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ClimbClimb


Jun 23, 2010, 9:00 PM
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Discussion of Cinch safety
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I took the initiative to move this to Lab from Accidents&Incidents.

jakedatc wrote:
In reply to:
but it seems complicated to do use safely...

it is not. As long as you read the directions and keep your hand on the brake like any other device they are a great tool.

To be clear, my point was that it seems the directions are more complex / advanced than ATC, and may be best suited for more advanced users.


(This post was edited by ClimbClimb on Jun 23, 2010, 9:01 PM)


vegastradguy


Jun 23, 2010, 9:10 PM
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Re: [ClimbClimb] Discussion of Cinch safety [In reply to]
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ClimbClimb wrote:
I took the initiative to move this to Lab from Accidents&Incidents.

jakedatc wrote:
In reply to:
but it seems complicated to do use safely...

it is not. As long as you read the directions and keep your hand on the brake like any other device they are a great tool.

To be clear, my point was that it seems the directions are more complex / advanced than ATC, and may be best suited for more advanced users.

Yes, it is.


jakedatc


Jun 23, 2010, 9:26 PM
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ClimbClimb wrote:
I took the initiative to move this to Lab from Accidents&Incidents.

jakedatc wrote:
In reply to:
but it seems complicated to do use safely...

it is not. As long as you read the directions and keep your hand on the brake like any other device they are a great tool.

To be clear, my point was that it seems the directions are more complex / advanced than ATC, and may be best suited for more advanced users.

Yes, And it is labeled as such right on the package.

I practiced for a while on TR routes and easy leads before fully switching over to people on projects where they'd be falling. Now i haven't lead belayed with a tube device in at least a year.


maldaly


Jun 23, 2010, 9:51 PM
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Re: [ClimbClimb] Discussion of Cinch safety [In reply to]
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Huh... I always wondered why we put that warning on there.



Climb Safe,
Mal


patto


Jun 23, 2010, 9:52 PM
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Re: [ClimbClimb] Discussion of Cinch safety [In reply to]
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(I think the concepts discussed here relate equally well to GriGris. I have not used a Cinch so I can't comment directly)

ClimbClimb wrote:
To be clear, my point was that it seems the directions are more complex / advanced than ATC, and may be best suited for more advanced users.

I think the concept that autolocking devices are best suited towards advanced users is flawed. Both devices require correct technique to work. As long as major mistakes aren't made an autolocker will lock off much more easily than an ATC. However I do think there is a problem with training, where major mistakes in operation of automatic devices is being taught and being recommended by many people.

Holding down the cam of any automatic device in order to feed is a massive risk. Yet I see this routinely being taught as standard belaying practice.

If you are teaching a beginner to belay get the basics right. Beginners should primarily be worried about ensuring a secure belay. Not about fast feeds and short roping.

Petzl warns of this danger but does suggest that if done cautiously and in a limitted way then it is a method than can be used to give slack quickly.

Petzl wrote:
At certain times, when the leader needs slack quickly for clipping, the belayer can have difficulty giving slack quickly to the climber. To overcome this difficulty, brace the index finger of your brake hand (still holding the braking side of the rope) against the lip on the moving sideplate and press your thumb on the cam. The other hand holds the climberís side of the rope. Your hands must immediately return to the principal belaying position.

ATTENTION, this procedure must only be used on a limited basis and must be executed very quickly. In case of a fall, you risk clenching the GRIGRIís cam, which would negate the braking of the rope. Always hold the braking side of the rope. Do not keep the thumb continuously pressed on the cam
.

I don't think there is a sufficent understanding in the community of the dangers of holding the device in the wrong way. While the Mal's correct technique may catch every fall without fail. John, not quite understanding why the pivot hole needs to be held and no other spot my drop somebody.

All that said I see no issue with the design of any of the major devices or their instructions. Every belayer needs to be able to operate their device appropriately or else not use it. Automatic devices have some advantages over non locking assist devices.

I don't want anybody to interpret my comments as criticism of these devices, in particular Mal who I have great respect for.


(This post was edited by patto on Jun 23, 2010, 9:58 PM)


Adan


Jun 23, 2010, 10:55 PM
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Re: [patto] Discussion of Cinch safety [In reply to]
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Another point to add which is quite strong especially if you are a beginner are the human reflexes, which will certainly happen when something unexpected happens (e.g. unexpected fall, bouncing against the wall etc.).

The GriGri does not work entirely according to the grasp reflex. When lowering a person and pulling the handle down it could happen (and many accidents like that are recorded) that the belayer pulls the lever all the way when something "scary" happens, which means that the Grigri will not lock!

