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blueeyedclimber


Jun 22, 2010, 9:28 AM
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Re: [rgold] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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Well said.

One thing I will add is about personal responsibility as far as instruction goes. Rgold is exactly right that it is up to the individual to keep themselves and their partner safe. But, if I were to instruct someone and then they hurt themselves or someone else applying that instruction, I WOULD feel responsible. I think anyone with a heart would feel the same.

So, I think an instructor needs to think long and hard about the type of instruction they give, because human emotion and guilt are unavoidable if an accident were to happen, regardless of who is actually at fault.

Josh


maldaly


Jun 22, 2010, 9:37 AM
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Re: [rgold] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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Well said, rgold. One of the best things about climbing for me is that it's one of the few places left where we can make our own decisions and then take full responsibility for those decisions. The opening paragraph of the warning we post on our website says just about the same thing:
---------------------------------------------
Climbing and mountaineering activities, which include technical rock, snow, and ice climbing, backcountry skiing, general mountaineering and slacklining, combine many unique opportunities and choices to experience individual freedom and self-determination in our natural environment. An essential element of this expression of freedom through climbing and mountaineering is the acceptance of the many risks and dangers that are inherent in and integral to these activities.
----------------------------------------------

No so sure I'm ready to go back to the hip belay though. I'll never forget early belay school in 1972. We were in a parking lot on a hill, tied in to a lamp post belaying a goddamn Volkswagen coasting at 11mph down the hill. Someone had calculated that the force the rolling VW generated was close to that of an F2 fall. I got the damn thing stopped but had rope burns on my back through the heavy army coat I was wearing and through the pair of welder's gloves I had on.

Ouch! But it was a lesson I'll never forget.
Climb Safe,
Mal


reno


Jun 22, 2010, 10:17 AM
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Re: [rgold] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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rgold wrote:
We old codgers learned it all (and by and large continue to learn it all) by ourselves. No instructors to blame for our own stupidity.

And that's the way it ought to be. Personal responsibility is central to climbing. If something goes wrong on your watch, it is your fault (even if it isn't). Deal with it.

It is no one's fault but your own, not the gym that provided an atmosphere of inattention and an illusion of safety, not the instructor who didn't give you the whole story and neglected to move in with you for the next ten years to keep tabs on your progress, not the leader who trusted you when they shouldn't have.

Someone put their life in your hands and you fumbled the pass. You will have to live with this, and you better not start looking around for someone else to point the finger at, because there is no one but yourself to blame.

Harsh? Part of the problem is that the general atmosphere isn't harsh enough. People need to hear this loud and clear. This ain't tiddlywinks. It isn't the NBA finals or Word Cup Soccer or the US Open either. In those things, if you lose, you go home and try harder next year. When you "lose" in climbing, someone might go home in a goddamn box.

I'm beginning to get nostalgic for the days of the hip belay. The belayer knew they were in for it. No gadget of unknown frictional properties that supposedly works with everying from dental floss to tugboat hawser, no non-autolocking autolocking device that will work even if the belayer is asleep but of course really won't, no "hands-free" device that can't really be used with hands free, in short, no technological substitute for continual attention and some very simple skills.

One of the reasons climbing is becoming so popular is that the various industries involved in promoting it manage to continually downplay the dangers, to the point that a casual attitude is easy to adopt. Look at the "you're gonna die" line, which has become a pervasive joke line in internet forums. Ha ha.

The warnings are, of course, in the fine print, but they get about as much attention as the conditions-of-use documents we routinely agree to with a click when we install new software.

But none of this excuses in inexcusable. That rope in your hands is somebody's lifeline. You sure as hell better know what you are doing with it.

Best post on RC.com in a long, long, long time.


JimTitt


Jun 22, 2010, 10:31 AM
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Re: [jt512] dangerous belayer [In reply to]
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Pure sampling bias on your part. Until this thread, I had never seen or heard of anyone being dropped by a Cinch, but I have seen and heard of more people than I can remember being dropped using Grigris and ATCs. You cannot draw conclusions about the relative safety of belay devices from such sources.

Jay
Hmmm, IŽd have though a guy like you would have been a little more cautious with his choice of words! That youŽve never heard of anyone being dropped is merely your sampling bias in that you neither looked nor heard in the right place.

