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belay devices

12:59:57 PM
thanks guys , seems as though it is still a mixed bag.
For myself it would at this point just be used as a single rope belay as I haven't done any multipitch stuff where the other Reverso applications would be used. And from talks I have had, it has been recommended that I buy a 10.5 - 11 mm rope, may sound a bit excessive I really can't comment as I don't know all the ins and outs, but it sounds like the larger diameter would lessen the ' fast ' factor that has been mentioned.
All that said, it does appear that maybe I have jumped the gun and bought a more technical piece than required, so it seems a much simpler belay device maybe the go.

As for the gri gri, I can understand the dificulty pulling slack as I had the same troubles at cliffhanger, so having to work quite hard makes you very concious of what you are doing, but it did feel awkward, that would be a practice makes perfect thing though

As a side note Neils comments:" A gri-gri is also very useful in self rescue aplications. I can use it as a very fast ascender, lowering device for bodys ect. Saves dragging silly prussics up climbs any day.", I read that and understood it to be more about personal proficiency as opposed to negating the value of prussics

as always the opinions and comments make interesting reading giving plenty to think about,

6:46:37 PM
From a dinosaur....
Good old fashioned sticht plate serves me well.
I carry prusiks, and seldom have occasion to use them.
Reverso sounds OK (to a point); ... but I would find any device that inhibits lowering more hassle than its worth. (The old stuff works OK with munter hitch etc).

Seems to me that todays trend is towards thinner ropes,...
so the bottom line is get something that works on thin ropes!
12:14:57 PM
Two points i'd like to make

firstly several people mentioned that the reverso is no good for thin ropes, well a quick search of produced the new REVERSINO (small version of reverso), it is for ropes 7.5 - 8.2 mm and weighs a mere 57g, but of course it propbaly won't be available here in Aus for another couple o years....

Secondly some people said the weight of the grigri is a nuisance, it weoghs 225g compared to the reverso's 81g - only 144g more - about the weight of a micro-camalot so it is basically the differance between racking one more cam up or not

i'm being way to analyitical...


3:57:08 PM
if you're going to be analytical, 225g is almost 3 times the weight of a reverso, and even more than that for a standard belay tube (which works just as well)

11:20:42 PM
On 27/02/2004 Edward Frillypants wrote:
>In reply to Timmy
>Turn it round for more friction. There are two 'settings'.

I mustn't have read the manual too well, and did consider turning the device around, but the square edge of the plate looked a little too sharp for my liking. I'll give it a try though, cos i still haul both belay devices up the hill for some reason...

Oh, and just to add more fuel to the debate, I've used my 9.4 rope on several gri-gris for quite some time now, and have not had any problems with the gri-gri catching.

11:44:47 AM
On 27/02/2004 A5iswhereitsat wrote:
>From a dinosaur.... Good old fashioned sticht plate serves me well.

I am totally sold on the Reverso for my purposes - but I do carry my ancient sticht plate on occasions - you still cannot beat the lockoff you get with those things.

12:29:30 PM
been using an atc for years and thought it was everything i ever needed until i read all these comments! Now I'm going to have to go out and spend another couple of hundred bucks on belay devices that didn't need 10mins ago. Oh well. Such is life.

keep it simple. go light. use a stitch. only exceptions i'd say are if you're really light and get hoyked off your feet all the time or your partner likes to dog sporty stuff for ages in which case get a grigri.
2:46:09 PM
I recently upgraded from a double 9mm Sticht with spring (that I've had for 20 years) to an ATC-XP Guide. I used the "9mm" Stitch on ropes up to 10.5mm. My impressions?

Generally I like the XPG but really it doesn't do anything fundamentally different to the Sticht. Ability to feed is about the same, and the XPG probably locks off slightly more easily. Certainly was very comfortable rapping on double 8.8mm ropes - the Sticht is also fine, but the XPG was easier to control. Disadvantage - extra friction makes you a little lazy about holding the rope!