Most people using the Grigri I have seen, in gym and outside use it the wrong way when giving out rope for the leader, as patto described. Most people let go of the break rope and pull down the lever, which is really dangerous. I think people believe that automatic belay devices are "autolocking" and do not require a break hand on the rope, which is unfortunately not true. Additionally again if the grasp reflex comes in during a fall while giving out rope the grigri will not be locking off the rope.

In addition to that the Grigri is a static belay device and i think it is important for beginners to learn how to belay dynamically with their body and the belay device, which is not possible with the Grigri, or other automatic belay devices.

I think there are no perfect belay devices and a huge factor is how you teach to use them. But in my opinion a belay device should be constructed according to the human reflexes as they are an unconscious action and we canít control them.


patto


Jun 23, 2010, 11:11 PM
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The point of the grasp reflex is very important. I has been involved in many grigri accidents in the past and I suspect it may have played its part in the Darkside incident.

The grasp reflex is very strong. I have seen tests done concerning prussik backups with abseiling and even with experienced users the effort to release the grasp is very difficult.


Partner angry


Jun 24, 2010, 5:26 AM
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Re: [patto] Discussion of Cinch safety [In reply to]
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The thing is guys, the cinch is very very different in function than the grigri. When I first tried the cinch, I declared it a POS because I tried to use it like a grigri. Once I learned to use it though, I liked it.

With all respect, you simply cannot comment on the cinch without being a user of it.

After this accident, I tried to recreate a way to get the cinch to slip. I could only do it loaded backwards. Of course, I was using Sterling Big Gym 10.7 ropes with plenty of miles.

Belaying with your thumb on the base of the lever is a little more natural feeling than with the hole. It takes a few runs to figure out the hole (just like high school).

Once you learn to use it though, the Cinch is the best lead belay device out there. I've used it to comfortably belay 9.2 to 11 and it's smooth through the range.

If you're ascending a rope with 1 ascender and one auto device (gri, cinch, hewbolt, etc) and the rope is fat, dirty, or salty, I prefer the Grigri. The cinch really is a hassle in that situation.

If you're rappelling the same fat salty rope with a cinch, you might actually get stuck. Seriously, I've seen it happen. Again, the grigri is better for this.

If you're leaving fixed lines on routes to bolt them overnight and getting up early to work on them before work and your ropes are wet, you'll slide slowly down (1" per second or slower) on a cinch. Again, I like the grigri.

Even though Petzl wouldn't suggest it, a grigri with it's flap cut off is a great self belay device. A cinch isn't.

A cinch is a better backup to a mini-trax than a grigri by about a million times for TR solo (sorry mal), but another mini trax is even better.

It's a hassle to lower really light climbers because theres so much friction. You need a redirect to lower really heavy climbers because there is so little friction. Baffling.

I put that there so y'all could think about what you're using your cinch for. It's like buttery sex for lead belay. Everything else I have a grigri or ATC. It is so good at lead belay though, that it's worth it to me to have one just for that.


ClimbClimb


Jun 24, 2010, 6:43 AM
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Re: [patto] Discussion of Cinch safety [In reply to]
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(snipped lots of good technical points)

patto wrote:
(I think the concepts discussed here relate equally well to GriGris. I have not used a Cinch so I can't comment directly)

ClimbClimb wrote:
To be clear, my point was that it seems the directions are more complex / advanced than ATC, and may be best suited for more advanced users.

I think the concept that autolocking devices are best suited towards advanced users is flawed. Both devices require correct technique to work..

My point is that the "correct technique" seems to be trickier to explain once you have additional moving parts, cams, and so on. We have seen several long discussions among fairly experienced people here where it takes numerous messages back and forth to figure out the subtlety of lowering someone with an ATG-guide-mode, belaying with a Cinch, etc. Personally, despite being reasonably mechanically-apt, I occasionally have a very hard time following these discussions.

How does someone learning this "in the field" or by reading short warning labels / instructions get this right? Seems like sometimes they do, sometimes they don't.

Often the debates devolve into "device __ is unsafe", but I'm thinking that's not really helpful, in the end.


jakedatc


Jun 24, 2010, 7:08 AM
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In reply to:
following these discussions.

get off the internet, go use the device. Problem solved.

you can't learn how to do this shit on the internet. you just can't.. you need to have your hands on the thing and use it. In the other thread i was confused with what Kostik was saying how he held it.. i had to go put my harness on to realize we did the same thing.


chadnsc


Jun 24, 2010, 7:14 AM
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angry wrote:
The thing is guys, the cinch is very very different in function than the grigri. When I first tried the cinch, I declared it a POS because I tried to use it like a grigri. Once I learned to use it though, I liked it.

With all respect, you simply cannot comment on the cinch without being a user of it.

This is worth repeating. I hope people take heed and liste to what angry said.


maldaly


Jun 24, 2010, 7:20 AM
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angry, you have a great way with words!