The current issue of Panorama (the DAV magazine, 3.2010 http://cms.alpenverein.de/download_file.php?id=6589&showfile=1) reports 6 cases of serious injury from belaying failures with the Cinch and statistically the accident rate is 21 times that of the Grigri and 112 times that of ATC style devices.


majid_sabet


Jun 22, 2010, 10:38 AM
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Re: [blueeyedclimber] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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blueeyedclimber wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:

if you pull a n00b off the street and give him a climbing gear and ask him to manage it then walk away. did you just walked away from a climber and based on your logic, you still think that was his responsibility to find out for himself ?

Dude, that happens every day. They're called REI salespeople.Wink

On another note, the answer is somewhere between being responsible and having no responsibility whatsoever. There is NO teacher or instructor anywhere in the world in any subject matter that is expected to guide a student entirely through their learning. That is just unrealistic. The fact of the matter is that it is a student's responsibility to learn. Should the teacher provide quality instruction? Absolutely! But, in the end, no matter how qualified and excellent a teacher is, some people just can't learn certain things. Sometimes a student may be doing fine under supervision, but when asked to recall it later has trouble. You can't blame a teacher for that.

This is a terrible tragedy, for sure, but outside of obvious negligence, you cannot blame instruction.

Josh

You guys love to blame the problem on some one else cause you like to see things in black and white.

if a student fails and kills some one , is always his problem but no dudes. if a child goes and become pregnant in 13, that should be her problem right ?

Responsibility does not end once you pass the belay device to a inexperienced climber. you need to make sure that this child can apply brake, steers the wheel and controls the entire thing before you walk away. This is call teaching. you either give it full or you do not.


jt512


Jun 22, 2010, 10:49 AM
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Re: [JimTitt] dangerous belayer [In reply to]
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JimTitt wrote:
In reply to:

Pure sampling bias on your part. Until this thread, I had never seen or heard of anyone being dropped by a Cinch, but I have seen and heard of more people than I can remember being dropped using Grigris and ATCs. You cannot draw conclusions about the relative safety of belay devices from such sources.

Jay

Hmmm, IŽd have though a guy like you would have been a little more cautious with his choice of words! That youŽve never heard of anyone being dropped is merely your sampling bias....

That is implied by my post.

Jay


socalclimber


Jun 22, 2010, 10:57 AM
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Re: [rgold] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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rgold wrote:
We old codgers learned it all (and by and large continue to learn it all) by ourselves. No instructors to blame for our own stupidity.

And that's the way it ought to be. Personal responsibility is central to climbing. If something goes wrong on your watch, it is your fault (even if it isn't). Deal with it.

It is no one's fault but your own, not the gym that provided an atmosphere of inattention and an illusion of safety, not the instructor who didn't give you the whole story and neglected to move in with you for the next ten years to keep tabs on your progress, not the leader who trusted you when they shouldn't have.

Someone put their life in your hands and you fumbled the pass. You will have to live with this, and you better not start looking around for someone else to point the finger at, because there is no one but yourself to blame.

Harsh? Part of the problem is that the general atmosphere isn't harsh enough. People need to hear this loud and clear. This ain't tiddlywinks. It isn't the NBA finals or Word Cup Soccer or the US Open either. In those things, if you lose, you go home and try harder next year. When you "lose" in climbing, someone might go home in a goddamn box.

I'm beginning to get nostalgic for the days of the hip belay. The belayer knew they were in for it. No gadget of unknown frictional properties that supposedly works with everying from dental floss to tugboat hawser, no non-autolocking autolocking device that will work even if the belayer is asleep but of course really won't, no "hands-free" device that can't really be used with hands free, in short, no technological substitute for continual attention and some very simple skills.

One of the reasons climbing is becoming so popular is that the various industries involved in promoting it manage to continually downplay the dangers, to the point that a casual attitude is easy to adopt. Look at the "you're gonna die" line, which has become a pervasive joke line in internet forums. Ha ha.

The warnings are, of course, in the fine print, but they get about as much attention as the conditions-of-use documents we routinely agree to with a click when we install new software.

