Goto Chockstone Home

  Tech Tips

      Sponsored By

Chockstone Photography
Australian Landscape Photography by Michael Boniwell
Australian Landscape Prints

Chockstone Forum - Gear Lust / Lost & Found

Rave About Your Rack Please do not post retail SPAM.

Topic Date User
Belaying the leader directly off the anchor. 5-Aug-2012 At 7:03:26 AM TonyB
A response to the comments here, from Association of Canadian Mountain Guides:
Thanks for sending the link to this discussion. The tone and language used reminds me of why I rarely partake in these forums!

First of all it is important to put into context the intended audience. These videos are being produced as part of a series that will eventually become part of our new technical manual. They are created within the context of guiding and all of the techniques included in them will have gone through a rigorous vetting process and are considered to be common practice in the guiding world. That said, most of these techniques also require a high level of understanding of technical systems, climbing physics and a very high level of judgement.

Having the ability to use the right technique, in the right place and at the right time is one of the hallmark skills of guiding. Deciding when it is appropriate to use the fixed -point belay technique is no different.

It seems that many of the people commenting on the video have either not watched the entire video, did not read all of the criteria for use and/ or do not understand the physics around it. It is also clear that they are not trained guides and are not looking at this from a guiding perspective.

The main reason for using this technique is if there is significant concern that the belayer could loose control of the rope in the event of a fall. The situations where this could occur are as stated in the video; wet rock, long run-outs, difficult climbing, inexperienced belayer, small or light belayer.

It is important to understand that in the decision making process for using this technique, you must ask yourself if the greater hazard is from a potential anchor failure or is it from belayer failure. In guiding, I am often more concerned with the potential for the later. In many situations it is not possible to put in a low, upward pull piece to 'hold' the belayer in place. This is particularly true in areas of compact stone where bolted anchors are necessary.

We are clear that this technique should only be used in situations where there are two, high integrity, multi-directional pieces (good bolts or good screws) and it must be built to have a minimum breaking strength at the focal point of ~20kN which is appox. twice the force that a modern dynamic climbing rope can transfer to the anchor.

This technique has received a lot of testing both in Canada and in Europe, and when used on appropriate anchors and within the criteria specified above can minimize the risk of the belayer loosing control of the rope.

We might need to make it more clear on the website that these are guiding techniques that require additional training and a high level of judgement but in this case I don't think it would have helped.

Marc Piché
Technical Director
Association of Canadian Mountain Guides

There are 59 replies to this topic.


Home | Guide | Gallery | Tech Tips | Articles | Reviews | Dictionary | Forum | Links | About | Search
Chockstone Photography | Landscape Photography Australia | Australian Landscape Photography | Landscape Photos Australia

Please read the full disclaimer before using any information contained on these pages.

Australian Panoramic | Australian Coast | Australian Mountains | Australian Countryside | Australian Waterfalls | Australian Lakes | Australian Cities | Australian Macro | Australian Wildlife
Landscape Photo | Landscape Photography | Landscape Photography Australia | Fine Art Photography | Wilderness Photography | Nature Photo | Australian Landscape Photo | Stock Photography Australia | Landscape Photos | Panoramic Photos | Panoramic Photography Australia | Australian Landscape Photography | High Country Mountain Huts | Mothers Day Gifts | Gifts for Mothers Day | Mothers Day Gift Ideas | Ideas for Mothers Day | Wedding Gift Ideas | Christmas Gift Ideas | Fathers Day Gifts | Gifts for Fathers Day | Fathers Day Gift Ideas | Ideas for Fathers Day | Landscape Prints | Landscape Poster | Limited Edition Prints | Panoramic Photo | Buy Posters | Poster Prints