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How do you *generally* belay a leader on multipitch?
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Poll: How do you *generally* belay a leader on multipitch?
A) directly off my harness w/o redirecting off the anchor 33 / 35%
B) directly off my harness w/ a redirect off the anchor 47 / 49%
C) directly off the anchor. 11 / 12%
D) other. (please share [:)]) 4 / 4%
95 total votes
 

sbaclimber


Jul 9, 2011, 2:02 AM
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How do you *generally* belay a leader on multipitch?
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It seems to me, that few people belay off the anchor, as recommended by the DAV (german alpine club) and shown in the pic below:

Source: DAV Panorama 2009 vol 3

I, for one, rarely do (I prefer B), and am curious what others out there prefer.
This poll is not meant to imply that anyone only ever sets up a belay as A), B) or C)! It is about what your preferred set up is.
A note regarding B): This setup assumes the leader will not have the option to place good pro immediately after the belay stance. Obviously, if there is a bomber placement next to, or soon after, the anchor, there is little reason to redirect off the anchor.

Here are some Majid-esque drawings to illustrate the 3 options. Please assume the belayer...
a) is wearing a helmet
b) has a 2nd arm in A) and B) holding the brake end of the rope
c) any needed upward-pull opposing pieces/anchor are in place

Sketch C) is meant to be similar to the much better cartoon pic above. Angelic


Edit after Tjin's reply:
All who choose C), if you don't mind, please note if you conscribe to the European, Can-American, or "other" school of climbing anchors.
Thanks Smile


(This post was edited by sbaclimber on Jul 9, 2011, 6:24 AM)
Attachments: dav-belay.JPG (11.2 KB)
  belays.JPG (53.4 KB)


healyje


Jul 9, 2011, 4:33 AM
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Forget the Germans, forget C), both are wacked. A) or B) are fine.


redonkulus


Jul 9, 2011, 4:58 AM
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B, unless there's a good placement within reach from the anchor pretty much. I've never seen anyone use C.


sbaclimber


Jul 9, 2011, 5:10 AM
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healyje wrote:
Forget the Germans, forget C)
Actually, from what I have seen in 6+ years of climbing here "the Germans" don't use C) either. Wink
It is only the alpine club that *recommends* it, fwiw...


Tjin


Jul 9, 2011, 5:27 AM
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The dutch club follows the germans, so they recommend it also. I personally like belaying of the anchor, but choose between styles depending on the situation.


sbaclimber


Jul 9, 2011, 6:24 AM
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Re: [Tjin] How do you *generally* belay a leader on multipitch? [In reply to]
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Tjin wrote:
The dutch club follows the germans, so they recommend it also. I personally like belaying of the anchor, but choose between styles depending on the situation.
Hmmmm, that brings up another question....
I wonder if those do prefer to belay off the anchor (right the moment, there are 2 of you Tongue) are mostly Euros?

All who choose C), if you don't mind, please note if you conscribe to the European, Can-American, or "other" school of climbing anchors. (i.e. are you European?)
Thanks Smile


(This post was edited by sbaclimber on Jul 9, 2011, 6:26 AM)


Tjin


Jul 9, 2011, 6:30 AM
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i'm dutch, climbing in europe, european style anchors.

Not much difference in anchor styles in trad mode or when bolts look unreliable. But when bolts are reliable, we use one bolt to carry the full load, with the second only as a backup. This way you prevent anchors from flipping over, belayer from smashing in to the rock, etc.
But as always i always choose what i do depending on the situation.


billl7


Jul 9, 2011, 6:47 AM
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What you've shown here for 'B' is strong assuming upward pull is not needed or is in place as you say. The redirect is done off the power point incorporating all the good characteristics of an anchor.

At the same time, I find myself realizing that most of my anchors have the power point no higher than my chest and sometimes waist level. In that case, I find it a little tedious to belay with the "first piece protecting the lead" so close to my belay device on my harness.

And yet, at this time, 5 out of 8 folks say they do 'B' as the way they *generally* belay the leader. Really? Or is it that they redirect through a single piece of the anchor which tends to be higher than the power point (and weaker). Or?

Bill L


(This post was edited by billl7 on Jul 9, 2011, 6:49 AM)


billl7


Jul 9, 2011, 6:55 AM
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I usually do 'A' - belay the leader off my harness with no redirect.

