Forums: Climbing Information: Beginners:
Top-Belaying questions.
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Beginners

Premier Sponsor:

 
First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All


math3780


Jul 12, 2012, 4:49 PM
Post #1 of 28 (5249 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 29, 2011
Posts: 2

Top-Belaying questions.
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (3 ratings)  
Can't Post

First off, I know this is in other threads many times over but i've had quite a bit of difficulty finding specific answers that I can understand.

Background: I'm a fairly experienced climbing (few years) and have tried just about every type of climbing or belaying I've ever heard of EXCEPT top belaying. Not sure how it hasn't come up yet, but it just hasn't.

I'm heading up to Tettegouche State Park in Minnesota (amazing place). It is an equivilant environment to a sea cliff (just on lake superior).

How do I go about setting up a top belay and lowering the climber? Where should the anchor beaners be? Over the edge or above the edge? (if above, what do I do to protect the rope from the sharp edges). Where should my body be as a belayer?

I know how to set up an anchor safely, I'm just not sure where my body should be in relation to the anchor? Also, hypothetically if the climber is hanging and sustains an injury, how do I get them up?

Would it be best to use a rap-style belay device or GriGri2?

I just want to be as prepared as possible. Please feel free to include pictures if it makes it easier to understand. I am bringing a lot of novice climbers a long so safety falls on me more then anyone.


shoo


Jul 12, 2012, 5:00 PM
Post #2 of 28 (5245 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 22, 2006
Posts: 1501

Re: [math3780] Top-Belaying questions. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (3 ratings)  
Can't Post

math3780 wrote:
I am bringing a lot of novice climbers a long so safety falls on me more then anyone.

I was getting ready to write a long and thorough reply until I saw this.

Please get someone else who is actually well experienced to be the responsible party. It is potentially unsafe, inappropriate and possibly even deceitful to play the "experienced" party here. Also, sea cliffs which require a top-belay are particularly poorly suited for beginners.


math3780


Jul 12, 2012, 5:15 PM
Post #3 of 28 (5231 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 29, 2011
Posts: 2

Re: [shoo] Top-Belaying questions. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Well I didn't mean for it to sound like I'm "unexperienced" I've climbed all over the world and at least a hundred times outside. I have top belayed winter mountaineering but since the anchor system is set up VERY differently in snow I was wondering where the master point should be in relation to a cliff edge, as well as what belay devices make it safer and or easier. The biggest question I have is if a climber were to sustain injuries far below the master point, above water, how could they be rescued?

I've had my share of nasty injuries and seen far worse happen to others, I fully understand the danger of climbing and would never put someone in an unsafe situation. Nor would I put my trust in someone else to belay if they were not ready. Everybody has to do this for the first time once. Making it as safe as possible is the obvious goal of all climbers.

That being said, does anybody have any advice other than don't do it.

Sorry I don't meat to sound hostile, just looking for answers/advice/input rather than judgement or criticism.


(This post was edited by math3780 on Jul 12, 2012, 5:18 PM)


curt


Jul 12, 2012, 5:53 PM
Post #4 of 28 (5210 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 26, 2002
Posts: 18226

Re: [math3780] Top-Belaying questions. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (4 ratings)  
Can't Post

Don't do it. Cool

Curt


ninepointeight


Jul 12, 2012, 6:39 PM
Post #5 of 28 (5182 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 14, 2012
Posts: 102

Re: [math3780] Top-Belaying questions. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (4 ratings)  
Can't Post

I've climbed about fifty pitches trad outside with only 5 trad leads. I'm pretty inexperienced. I could answer your question before ever following a pitch or even top roping outside. You're either lying about the breadth of your experience or you're just not very technically inclined. Either way...

You have no business leading a group of even more novice climbers! Yer gunna make someone dead!

Seek out more experienced partners and get real.


(This post was edited by ninepointeight on Jul 12, 2012, 6:42 PM)


Partner rgold


Jul 12, 2012, 8:32 PM
Post #6 of 28 (5147 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 3, 2002
Posts: 1788

Re: [math3780] Top-Belaying questions. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (6 ratings)  
Can't Post

I'm going to put this a little differently. You aren't experienced enough in the required systems to be doing this, but let's stipulate that you are.

