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tomaiello


May 23, 2012, 4:28 PM
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Belay Device?
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Hello all,

I haven't posted on this forum in many moons, and I haven't been a climber for more than 10 years now.

Recently, I took my kids out to set up some top ropes. I'm pretty sure I was the only guy with an antiquated big wall rack building top rope anchors on these 50 foot rocks at our local park.

Anyway, I discovered that my favorite belay device (an HB Sheriff) had gone missing sometime in the last decade. It wasn't really a problem, since I've got several others (BD ATC, Gri-Gri, Trango Pyramid and a couple figure 8's). However, I realized that there was a reason that the Sheriff was my favorite for a long time.

This week, I went out looking for a replacement Sheriff, and discovered that it's apparently not being made anymore (in fact, the company appears to have entirely disappeared).

I also learned that belay devices now come in a bewildering array of choices, with a bunch of weird wires, teeth and angles hanging off of them. I had no idea how they were supposed to be used, and in a couple cases the people at the local climbing store couldn't even show me how to route the rope through them.

My question(s) for the experts here:

Are any of these new-fangled belay devices worth getting? Should I just run with my old ATC? Is there any modern equivalent to my old Sheriff?

I'm really only looking for something easy to use on top ropes. I doubt my kids will be up to anything else for another 10 years at least.


I tried to use the search function here, but the threads I found were all fairly old. Feel free to flame me, but try to be gentle--I used to be a climber, too. : )

Thanks for any help!


shockabuku


May 23, 2012, 7:07 PM
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Re: [tomaiello] Belay Device? [In reply to]
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My daughter uses one of those and really likes it so I tend to pay attention to them. You can't get the real HB device new anymore but a couple of companies make a similar device. Look here for a starter and check out Liberty Mountain among others. http://storrick.cnc.net/...e/BelayDevices.shtml

You may be able to pick up a used one if you look hard. I grabbed a couple for pretty cheap at our old climbing gym.


acorneau


May 23, 2012, 8:20 PM
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Re: [tomaiello] Belay Device? [In reply to]
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The picture here* makes it look very similar to a standard BD ATC.

Many newer devices are designed to be set up for two (or more) friction modes (that's what the ridged/teeth looking things are for) and it can be quite handy to be able to choose the amount of friction for a given situation.

If you're looking for simple but with dual friction modes I'd suggest the BD ATC-XP or the Petzl Verso:

http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/...-belay-rappel-device

http://www.petzl.com/...elay-devices-0/verso


*HB Sheriff device on the most awesome belay device collection known to mankind:
http://storrick.cnc.net/...s/BelayTube0695.html


(This post was edited by acorneau on May 24, 2012, 6:23 PM)


JAB


May 23, 2012, 11:28 PM
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Re: [tomaiello] Belay Device? [In reply to]
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tomaiello wrote:
Are any of these new-fangled belay devices worth getting? Should I just run with my old ATC? Is there any modern equivalent to my old Sheriff?

Your old belay devices will work just ok. There is no need to buy a new one. The grigri is great for toproping, as well as the ATC and Trango Pyramid.


viciado


May 24, 2012, 6:57 AM
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Re: [tomaiello] Belay Device? [In reply to]
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The "Shell" belay device by Camp is similar to the sheriff. It is more like the "sheriff rigid" in that it has a bit of modeling that conforms more to the diameter of a rope...

http://www.camp-usa.com/...lay-rappel/shell.asp

There are others out there that are just a simple cylinder with a keeper wire, I just can't remember the manufacturers/models at the moment.


vinnie83


May 24, 2012, 10:20 AM
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Re: [tomaiello] Belay Device? [In reply to]
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tomaiello wrote:
I realized that there was a reason that the Sheriff was my favorite for a long time.

Tom,

As someone who has never handled the Sheriff, I'm curious what made it you favorite when compared to many other very similar looking devices. Mind elaborating?


tomaiello


May 24, 2012, 10:48 AM
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Re: [vinnie83] Belay Device? [In reply to]
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I like the keeper (it's a solid piece of metal instead of a flexible cable) better than, for example, the keeper on the ATC. My ATC keeper has the rubber worn off it in a couple places from getting caught in the rope.

I also find that the Sheriff is smoother for me, especially on thicker ropes (I realize I may be the last guy in the western world to own 11mm ropes), and especially on double rope rappels with thicker ropes. Since I will continue to buy and use 11mm ropes (not for climbing) I want a belay device that's easy to use with them when I take them out to top rope with the kids. I think the smoothness is probably either a result of the geometry of the tube or just the width of the openings, but in either case, the Sheriff was noticeably easier for me to use than the ATC.


Thanks for the responses, everyone. Smile


ninepointeight


May 24, 2012, 11:25 AM
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Re: [tomaiello] Belay Device? [In reply to]
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You may want to consider retiring those ropes from anything other than TR use.


(This post was edited by ninepointeight on May 24, 2012, 11:25 AM)


tomaiello


May 24, 2012, 11:43 AM
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Re: [ninepointeight] Belay Device? [In reply to]
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ninepointeight wrote:
You may want to consider retiring those ropes from anything other than TR use.


