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Belay lesson learned...
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MarcelS


Sep 26, 2011, 2:25 PM
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Belay lesson learned...
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Last Sunday the weather was nice, so me and a climbing partner went to a gym with a 35 meters (115 feet) outside wall all around the gym. The best gym in my country regarding outdoor climbing (we do not have rocks here...).



My partner decided on a route on one of the edges, and when he clipped his third draw he somehow forgot to lead the rope through it. Close enough to remind him, so no harm done. A very important draw though as it was about 20 feet from the deck.
Well, a few feet above this draw he slipped, and what was worse is that I was just feeding slack. What happened was somehow in a blur, but I managed to bring my break hand down, and his feet just hit the pebbles (rope stretch) and he ended up a few inches above the deck. Scared the shit out of me, maybe even more then him.

What I did learn, is to pay even more attention to the climber when giving out slack, as I think that I could have reacted faster. A few inches less slack and I would have felt a lot better about this. Somehow he was a lot less impressed then I was and restarted his climb immediately Smile. He did send it too! But I still feel that this could have ended a lot worse. Just wanted to share this so others can learn from it as well. Belayed with an ATC guide by the way (like I almost always do).

Climb safe, Marcel


jt512


Sep 26, 2011, 10:37 PM
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Re: [MarcelS] Belay lesson learned... [In reply to]
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Did it occur to you to run back or dive to the ground to shorten the fall?


bearbreeder


Sep 26, 2011, 11:01 PM
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Re: [MarcelS] Belay lesson learned... [In reply to]
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on the first few bolts/pieces i always give out just enough slack for them to clip ... and i let them know this before the climb ...

and make it an automatic reaction to sit right down if they blow the 2nd or 3rd clip/piece

when feeding slack low, get ready to suck it all back in if they blow it

as to running back, the climber and belayer should agree to this before leaving the ground (and in fact anything else) ... running back can be dangerous for the belayer and not possible on certain climbs ... if a belayer does not feel comfortable running back, dont do that particular climb if it calls for it ...

that said, in the gym which is usually well bolted, if you need to run back, youve screwed up or yr climber has ...


MarcelS


Sep 27, 2011, 1:00 AM
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Re: [jt512] Belay lesson learned... [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
Did it occur to you to run back or dive to the ground to shorten the fall?

No and I definitely agree it should have. Hence the title: belay lesson learned, I do feel that I was not paying enough attention. There was no blame whatsoever from my climbing partner, as he did not deck, but I do blame myself for reacting too slow. Good lesson for next time a climbing partner falls.

@bearbreader: In fact I was not paying him too much slack, but my break-hand was not down as I was just giving him slack to climb further. The process of registering his fall and putting my break-hand down simply took too long. That is why I think Jt's question is a very valid one, as it would have helped a lot in this case.


ceebo


Sep 27, 2011, 6:04 AM
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Re: [MarcelS] Belay lesson learned... [In reply to]
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Running back has too many issues in a public place. Worst case would be you get knocked out, poor kid you triped over gets bruised to bits and your partner brakes bones.

The other guy and jay had it right, hog the slack and sit into the fall.

Oh not to mention, being caught from a running belay is not very pleasent. If theirs a nut in the wrong place.. its gone ;p.


(This post was edited by ceebo on Sep 27, 2011, 6:08 AM)


jeepnphreak


Sep 27, 2011, 1:56 PM
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Re: [MarcelS] Belay lesson learned... [In reply to]
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I glad you learned from this and no one was hurt. That the best kind of mistake you can have in this sport.

Yes keep very attentive to your leader, you are the counter weight on theyr rope keeping him/her alive in the event of a fall. Plus you are monerting the rope to further keep them safe. Keep the rope a bit tighter untill the second clip is past than a bit more slack can be used to keep the fall forces lower and from pulling them off the wall. Its abit longer fall, but uesually a softer fall. Just be sure that there are no ledges and such in the way of the leader. Then take up the slack as nessary. Climb safe!


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