Questions tagged [belaying]

Belaying is the process of holding the end of a climbing rope to catch a climber should they fall. A belay is the stance used when belaying. Belaying requires techniques and equipment to feed (or take in when top roping) the rope to the ascending climber, catch a climber should they fall and lower a climber from the top of a climb. Use this tag for questions that discuss the various methods for belaying, belaying devices being used or belaying techniques.

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Can the Edelrid Pinch open accidentally during belay?

The Pinch is a recently released brake-assisted belay device. What differentiates it from other Grigri-style devices, is the ability to directly clip this into the harness. Edelrid is marketing this ...
Manziel's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
347 views

Recommended carabiner for belaying with Grigri and Giga Jul?

What are the recommended carabiners for different belay devices in order to ensure correct operation (i.e. reduce the risk of cross loading, ensure the braking mechanism engages etc)? Some people have ...
iacobo's user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers
501 views

Why is it acceptable to belay from above with a grigri but not using the same movement from below?

A common practice is to belay a follower from above by connecting a grigri to the anchor and pulling down on the brake strand to take up slack. However, if you were to do this while belaying from ...
endolith's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
859 views

Why not use Reverso in autoblock/guide mode for top roping (or lead climbing)?

I'm simply wondering why we don't use reversos or similar belay device in guide mode when we top rope or lead climb. During normal use, letting go of the brake rope removes any braking in case the ...
elcye's user avatar
  • 61
3 votes
3 answers
250 views

Protect hand skin while belaying

Besides of using adequate gloves, I would like to have some safe options to decrease skin abrasion while belaying, due to the friction of the rope to lower the climber, mainly. I've come up with some, ...
Andrestand's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
464 views

Soft catch for much lighter climber

One of my friends is just starting to get into lead climbing. I'd like to find some good approaches for providing them with a soft catch if they fall. However, there is a big weight difference ...
Dan's user avatar
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0 votes
3 answers
2k views

Belaying with a figure 8 plate and weird mode

Warning, this question is about an unproven method. Do not follow these instruction to learn how to belay. I am finding hard to find any good information about this topic. I know it is possible (but ...
Dennis Fr's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
783 views

Belaying with two hands below atc

I was trained to belay at a summer camp by an adventure group. The way I was taught was to always have two hands below the atc and to pull up with both hands to tighten the rope and then brake with ...
Cloe's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
504 views

Must you always have something in the master point of a belay?

When building a belay with a sling, and tying an overhand knot to create a master point, I’ve seen it stated that you must always have something in all the master point loops. I assume this is to stop ...
Darren's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
358 views

Which way is which on the Wild Country variable controller belay device?

I purchased a Wild Country Variable Controller a while ago but have only used it a couple of times. It has an asymmetrical profile meaning one side provides more friction (for belaying) and the other ...
Darren's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
626 views

Belaying/rappelling with a rope thicker than allowed by belay device

I've got an 11mm static rope. Can I use it safely for top-rope belay/rappel with a belay device that is designed for "9.5 - 10.5 mm rope"?.. I actually rappelled three times with no issues ...
Alexander's user avatar
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6 votes
4 answers
1k views

Why do the GriGri and rope tie into different points on a rock climbing harness?

As far as I understand: When you're climbing, you tie your rope through your harness' 2 tie-in points, using a figure 8 knot. When you're belaying, you tie your GriGri or ATC to a carabiner that goes ...
Alexander's user avatar
  • 163
2 votes
3 answers
474 views

Alternating between twin and half rope technique

Is it possible to change within one pitch the climbing style from twin to half rope mode or vice versa? The assumption is that the ropes are certified as twin and half ropes.
cerv21's user avatar
  • 959
2 votes
1 answer
194 views

Dynamic belaying in trad climbing

In the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0GGsBgPic4 they say at 10:49 that you should forget dynamic belaying in trad climbing, because falling more causes more stress on the gear. Is this ...
cerv21's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
840 views

Are "fall-arrester" devices used in climbing/mountaineering?

I came across an interesting looking device on the Petzl website. As per the description, the mobile fall arresters follow the user automatically as he moves, whether on an inclined or vertical ...
ahron's user avatar
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14 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is belaying with a hip belay unsafe?

It has been suggested to me in a comment, about an answer of mine that suggests using a hip belay, that: There's a reason ATCs, plates, GriGris, etc got popular: they're safer. I know I stopped ...
StrongBad's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
277 views

How can a team of 2 or 3 safely traverse a narrow, exposed snow ridge?

