climber decks, kills dog?

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dustonian
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Re: climber decks, kills dog?

Post by dustonian » Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:38 am

caribe wrote: I have caught many many falls that happened faster than thought and caught me completely by surprise with both gri and atc. I have use the pinch method w/ the gri sparingly. When I pinch the grigri, the rope is still in the palm of my hand. When I pinch my eyes are on the climber or if I can't see the climber I am hyper-aware of what is happening to the rope.
+1

So, not yet a full convert to the ClickUp, caribe?

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Re: climber decks, kills dog?

Post by caribe » Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:55 am

dustonian wrote:So, not yet a full convert to the ClickUp, caribe?
This is very curious. I take a complete different view than most when it comes to climbing. I have explored different knots, after having been dissatisfied with the fig 8. I am very satisfied with the bowline follow-through. I use the ATC and the grigri to belay (not at the same time :D ) as many of you guys do. I like the clickup and I add this to my list of equipment.
I recently described my perspective to friends at the crag. In response, one of my friends described this perspective as high-risk. He obviously favors doing the same thing all the time. However, at some point such a perspective may bite because such a perspective dulls critical thinking and the ability to respond to new situations. I think if you make it idiot-proof you just build a bigger idiot.
Climbing gyms in general build bigger idiots because they don't encourage personal development. They are more concerned with minimizing liability. Then the vacant-eyed products of this minimized liability swarm the cliffs and die.

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Re: climber decks, kills dog?

Post by GWG » Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:30 pm

The one thing I've noticed about the newer climbers at the gym I climb at in PA is that they often try to imitate the belay techniques of their more experienced friends.

As an example, a leader on a difficult overhanging route is above his last clip, makes a move and comes off, his experienced belayer will provide some slack in order to not slingshot the climber back into the wall. While doing so, he lowers him down to the deck in one smooth motion. The inexperienced belayer who hangs out with the more experienced climbers because they're friends or its cool or for whatever reason, observes this action and now takes this as acceptable belay technique for all situations.

We've had a few instances where inexperienced belayers end up dropping their leader to the ground or end up with burned hands because of improper technique.

Trying to combat this issue, several of us are now providing training sessions on lead climbing and lead belaying. Other topics are also being taught such as building anchors with gear, cleaning the anchors, belaying the second, etc.

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Re: climber decks, kills dog?

Post by michaelarmand » Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:44 pm

caribe wrote: • Mike if you use the grigri like can ATC (never take your hand off the brake) how is switching from the gri to the ATC going to increase your climber's safety?
Not by much but there are a few things a gri-gri can do because it is brake assisted. One time a brick size foothold broke while I was leading - causing me to fall, while the rock zoomed toward my belayer. We got lucky, but if this rock hit my belayer anywhere - it could have certainly caused him to let his hand off the brake (lets skip the helmet debate - it could have hit is arm for example). Although we know a gri-gri is not 100% certain to lock in this scenario - I'll take these odds over the ATC any day.

There are also "surprise fall" situations where a belayers hand may come off the brake during/after the fall. This should not happen - but it does. Many people stand too far back from the wall, so if the leader takes big fall and the first piece is low - the belayer is going to smack hard into some sandstone.

Also think about climbs with a lousy belay zone. I caught a lead fall with an ATC ice climbing where I was yanked into a big snow an ice drift. There was no ideal stance to belay - this happens. There are many scenarios like this where a brake assisted device can prevent a disaster.
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Re: climber decks, kills dog?

Post by jrathfon » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:03 pm

michaelarmand wrote:
caribe wrote: • Mike if you use the grigri like can ATC (never take your hand off the brake) how is switching from the gri to the ATC going to increase your climber's safety?
Not by much but there are a few things a gri-gri can do because it is brake assisted. One time a brick size foothold broke while I was leading - causing me to fall, while the rock zoomed toward my belayer. We got lucky, but if this rock hit my belayer anywhere - it could have certainly caused him to let his hand off the brake (lets skip the helmet debate - it could have hit is arm for example). Although we know a gri-gri is not 100% certain to lock in this scenario - I'll take these odds over the ATC any day.

There are also "surprise fall" situations where a belayers hand may come off the brake during/after the fall. This should not happen - but it does. Many people stand too far back from the wall, so if the leader takes big fall and the first piece is low - the belayer is going to smack hard into some sandstone.

