Forums: Climbing Disciplines: Trad Climbing:
a response to belay devise alternatives...
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Trad Climbing

Premier Sponsor:

 


Partner hosh


Feb 24, 2004, 11:02 PM
Post #1 of 12 (2652 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 15, 2003
Posts: 1662

a response to belay devise alternatives...
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

So there was this discussion going on a little while ago about using a carabiner set up to rappell with. The topic of using wire gates was addressed and I decided to enter and give my opinion. I now humbly eat my words on a plate served with a nice side of pine tree needles and moss. I was doing a trad lead this evening (it's finally warming up a little in Alaska, 35 degrees at the crag!) with a new-b friend at the belay and clean. I set up a top anchor and belayed him up the easy 5.7ish pitch with my trusty reverso. I've climbed with this guy a few times before, out doors and he's not a complete dork, he's just more into ping-pong than climbing. So anyway, he cleans the pitch and gets to the top and starts handing me the cams and nuts. Then, the fatal question, "So, how we get down?" Um, I've rappelled with him before from the top of stuff, but not since last year. Didn't occur to me to tell him to bring up the ATC so we could rappell down. Here we are, at the top of the climb with one belay device between us. I do a little quick thinking... All my biners are bent gates, except for the lockers (which are pears) and 5 wire gates. Sucks! Had to give the richard my reverso and let him rappell with that and rig up a carabiner rappell with wiregates. Worked fine, but I set a back-up prussick just in case... The gate on one to the biners was getting a little action (was opening a hair), but nothing bent and nothing broke. I got down fine and it was actually a pretty smooth ride. I wouldn't recomend using it as your staple rappell device, but it's not so bad in a sucky situation where you're forced to do something stupid or try for hours to find a walk off. He could have sent the reverso back up the rope as I hauled it I guess. But we were loosing light and I knew that even if the biner belay failed, the prussick would catch me and I kind of wanted to try it anyway, this just gave me an excuse without it being my own dumb fault. Long story short, my partner was being a dork and I had to try a sketchy belay but we all got home fine. :roll:


phugganut


Feb 24, 2004, 11:08 PM
Post #2 of 12 (2652 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 16, 2003
Posts: 648

Re: a response to belay devise alternatives... [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

In reply to:
and he's not a complete dork, he's just more into ping-pong than climbing.

Ummm, based on that statement I'd have to disagree. :lol:


Seriously though, why not just use a Muenter Hitch?



edited to correct a minor grammatical error. I guess that makes me a bit of a dork, too. :oops:


Partner hosh


Feb 24, 2004, 11:17 PM
Post #3 of 12 (2652 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 15, 2003
Posts: 1662

Re: a response to belay devise alternatives... [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

He's wicked good at ping-pong and believe it or not, ping-pong is the in thing with the guys that live at his house (4 total). They all are really good ping-pong players. And why not a muenter hitch? Honestly, didn't think of it. I was actually thinking about that stupid biner belay while I was climbing the pitch (yeah, I'm that much of a dork), wondering how it works. So naturally, when I got to the top and he seconded without his ATC, it was the first thing that popped in my mind. Just ran with it and turns out, it's actually a pretty decent rappell. still would rather use my Reverso though.


sfclimber


Feb 24, 2004, 11:34 PM
Post #4 of 12 (2652 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 13, 2003
Posts: 51

Re: a response to belay devise alternatives... [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Interesting experiment. Don't think that I'd want to try it, but thanks for the field test.

As an alternative, you may want to consider some of the standard assisted rappel techniques used in self rescue. I would reccomend having a look at "Self Rescue" by David J. Fasulo, one of the Falcon Guide books.

Specifically, a quick and easy approach is to rig your ATC for rappel as usual, but rather than clipping the ATC to one person's harness with a locking carabiner, leave the locking carabiner floating between the two of you. Each of you would then girth hitch a sling around your harness on one end and clipped into the locking biner holding the ATC on the other end. That way the ATC is used to carry both of your weight. One person controls the descent by feeding the rope through the ATC as usual, the other is just along for the ride. Differing length slings helps prevent 'bumper cars' on the way down.

Works just as well (better actually since the weight is concentrated on one point thereby reducing any triaxial loading) to use a cordalette in the locking biner rigged for two attachment points (one for each climber).


lstockett


Feb 25, 2004, 8:42 AM
Post #5 of 12 (2652 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 7, 2003
Posts: 208

Re: a response to belay devise alternatives... [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

In reply to:
Seriously though, why not just use a Muenter Hitch?

I rappelled with a Munter Hitch once and didn't enjoy it at all. If you want to add friction or lock off, you have to fight the weight of the rope. The constant force pulling the rope into the lower friction position made me nervous.

Of course, maybe the fact that it was dark and I got my backup prussic stuck a few feet off the ground and my partner was pissed is coloring my memory of the event.

Still, I think that is one advantage of a 'biner brake over a Munter for rappelling. That, and the fact that the Munter twists the heck out of a rope.


dirtineye


Feb 25, 2004, 8:54 AM
Post #6 of 12 (2652 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 29, 2003
Posts: 5590

Re: a response to belay devise alternatives... [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

In reply to:

If you want to add friction or lock off, you have to fight the weight of the rope. The constant force pulling the rope into the lower friction position made me nervous.