The spring on the Stitch used to get tangled in gear so I don't miss that. However, with hindsight I think I would have been happier with the ATC-XP - same handling, but lighter and cheaper. I can't see myself using the autoblock feature of the XPG. I figured the upgrade would be lighter than my earlier device - but the weight is virtually identical.

While the manual says the XPG can be threaded left or right ("low friction"), in practice the low-friction mode - where the teeth are against the rope going to the climber - makes it harder to feed slack in a hurry. So I'll be sticking with the high-friction mode, perhaps unless rapping on slabs or toproping my 24kg daughter.

I note that asymmetrical belay devices are a hassle - I sometimes thread it the wrong way when not concentrating, even though the device is clearly marked. This is not an issue with the Stitch or even the standard ATC, and no doubt I'll get used to it over time.


1:14:09 AM
Interesting post gfdonc.
I also 'upgraded' to the ATC-Guide after being a sticht plate user for forever; got mine in '79 (I think).
I am still a sticht plate user!, as I only got the guide specifically for making climbing with a party of three easier, and I succumbed to the bling lust after trying to ignore it for a while. Guess I am a gear freak at heart, as I looked at the Edelrid Eddy at the same time (also a spiffy unit), and decided the BD item was more in the vein of climbing that I do and I wanted the flexibility of being able to simul-belay two seconds at the same time.
I have only used it once so far on an easy angled slab and pretty much echo your post word for word as my evaluation of it.
I was using double 9mm ropes at the time and it abseils well, even on a single strand.
I did not find feeding slack in a hurry a hassle, though admit I used it in its high friction mode the whole time.

11:14:44 AM
>firstly several people mentioned that the reverso is no good for thin
>ropes, well a quick search of produced the new REVERSINO
>(small version of reverso), it is for ropes 7.5 - 8.2 mm and weighs a mere
>57g, but of course it propbaly won't be available here in Aus for another
>couple o years....

The reverso is available here. It is crazy light, a scaled down reverso. It does have a very limited rope range though. 8.5s will not work with it. It really is as per the serving suggestions.

Tel, if you really are just 'standard belaying' and single-roping, a Black Diamond Air Traffic Controller has my vote. Works smoothly (better than most 'copies' in my opinion), but not too fast (smoother than my reverso, but slower for abseils); you can't put the rope in the wrong way (slow/fast), and you wouldn't want a different mode anyway. There are also a few reasons that I prefer the wire keeper to rigid ones (like Reverso).

8:59:46 PM
IMO whatever belay device you use, key is to use it and use it and use it till its intricacies, foibbles, quirks and behaviour becomes predictable and second nature to you.The more devices you have, the more you devices you must practise on. There's no short cut to learning from practice, which is kinda cool..guess it means you've gotta go climbing more, which is good. But seriously, whenever I buy a significantly new type of device - as when I first bought a Gri Gri - and by the sounds of it, when you buy something like a Petzl Reverso or BD ATC Guide - the key is to use it and use it till you're on intimate terms with it...sort of..that way you'll be able to cope with things like feeding slack out quickly to your leader and avoid short roping them - which REALLY sucks - and still know to how to hold them if they fall. Important stuff!

9:24:48 PM
>whenever I buy a significantly new type of device - as when I first bought a Gri Gri - and by the sounds of it, when you buy something like a Petzl Reverso or BD ATC Guide

IMO There isn't that much difference between a sticht plate and a BD ATC Guide. It is the same basic principle, only the shape is a little different.
I agree though that going to a Gri Gri (or similar), from a Sticht would validate what you are saying.
10:58:56 AM
Yeah, ditto. I was surprised how similar the 'modern' ATC-XPG was compared to my 20yo Sticht. While I was a little apprehensive initially the principle of belaying is the same. So my 2c worth is - a good belayer will be OK whatever device they are using. Stay alert. Grigri is the possible exception.

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There are 33 messages in this topic.


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