But none of this excuses in inexcusable. That rope in your hands is somebody's lifeline. You sure as hell better know what you are doing with it.

Thank you.

I've been a harsh fucking prick on this site for a long time and have been beaten over the head for it. I've stood my ground and will continue to do so for the very reasons you are stating above.


Partner j_ung


Jun 22, 2010, 10:59 AM
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Re: [karmiclimber] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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majid_sabet wrote:
if you pull a n00b off the street and give him a climbing gear and ask him to manage it then walk away. did you just walked away from a climber and based on your logic, you still think that was his responsibility to find out for himself ?

Yes.


Partner j_ung


Jun 22, 2010, 11:01 AM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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majid_sabet wrote:
You guys love to blame the problem on some one else cause you like to see things in black and white.

No, that's what you're saying. Most of the rest of us seem to be saying the opposite.


jomagam


Jun 22, 2010, 11:35 AM
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Re: [rgold] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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Rgold really ? You wish climbing gear came with no instructions ? You're like that angry old man who wants children off his grass. Personal responsibility is a given especially because who the hell care whose fault is it if you or a friend gets seriously injured. Having said that you can have a legitimate discussion about the safety of various belay devices. It's nice to preach about users causing accidents, not gear, but reality has more shades than most people on this thread make it seem like.


socalclimber


Jun 22, 2010, 11:48 AM
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Re: [jomagam] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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jomagam wrote:
Rgold really ? You wish climbing gear came with no instructions ? You're like that angry old man who wants children off his grass. Personal responsibility is a given especially because who the hell care whose fault is it if you or a friend gets seriously injured. Having said that you can have a legitimate discussion about the safety of various belay devices. It's nice to preach about users causing accidents, not gear, but reality has more shades than most people on this thread make it seem like.

Oh good lord and butter.


karmiclimber


Jun 22, 2010, 12:03 PM
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Re: [jomagam] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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jomagam wrote:
Rgold really ? You wish climbing gear came with no instructions ? You're like that angry old man who wants children off his grass. Personal responsibility is a given especially because who the hell care whose fault is it if you or a friend gets seriously injured. Having said that you can have a legitimate discussion about the safety of various belay devices. It's nice to preach about users causing accidents, not gear, but reality has more shades than most people on this thread make it seem like.

LOL. Personal responsibility doesn't have "shades", fyi.


Partner rgold


Jun 22, 2010, 12:29 PM
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Re: [jomagam] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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jomagam wrote:
Rgold really ? You wish climbing gear came with no instructions ?

If I said anything related to that, it is that people don't attend to the instructions that are provided and ignore the manufacturers warnings.

In reply to:
who the hell care whose fault is it if you or a friend gets seriously injured.

A large portion of the thread seems to be devoted this question.

In reply to:
Having said that you can have a legitimate discussion about the safety of various belay devices. It's nice to preach about users causing accidents, not gear, but reality has more shades than most people on this thread make it seem like.

I don't disagree about the shaded reality, but I'm growing weary of an emphasis on failure of technology and poor instruction that casts the incompetent as hapless victims of circumstances beyond their control.

If the device flies apart in your hands, then you got a beef.

If you basically don't know how to use it, haven't practiced with it, haven't thought about and worked through its idiosyncrasies, and then you literally take someone else's life in your hands, then I don't think anyone should be looking around for external sources of responsibility for the consequences.

In reply to:
You're like that angry old man who wants children off his grass.

If the lawn is covered with signs saying poison has been put down, then I do want them off my grass.

Learn your craft, and you can play on my lawn all you want. Otherwise, the angry old man is gonna yell at you.


karmiclimber


Jun 22, 2010, 12:37 PM
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Re: [rgold] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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In reply to:
jomagam wrote:Rgold really ? You wish climbing gear came with no instructions ?

If I said anything related to that, it is that people don't attend to the instructions that are provided and ignore the manufacturers warnings.

The instructions and warnings are a legality, or am I wrong? IE the manufacturers put them there to avoid sue-age.

In reply to:
If you basically don't know how to use it, haven't practiced with it, haven't thought about and worked through its idiosyncrasies, and then you literally take someone else's life in your hands, then I don't think anyone should be looking around for external sources of responsibility for the consequences.

