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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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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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
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 ...
Reverend Gonzo's user avatar
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
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 ...
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16 votes
2 answers
861 views

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 ...
Nana's user avatar
  • 161
16 votes
2 answers
4k views

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 ...
StrongBad's user avatar
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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 ...
Russell Steen's user avatar
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
  • 10.7k
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
14 votes
4 answers
2k views

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 ...
llama's user avatar
  • 1,963
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 ...
user avatar
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 ...
user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
4k views

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?
nhinkle'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
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
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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 ...
David's user avatar
  • 1,037
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
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
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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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
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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 ...
Scorpio's user avatar
  • 213
11 votes
2 answers
755 views

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 ...
user avatar
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
10 votes
2 answers
712 views

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 ...
STW's user avatar
  • 1,450
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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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
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?
ClimberM's user avatar
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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-...
DJBunk's user avatar
  • 1,081
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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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-...
Wills's user avatar
  • 12.2k
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
  • 4,447
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
  • 4,528
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
  • 2,456
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
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: ...
djechlin's user avatar
  • 602
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 ...
user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
485 views

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 ...
Zac B's user avatar
  • 173
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
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
  • 3,379
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
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
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
  • 928
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
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
  • 2,453
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
  • 1,119
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
  • 1,280
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 ...
Reverend Gonzo's user avatar