Bill L


sbaclimber


Jul 9, 2011, 6:59 AM
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billl7 wrote:
I find myself realizing that most of my anchors have the power point no higher than my chest and sometimes waist level. In that case, I find it a little tedious to belay with the "first piece protecting the lead" so close to my belay device on my harness.
As would anyone. That is one of the reasons I added the "preferred" caveat.

billl7 wrote:
And yet, at this time, 5 out of 8 folks say they do 'B' as the way they *generally* belay the leader. Really? Or is it that they redirect through a single piece of the anchor which tends to be higher than the power point (and weaker).
Good question! I am not sure how others understood the question/answer, but what you describe here (clipping higher single piece of anchor), I would consider to be answer A).


kachoong


Jul 9, 2011, 7:31 AM
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sbaclimber wrote:
billl7 wrote:
And yet, at this time, 5 out of 8 folks say they do 'B' as the way they *generally* belay the leader. Really? Or is it that they redirect through a single piece of the anchor which tends to be higher than the power point (and weaker).
Good question! I am not sure how others understood the question/answer, but what you describe here (clipping higher single piece of anchor), I would consider to be answer A).

Bill is quite realistic in his assessment of the position of the powerpoint. Many will place the masterpoint around chest level, especially on bolted belays, where the bolts are usually well within reach. I chose B but do actually clip just one bolt to redirect through... so I guess that's A, as you say. In the case of a trad anchor I usually, if I can, like to keep the powerpoint high (around head-level, or at least within reach) and so will redirect off a draw or locker in the masterpoint.


sbaclimber


Jul 9, 2011, 7:38 AM
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Re: [kachoong] How do you *generally* belay a leader on multipitch? [In reply to]
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kachoong wrote:
I chose B but do actually clip just one bolt to redirect through... so I guess that's A, as you say.
Not quite. It is neither here nor there.
Tjin also mentioned solid bolts, but this poll is specifically about "trad" anchors. (i.e. not fully bolted anchors)

kachoong wrote:
In the case of a trad anchor...
Yup, you chose B) correctly. Wink


billl7


Jul 9, 2011, 8:15 AM
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kachoong wrote:
In the case of a trad anchor I usually, if I can, like to keep the powerpoint high (around head-level, or at least within reach) and so will redirect off a draw or locker in the masterpoint.

So, that is one answer to my "Or?" ... that most folks are building their power points sufficiently high so that belaying off the harness with redirect through the anchor power point is not so tedious.

Bill L

Edit: now 7 out of 10 redirect off the anchor's power point; other edits too cause I hit send too soon. Blush


(This post was edited by billl7 on Jul 9, 2011, 8:20 AM)


moose_droppings


Jul 9, 2011, 8:38 AM
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Mostly "A".


jt512


Jul 9, 2011, 10:43 AM
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Usually "B" if the anchor is bomber; "A" if it's not. Never "C."

Jay


Partner rgold


Jul 9, 2011, 11:10 AM
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I usually do not redirect. If the anchor is high enough not to mangle my "feeling" hand (chest or eye level is not high enough!) and is unquestionably bombproof, then I'll clip it.

For trad anchors, I feel the potentially much higher loads on the anchor are a worse problem than any of the issues involved in a direct factor-2 catch, but I have the advantage of having made such catches and so know what they are like.

The factor 2 catches I would make are, in some sense, off the anchor. I tie into the anchor snugly with the rope and clip my belay device to the rope knot loop, not my harness belay loop. This means that a factor 2 fall is held on the anchor tie-in rope rather than squishing various body parts and violently pulling the belayer's harness in opposing directions.

With ATC-type devices, palm-up belaying is critical at the beginning of the pitch in order to be in a position to stop a factor-2 fall. And gloves are important if you don't fancy skin grafts for your burns you are likely to get on your hands.


jt512


Jul 9, 2011, 11:44 AM
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rgold wrote:
I usually do not redirect. If the anchor is high enough not to mangle my "feeling" hand (chest or eye level is not high enough!) and is unquestionably bombproof, then I'll clip it.

For trad anchors, I feel the potentially much higher loads on the anchor are a worse problem than any of the issues involved in a direct factor-2 catch, but I have the advantage of having made such catches and so know what they are like.

The factor 2 catches I would make are, in some sense, off the anchor. I tie into the anchor snugly with the rope and clip my belay device to the rope knot loop, not my harness belay loop. This means that a factor 2 fall is held on the anchor tie-in rope rather than squishing various body parts and violently pulling the belayer's harness in opposing directions.

With ATC-type devices, palm-up belaying is critical at the beginning of the pitch in order to be in a position to stop a factor-2 fall. And gloves are important if you don't fancy skin grafts for your burns you are likely to get on your hands.

So, there are at least two of us in the world who realize this.

Jay


rescueman


Jul 9, 2011, 4:08 PM
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I never belay a leader directly off my harness with no redirect, since I'm not interested in catching a FF2 on my gut and risking pulling me off my stance (even though I always belay tight to my anchor).

And I would never use the master point as the first pro for the leader, since that would put something close to a FF2 on the entire belay anchor. If that anchor ripped then we're both going to the deck.

I either use a high and bomber piece of anchor pro or a separate piece of pro to redirect the leader, so a fall will be at most on one piece of a 3-piece anchor and will likely leave me still attached to the rock.

