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jon

Alpine Belay article by Blake Herrington

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interesting - but it's not gonna convince me to run out and buy a gri-gri or cinch... a climber could accomplish most of the described functions with an alpine clutch ("garda knot"), and I'd probably rappel with a carabiner brake rather than have one partner rappel on single strand, and the second re-rig before rappelling.

 

one point I did like - when short-roping (simulclimbing) I have for years kept the rope threaded through my belay device. This simplifies giving a quick temporary belay to my partner at virtually any point (assuming we've kept protection between us), and also simplifies rope management by permitting my partner and me to vary the length of rope in service between us without having to untie/retie coils.

 

a well done article - but I still prefer the simplest tool with the greatest versatility -- I've tried a number of the new "guide-style" self-locking belay devices, and currently climb with a Mammut Vader, which sells for about half the price of the BD & Petzl versions.

Edited by montypiton

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A knot belay (garda, munter, whatev) will turn your rope into Rastaman Snarl right quick. Plus, they're less reliable than a gri. Not a great idea for any situation other than after you've accidentally dropped your belay/rap device.

 

One point to consider is the use of a figure 8 on a bite instead of a clove hitch for the gri rap. Clove hitches can get really tight and difficult to untie when heavily weighted.

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does anyone use a prusik when simul-climbing for adjusting rope length between climbers, or reasons not to?

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it will be a giant hassle to adjust. if the climbing is easy enough to use the two hands required to move the knot efficiently then you will be going wayy to fast to adjust it, and if you are climbing slow enough to adjust it the you probably wont be wanting to take your hands off. My 2 cents, maybe someone has

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ahh reason number 2. If the 2nding climber falls, the blood curdling scream emitted while they take the 40 feet of slack out of the rope will give the first enough time to jump away from the wall, potentially shortening the 2nds fall, and giving the team the best change at only 1 catastrophic injury

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Yeah, I'll buy all that in the context of higher-end alpine where you both have your shit together and you're already cutting some corners and have some imperative around getting the fuck up and down the something in as reasonable a time as possible.

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