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Rmsyll2


Feb 7, 2011, 7:50 PM
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Top-belay accident
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A fellow who wanted to practice Trad did so today on a short route. He got to the ledge, and his partner did not want to second, being too cold. The first guy, A., wanted to try making belay anchors for multi-pitch and did so, using three pieces in the face behind. He ran a blue sling from those to his belay loop, letting him stand at the rim. He attached an ATC-type device to his belay loop, and called to his partner, D., to come up. He did, and as he came over the rim, he looked at the belay arrangement and complained about it. Nevertheless, after some discussion D. let A. lower him. As soon as he started down, D. fell 30-40' to land on his back on a large tree root.

Incredibly, D. was not showing any signs of injury, not even a bump on his head. He helped pack up, including bending over to bag his rope; but we did not let him lift anything. His back-pack was carried by A., who had suffered serious rope burns across all surfaces of both hands around the rope, which is probably how D. was able to survive such a fall. That, and his being a career Marine with a back muscled like a boxer.

D. explained that the problem with the rigging was the direct connection of the rope to A., instead of the rope being put through an master-point at the anchor and then through the device, similar to how it is from the ground. My understanding of his point is that making a two-strand pulley divides the force on the device in half. D. said that the device will not hold in that direct alignment, even if "locked off". On D.'s climb up, A. was good about never taking his brake hand off the rope, though his guide hand was off a lot as if resting it.

My assessment finds both at fault, D. for not making sure his belayer knew how to do that under the conditions, and letting him proceed even after seeing there was a problem. I blame the cold and his being tired for his being lax. I don't know what common instructions for top-belay say on this, to know how A. did not know how wrong his method was, as seems obvious with D.'s explanation. Another top-belay that I've seen used a carbiner auto-block, which was not part of this arrangement.

It seemed that A. was deeply affected by nearly killing his buddy, and I've wondered how others involved in accidents go on afterwards. His trying to hold the rope was a help and honorable, but will have caused him some injury that may leave permanent scars; and it will take hospital tests to be sure that D. is as okay as he seemed at the time.

LL
.
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rocknice2


Feb 7, 2011, 8:04 PM
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Re: [Rmsyll2] Top-belay accident [In reply to]
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Rmsyll2 wrote:
A fellow who wanted to practice Trad did so today on a short route. He got to the ledge, and his partner did not want to second, being too cold. The first guy, A., wanted to try making belay anchors for multi-pitch and did so, using three pieces in the face behind. He ran a blue sling from those to his belay loop, letting him stand at the rim. He attached an ATC-type device to his belay loop, and called to his partner, D., to come up. He did, and as he came over the rim, he looked at the belay arrangement and complained about it. Nevertheless, after some discussion D. let A. lower him. As soon as he started down, D. fell 30-40' to land on his back on a large tree root.

Incredibly, D. was not showing any signs of injury, not even a bump on his head. He helped pack up, including bending over to bag his rope; but we did not let him lift anything. His back-pack was carried by A., who had suffered serious rope burns across all surfaces of both hands around the rope, which is probably how D. was able to survive such a fall. That, and his being a career Marine with a back muscled like a boxer.

D. explained that the problem with the rigging was the direct connection of the rope to A., instead of the rope being put through an master-point at the anchor and then through the device, similar to how it is from the ground. My understanding of his point is that making a two-strand pulley divides the force on the device in half. D. said that the device will not hold in that direct alignment, even if "locked off". On D.'s climb up, A. was good about never taking his brake hand off the rope, though his guide hand was off a lot as if resting it.

My assessment finds both at fault, D. for not making sure his belayer knew how to do that under the conditions, and letting him proceed even after seeing there was a problem. I blame the cold and his being tired for his being lax. I don't know what common instructions for top-belay say on this, to know how A. did not know how wrong his method was, as seems obvious with D.'s explanation. Another top-belay that I've seen used a carbiner auto-block, which was not part of this arrangement.

It seemed that A. was deeply affected by nearly killing his buddy, and I've wondered how others involved in accidents go on afterwards. His trying to hold the rope was a help and honorable, but will have caused him some injury that may leave permanent scars; and it will take hospital tests to be sure that D. is as okay as he seemed at the time.

LL
.


