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NateF

Belay device for small diameter rope

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If money was no object I'd climb on 9.0mm all the time. Yes, they wear out fast, but oh my they are such a joy to climb on. I've never felt they are unsafe so long as you retire them early and often. I usually only break out my 9mm for alpine stuff (weight on backpack) or for multi-pitch.

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I have used a DMM Bug for skinny rope belay/rappels for many years. It doesn't have autoblock capability, but it has worked well for me. There are plenty of devices out there that work, luckily they aren't too spendy. Good luck!

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I climb on the Mammut 8.9mm mentioned earlier, and use both a reverso and an atc-guide with no problems. It did feel a bit sketch at first (new rope syndrome?), particularly in cold and wet alpine conditions, but I got used to it pretty quickly, and experience no problems controlling belays, lowering or rappelling. I haven't tried my reversino on that "fat" as I have a tough time getting 8.2mm doubles through it, and I'm pretty sure it won't take a large rope as per specs (7.5-8.2mm).

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Given this thread is in 'Newbies', and that fact the nothing about the physics of nylon has changed all that significantly in recent times, newbies rock climbing outdoors, particularly trad climbing, should stick with 10-10.5s and definitely nothing smaller than a 9.8 for a considerable period until they have established the experience and skills necessary to start making judgment calls around skinny ropes.

 

In general, [significant] trad climbing on single ropes smaller than 9.8 is a lot like driving at 90mph in a nice car - you can't really perceive the potential for bad things happening so after awhile it's easy to forget bad things can and do happen. It's one thing making an educated decision on using a sub-9.8 single rope on a route-by-route basis trad climbing, but deciding that's your standard rope for all climbs - that's both mindless gambling and just plain stupid.

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