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jam3s_


Mar 17, 2012, 12:42 PM
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Belaying Directly from Belay Loop
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Hello All

I have just been on a lead climbing course and the intructor said to belay off a figue 8 loop rather than the belay loop of the harness. In every book and video I have seen everyone seems to belay straight off their harness belay loop is there any advantage to belaying off a figure 8?

Thanks
James


jt512


Mar 17, 2012, 12:44 PM
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Re: [jam3s_] Belaying Directly from Belay Loop [In reply to]
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What's a "figure 8 loop"?


shotwell


Mar 17, 2012, 12:50 PM
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jt512 wrote:
What's a "figure 8 loop"?

Just a guess here, but probably the loop a tie-in knot creates. Why this is being suggested is beyond me.


shotwell


Mar 17, 2012, 12:51 PM
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jam3s_ wrote:
Hello All

I have just been on a lead climbing course and the intructor said to belay off a figue 8 loop rather than the belay loop of the harness. In every book and video I have seen everyone seems to belay straight off their harness belay loop is there any advantage to belaying off a figure 8?

Thanks
James

James, you should probably just belay off of your harness belay loop. That is what it is there for.

Personally, I'd be asking myself some questions about the other things taught in that class.


edge


Mar 17, 2012, 12:52 PM
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Re: [jt512] Belaying Directly from Belay Loop [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
What's a "figure 8 loop"?

I'm guessing he means the loop created when you tie in with a follow through figure 8 knot.

To the OP, it is called a belay loop for a reason, and is the strongest part of the harness. Use it as such.


curt


Mar 17, 2012, 1:10 PM
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jam3s_ wrote:
Hello All

I have just been on a lead climbing course and the intructor said to belay off a figue 8 loop rather than the belay loop of the harness. In every book and video I have seen everyone seems to belay straight off their harness belay loop is there any advantage to belaying off a figure 8?

Thanks
James

I'm not sure why, but I always find myself belaying off the belay loop of my harness--and tying in through the tie-in loops. Go figure.

Curt


amyas


Mar 17, 2012, 1:14 PM
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such a conformist


jt512


Mar 17, 2012, 1:20 PM
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shotwell wrote:
jt512 wrote:
What's a "figure 8 loop"?

Just a guess here, but probably the loop a tie-in knot creates.

Oddly enough, I rarely seem to have one of those when I belay.

Jay


shotwell


Mar 17, 2012, 1:25 PM
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jt512 wrote:
shotwell wrote:
jt512 wrote:
What's a "figure 8 loop"?

Just a guess here, but probably the loop a tie-in knot creates.

Oddly enough, I rarely seem to have one of those when I belay.

Jay

I could see being tied in as a possibility if this was a multi-pitch climbing course, but it seems to be Lead Climbing 101 - Or, how not to die sport climbing. The nature of the class certainly makes the suggestion as bizzarre as it could reasonably be.


jam3s_


Mar 17, 2012, 1:27 PM
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Re: [shotwell] Belaying Directly from Belay Loop [In reply to]
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I did ask why and he said there were three advantages which were:

1) The belay loop is static and by belaying off a figure 8 you got the advantage of the dynamic loop.

2) You could apparntly untie yourself in the even of an emergency.

3) So you dont belay past the end of the rope

Still seems a bit wierd to me,


shotwell


Mar 17, 2012, 1:30 PM
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jam3s_ wrote:
I did ask why and he said there were three advantages which were:

1) The belay loop is static and by belaying off a figure 8 you got the advantage of the dynamic loop.

2) You could apparntly untie yourself in the even of an emergency.

3) So you dont belay past the end of the rope

Still seems a bit wierd to me,

1) The rope is dynamic, so this isn't really an issue. Use the belay loop.

2)...what? If you 'untie' yourself, you're taking your partner off belay in this situation. Ignore this and belay off the belay loop.

3) If you're worried about lowering your climber off the end of the rope, tie a knot in the end. Tying yourself in for anything other than a pitch you're going to follow is just going to eat up more of the rope you're using to lower your partner. Belay off the belay loop.


vinnie83


Mar 17, 2012, 1:46 PM
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jam3s_ wrote:
2) You could apparntly untie yourself in the even of an emergency.

Anyone ever tried to untie a loaded figure eight? Loaded as in has a climber hanging from it, not as in it 'was' loaded in a fall and has been cinched tight. Someday you should learn how to tie a load releasing hitch and escape the belay, it's a good skill to have if you ever plan on venturing more than 100' off the deck.

As for the static/dynamic thing-think about how you calculate a fall factor. How much does the foot of rope that makes your tie in loop add to the amount of rope that can absorb the force of a fall?


Partner rgold


Mar 17, 2012, 2:27 PM
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Whenever I am tied to an anchor, I always clip the belay device to the "figure-8 loop," which is to say the loop of rope which is the part of your tie-in knot that threads through the harness. The idea is to transmit the load directly to the anchor via the tie-in, rather than subject the harness to various opposing pulls and the belayer to unanticipted twists.

