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tradrenn


Dec 11, 2008, 1:09 PM
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Re: [jamatt] Belay Responsibilites [In reply to]
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jamatt wrote:
* I'm lead belaying this woman on a fairly stiff climb. Just before coming off, she yells "take!"

In this situation you should say: I can't take, you are above your pro/bolt.

jamatt wrote:
* I see on a video that while a climber is in mid-fall, the lead belayer is taking up slack.

It is very important to take as much slack in if leader falls on a slab route. Extra slack on overhanging routes.

jamatt wrote:
* I read a semi-serious discussion on running belays, including advocations for jumping off ledges to shorten lead falls

Sometimes we have to do just that, whatever it takes kind of think.

Some useful links for ya:

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...m/gforum.cgi?t=66620
http://www.rockclimbing.com/...m/gforum.cgi?t=67256
http://www.rockclimbing.com/...post=1408426#1408426

About dynamic belay:

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...m/gforum.cgi?t=37947


Please read them and try to learn from them as much as possible.

HTH

Edited to add one more link.


(This post was edited by tradrenn on Dec 11, 2008, 1:17 PM)


currupt4130


Dec 11, 2008, 2:08 PM
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Re: [derk424] Belay Responsibilites [In reply to]
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derk424 wrote:
Quick question im new to lead belaying, don't worry im an indoor climber and dont face any really hazardous falls nor do my partners. But anyways, question is while i undertsand that a belayer's ultimate job is to keep his partner safe and off the deck or taking a big impact against the wall, where he can damage his feet, how exactly do u take in slack as someone falls?
I Have heard of running belay catches, but was never properly taught how to perform them.
Thanks guys!


You really contradicted yourself, and this is why gym climbers bother me a little. There is still danger even when leading in the gym, don't for one second think there isn't.

Anyway, as far as taking in slack when someone falls, I usually just take out on big arm length and go down to lock in one motion and wait for the catch. Trying to pinch and grab or any other belay method with a climber mid fall only spells accident. Take out as much as you can with one arm stretch and go straight down to lock off. Then get ready for the catch.

Please don't try running away from the wall when you're at the gym. I can only see that ending badly... Like you getting yanked back towards it, losing control, and decking your partner.


(This post was edited by currupt4130 on Dec 11, 2008, 2:10 PM)


Partner j_ung


Dec 11, 2008, 2:15 PM
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Re: [derk424] Belay Responsibilites [In reply to]
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derk424 wrote:
Quick question im new to lead belaying, don't worry im an indoor climber and dont face any really hazardous falls nor do my partners. But anyways, question is while i undertsand that a belayer's ultimate job is to keep his partner safe and off the deck or taking a big impact against the wall, where he can damage his feet, how exactly do u take in slack as someone falls?
I Have heard of running belay catches, but was never properly taught how to perform them.
Thanks guys!

I would argue that every fall you face is hazardous, and that gym safety is an illusion.

There are times when it's better to add distance to a climber's fall and others when it's better to shorten it, sometimes as much as possible. Attempt to shorten fall distance to keep the climber from hitting something big and hard, such as the ground or a ledge.

There are a few ways to do that. At the short end of the spectrum, there's simply pulling in an armload of slack before you have to lock off. To make that a little bigger, you might pull in a quick armload and drop back away from the climber. On the long end of the spectrum, there's the Stone Mountain Running Belay. The SMRB really only works well on slabby climbs when falls are more sliding, tumbling relatively slow affairs than air-bike-riding free falls. It also typically requires some pre-rigging, a detail many SMR belayers don't know about.


derk424


Dec 11, 2008, 2:35 PM
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Re: [j_ung] Belay Responsibilites [In reply to]
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Let me clarify what i meant by hazardous, in stating so i meant the worst possible fall would be something around 20 ft onto crash pads. Not that its not injury prone but its not a 40+ fall like some of you outdoor guys are faced with on a weekly basis.
And i do understand that when a climber is in a position where a fall may be highly probable how to take slack, however the concept of getting rid of slack during the fall, meaning when climber is off the wall competely is where i struggle, especially since i just used a regular atc, not a grigi.
Thanks again sorry for the miscommunication


patto


Dec 11, 2008, 2:54 PM
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Re: [derk424] Belay Responsibilites [In reply to]
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There are alot of people here (mostly sport climbers) that don't seem to understand that many people don't climb steep overhung routes with good lines of sight.

Lots of the climbing I do you can't always see the damn climber. Sometimes your first indication that a fall is happening is the rope coming tight. There is not chance to soft catch or yard in slack. I mostly lead rather than second, all I want in my belayer is a CATCH.