Can you explain why you say this?

Are the thinner ropes stronger or more durable?

The top roping is just a side use for ropes I have for other purposes. Are you saying that I shouldn't be using them for anything aside from the top roping? What rope would you suggest?

I purchase a new 11mm rope every 6 months or so (and they keep getting harder to find). I put them to some very hard use. They rarely last to be more than a year and a half old before I've completely destroyed them, but I'm fairly in touch with the wear I'm putting on them along the way.

I've tried using 10.5mm and 10mm ropes and they seem to be significantly less durable in my application.

I'd appreciate any thoughts or suggestions you have about ropes that would be stronger or more durable, although I think we may be straying from the original intention of this thread.

Thanks.


ninepointeight


May 24, 2012, 11:50 AM
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Re: [tomaiello] Belay Device? [In reply to]
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You said you hadn't climbing in more than a decade. That indicated to me that your rope was likely more than 10 years old especially since there are very few 11mm climbing ropes still available. Rope manufacturers recommend retiring climbing ropes from use as a lifeline after 5 years whether its been used or sitting on a shelf. The nylon degrades over time.

What hard use have you been using the rope for? Are you an arborist? What kind of rope is it?


(This post was edited by ninepointeight on May 24, 2012, 11:54 AM)


tomaiello


May 24, 2012, 11:59 AM
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Re: [ninepointeight] Belay Device? [In reply to]
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ninepointeight wrote:
What hard use have you been using the rope for?

It's kind of difficult to explain without typing a whole lot of related explanations, but basically we're taking repeated hard falls on it while it's under tension. It's a necessary part of my fairly oddball occupation. I know there are better ways to rig up the system I'm using, but most of them are going to take a fairly decent capital investment that I'm not ready to make yet.


In reply to:
What kind of rope is it?

I believe the rope I'm presently using is an Edelweiss 11mm. I have gone through a BlueWater 11mm and a couple New England 11mm ropes in the past few years. The New England failed the fastest, and the Edelweiss has been the best so far.

Those are all dynamic ropes. I tried using static ropes at one point in the past, and the catch was too hard for what we are doing.


(This post was edited by tomaiello on May 24, 2012, 12:07 PM)


csproul


May 24, 2012, 12:06 PM
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Re: [tomaiello] Belay Device? [In reply to]
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tomaiello wrote:
ninepointeight wrote:
What hard use have you been using the rope for?

It's kind of difficult to explain without typing a whole lot of related explanations, but basically we're taking repeated hard falls on it while it's under tension. It's a necessary part of my fairly oddball occupation. I know there are better ways to rig up the system I'm using, but most of them are going to take a fairly decent capital investment that I'm not ready to make yet.


In reply to:
What kind of rope is it?

The rope I'm presently using is an Edelweiss 11mm. I have gone through a BlueWater 11mm and a couple New England 11mm ropes in the past few years. The New England failed the fastest, and the Edelweiss has been the best so far.

Those are all dynamic ropes. I tried using static ropes at one point in the past, and the catch was too hard for what we are doing.
Oh come on! Don'tleave us hanging. Now you have to explain what you're using them for.


tomaiello


May 24, 2012, 12:11 PM
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csproul wrote:
Now you have to explain what you're using them for.

Short answer: It's a piece of training equipment. I'm a full time BASE jumping instructor (I may actually be the only full time BASE jumping instructor) and I use an apparatus that simulates still air exits in a training environment prior to putting students off for their first jump.

A longer answer would require a lot of explanation as to why that's a good idea, and how I rig the system, which probably isn't terribly interesting or relevant in this context.


vinnie83


May 24, 2012, 12:13 PM
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Re: [csproul] Belay Device? [In reply to]
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I'm guessing he has some sort of system rigged up to simulate a base jumping exit for beginners before he throws them off the bridge with a parachute.

Tom,

I'm pretty sure I've run into you many years ago when I was jumping up in twin falls.

edit: I guess you beat me to the explanation


(This post was edited by vinnie83 on May 24, 2012, 12:14 PM)


shockabuku


May 24, 2012, 12:40 PM
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Re: [ninepointeight] Belay Device? [In reply to]
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ninepointeight wrote:
Rope manufacturers recommend retiring climbing ropes from use as a lifeline after 5 years whether its been used or sitting on a shelf. The nylon degrades over time.

I don't think that's generally true.

For instance, see this page: http://bealplanet.com/...glais/nouveautes.php which indicates use times of up to 10 years plus an additional 5 year pre-use storage time.


ninepointeight


May 24, 2012, 1:00 PM
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shockabuku wrote:
ninepointeight wrote:
Rope manufacturers recommend retiring climbing ropes from use as a lifeline after 5 years whether its been used or sitting on a shelf. The nylon degrades over time.

I don't think that's generally true.

For instance, see this page: http://bealplanet.com/...glais/nouveautes.php which indicates use times of up to 10 years plus an additional 5 year pre-use storage time.

That appears to be true of Edelwiess as well. I think Mammuts is 5 in storage + 5 in use.

