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bearbreeder


Sep 18, 2011, 6:21 PM
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mammut alpine smart review
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this is for the 9.2-10.5mm version ...

the alpine smart is mammuts new assisted locking device, based on the smart, it is different from that and the gri gri/cinch in that there are 2 channels, so you can do 2 strand rappels with it

ive had the alpine smart since the start of aug, having used it ~5 days a week since then on everything from multipitch, trad/sport cragging, multi rappels, etc ... i bought it in canmore for ~40$ canadian ... i am neither sponsored by dead elephant, or a fanboy of their gear, the device was not provided by those damn elephants either

notes

- assisted locking ... the locking is basically automatic, though you should keep yr brake hand on ... the catch is no different from a gri gri/cinch that ive noticed ... supposedly theres a softer catch due to some allowed slip, but i have not noticed this ... i have fallen and caught falls on trad and sport on it

- feeding out rope ... this is good and bad ... if you have a 9.8 or less mm rope, the smart works wonderfully, i find it easier to feed than my 1st gen gri gri ... however on stiffer or thicker ropes, especially beyond 10mm, feeding can be a bit of a pain ... the way you feed it is by pulling the handle away from yr body and pulling the rope through ...i find more intuitive than a gri gri as yr hand is basically on the brake the entire time ... you rope MUST be flaked out or layed out smoothly, with my ATC guide i could get away ganking the rope through even if its a bit tangled ... cant do that with this device

- taking in rope ... same issues as feeding with rope diameter ...

- autoblock ... similar to guide or reverso .. however read the instructions as the setup is not exactly the same ... same isues with rope diameter as with feeding out the rope ... lowering off autoblock is still a bit of a pain, but the handle does give more leverage ... backup with a munter

- weight ... lighter than a gri gri ... it is bulkier than an ATC

- biner ... use a wide HMS biner ... small lockers will cause feeding issues ... also take care that the biner does not turn narrow side up on you ... that can be a pain to correct with the alpine smart ...

- rapelling ... 2 words ... it sucks ... it is not as intuitive to rappel as with an ATC, definately jerkier ... what you basically need to do if you have shorter arms like me is bring yr elbow to your body and push the handle up/out ... and find the sweet spot ... forget about rapelling on stiffer 10mm+ ropes ... i had to bounce up and down to going ... on the positive side, i dont use a prussik with it, even though dead elephant recommends one ... i just hold the strands lightly with my hand if i need to go "hands free" ... rappels better with thinner ropes ... also note that you CANT rappel on say a 9.5mm and a 8mm tag line without going single line rap

- lowering ... not bad ... takes a try or two to get used to but no worse than my gri gri IMO

- price ... depends how you look at it ... for a gri gri substitute its cheap at half the price ... for an ATC replacement its expensive at 1.5-2x more

** the bottom line .***

why do i still keep on using it with all the issues???

because its ASSISTED LOCKING ... there have been incidents where "experienced" climbers have dropped people ... i dont want to become a dropper or droppee ...

in areas with rockfall issues such as the rockies, havint the belayer always using the smart, and the leader top belaying with a guide in autoblock effectively takes care of the belayer knocked out by rock possibility

for sport climbing with thinner ropes, its quite wonderful, and as good as a gri gri IMO for those hang doggers and repeated whippers

for trad it saves using a prussik when cleaning on rappels

with newer belayers (or older ones) it provides a bit more of a margin of safety as long as they know how to use the device properly ... im sure some people will bleat about belayer should be able to belay you no matter what ... i agree, but then ill hook ya up with a 100 lb girl on an 18 pitch climb on a thinner rope with an ATC ... and see how brave you feel that shell catch yr 200 lb body especially at the end of the day when everyone is cold tired and hungry ... you can of course choose not to climb with said hawt 100 lb girl, but a 200 lb one ;)

at the end of the day i consider it a good gri gri substitue for cragging, and a mediocre ATC guide/reverso one for multipitch unless you are in a rockfall area or really want the assisted lock (which i do)

if you do use it ... use it with a big binner and a supple < 10mm rope ... preferably < 9,8mm

thanks


Partner rgold


Sep 18, 2011, 10:20 PM
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Re: [bearbreeder] mammut alpine smart review [In reply to]
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BB, I've tried the Alpine version for many of the reasons you mention---of course, for half ropes, there is no gri-gri alternative. My perceptions are pretty much the same as yours, except that the drawbacks in feeding out rope are exacerbated when you have two ropes to manage, one of which may need to be taken in while the other is paid out.