That said when you can see a fall occur it most certainly is possible to yard in slack DURING the fall. Especially with an ATC rather than a grigri.

#Simply grab the brake rope near the device.
#Quickly move arm up and out from body.
#Lock downwards and bring second hand in for security.

This way you can easily shorten the fall by almost 3 feet.


jt512


Dec 11, 2008, 2:56 PM
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Re: [patto] Belay Responsibilites [In reply to]
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patto wrote:
That said when you can see a fall occur it most certainly is possible to yard in slack DURING the fall. Especially with an ATC rather than a grigri..

It's actually easier with a grigri. There is less friction with typical-diameter ropes.

Jay


ptlong


Dec 11, 2008, 3:09 PM
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Re: [j_ung] Belay Responsibilites [In reply to]
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j_ung wrote:
jamatt wrote:
As I see it, the responsibility of the lead belayer is to maintain an appropriate amount of slack for the leader to make upward progress unhindered, and to lock off in case of a fall. Anything else exponentially increases the chance for the lead climbers fall not to be held, and is irresponsible at best.

I don't think those are even the minimum a belayer has to do.

That sounds like the minimum to me. At least that's what I'd hope for from a beginner belayer. Or from a self-belay device.

But in both of those cases it's often true that the "appropriate amount of slack" is not provided to the leader.

So I take that back. I think the bare minimum for a belayer is to lock the leader off in a fall.


drfelatio


Dec 11, 2008, 7:09 PM
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Re: [Adk] Belay Responsibilites [In reply to]
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Adk wrote:
In reply to:
jollymon and jammat wrote:

....As I see it, the responsibility of the lead belayer is to maintain an appropriate amount of slack for the leader to make upward progress unhindered, and to lock off in case of a fall....
QCC?

what about all the OTHER important duties of the lead belayer....

like talking to others at the base....
taking important phone calls....
eating...
shortroping...
using both hands to scratch the butt....
shouting discouraging remarks...

Tongue

Jolly

you forgot:
drinking malt liquor
taking a pee
sleeping
taking pictures of yourself
listening to music
watching a movie
napping
questioning the leaders route finding
calling the girlfriend
picking your nose
trying to chat up the girls on the next route over

belaying is difficult, I can barely climb after belaying

Don't forget kicking up dirt from time to time looking for loose change that has been dropped.

"Hang on Paul. I found a shiny penny down here on the ground! Wait a second so I can pick it up."
---Thanks Dave--- my climbing partners' line "The Shiny Penny"

You guys are forgetting the most important belayer responsibility of them all: to spray endless amounts of useless beta.


jollymon


Dec 11, 2008, 7:48 PM
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Re: [ptlong] Belay Responsibilites [In reply to]
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ptlong wrote:
So I take that back. I think the bare minimum for a belayer is to lock the leader off in a fall.

...lets look at some other factors before we decide on "bare minimums"....

-Does this person have a will...am I in it?
-Does this person have a hot girlfriend who would need consoling?
-How am I feeling today about this leader?
-Do they have nice gear?
-Are their shoes the same size as mine?

Life is seldom an easy straightforward choice.......Smile


Sin


Dec 11, 2008, 8:04 PM
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Re: [jollymon] Belay Responsibilites [In reply to]
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All of the things that have been said are great and are needed to belay, yet we are forgetting something crucial. As a responsible belayer, it is extremely important to assess fines when needed, to keep the leader in check. For example if your lead climber farted before clipping the first bolt, that's automatically 10 feet of penalty slack. If he slept with your girlfriend that's 20 ft. etc..... I don't have the complete fine schedule, but I know others can chip in with some missing fines.


currupt4130


Dec 11, 2008, 9:04 PM
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Re: [patto] Belay Responsibilites [In reply to]
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patto wrote:
That said when you can see a fall occur it most certainly is possible to yard in slack DURING the fall. Especially with an ATC rather than a grigri.

#Simply grab the brake rope near the device.
#Quickly move arm up and out from body.
#Lock downwards and bring second hand in for security.

This way you can easily shorten the fall by almost 3 feet.

I fail to see the difference b/w yarding in slack with a grigri vs an ATC. I use both, regularly and couldn't tell you if one was easier than the other. You just yank line as fast you can and lock off. Unless you're feeding your grigri wrong and pulling slack makes the thing lock or you're just pathetically weak, then I'm at a loss?