Honest question. How does one practice with, say a cinch, to become competent with it? It seems that even in practice, you are going to be putting someone at risk, no? I think that is why I stick with the ATC....its what I learned to belay on, so why change it up...


blueeyedclimber


Jun 22, 2010, 12:59 PM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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majid_sabet wrote:
blueeyedclimber wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:

if you pull a n00b off the street and give him a climbing gear and ask him to manage it then walk away. did you just walked away from a climber and based on your logic, you still think that was his responsibility to find out for himself ?

Dude, that happens every day. They're called REI salespeople.Wink

On another note, the answer is somewhere between being responsible and having no responsibility whatsoever. There is NO teacher or instructor anywhere in the world in any subject matter that is expected to guide a student entirely through their learning. That is just unrealistic. The fact of the matter is that it is a student's responsibility to learn. Should the teacher provide quality instruction? Absolutely! But, in the end, no matter how qualified and excellent a teacher is, some people just can't learn certain things. Sometimes a student may be doing fine under supervision, but when asked to recall it later has trouble. You can't blame a teacher for that.

This is a terrible tragedy, for sure, but outside of obvious negligence, you cannot blame instruction.

Josh

You guys love to blame the problem on some one else cause you like to see things in black and white.

if a student fails and kills some one , is always his problem but no dudes. if a child goes and become pregnant in 13, that should be her problem right ?

Responsibility does not end once you pass the belay device to a inexperienced climber. you need to make sure that this child can apply brake, steers the wheel and controls the entire thing before you walk away. This is call teaching. you either give it full or you do not.

Look, I know English isn't your first language, but if you're not even going to attempt to understand what I wrote, then I don't know what else to do. What you are not understanding, is that an instructor could be perfect, do everything right, and even go above and beyond what is asked of them...and the student could STILL screw it up. This is not a 7-year-old we're talking about. These were adults.

You seem to be implying that all climbing instructors need to follow their students around for the rest of their lives. Am I missing something?

Josh

Edited to say: the pregnant 13 year-old is their parent's problem, not their climbing instructors Tongue


(This post was edited by blueeyedclimber on Jun 22, 2010, 1:01 PM)


redlude97


Jun 22, 2010, 1:06 PM
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Re: [karmiclimber] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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karmiclimber wrote:
In reply to:
jomagam wrote:Rgold really ? You wish climbing gear came with no instructions ?

If I said anything related to that, it is that people don't attend to the instructions that are provided and ignore the manufacturers warnings.

The instructions and warnings are a legality, or am I wrong? IE the manufacturers put them there to avoid sue-age.

In reply to:
If you basically don't know how to use it, haven't practiced with it, haven't thought about and worked through its idiosyncrasies, and then you literally take someone else's life in your hands, then I don't think anyone should be looking around for external sources of responsibility for the consequences.

Honest question. How does one practice with, say a cinch, to become competent with it? It seems that even in practice, you are going to be putting someone at risk, no? I think that is why I stick with the ATC....its what I learned to belay on, so why change it up...
How did you practice with the ATC? Aren't you putting someone at risk while you learned how to use it? The cinch is no different. If you learned proper technique to start, and follow that, and don't do anything you aren't supposed to, the worst that happens is you shortrope your climber, which is the intention is practicing they shouldn't be climbing anything where this is an issue, or you have a slow and jerky lower. These same things happen with a noob on an atc. You can back up a cinch belayer the same way by putting someone on the brake strand.


jakedatc


Jun 22, 2010, 1:10 PM
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Re: [karmiclimber] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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karmiclimber wrote:

Honest question. How does one practice with, say a cinch, to become competent with it? It seems that even in practice, you are going to be putting someone at risk, no? I think that is why I stick with the ATC....its what I learned to belay on, so why change it up...

You learn the same way you learned how to use your ATC

I switched a few years ago. I started by belaying with it on easy routes with little risk of falling to get the mechanics down. I read the instructions and watched Mal's video for tips. I also PM'd Mal himself and asked him questions.

how did you learn to drive a car. You start slowly with instruction, drive cautiously, eventually you become comfortable. Once you start rolling you and people around you are at risk.

The failures in this accident would have happened with ANY device. The guy didn't have his hand on the brake. #1 rule of belaying .. broken. User error. period.


blueeyedclimber


Jun 22, 2010, 1:12 PM
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rgold wrote:

Learn your craft, and you can play on my lawn all you want. Otherwise, the angry old man is gonna yell at you.

Awesome! With all due respect, I'm taking this. Cool


socalclimber


Jun 22, 2010, 1:18 PM
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Re: [blueeyedclimber] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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blueeyedclimber wrote:
rgold wrote:

Learn your craft, and you can play on my lawn all you want. Otherwise, the angry old man is gonna yell at you.

Awesome! With all due respect, I'm taking this. Cool

Agreed! Brilliant response.


jt512


Jun 22, 2010, 1:21 PM
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karmiclimber wrote:
I think that is why I stick with the ATC....its what I learned to belay on, so why change it up...

If by "ATC" you mean the classic ATC (as opposed to ATC-dash-something), then you should change, because it is doubtful whether your belay device provides enough friction to control a severe fall with the current generation of ropes.

Jay


redlude97


Jun 22, 2010, 1:22 PM
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jakedatc wrote:
karmiclimber wrote:

Honest question. How does one practice with, say a cinch, to become competent with it? It seems that even in practice, you are going to be putting someone at risk, no? I think that is why I stick with the ATC....its what I learned to belay on, so why change it up...

You learn the same way you learned how to use your ATC

I switched a few years ago. I started by belaying with it on easy routes with little risk of falling to get the mechanics down. I read the instructions and watched Mal's video for tips. I also PM'd Mal himself and asked him questions.

how did you learn to drive a car. You start slowly with instruction, drive cautiously, eventually you become comfortable. Once you start rolling you and people around you are at risk.

The failures in this accident would have happened with ANY device. The guy didn't have his hand on the brake. #1 rule of belaying .. broken. User error. period.
Although its hard to know for sure, i don't think this was the only error made in this case. I think the belayer squeezed the device overcoming the camming action. Much worse in that even if he was holding the brake strand it still would have failed


kostik


Jun 22, 2010, 1:52 PM
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JimTitt wrote:

The current issue of Panorama (the DAV magazine, 3.2010 http://cms.alpenverein.de/...=6589&showfile=1) .

Thanks JimTitt. This article explains clearly in plain German that one cannot hold the Cinch vertically. It is dangerous because in this case the rope goes straight through the device toward the climber without meeting any friction. Those people who are claiming to hold it upright during the lead belay are endangering their climbers. You can hold it vertically only when belaying on a TR.

Therefore, as I have explained previously in this thread, the Cinch must be tilted way to the left with its opening away from the direction of the rope. I hold the device flat on its side with the colored panel up. I explained this to the belayer involved during my instruction. By teaching him I was hoping to make him my permanent climbing partner, therefore, I took my instructions seriously. It was not only about loading and holding the Cinch, but also about feeding the appropriate amount of slack, keeping rope away from the climber, etc.

I tried to arrange a climbing trip together with him several times after that, but we always had a schedule conflict. He climbed for half a year with other people. I have no information on whether he used the Cinch correctly after our session or used incorrect technique.

When I bought a Cinch, I hated it at first. It locked the rope when I was feeding it out, and I practiced with it for two weeks during which time I found that pinching it with the index finger and a thumb and holding it flat on a side is the safest mode of operation. Then I tried it in the gym with a climber. Caught several controlled falls. Then I took it outside. After several months of practice, I felt that, when used correctly, the Cinch is easier to use and safer than grigri. Now I must also agree that the Cinch is less forgiving when the belayer is not following the instructions precisely. In particular, holding it vertically, or cupping it with the hand is plainly dangerous.

Perhaps, it will make Mal feel better if I tell that at least on one occasion the Cinch saved climber's life in a situation when an ATC would have failed. I was belaying a climber on toprope on a steep climb. I was standing not directly under the chains, but closer to the wall. There was a large boulder right behind me. At about 60 ft above the ground my climber asked me to take. I was pulled back and hit the boulder with the back of my head. I saw sparks and almost fainted or perhaps I did faint. I was still holding the breaking end of the rope, but not firmly enough to break the fall. If I were using an ATC, there would have been a dead body on the ground. But the Cinch locked the rope and held. The Grigri would have done the same.


redlude97


Jun 22, 2010, 2:01 PM
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Re: [kostik] dangerous belayer [In reply to]
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kostik wrote:
JimTitt wrote:

The current issue of Panorama (the DAV magazine, 3.2010 http://cms.alpenverein.de/...=6589&showfile=1) .

Thanks JimTitt. This article explains clearly in plain German that one cannot hold the Cinch vertically. It is dangerous because in this case the rope goes straight through the device toward the climber without meeting any friction. Those people who are claiming to hold it upright during the lead belay are endangering their climbers. You can hold it vertically only when belaying on a TR.

Therefore, as I have explained previously in this thread, the Cinch must be tilted way to the left with its opening away from the direction of the rope. I hold the device flat on its side with the colored panel up. I explained this to the belayer involved during my instruction. By teaching him I was hoping to make him my permanent climbing partner, therefore, I took my instructions seriously. It was not only about loading and holding the Cinch, but also about feeding the appropriate amount of slack, keeping rope away from the climber, etc.

I tried to arrange a climbing trip together with him several times after that, but we always had a schedule conflict. He climbed for half a year with other people. I have no information on whether he used the Cinch correctly after our session or used incorrect technique.

When I bought a Cinch, I hated it at first. It locked the rope when I was feeding it out, and I practiced with it for two weeks during which time I found that pinching it with the index finger and a thumb and holding it flat on a side is the safest mode of operation. Then I tried it in the gym with a climber. Caught several controlled falls. Then I took it outside. After several months of practice, I felt that, when used correctly, the Cinch is easier to use and safer than grigri. Now I must also agree that the Cinch is less forgiving when the belayer is not following the instructions precisely. In particular, holding it vertically, or cupping it with the hand is plainly dangerous.

Perhaps, it will make Mal feel better if I tell that at least on one occasion the Cinch saved climber's life in a situation when an ATC would have failed. I was belaying a climber on toprope on a steep climb. I was standing not directly under the chains, but closer to the wall. There was a large boulder right behind me. At about 60 ft above the ground my climber asked me to take. I was pulled back and hit the boulder with the back of my head. I saw sparks and almost fainted or perhaps I did faint. I was still holding the breaking end of the rope, but not firmly enough to break the fall. If I were using an ATC, there would have been a dead body on the ground. But the Cinch locked the rope and held. The Grigri would have done the same.
Look closely at the pictures. The mag is advocating to flip the cinch upside down and then using it horizontally, not the same as your case, notice how it causes the belay loop to twitch. Malcom has mentioned before that europeans have suggested this method, although it is not his reccommendation. Explain how the method of camming is different in a TR vs a leading situation that makes the device in a vertical orientation more dangerous?


kostik


Jun 22, 2010, 2:11 PM
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Re: [redlude97] dangerous belayer [In reply to]
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redlude97 wrote:

Look closely at the pictures. The mag is advocating to flip the cinch upside down and then using it horizontally, not the same as your case, notice how it causes the belay loop to twitch.

On Abb2 the Cinch is not flipped upside down. The picture on the left overemphasizes tilting the device to the left. The pic in the middle and in the circle shows that the cinch is tilted to the left, but not clipped to the biner upside down. This brings more friction into the system and gives the belayer more control over the rope. You can use the advantage of google translator to read the text.


jt512


Jun 22, 2010, 2:11 PM
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Re: [kostik] dangerous belayer [In reply to]
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kostik wrote:
This article explains clearly in plain German that one cannot hold the Cinch vertically. It is dangerous because in this case the rope goes straight through the device toward the climber without meeting any friction. Those people who are claiming to hold it upright during the lead belay are endangering their climbers. You can hold it vertically only when belaying on a TR.

When you catch a fall, the rope goes from the belay device up to an anchor and then down to the climber. This is true whether the climber is top roping or leading. Therefore, it is very difficult to see why, if the Cinch can safely be held vertically for TR belaying, it cannot be safely held vertically for lead belaying.

Jay


(This post was edited by jt512 on Jun 22, 2010, 2:13 PM)

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