Author Topic: Back Up Belay Devices  (Read 1910 times)

DLottmann

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Back Up Belay Devices
« on: May 26, 2005, 11:13:54 AM »
So what do you use and carry?

I use a Reverso mostly for belaying leaders and rappelling.  It did get me out of a jam once as an emergancy ascender.  I belay seconds with it in the winter, making it the only device I bring with me in the winter.

I use a Gri-Gri 90% of the time to belay seconds on rock.  I feel the easier rope feeding over the Reverso in auto-locking mode and the ability to lower off the anchor warrent the extra weight.  I also like to use it when running top-ropes.  It may get replaced with the Trango Cinch soon....

A couple HMS Biners for a Munter Knot as my 3rd option.

Offline slevasse

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Re: Back Up Belay Devices
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2005, 12:37:04 PM »
My climbing partner who has been climbing for a while, uses a reverso for both ice and rock climbing to belay leaders and seconds.  I use the ATC, just because it is so simple and straightforward to use.  I used a Gri-gri at the climbing gym and wasn't that impressed with it.   Too easy to screw something up or get dropped if the person isn't very familiar with it or panics.  I saw a couple people get dropped at the gym (not from more than a couple feet thankfully) because the people paniced and instead of letting go they pulled harder on the handle...seems rather counter intuitive to me...seems like if you pulled harder then it would brake.  just my 2 cents.

DLottmann

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Re: Back Up Belay Devices
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2005, 12:59:23 PM »
Good point... with all belay failures though, Gri-Gri or other device, it is always pilot error.  I've seen people rig Reverso's off the anchor with 1 Biner in a non-auto-locking mode, akin to simply clipping the rope though a biner and expecting it to somehow catch.  Gri-Gri's, and other types of self-locking belay devices require you READ THE INSTRUCTIONS, and practice in a safe enviroment.  I hold gyms accountable to not teaching new climbers proper belay technique.  I love how some (most) don't allow the use of ATC's, believing Gri-Gri's are safer somehow, yet people get dropped, usually when the "Wall-monitor" is surfing the net behind a desk instead of monitoring...

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Re: Back Up Belay Devices
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2005, 01:08:40 PM »
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yet people get dropped, usually when the "Wall-monitor" is surfing the net behind a desk instead of monitoring...


having been a wall monitor I can attest that things happen even when  you are eagle-eye. you're looking at one person and the other one behind you does something stupid, and in the blink of an eye someone is on the ground.

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Offline dogboy

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Re: Back Up Belay Devices
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2005, 01:13:10 PM »
I do agree that the gri-gri can be dangerous.  I too have seen several people in the gym and at Rumney who, especially when having trouble lowering their partner, panicked and cranked the lever wide open instead of letting it shut.  This seems to be particularly a problem for people who are used to ATCs...their ingrained reaction is to pull back hard to arrest a fall...
« Last Edit: May 26, 2005, 01:13:39 PM by jeffc »
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DLottmann

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Re: Back Up Belay Devices
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2005, 03:00:04 PM »
Ok, sure, but it's still from people not understanding how the thing works.

Anyways, I didn't intend for this to be a pro/con thread of Gri-Gri's.  How about letting us know what you use Al?  Dogboy?

Offline bonathanjarrett

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Re: Back Up Belay Devices
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2005, 05:27:10 PM »
I use the reverso 100% of the time rock and ice.  Once you learn how to release the locked up device it is easy and simple.  Whenever I climb with a partner that I suspect might need to be lowered I build my anchor and arrange my setup in preparation.  Having a solid master point and a shelf above the knot to clip into as well is very important for this.  That said  I almost never redirect through the anchor anymore anyways when bringing up a second, because of the extra load put into the system.  
Plus it doubles as an emergency ascension device which is clutch.  
As for the back-up device, learn the munter hitch.  Unfortunatly with all these fancy shaped biners made now the carabiner brake method doesn't work as well.  It is a good trick to have in the bag though.    

