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Hokus

Munter Hitch for Trad Climbing

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Lame in every respect you just mentioned would be my response.

 

I don't want my belayer getting dressed, organizing their song playlist, wiping their ass, picking their nose, or anything else, I want them belaying with a modicum of attention.

 

Reprioritizing that for speed climbing is another matter.

 

And please, if I hear the 'hit by a rock' argument I'll get ill.

 

Again, from my perspective the perception that belaying is simply a necessary evil that can or should be dispensed with by delegating to a device is very self-absorbed and grigri.

 

 

JosephH, usually I find your posts pretty ensightful, though I don't always agree with them. This has got to be somewhat of a troll.

 

It feels as one of those - I'm set in my ways, I'll be dead soon, so I'm not going to change anything, even if it can be better.

 

Using the autoblocking device, can be extremely useful in multipitch situations. I think it makes belaying two followers safer in certain situations (though you don't climb this way, many do). Also, it makes the act of belaying more enjoyable without reducing safety - example, I've been in many hanging belays where I've wanted to lengthen/shorten my tie in (I generally use the rope only). This process is much safer, and easier if you can take your hands off the rope.

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OP - I have a Reverso 3, I like it. It's seen a lot use the past two years and shows no sign of wear. Has low/high friction modes. I used it on ropes from 8 to 10.3mm. I think it is smoother than the BD Guide.

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Lame in every respect you just mentioned would be my response.

 

I don't want my belayer getting dressed, organizing their song playlist, wiping their ass, picking their nose, or anything else, I want them belaying with a modicum of attention.

 

Reprioritizing that for speed climbing is another matter.

 

And please, if I hear the 'hit by a rock' argument I'll get ill.

 

Again, from my perspective the perception that belaying is simply a necessary evil that can or should be dispensed with by delegating to a device is very self-absorbed and grigri.

 

You're toproping! :rolleyes:

 

I want my belayer relaxed so they can pay attention to me when I'm leading.

 

I end up climbing in 3s a lot. I have a large group of friends that I climb with so whoever is free that day climbs and we don't send anyone to the boulders. I don't always autoblock off the anchor but if it seems safe to do so I will take advantage and drink water, eat some food and relax a bit while making sure there's no slack.

 

I've found that, in general, autoblocking devices are 'stickier' than regular tube devices for lead belaying and rappelling. They have to be narrower so that the rope can't squeeze past when autoblocking especially if designed for narrower ropes. They are great for doubles though which is really what they are designed for.

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Also to add to the real OP's question:

 

The orientation of the autoblock device will have an impact on how easy/ hard it is to pull in slack. Too low and pulling becomes difficult.

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JosephH, usually I find your posts pretty ensightful, though I don't always agree with them. This has got to be somewhat of a troll.

 

It feels as one of those - I'm set in my ways, I'll be dead soon, so I'm not going to change anything, even if it can be better.

 

Using the autoblocking device, can be extremely useful in multipitch situations. I think it makes belaying two followers safer in certain situations (though you don't climb this way, many do). Also, it makes the act of belaying more enjoyable without reducing safety - example, I've been in many hanging belays where I've wanted to lengthen/shorten my tie in (I generally use the rope only). This process is much safer, and easier if you can take your hands off the rope.

I just disagree with the premise is all. Again, 'extremely useful' is all about convenience to the belayer.

 

Yes, I kind of despise climbing in threesomes, but even when I do it's one follower at a time. The only utility in autoblocking two followers is if they're going to simuclimb and that is an unwise expediency in every respect as far as I'm concerned - a deliberate trade-off of safety for speed.

 

And I just don't buy into any aspect of the safety argument other than the part where it allows you to do a bunch of shit you shouldn't be doing at all. Get dressed, sort out your tie-in length, and whatever before you put someone on belay. It's like saying I could cruise the web or text on my iPhone safer if I'm autoblocking off the anchor.

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Thanks for all the input, everyone.

 

@JosephH

 

I understand your thoughts on a device that autolocks also reduces the need for the attention of the belayer. It's a good point, and one of the reasons I don't like Grigri/Cinch's as much as a tube style device.

 

However, won't you admit that there is more inherent safety in autoblocking? The rope WILL lock up under tension, and that is a good thing. The way I see it:

Autoblocking + attentive belayer > attentive belayer

I just don't see how being attentive alone is any stonger than attentiveness + autoblocking.

 

On another note...

 

Have any of you used the B-52? I've heard it does much better on bigger ropes than the Guide (assuming a round barstock biner). I typically use a 70m x 10.1mm lead rope.

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I just disagree with the premise is all. Again, 'extremely useful' is all about convenience to the belayer. Yes, I kind of despise climbing in threesomes, but even when I do it's one follower at a time. The only utility in autoblocking two followers is if they're going to simuclimb and that is an unwise expediency in every respect as far as I'm concerned - a deliberate trade-off of safety for speed. And I just don't buy into any aspect of the safety argument other than the part where it allows you to do a bunch of shit you shouldn't be doing at all. Get dressed, sort out your tie-in length, and whatever before you put someone on belay. It's like saying I could cruise the web or text on my iPhone safer if I'm autoblocking off the anchor.

 

It's situational. An autoblock is better than sleeping out in sub zero weather or getting your ass stuck in a cold rain in the afternoon when you could be down and in the car driving home with the heater and the radio on high instead.

 

Hokus, see note above Re: B-52. 10.1 is a good size for it.

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I use the bd guide:

http://www.rei.com/product/737857

 

and I like it, though belaying two partners up is a pain as there is so much friction when both ropes are 10.2mm.

 

I've actually worn off the teeth on the jaws and need a new one. I'm going to try the new petzl reverso 3

http://www.rei.com/product/767731

 

next as several of my friends like it, and the unlocking hole is bigger when in guide mode.

 

For beginning belayers, nothing beats my old stitch plate (without the spring). If you've not seen one, picture a 3 inch pancake of aluminum, 10mm thick with two slots in it for 11 and 9mm ropes.

 

Stick the 10mm rope through the 9mm slot, clip it to the locker, tape their belay hand shut around the rope and start leading. The damn thing jams immediately. They have to constantly pull the stitch plate off the locker to give you slack as you move up, or it will jam solid.

 

I've taken numerous complete newbies out climbing, and taught them to belay this way. Both my kids belayed me using that when they were around 10. On a side note, never let a newbie lower you. Always rappel.

 

For belaying someone working (leading) a route, and falling/hanging a lot, I love my cinch. Nothing throws rope out faster and easier than a cinch. Lighter and better, simpler design than a grigri. Grabs everytime...as long as you follow directions. There is an instructional video at their website.

 

It's sort of heavy, I don't use it on multipitch...but dang, it's awesome. I also swear by a steel autolocker. Yeah, it's heavy, but it's the last locker you will ever buy.

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Good2go -

I was rapping off Silent Running last Sunday when I got to a point of near meltdown frustration (low angle/high friction).

I gave serious thought to reversing the unit but I could not remember if that was a good idea or not and did not want to experiment on route.

Your post gives me hope and maybe now I won't hurl the thing off the next climb.

Thanks!

 

No wonder you hate it. Flip the guide over and rap on the smooth side for ropes 10mm and larger. The V-notch works great on ropes smaller than 10mm.

 

 

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Nah, I pretty much explicitly reject the notion of safety being derived from belay devices. If a belay device is providing safety in some way it's by shifting responsibility from the belayer to the device (which is what grigris are all about). You're the belayer and responsible for belaying, not a belay attendant to a device responsible for belaying. It's a distinction that seems to be getting lost year by year to the point where being dropped has become a common experience in climbing.

 

P.S. the best device for teaching belaying was and still is a stitch plate with a spring, which I believe is still made by ABC.

