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Next pet peeve - belay technique!!!

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Next pet peeve - belay technique!!!

Postby ShortTimer » Thu May 14, 2009 9:21 pm

Ok, now that we have spewed about helmet preferences, I want to air a little about my pet peeve. I hate having to pick the pieces up and carry people out from the crags and so I open my mouth about belay technique all the time. Much of the problem is with people being taught at the gym and what will hold a 5' fall will NOT hold a 25' fall. I see people holding the rope with both hands up so that they never let go of the rope but this leaves them with no power to hold a fall. Worse is that their little finger is closest to the belay device and will get sucked right on into said device when the leader falls. Please people, turn your hand over so that the meat of your hand is going to hit the device and hold the tail down by your side so you can lock someone off easily. And when your leader is 10 feet off the ground and only 5 feet about a ledge, don't have 5 feet of slack between the two of you. You are just gonna let the poor guy break his ankles (how many of these do we see every week!).

In other words, pay attention and THINK!
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Postby The Chief » Thu May 14, 2009 9:28 pm

Here's what I think about the "Belaying techniques" that I see out there these days.....Image

Yapping with your chums about last nights socialthon down at the bar, sitting on the deck daydreaming, trying to light and then smoking a cig, watching the gal on the next route and her boobs bouncing around... etc!
Last edited by The Chief on Thu May 14, 2009 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby kheegster » Thu May 14, 2009 9:29 pm

Belay device!?

I just use a hip belay. KISS!
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Postby Diggler » Thu May 14, 2009 9:30 pm

Just use a Gri-gri
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Postby ShortTimer » Thu May 14, 2009 9:34 pm

Diggler wrote:Just use a Gri-gri


Unfortunately, I know more people that have hit the deck while being mis-belayed on a grigri then any other way.
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Postby Foxy Long Bottoms » Thu May 14, 2009 9:37 pm

And when your leader is 10 feet off the ground and only 5 feet about a ledge, don't have 5 feet of slack between the two of you.


I can't believe how many times I have to remind people of this. CONSTANTLY!!! WTF?
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Postby The Chief » Thu May 14, 2009 9:43 pm

Diggler wrote:Just use a Gri-gri


That's what the dude said and did the other day in ZION. Appears he also had his cord stacked in a pack to avoid getting dirty....

ZIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIP!


Oh SHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET... NO KNOT!


AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAM!
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Postby ShortTimer » Thu May 14, 2009 10:27 pm

Really though, I didn't want this to be about the device chosen because if you belay with a grigri and you are holding the rope the wrong way and forget to let go of that little lever (seen this happen many times) you have the same problems catching a falling leader.
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Postby lost_in_nj » Fri May 15, 2009 4:10 am

And then sometimes the belay is so bad you don't even know what to say.

This weekend I was sitting at the top of a certain well known crag out here on the East coast, watching my partner belay up the third person in our climbing group. As we are sitting there enjoying the scenery another climber pops over the edge about 15 feet away from us. He comes over to the tree we are using as an anchor, throws a sling around it and clips himself to it. Starts hauling in his rope until it goes tight.

And then... still just holding on to the rope with just his hands... shouts down "You are on belay!". He then hauls up a few more feet of rope before sitting back against the tree. Next he pulls out a Gi-gi, hangs it on his anchor and finally puts his partner on belay. The partner was probably climbing for a good two minutes with not even an attempt at a belay.

I mean, what can you say in a situation like that? OK, it wasn't a lead belay, but in some ways this was worse. A leader tends to know the risks he is taking and that falling is probably not the best idea. The second usually assumes he is on toprope, and that a fall isn't going to result in any major catastrophe.
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Postby RickF » Fri May 15, 2009 5:10 am

The Chief wrote:Here's what I think about the "Belaying techniques" that I see out there these days.....Image

Yapping with your chums about last nights socialthon down at the bar, sitting on the deck daydreaming, trying to light and then smoking a cig, watching the gal on the next route and her boobs bouncing around... etc!


First, I have to comment on how much I enjoy seeing Felix the Cat,

"You'll laugh so much,
Your sides will ache,
Your heart will go pitter-pat,
Watchin' Feeelix,
The wonderful cat" (I'll spare you all the other whole verse)

Back to the belaying topic. A lot of people think of belaying as a passive, resting activity and a break from climbing. Belaying is work. Sometimes more work than climbing, If you keep your head positioned to see your partner your neck can get stiff, you sometimes have to squint into the sun to keep a bead on your partner. You have to constantly manage the rope to keep in stride with the climber. If the climber is moving fast, your arms can get a good work-out doing coutless reps to keep up. Like a passenger train operator or an airline pilot, the belayer should not engage in gratuitous banter that could distract him/her.
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Postby EverydayExplorer » Fri May 15, 2009 1:15 pm

While on the topic of belaying, I was reading somewhere about an accident because the guys stopper knot rolled. The knot was a simple overhand so he recommended a figure eight as a stopper. Personally I'm not too worried because I never use stopper knots. More often than not I'm tied in and ready to follow on multi stuff or the TR stuff is setup from the top.

Have you heard about stopper knots rolling/what do you use?
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Postby The Chief » Fri May 15, 2009 2:38 pm

jschrock wrote:imho, Grigris just make for lazy-ass belayers.

The only thing a Grigri is good for is Solo Aiding and Jugging...period!

Yesterday at Pine Creek I saw a "Slaver" doing something that topped it all off....

SHE WAS TEXING ON HER CELL WHILE SLAVING WITH A GRIGRI!

Image
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Postby brenta » Fri May 15, 2009 3:01 pm

EverydayExplorer wrote:I was reading somewhere about an accident because the guys stopper knot rolled. The knot was a simple overhand so he recommended a figure eight as a stopper. [...]
Have you heard about stopper knots rolling/what do you use?

Maybe the stopper knot was not properly dressed and cinched. As for knots rolling, some do under sufficiently heavy loads. Watch the very end of the movie clip on the UIAA safety page. Others will break before they roll. The figure eight is more prone to rolling than the overhand.
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