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"Run-for-it" Belay technique
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maculated


Mar 17, 2002, 11:01 AM
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"Run-for-it" Belay technique
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Check out this website: Advanced Belay Technique

So what do you all think? That run-for-it technique sounds really dangerous for all involved. I can imagine that on a route with a major runout, this might be a nice way to take up slack, but it occurs to me that:
(1) Running like hell and then having more than bodyweight pull you back is going to send belayer flying
(2) There's no way you could take up that much slack in 2 seconds of running.
(3) You stick a belayer with that much horizontal directional force, you have one major tug-of-war going on.

[ This Message was edited by: maculated on 2002-03-17 11:02 ]


Partner rrrADAM


Mar 17, 2002, 11:30 AM
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I've climbed at places that require this before the leader gets some elevation to avoid a groundfall. It works.


rrrADAM


miagi


Mar 17, 2002, 11:32 AM
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I have to admit that your right on those points. The taking-in theory i believe is right to a degree. The force of you running against the weight of the falling climber might jerk you off the ground. I believe maybe if your climber is falling you might be able to take 2-3 steps back and lock your foothold placings and it would work. But as you stated, it doesnt take that long to fall. The letting out belay is a little risky. I wouldnt really run with it, maybe do a couple feet of sliding motion.

Basically with both principles i think the term sliding, or controlled small footsteps is better than running.


Partner rrrADAM


Mar 17, 2002, 11:43 AM
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For every foot of rope you take, you save the leader 2 feet of fall. Just a 6 foot run, shaves 12 feet off the leaders fall. This could be the difference between the belayer getting yanked onto his ass, or the leader going to the hospital.

It really does work, and my wife is very familiar with this type of belay on PG or R rated routes. The key to this is establishing your path before the leader falls. If it is doen correctly, you can stop the leader just below their top piece.




rrrADAM

[ This Message was edited by: rrradam on 2002-03-17 11:45 ]


maculated


Mar 17, 2002, 11:46 AM
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Hmm, interesting, i didn't take in the math (1 foot = saves 2 feet) on that, but you're right. Now the question is, are you set when the faller hits the end, or are you able to maintain your balance mid-run?


Partner rrrADAM


Mar 17, 2002, 11:49 AM
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I edited the above when you were replying, so reread that.

And basically this makes for a very dynamic belay for the leader, as the belayer just runs like hell till they get yanked onto their ass. A small sacrifice for protecting the leader.

Better the belay gets a little dirty and the leader can finish the route, that the leader needs a Medi-Vac due to deceleration truama.



rrrADAM

[ This Message was edited by: rrradam on 2002-03-17 11:57 ]


miagi


Mar 17, 2002, 11:54 AM
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I guess i'll just have to try it to have some reassurance that i wont lose my balance while im running.


Partner rrrADAM


Mar 17, 2002, 11:59 AM
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We're talking about big whippers here... The belay will not be standing after they arrest the leaders fall.

I was on a route in Red Rocks where the first bolt was 15 feet up, and the second was 40 feet up. Do the math.

Just lock off and run like hell.



rrrADAM

[ This Message was edited by: rrradam on 2002-03-17 12:01 ]


Partner rrrADAM


Mar 17, 2002, 12:04 PM
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Agreed... As the link says, this is an "advanced technique". For newbies to be in a situation where this is warranted, would be asking for trouble.



rrrADAM


Partner rrrADAM


Mar 17, 2002, 12:07 PM
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And BTW...

Don't know if you've used Gri-Gri's before, but it would be impossible for someone to run and pull the rope through one, as there is way too much friction. They'd just pull the belayer to the ground.



rrrADAM


Partner rrrADAM


Mar 17, 2002, 12:22 PM
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OK... Well now I'm just left hanging.

The above 2 posts were in response to 'apollodorus' replying that the above technique sounded like a Three Stooges sequal to Vertical Limit, and that it would just get newbies hurt. He also said that the only way it might work is if the belayer had a Gri_gri, and a 3rd person were to run and pull it through the Gri-Gri. A post which he has deleted.



rrrADAM

[ This Message was edited by: rrradam on 2002-03-17 12:31 ]


phil_nev


Mar 17, 2002, 12:36 PM
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take it from someone who has used this technique... and it quite possible saved the leader from a very serious fall,. if you are on and incline and the leader peels of the rock, run down that hill as fast and as far as you can. I would rather risk being yanked backwards and have a minor injury done to myself, than have the death of my freind on my consience.


bulldog


Mar 17, 2002, 1:25 PM
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Here in North Carolina, we call that the "Stone Mountain Belay".
Stone Mtn. is a big slab of granite with a bunch of great friction climbs. This belay techinque, although not practical at many of the belays, can save the falling climber a fair number of scrapes on the a$$.
Stone Mtn. rules.