That said, you should absolutely not being lowering novice climbers over a cliff (a pretty good place for the sentence to end, but...) unless they have a totally safe way to walk back to the top.

You ask how to get them back to the top (if they can't make it under their own power). You need a self-rescue book for that, but what the books don't tell you is the improvised hoisting systems described don't work a lot of the time because of the amount of friction.

You are cruisin' for a serious epic if you lower beginners over a cliff with no way for them to get up easily if they can't climb it. I seriously doubt any professional guide would do that, and you don't sound like you are in that category.


stefanohatari


Jul 12, 2012, 10:13 PM
Post #7 of 28 (5114 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 9, 2004
Posts: 88

Re: [math3780] Top-Belaying questions. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

As someone who has led large groups at Tettegouche and elsewhere on the North Shore, I'll repeat: don't. You don't know how to set up a top rope belay. You don't know how to lower climbers safely (remember--you'll be lowering them to the water's edge in some cases). You don't know how to respond in case a climber is not able to climb out. (and there is no walk-off from the bottom.)

The better part of valor now is to pool your resources and hire someone locally (for instance, from Vertical Endeavors) to take your group out. This would not be expensive for a group, you'd learn a sh*t ton, your climbers would be safe, and you'd have a great time enjoying the rock and the view. Man up.


bearbreeder


Jul 12, 2012, 11:21 PM
Post #8 of 28 (5104 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 1, 2009
Posts: 1960

Re: [math3780] Top-Belaying questions. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

if yr experienced, you would have done at least a minimal amount of multi, and would know how to top belay ...

i echo the sentiments of others and suggest not lowering newbies without knowing how to get them out ...


shoo


Jul 13, 2012, 2:30 AM
Post #9 of 28 (5076 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 22, 2006
Posts: 1501

Re: [rgold] Top-Belaying questions. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

rgold wrote:
I'm going to put this a little differently. You aren't experienced enough in the required systems to be doing this, but let's stipulate that you are.

That said, you should absolutely not being lowering novice climbers over a cliff (a pretty good place for the sentence to end, but...) unless they have a totally safe way to walk back to the top.

You ask how to get them back to the top (if they can't make it under their own power). You need a self-rescue book for that, but what the books don't tell you is the improvised hoisting systems described don't work a lot of the time because of the amount of friction.

You are cruisin' for a serious epic if you lower beginners over a cliff with no way for them to get up easily if they can't climb it. I seriously doubt any professional guide would do that, and you don't sound like you are in that category.

Quoted for truth.


david_g48


Jul 13, 2012, 5:18 AM
Post #10 of 28 (5051 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 19, 2005
Posts: 54

Re: [math3780] Top-Belaying questions. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Not only will you have to endure the pains of helping people through their epics you may have to live with the emotional stress if someone gets hurt. There may even be some legal ramifications based on the state laws. This group should not be climbing in this situation with their limited experience. Prior climbing in a friendlier environment should be a strong consideration where they can learn some basic skills (ascending) that would enable them to go to these cliffs.


Partner cracklover


Jul 13, 2012, 8:30 AM
Post #11 of 28 (5003 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 14, 2002
Posts: 9935

Re: [math3780] Top-Belaying questions. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (2 ratings)  
Can't Post

math3780 wrote:
First off, I know this is in other threads many times over but i've had quite a bit of difficulty finding specific answers that I can understand.

Background: I'm a fairly experienced climbing (few years) and have tried just about every type of climbing or belaying I've ever heard of EXCEPT top belaying. Not sure how it hasn't come up yet, but it just hasn't.

I'm heading up to Tettegouche State Park in Minnesota (amazing place). It is an equivilant environment to a sea cliff (just on lake superior).

How do I go about setting up a top belay and lowering the climber? Where should the anchor beaners be? Over the edge or above the edge? (if above, what do I do to protect the rope from the sharp edges). Where should my body be as a belayer?

I know how to set up an anchor safely, I'm just not sure where my body should be in relation to the anchor? Also, hypothetically if the climber is hanging and sustains an injury, how do I get them up?

Would it be best to use a rap-style belay device or GriGri2?

I just want to be as prepared as possible. Please feel free to include pictures if it makes it easier to understand. I am bringing a lot of novice climbers a long so safety falls on me more then anyone.