Assume a team of 2-3 people intend to traverse a very exposed ridge at altitude. What are the main hazards and how can they be mitigated? The type of ridge in question is covered in snow (various ...
cerv21's user avatar
  • 959
6 votes
2 answers
543 views

Can a Gri-Gri work if the cam is prevented from engaging?

Based on comments on this question. If the moving cam on a Gri-Gri is prevented from engaging (perhaps by a belayer firmly holding onto the device), can you still brake effectively? By "brake ...
jhch's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
686 views

What are known failure modes of the auto-braking mechanism of Grigris?

Disclaimer first: The brake-hand principle (always hold the braking strand of the rope) always applies to assisted braking belay devices, including the Grigri. This question is in no way targeted at ...
imsodin's user avatar
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12 votes
6 answers
4k views

How to belay top-rope climbers who are ascending quickly?

Some of my climber friends are pretty fast climbers with a speed of about 20s for a 10m long route. The really fast ones use auto-belaying-systems seen on speed climbing competitions. Those auto-...
Andreas Schwab's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
255 views

Does a Mammut Smart Alpine belay device go well with a Black Diamond Gridlock carabiner? Any other recommendations?

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 ...
Andreas Schwab's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
384 views

Tradeoffs between different stopper knots

Because a number of accidents have occurred when a climber was lowered or rappelled off the end of a rope, it is wise to tie a stopper knot in the end(s) of the rope. My question is what stopper knot ...
Qudit's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
158 views

What is the v-notch on top of the “Clickup” climbing belay device for?

I’m wondering does anyone know what this part of a Click Up is for: I’m taking about the rounded cutouts on each side of the device on the climber side. In the normal position I can’t see what these ...
Timmy O'Mahony's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
566 views

What safety concerns are there about automatic belay machines?

I have just tried using an automatic belay machine in an indoor climbing gym. I didn't receive any specific safety training, but it seems to be straightforward. So what safety concerns should I pay ...
anatolyg's user avatar
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7 votes
4 answers
1k views

What is wrong with this belay setup?

This is a follow on from my answer here. I took this photo of my belay and shared it on Facebook, where I friend of mine (A qualified climbing instructor) pulled me up on it as I'd made one or two ...
user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
1k views

Dealing with twists in a rope while belaying

Like most climbers in my area, I use a rope bag to avoid having to reflake the rope after every climb. The downside of this is that the rope gradually aquires twists and after enough climbs, the rope ...
Qudit's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
286 views

Why is a Reverso not useful when belaying a first that's crossing a Bergschrund?

I started reading Petzl's tech tips for mountaineering. While on the section for Crossing a Bergschrund, specifically in the part for Belaying a leader we have the following warning: Warning: the ...
Roflo's user avatar
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29 votes
4 answers
8k views

What is the point of belay glasses?

I was going through the REI website for some of the products and I stumbled upon this one here. It's called Y & Y VERTICAL Classic Belay Glasses The product punchline says: Stop wrenching ...
WedaPashi's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
6k views

What are the steps in the PBUS method of belaying?

The more common way of belaying is called PBUS which stands for Pull, Under, Brake, Slide. What is the correct way to do this (including illustrations)?
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
3k views

Grigri+ vs grigri 2

I just got a sample of Petzl's new assisted braking device, the Grigri+. I must admit I look at it with a lot of disdain, mostly because It's bulkier than the Grigri 2; It's heavier than the Grigri 2;...
QuantumBrick's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
782 views

How to "store" excess rope in a running belay?

A recent question made me wonder how a running belay is really done. Suppose you are climbing an alpine route, maybe of difficulty UIAA 5. You encounter a stretch of 100m of UIAA 1 terrain with no ...
anderas's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
952 views

What do classifications of belays (like "4th class belay") mean?

In this answer about mountaineering on a glacier, @StrongBad mentioned 4th and 5th class belays. I have never heard of belays being classified into such classes. In what context are these classes used ...
imsodin's user avatar
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12 votes
4 answers
671 views

Can a click-up belay tool cause rope wear?

I am regularly using the Click-Up belay device from Climbing Technologies together with a 40-meters rope from Edelrid I bought recently. Now, after using the two only about 10 times together (always ...
fuenfundachtzig's user avatar
16 votes
6 answers
4k views

Is belaying a lead more difficult than a top roped climber

Assessing potential lead climbing partners for competence and safety asserts that a lead climb belay is more complicated and has higher potential for a serious accident over a top rope belay. Is ...
user avatar
6 votes
0 answers
99 views

Assessing potential lead climbing partners for competence and safety [duplicate]

I recently started lead climbing in the gym after taking a lead climbing class. So far, I've only led with someone I know from the class who I watched lead belaying a number of times during the class....
Qudit's user avatar
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10 votes
4 answers
3k views

How unsafe is this belay technique really?

