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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6 votes
3 answers
492 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
338 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
9 votes
4 answers
3k views

Is there an accepted way to self-belay on top rope?

I have seen a handful of methods and devices on the market: http://www.rockexotica.fr/products/downloads/belay.html (Wayback Snapshot here) These include Rock Exotica's "Soloist", "Solo-...
12 votes
4 answers
670 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 ...
7 votes
3 answers
6k views

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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
3 votes
3 answers
247 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, ...
13 votes
5 answers
3k views

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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
461 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 ...
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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
779 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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.
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 ...
4 votes
2 answers
837 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 ...
2 votes
0 answers
276 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 ...
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-...
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 ...
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 ...
9 votes
2 answers
684 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 ...
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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
383 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 ...
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 ...
8 votes
1 answer
157 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 ...
8 votes
1 answer
564 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 ...
11 votes
4 answers
6k views

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 ...
13 votes
4 answers
2k views

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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
9 votes
4 answers
2k views

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?
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)?
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;...
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 ...
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 ...
14 votes
5 answers
2k views

How to avoid pendulum descent when belaying?

I recently started indoor rock climbing at a local spot. I got to the top and (after appropriate communication) my partner started to belay me down. I instantly starting swinging and spinning pretty ...
12 votes
2 answers
5k views

Preventing cross-loading on belay carabiners

It happend to me a couple of times now that I've cross-loaded my carabiner when belaying; the frequent change from slack to tension and back, moving the carabiner up and down and all that, can easily ...
23 votes
2 answers
8k views

Why does my belay device have two holes?

I have a belay device that looks like: which I used when I am belaying someone who is top roping or leading. However, my rope only goes through one of those slots. What is the purpose of the other ...
5 votes
2 answers
576 views

In rock-climbing, how do I safely belay another climber? [closed]

I am learning to rock climb, and I have heard that I will need to belay climbers, so if they fall, my belay will stop the fall and prevent an injury. What do I need to do to properly belay my ...
8 votes
3 answers
5k views

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-...
7 votes
2 answers
4k views

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: ...