Something else went wrong because the 'direct alignment' you mention or belaying off the harness without a redirect will hold a climber.
There is something they did tell you or don't know.
Someone f***ed up and my guess is the belayer.

If the ATC is rigged so the second's rope enters the top and the brake exits out the bottom, a lock off in the upwards direction would have no effect other than the friction of the rope rapping once around a biner.


(This post was edited by rocknice2 on Feb 7, 2011, 8:11 PM)


dugl33


Feb 7, 2011, 9:22 PM
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Re: [Rmsyll2] Top-belay accident [In reply to]
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Based on your description pretty tough to guess what happened. Is it possible the belayer tried to hold the rope with the guide hand rather than the brake hand? Did he let the rope start sliding through his brake hand and lose control of it? Who knows.

Somethings amiss. It's not like climbers have never lowered a struggling second without dropping them.

And I hate to say it, but I'm going to say it anyway. What's up with military climbers, marines in particular? If I had a nickel for every time I saw a semper fi do or die marine doing stupid crap climbing I'd have enough to buy a carne asada 4-way burrito at Juanita's Taqueria.


healyje


Feb 7, 2011, 10:12 PM
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Re: [Rmsyll2] Top-belay accident [In reply to]
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A redirect through the anchor is completely optional. The issue in this incident was A was not competent to the task of lowering D as a belayer and should not have been.


jt512


Feb 7, 2011, 10:22 PM
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Re: [rocknice2] Top-belay accident [In reply to]
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rocknice2 wrote:
Rmsyll2 wrote:
A fellow who wanted to practice Trad did so today on a short route. He got to the ledge, and his partner did not want to second, being too cold. The first guy, A., wanted to try making belay anchors for multi-pitch and did so, using three pieces in the face behind. He ran a blue sling from those to his belay loop, letting him stand at the rim. He attached an ATC-type device to his belay loop, and called to his partner, D., to come up. He did, and as he came over the rim, he looked at the belay arrangement and complained about it. Nevertheless, after some discussion D. let A. lower him. As soon as he started down, D. fell 30-40' to land on his back on a large tree root.

Incredibly, D. was not showing any signs of injury, not even a bump on his head. He helped pack up, including bending over to bag his rope; but we did not let him lift anything. His back-pack was carried by A., who had suffered serious rope burns across all surfaces of both hands around the rope, which is probably how D. was able to survive such a fall. That, and his being a career Marine with a back muscled like a boxer.

D. explained that the problem with the rigging was the direct connection of the rope to A., instead of the rope being put through an master-point at the anchor and then through the device, similar to how it is from the ground. My understanding of his point is that making a two-strand pulley divides the force on the device in half. D. said that the device will not hold in that direct alignment, even if "locked off". On D.'s climb up, A. was good about never taking his brake hand off the rope, though his guide hand was off a lot as if resting it.

My assessment finds both at fault, D. for not making sure his belayer knew how to do that under the conditions, and letting him proceed even after seeing there was a problem. I blame the cold and his being tired for his being lax. I don't know what common instructions for top-belay say on this, to know how A. did not know how wrong his method was, as seems obvious with D.'s explanation. Another top-belay that I've seen used a carbiner auto-block, which was not part of this arrangement.

It seemed that A. was deeply affected by nearly killing his buddy, and I've wondered how others involved in accidents go on afterwards. His trying to hold the rope was a help and honorable, but will have caused him some injury that may leave permanent scars; and it will take hospital tests to be sure that D. is as okay as he seemed at the time.

LL
.


Something else went wrong because the 'direct alignment' you mention or belaying off the harness without a redirect will hold a climber.
There is something they did tell you or don't know.
Someone f***ed up and my guess is the belayer.

This is correct, but we don't have to "guess" that the belayer fucked up, although it's not clear how he fucked up. The only thing that I can think of is that he had both hands on the second's side of the rope, and no hand on the brake side.

In reply to:
If the ATC is rigged so the second's rope enters the top and the brake exits out the bottom, a lock off in the upwards direction would have no effect other than the friction of the rope rapping once around a biner.

This is not correct. If you were to thread the rope through the ATC in the manner you describe, the only correct braking direction would still be upward, because the ATC would rotate 180 degrees, so that the rope to the second would come out the bottom, and the brake strand would come out of the top.