The way you phrase your questions shows that you're missing the background knowledge to be able to do this safely.

And, more importantly to *me*, it shows that there is a very good chance that the best directions I could give you could be misunderstood/misinterpreted, resulting in an epic or worse.

Normally in these types of threads I give a strong caveat and then go ahead and give the instructions. Not this time. Not in good conscience.

GO


chadnsc


Jul 13, 2012, 9:20 AM
Post #12 of 28 (4991 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 24, 2003
Posts: 4449

Re: [math3780] Top-Belaying questions. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (2 ratings)  
Can't Post

math3780 wrote:
First off, I know this is in other threads many times over but i've had quite a bit of difficulty finding specific answers that I can understand.

Background: I'm a fairly experienced climbing (few years) and have tried just about every type of climbing or belaying I've ever heard of EXCEPT top belaying. Not sure how it hasn't come up yet, but it just hasn't.

I'm heading up to Tettegouche State Park in Minnesota (amazing place). It is an equivilant environment to a sea cliff (just on lake superior).

How do I go about setting up a top belay and lowering the climber? Where should the anchor beaners be? Over the edge or above the edge? (if above, what do I do to protect the rope from the sharp edges). Where should my body be as a belayer?

I know how to set up an anchor safely, I'm just not sure where my body should be in relation to the anchor? Also, hypothetically if the climber is hanging and sustains an injury, how do I get them up?

Would it be best to use a rap-style belay device or GriGri2?

I just want to be as prepared as possible. Please feel free to include pictures if it makes it easier to understand. I am bringing a lot of novice climbers a long so safety falls on me more then anyone.

I've done a fair bit of climbing up on the North Shore and here is my setup for creating a top rope, top belay anchor.

This style of climbing you must know how to rig a 3:1 pully system to raise a stuck climber. If you don't know how raise an injured climber do not climb in this style.

1.) I like to set up my master point with a figure eight on a bight and a belay shelf about 3 feet from the cliff edge.

2.) I find the middle of my 60m rope and tie a figure eight on a bight in and secure that to the belay shelf via a locking biner. This portion of the rope gets tossed over the edge and is used as the rappel line.

3.) Next I attach my gri gri to the master point via a figure eight.

4.) At this point you'll have one side of your rope hanging over the cliff edge acting as a fixed rappel line. The belay line is set up through the gri gir with all of the belay line stacked neatly off the right of the gri gri.

5.) When belaying your climber I like to sit just in front and to the left of the gri gri to make it easier to belay and pull the rope through. On some climbs this will mean your feet are hanging over the edge of the cliff, others you'll be a couple feet from the edge. As such you'll need to make sure that you're attached to the anchor via your choice personal anchor. I recommend you attach to the belay shelf instead of the master point, this keeps the master point and attached gri gri much easier to manage.

6.) When someone is going to climb they tie into the belay line. I place them on belay and they then approach the edge and set up on the rappel line. Once done I open the gri gri and they rappel down. Basically I am belaying them down while the rappel, acting as a backup.

7.) Once the climber reaches the start of the route they go off rappel and they climb back up. You can leave the rappel line down or pull it back up. If the climber gets stuck on the route the fixed rappel line can be used as a haul line (you'll want a jamaur and acender for this).

I will restate that you must know how to raise an injured climber to climb in this style. Also keep in mind that top rope top belay requires you to do some rope management in order to keep your anchor and belay easy to manage.

If you want any help with this setup I live in Duluth, MN and would be happy to show you the system I use. Feel free to PM me if you want to set something up.


(This post was edited by chadnsc on Jul 13, 2012, 9:24 AM)


chadnsc


Jul 13, 2012, 12:27 PM
Post #13 of 28 (4936 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 24, 2003
Posts: 4449

Re: [math3780] Top-Belaying questions. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

Oh one last thing to the OP.

If you're planning on trying to climb at Palisaide Head with your group don't.

The climbing is stout and unforgiving. If you try and climb at Palisaide Head with such a large group of inexperienced climbers (yourself included) you'll get someone stuck and need rescue.

DON'T DO IT.


rocknice2


Jul 13, 2012, 4:06 PM
Post #14 of 28 (4885 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 13, 2006
Posts: 1182

Re: [math3780] Top-Belaying questions. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

math3780 wrote:
Well I didn't mean for it to sound like I'm "unexperienced" I've climbed all over the world and at least a hundred times outside. I have top belayed winter mountaineering but since the anchor system is set up VERY differently in snow I was wondering where the master point should be in relation to a cliff edge, as well as what belay devices make it safer and or easier. The biggest question I have is if a climber were to sustain injuries far below the master point, above water, how could they be rescued?

I've had my share of nasty injuries and seen far worse happen to others, I fully understand the danger of climbing and would never put someone in an unsafe situation. Nor would I put my trust in someone else to belay if they were not ready. Everybody has to do this for the first time once. Making it as safe as possible is the obvious goal of all climbers.

That being said, does anybody have any advice other than don't do it.

Sorry I don't meat to sound hostile, just looking for answers/advice/input rather than judgement or criticism.

100 times outside and already have had your share of nasty injuries does not bode well for your abilities.

Bottom line is your not ready to take out anyone let alone a large group if your not bomber in your setups.
Your not going to learn what it is you need to know over the internet.

Lots of climber above gave you the answer, good advice and valuable input. You just don't want to hear it.


marc801


Jul 13, 2012, 4:12 PM
Post #15 of 28 (4881 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 1, 2005
Posts: 2688

Re: [math3780] Top-Belaying questions. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

math3780 wrote:
Well I didn't mean for it to sound like I'm "unexperienced" I've climbed all over the world and at least a hundred times outside. I have top belayed winter mountaineering but since the anchor system is set up VERY differently in snow I was wondering where the master point should be in relation to a cliff edge, as well as what belay devices make it safer and or easier. The biggest question I have is if a climber were to sustain injuries far below the master point, above water, how could they be rescued?

I've had my share of nasty injuries and seen far worse happen to others, I fully understand the danger of climbing and would never put someone in an unsafe situation. Nor would I put my trust in someone else to belay if they were not ready. Everybody has to do this for the first time once. Making it as safe as possible is the obvious goal of all climbers.

That being said, does anybody have any advice other than don't do it.

Sorry I don't meat to sound hostile, just looking for answers/advice/input rather than judgement or criticism.

First, quoted for history.

Second, the bolded passages confirm that you do not know what you are doing sufficiently enough to be safe, both for yourself and especially the beginners that you will be exposing to possible injury or death.

You say you've climbed outside at least a hundred times. Some of the people who answered you in this thread do far more than that annually and they've been climbing for decades. You've been given advice from people who collectively have well over a century of climbing experience from 10's of thousands of climbs. Heed it.

It's not judgement or criticism - you have absolutely no business doing what you intend to do.


anthonymason


Jul 13, 2012, 5:27 PM
Post #16 of 28 (4867 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 10, 2006
Posts: 116

Re: [math3780] Top-Belaying questions. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Be the big man here admit you're level of experience, and go and hire a professional guide to take you and you're friends out.Wink


chadnsc


Jul 13, 2012, 7:18 PM
Post #17 of 28 (4853 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 24, 2003
Posts: 4449

Re: [anthonymason] Top-Belaying questions. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

anthonymason wrote:
Be the big man here admit you're level of experience, and go and hire a professional guide to take you and you're friends out.Wink


Or just give me a call and I'll show you around Shovel Point and give you advice on how to set up a top rope belay and rig a 3:1 rescue pulley. Cool

Edit to add:

God I hope the OP isn't already up on the North Shore. If he is I have a feeling I could get a SARS call from the state park. Unsure Part of me wants to head up to Shovel Point and Palisaide Head just to see if run into his group.


(This post was edited by chadnsc on Jul 13, 2012, 7:32 PM)


curt


Jul 13, 2012, 9:29 PM
Post #18 of 28 (4821 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 26, 2002
Posts: 18226

Re: [chadnsc] Top-Belaying questions. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

chadnsc wrote:
God I hope the OP isn't already up on the North Shore. If he is I have a feeling I could get a SARS call from the state park. Unsure Part of me wants to head up to Shovel Point and Palisaide Head just to see if run into his group.

Maybe you should. You're the only one here who gave the n00b any advice that may have encouraged him.

