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SplashClimber

A-B-C when using munter (necessary?)

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When using the munter, do you need to have the typical A-B-C setup? (Where A=anchor, B=Belayer, C=Climber). The idea being A-B-C should all be in line?

 

On the left is a setup I have used a lot with the munter. But what about using the munter as shown on the right?

Munter.JPG

 

To provide some reality to this. I was at a anchor (A) as shown by the setup show on the right part of the diagram. The anchor was way down low, and I was on a ledge, meaning I could not align myself towards the climber side of the anchor. I thought about setting up a munter, because I knew the 2nd would be moving very fast, but I was not sure it would work well, so instead I opted to belay off my harness instead (and probably should have set up a re-direct, but I did not). Even if the anchor was up high would the munter have worked in this situation... do you need to have the A-B-C in-line concept going?

 

I hope this makes sense, let me know if I can clarify anything!

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Not sure about your situation but if you were belaying off the anchor, then you do not have to be in the ABC alignment. The ABC thing is about pulling the belayer into the abc alignment when the force comes so you had better be that way anyway.

 

but...if you are belaying off the anchor with the munter, then you need to be below the anchor. That way you can apply the rope to the position with the most friction, which is opposite of the tubular belay types, straight along with the loaded line. If you are above the munter, you cannot pull the rope below the device or towards the loaded strand, so the friction you can apply is less that optimal. It probably will still work, but not as good as possible. I forget the exact percentages when the brake line is at different angles but it is significant.

 

so the short answer is you gotta be below the anchor.

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but...if you are belaying off the anchor with the munter, then you need to be below the anchor. That way you can apply the rope to the position with the most friction, which is opposite of the tubular belay types, straight along with the loaded line. If you are above the munter, you cannot pull the rope below the device or towards the loaded strand, so the friction you can apply is less that optimal. It probably will still work, but not as good as possible. I forget the exact percentages when the brake line is at different angles but it is significant.

 

so the short answer is you gotta be below the anchor.

 

Glad I abandoned my plan of using the munter out on my climb! It seemed wrong. I should go out and practice it sometime, but for now, will stick with being below the anchor when I use the munter off the anchor.

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Not sure about your situation but if you were belaying off the anchor, then you do not have to be in the ABC alignment. The ABC thing is about pulling the belayer into the abc alignment when the force comes so you had better be that way anyway.

 

I'll second that for belaying the follower using munter off the anchor. The ABC alignment would be still applicable to lead belaying (or top-rope belaying) off the harness. But after being yanked into the rock a few times, I would avoid the anchors all together (if it is safe) in the exchange for soft catches.

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Go get a auto block and forget about it if you are bring up second. If belaying leader use it in ATC mode. If I was leading or following I would rather you use an ATC. It is good to know those friction knots but I have been lucky enough not to need them (fingers crossed and knocking on wood).

 

 

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I'm not entirely clear on this ABC business but when you use a munter hitch to belay a follower or to lower somebody, with the rope in and out of the hitch coming from the same direction, you don't get the twisting that you do if the feed and load come from different directions. For lowering somebody, in particular, the munter is really more foolproof than an ATC.

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The main ABC of using a munter for anything is:

 

A) never use a munter

B) never use a munter

C) never use a munter

 

EXCEPT in a rescue or self-rescue scenario or as part of various hauling-related tasks aid climbing. Otherwise, a munter is a lousy thing to do with a rope.

 

Learn to hip belay with a single carabiner through your harness loops clipped to the rope on the side to the climber and keep the rope down on your hips, not up on your waist. Lock off by diving your brake hand between your legs. Tie off by just tying off the brake side to the climber side. Pretty straightforward. Hip belaying done right is incredibly effective in all aspects, as good and as safe as any device, but do use the munter if the climber seriously out-weighs you (like by 35-50 lbs.).

 

That's the old guy spray anyway...

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MATT P!

 

Congrats on your 11111th post!

 

That is awesome. If you reply to this congrats it will, of course, be ruined at 11112.

 

Please return to your normal climbing related comments everyone.