The one thing I really disliked was rappelling. I found it became strenuous to keep the device pried open, without being certain that it would consistently lock (did you try it out near the bottom of the rap with very low rope weight?) I found it jerky. But worst of all, it tangled the hell out of my ropes (Mammut Genesis 8.5's) The tangling was just about a deal-breaker; I'll probably sell it.

Although not a locking device, I have high hopes for Jim Titt's Chicane, if DMM actually ever manages to produce it.

I'm going to try the alpine UP too...


bearbreeder


Sep 19, 2011, 8:33 AM
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Re: [rgold] mammut alpine smart review [In reply to]
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rgold ...

i have not notice any lack of locking at the end of rappels down to a 9.5mm rope ... i have however noticed it is very jerky rapping from a full 60m rap on 10mm ropes with the smart ... have you tried extending yours on a leash?

i was looking to try out the smaller smart for my double/twins 8mm ... but i may just stick to me reverso/guide

thnks


(This post was edited by bearbreeder on Sep 19, 2011, 8:34 AM)


aprice00


Sep 19, 2011, 9:13 AM
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Re: [bearbreeder] mammut alpine smart review [In reply to]
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I looked at one of these in the past and kept thinking that if the hook on the handle caught on anything that it would hold in the open position.
Since you have actually used it, is this a logical concern?


sp115


Sep 19, 2011, 10:00 AM
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Re: [aprice00] mammut alpine smart review [In reply to]
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aprice00 wrote:
I looked at one of these in the past and kept thinking that if the hook on the handle caught on anything that it would hold in the open position.
Since you have actually used it, is this a logical concern?

Doesn't appear to be a concern based on my use (since April). Also haven't had any rope twisting issues either and I'm using Mammut Genesis as well. Seems odd?


patto


Sep 19, 2011, 2:39 PM
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Re: [rgold] mammut alpine smart review [In reply to]
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rgold wrote:
Although not a locking device, I have high hopes for Jim Titt's Chicane, if DMM actually ever manages to produce it.

Same here. It looks like your wait is over rgold.
http://dmmclimbing.com/products/chicane/
http://www.mountaingear.com/...G/item/225483/N/1027


I'm waiting out for a guide version of the Chicane as replacement for my original reverso. I think I might still be waiting a while though. Unimpressed


(This post was edited by patto on Sep 19, 2011, 2:42 PM)


JimTitt


Sep 19, 2011, 2:52 PM
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Re: [patto] mammut alpine smart review [In reply to]
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Well yes, it could be a while!
The guide plate bit is technically a problem though because if you imagine that on a normal device in guide mode the strand you are pulling on as a belayer runs through the Vee grooves, make these twice as effective and you need to be superman to take the rope in!
I am working on it though but got distracted by a similar concept to the Smart Alpine, the width of two ropes and the side plates makes a lot of problems. Unless you make a gigantic karabiner especially for the device it all gets so cramped in you start getting poor handling as has been observed above.

Jim


bearbreeder


Sep 19, 2011, 8:46 PM
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Re: [aprice00] mammut alpine smart review [In reply to]
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aprice00 wrote:
I looked at one of these in the past and kept thinking that if the hook on the handle caught on anything that it would hold in the open position.
Since you have actually used it, is this a logical concern?

Ive had no issue wih the handle catching

Yr brake hand is by default on the handle/brake anyways ... So i dont see it as a problem


patto


Sep 20, 2011, 7:36 AM
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JimTitt wrote:
Well yes, it could be a while!
The guide plate bit is technically a problem though because if you imagine that on a normal device in guide mode the strand you are pulling on as a belayer runs through the Vee grooves, make these twice as effective and you need to be superman to take the rope in!
I am working on it though but got distracted by a similar concept to the Smart Alpine, the width of two ropes and the side plates makes a lot of problems. Unless you make a gigantic karabiner especially for the device it all gets so cramped in you start getting poor handling as has been observed above.

