Has anybody ever tried to use a cross-load protecting Black Diamond Gridlock carabiner with a Smart Alpine belay device?

I do think the Smart Alpine does not go very well with the CRAG Smart HMS carabiner from Mammut. The Smart Alpine belay device sometimes gets caught in a corner since it is pretty broad and rather chunky. In a hectic situation this may cause danger to the climber.

I never had this issue with a regular Smart or Smart 2.0 device, so this question specifically for the Smart Alpine variants.

Maybe someone has a perfect (cross load protecting) carbine match for the Smart Alpine suggestion?

Thank you very much in advance.

  • 1
    Be sure to check BD and Mammut recommendations. Some anti-crossloading carabineers cannot be used normally with some belay devices. For example, the gridlock has to be oriented in a specific way when used with a Grigri. Otherwise, it is worse than using a normal carabineer.
    – Qudit
    Jul 6, 2019 at 20:28
  • 1
    Thank you! The CRAG Smart HMS by Mammut is the actual recommendation by Mammut, or any other (EU-)PSA symmetric HMS according to the manual. While this recommendation works well for the Smart (non-alpine variant), I think there may be better solutions than the CRAG HMS for the Alpine variant. Will try the BD Gridlock and reply. Jul 8, 2019 at 9:57

1 Answer 1


I have used the Mammut Smart Alpine with many biners, including the GridLock. My impression is that, while the Smart does have the tendency to get caught and stuck when the rope runs over the lock when using a common biner, it still gets caught with a cross-load protecting one (although it is less common). In my experience, what really helps avoiding the Smart getting stuck is to use the [cross-load protecting] biner with the lock oriented in the direction of the hand you're belaying with: That is, if I'm right handed and belaying with my right hand, I turn the lock to the right. Some orthodox climbers might say this increases the chance of the biner getting accidentally unlocked by the belaying hand, but I think this is generally a very unlikely situation.

With the biner facing the belaying hand, the little impulses that naturally happen while paying out rope cause the break to hit a section of the biner that has nothing where it could get stuck. This has been working for me.

  • I am with you there, had the chance to try out the Gridlock by BD. I guess when having no screw lock system, but another one (like Magnetron) you are fine. However, the accidental unlocking is a real danger on screw locks, so I would avoid that. Jul 15, 2019 at 12:36

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