So do you guys think it would help if we posted up a page called, "How to kill your partner with a Cinch?" Seth, oue of the designers of the Cinch has a site called splitterclimbinggear.com where he has posted videos about how to kill yourself climbing. He has video of dropping people with the Cinch, the Grigri, manual devices, anchors blowing, etc. Is this helpful?

Lawyers are gong to hate the idea.

Climb safe,
Mal


dolphja


Jun 24, 2010, 7:21 AM
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chadnsc wrote:
angry wrote:
The thing is guys, the cinch is very very different in function than the grigri. When I first tried the cinch, I declared it a POS because I tried to use it like a grigri. Once I learned to use it though, I liked it.

With all respect, you simply cannot comment on the cinch without being a user of it.

+1

This is worth repeating. I hope people take heed and liste to what angry said.


vegastradguy


Jun 24, 2010, 7:29 AM
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ClimbClimb wrote:
(snipped lots of good technical points)

patto wrote:
(I think the concepts discussed here relate equally well to GriGris. I have not used a Cinch so I can't comment directly)

ClimbClimb wrote:
To be clear, my point was that it seems the directions are more complex / advanced than ATC, and may be best suited for more advanced users.

I think the concept that autolocking devices are best suited towards advanced users is flawed. Both devices require correct technique to work..

My point is that the "correct technique" seems to be trickier to explain once you have additional moving parts, cams, and so on. We have seen several long discussions among fairly experienced people here where it takes numerous messages back and forth to figure out the subtlety of lowering someone with an ATG-guide-mode, belaying with a Cinch, etc. Personally, despite being reasonably mechanically-apt, I occasionally have a very hard time following these discussions.

How does someone learning this "in the field" or by reading short warning labels / instructions get this right? Seems like sometimes they do, sometimes they don't.

Often the debates devolve into "device __ is unsafe", but I'm thinking that's not really helpful, in the end.

Honestly, mals video of how to use the cinch correctly is all you need to become a safe cinch user- its so simple and easy to understand, both technically and visually, it's the only way to learn how to use a cinch, imho. I literally repeat the thing verbatim when i instruct people how to use it.


madscientist


Jun 24, 2010, 7:44 AM
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Re: [maldaly] Discussion of Cinch safety [In reply to]
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I have discussed this before with people, and I think it is _very_ important to know how to make a belay device fail. This should be considered information about the correct usage. One cannot go through all the possible scenarios, but this information is arguably as important as how to correctly use the device, especially if one of the failure modes corresponds to a common mistake on using the device.

edit: This is in response to maldaly's comment above. Forgot to quote it.


(This post was edited by madscientist on Jun 24, 2010, 7:46 AM)


patto


Jun 24, 2010, 7:59 AM
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angry wrote:
The thing is guys, the cinch is very very different in function than the grigri.

ClimbClimb wrote:
(snipped lots of good technical points)
Thanks! Smile

ClimbClimb wrote:
My point is that the "correct technique" seems to be trickier to explain once you have additional moving parts, cams, and so on.
Agreed. Despite quoting you, i wasn't meaning to disagree overall.Smile

jakedatc wrote:
get off the internet, go use the device. Problem solved.

you can't learn how to do this shit on the internet. you just can't.. you need to have your hands on the thing and use it. In the other thread i was confused with what Kostik was saying how he held it.. i had to go put my harness on to realize we did the same thing.
Some people don't learn well this way either, and that is the almost unsolvable problem. Train people all you want but there are many people out there to whom the operation of camming belay devices is simply a mysterious device that automatically catches the climber. The devices aren't foolproof and there are fools out there.


Partner rgold


Jun 24, 2010, 8:43 AM
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I don't know about "How to kill your partner," but I do think a lot of the instruction I've seen is flawed because it does not address the wrong ways to do things.

Did you ever get a set of driving (or hiking, or approach) directions that seemed easy enough until you got out there and found a host of options never mentioned, some of which looked a lot like what the directions advocated? (Think every route on one of Ortenburger's guide to the Tetons).

Showing someone the correct path through a maze without attending to the experiences they will have at confusing intersections isn't ideal instruction.

Personally, when I get some new piece of equipment, one of the things I try to do is figure out all the ways it can fail to perform, and what those configurations look like. In other words, I try to head down all the blind alleys I can find on the route ahead of time, hoping that when I really need to make the trip I'll recognize the mistakes before I make them.

Guides do something analogous when the "practice" climbs before taking clients on them.

Not to sound snotty, but I think this investigation of what can go wrong is part of the due diligence everyone should be doing, and you don't necessarily need an instructor, a video, or a manual to do this---just your brain, a little bit of time, and the willingness to experiment in situations with no pressure, fatigue, or danger. In other words, less than ideal instruction is no excuse for not figuring out the no-no's.