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Nah, I pretty much explicitly reject the notion of safety being derived from belay devices. If a belay device is providing safety in some way it's by shifting responsibility from the belayer to the device (which is what grigris are all about). You're the belayer and responsible for belaying, not a belay attendant to a device responsible for belaying. It's a distinction that seems to be getting lost year by year to the point where being dropped has become a common experience in climbing.

 

A person that is autoblocking, and is momentarily unaware, still catches the unexpected fall.

 

A person that is not autoblocking, and is momentarily unaware, drops the fall.

 

Not sure how you see the autblock as more dangerous. Seems to me it's the other way around.

Edited by Hokus

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Being dropped is not a common occurrence in climbing. That's a ridiculous statement.

 

Using an autoblock isn't any more or less safe than any other belay method. It's a tool.

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Being dropped is not a common occurrence in climbing. That's a ridiculous statement.

 

Using an autoblock isn't any more or less safe than any other belay method. It's a tool.

 

Of course it's a hypothetical scenario, but it's certainly one that is possible. If given A or B, which do you think would be more likely to arrest a fall?

 

Doesn't seem like rocket-science to me... what am I missing?

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A person that is autoblocking, and is momentarily unaware, still catches the unexpected fall.

It's sort of like the old Monty Python line: "I was raped...at first.". Yeah, you're momentarily unaware at first, then you're looking at the cute girl's ass, then you're talking with your scene of friends, next you're getting dressed, eating, texting, and browsing.

 

"Hey, STFU and pay attention" is my response to 'momentarily unaware'.

 

Your hands won't catch a fall if they aren't on the rope.

Exactly, and if you aren't capable of keeping them on the rope then I don't want to climb with you.

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"Hey, STFU and pay attention" is my response to 'momentarily unaware'.

 

It's a good answer... but...

 

...I like redundancy when I climb. IMO, an autoblocker gives you an additional back-up to the "STFU and focus". If I had to chose between someone who "stfu and focus" vs someone who "stfu/focus and Autoblocks", I'd pick number 2 every time.

 

Another layer of added safety can't hurt, imo.

 

 

edit: for clarity

 

Edited by Hokus

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Being dropped is not a common occurrence in climbing. That's a ridiculous statement.

Funny, that's not what you take away from any of a myriad of threads on RC.com where they've even polled on it. Being dropped is incredibly common these days. I'd go so far as to say that, indoors or out, it's likely someone somewhere is being dropped every 15 minutes, 24x7 around the globe.

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You are the belayer and responsible for belaying, not a belay attendant to a device responsible for belaying. It's a distinction that seems to be getting lost year by year to the point where being dropped has become a common experience in climbing.

 

P.S. the best device for teaching belaying was and still is a stitch plate with a spring

 

Agreed on the first paragraph. But I think the second is incorrect. A hip belay and the dynamics of why any belay works is what is important. Once you know why and how almost anything will work safely to belay with if you have an attentive belayer.

 

now could some one please turn off the freaking RAIN

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From my perspective, and I'm admittedly very old school about it, if I need a backup to compensate for any aspect of the person belaying me, then I'm not tying in with them.

 

The loss of feel and control involved with moving a belay from you to the anchor is simply unaccetable to me. I can see legitimate circumstances for making that trade-off relative to speed or weather on bigger walls and alpine, but that's it and it is a trade-off.

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A hip belay and the dynamics of why any belay works is what is important. Once you know why and how almost anything will work safely to belay with if you have an attentive belayer.

 

No, we agree, I should have qualified the statement with 'if teaching belaying with a device, then...'...

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From my perspective, and I'm admittedly very old school about it, if I need a backup to compensate for any aspect of the person belaying me, then I'm not tying in with them.

 

 

IMO you are saying that it is impossible for someone to be attentive AND autoblock. Is this correct?

 

I don't see any compensating going on when I autoblock, but maybe you're partners do? Isn't "compensating/laziness" a choice? And if you aren't lazy, wouldn't you agree that it does add a layer of safety?

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