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Looping rope over tie-in -- alternate belay hand?
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scm007


Apr 2, 2013, 3:31 PM
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Looping rope over tie-in -- alternate belay hand?
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This is just a minor annoyance I've experienced and I'm wondering what you guys do to combat it.

You are 3 pitches up just finished tying into the anchor after a lead. You belay your 2nd up by looping the rope over your tie-in. The 2nd arrives he ties in, you flip the rope over and onto his tie-in.

Now as a belayer I prefer belaying with my right hand. At first the loop is dangling to my right hand side so it is feeding into the devices as normal. Eventually the rope flips over to the other loop and is sort of pulling down from the left. Trying to belay with my right hand is kind of a pain because I have to pull the rope up and over the tie in with my left hand.

So what I have been doing is just switching to belaying with my left hand, which is fine, but I would prefer to use the same hand the whole time.

Anybody understanding what I'm saying? Hints/tricks/tips? Do you guys do it differently?

Cheers!


marc801


Apr 2, 2013, 4:18 PM
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Re: [scm007] Looping rope over tie-in -- alternate belay hand? [In reply to]
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scm007 wrote:
This is just a minor annoyance I've experienced and I'm wondering what you guys do to combat it.

You are 3 pitches up just finished tying into the anchor after a lead. You belay your 2nd up by looping the rope over your tie-in. The 2nd arrives he ties in, you flip the rope over and onto his tie-in.

Now as a belayer I prefer belaying with my right hand. At first the loop is dangling to my right hand side so it is feeding into the devices as normal. Eventually the rope flips over to the other loop and is sort of pulling down from the left. Trying to belay with my right hand is kind of a pain because I have to pull the rope up and over the tie in with my left hand.

So what I have been doing is just switching to belaying with my left hand, which is fine, but I would prefer to use the same hand the whole time.

Anybody understanding what I'm saying? Hints/tricks/tips? Do you guys do it differently?
Learn how to belay equally well with either hand.


markcarlson


Apr 2, 2013, 5:13 PM
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Re: [scm007] Looping rope over tie-in -- alternate belay hand? [In reply to]
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Some options:

Swap leads.

Re-stack the rope each time. Takes less than a minute and should prevent any tangling issues you may get from flipping the coils over.

If there is a ledge, don't even bother looping the rope over your tie-in, just let it fall into a pile on the belay ledge. Again, re-stack it if you are not swapping leads.

I generally try to keep 3 or 4m of extra rope ready, since it allows me some extra time to deal with tangles, taking photos, a short easy section, etc. So it doesn't bother me to do what you're already doing, but I can see how it would be annoying.

Now that I think about it... have you noticed this happens every time you flip the rope? If you're always on the left side of the belayer when you do this, try standing on the right side and see if you have the same problem (or vice versa.)


acorneau


Apr 2, 2013, 5:40 PM
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Re: [scm007] Looping rope over tie-in -- alternate belay hand? [In reply to]
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As Mark said, if there's a ledge just pile it up (hopefully off to the side).

If it's a hanging belay then you can always flake the rope over your feet instead of your tie-in.


patto


Apr 2, 2013, 7:32 PM
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Re: [acorneau] Looping rope over tie-in -- alternate belay hand? [In reply to]
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I ensure that there is sufficient rope on my right side to maintain an adequate belay with my right hand.

This may mean dropping a few coils off right when there is an appropriate moment. This is just one of the many tasks of rope management.


billl7


Apr 3, 2013, 5:31 AM
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Re: [scm007] Looping rope over tie-in -- alternate belay hand? [In reply to]
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I've always subscribed to the idea that multi-pitch climbers need to learn to belay equally well with either hand. My thinking was that one needs to be able to "aim" the belay the best way for all combination of circumstances where the alternatives may not be available:

* facing out from the cliff;
* facing in from the cliff;
* next lead starts to the right;
* next lead starts to the left;

etc.

Another thought I've had is that if the non-dominant hand feels too weak or too uncoordinated, one could reconsider the belay device and/or rope to compensate.

But I'm curious whether folks with lots of mileage on multi-pitch are successfully finding their way around needing this skill.

Bill L


(This post was edited by billl7 on Apr 3, 2013, 5:37 AM)


Partner rgold


Apr 3, 2013, 5:46 AM
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Re: [scm007] Looping rope over tie-in -- alternate belay hand? [In reply to]
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I think you should be able to belay with either hand, but continually switching hands to be on the same side of the tie-in as flaked loops seems like a bad idea to me.

It's already been said: you should be unflaking at least enough rope to keep it hanging on the right side. This completely eliminates any reason to change braking hands over and over again. And you should be doing this anyway, regardless of brake hand considerations, because flaked piles can tangle and you need to stay ahead of the feeding process so you don't end up short-roping the leader.


Partner cracklover


Apr 3, 2013, 8:40 AM
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Re: [rgold] Looping rope over tie-in -- alternate belay hand? [In reply to]
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rgold wrote:
I think you should be able to belay with either hand, but continually switching hands to be on the same side of the tie-in as flaked loops seems like a bad idea to me.

It's already been said: you should be unflaking at least enough rope to keep it hanging on the right side. This completely eliminates any reason to change braking hands over and over again. And you should be doing this anyway, regardless of brake hand considerations, because flaked piles can tangle and you need to stay ahead of the feeding process so you don't end up short-roping the leader.

This ^^^

Often, due to some configuration of the belay, one side will be better than the other. Sometimes that will be your left side. Learn to belay with your left hand.

And, as RG pointed out, just keep feeding rope from the other side into the coil on the side you're belaying from. As you do this, keep an eye on the diminishing loop on the other side, and try to keep it from capturing any additional rope loops inside it.

Cheers,

GO


Guran


Apr 5, 2013, 1:37 AM
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Re: [marc801] Looping rope over tie-in -- alternate belay hand? [In reply to]
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marc801 wrote:
Learn how to belay equally well with either hand.
Certainly. If you can't belay with your non-dominant hand stick to cragging.

BUT which hand to use should be decided based on the belay stance and the direction the climber is going, NOT how the rope was flaked.

Furthermore: I certainly CAN belay with both hands, but my right hand still does a better job. Three pitches up is not where I choose to adress my weaknesses as a belayer...


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