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BirdDog

Swinging Leads w/Autoblocking Belay Device?

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OK, so I'm doing a multi-pitch route with my partner, we are going to swing leads. I lead the first pitch, set a bomber anchor and belay up my second with an auto-blocking belay device (Petzl Reverso) attached directly to the anchor. Second climber gets up to the belay and prepares to lead the 2nd pitch. What now? Continue to belay without re-rigging, (assuming anchor is set for upward pull)? Re-rig to belay off my harness? This would eat up time and second would need to tie off etc...

 

What's the most time efficient method for swinging leads with an autoblocker? Opinions.....

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Gotta take the autoblock off the anchor and put it on your harness to belay a leader.

 

Either have your partner clip into the anchor or tie them off with a clove while you do the changeover.

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Use two lockers with autoblock - one locker connecting to anchor and another locker around the rope/wire.

 

Have partner clip to the anchor. My preferable way is to tie off with your rope using a clove on a locker.

 

Unclip the locker connecting the autoblock to the anchor-leave it on the anchor and clip the rope through it, which will be the first piece. Clip the locker around the rope/wire to your harness and now you're ready to belay.

 

Partner/now leader can now undo clove and lead.

 

Another option is for the second to tie off using a clove on a locker to the anchor point. The belayer takes the autoblock from the anchor and clips to harness, keeping both biners. When new leader is ready to go he undoes clove, clips rope through that same biner and voila.

 

Page 1, item C:

http://petzl.com/files/all/us/activities/sport/tech-tips-multi-pitch-climbing.pdf

 

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Not trying to be argumentative, but why were you using the autoblock in this situation again?

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What's the most time efficient method for swinging leads with an autoblocker? Opinions.....

 

You can also ignore all the above changeover shenanigans, clipping with a clove/daisy stuff, etc. Simply trade belay devices at each belay.

 

A. Second climbers gets to anchor/autolocking belay device, does not tie in or clip in, just leans back and starts grabbing the pre-sorted gear from the prior pitch's leader.

 

B. Previous leader (now the 2nd climber) grabs the belay device off the harness of the second climber, clips it to his/her belay loop, and puts partner on belay, while they are still hanging off the other auto-locking device.

 

C. New leader climber, now racked and ready to go, just grabs the locked-off belay device (that they had been hanging on, or secured to the belay with) and leads on to the next pitch.

 

D. If you know you will be flipping leads, use the rope to build each belay. It's fast, dynamic, strong, and means fewer runners are required.

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Everything that Blake said. :tup: :tup: Simple, fast, and secure. Discuss the procedure with your partner (if he/she is not your regular partner) before leaving the ground so that everyone knows their role and eliminate the clusterfuck before it even happens.

 

I used to use this approach with my first partner and mentor Frank (R.I.P.) and we romped up multi-pitch climbs in no time flat. I don't have a steady enough partner anymore that wants to do this. Don't forget to flake/stack the rope for the next lead as you take it up. Every little bit of time saved helps...

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Yes, switching belay devices is a great way to go. If I'm using an ATC, I like to simply put on knot on the break end of the rope while were exchanging gear instead of having the second tie into the anchor.

 

 

 

Edited by eldiente

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I have not found switching belay devices to be any faster than briefly tieing off the second-soon-to-be-leader and moving the belay device from anchor to harness.

 

Try it both ways and see which you prefer.

 

 

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Not trying to be argumentative, but why were you using the autoblock in this situation again?

 

Not trying to speak for the originator of the post, but, belaying off the anchor with an autoblock leaves the top-belayer free from any pull of a fall, whereas if you belay off your harness the pull will come directly on you.

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This is the time when the leader can rest, have a drink, maybe some snacks, roll a smoke or two. If you have a solid anchor, and you are relatively sure the second will not need to be lowered, why not use autoblocks?

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Or you could block lead instead of swinging leads and then you don't have to do so much switchover at every belay...

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Thanks for the opinions, folks; all good.

 

Not trying to be argumentative, but why were you using the autoblock in this situation again?

 

I find autoblockers easy to use in bringing up a second and also give me time to do other stuff; like organize gear, grab a drink, etc... And usinig one (Reverso) doesn't entail an extra weight or piece of gear.

 

Thanks all.

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I almost always autoblock off the anchor for all the reasons mentioned above, plus the added likelihood of shooting a few pictures as the second follows the pitch.

 

I have used the technique described by Blake, and the simple switchover advocated for by Alpinfox, and think they're both pretty efficient. Whatever my partner is most comfortable with works for me. The key is to agree to the whole thing before you start, so switchover time doesn't involve too much analysis paralysis :)

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Ok I'm a stupid newb, Autoblock? Is this something that can automatically catch a fall, like a grigri?

Some belay devices, like the BD ATC Guide and Petzl's Reverso and Reverso3 can be setup as autolocking for leaders belaying the second off the anchor. If you check out the manual for either one of these from their site you'll see how it works.

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This is the time when the leader can rest, have a drink, maybe some snacks, roll a smoke or two. If you have a solid anchor, and you are relatively sure the second will not need to be lowered, why not use autoblocks?

 

And all that stuff, too :tup:

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