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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

Topic Date User
Belay method, whats the consensus 23-Oct-2004 At 10:06:09 PM nico
If it works, it works. But if it doesn't ...

The moral being, make sure that your belayer *can* hold you by whatever is your preferred method. I use a Welsh DMM thing called a Bettabrake, like a chunky Sticht plate without the spring, or else - as back-up gear - the small end of the Figure 8.

There's a good reason for not using the big end of the 8, as you do in abseiling - it's hard to describe but easy to demonstrate - if you use the big end of an 8 to belay a leader, who falls, there's a good chance that the whole 8 can twist right out of your harness carabiner. End of belay. End of story. (It can't happen if you are belaying from above.)

When I'm teaching beginners, using any sort of plate or 8, I tell them that the 'bottom' hand should generally be palm up. The reason being, if the belayer should inadvertently drop the rope, and the hand is palm up, the rope drops into the upturned palm. But if the hand is palm down, and the rope is dropped, it stays dropped ...

Nothing is fool proof.


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