(Since I use double ropes, the device is clipped to both tie-in loops, which happen to be bowlines, not figure-eights.)

I learned the idea many years ago from BD engineer Chris Harmston, whose posts to rec.climbing contained some of the most informed opinions I've read anywhere.

The idea seems strange to people in this country, but it is fairly common in the UK---see for example, the article on the subject at http://www.ukclimbing.com/...les/page.php?id=1129, which also has pictures to clear up any possible confusion here about what is meant.


bearbreeder


Mar 17, 2012, 2:56 PM
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Re: [rgold] Belaying Directly from Belay Loop [In reply to]
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the BMC had a pamphlet that showed the advantages of belaying off the fig 8 loop in certain situations, namely in a top belay off the harness directly, yr balls dont get crushed Wink

either way would be fine, though i believe a stopper knot at the end of a fig 8 use for this purpose was advised by DMM

remember RCers, just because it aint how ya do it, doesnt mean everyone who does it the different way doesnt know what they are doing or are gonna die

Tongue


macblaze


Mar 17, 2012, 3:05 PM
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rgold wrote:
The idea is to transmit the load directly to the anchor via the tie-in, rather than subject the harness to various opposing pulls and the belayer to unanticipated twists.
...

-see for example, the article on the subject at http://www.ukclimbing.com/...les/page.php?id=1129, which also has pictures to clear up any possible confusion here about what is meant.

My god, I love it when I actually learn something on RC.com ;-)


notapplicable


Mar 17, 2012, 6:40 PM
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[Rant] No offense to the OP intended but this perfectly illustrates the disadvantage of not keeping classes like this "simple, stupid".

If you teach a technique that is only useful, or even applicable, in a narrow range of circumstances and has advantages which the students lack the experience or knowledge base to even understand, let alone employ in a real world scenario, you end up with confused students using techniques they don't understand.[/Rant]

There is no reason for the belayer to be tied in while single pitch climbing. You will just trip on the rope, bust your ass and pull your climber off the wall.

While on a multi-pitch route I will often clip both my belay loop and rope loop. That is a personal choice based on typical anchor construction. Using one or the other by itself is fine and can be more or less advantageous depending on individual anchor construction. Until you have enough experience to understand the differences, it's probably best to just "KISS" and use the belay loop.


crjanow


Mar 17, 2012, 6:45 PM
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notapplicable wrote:
[Rant] No offense to the OP intended but this perfectly illustrates the disadvantage of not keeping classes like this "simple, stupid".

If you teach a technique that is only useful, or even applicable, in a narrow range of circumstances and has advantages which the students lack the experience or knowledge base to even understand, let alone employ in a real world scenario, you end up with confused students using techniques they don't understand.[/Rant]

There is no reason for the belayer to be tied in while single pitch climbing. You will just trip on the rope, bust your ass and pull your climber off the wall.

While on a multi-pitch route I will often clip both my belay loop and rope loop. That is a personal choice based on typical anchor construction. Using one or the other by itself is fine and can be more or less advantageous depending on individual anchor construction. Until you have enough experience to understand the differences, it's probably best to just "KISS" and use the belay loop.
+1


petsfed


Mar 17, 2012, 7:28 PM
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jam3s_ wrote:
Hello All

I have just been on a lead climbing course and the intructor said to belay off a figue 8 loop rather than the belay loop of the harness. In every book and video I have seen everyone seems to belay straight off their harness belay loop is there any advantage to belaying off a figure 8?

Thanks
James

You get a lot of really dumb instructors, don't you?

I will draw attention to specific practices I use just so students are aware that they are doing certain things, but an instructor should never specifically contravene a manufacturer's instructions without also spending a lot of time justifying that decision to the students.


USnavy


Mar 18, 2012, 2:24 AM
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Re: [jam3s_] Belaying Directly from Belay Loop [In reply to]
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jam3s_ wrote:
I did ask why and he said there were three advantages which were:

1) The belay loop is static and by belaying off a figure 8 you got the advantage of the dynamic loop.
I am surprised no one has caught this yet. Clipping into the figure eight loop that runs through your tie in points is extremely dangerous, maybe even a death sentence. The figure eight knot is extremely weak when loaded perpendicular to the knot. Basically what you are doing is loading the knot just like the figure eight version of the EDK knot which is well know as being a death sentence, in fact, at least one person died doing that. So basically, never clip anything into the figure eight loop that runs through your tie in points.

notapplicable wrote:
[Rant]
Using one or the other by itself is fine and can be more or less advantageous depending on individual anchor construction.

Clipping into the belay loop by itself is fine. Clipping into the figure eight knot is extremely dangerous for the reason I just explained above. Never clip anything into the figure eight loop!!!

Look here: http://user.xmission.com/~tmoyer/testing/EDK.html

Notice the flat figure eight pull tests. This guy was able to get the figure eight to capsize with as little as 110 lbs! Considering how much tail the knot eats when it capsizes, you could find yourself completely untied after a single capsize!