Also think about climbs with a lousy belay zone. I caught a lead fall with an ATC ice climbing where I was yanked into a big snow an ice drift. There was no ideal stance to belay - this happens. There are many scenarios like this where a brake assisted device can prevent a disaster.
Just to back this up:

I was belaying a friend on an R-rated climb and he actually took the rather large fall onto two black aliens, problem was, when the rope tensioned I was standing on a wet angled slab on a boulder in the talus below the route (the only real stance), I instantly lost traction with my feet, slipped onto my back, and my elbow so perfectly jammed straight into the slab, hitting my funny bone, causing my grip to instantly explode open involuntarily. (How's that for a run-on) The gri-gri caught, and I quickly scrambled to my feet and lowered the climber safely the 5 extra feet to the ground. We both were a bit shook up, but the device did what it was supposed to do, add that extra little bit or a margin of safety.

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Re: climber decks, kills dog?

Post by caribe » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:48 pm

michaelarmand wrote:
caribe wrote: • Mike if you use the grigri like can ATC (never take your hand off the brake) how is switching from the gri to the ATC going to increase your climber's safety?
Not by much but there are a few things a gri-gri can do because it is brake assisted.
I hope you realized that I was arguing AGAINST ditching the grigri.

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Re: climber decks, kills dog?

Post by TradMike » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:54 pm

A solution to dropped climbers? Thread an 11mm through your gri-gri and try to drop your partner, with a second person backup of course. It is almost impossible with an 11mm. You also get the added benefit of a much more durable rope. An 11mm saved me in my earlier days when I came more than halfway to getting the chop on a sharp iron oxide lip.

Do we know what size rope was being used in this instance? I have always been leary about using a gri-gri with a skinny rope. It flys through the gri-gri with too little resistance. That resistance helps a lot when it comes to engaging the brake cam on the gri-gri. That resistance will also help mitigate, to some extent, mistakes in the belay if you have a fat enough rope. An 11 will probably even force the cam to engage with a death grip on it.

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Re: climber decks, kills dog?

Post by dustonian » Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:11 pm

Gri Gris are not designed to be used with ropes under 10mm. This is printed right on the device and appears in all Petzl literature:

http://www.petzl.com/en/outdoor/belay-devices/grigri

Of course, not many sport climbers use ropes above 10mm. This no doubt has made some contribution to the relatively large number of grigri (i.e. belayer) "failures" over the past few years. I hope the grigri2 will address this to some extent.

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Re: climber decks, kills dog?

Post by Andrew » Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:50 pm

I have the thickest 10.3 on the planet that you couldn't get to fly through the gri-gri even if you tried. Ropes under 9.8 should not be used with a current gri-gri, no matter how many times you say it has caught you. The fact is that a skinny rope will catch, but has a much higher chance of not catching under abnormal circumstances, and once moving it has almost zero chance of catching. I hear young kids bragging all the time about their new skinny rope, which I reply, "buy a new rope, or belay device"
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Re: climber decks, kills dog?

Post by dustonian » Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:04 pm

Andrew wrote:I have the thickest 10.3 on the planet that you couldn't get to fly through the gri-gri even if you tried. Ropes under 9.8 should not be used with a current gri-gri, no matter how many times you say it has caught you. The fact is that a skinny rope will catch, but has a much higher chance of not catching under abnormal circumstances, and once moving it has almost zero chance of catching. I hear young kids bragging all the time about their new skinny rope, which I reply, "buy a new rope, or belay device"
+1

Skinny ropes demand even more extreme vigilance while belaying, especially with light climbers (like my wife). I feel this is why Petzl started pushing the brake-hand-on belay technique a couple years back. That said, I've been using a grigri on a nearly daily basis for stunts, rigging, and climbing for about 15 years and never had a slip, with one exception--aid soloing on a 9.8. YIKES!! Never going to make that mistake again :^\

In any case, I am psyched to try out the ClickUp for sport climbing!

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Re: climber decks, kills dog?

Post by DHB » Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:44 pm

GWG wrote: As an example, a leader on a difficult overhanging route is above his last clip, makes a move and comes off, his experienced belayer will provide some slack in order to not slingshot the climber back into the wall. While doing so, he lowers him down to the deck in one smooth motion.
So you're saying that as the leader is falling, the belayer begins to let rope slide through his/her hand, in effect "lowering" the climber, in order to give a soft catch?