Which is not to say that ideal instruction isn't even better. And I do understand that if you cram your instruction with too many possibilities and alternatives, there is a risk of cognitive overload for the learner, so as in every endeavor intelligent design is called for.

So here are a few recommendations.

1. Don't put the warnings in a separate video. It is hard enough to get people to attend to one. They may never get to the other.

2. If you believe in your video, then put a warning with the device advising the user to be sure to watch the video before using the device.

3. Make sure to mention and demonstrate the most serious ways of screwing up. Stuff like, "here's what an incorrectly threaded device looks like and here is a simple visual clue that warns you that you have it wrong."

4. If possible, address issues that have shown up in the electronic and/or print media. For example, now that the DAV Panorama says there is an orientation in which the Cinch will slip, I would say something like,

"According to the DAV, the following orientation of the device might result in a failure to lock. This position violates our instructions, and in our extensive testing we have been unable to replicate their failure experience, but it is still important to make sure you do not use the device in this manner."

5. Beware of inadvertently reinforcing casual attitudes. Of course, you want to demonstrate how easily the device catches falls. Somehow, this has to be done in a way that still emphasizes the seriousness of falling and the potentially terrible consequences of a belay failure.

I do hope these off-the-top-of-my-head opinions do not sound too presumptuous. I'm sure there are many difficulties involved in providing an appropriate mix of instruction and warning.


maldaly


Jun 24, 2010, 8:49 AM
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thx rgold. Great thoughts. I might quote you!


adatesman


Jun 24, 2010, 9:02 AM
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Partner rgold


Jun 24, 2010, 9:19 AM
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I think the latest Petzl video on Gri-Gri use gets a lot of this "right." They show correct and incorrect methods and end with a review contrasting them

http://www.climbing.com/...ead_belay_technique/

In this regard, it is interesting but not surprising to see the willfullness with which some people ignore the manufacturers attempts to keep their products from killing people. Consider this recent thread on Mountain Project

http://www.mountainproject.com/...ith_grigri/106803013

By my count, a touch under a third of the people expressing a definite opinion feel it is ok to ignore Petzl's explicit warnings and (mis)use the device in precisely the manner Petzl illustrates and warns against.


shoo


Jun 24, 2010, 9:28 AM
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rgold wrote:
By my count, a touch under a third of the people expressing a definite opinion feel it is ok to ignore Petzl's explicit warnings and (mis)use the device in precisely the manner Petzl illustrates and warns against.

That would be the classic "I've been doing it this way for x years, and I haven't died yet."

Some people need to understand the meaning of the phrase "sampling bias."


wmfork


Jun 24, 2010, 9:58 AM
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rgold wrote:
I think the latest Petzl video on Gri-Gri use gets a lot of this "right." They show correct and incorrect methods and end with a review contrasting them.
Except their "correct" methods only work well under far too idealistic conditions, IMO. If you have a less than new rope, a climber that like to yank out slack somewhat unexpectedly, or you can't see the climber, or if the rope didn't get flaked quite right, or despite your best effort, the device still locks up somehow... It's almost like telling people to never excess the speed limit vs driving at the speed of traffic.


vegastradguy


Jun 24, 2010, 10:32 AM
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wmfork wrote:
rgold wrote:
I think the latest Petzl video on Gri-Gri use gets a lot of this "right." They show correct and incorrect methods and end with a review contrasting them.
Except their "correct" methods only work well under far too idealistic conditions, IMO. If you have a less than new rope, a climber that like to yank out slack somewhat unexpectedly, or you can't see the climber, or if the rope didn't get flaked quite right, or despite your best effort, the device still locks up somehow... It's almost like telling people to never excess the speed limit vs driving at the speed of traffic.

Not true- ive been using their correct method for years- long before petal thought it up and ive never had a problem feeding slack out no matter what rope ive got loaded in it.


wmfork


Jun 24, 2010, 10:43 AM
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vegastradguy wrote:
Not true- ive been using their correct method for years- long before petal thought it up and ive never had a problem feeding slack out no matter what rope ive got loaded in it.
I've heard that from more than one person but I've never climbed with one who could using the precise method(s) as depicted from the petzl video (i.e. hands not touching any part of the device most of the time) and feed out slack to my liking.

So, either you are incredibly talented (and all my climbing partners are idiots) or we have very different definition of feeding out slack smoothly.


healyje


Jun 24, 2010, 1:31 PM
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ClimbClimb wrote:
To be clear, my point was that it seems the directions are more complex / advanced than ATC, and may be best suited for more advanced users.

Ditto for the grigri.

And with regard to rgold's list (and yet again):

#6 STFU and belay.

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