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dynosi


Nov 15, 2001, 7:53 AM
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Automated belay devices?
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As part of a final year university project I am researching belay devises. Which devise(s) do you use and why? What do people know about automatic belay devises, have you encountered one? Would you use one? What features would it have to have for you to trust it? Any comments would be very much appreciated. Thankyou.


wigglestick


Nov 15, 2001, 8:08 AM
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For aid climbing I use a Grigri and for everything else I use a reverso. I saw an automatic belay system set up at a portable wall at a county fair this summer. It was a cable which advanced automatically when the climber ascended. I think it kind of pulls on you the entire time and it looked like downclimbing, or getting any kind of slack would not be possible. I think it was just a way for 3 people to climb and only one person could work there. Looked like a lawyers dream to me.


bart


Nov 15, 2001, 8:15 AM
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For toprope (indoor and outdoor) I use an eight and sometimes an ATC (Variable rope controller, Wild Country). For lead climbing (outside) I use my ATC and sometimes a Munter Hitch.


dynosi


Nov 15, 2001, 8:18 AM
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Thanz very much for the info wigglestick. I use a grigri here in the UK, but have not heard of a reverso. Could you please enlighten me as to how the reverso works, is it a simple ATC/sticht plate/...setup or a mechanical devise? Cheers dynosi


dynosi


Nov 15, 2001, 8:24 AM
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Cheers bart. A munter hitch hey...are you not concerned over rope ware? Any particular reason why you use this dated method if you already have a devise? cheers man


wigglestick


Nov 15, 2001, 8:43 AM
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The Reverso is made my Petzl, the same company that makes the grigri. When you are belaying people on lead it works just like an ATC or other tube type device. But the magic happens when you are at the top of the pitch and are belaying your second up. You can set it up on the anchors in a type of autolock mode which will catch the second should he/she fall (But still never take your brake hand off!!!!) This makes it easy to escape the belay should an emergency arise. It can also be used as an emergency ascender. Very useful and very smooth also. Smoother than an ATC, in my opinion.


woodse


Nov 15, 2001, 8:52 AM
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I too use the reverso and have the same stuff to say about it as wiggle. I've heard about auto belay devices.....nothing good.


greatgarbanzo


Nov 15, 2001, 10:16 AM
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I dont like this things... they make you lazy and usually work in a non dynamic way so they overload anchors... i use a gri-gri only for bolting and you guys should know that the figure eight is way to insecure and its a museum peace that should not be use any longer


paulc


Nov 15, 2001, 10:21 AM
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Most of the truely automated belay systems are only for the average public who doesn't hang or downclimb even to a rest. I use a Gri-gri and an ATC. Gri-gris work great as an autolocking belay device, I think that they are also much easier to unlock once weighted. I think although I have never tried it, that if you use a reverso in the top anchor/autolock position that when it locks up you may have a hell of a time getting it to unlock. Especially if the person that you are holding is much heavier than you.

Perhaps someone who has used one can attest to this (or contradict me)

Gri-gris only drawbacks are that they are heavy and that they are $$$$$

Paul


wigglestick


Nov 15, 2001, 10:41 AM
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Paulc, you are right about the reverso. It is difficult to lower somebody who has fallen when used in autolocking mode. But it can be done once you know how to rig it right. It is not as easy as a grigri but it has not really been a problem so far. But you can rapell with it better than you can with a grigri. So you only have to carry one device. (I know that you can set things up to rappell with a grigri, but I don't like to do it.)
Garbonzo is also right that using the reverso does eliminate some of the dynamic catching ability because when the second falls they go straight to the anchor rather than lifting the belayer a little before stopping. But then you have the weight of both people on the anchors rather than just one. Not a big deal but I don't think the added dynamic ability really makes much of a difference. I think the ability to easily escape a belay and have an emergency ascender with you and still be able to belay the leader and rappell just as well as you can with an ATC device, and have this all rolled into one lightweight device is well worth all the other compromises. Just my opinion though.


hardcoredana


Nov 15, 2001, 10:42 AM
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Here's the scoop on the autobelay system: It's an air/oil shock system attached to a pulley system and is installed behind the climbing wall. It allows a climber to climb by themselves. THe difference between and auto-belay and a self-belay device, like the gri-gri, is that on an auto-belay, no one does the belaying, not even the climber. Wigglestick, you are correct in saying that it constantly pulls up on the climber; at any given point in the climb, the system will take away 10% or more of the climber's weight. Downclimbing is a joke.

Several companies make autobelays. THe one that I know of is Action Amusement, whose distributor is Nicros.

http://www.actionamusementinc.com/

Let's talk about the changing face of climbing. If some of you out there believe that bolting outdoor climbs takes away from true nature of climbing, think about the implications of the autobelay system. If more gyms start installing the systems (Vertical Endeavors in Warrenville has eighteen autobelays), then more and more newbie climbers will not even understand the importance of learning how to belay. THese new climbers will not even have to understand how to take basic responsibility for their own safety.



eclarke98


Nov 15, 2001, 10:49 AM
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I use a Black Diamond ATC because that's what I was taught to belay with. I never used an automated belay device because I've never had any need to. If you can belay properly with a ATC or other low-tech belay device then that's probably best. The only reason I could see spending the extra money and having the extra weight and bulkiness for an automated device is if you're lazy or are climbing with someone you don't trust. But then again since I haven't used one I don't really know how convenient they are.


paulc


Nov 15, 2001, 12:02 PM
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Hey now, don't dis the gri-gri at least. For sport belaying where the climber may hang a lot it is the bomb!!!!!! You know that cramped feeling you get in your hand when holding a climber when they are hanging for a long time??? You don't get any of that with a gri-gri.

Expensive but really good for belaying people that are hanging on routes working out sequences.

Oh yeah wiggle, I don't rappel with a gri-gri. The instructions explicitly say not to rappel with it. You could do it if you needed with a biner at the top of the climb, but I carry a ATC as well,so I just use that. Of course you can alway use the biner brake right.
Paul

[ This Message was edited by: paulc on 2001-11-15 12:04 ]


beta


Nov 15, 2001, 3:03 PM
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If I aid climbed, I would probably use a gri-gri. I use eights and ATC's, I like the simplicity of them , no moving parts, light, versatile, little rope twist with the ATC, relatively inexpensive to replace!!!!! It seems that there is always someone who wants to "build a better mousetrap", friction belay devices work.

My .02C worth,

Jeff (ex-pat Brit), cheers mate.



mnutz


Nov 15, 2001, 5:56 PM
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About 75% of my climbing is solo. I use a Wren Industries Silent Partner for this.

This is an incredible device. It works very smoothly for leading, and is good for solo top-rope also. I have been using it about once a week for a year now and have never had a problem with it. It is expensive, but there is no other product on the market like it.


ecchastang


Nov 15, 2001, 6:07 PM
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my brother(anamoly) also uses the silent partner alot and has taken 20 ft falls on it. He loves it, I just use the BD ATC.

Eric


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