Bulldog


maculated


Mar 17, 2002, 4:03 PM
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Very cool. Thanks for the info. I've been on some climbs where this might be pretty handy, and now that I know the logistics, it's good to know what to do in that situation again.


theamish


Mar 17, 2002, 5:19 PM
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I was on the top end of one of these recently. I was at 35' which was 20' above the first bolt, as Adam said, do the math. I slipped on some moss, when I did, lucky for me, my belayer ran like hell. The rope unfortunately caught around my foot and when I got to the end it broke my ankle and later found it had torn the interior miniscus in my knee. BUY WAIT .......... my head first dive stopped about 5" above the rocky ground and I wasn't wearing a helmet. I have no doubt that had it not been for this technique, I wouldn't be writing this now. Oh yes, I also try to wear a helmet now, although to many years of bad habits usually causes me to be neglegent in this endeavor.


theamish


Mar 17, 2002, 5:36 PM
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Oh two more things to think about.
Myself, I'd never try a runout climb with an inexperienced belayer and as a belayer I don't think I could live with myself if I didn't try everything humanly possible to save my lead climber even at the risk of injury to myself, if it meant their life.
By the way my belayer ended up slamming onto his ass when I hit, he laughed about it after he saw I was OK.


jt512


Mar 17, 2002, 6:50 PM
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Adam et al, the running belay definitely does not make the belay more dynamic. On the contrary, it makes it dramatically less dynamic. I suspect that you (Adam) think it is dynamic because you outweigh Karen by enough that you still pull her up, even though she is running in the opposite direction. If she outweighed you -- well, ok, if some other belayer outweighed you -- you'd feel how anti-dynamic the running belay is.

The running belay has its places; namely, on low angle climbs or when the leader is in danger of hitting the ground or a ledge. Otherwise, this technique should never be used. On a steep route (from a few degress less than vertical to overhanging), when the leader is not in danger of decking, the belayer should not attempt to shorten the leader's fall. Doing so will violently slam the leader into the wall. As I've said before, this is the most common cause of injury in sport climbing. On steep routes, the correct way to belay is dynamically, which actually lengthens the fall. Read the rest of the webpage that Maculated posted the link to. This is very well explained there.

The above notwithstanding, when the running belay is necessary, it is safe for the belayer. As Adam said, the belayer should anticipate when a running belay is necessary, and plan the path ahead of time. Yesterday, I looked up at the second bolt on a sport climb I was leading, and said to my belayer, "This second clip has grounder potential. You might have to run." I was very happy when she replied, "I know. I was just figuring out where to run."

-Jay

[ This Message was edited by: jt512 on 2002-03-17 19:56 ]


jt512


Mar 17, 2002, 6:58 PM
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P.S. While running you should also pull out an arm length of rope, and, yes, you can do this with a gri-gri. There is not too much friction.

-Jay


rock_chic


Mar 18, 2002, 10:47 AM
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I also have used this technique and it has been used by people belaying me and I have to say, it has saved lives (or at least stopped legs or ankles getting broken)

The most extreme version of this I have seen myself was at a mountain crag near by.
The crag is on the side of a steep mountain and there is a wide rock ledge at the bottom that you stand on to belay from.
This particular climb only had one good gear placement about a third of the way up.
We did the maths...
And found the only way the leader could be saved if he fell above above half height was by the belayer and and jumping off the rock ledge, towards a 200m, sheer drop!
The leader climbed up and was nearing the top when he slipped.... the brave belayer(who really deserves a medal) took a deep breath and jumped.
And both lived happily ever after.
Which proves it works!


murf


Mar 18, 2002, 11:05 AM
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Would you still run like hell, pull in rope if:

1.) The last piece is good, but a bit touchy, say like a medium RP or and old 1/4" bolt.
2.) The fall will be huge.
3.) The fall would not be a grounder.

What do you think?

Tom

[ This Message was edited by: murf on 2002-03-18 11:10 ]


jt512


Mar 18, 2002, 11:15 AM
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The best you could do in the above situation would be to quickly haul in some rope to shorten the fall a bit, and then give a dynamic belay. This is covered in the article under "putting it all together."

-Jay


rock_chic


Mar 18, 2002, 11:15 AM
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1)I dunno, I guess if that was the case I just wouldn't do the climb or wouldn't belay someone on it and if I did I'd just leave my brain down for a while so I coulnd think bout what I wuz doing

2)If the fall would just be a HUGE one but not a grounder then I wouldnt run and pull, the leader would hae to be prepared for it...

3)If the fall would just be a big one and the leader wouln't deck out (ground up,whatever)if they fell then theres no point in making a fuss..

Thats just my views....what do the others out there think???


treyr


Mar 18, 2002, 5:42 PM
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Yeah it works good in the right situation

Trob


murf


Mar 19, 2002, 8:10 AM
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As far as
Quote:
Would you still run like hell, pull in rope if:

1.) The last piece is good, but a bit touchy, say like a medium RP or and old 1/4" ....

I would recommend *not* pulling in rope. This will only increase the fall factor and the subsequent force on the uppermost piece.

I would also suspect that most people would be better off hauling in rope, rather than running IMHO ( more control ). The original article is British, and is seems to be slanted towards belaying for headpointing, where a belayer can be choosen for his track ability more than anything.

Murf


[ This Message was edited by: murf on 2002-03-19 08:10 ]

[ This Message was edited by: murf on 2002-03-19 08:12 ]


qacwac


Mar 19, 2002, 9:23 AM
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jt512
I may be incorrect but it seems to me that even if the climber outweighs the belayer, when the climber falls he/she will be traveling much faster than the belayer can run. This will make them "feel" like they weigh a lot more. Just think of how in a typical fall the force is much greater when you arrest their fall then when you are just holding them there. Now I've forgotten all the physic of figuring out exactly what the weight ratios could be, but I think it could be dynamic even with a belayer weighing more than the climber.

rock_chic
That's one of the coolest things I've ever read. Wish there was a video of it.

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