Jay


majid_sabet


Feb 7, 2011, 10:25 PM
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Re: [Rmsyll2] Top-belay accident [In reply to]
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Rmsyll2 wrote:
A fellow who wanted to practice Trad did so today on a short route. He got to the ledge, and his partner did not want to second, being too cold. The first guy, A., wanted to try making belay anchors for multi-pitch and did so, using three pieces in the face behind. He ran a blue sling from those to his belay loop, letting him stand at the rim. He attached an ATC-type device to his belay loop, and called to his partner, D., to come up. He did, and as he came over the rim, he looked at the belay arrangement and complained about it. Nevertheless, after some discussion D. let A. lower him. As soon as he started down, D. fell 30-40' to land on his back on a large tree root.

Incredibly, D. was not showing any signs of injury, not even a bump on his head. He helped pack up, including bending over to bag his rope; but we did not let him lift anything. His back-pack was carried by A., who had suffered serious rope burns across all surfaces of both hands around the rope, which is probably how D. was able to survive such a fall. That, and his being a career Marine with a back muscled like a boxer.

D. explained that the problem with the rigging was the direct connection of the rope to A., instead of the rope being put through an master-point at the anchor and then through the device, similar to how it is from the ground. My understanding of his point is that making a two-strand pulley divides the force on the device in half. D. said that the device will not hold in that direct alignment, even if "locked off". On D.'s climb up, A. was good about never taking his brake hand off the rope, though his guide hand was off a lot as if resting it.

My assessment finds both at fault, D. for not making sure his belayer knew how to do that under the conditions, and letting him proceed even after seeing there was a problem. I blame the cold and his being tired for his being lax. I don't know what common instructions for top-belay say on this, to know how A. did not know how wrong his method was, as seems obvious with D.'s explanation. Another top-belay that I've seen used a carbiner auto-block, which was not part of this arrangement.

It seemed that A. was deeply affected by nearly killing his buddy, and I've wondered how others involved in accidents go on afterwards. His trying to hold the rope was a help and honorable, but will have caused him some injury that may leave permanent scars; and it will take hospital tests to be sure that D. is as okay as he seemed at the time.

LL
.

belay off harness with ATC when you have a solid anchor behind you is stupid. I said this a 100 times and OPs post was another example of a disaster waiting to happen.

other options
see image




(This post was edited by majid_sabet on Feb 7, 2011, 10:38 PM)


jt512


Feb 7, 2011, 10:27 PM
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majid_sabet wrote:
Rmsyll2 wrote:
A fellow who wanted to practice Trad did so today on a short route. He got to the ledge, and his partner did not want to second, being too cold. The first guy, A., wanted to try making belay anchors for multi-pitch and did so, using three pieces in the face behind. He ran a blue sling from those to his belay loop, letting him stand at the rim. He attached an ATC-type device to his belay loop, and called to his partner, D., to come up. He did, and as he came over the rim, he looked at the belay arrangement and complained about it. Nevertheless, after some discussion D. let A. lower him. As soon as he started down, D. fell 30-40' to land on his back on a large tree root.

Incredibly, D. was not showing any signs of injury, not even a bump on his head. He helped pack up, including bending over to bag his rope; but we did not let him lift anything. His back-pack was carried by A., who had suffered serious rope burns across all surfaces of both hands around the rope, which is probably how D. was able to survive such a fall. That, and his being a career Marine with a back muscled like a boxer.

D. explained that the problem with the rigging was the direct connection of the rope to A., instead of the rope being put through an master-point at the anchor and then through the device, similar to how it is from the ground. My understanding of his point is that making a two-strand pulley divides the force on the device in half. D. said that the device will not hold in that direct alignment, even if "locked off". On D.'s climb up, A. was good about never taking his brake hand off the rope, though his guide hand was off a lot as if resting it.

My assessment finds both at fault, D. for not making sure his belayer knew how to do that under the conditions, and letting him proceed even after seeing there was a problem. I blame the cold and his being tired for his being lax. I don't know what common instructions for top-belay say on this, to know how A. did not know how wrong his method was, as seems obvious with D.'s explanation. Another top-belay that I've seen used a carbiner auto-block, which was not part of this arrangement.