Curt


chadnsc


Jul 14, 2012, 5:08 AM
Post #19 of 28 (4743 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 24, 2003
Posts: 4449

Re: [curt] Top-Belaying questions. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

curt wrote:
chadnsc wrote:
God I hope the OP isn't already up on the North Shore. If he is I have a feeling I could get a SARS call from the state park. Unsure Part of me wants to head up to Shovel Point and Palisaide Head just to see if run into his group.

Maybe you should. You're the only one here who gave the n00b any advice that may have encouraged him.

Curt

I think I will. I mean I am only an hour from Shovel Point and Palisaide Head.

Oh and I wouldn't call my advice encouraging. I did PM the OP and let him know that he shouldn't be doing this (just like in my posts) and offered to come along with his group and help out. I gave him my phone number and private e-mail so he could contact me.

I also cross posted the core of this thread and my offer to help on the MNclimbers Facebook page in hopes that the OP will see it.

Short of calling his mother and getting her involved in this I don't think there is anything more I can do to help the OP.


marc801


Jul 14, 2012, 7:22 AM
Post #20 of 28 (4720 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 1, 2005
Posts: 2688

Re: [chadnsc] Top-Belaying questions. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

chadnsc wrote:
Short of calling his mother and getting her involved in this I don't think there is anything more I can do to help the OP.
Send a squad of flying monkeys?


chadnsc


Jul 14, 2012, 7:35 AM
Post #21 of 28 (4715 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 24, 2003
Posts: 4449

Re: [marc801] Top-Belaying questions. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

marc801 wrote:
chadnsc wrote:
Short of calling his mother and getting her involved in this I don't think there is anything more I can do to help the OP.
Send a squad of flying monkeys?

If I had flying monkeys I wouldn't be posting here while I wait for stain to dry on a bookshelf.


chadnsc


Jul 15, 2012, 7:11 PM
Post #22 of 28 (4537 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 24, 2003
Posts: 4449

Re: [math3780] Top-Belaying questions. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Well I took a trip up the North Shore on Saturday afternoon and checked in on Shovel Point and Palisaide Head just in case the OP was there.

It was a very hot weekend (95+) and the climbing was sparse with few people out. I didn't find anyone that looked like they where clueless in setting up or rigging a top belay.


curt


Jul 15, 2012, 7:19 PM
Post #23 of 28 (4529 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 26, 2002
Posts: 18226

Re: [chadnsc] Top-Belaying questions. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

chadnsc wrote:
Well I took a trip up the North Shore on Saturday afternoon and checked in on Shovel Point and Palisaide Head just in case the OP was there.

It was a very hot weekend (95+) and the climbing was sparse with few people out. I didn't find anyone that looked like they where clueless in setting up or rigging a top belay.

Thanks for doing that. Hopefully, there won't be anything posted in the "Accidents & Injury Analysis" forum related to the OP.

Curt


Partner rgold


Jul 15, 2012, 7:41 PM
Post #24 of 28 (4515 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 3, 2002
Posts: 1788

Re: [curt] Top-Belaying questions. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (2 ratings)  
Can't Post

Let's hope that he knows something about the internet in general and this site in particular and so realizes the full import of a unanimous opinion.


distantThunder


Jul 15, 2012, 9:26 PM
Post #25 of 28 (4487 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 4, 2012
Posts: 43

Re: [math3780] Top-Belaying questions. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

math3780 ... in general it's probably not a good idea to take on too much responsibility if you are climbing with beginners. better to set up top ropes for them in a place where the (top) anchors are readily accessible.

Otherwise, in a normal situation - why wouldn't the climber who is descending be doing a rappel? and if they are inexperienced, then it would be appropriate to have them on a belay with an independent rope - while they are rappelling down.

if you want to lower people off the top of the cliff, better to have two experienced climbers. set up a top rope system. one experienced climber rappels down. the second stays at the top and makes sure that everyone is anchored, and when it's their turn to be lowered off - that they are tied in properly. then they can be lowered off by an experienced person. still as i said ... if you've got inexperienced people then better not to add to the difficulties by using rope set-ups and anchors that you are unfamiliar with.

just my $0.02
and i'm not getting down on you in any way.

dT

First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All

Forums : Climbing Information : Beginners

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook