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markwebster

anyone using mega jul belay device?

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I just got the mega jul belay device. Does anyone have it? I'm almost afraid to use it. My cinch and ATC have been awesome...but this looked to good to pass up.

 

[video:youtube]duEKmk9oJZI

 

 

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8 pages worth of discussion on MP: http://mountainproject.com/v/edelrid-mega-jul/108052298

 

Long story short: Many people like it, some don't like it, everyone agrees it's not perfect. It belays a leader or toproper very well. It can be a bit jerky until you dial in the technique though, especially on rappel. You can flip it around to a plain tuber configuration (eg non locking) for rapping, but it's still nowhere near as smooth as an ATC. A couple people reported that the wire loop popped out from the device mid-rappel - not a true safety issue per se, but enormously inconvenient, and could escalate to be a safety issue in the face of objective danger, etc.

 

I have one. I use it occasionally. It's sitting there in a bin with my Cinch, GriGri, and Alpine Smart. None of them have managed to replace my trusty ATC Guide - they all have a tradeoff that usually makes them less desirable in one (or more) performance categories. I use my Cinch for single pitch sport, and the plain old ATC for everything else (trad, multipitch, ice, alpine, mountaineering, etc).

Edited by Jon H

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I got one to replace a reverso that was getting sharp in between the "rope holes". I've been cragging (gri-gri) and skiing too much lately and only have used it a handful of times, but so far it's been alright. Kind of jerkey and annoying when rapping in autolock mode; though I was on a pretty thick rope (9.8 or 10.something). Would think that on a thinner rope (8.9/9.1) it will rap easier in autolock mode.

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I have a few days of experience with it now. I've not used it yet to do an autoblock belay from the top, but everything else works as advertised.

 

Having said that, it is jerky on lowering...I've not done a smooth lower yet, but I don't have that much practice with it.

 

Because it does so much, many functions are compromised as compared to the dedicated devices such as a simple ATC, the Cinch, or GriGri. Those functions work fine, but not as well as a dedicated device.

 

For example, I went back to my Cinch for belaying my second from the ground, because my Cinch has a smoother lower function. Though I've not yet tried orienting the Mega Jul with wire pointing in...that might give a smooth ATC style lower...don't know.

 

But for multipitch, the mega-jul should be awesome. It feeds out rope very smoothly, auto locks in a fall, and releases very nicely. You can reverse it's orientation (wire on the inside) and it raps very smoothly, with no autolock function...just like a regular ATC.

 

I like it a lot so far...but I'm not convinced it is the perfect device yet.

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One GriGri II, one belay plate (CAMP Ovo, KONG Gigi, etc) - end of story.

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I use the mega jul. it does take some getting use to but once you've got it figured out it is a great device.

 

The only time I think a gri-gri is a better device for belaying the leader is when the second isn't strong enough to follow efficiently with a big pack and they have to resort to jumaring. The mega jul also works with twin ropes and icy ropes. For normal multi-pitch day climbs the mega jul is an amazing device and i'd pick it over a grigri. Is it perfect? no but its a lot closer than any other device i've seen yet.

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Mikey do you feel as ok about taking your hands off the mega-jul belaying a leader as you would with a grigri?

 

The Edelrid guy (they've got one employee in the states) was pretty nervous when i asked him about this prospect. He also stated emphatically that it WONT lock up if the rope is piled anywhere even with, or above the device (on a small ledge, flake across a hanging backpack, etc).

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i'm equally uncomfortable taking my hand off with either device. I've seen enough people dropped with grigri's on big walls not having their hand on it to know it doesn't always catch. My experience so far with the mega jul is that is locks up a lot easier and is less prone to inadvertently being "held open" like a grigri can. Hence some people's complaint that the device actually locks to easy and takes some practice to feed out rope smoothly. I almost always flake my rope across the strand that I'm clove hitched to the anchor with and it definitely locks right up. I used a pretty new beal joker (9.1mm) just a couple weeks ago with it and it locked just fine.

 

Have you asked a petzl employee about what they think of using a grigri without your hand on the brake strand?? I have a feeling I know the answer...

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My problem with the Jul isn't me not liking it, but my climbing partner's inability or unwillingness to use it...so I use a GriGri. I stopped using my Kong GiGi just because the new Reverso has been damn smooth with a metolius belay biner and it's more functional than a gigi. All good systems, just depends on preference and squabbling over an ounce of weight or less here and there. As for rappelling, I really don't like it. An autoblock not with a Sterling Hollow Block is foolproof, smooth, and having a prusik on you is always a bonus.

 

If my partners liked the Jul, I'd use it

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For stuck ropes with both ends down, the Jul is friggin sweet.

And Blake, I soloed Spaceshot with the Jul...ask Edelrid if that is kosher?

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dont own one, but a partner acquired one recently and absolutely loves it. I tried it, and was impressed -- seemed to lock dependably; no, I wouldn't trust taking my hand off while belaying - but I don't trust "guide" style auto-lock belay rigs either - I want control of the brake. just old-school, I guess. but - I found it easy to manipulate when threaded correctly, and didn't experience the jerkiness others have noted. use of the release lever felt fairly intuitive. on rappel, I did find it locked dependably when I let go brake hand -- seemed like a plus. final judgment - if I didn't have a bin-ful of belay devices, I'd buy one in a heartbeat, but the very real advantages it offers are not so important to me that I'm gonna add another $40 variant to the bin.

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For those of you using the jul and really like it; what biner are you using (and would this really have an effect)?

 

I'd really like for this to work for me (since I paid for one), but it's just too herky jerky and I can't figure out why. Haven't tried a different biner though.

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the diameter of the locking binier matters a lot. I didn't really give it much of a chance. It short roped my leaders a few times, but not others, and rapping on it can be jerky in autolock mode.

 

It's not a miracle device. I didn't have the patience to fiddle with it and went back to a standard belay plate and my cinch.

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