It seemed that A. was deeply affected by nearly killing his buddy, and I've wondered how others involved in accidents go on afterwards. His trying to hold the rope was a help and honorable, but will have caused him some injury that may leave permanent scars; and it will take hospital tests to be sure that D. is as okay as he seemed at the time.

LL
.

belay off harness with ATC when you have a solid anchor behind you is stupid. I said this a 100 times and here is why

What makes you think his anchor was solid?

Jay


jt512


Feb 7, 2011, 10:30 PM
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Re: [healyje] Top-belay accident [In reply to]
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healyje wrote:
A redirect through the anchor is completely optional. The issue in this incident was A was not competent to the task of lowering D as a belayer and should not have been.

Lowering a climber directly off your harness is not an option I'd choose, unless the climber was very light or the distance to lower very small. Although it's possible to do, it isn't very pleasant.

Jay


(This post was edited by jt512 on Feb 7, 2011, 10:39 PM)


notapplicable


Feb 7, 2011, 10:37 PM
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Re: [Rmsyll2] Top-belay accident [In reply to]
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Belaying directly off the harness as shown in the picture is a perfectly fine and viable option and I do so regularly. You do have to be careful not to lower a heavier climber too fast though, because it could be hard to regain control with a lower friction device like the standard ATC pictured.

That said, redirecting is often the more advantageous option unless the anchor is suspect or the belayer decides to extend themselves away from the anchor for some reason.


majid_sabet


Feb 7, 2011, 10:41 PM
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Re: [jt512] Top-belay accident [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
Rmsyll2 wrote:
A fellow who wanted to practice Trad did so today on a short route. He got to the ledge, and his partner did not want to second, being too cold. The first guy, A., wanted to try making belay anchors for multi-pitch and did so, using three pieces in the face behind. He ran a blue sling from those to his belay loop, letting him stand at the rim. He attached an ATC-type device to his belay loop, and called to his partner, D., to come up. He did, and as he came over the rim, he looked at the belay arrangement and complained about it. Nevertheless, after some discussion D. let A. lower him. As soon as he started down, D. fell 30-40' to land on his back on a large tree root.

Incredibly, D. was not showing any signs of injury, not even a bump on his head. He helped pack up, including bending over to bag his rope; but we did not let him lift anything. His back-pack was carried by A., who had suffered serious rope burns across all surfaces of both hands around the rope, which is probably how D. was able to survive such a fall. That, and his being a career Marine with a back muscled like a boxer.

D. explained that the problem with the rigging was the direct connection of the rope to A., instead of the rope being put through an master-point at the anchor and then through the device, similar to how it is from the ground. My understanding of his point is that making a two-strand pulley divides the force on the device in half. D. said that the device will not hold in that direct alignment, even if "locked off". On D.'s climb up, A. was good about never taking his brake hand off the rope, though his guide hand was off a lot as if resting it.

My assessment finds both at fault, D. for not making sure his belayer knew how to do that under the conditions, and letting him proceed even after seeing there was a problem. I blame the cold and his being tired for his being lax. I don't know what common instructions for top-belay say on this, to know how A. did not know how wrong his method was, as seems obvious with D.'s explanation. Another top-belay that I've seen used a carbiner auto-block, which was not part of this arrangement.

It seemed that A. was deeply affected by nearly killing his buddy, and I've wondered how others involved in accidents go on afterwards. His trying to hold the rope was a help and honorable, but will have caused him some injury that may leave permanent scars; and it will take hospital tests to be sure that D. is as okay as he seemed at the time.

LL
.

belay off harness with ATC when you have a solid anchor behind you is stupid. I said this a 100 times and here is why

What makes you think his anchor was solid?

Jay

Three pieces in on trad and not building a solid anchor?

if thats the case, these guys should not even climb.


patto


Feb 7, 2011, 10:43 PM
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Re: [jt512] Top-belay accident [In reply to]
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Belaying off the harness with no redirect is standard practice where I climb. It is perfectly functional though not entirely plesant to lower a climber from this position.

Most of the time though I just use a Reverso off the anchor.


