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Belaying 2nd from ground level built anchor
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kjwashson


Oct 24, 2012, 8:19 PM
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Belaying 2nd from ground level built anchor
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Where I'm at we're mostly climbing single pitch trad that tops out flat. Usually this means that you're building an anchor at ground level to bring up the second, as opposed to building it on the wall in front of you with masterpoint at chest height.

Normally I belay the 2nd with the munter off the anchor because it's simple, and you can easily lower if needed. Also the Cinch and similar devices are not made for this configuration - horizontal and near the ground where their operation could be blocked (well at least ATC Guide /reverso need to be vertical).

There are times though were it would be nice to use an autolocking device, when the 2nd might be hang dogging, or is a lot heavier than me etc

Can anyone suggest some good methods to do this when the anchor is built at ground level? I've contemplated just connecting myself snug in front of the anchor and belaying seated from a Cinch on my harness, but to me this still has the same issue, the device could get blocked.

thanks for your suggestions


(This post was edited by kjwashson on Oct 24, 2012, 8:25 PM)


marc801


Oct 24, 2012, 8:49 PM
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Re: [kjwashson] Belaying 2nd from ground level built anchor [In reply to]
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kjwashson wrote:
Where I'm at we're mostly climbing single pitch trad that tops out flat. Usually this means that you're building an anchor at ground level to bring up the second, as opposed to building it on the wall in front of you with masterpoint at chest height.

Normally I belay the 2nd with the munter off the anchor because it's simple, and you can easily lower if needed. Also the Cinch and similar devices are not made for this configuration - horizontal and near the ground where their operation could be blocked (well at least ATC Guide /reverso need to be vertical).

There are times though were it would be nice to use an autolocking device, when the 2nd might be hang dogging, or is a lot heavier than me etc

Can anyone suggest some good methods to do this when the anchor is built at ground level? I've contemplated just connecting myself snug in front of the anchor and belaying seated from a Cinch on my harness, but to me this still has the same issue, the device could get blocked.

thanks for your suggestions
That. Belay off your harness. If you're concerned about the Cinch getting blocked, use an ATC-type device. In 40 years of climbing, I've only very rarely belayed directly off the anchor. "Oh no! What about escaping the belay?!!?" I hear you asking. In that same 40 years, I and the people I climb with (which amounts to over 500 years of collective experience) have never, ever once had to do that. It's an over-rated concern....assuming everyone knows what they're doing.


shockabuku


Oct 24, 2012, 9:13 PM
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Re: [kjwashson] Belaying 2nd from ground level built anchor [In reply to]
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No options to build the anchor back from the edge of the cliff?


potreroed


Oct 24, 2012, 9:28 PM
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Re: [kjwashson] Belaying 2nd from ground level built anchor [In reply to]
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Def belay off your harness.


chris


Oct 24, 2012, 9:53 PM
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Re: [potreroed] Belaying 2nd from ground level built anchor [In reply to]
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I'm with Ed - belaying from your waist in this scenario is the best solution.


patto


Oct 25, 2012, 5:22 AM
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Re: [kjwashson] Belaying 2nd from ground level built anchor [In reply to]
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The ATC Guide, Reverso, Cinch, GriGri certainly don't need to be vertical in order to operate safely. In fact their relationship to the direction of gravity is irrelevant. As often as not when I'm using my reverso the anchor is more 'horizontal' than 'vertical'.

Occasionally using the reverso in autoblock isn't practical for the reasons described. In which case yes I simply sit at the edge of the cliff and belay from my harness. The vast majority of times though I use the reverso in autoblock mode.


surfstar


Oct 25, 2012, 12:02 PM
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Re: [patto] Belaying 2nd from ground level built anchor [In reply to]
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How about an autoblock off your harness?

Crazy

Should still work fine, but maybe a pain to pull the rope.

Crazy


wivanoff


Oct 25, 2012, 12:27 PM
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Re: [kjwashson] Belaying 2nd from ground level built anchor [In reply to]
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Why are n00bs all enamored with "autoblock" belay devices and "guide-mode"?

Accidents waiting to happen if lowering the second and you don't know the risks.

Build your anchor. Belay off your harness. Have yourself cloved to the anchor so you can sit on the edge and watch and the belay load comes on the anchor, not on you. If you're worried about your partner hang-dogging, learn how to tie off the belay on the spine of your carabiner. It's simple and effective. Much easier than the mule knot bullcrap http://www.ukclimbing.com/...les/page.php?id=3295

How often do you think you're going to have to escape the belay on a single pitch route?


jt512


Oct 25, 2012, 7:02 PM
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Re: [wivanoff] Belaying 2nd from ground level built anchor [In reply to]
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wivanoff wrote:
Why are n00bs all enamored with "autoblock" belay devices and "guide-mode"?

Because it has the word "guide" in it.

Jay


patto


Oct 25, 2012, 7:57 PM
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The more pressing question is why are so many people here against the autoblock mode? What good reasons are there to not use it?

It is extremely safe to belay with and in most cases far more convenient. It also can improve belay change over times significantly because various other tasks can be more safely and easily performed while the second is ascending.

Sure some concerns have been raised about the improper use of the device for lowering. But every device as seen accidents due to improper use. Autoblock devices are no different.

As far my climbing goes lowering my second is an extremely rare event. However should I need exist I have the skills to can safely lower them. I use the autoblock 80% of the time. The other 20% I belay off my harness.


redlude97


Oct 25, 2012, 8:49 PM
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Re: [patto] Belaying 2nd from ground level built anchor [In reply to]
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patto wrote:
The more pressing question is why are so many people here against the autoblock mode? What good reasons are there to not use it?

It is extremely safe to belay with and in most cases far more convenient. It also can improve belay change over times significantly because various other tasks can be more safely and easily performed while the second is ascending.

Sure some concerns have been raised about the improper use of the device for lowering. But every device as seen accidents due to improper use. Autoblock devices are no different.

As far my climbing goes lowering my second is an extremely rare event. However should I need exist I have the skills to can safely lower them. I use the autoblock 80% of the time. The other 20% I belay off my harness.
I probably use autoblock mode 20-30% of the time bringing up the second. IME it provides a somewhat shitty belay because you don't get any feedback and end up with either too much tension in the line or slack.


bearbreeder


Oct 25, 2012, 9:57 PM
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Re: [patto] Belaying 2nd from ground level built anchor [In reply to]
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its RC ... like the twilight zone what goes on here has little bearing on what people do outside Wink

most people i know use autoblock ... at least on harder routes with good anchors

the best device for autoblock that ive used so far has been the mammut alpine smart, feeds much easier than an ATC guide, and i have no problem feeling the amount of tension

as to the OPs question you can belay off yr harness, or if you feel the person will hangdog, you may be able to extend the anchor using the rope to the edge and set up a masterpoint there and use the autoblock ...

see here ...

http://www.climbing.com/...a-multi-pitch-route/


one thing to be aware of if belaying off the harness is the possibility of using the rope tie in to prevent the squishy ballz syndrome ... dont use the yos finish in this case ... and practice it as there have been drops by people not used to belaying off the harness from a top position


(This post was edited by bearbreeder on Oct 25, 2012, 10:02 PM)


chris


Oct 26, 2012, 12:16 AM
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Re: [patto] Belaying 2nd from ground level built anchor [In reply to]
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patto wrote:
The more pressing question is why are so many people here against the autoblock mode? What good reasons are there to not use it?

Don't get me wrong - I use my belay device in auto-block mode 90% of the time to bring my partner(s) up. However, if you can't use it level with your belly button (at least) or higher, it is a pain in the ass to spend the next 10-30 minutes bent over (no pun intended) in order to pull the rope through the device.

In instances when I can't build an anchor at shoulder level (or higher), then I typically belay from my waist instead.


guangzhou


Oct 28, 2012, 11:54 PM
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Re: [chris] Belaying 2nd from ground level built anchor [In reply to]
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Single pitch trad area, what are the length of these routes? In many cases, the leader can go up, set up an anchor and lower to the ground. Belay your partner with both feet on the ground and be comfortable instead of hanging in your harness.


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