Jim

Oh well, I guess I'll have to just buy the current Chicane! Tongue I think I have an old Kong Gigi lying around somewhere that works very smoothly for bring up seconds.

I was meaning to ask you. How does the friction factor compare? Is it up there with the munter?


(This post was edited by patto on Sep 20, 2011, 7:36 AM)


bearbreeder


Oct 20, 2011, 12:45 PM
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just wanted to update ... i switched from a BD rocklock to a DMM boa with a huge radius ... and it makes rapping a lot smoother ...


bearbreeder


May 18, 2012, 7:48 AM
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an update on the alpine smart ...

- this thing rocks for autoblock ... it pulls through rope WAY easier than a guide or reverso in that mode ....

- i picked up the one for double ropes .... i find it works fine on 8mm mammut phoenix

i use this thing almost exclusively on multi now where i use thinner ropes anyways and where rock fall is more of a concern

as to rapping ...i did the royal arches raps with it ... somewhere around 10 double length raps .... it worked just fine


amarius


Jan 10, 2013, 10:41 AM
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Say, any tips on smooth lowering?

I found it quite jerky on beat-up gym ropes. My work-around was the following - push the horn up a bit more than usual, use the other hand for braking modulation


bearbreeder


Jan 10, 2013, 12:00 PM
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Re: [amarius] mammut alpine smart review [In reply to]
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i updated my review on MP, dont know why i missed doing it here

for smooth operation i highly recommend you

- use the petzl william biner which works best, the DMM boa i used previously works well until it wears down to a sharp edge because of its i-beam weight saving technology .... the petzl is a round stock biner which will last longer

- for lowering i push up with my left like you and just let it slide through my right hand ... i have found it smoother than a gri gri in general for lowering

- for smooth rapping same thing ... i push up with the left and basically lock my left elbow to my stomach ... with the right hand on the brake, and just sit down





just as an update ... after using it for 2 seasons ...

- it is not a true "autolock" ... it is very rare, but depending on the biner you use and the orientation of the device, the assist lock may not function ... in this case its basically an ATC for a short period ... gri gris are still assisted locking, but people do use em for soloing against petzls recommendation, they lock up better

- if you are sport climbing and dont need it for raps, im thinking a gri gri is a better choice ... the weight advantage of the alpine smart is offset by the need for a big biner ... for a gri gri you can use a small UL biner ...

- in terms of costs the alpine smart will be more expensive in the long run with extensive use ... the problem is that you need a big biner like a DMM boa that costs 15+$ ... and with daily use the biner wears out in about a year ... gri gris easily last 10+ years and dont wear out the biner ... so if yr climbing daily and dont need the rap, a gri gri is cheaper after a few years

- although its against zombie elephants recommendation to rap on a single and a half rope ... ive done so without any issues ... the trick is to treat it as an ATC, that is dont totally rely on the assited locking, which you souldnt anyways ...

- 2 years of daily use has done minimal wear to the device ... no worries there

- dont use it with stiff ropes ... which means no mammut ropes > 9.5mm .... and no old thick fuzzy ropes ... the diameter isnt the issue, but rather the handling ... i can use it on Beals and some Tendons up to 10.2mm with no issues ... but any thicker mammuts or maxims dont work very well ... same with gri gris

- if you are always putting seconds in guide mode, especially 2 seconds, i highly recommend this device ... its the easiest pulling device ive used on autoblock and saves yr arm muscles on long climbs ... it pulls through easier than reversos, ATC guides and or even a gigi

- the belay is very intuitive even for newer climbers, easier than a gri gri IMO ... its a good choice for a first time assisted locking device, especially the basic smart, which is cheaper

at the end of the day, i use mine for everything and keep planning on using it ... but of you dont plan to rap on it, the gri gri is a more economical choice in the longer run ...


http://www.mountainproject.com/...07292061#a_107906374


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