(This post was edited by patto on Feb 7, 2011, 10:45 PM)


jt512


Feb 7, 2011, 10:43 PM
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majid_sabet wrote:
jt512 wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
Rmsyll2 wrote:
A fellow who wanted to practice Trad did so today on a short route. He got to the ledge, and his partner did not want to second, being too cold. The first guy, A., wanted to try making belay anchors for multi-pitch and did so, using three pieces in the face behind. He ran a blue sling from those to his belay loop, letting him stand at the rim. He attached an ATC-type device to his belay loop, and called to his partner, D., to come up. He did, and as he came over the rim, he looked at the belay arrangement and complained about it. Nevertheless, after some discussion D. let A. lower him. As soon as he started down, D. fell 30-40' to land on his back on a large tree root.

Incredibly, D. was not showing any signs of injury, not even a bump on his head. He helped pack up, including bending over to bag his rope; but we did not let him lift anything. His back-pack was carried by A., who had suffered serious rope burns across all surfaces of both hands around the rope, which is probably how D. was able to survive such a fall. That, and his being a career Marine with a back muscled like a boxer.

D. explained that the problem with the rigging was the direct connection of the rope to A., instead of the rope being put through an master-point at the anchor and then through the device, similar to how it is from the ground. My understanding of his point is that making a two-strand pulley divides the force on the device in half. D. said that the device will not hold in that direct alignment, even if "locked off". On D.'s climb up, A. was good about never taking his brake hand off the rope, though his guide hand was off a lot as if resting it.

My assessment finds both at fault, D. for not making sure his belayer knew how to do that under the conditions, and letting him proceed even after seeing there was a problem. I blame the cold and his being tired for his being lax. I don't know what common instructions for top-belay say on this, to know how A. did not know how wrong his method was, as seems obvious with D.'s explanation. Another top-belay that I've seen used a carbiner auto-block, which was not part of this arrangement.

It seemed that A. was deeply affected by nearly killing his buddy, and I've wondered how others involved in accidents go on afterwards. His trying to hold the rope was a help and honorable, but will have caused him some injury that may leave permanent scars; and it will take hospital tests to be sure that D. is as okay as he seemed at the time.

LL
.

belay off harness with ATC when you have a solid anchor behind you is stupid. I said this a 100 times and here is why

What makes you think his anchor was solid?

Jay

Three pieces in on trad and not building a solid anchor?

if thats the case, these guys should not even climb.

Well, if he can't even lower the guy, he shouldn't even climb; and if he can't even lower the guy, I'm sure not going to automatically assume he knows how to build an anchor.

Jay


majid_sabet


Feb 7, 2011, 10:47 PM
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jt512 wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
jt512 wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
Rmsyll2 wrote:
A fellow who wanted to practice Trad did so today on a short route. He got to the ledge, and his partner did not want to second, being too cold. The first guy, A., wanted to try making belay anchors for multi-pitch and did so, using three pieces in the face behind. He ran a blue sling from those to his belay loop, letting him stand at the rim. He attached an ATC-type device to his belay loop, and called to his partner, D., to come up. He did, and as he came over the rim, he looked at the belay arrangement and complained about it. Nevertheless, after some discussion D. let A. lower him. As soon as he started down, D. fell 30-40' to land on his back on a large tree root.

Incredibly, D. was not showing any signs of injury, not even a bump on his head. He helped pack up, including bending over to bag his rope; but we did not let him lift anything. His back-pack was carried by A., who had suffered serious rope burns across all surfaces of both hands around the rope, which is probably how D. was able to survive such a fall. That, and his being a career Marine with a back muscled like a boxer.

D. explained that the problem with the rigging was the direct connection of the rope to A., instead of the rope being put through an master-point at the anchor and then through the device, similar to how it is from the ground. My understanding of his point is that making a two-strand pulley divides the force on the device in half. D. said that the device will not hold in that direct alignment, even if "locked off". On D.'s climb up, A. was good about never taking his brake hand off the rope, though his guide hand was off a lot as if resting it.

My assessment finds both at fault, D. for not making sure his belayer knew how to do that under the conditions, and letting him proceed even after seeing there was a problem. I blame the cold and his being tired for his being lax. I don't know what common instructions for top-belay say on this, to know how A. did not know how wrong his method was, as seems obvious with D.'s explanation. Another top-belay that I've seen used a carbiner auto-block, which was not part of this arrangement.

It seemed that A. was deeply affected by nearly killing his buddy, and I've wondered how others involved in accidents go on afterwards. His trying to hold the rope was a help and honorable, but will have caused him some injury that may leave permanent scars; and it will take hospital tests to be sure that D. is as okay as he seemed at the time.

LL
.

belay off harness with ATC when you have a solid anchor behind you is stupid. I said this a 100 times and here is why

What makes you think his anchor was solid?

Jay

Three pieces in on trad and not building a solid anchor?

if thats the case, these guys should not even climb.

Well, if he can't even lower the guy, he shouldn't even climb; and if he can't even lower the guy, I'm sure not going to automatically assume he knows how to build an anchor.

Jay

ohh man, this was 3/4 of a fatality report that did not happen.


jt512


Feb 7, 2011, 10:47 PM
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Re: [patto] Top-belay accident [In reply to]
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patto wrote:
Belaying off the harness with no redirect is standard practice where I climb. It is perfectly functional though not entirely plesant to lower a climber from this position.

So it's "standard practice" where you climb for everybody to torture themselves by hanging 170 pounds of dead weight directly off their waist for no good reason? I'm going to remember this the next time you bring up your local standard practices.

Jay


patto


Feb 7, 2011, 11:13 PM
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jt512 wrote:
So it's "standard practice" where you climb for everybody to torture themselves by hanging 170 pounds of dead weight directly off their waist for no good reason? I'm going to remember this the next time you bring up your local standard practices.

Who said anything about putting the weight on your waist? Set up the anchor properly and have the anchor take the load.

The reason? Well if the anchor is low and back from the edge then a re-direct is vastly inferior.


vegastradguy


Feb 7, 2011, 11:21 PM
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Re: [patto] Top-belay accident [In reply to]
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patto wrote:
jt512 wrote:
So it's "standard practice" where you climb for everybody to torture themselves by hanging 170 pounds of dead weight directly off their waist for no good reason? I'm going to remember this the next time you bring up your local standard practices.

Who said anything about putting the weight on your waist? Set up the anchor properly and have the anchor take the load.

The reason? Well if the anchor is low and back from the edge then a re-direct is vastly inferior.

um, you did?

if you set yourself up so the anchor takes the load, then you might as well hang the device on the anchor. your body doesnt belong in the equation.


jt512


Feb 7, 2011, 11:22 PM
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patto wrote:
jt512 wrote:
So it's "standard practice" where you climb for everybody to torture themselves by hanging 170 pounds of dead weight directly off their waist for no good reason? I'm going to remember this the next time you bring up your local standard practices.

Who said anything about putting the weight on your waist?

The OP, for starters; look at the picture. And you. You said what is standard practice is "belaying off the harness without a redirect." Now you're saying have the anchor take the load. But it can't, by definition, if you're belaying off the harness without a redirect.

Jay


patto


Feb 7, 2011, 11:49 PM
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Re: [jt512] Top-belay accident [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
You said what is standard practice is "belaying off the harness without a redirect." Now you're saying have the anchor take the load. But it can't, by definition, if you're belaying off the harness without a redirect.

You certainly can.
-Belay biner through harness with ATC. Hence belaying off harness, no redirect.
-Anchor attached to belay biner without slack. Hence anchor takes load.


(The picture show a similar setup but the person in the picture is using 2 separate biners. This works but is less elegant since it relies on the belay loop to transfer the load.)


healyje


Feb 8, 2011, 12:23 AM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Top-belay accident [In reply to]
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I don't belay off anchors ever and dislike redirecting most of the time. When I hear that's the norm then my guess is people are doing a lot of dogging and that's the real reason for belaying off the anchor.

But this incident has nothing to do with either belaying off the anchor or redirecting - this is strictly a case of someone belaying in a circumstance and situation where they shouldn't have been belaying. They most likely just brought the two rope strands together in front of them and gravity did the rest. From the sound of it both D and A were in over their heads and experience level for this incident to have occurred as it did.