Just how are you doing your munter rappel?


cedk


Feb 25, 2004, 10:32 AM
Post #7 of 12 (2652 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 30, 2001
Posts: 516

Re: a response to belay devise alternatives... [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I remember people being pretty quick to shout down anyone who suggested you might build a carabiner brake with a wire gate but check out this text from Omega Pacific's site regarding their Doval.

"We wanted a carabiner that had all the benefits of a wiregate: design light, simple, reliable, and strong But, we wanted a shape that could pull some all-mountain duty like rigging 'biner brake raps, alpine clutches something you could aid on without that scary shifting as you load your aiders. "

Sounds like they're saying OK to rap on the Doval.

I rack my nuts on old ovals specifically so I'll have a couple to make a brake with if necessary as they are the best for this purpose.


mrme


Feb 25, 2004, 10:49 AM
Post #8 of 12 (2652 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 4, 2003
Posts: 449

Re: a response to belay devise alternatives... [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

In reply to:
I remember people being pretty quick to shout down anyone who suggested you might build a carabiner brake with a wire gate but check out this text from Omega Pacific's site regarding their Doval.

"We wanted a carabiner that had all the benefits of a wiregate: design light, simple, reliable, and strong … But, we wanted a shape that could pull some all-mountain duty like rigging 'biner brake raps, alpine clutches … something you could aid on without that scary shifting as you load your aiders. "

Sounds like they're saying OK to rap on the Doval.

I rack my nuts on old ovals specifically so I'll have a couple to make a brake with if necessary as they are the best for this purpose.

only thru time and trial and erorr will people start to trust them for a biner break considering i know of no company that has actually tested them. i know they hold me just fine so i have no problem with them.


Partner j_ung


Feb 25, 2004, 11:03 AM
Post #9 of 12 (2652 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 21, 2003
Posts: 18690

Re: a response to belay devise alternatives... [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I think the biner brake is better for rappelling than a Muenter any day. I've heard wire gates are bad for it, but I've tried it also (with a similar back-up), and didn't have a problem.


olderic


Feb 25, 2004, 11:04 AM
Post #10 of 12 (2652 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 17, 2003
Posts: 1539

Re: a response to belay devise alternatives... [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

In order of speed (since time was of the essence).

1. Lower him (he had just climbed - his end of the rope should have been on top - he was all tied in = 30 seconds.

2. Haul the single device back up after he rapped - you already mentioned that. If the terrain was low angle and it would be more of a case of dragging it back up this might not be as good of an option = 1 minute

3. Dual rap - someone mentioned it - can be very quick but if you have never done it you have to factor in a lot of figuring out time = 5 minutes

Up to this point they have all required some degree of corporation from your partner, if that isn't possible.

4. Contruct a rap device from what you have on hand - low angle = Dulfersitz (long lost technique that DOES have it's place). Muenter, biner wrap, biner brake = 5 minutes

5. You tie in and have him lower you once he is on the ground - is he competent? You will have to thread your end through the anchors - is weighted anchor wear going to be an issue? = 10 mninutes.


kman


Feb 25, 2004, 11:05 AM
Post #11 of 12 (2652 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 16, 2001
Posts: 2561

Re: a response to belay devise alternatives... [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I have used the munter to rap a couple times. Never had a problem with it. Works great. Twists the rope a bit though.


phugganut


Feb 25, 2004, 10:56 PM
Post #12 of 12 (2652 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 16, 2003
Posts: 648

Re: a response to belay devise alternatives... [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

In reply to:
In order of speed (since time was of the essence).

1. Lower him (he had just climbed - his end of the rope should have been on top - he was all tied in = 30 seconds.

2. Haul the single device back up after he rapped - you already mentioned that. If the terrain was low angle and it would be more of a case of dragging it back up this might not be as good of an option = 1 minute

3. Dual rap - someone mentioned it - can be very quick but if you have never done it you have to factor in a lot of figuring out time = 5 minutes

Up to this point they have all required some degree of corporation from your partner, if that isn't possible.

4. Contruct a rap device from what you have on hand - low angle = Dulfersitz (long lost technique that DOES have it's place). Muenter, biner wrap, biner brake = 5 minutes

5. You tie in and have him lower you once he is on the ground - is he competent? You will have to thread your end through the anchors - is weighted anchor wear going to be an issue? = 10 mninutes.

5 minutes for a Muenter Hitch? No way. 30 seconds tops, and although it's about the same time as lowering, it's often more comfortable to do than lowering, especially if you lower them off of your harness.
Actually, if your partner wasn't a noob, the best way (IMHO) would be to take another 15 seconds to tie a butterfly at a point where very little of a single strand of rope is on the grouond, clip it into the anchor, then rap first, eliminating the twisty rope problem. Your partner then unties the knot, moves the rope a few feet farther down, and follows on the Reverso.


Forums : Climbing Disciplines : Trad Climbing

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook