Lead Belay

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kuwolski
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Lead Belay

Post by kuwolski » Sun May 20, 2012 4:20 pm

My boyfriend is essentially my full time climbing partner. While on lead sometime last fall, I looked down to see that he was belaying me with his back to the wall and sitting down. This made me really nervous and kind of psyched me out. But he claims that this is an acceptable form of lead belaying since he can feel how much rope is out. My concerns are a) I weigh about 125 while he is around 195....means a potentially hard fall for me if he doesn't give some slack and b) how is he supposed to keep me safe if he doesn't know what's going on? He says he has seen many experienced climbers doing this and it's completely acceptable. Any opinions? Advice?

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Josephine
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Re: Lead Belay

Post by Josephine » Sun May 20, 2012 4:53 pm

dump him. you're smarter than he is and you'll find plenty of other climbing partners. if I ever had a partner that did that to me, that would be the last time I climbed with them.
"Unthinkably good things can happen, even late in the game." ~ Under the Tuscan Sun

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Re: Lead Belay

Post by THB » Sun May 20, 2012 5:36 pm

I agree with Josephine...

1) Having your back to the wall only makes sense if the climb is super steep like something in the Madness Cave or in the cave at Bob Marley. If it isn't steep then you should certainly be facing the wall.

2) Due to your weight difference, he should most certainly be on his feet in order to give you a soft catch. My fiance is pretty much my full time climbing partner and she weighs about 125 and I'm at about 150. I have to be on my feet with my knees bent and ready to jump in order to give her a good soft catch. Sitting down while belaying is never really a smart idea. I could understand if you are top-roping, but even still, don't be lazy and instead stand up when you are belaying.

3) On the topic of being lazy... Belaying is a serious job, and everyone that climbs needs to understand this. When I see people belaying while sitting, it really makes me upset because these climbers don't understand how serious belaying actually is. When you are belaying, you are in control of another persons life. I'm very picky about who I let belay me, and I have the right to be picky. After all, if I make a bad decision about letting a bad belayer catch me, it could cost me my life. The belayer shouldn't be having a conversation while belaying (unless it's with the climber), the belayer should have their undivided attention on the climber.

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Re: Lead Belay

Post by tbwilsonky » Sun May 20, 2012 6:13 pm

unacceptable. bad form. etc.

i would hazard a guess that 'back to the walling" isn't the only thing wrong with his belay method. find a new partner or someone to school your current one asap.
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Re: Lead Belay

Post by Cocoapuffs1000 » Sun May 20, 2012 6:15 pm

This is terrible practice for all the reasons you mentioned. You seem to have a good head on your shoulders - keep listening to that little voice of self preservation in your head. I'm sorry to say, his inability to grasp such a simple concept does not bode well for him to ever be a safe belayer.

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Re: Lead Belay

Post by Saxman » Sun May 20, 2012 9:02 pm

Dump with prejudice.
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climb2core
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Re: Lead Belay

Post by climb2core » Sun May 20, 2012 9:20 pm

Time for a serious heart to heart. If he is defensive at all and tries to justify it, get a new partner...

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Re: Lead Belay

Post by ted » Sun May 20, 2012 11:12 pm

if he's paying attention "looking up" and his brake hand is on the rope, your good. How long had you been hanging on the third bolt?

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Re: Lead Belay

Post by Cramsie » Sun May 20, 2012 11:26 pm

What up girl. I will belay you so good.

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Re: Lead Belay

Post by whoneedsfeet » Sun May 20, 2012 11:35 pm

FDBS cramsie?
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Re: Lead Belay

Post by gravitycoach » Sun May 20, 2012 11:59 pm

Run away!!!
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Re: Lead Belay

Post by THB » Mon May 21, 2012 12:02 am

ted wrote:if he's paying attention "looking up" and his brake hand is on the rope, your good. How long had you been hanging on the third bolt?
(assuming that your knots are tied properly, that his belay device is threaded properly, etc...)

if staying alive is your only concern, then I agree with you.

if being able to walk away from the crag is an added concern (in other words, if you don't want to leave with broken ankles), then I disagree with you.

if someone is leaving the crag with a broken wrist or broken ankle, then chances are they either decked or got a hard catch. sitting down is a great way to give hard catches... the logic here is pretty simple... don't sit down while belaying.

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Re: Lead Belay

Post by caribe » Mon May 21, 2012 7:17 am

How good is the sex? If it's fantastic keep him and get a new climbing partner. If it's only mediocre, dump him altogether.

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Re: Lead Belay

Post by der uber » Mon May 21, 2012 7:54 am

Don't let him belay you if you are not comfortable or don't trust him. That goes for everyone.

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Re: Lead Belay

Post by Josephine » Mon May 21, 2012 8:34 pm

caribe wrote:How good is the sex? If it's fantastic keep him and get a new climbing partner. If it's only mediocre, dump him altogether.
Good point caribe.
"Unthinkably good things can happen, even late in the game." ~ Under the Tuscan Sun

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