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Nelly

Bad Belay

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quote:

Originally posted by Gaper_#2:

I was on a sport route at 38, and I'm about 30' up, I was about 10' above my last (i'm shamed to say...) bolt


I'd have to call bullshit on that one [hell no]

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Not quite belaying, but on couple years ago I was walking across the taboo glacier and it made some noises, did a little shaking, and basic scared the shit out of me. Once it was over, I turned to the guy behind me and he had about 10 coils of rope in his hand. I never climbed with him after that.

 

Yesterday (at exit 38) I watched a guy get lowered by his belay a little too fast. She was lowering him too fast, and she wasn't too close to the rock either. He picked up speed and started complaining like "slow down, watch, hey" so she put the brakes on, it pulled her off balance and towards the rock, so she loosed the grip, he picked up speed again and she put the brake on........

 

She stopped him before hitting the ground. He didn't look too happy.

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fortunately don't have any first-hand nightmare belay stories... but i've observed two that scared the crap out of me just to watch:

 

1) woman sitting at the top of a vertical cliff, 3 pitches up from ground, at Cathedral Ledge in New Hampshire, belaying her partner -- who outweighed her by a good 100lbs or so -- sitting on her butt, feet nearly over the edge, completely unanchored. multiple other climbers approached her to sugguest kindly that she might want to anchor herself to something but she just flipped them off. think maybe she was pissed at her partner AND suicidal??

 

2) on the glacier leading up to Sloan Peak corkscrew, watched a guy leading a rope with his girlfriend on it across the glacier. there was a tentative snow bridge we were all crossing, and when we were across it and had traversed above it we looked down to see the guy carefully stepping across the snowbridge as his girlfriend walked up behind him, coiling the rope into her arms as she went -- so she was right behind him at the edge of the bridge with a wad of rope in her armsby the time he got across. when we were all taking off our crampons at the edge of the glacier i gently tried to tell her why what she'd done was unsafe and was, well, ripped into. i think her boyfriend was at a loss as to whether to be more horrified by what she'd done or by how she'd reacted to my advice...

 

what i wanna know is which comes first: incompetence or bullheadedness???

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I was a bad belayer ONCE. My sister in law was just starting her climb, just learning. we were on a practice bolder at smith. She was trying to work out the first move, and was getting advice from the more expeienced climber we were with. I totaly wasn't paying attention, she jummped on, (didn't say climbing) and fell off. She landed on her feet, it was just the first move... But I felt SOOOOOOOO BAD. I should have been paying more attention. Learned my lesson though.

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quote:

JK and I were short a harness one day, and waiting for a friend to show... Had some time, so I whipped a hip belay. thaught it was awsome! I would love to be taught how to do it. i just read about it and went with it, It worked. I lowered J with it as well. Old school rocks!
[big Grin]

When I got back to the deck I asked sk to show me how she did the hip belay - and she couldn't remember! [Eek!]

 

I continue to climb with her every chance I get. [Wink]

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Why were you belaying her on a boulder?

 

Speaking of Classic Crack (different thread), I was climbing this route at Broughton's which is pretty short and tops out on a ledge. There is an upper portion that continues the climb via a face and has about three bolts if memory serves. Most people just do the crak then rap off.

 

Well, I got to the ledge and my belayer was chatting with another guy standing next to him AND smoking a cigarette. Not seeing the writing on the wall, I called out "climbing" and continued up the second part of the climb. When I clipped into the anchors and yelled "off belay" I looked down to see his incredulous face staring back at me and the rope lying on the ground. He took me off belay when I had yelled "climbing".

 

He bought the beer that night. I since learned from other people that this guy is notorious for inattentive belaying. I haven't climbed with him since.

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Last season I started up the final WI4 pitch of Synchronicity, confirming with my partner that he'd have me on belay by the time I placed my first screw. The climbing was easy so I cruzed up 20 ft or so and sunk a bomber screw. I looked down to confirm I was on belay, and saw this:

 

My buddy had the ATC clipped striaght into one titanium crew [Eek!]

 

I asked him, uhhhh...whatcha got goin on down there bro? He said, "oh you're on belay, go for it" I asked him politely to please belay me off his harness instead, and he began to agrue with me about it. "Dude its bomber man, don't sweat it" and I was like nah bra, it ain't, I'm not sking you, I'm telling you, belay me off your harness!

 

Luckily he agreed, because my fingers were getting cold and I wasn't about to try to explain the physics of belaying to him from my position.

 

I'd still go climbing with him, the dude is funny as hell! And hey, you ain't supposed to fall off an ice climb anyway right!

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quote:

Originally posted by rbw1966:

Why were you belaying her on a boulder?

She was just learning how to climb. It was her first trip... third climb or so... [big Grin]

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quote:

Originally posted by rbw1966:

When I clipped into the anchors and yelled "off belay" I looked down to see his incredulous face staring back at me and the rope lying on the ground. He took me off belay when I had yelled "climbing".

At least you saw it and know what happened. Imagine all of the things that people don't tell their partner about... Or worse yet, partners that are oblivious to the fact that they've done anything wrong! I think mistakes happen when you're learning, but they shouldn't happen again - that's why they call it learning. [big Grin]

 

And yes, some people do tend to get pissed (or even hostile) if you try to point anything out! I've seen so many people creating their own death traps that I'm almost immune to it anymore. [hell no]

 

[ 05-17-2002, 02:17 PM: Message edited by: jkrueger ]

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I was at VW a few weeks ago and this guy (definite poser) had his girlfriend on one of his project routes. She was obiviously over her head and he was so involved in giving beta that he didn't take in any slack. She got to about the bouldering line and peeled. She expected to be on belay and wasn't ready to smack the ground hard. He just kind of stared at her and said "sorry". She laid there for a few minutes before she got her breath back. She was walking funny for the next couple hours we were at the gym.

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That sucks...

 

Chrysten and I were in thailand doin some sport climbing. I led this long (30m) route and rigged a TR.

 

The crux of the route was about 6 ft off the ground. She said keep me tight, I said ok, I'll try, but the rope is going to stretch alot and you'll probably hit the ground, but it should be soft.

 

She gives it a try, gets to the crux after two or three moves and falls. As expected the rope stretched and she came back down to the ground. Then the weirdest thing happened.

 

She sort of fell backwards, and I thought she was going to smack the back of her head. But instead, the taught rope sprung her back up fast! She flung up, and slammed her face straight into a small tree! [Eek!]

 

She gave me that look that kids get just after they get hurt, before they explode in a howl and ball of tears! Chrysten didn't do that, but it definately hurt alot.

 

She spent the next week in Thialand with a huge black eye...

 

I felt terrible, but wasn't quite sure what I could have done differently, let her hit the ground harder????

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How about spotting her as though she was doing a boulder problem? Just a suggestion. I use this method when belyaing my wife. Get the belay ready, then she takes off as I spot her while pulling in slack with one hand. If she gets really sketched I spot her with both hands. Once she's out of reach I reel in the slack and she's protected.

 

[ 05-17-2002, 03:44 PM: Message edited by: rbw1966 ]

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hmmm...yeah, she was out of reach, I realed in the slack and she was protected. but with almost 60m of rope out, there wasn't much else I could do. it was jsut one of those odd circumstances. we had a laugh about it later.

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I was climbing with one of my best friends down in Pinnacles Nat'l Monument and introducing him to the world of leading. I ran up a 5.8 set an anchor at the top and had him lower me off. About 10' off the deck, he let the end of the rope run through the device (always buy a 60m rope). Luckily for me the route slabbed out at the bottom and I somehow managed to run it out. He'll never be inattentive about the end of the rope again. He's still one of my best friends.

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I remember being at the top of something steep on toprope once, asked the belayer to take the slack out of the rope once I reached the anchor...I was hanging there catching my breath when I heard the belayer say in a broken French accent, "Would you like to feel the fear?" Before I could say anything he dropped me twenty feet, and then slammed the brakes on. First and last time I climbed with Francois.

