Climbing Safety 101

Placing a cam? Slotting a nut? Slinging a tree?
Scaife
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Post by Scaife » Mon Oct 20, 2003 9:54 pm

Being that not so swift guy who took that really really long fall with Tomdarch, I will not be offering any advice on safety.

However, if anybody is feeling like they are getting lazy in their safety, climbing with me seems to be a cure for a lot of people. :(
Yasmeen wrote:
Hey Scaife-- why'd you capitalize Trad, but not sport? Are you trying to stir the shit pot or what?

Meadows
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Post by Meadows » Mon Oct 20, 2003 11:27 pm

Cool! Where do I sign up?

rhunt
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Post by rhunt » Tue Oct 21, 2003 9:42 am

Never trust a middle mark on a rope! This one got me in big trouble one time :shock:
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Post by merrick » Tue Oct 21, 2003 7:17 pm

i picked up a good one this summer.

when letting your partner who is leading know that they have reached the halfway point on the rope, don't yell halfway. it sounds like off-belay. instead yell 100ft (if it is a 60).

and let me add some redundency by saying check everything twice!
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wanderer
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Post by wanderer » Thu Oct 23, 2003 12:17 am

Check, check again, recheck, check... one last check... check again......ok ready to go... check one more time.... go. So far it's worked for me. Far as others, I'm already in the habit of checking them by glancing over while their tying in and such. Do it enough and it becomes easy to spot errors. Checking everything multiple times doesn't take more then a few seconds and keeps you focused on safety. Obviously there are always chances to overlook things, but that's why you need reliable trustworthy partners so the chance of both missing something is slim.

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Post by Wes » Thu Oct 23, 2003 8:17 am

Checking isn't all it's cracked up to be without really paying attention. For example, I use a double bowline to tie in. But while on the road this summer and climbing with a bunch of different people, I would ask if my "8" looks good. Maybe 60% said it was fine. Another 20% looked confused, but still said things look good. And the other 20% said it didn't look right.

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Post by Guest » Thu Oct 23, 2003 8:52 am

Wes, that is pathetic. I hope you called them out on that.

I've been climbing with more and more people who use the double bowline to tie in. When I check them, I say "well I don't know if it's right. Is it right?" and they check it again. I need to learn that knot so I can check it properly. I may even start using it since I'm getting tired of trying to undo my welded 8 after falling a bunch.

One thing that I do and that I ask my partners to do is to verify the "off belay" request. When my climber asks to be taken off belay, I say "[name], do you want me to take you off belay?" and I wait for a confirmation. If I don't get a clear one, I will ask again or say "are you hooked in directly to the anchor?" I am horrified when I hear a fuzzy request to be taken off belay and watch the belayer casually take their climber off. Maybe it's my hangup, but this was the way I was taught and I think it's a crucial command to verify every single time.

captain static
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Post by captain static » Thu Oct 23, 2003 10:52 am

I know it is "old school" but I was taught a very simple system of commands based on syllable cadence. The two belay commands in this system are "on belay" and "belay off". A different ordering so as not to get confused. The way to remember this is the sentences, "I am on belay" & "Take the belay off". All commands are acknowledge with "Thank you". This system is explained in the "Wilderness Handbook" by Paul Petzoldt and this is the system taught by NOLS.
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Wicked Tribe
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Post by Wicked Tribe » Thu Oct 23, 2003 10:54 am

Belay properly with a GriGri! Don't do the lazy sporto "clasp-and-yank". I did this way back when I climbed with a few sport punks. After months of "belaying" this way I went to belay someone with an ATC and did the same.

What I mean by "clasp and yank" is this: You hold the body of the GriGri with your right hand, holding the cam down while your left hand is stylishly relaxed. When your climber needs rope you pull it through the device with your left hand. At no point in time is this ever a safe practice.

You should always belay with a GriGri as if it DOES NOT LOCK!

One other point (two part actually): Just because someone is a good climber doesn't necessarily mean they are a safe climber. And just because someone has survived for 10, 20 or 50 years as a climber does not necessarily mean they are safe either. Be especially suspicious of scars and a string of deceased partners.
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Alan Evil
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Post by Alan Evil » Thu Oct 23, 2003 10:44 pm

http://www.knoppaz.com/videos/videos/climbers.mpg

These people didn't double check. This video is real and awful.
[size=75]You are as bad as Alan, and even he hits the mark sometimes. -charlie

"Not all conservatives are stupid, but most stupid people are conservative." - John Stuart Mill[/size]

jeffers_mz
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Post by jeffers_mz » Fri Oct 24, 2003 2:02 pm

Knotting the ends of your rap rope and then tossing it down in a high wind will spoil your day, and possibly your night too. If it's windy, knot 'em and flake it into your pack instead.

A quick glance at a partner's tie in/harness buckle isn't going to tell you squat if you aren't familiar with that harness or knot. To get redundancy you have to follow the threads all the way through. If you're not comfortable looking at your partner's...midsection... that long, put your estate is in order before you go out.

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Post by lordjim_2001 » Fri Oct 24, 2003 2:11 pm

Being a Gumby and a n00b to boot I have to voice an opinion. I've always thought that tying your rap ropes together was a dumb idea. B/c of the possible high wind issues. I would think that tying each end into some big horkin' knot that couldn't pass through my belay device would be a better idea.

Just my $.02 on a slow friz-eaky friz-iday. Fiz.
Screw you guys. I'm going bowling.

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Post by tomdarch » Fri Oct 24, 2003 3:38 pm

Sandy wrote:I've been climbing with more and more people who use the double bowline to tie in. When I chizzle them, I say "well I don't know if it's right. Is it right?" and they chizzle it again. I need to learn that knot so I can chizzle it properly. I may even stizzle using it since I'm getting tired of trizzle to undo ma welded 8 after falling a bunch.
I use the double-bowline with a re-threaded keeper (from Climbing or R&I), but I do have mixed feelings about using it. I weigh 195lbs., so I wonder what kind of whippers you are taking, Sandy! One problem with the bowline is that if you start the loops the wrong way or if you 'run the rabbit around the tree' in the wrong direction, then it doesn't really hold. (they are relative to each other, so if you do both backwards, then you have just mirror-imaged the knot, and it will be OK.) Tugging on the knot when you snug it up shoud tell you that you've goofed, but I wonder how easy it is to miss this. I also doubt that it can be reliably checked visually. Hmmmm....

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Post by Alan Evil » Fri Oct 24, 2003 5:24 pm

"The stage hand staggers out the bar door, swings around the lamp post, and back into the bar." --Rags

That double-bowline is such an elegant knot.

The link I posted above ( http://www.knoppaz.com/videos/videos/climbers.mpg )probably won't play because the connection is too slow. You should right click on it and save it somewhere and then watch it. I actually think the two of them lived through the fall with "multiple fractures." Someone that speaks Spanish could tell us. I think their rope broke but, again, I don't speak Spanish.
[size=75]You are as bad as Alan, and even he hits the mark sometimes. -charlie

"Not all conservatives are stupid, but most stupid people are conservative." - John Stuart Mill[/size]

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