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The ABC thing is about pulling the belayer into the abc alignment when the force comes so you had better be that way anyway.
re: above genepires comment...Good point about what the "A-B-C"/Anchor-Belayer-Climber is really all about. Thank-you for your observation! In my described question the belayer is not even a part of the system. So I used "A-B-C" incorrectly!

 

But the diagram in orig. post does sort of describe the situation as far as location of the pieces of the puzzle.. the anchor, the belayer, and the climber, and their alignment to each other for direct belay with a munter.

 

If you are above the munter, you cannot pull the rope below the device or towards the loaded strand, so the friction you can apply is less that optimal.
re: genepires comment above... your comment makes perfect sense. ...pull towards the direction of the climber/load strand! With my diagram/situation it would have been a challange.

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Mattp understands the Munter.

Advise about the hip belay sounds fluggy.

 

I've done a belay test with hip belay. Results were very unpleasant.

 

That said, hip belays should be well understood and sometimes used.

 

I've used Munter a fair bit. It works pretty good. Very good if you understand about how not to kink rope. (I remain a bit confused about this, but it has to do with right and left, basically).

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Advise about the hip belay sounds fluggy.

It might if one doesn't know how to do one.

 

I've done a belay test with hip belay. Results were very unpleasant.

Well, then I'd say it's likely you don't know how to do one.

 

That said, hip belays should be well understood and sometimes used.

"Well understood" appears to be the challenge - it shouldn't be used unless you are going to put the time into learning how to do one right.

 

I've used Munter a fair bit. It works pretty good. Very good if you understand about how not to kink rope. (I remain a bit confused about this, but it has to do with right and left, basically).

Again, a munter is a suck thing to do to a rope. Only do it if you can't figure out how to do a hip belay or the weight differential is too great.

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the hip belay, while a good belay technique that has its applications and advantages, it is not as good as any belay device in regard to holding power. It has low friction power when compared to a tubular belay device. It is a matter of bends. A ATC has a little over 360 degree of bends while a hip belay at best has 270 degree. (not sure why you recommend the brake line be pulled between the legs which yields only 180 degree of bend. braking position should be across the body giving more rope to clothing contact and more bend in rope) The quality of the bends on a device is better too. The bend is harder in the device, giving it a greater holding power.

 

Now of course, people used to get up BIG shite while using a hip belay. One could use a hip belay in rock climbs but, if I ever got to the top of a pitch and found I was belayed with a hip belay instead of a munter, I would be mad as hell. I want holding power, not belayer convienence.

 

 

Edited by genepires

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the hip belay, while a good belay technique that has its applications and advantages, it is not as good as any belay device in regard to holding power. It has low friction power when compared to a tubular belay device.

This is factually incorrect and you appear to be another who never learned how to do a decent hip belay.

 

Now of course, people used to get up BIG shite while using a hip belay. One could use a hip belay in rock climbs but, if I ever got to the top of a pitch and found I was belayed with a hip belay instead of a munter, I would be mad as hell. I want holding power, not belayer convienence.

The NW is filled with alpine guys so I have no doubt that what passes for a hip belay up this way among that crew is pretty sketch. But I'm strictly a rock climber and hip belayed multipitch .9s-.11s exclusively on hip belays for a decade including lots of big falls and falls directly on me off the anchor. Again, it appears to be a case of few folks, particularly in the NW, ever really learn how to do them - probably never a part of the culture up here. From what I keep reading I'd be mad too if I got to the top of a pitch and found any of you guys hip belaying me. The amount of FUD and misinformation on hip belaying here is somewhat surprising from a crew who claims to be otherwise competent.

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you strike me as a person who rarely belays but is always belayed. it's a great thread and it seems like the the older experienced folks disagree as much as the younger less experienced.

 

 

does older always mean more experienced? flight time has to come into play at some point

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so Joseph you are saying that a hip belay is as strong or stronger than a normal belay device? I know the hip belay is strong enough to hold falls, but you cannot deny that the belay device has more holding power than a hip belay.

 

BTW, you don't know who I am or my experience so how can you make assumptions about me and my hip belay experiences? Or for that matter and entire state? For an old guy, you need to chill out.