Lbrombach


Feb 8, 2011, 5:57 AM
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Re: [patto] Top-belay accident [In reply to]
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patto wrote:
jt512 wrote:
You said what is standard practice is "belaying off the harness without a redirect." Now you're saying have the anchor take the load. But it can't, by definition, if you're belaying off the harness without a redirect.

You certainly can.
-Belay biner through harness with ATC. Hence belaying off harness, no redirect.
-Anchor attached to belay biner without slack. Hence anchor takes load.


(The picture show a similar setup but the person in the picture is using 2 separate biners. This works but is less elegant since it relies on the belay loop to transfer the load.)

I get what your saying, and that's my preference...perhaps because I spend so much time belaying from the bottom that I'm just more comfortable with the device attached to the same place, and if I should slip there's no chance of me getting disoriented or whatever and losing track of where the belay is. Can't beat a reverso from the top, IMO, but I suppose if I had to use and ATC I'd look for a redirect but still belay from my loop.


shockabuku


Feb 8, 2011, 6:17 AM
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Re: [healyje] Top-belay accident [In reply to]
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healyje wrote:
I don't belay off anchors ever and dislike redirecting most of the time. When I hear that's the norm then my guess is people are doing a lot of dogging and that's the real reason for belaying off the anchor.

But this incident has nothing to do with either belaying off the anchor or redirecting - this is strictly a case of someone belaying in a circumstance and situation where they shouldn't have been belaying. They most likely just brought the two rope strands together in front of them and gravity did the rest. From the sound of it both D and A were in over their heads and experience level for this incident to have occurred as it did.

I'd guess this is the case also. Probably A. had never belayed from above and thought the ATC would continue to brake when he held the brake strand below the device as opposed to above it.


shockabuku


Feb 8, 2011, 6:23 AM
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Re: [dugl33] Top-belay accident [In reply to]
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dugl33 wrote:
What's up with military climbers, marines in particular?

Climbing isn't a critical skill for most military organizations. Often service members will learn how to rappel as part of team building or confidence building training and, being typical people, they extend one idea into the next, not having any idea of the danger they are incurring. Another contributing factor is that they're generally aggressive and adventurous enough to try it.


Rmsyll2


Feb 8, 2011, 6:42 AM
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Re: [Rmsyll2] Top-belay accident [In reply to]
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A question has been raised about the ability of the belayer to make a proper anchor, as indicating general competence: see Att'd.

The rigging used relied on the belay loop with two carabiners not directly connected. I do not know the usual kN for those, but it is usually relied on. I don't see that as an issue here.

Majid's drawing seems to show two ways to make a redirect belay; but some posters do not use that, doing it as in the first photo. I think now that an ATC is good only for rappelling, however many do use it for belay. A Reverso now seems much better for belay. Both are always a two-strand pulley, so a redirect makes a four-strand pulley?

I suspect now that the accident was directly belayer error, not coordinating his hands correctly to lower under device control, however it was rigged; but that will not be known. I still don't know what should be done for a safe, reliable top-belay. Any method works perfectly -- until a climber falls.

LL
.
Attachments: ThreePoint1 sm.jpg (93.0 KB)


shoo


Feb 8, 2011, 6:51 AM
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Re: [shockabuku] Top-belay accident [In reply to]
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For the sake of discussion of this particular incident, let's leave out the military vs civilian climber discussion. That belongs in a different thread altogether.



It should be obvious that either a redirect off the anchor or a guide block device direct from the anchor are vastly superior to a direct from harness belay in the vast majority of scenarios. However, there is still no excuse to drop someone while lowering. When belaying directly from your harness from above the climber, the brake direction is up, not down. I suspect that this was not well understood by the belayer, which was the primary cause of the accident.


shoo


Feb 8, 2011, 6:54 AM
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Re: [Rmsyll2] Top-belay accident [In reply to]
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Rmsyll2 wrote:
I think now that an ATC is good only for rappelling, however many do use it for belay. A Reverso now seems much better for belay. Both are always a two-strand pulley, so a redirect makes a four-strand pulley?

Wrong lesson.

Rmsyll2 wrote:
I suspect now that the accident was directly belayer error, not coordinating his hands correctly to lower under device control, however it was rigged; but that will not be known. I still don't know what should be done for a safe, reliable top-belay. Any method works perfectly -- until a climber falls.

LL
.

Right lesson.

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