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Dane

Umbilicals?

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I really rely on my umbilicals. As much as they are a moving belay for me I also have come to rely on them to retain my tools while climbing leashless. On the occasions I do climb without umbilicals I am very careful to watch where my tools are all the time and that they are securely placed. And I don't worry about my partners kicking or bumping them off the climb. May be I should be more concerned all the time..

 

more here:

http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2011/01/umbilicalssomething-to-think-about-and.html

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Good comments Dane. Personal anecdote related to this:

 

The first time I used my BD spinner leash was on a climb up the Reid headwall on Hood, with the wiregates clipped directly to the metal holes in the spike. They were coming off all the time due to the biner gate coming open, it was incredibly frustrating and I almost returned my umbilical setup afterwards. Then you did the leashless mods to my tools and added loops of cord as the attachment points, and since then, they haven't accidentally opened themselves once.

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Good stuff Julian..thanks. Funny that I am likely the last guy to notice the issue.

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Hey D -

 

Getting back into ice after a decade away. Would you mind expanding on the "moving belay" comment. I used to use perlon as umbilicals back in the day, but the stretch factor would seem to make this difficult on the new gear. Clarification? Thanks.

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Hey D -

 

Getting back into ice after a decade away. Would you mind expanding on the "moving belay" comment. I used to use perlon as umbilicals back in the day, but the stretch factor would seem to make this difficult on the new gear. Clarification? Thanks.

 

Stretch is definitely a problem if you fall (I know from personal experience), but if you make sure your sticks are always solid and plant each tool well above the next vertically (rather than side-by-side), it's not as bad as it might sound. Of course if your placements aren't good then the tool can pop and come flying down at you - I've had that one happen as well.

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So then "belay" is meant for say, keeping you on the wall while you use both hands to put in a real belay?

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What is meant by belay is that, should one tool or your feet pop the other will, theoretically, catch you. Umbilicals made from webbing should hold a small fall if the tool is in solid ice.

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What is meant by belay is that, should one tool or your feet pop the other will, theoretically, catch you. Umbilicals made from webbing should hold a small fall if the tool is in solid ice.

 

But that isn't what Dane was referring to (or at least that's what I'm reading). I understand that each tool is a backup but not clear on this statement that is referring to the umbilicals:

 

As much as they are a moving belay for me.....

 

Sorry to be dense - but is it meant to convey the idea that if you fall and the tools are stacked vertically the stretchy umbicals are ok for a minor fall? Or is it meant to just hold you in position for a bit if you need both hands for setting a belay anchor. Thanks!

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Hi Jim!

 

"Would you mind expanding on the "moving belay" comment?"

 

Pictures should cover it :)

 

Photo courtey of http://colinhaley.blogspot.com/

 

no rope and a moving belay

 

b.JPG

 

P1010486.jpg

 

"is it meant to convey the idea that if you fall and the tools are stacked vertically the stretchy umbicals are ok for a minor fall?"

 

None of the commercial umbilicals are INTENDED to hold a fall. But all of them (3 different brands) have to date held more falls than I can count off hand.

 

Umbilicals can do many things....they keep your tools attached to your body, hold a slip or a leader fall on a short leash, back up belay anchors or actually are the belay anchor until you can tie directly to your axe/axes if it is required or better yet a set of screws. I don't normally weight my umbilicals as anchors or climbing but have done just that while taking out screws on a TR while seconding. And I have put full body weight on them with my axes sunk and slack on the main belay anchor. The key to how you use your own umbilical system is to know their strength/test numbers and use them accordingly. Hopefully that helps.

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Thanks D! Got it. Now all I need is some cold weather or a trip north.

 

--great website by the way.

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