I will occasionally belay off the anchor if there's a good upward piece of pro in a convenient position. This is the preferred method for Northeast climbing guides in the US to avoid having to do a belay escape if there's a problem.

But a good leader should set pro as soon as possible off a belay station and keep setting close until s/he gets some rope out. You can run out the pro higher into the pitch as the FF is much lower.


sbaclimber


Jul 9, 2011, 4:12 PM
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rescueman wrote:
[C)]... is the preferred method for Northeast climbing guides in the US.
Interesting to know that this seems to be a universal "best" practice, which most of us don't actually practice... Angelic


notapplicable


Jul 9, 2011, 5:11 PM
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rescueman wrote:
I either use a high and bomber piece of anchor pro...

If it were anyone else saying this, I would invest the time to explain why this compromises both the anchor and the belayers ability to maintain control of the rope if (when??) that top piece blows, but since it's you...meh


rescueman


Jul 9, 2011, 5:17 PM
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notapplicable wrote:
rescueman wrote:
I either use a high and bomber piece of anchor pro...

If it were anyone else saying this, I would invest the time to explain why this compromises both the anchor and the belayers ability to maintain control of the rope if (when??) that top piece blows, but since it's you...meh

If you really have something constructive to say, then just say it, instead of acting like a jerk.


billl7


Jul 9, 2011, 5:47 PM
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rescueman wrote:
I never belay a leader directly off my harness with no redirect, since I'm not interested in catching a FF2 on my gut and risking pulling me off my stance (even though I always belay tight to my anchor).

And I would never ...
With all due respect, take a step back and relax. You have a lot to learn.

Bill L


Partner rgold


Jul 9, 2011, 5:57 PM
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rescueman wrote:
I never belay a leader directly off my harness with no redirect, since I'm not interested in catching a FF2 on my gut and risking pulling me off my stance (even though I always belay tight to my anchor).

I explained how to keep that from happening.


Bowman_15


Jul 9, 2011, 9:10 PM
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Re: [jt512] How do you *generally* belay a leader on multipitch? [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
rgold wrote:
I usually do not redirect. If the anchor is high enough not to mangle my "feeling" hand (chest or eye level is not high enough!) and is unquestionably bombproof, then I'll clip it.

For trad anchors, I feel the potentially much higher loads on the anchor are a worse problem than any of the issues involved in a direct factor-2 catch, but I have the advantage of having made such catches and so know what they are like.

The factor 2 catches I would make are, in some sense, off the anchor. I tie into the anchor snugly with the rope and clip my belay device to the rope knot loop, not my harness belay loop. This means that a factor 2 fall is held on the anchor tie-in rope rather than squishing various body parts and violently pulling the belayer's harness in opposing directions.

With ATC-type devices, palm-up belaying is critical at the beginning of the pitch in order to be in a position to stop a factor-2 fall. And gloves are important if you don't fancy skin grafts for your burns you are likely to get on your hands.

So, there are at least two of us in the world who realize this.

Jay

Can someone explain why this is?


notapplicable


Jul 9, 2011, 9:22 PM
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Bowman_15 wrote:
jt512 wrote:
rgold wrote:
I usually do not redirect. If the anchor is high enough not to mangle my "feeling" hand (chest or eye level is not high enough!) and is unquestionably bombproof, then I'll clip it.

For trad anchors, I feel the potentially much higher loads on the anchor are a worse problem than any of the issues involved in a direct factor-2 catch, but I have the advantage of having made such catches and so know what they are like.

The factor 2 catches I would make are, in some sense, off the anchor. I tie into the anchor snugly with the rope and clip my belay device to the rope knot loop, not my harness belay loop. This means that a factor 2 fall is held on the anchor tie-in rope rather than squishing various body parts and violently pulling the belayer's harness in opposing directions.

With ATC-type devices, palm-up belaying is critical at the beginning of the pitch in order to be in a position to stop a factor-2 fall. And gloves are important if you don't fancy skin grafts for your burns you are likely to get on your hands.

So, there are at least two of us in the world who realize this.

Jay

Can someone explain why this is?

It's all about mechanical advantage. If you are belay off the harness and the climber falls before clipping any gear, you are going to have to brake upward with your brake hand(s) at chest level. If you start palms down, your brake hand is going to end up in a much weaker orientation compared to if you had started palms up.

Try this real quickly...Bring you closed fists in to your chest as though you were holding a rope and see how they are oriented (fingers facing in). Now reverse them 180 degrees as if you had started off holding the rope palms down (back or your hands facing in and elbows cocked out all crazy). Which do you feel would lend the greater mechanical advantage trying stop a factor 2 fall?

Edited to add: I go palms up until the 2nd piece has been clipped and the revert to palms down because I prefer to belay that way.

Edited a second time to add: Hmmmm, "mechanical advantage" might not have been the best term there. Oh well.


(This post was edited by notapplicable on Jul 9, 2011, 9:32 PM)

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