(This post was edited by USnavy on Mar 18, 2012, 2:35 AM)


JimTitt


Mar 18, 2012, 3:45 AM
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Rubbish, the rope loop has been used for decades with no problems whatsoever, to quote Jack Geldard who wrote the UKC article linked above (and who is an extremely copetent and experienced climber "This 'rope loop' is extremely strong and is perfectly adequate for belaying from."
The circumstances between what you are talking about and belaying are different as the load comes on the strand to the belay and the rope loop is never ring loaded.


guangzhou


Mar 18, 2012, 7:15 AM
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JimTitt wrote:
Rubbish, the rope loop has been used for decades with no problems whatsoever, to quote Jack Geldard who wrote the UKC article linked above (and who is an extremely copetent and experienced climber "This 'rope loop' is extremely strong and is perfectly adequate for belaying from."
The circumstances between what you are talking about and belaying are different as the load comes on the strand to the belay and the rope loop is never ring loaded.

You beat me to the answer Jim.

I often clip both.


(This post was edited by guangzhou on Mar 18, 2012, 7:20 AM)


Partner rgold


Mar 18, 2012, 9:34 AM
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Clipping into the rope loop does not load it perpendicular to the anchor strand when belaying the second off the harness or when catching a factor-2 leader fall.

When belaying the leader, it is possible to get such loading, instantaneously. (As far as I know, the figure-8 has never been tested for rolling under off-axis instantaneous impacts.)

In leader falls where the anchor actually comes into play, the loading of the anchor strand means the situation is completely different from the EDK loading tests, in which neither of the ends is under any tension. Tension in the anchor strand will inhibit rolling for the same reason an extra stopper knot does for the EDK; it prevents rope from feeding into the knot, a prerequisite for rolling behavior.

That leaves only low instantaneous loads that are not enough to lift the belayer onto the anchor. The BMC article does suggest a stopper knot to back up the figure-8. Many climbers do this anyway, and such a knot would eliminate even the remote possibility of the figure-8 knot rolling.

With my half ropes, I use bowlines with "Yosemite finish" and double overhand backup after that, then I clip both loops, so no worries for me.

Probably the best tie-in knot of all is the rethreaded bowline on a bight, which puts two loops in the harness tie-in points. Using such a knot and clipping those rope loops would be beyond bomber.

But getting back to the figure-8, tie a backup knot as you probably should anyway and clip the rope loop with no conceivable worries.


shotwell


Mar 18, 2012, 9:56 AM
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notapplicable wrote:
[Rant] No offense to the OP intended but this perfectly illustrates the disadvantage of not keeping classes like this "simple, stupid".

If you teach a technique that is only useful, or even applicable, in a narrow range of circumstances and has advantages which the students lack the experience or knowledge base to even understand, let alone employ in a real world scenario, you end up with confused students using techniques they don't understand.[/Rant]

There is no reason for the belayer to be tied in while single pitch climbing. You will just trip on the rope, bust your ass and pull your climber off the wall.

While on a multi-pitch route I will often clip both my belay loop and rope loop. That is a personal choice based on typical anchor construction. Using one or the other by itself is fine and can be more or less advantageous depending on individual anchor construction. Until you have enough experience to understand the differences, it's probably best to just "KISS" and use the belay loop.

My thoughts exactly.


ceebo


Mar 18, 2012, 11:39 AM
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rgold wrote:
Whenever I am tied to an anchor, I always clip the belay device to the "figure-8 loop," which is to say the loop of rope which is the part of your tie-in knot that threads through the harness. The idea is to transmit the load directly to the anchor via the tie-in, rather than subject the harness to various opposing pulls and the belayer to unanticipted twists.

(Since I use double ropes, the device is clipped to both tie-in loops, which happen to be bowlines, not figure-eights.)

I learned the idea many years ago from BD engineer Chris Harmston, whose posts to rec.climbing contained some of the most informed opinions I've read anywhere.

The idea seems strange to people in this country, but it is fairly common in the UK---see for example, the article on the subject at http://www.ukclimbing.com/...les/page.php?id=1129, which also has pictures to clear up any possible confusion here about what is meant.

But why would this be taught to a person who i assume is learning to climb single pitch indoor on bolts?. Its nothing close to trad anchor situation.

OP, did the leader top belay you after he reached the top or something?.. it could make more sence.

Or was the guy simply giving you info on how people do things in a situation you did not realy need to know about their and then?.


(This post was edited by ceebo on Mar 18, 2012, 11:41 AM)


notapplicable


Mar 18, 2012, 1:08 PM
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After skimming over this thread again, I think it's probably worth expressly stating that one is not inherently superior to the other. Which loop you want to belay from depends mostly on how you have attached yourself to the anchor.

If you have attached yourself to the master point with the rope, then you probably want to belay off the rope loop (in conjunction with the belay loop if you like).

If you have attached yourself to the masterpoint with your belay loop, then you probably want to belay off that (in conjunction with the rope loop if you like).

That said, if you are just learning multi-pitch techniques, I would suggest attaching yourself with and belaying from the belay loop. Just keep it simple. There will be plenty of time to experiment with and overthink your anchor/belay configurations later.

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