I find it easier to create a truly SRENE anchor off 2 bolts or a solid tree (does such a thing exist - thinking of that huge tree that once stood atop P2 of Three Pines ?).

Also, 2 well places bolts are most likely more solid than even a well constructed gear anchor.

Finally, I have less doubt about the integrity of 2 well placed bolts or a solid tree.


sspssp


Oct 10, 2008, 1:07 PM
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blueeyedclimber wrote:
I have two followup questions: 1) WHo here wears gloves while belaying for this very reason? 2) If anyone answered yes to the previous question #2, were you or your belayer wearing gloves?

Once when using twin/double ropes (skinny ropes rated for either), my partner started up and clipped one rope to a pin that was slightly above the anchor, climbed another ten feet or so and fell. So I caught the almost FF2 with an ATC style device (Trango Jaws) on a single rope. I was wearing gloves and it was an easy catch (I was worried about just such a scenerio). No idea how hard it would have been without gloves.

I've pretty much given up on double ropes and do all my belaying (even multi-pitch) with a Cinch and no gloves. I've been really happy with the catch of the Cinch even for ropes considerably thinner than the Mnf.'s recommendation.


hafilax


Oct 10, 2008, 1:14 PM
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Thread: belaying second off of the anchor
biner96: I've seen people belay the leader off the anchor

Thread: belaying leader off the anchor
biner96: I often belay the second off the anchor

Seemed ironic to me. YMMV. Wink

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