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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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Synthetic insulated belay jacket vs thicker mid layers or down

When it gets colder while walking, I'd add an extra fleece as a mid layer and when we stop to eat, I would put it on too, or I'd wear a down jacket if it's dry. However when it's wet, it seems like ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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-...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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)?
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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;...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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....
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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(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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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? ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 '...
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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 ...
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How to use a Munter hitch to belay and rappel?

There seems to be conflicting information on the web about how to use a Munter hitch for belaying and rappelling while rock climbing. The way I learned decades ago is consistent with Nols Wilderness ...
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What belay systems would work for beginning climbers who can only use one arm?

A friend would like to start climbing but he can only use one arm. I've read about a few people climbing with one arm, but I haven't found advice on which gear to use. We are only at the beginning of ...
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How do I connect to an Autobelay with a Whillan's harness?

I got a Whillans Harness for Christmas. As it does not have a belay loop (see picture), how do I connect it to the Autobelay's carabiner?
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Avoiding a “ding-dong” when lead belaying in the gym?

I sometimes climb in the gym with a partner who outweighs me by about 50%. When he's leading and falls from above his protection, I can get pulled up to the first clip. If he's not very far up, this ...
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Belaying two seconds?

I'm planning on doing some Grade III scrambling/low grade multi-pitch climbing this weekend. Normally just me and my girlfriend would do this kind of thing, I'll lead she'd second. But I'm thinking of ...
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When should a belay device be replaced?

I'm about to purchase my first belay device, and am wondering how long I might expect it to last. What signs should I be looking at to determine when a belay device eventually needs to be replaced?
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Lowering a climber from above using a belay device in autolocking mode

I recently gave a belay from above to a group of five people who were all doing the same single-pitch climb and then being lowered off. (In this case the reason for belaying from above was that the ...
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What is the term for/manufacturer of belay devices with a clip that holds the ATC onto the carabiner?

I broke my friend's ATC, and am trying to find a replacement, but I don't quite know what to look for. It was a somewhat unique unit, at least among those I've seen; it was a standard "basket" ATC ...
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How to top belay 2 climbers at the same time on multi-pitch climb?

Senario: I am leading the climb with 2 ropes. I reach at the first pitch. I put myself on the self anchor and built a master point. Now I want to top belay 2 climbers at the same time. They both will ...
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Belay with a broken arm

I follow Andy Kirkpatrick(Hull's second best climber) on instagram. He rencently posted this photo: with the comment: Teaching self rescue...(how to belay with a broken arm) It looks like a ...
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How to belay on top of a pitch

When doing a multi-pitch and you reach a belay station (the top of a pitch) you can choose between belaying the lead climber from the body (like you do e.g. indoors where you aren't doing multi-...
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Belay checklist?

I've learned several points in rock climbing where one must perform checks, but none that come with a checklist. And there is a serious difference. I passed an indoor belay test roughly as follows: ...
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What's the best way to swap lead when climbing in a group of three using a pair of half ropes?

On a multi-pitch route when all climbers have reached the belay point, what is the best way/what considerations need to be made, in order to swap lead? Obviously the leader will need to be tied into ...
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If an autoblock inteferes with a belay device will a fireman belay have any effect?

When rappeling I understand the need for a backup--whether an autoblock below the belay device, or a second person providing a fireman belay. My understanding is that using an autoblock incorrectly ...