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Pretty hard to climb without belaying and belaying half the time if you're climbing with peers. And yes, older folks have different perspectives on various topics as well. A lot of it has to do with rock type and morphology - old granite climbers tend to view 'anchors' as a very different thing from old sandstone climbers. For me anchors are strictly a backup to my stance and belay unless it's a hanging belay.

 

But then, almost all of us old guys from that thread often arrived at a belay with either no, one, or two passive pieces back in the day. You had to make do with stancing. And stancing is all but a lost art today along with real hip belaying.

 

As far as flight time goes - in the 70's we climbed steep and roofs - falling happened way, way more than not falling. On the new line I've been working nowadays that's still the case.

 

Bottom line, with a single non-locking carabiner I can competently belay any multipitch rock route and wouldn't hesitate to either have my leader take repeated 50+' falls on to it or take those falls myself (at least if my old partner or someone as competent was belaying).

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so Joseph you are saying that a hip belay is as strong or stronger than a normal belay device? I know the hip belay is strong enough to hold falls, but you cannot deny that the belay device has more holding power than a hip belay

I'm saying that a hip belay with a single non-locking carabiner through your harness loops on the side of the rope going to the climber is absolutely as solid as any device of any kind.

 

BTW, you don't know who I am or my experience so how can you make assumptions about me and my hip belay experiences? Or for that matter and entire state?

From your comments here I can tell I wouldn't want to be in the position of taking falls on you doing a hip belay. Ditto for several of you guys. Again, hip belaying, outside of some wank alpine version, clearly hasn't been a part of the culture up here. It's pretty much the same with the Beacon crew as well, none of them have any real experience with getting technical with hip belaying or holding big falls rock climbing with them.

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i would think a climber would be a well rounded climber who has equal experience on many different types of stone , like a carpenter who has worked with many types of wood and just not one.

 

i get the impression you're not a very well rounded climber and one who is still having his day at that...

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so Joseph you are saying that a hip belay is as strong or stronger than a normal belay device? I know the hip belay is strong enough to hold falls, but you cannot deny that the belay device has more holding power than a hip belay

I'm saying that a hip belay with a single non-locking carabiner through your harness loops on the side of the rope going to the climber is absolutely as solid as any device of any kind.

 

BTW, you don't know who I am or my experience so how can you make assumptions about me and my hip belay experiences? Or for that matter and entire state?

From your comments here I can tell I wouldn't want to be in the position of taking falls on you doing a hip belay. Ditto for several of you guys. Again, hip belaying, outside of some wank alpine version, clearly hasn't been a part of the culture up here. It's pretty much the same with the Beacon crew as well, none of them have any real experience with getting technical with hip belaying or holding big falls rock climbing.

 

 

all you guy's down at beacon are complete and total wanks, sounds like you fit it in quite nicely.

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Wanking sounds like what you folks do when hip belaying as opposed to providing a sound and solid belay that can be counted on. As for 'well-rounded', I have zero interest in being well-rounded, I only have an interest in climbs and movement I consider creative and interesting and just don't find the vast majority of granite to fit that criteria. From a pure movement perspective I find granite particualarly boring.

 

In the end, I'm more than open to valid criticisms of hip belaying, but not from people who aren't competent doing one.

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Wanking sounds like what you folks do when hip belaying as opposed to providing a sound and solid belay that can be counted on. As for 'well-rounded', I have zero interest in being well-rounded, I only have an interest in climbs and movement I consider creative and interesting and just don't find the vast majority of granite to fit that criteria. From a pure movement perspective I find granite particualarly boring.

 

In the end, I'm more than open to valid criticisms of hip belaying, but not from people who aren't competent doing one.

 

BORING?

[video:youtube]R8zg2n_OIuQ

Edited by pigchampion

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In the end, I'm more than open to valid criticisms of hip belaying, but not from people who aren't competent doing one.

Except anyone who criticizes hip belays appears to be incompetent by definition in your book. You're willing to call out genepires despite not knowing anything about what he represents as a climber, and the same goes for others on this thread...

 

Hip belays have their uses, but they have their limitations, and frankly you're starting to sound like johndavidjr and his wallmart pup tent fantasy... perhaps you two can share a stormy night together in his tent and then belay each other up something steep using hip belays?

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