(This post was edited by currupt4130 on Dec 11, 2008, 9:12 PM)


sdonis


Dec 11, 2008, 9:18 PM
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Re: [jamatt] Belay Responsibilites [In reply to]
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When you climb with a "partner" it is each others responsibility to keep it safe at all cost. If that means taking up slack and burning your hands then so be it, alot better than your partners major injury or death.


docburner


Dec 12, 2008, 1:20 AM
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Re: [sdonis] Belay Responsibilites [In reply to]
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Assuming I can see the climber:
I always see where the climber is in relationship to their pro. Then I decide if they fall right now where do I want them to land. In my head I figure out how much rope is out to figure out how much its going to stretch, how far they are going to pull me up etc, and then I have the approbriate amount of slack out for that situation.

If they just pulled a roof and clipped something say 5 feet over the roof I keep them tight until there is the point where no matter what if they fall they are going below the roof, then I give them additional slack to guarentee it.

If its slabby run out I'm ready to pull in some slack to try to shorten where they fall.

If you can't see them then its minimal slack and a dynamic catch unless they tell me otherwise. Leader should communicate unknown or non obvious belay requests to the belayer.

But I think if you actually pay attention when you belay, and always are thinking what happens when they fall, where should they land you are going to be doing your best to provide a great belay.


marebear


Dec 12, 2008, 9:10 AM
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Re: [Sin] Belay Responsibilites [In reply to]
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In reply to:
All of the things that have been said are great and are needed to belay, yet we are forgetting something crucial. As a responsible belayer, it is extremely important to assess fines when needed, to keep the leader in check. For example if your lead climber farted before clipping the first bolt, that's automatically 10 feet of penalty slack. If he slept with your girlfriend that's 20 ft. etc..... I don't have the complete fine schedule, but I know others can chip in with some missing fines.

Whimpering, down climbing or yelling "take!" immediately before a fall is an arm length of penalty slack.

Failure to pitch in for gas money is 5 feet.


(This post was edited by marebear on Dec 12, 2008, 9:10 AM)


marebear


Dec 12, 2008, 9:20 AM
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Re: [jamatt] Belay Responsibilites [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Each of these are concerning because they involve an action by the lead belayer while the climber is in mid-fall other than locking off the rope.

As I see it, the responsibility of the lead belayer is to maintain an appropriate amount of slack for the leader to make upward progress unhindered, and to lock off in case of a fall. Anything else exponentially increases the chance for the lead climbers fall not to be held, and is irresponsible at best.

The lead climber must place adaquete gear to avoid groundfall or ledge-outs, and accept sole responsibility for the consequences should they choose otherwise.

I recently took a fall on a sport climb with a large ramp at the bottom. I took a 20 foot fall from the third bolt, and had it not been for my belayer reefing in slack, I would have landed on that ledge, most likely leaving me with serious injuries at best. I'm glad my belayer didn't abide solely by the "responsibilities" you described.

The responsibility of the belayer is to keep the leader safe, period. That might mean simply locking off, jumping off the ground, feeding in slack, whatever, just keep me off the ground and away from ledges and other scary things. Until a belayer can confidently perform all his/her responsibilities, he/she should not belay in situations where a fall that requires thought will occur.

The responsibilities of the leader are to yell "clipping", "falling" (when possible), and to not let a moron belay him/her.


Hotpies


Dec 12, 2008, 9:33 AM
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Re: [jamatt] Belay Responsibilites [In reply to]
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jamatt wrote:
I read somewhere that the "soft catch" was a remnant from when ropes were hemp/goldline and--with the dynamic ropes of today--is obselete.

I think we're talking two different kinds of dynamic belays here. Somebody more crotchety than I will probably have to back me up (or correct my ignorance) but I believe that the old dynamic belay with hemp rope involved the belayer jumping and/or letting some rope slide through their hands to decrease the force of the fall/catch. The risk of burning the piss out of your hands and dropping someone was probably acceptable because the risk of being seriously injured falling on a static line was more serious.

With today's dynamic ropes, letting rope slide through your hands/belay device is obsolete because the stretch in the rope makes a softer catch than you'd have with a static line.

Also, this is just a theory in no way backed up by any research, but could the old technique of letting rope slide have been more acceptable because climbing ropes were larger in diameter (were they?) and easier on the hands?


markc


Dec 12, 2008, 9:51 AM
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Re: [marebear] Belay Responsibilites [In reply to]
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marebear wrote:
The responsibilities of the leader are to yell "clipping", "falling" (when possible), and to not let a moron belay him/her.

