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Laughingman

"auto-blocking" Munter hitch

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Has anyone here ever used this method for belaying a second? Seems to work in theory but what problems have people run into? Would this make a good alternative to a magic plate?

 

 

Auto-Blocking-Munter-450.jpg

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The normal munter works very well for belaying a second as long as you have the belay point set high enough so you are pulling the "break hand" rope downward. I have not found need for the additional security of an autoblock modification.

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Good thing to know for the old bag of tricks, if a situation warranted using it. I agree with MattP that it's usually not needed -- a regular munter creates a great deal of friction (and kinks in the rope!) without this added secturity. However, things like this can have unintended consequences if set up wrong, etc.

 

I saw a guy who "thought he knew" how to release a loaded Reverso at Joshua Tree drop his partner fifteen feet onto a yucca.

 

In other words, best to practice these things in low-pressure situations so that you're fully aware of their limitations before having to use them in higher pressure situations with real consequences.

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Thanks guys, I also got the impression that "auto-blocking" Munter hitch would be handy in a crevasse rescue or pack hauling when your belay device needs to be handy for whatever reason

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might not be a great tool for crevasse rescue as it might have too much friction for that system. worth trying out on a practice session though.

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Goatboy, I've posted this before so I apologize to those who think I am repeating myself: you do not get twists in the rope using a Munter hitch if you pull the rope out of the knot immediately parallel to the rope going into it. If you understand this basic point about the Munter you can find a lot of ways to use it without causing the twisting problems that we all associate with it. Belaying a follower is a snap. Lowering someone? The Munter is much smoother than a belay device.

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Good clarification about the kinks in a munter -- it CAN be done without kinking. I actually use the munter a lot, personally. But in general, I still contend that it inherently lends itself to kinking much more than anything else does.

 

Plus, if you ever drop your belay device and need to use the munter -- you'll be glad to know how to do it.

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I've played with this some. Found it useful to belay two seconds when I forgot my reverso 3.

 

One thing I have not figured out is an easy way to release the load. This would be important for crevasse rescue (raising) or steep rock, to have something worked out for lowering if necessary.

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I have never felt the need for adding an autoblock to a munter, it just seems to add unnecessary friction and complication to the knot. The garda hitch/alpine clutch might be better for your application.

 

If you need to go hands free while belaying with a munter you can quickly tie it off with a mule knot, < 10 seconds with practice.

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Nope, not the last. I do that on all 3rd/4th class terrain. Even low 5th. Super fast, but then on such terrain we are always simulclimbing anyways, so its more of a 3rd turns into low 5th quickly and it makes a great belay point for a rest or what not.

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Kurt,

 

I wouldn't recommend it as a general go-to method either (since it releases poorly), but in a pinch it's something I'd consider in my bag of tricks.

 

but specifically, would you share what you know about it's design and function that precludes it's use in bringing up a 2nd?

 

thx.

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Nope, I still do a waist belay, and even tie in with a bowline on a coil if we are scrambling up some dangerous approach and someone wants a belay, but isn't wearing their harness.

 

It's a great way to shock the new sport monkeys. They can't believe a waist belay can hold a fall.

 

The old ways still work...

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Kurt,

 

I wouldn't recommend it as a general go-to method either (since it releases poorly), but in a pinch it's something I'd consider in my bag of tricks.

 

but specifically, would you share what you know about it's design and function that precludes it's use in bringing up a 2nd?

 

thx.

 

Word from other AMGA guides that I know that it severs a rope under a shockload since the rope is pinched between two carabiners. At what kN, I don't know, but I've been meaning to ask someone with a pull testing device to do some runs for me.

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Nope, I still do a waist belay, and even tie in with a bowline on a coil if we are scrambling up some dangerous approach and someone wants a belay, but isn't wearing their harness.

 

It's a great way to shock the new sport monkeys. They can't believe a waist belay can hold a fall.

 

The old ways still work...

 

Yes, and the "figure S" still works. If you know it you can lower someone a rope and tell them how to fashion a bowline on a coil, and then even the monkey hang (tough that is certainly an advanced technique).

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big difference in impact force between belaying a second and belaying a leader.

 

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