Either way, if the rope had been from climbing and used more than 10 years ago, as I qualified the statement, my advice would apply.


bearbreeder


May 24, 2012, 6:25 PM
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http://theuiaa.org/...f_Climbing_Ropes.pdf

uiaa on rope life .... more than what people think


sandstone


May 25, 2012, 7:55 AM
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Re: [tomaiello] Belay Device? [In reply to]
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tomaiello wrote:
[..] my favorite belay device (an HB Sheriff) had gone missing... Are any of these new-fangled belay devices worth getting? ...Is there any modern equivalent to my old Sheriff?...I'm really only looking for something easy to use on top ropes. ... I will continue to buy and use 11mm ropes ... I want a belay device that's easy to use with them ...

I love the newer belay devices for use with newer skinnier ropes, but I find them to be a pain when working with 11mm ropes (I still have 1). So your thought of using an older style device with your 11's is spot on, in my opinion. I don't think you need, or want, one of the newer devices.

If I had an old Sheriff I'd send it to you, but of all the devices I've used I never bought a Sheriff. I don't know of a similar device currently on the market that has a rigid keeper -- it may be out there, but I just don't know about it. If you post a request for a Sheriff (or similar with a rigid keeper) on a few climbing forums (here, SuperTopo, MountainProject, etc.) someone may well have one (or more) they'd be willing to part with.

In reply to:
...I'm really only looking for something easy to use on top ropes. I doubt my kids will be up to anything else for another 10 years at least. ...

The math on that doesn't work. :-) If they're old enough to be top roping now, then that age plus 10 years equals running laps around what Dad will be able to do then. :-)


atpclimbing


May 25, 2012, 9:07 AM
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http://www.peaktrading.com/...x?ProductPageId=1999


Google search.


tomaiello


May 29, 2012, 10:38 AM
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Thanks for that.

There was no way to purchase it on their web site, so I emailed them to inquire. Their response:

Peaktrading wrote:
There is no HB Sherrif Device at this time the comparable device would be
the Black Diamond ATC Belay Device. Unfortunately at this time you can not
purchase off of the Peak Trading Website we are in the process in the future
of being able to update the website. If you wanted to call & order this we
could do your order over the phone by credit card.

Thanks


Erin Mooney
Customer Service Representative
Peak Trading Corp


sungam


May 29, 2012, 11:22 AM
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Heh, you know what? That is an awesome belay plate! So good my buddy stole one from another friend of mine. Well, "steal" is a strong word. He borrowed it 7 years ago and hasn't given it back yet. I liked it but to be honest any ATC is as good.


atpclimbing


May 29, 2012, 5:51 PM
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That's unfortunate...


splish


Jul 21, 2012, 6:12 PM
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tomaiello wrote:
ninepointeight wrote:
You may want to consider retiring those ropes from anything other than TR use.


Can you explain why you say this?

Are the thinner ropes stronger or more durable?

The top roping is just a side use for ropes I have for other purposes. Are you saying that I shouldn't be using them for anything aside from the top roping? What rope would you suggest?

I purchase a new 11mm rope every 6 months or so (and they keep getting harder to find). I put them to some very hard use. They rarely last to be more than a year and a half old before I've completely destroyed them, but I'm fairly in touch with the wear I'm putting on them along the way.

I've tried using 10.5mm and 10mm ropes and they seem to be significantly less durable in my application.

I'd appreciate any thoughts or suggestions you have about ropes that would be stronger or more durable, although I think we may be straying from the original intention of this thread.

Thanks.

Umm, you say you are so hard on these 11mm ropes that you wear through them in 6 months???
So you are obviously using them for a purpose other than climbing?
What concerns me a little here, is that you are using a climbing rope, for some other purpose that can do serious damage to the rope, and then you put your children on them 50' up?
Ease my nerves here, please tell me that's not what you are doing???


tomaiello


Jul 21, 2012, 6:20 PM
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splish wrote:
Umm, you say you are so hard on these 11mm ropes that you wear through them in 6 months???

Yes. Sometimes faster.


In reply to:
So you are obviously using them for a purpose other than climbing?

Yes.


In reply to:
What concerns me a little here, is that you are using a climbing rope, for some other purpose that can do serious damage to the rope, and then you put your children on them 50' up?

I'm pretty careful about the rope wear, and I rappel on them before I put my kids on them. I weigh a lot more than my kids.

The ropes aren't worn out when I'm using them for toproping--they're just on the way to being worn out. And the beefier ropes last longer.


I've actually recently purchased an 11mm static line to use for rappelling access to some ledges that I use for teaching, and I'm switching to that one for toprope use.

And just to add a happy ending here, I was able to find an old Sherrif, which works well for both the 11mm static rope and the 11mm dynamic (as well as the 10.5 dynamic).

Smile


splish


Jul 21, 2012, 7:23 PM
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Since you obviously buy many ropes, wouldn't you feel much safer buying one rope to set aside just for climbing with your kids.
Under a static load, yeah, they probably will hold without fail, but if they are near the end of their life, really, all it could take is one shock load. It is after all, your children.

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