Offline Stickyfingerz

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Re: Back Up Belay Devices
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2005, 08:05:51 PM »
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I use the reverso 100% of the time rock and ice.
Me too!!!
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Once you learn how to release the locked up device it is easy and simple.  Whenever I climb with a partner that I suspect might need to be lowered I build my anchor and arrange my setup in preparation.  Having a solid master point and a shelf above the knot to clip into as well is very important for this.  That said  I almost never redirect through the anchor anymore anyways when bringing up a second, because of the extra load put into the system.
This does take a little practice to be familiar with, but it works just fine as long as you're set up so that you are positioned below the anchor point. (ie. Sitting next to a tree on a belay ledge would require your repositioning in order to release the locked device.)
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Plus it doubles as an emergency ascension device which is clutch.
As well it can function as a component in a hauling system.
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As for the back-up device, learn the munter hitch.  Unfortunatly with all these fancy shaped biners made now the carabiner brake method doesn't work as well.  It is a good trick to have in the bag though.    
The munter really is all you need for a backup. As long as you're familiar with it, it can function equally well for belaying or rappelling in a backup situation. I dropped my reverso this winter while switching raps on a two pitch climb at Stoney Clove. Oh well, threw on a munter and down I went. If I hadn't known how to tie it, it could've been interesting...
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Offline perswig

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Re: Back Up Belay Devices
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2005, 05:05:25 AM »
I'm with Stickyfingers, et al. Reverso, rock and ice. Used to carry my ATC as part of the SNAFU kit (knife, couple pins, Tibloc) but realized a biner brake and Munter will do the job if needed. On a multi-day, out in the willywacks type of climb (anyone for the Bugaboos?), I'd return the ATC to its place, 'cause its pretty light for the piece of mind it would bring.
Like bonathan, I mentally plan on how the release the autolock when building an anchor, but 1) have never had to yet and 2) since I'm belaying off the master point in most setups, one or two of the pieces are usually well placed for a quick clip and tension off the brake locker.
If it's overhanging, I'm probably off-route.

Offline dogboy

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Re: Back Up Belay Devices
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2005, 07:18:41 AM »
I carry an ATC XP and reverso just for the hell of it.  I belay seconds with the Reverso, and use the XP to rap and belay a leader.  Yeah, it's an extra piece of gear, but the ATC is so light...and I hate using a Munter.  They twist your rope something fierce.

I also make sure to have several ovals, so that I can make a biner brake if I really get screwed...
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Offline tradmanclimbz

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Re: Back Up Belay Devices
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2005, 09:32:01 AM »
I use trango jaws most of the time  and have an ATC on my Oh $shit kit. it is so light and has come in handy more than a few times. seems like i have lent my spare ATC out more times than i have had to use it but I have had to use it myself a few times. it is just easier and smoother than a munter.

Offline fjc

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Re: Back Up Belay Devices
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2005, 02:43:13 PM »
I usuually use an ATC. I am considering purchasing a new device that auto-locks.
I am considering the Trango B-52, Mammut Matrix or Reverso. B-52 looks to require at least one extra locker for belaying two at once. Matrix works with 7.5 mm ropes, a benefit.  Any suggestions/weaknesses.

DLottmann

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Re: Back Up Belay Devices
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2005, 03:30:53 PM »
I'm not familiar with the Matrix.  If you use thin doubles the Reversini may be well suited for you.  For the $$$ the Reverso/ini is very versatile.

Any one have experience with the TRE by Trango?  I've played with one but wasn't totally sold.

Offline ClimbingBum

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Re: Back Up Belay Devices
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2005, 05:51:38 PM »
The GiGi from Kong is really nice, simple & light and releases with a little bit more control than the reverso in auto lock mode.
Still I carry a reverso when leading with one rope.
I have a reversino for the belayer when leading with doubles, but still belay the second with the reverso or the GIGI even on small diameter ropes. i just feel a little safer to know that the belayer will have plenty of friction to catch a leader fall with and not get their hand burned and let go...(IMHO)

I love the GRIGRI, I do carry it when leading single rope or top roping, greta for top belays or integral part of any self rescue system.