One person I regularly climb with uses a belay technique that I was taught to be unsafe, so I would like to know just how unsafe it really is. With a classic tube-style belay device, after taking in ...
Sebastian Reichelt's user avatar
11 votes
5 answers
3k views

Can you safely use retired ropes for belaying children?

Climbing ropes are UIAA rated for so many falls of an 80kg weight. After that number of falls–or a specific period of time based on amount of use–you are supposed to retire the rope. But what if the ...
ShemSeger's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
310 views

Have the climbing signals "take" and "safe" every been confused to the point of an accident?

There is a story I have heard about climbers who confused "take" and "safe" and I am wondering if it has actually happened. The story goes like this, The climber is out of sight of the belayer and ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
279 views

How to safely use reverso with ferrata harness?

Ferrata harnesses (FH) can be probably safely used also for climbing, as stated in another post. However, I am not sure how to use the reverso with FH. This is because in a usual FH, the belay ...
jjrr's user avatar
  • 255
12 votes
2 answers
4k views

Lead climb weight ratios [duplicate]

I'm about 150ish lbs and my partner is 100ish lbs. I've read somewhere that a 2/3 weight ratio between belayer and climber is ok for lead climb, but I don't remember exactly where. Can someone ...
Adrian's user avatar
  • 223
12 votes
3 answers
6k views

Correct and incorrect slip-slap-slide belay technique

This blog has a discussion of the slip-slap-slide and PBUS techniques for taking in rope when belaying. Here is a video demonstrating PBUS. Slip-slap-slide is illustrated on p. 161 of Freedom of the ...
user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
575 views

(Why) Should I hold the rope when belaying the second climber with Reverso?

When climbing a multi-pitch route, suppose I am belaying the second climber, using Reverso or a similar device. It lets me arrange the rope in such a way that when the climber falls, the rope ...
anatolyg's user avatar
  • 4,528
5 votes
2 answers
3k views

Using Gri Gri 2 as a Self Belaying Device

The other day I was so desperate to go climbing, but I couldn't find a partner, so I ended up self belaying after googling and watching this video. I did check Petzl's site to learn that modifying Gri ...
Neeku's user avatar
  • 631
4 votes
1 answer
838 views

Using Gri Gri 2's Carabiner with Another Belay Device?

I've been using an AustriAlpin autolock carabiner with my Gri Gri 2 for around 9 months, a few times a week (1 to 3 times). It's a very solid, robust and big carabiner, which means that's not too ...
Neeku's user avatar
  • 631
4 votes
1 answer
313 views

What is the working range of TRUBLUE auto belay?

The local climbing gym has several TRUBLUE auto belays but one can soon tire of the same routes. Will the auto belay work if one climbs a route next to it? At what angles does it still arrest a fall? ...
Chris Mendez's user avatar
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11 votes
3 answers
3k views

Belaying directly off a ground anchor?

I recently visited a new climbing gym and was instructed to belay directly off a ground anchor without any attachment to my harness. I've been to other gyms that belay with ground anchors but with ...
Chris Mendez's user avatar
  • 7,210
10 votes
1 answer
2k views

Difficulty belaying with a Gri Gri

I'm having some trouble with my Gri-gri. It seems to keep "jamming" when feeding out rope. It's causing me so much trouble I've basically stopped using it and gone back to a good old fashined belay ...
user avatar
14 votes
3 answers
619 views

What is this belay/descender device called and how is it used?

Or may be it is an ascending device... There are two movable part, both on one axis. I tried searching about various descending devices, but I find mostly descriptions of Petzl things. This may be ...
Vi.'s user avatar
  • 271
17 votes
5 answers
6k views

Is it polite to ask other climbers to belay for you?

I'm a beginner climber. There are many climbers all over my area (doing cliffs). Would it be polite, impolite, or neutral, to approach groups and ask them if I could join them? Maybe this is '...
Ken - Enough about Monica's user avatar
26 votes
3 answers
4k views

How should I vet belayers? What should I look for?

The other night I went to the climbing gym, intending to look for a climbing partner once I got there. (My usual gym climbing partner isn't available to climb as often as I want to.) The gym provides ...
user avatar