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A couple years ago I was climbing with a Vertical World employee on Careno Crag. I was leading, she was belaying me with a Gri-Gri. I'd never used or been belayed with a Gri-Gri before, so I was a little skeptical. I fell near the top of a pitch, only a couple feet above my last gear.

 

Expecting to be caught immediately, I didn't say "falling!" But I kept falling and falling until I finally yelled "hey!" (or maybe it was "shit!") and only then did I jerk to a stop--some 20 or 25 feet below my high point. Not a huge fall, but when you're only expecting a 5 footer, it's enough to give you a good adrenalin rush as you wonder "when am I going to stop?"

 

I'm not sure, as I haven't used one of the devices myself, but I guess she wasn't paying attention and had the lever locked open???

 

[ 05-17-2002, 07:37 PM: Message edited by: Uncle Tricky ]

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I was high up on the crux pitch of Outer Space last Wednasday. I had led up to where the crack goes right and you have to do THE step out. My belayer, for some reason, could not pay me out slack to clip. So I'm hanging out mid crux staring down to figure out what's wrong with his system. To my utter amazement I see that he has his shiny new reverso clipped into his belay loop by the wrong carabiner. He had it clipped like it should be to an anchor for a FOLLOWER. [Eek!] No Fucking wonder he can't pay out slack. Duh. I yelled, [Mad] "what the fuck, don't you read instruction manuals?" I Then calmly proceeded to talk him through correct procedures. It would have held in a fall... right? [Confused]

 

The lesson learned is: don't take sport climbers on trad routes. [Moon]

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Anybody have any belay horror stories? Personally, I'm pretty tough on partners who exhibit poor belay skills. Would anyone quit climbing with someone simply due to lousy belay skills? For instance, a number of years ago while climbing with someone I had just met, I looked down while leading and saw he had about 20 feet of slack in the rope. I asked him what was up with the slack - his response - "don't worry, the climbing looks easy!" Needless to say, our partnership didn't progress.

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I was on a sport route at 38, and I'm about 30' up, I look down to see my "belayer" lightin' up a cigarette! While I could care less if people smoke, I was about 10' above my last (i'm shamed to say...) bolt, so depending on his reaction time I could have made myself a little gaper-crater.

 

that sucked, I've never climbed with him since...

 

[Mad][Mad][big Drink][big Drink]

 

p.s. what kind of beer should I have for lunch... [chubit]

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quote:

Originally posted by glen:

About 10' off the deck, he let the end of the rope run through the device (always buy a 60m rope).

You can also tie a knot in the end of the rope to prevent it from running through.

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quote:

Originally posted by Crackhead:

I was high up on the crux pitch of Outer Space last Wednasday. I had led up to where the crack goes right and you have to do THE step out. My belayer, for some reason, could not pay me out slack to clip. So I'm hanging out mid crux staring down to figure out what's wrong with his system. To my utter amazement I see that he has his shiny new reverso clipped into his belay loop by the wrong carabiner. He had it clipped like it should be to an anchor for a FOLLOWER.
[Eek!]
No Fucking wonder he can't pay out slack. Duh. I yelled,
[Mad]
"what the fuck, don't you read instruction manuals?" I Then calmly proceeded to talk him through correct procedures. It would have held in a fall... right?
[Confused]

 

The lesson learned is: don't take sport climbers on trad routes.
[Moon]

Maybe another lesson learned is always check to make sure the entire system is set-up properly before starting the lead.

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It seems to me most of these storys have to do with people new to climbing, I allways check my partners to make sure there doubled back and have the rope correct, double that with the new people or people I have not climbed with before. It takes two people to climb safe. And I don't care about the boneheads who think they know what there doing, I'd just as soon have them get pissed then be involded in a rescue.

 

for what its worth

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quote:

Originally posted by chris_w:

She stopped him before hitting the ground. He didn't look too happy.

Women drivers.

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Certainly, a knot would have helped (a lot), but I would still have been stranded high on the 50m rope. Knots on rap ropes are certainly a must unless there is abnormal fear of weird ass rope tangling from flakes, etc.

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