You've got to be kidding me. Really, tell me this is a joke. There is absolutely NO WAY that A) that is safe, and B) it should ever be taught or performed by ANYONE.

Why in the hell would it be alright to feed slack out AS SOMEONE IS FALLING? That is the absolute WRONG way to give a soft catch. When you see a climber falling, your immediate action should be to lock off the brake end of the rope. You give a soft catch by jumping slightly at the point in time where the rope becomes taught. As you go up, the climber goes down and their kinetic energy is dissipated via friction in the system. There's probably still a swing in toward the wall, but it won't be a s forceful as a static belay.

I'm sure in the gym they require you to anchor to the floor, which prevents you from giving a proper dynamic belay. So two things need to happen
1) the gym needs to stop forcing people to anchor to the floor. This gives gumbies the impression that they HAVE to anchor always, even outside. Often times, this is incorrect. Yes, gyms do this because their climbs are so short, a dynamic belay would cause the climber to deck from anything other than the anchors, but they should instead, choose to educate climbers how to decide whether to anchor, when to give a soft catch, etc.
2) People need to stop this "feeding slack" horse sh1t.

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Re: climber decks, kills dog?

Post by toad857 » Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:27 pm

DHB wrote:
GWG wrote: As an example, a leader on a difficult overhanging route is above his last clip, makes a move and comes off, his experienced belayer will provide some slack in order to not slingshot the climber back into the wall. While doing so, he lowers him down to the deck in one smooth motion.
So you're saying that as the leader is falling, the belayer begins to let rope slide through his/her hand, in effect "lowering" the climber, in order to give a soft catch?

You've got to be kidding me. Really, tell me this is a joke. There is absolutely NO WAY that A) that is safe, and B) it should ever be taught or performed by ANYONE.

Why in the hell would it be alright to feed slack out AS SOMEONE IS FALLING? That is the absolute WRONG way to give a soft catch. When you see a climber falling, your immediate action should be to lock off the brake end of the rope. You give a soft catch by jumping slightly at the point in time where the rope becomes taught. As you go up, the climber goes down and their kinetic energy is dissipated via friction in the system. There's probably still a swing in toward the wall, but it won't be a s forceful as a static belay.

I'm sure in the gym they require you to anchor to the floor, which prevents you from giving a proper dynamic belay. So two things need to happen
1) the gym needs to stop forcing people to anchor to the floor. This gives gumbies the impression that they HAVE to anchor always, even outside. Often times, this is incorrect. Yes, gyms do this because their climbs are so short, a dynamic belay would cause the climber to deck from anything other than the anchors, but they should instead, choose to educate climbers how to decide whether to anchor, when to give a soft catch, etc.
2) People need to stop this "feeding slack" horse sh1t.
I think you may have misinterpreted what he was describing... From how I took it, I think he meant that the belayer would allow some extra rope (thus, extra fall time) to buffer the fall against a static catch. A static catch would sling a climber directly into the wall, breaking ankles. And, yes, I agree with you that anchoring into the floor while lead belaying is typically unwise. I've never seen a gym enforce something like that, though.

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Re: climber decks, kills dog?

Post by DHB » Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:37 pm

I sure hope that's what he meant

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Re: climber decks, kills dog?

Post by GetDownFromThere » Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:41 pm

I know the climber, the belayer, and the group of people they were with at Military. They are all experienced climbers and are very knowledgable and I climb with them all often. I understand that the accident was caused because of a mistake of the belayer but can we give it a rest with bashing. The couple is still coping with the loss of Pepper and trauma of the events from the weekend. I am thankful that the climber came out of this accident with only a broken Talus bone. This could have been much, much worse. Pepper was a cutie and will be missed but the events of this weekend are something to learn from, not to gossip rudely about. Please be genuine and polite with your comments on here and be safe when your outside enjoying everything that nature has to offer.
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Re: climber decks, kills dog?

Post by Meadows » Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:06 pm

Mistakes are our best teachers and I hope the friends of this gal help her on that path.

If anyone wants to use an auto-locker and finds the grigri too challenging, let me introduce you to the Faders SUM: two pinch points to really grip the rope and you don't hold down the cam to feed slack. For those experienced with a grigri, the transition is easy and it's just easier to learn and use. It does take specific biners, as some are too thick and can lock in there. Petzl Williams works fine in mine and Faders does make a specific biner for it. Do use the rubber stopper and don't forget to RTFM (read the f-ing manuel).

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