I'd add not hosing the second whenever possible. For example - protect traverses with the second in mind, consider the height of the belayer when placing pro (when possible), don't bury nuts or overcam gear (when possible).


jt512


Dec 12, 2008, 10:23 AM
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Re: [Hotpies] Belay Responsibilites [In reply to]
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Hotpies wrote:
With today's dynamic ropes, letting rope slide through your hands/belay device is obsolete because the stretch in the rope makes a softer catch than you'd have with a static line.

Dynamic belays, where the belayer either jumps or lets rope slide through the belay device are crucial, routine, and not obviated by using a dynamic rope. Please don't belay me until you've learned to perform them.

Jay


(This post was edited by jt512 on Dec 12, 2008, 10:23 AM)


Hotpies


Dec 12, 2008, 12:06 PM
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Re: [jt512] Belay Responsibilites [In reply to]
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I don't mind giving a dynamic belay by moving around/jumping, or playing out slack quickly, but letting a taut rope slide through my brake hand just isn't comfortable for me and I don't trust that I'd be able to catch someone. I wasn't saying dynamic belays aren't important, I was just trying to say you don't have to let a taut rope burn through your hands like you used to.

The key to reducing force of a fall is letting the climber decelerate over a longer period of time. From what I've read, in the old days of hemp rope one way climbers did that was by gripping the rope loosely and letting it slide through the hands as they gradually increased pressure like a brake.

Since the stretch in dynamic rope allows for a slower deceleration, just putting more rope into the system will slow someones fall as well as letting a taut rope slide through your hands. That's all.


jt512


Dec 12, 2008, 12:10 PM
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Re: [Hotpies] Belay Responsibilites [In reply to]
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Hotpies wrote:
The key to reducing force of a fall is letting the climber decelerate over a longer period of time. From what I've read, in the old days of hemp rope one way climbers did that was by gripping the rope loosely and letting it slide through the hands as they gradually increased pressure like a brake.

That's one way that skilled belayers still do it.

In reply to:
Since the stretch in dynamic rope allows for a slower deceleration, just putting more rope into the system will slow someones fall as well as letting a taut rope slide through your hands. That's all.

No it won't, unless the fall factor is greater than 1. In a "normal" fall (ie, with fall factor less than 1), putting slack into the system increases the fall factor, and thus the maximum impact force.

Jay


apeman_e


Dec 12, 2008, 1:01 PM
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Re: [dingus] Belay Responsibilites [In reply to]
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i stand corrected


Parkerkat


Dec 12, 2008, 1:45 PM
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Re: [currupt4130] Belay Responsibilites [In reply to]
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think its not possible to have you grigri lock if pulling in slack...it can only really lock on you if you're paying out...

...6 of one, half a dozen of the other!


marebear


Dec 12, 2008, 1:59 PM
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Re: [Parkerkat] Belay Responsibilites [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think its not possible to have you grigri lock if pulling in slack...it can only really lock on you if you're paying out...

...6 of one, half a dozen of the other!

I'm not sure what you are saying exactly, but I would say you are wrong. The gri gri won't lock (brake the rope) if it is pinched open (to let the rope move freely through), as currupt4130 was saying, but, you don't have to pinch to pull in slack. You only have to pinch it open to give out slack, and if you are belaying properly, your hand will be on the brake end of the rope even if you are giving slack.


fxgranite


Dec 12, 2008, 2:05 PM
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Re: [Parkerkat] Belay Responsibilites [In reply to]
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Parkerkat wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think its not possible to have you grigri lock if pulling in slack...it can only really lock on you if you're paying out...

...6 of one, half a dozen of the other!

You are wrong

EDIT: Dammit. beaten to the punchPirate

(This post was edited by fxgranite on Dec 12, 2008, 2:06 PM)


Parkerkat


Dec 12, 2008, 2:09 PM
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Re: [marebear] Belay Responsibilites [In reply to]
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gotta love how on RC.com when understanding is not there, the default is "you are wrong"..

we're saying the same thing.. think about how you can kill someone if you load a grigri backwards!..why, because the lock won't woke on the break hand side....we're saying the same thing.. so to summarize:

- if you are pulling in excess rope for your climber to shorten the fall (aka slack), then it cannot lock..its a physical impossiblity

- If you are paying out slack...like when they are clipping, its quite easy to screw up and lock the grigri on yourself accidentally...and yes, your break hand Must ALWAYS be on the breakline, even when paying out slack! ..we're saying the same thing here.. read it over again:

"Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think its not possible to have you grigri lock if pulling in slack...it can only really lock on you if you're paying out...

Saavy? ; )

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