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Belay accident with Trango Cinch
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By Dustin Stephens
Feb 4, 2014
I wish you were right about that. Unfortunately, there have been literally dozens of GriGri belay accidents over the last few years in the Red because of this exact error.

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By don'tchuffonme
Feb 4, 2014
urrr
Is there any way you can confirm that information? I'm not calling you a liar or anything, but it seems we would have heard about it somehow if people were being dropped like hotcakes at the Red. At least half of those I would think would result in some sort of injury that would generate a report. No?

DozenS implies more than one dozen, which means at bare minimum 24. 24 belay failures for one area over a "few years" is still quite a bit.

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By Dustin Stephens
Feb 4, 2014
Get in touch with Muir Valley people, they might be willing to release information. There was a fatality at the Dark Side a few years back from GriGri user error. Belaying accidents are very common here on a variety of different devices. Probably some reports made it to AAJ accidents, but most don't bother for a variety of reasons. Fortunately 2013 was a better year than most in this regard. I actually avoid certain crags now to lessen the probability of having to spend the day helping with another evac. There are hordes of bad belayers (in addition to anchor-cleaning errors) in the peak season. No doubt a Cinch is trickier and perhaps more error-prone than other devices, but still it is not accurate to claim it's the fault of the device in this case.

Here's one that made it in anyway, a typical example of what goes on every weekend in the busy season: publications.americanalpineclu...

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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Feb 4, 2014
Stoked...
Dustin Stephens wrote:
I wish you were right about that. Unfortunately, there have been literally dozens of GriGri belay accidents over the last few years in the Red because of this exact error.


because they were holding their brake hand above the device? Not true. There may have been errors because they used their guide hand to break and thus prevent the cam, sure that's blatant user error. As long as you are holding the grigri with your brake hand only, no matter the position, it will never replicate a failure like the cinch.

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By the schmuck
From Albuquerque, NM
Feb 4, 2014
I was climbing with a stranger at the gym on my GriGri 2, which he wanted to try. He dropped me to the deck. What happened? He grabbed the sharp end of the rope with his left hand, slowing down the fall, preventing the GriGri from engaging, and burning his feed hand and brake hand in the process. There is your example. I've been using GriGris since the early 90s, and don't mind using the Cinch BTW.

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By Darren in Vegas
From Las Vegas, NV
Feb 4, 2014
Skiing around.
Usage nerd alert:

Brake - to stop or slow something

Break - To cause to separate into pieces suddenly or violently; smash.

So use your BRAKE hand to stop your friend from BREAKing his or her legs no matter what belay device you use!

For what it is worth, I use the Cinch for sport, multipitch and toprope solo. It has never failed me, nor has it ever slipped on me.

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By David Sahalie
From on the road again
Feb 4, 2014
This post violated Rule #1. It has been removed by Mountain Project.

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By Darren in Vegas
From Las Vegas, NV
Feb 4, 2014
Skiing around.
NICE!
Please Grammar Don't Hurt 'Em!

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By nicelegs
From Denver
Feb 4, 2014
Dustin Stephens wrote:
There was a fatality at the Dark Side a few years back from GriGri user error.


That was a Cinch error. The reports also mention the device was loaded correctly and in good working order. This was probably THE incident that woke the world up about the Cinch.

I don't know if it's laughable or sickening that you've turned the facts around because of your ignorance.

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By don'tchuffonme
Feb 4, 2014
urrr
I wonder why it "woke everyone up" when it was belayer error, not device failure.

Just someone that didn't know how to use the device.

mountainproject.com/v/grigri-2...

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By nicelegs
From Denver
Feb 4, 2014
It certainly didn't wake up the perpetually asleep, such as yourself. It woke up a more intelligent and analytic core that realizes that there is nothing in that accident that couldn't happen to them.

You and many in this thread and other are exhibiting classic Dunning Kruger Effect . In essence, the incompetent are too unskilled to recognize their ineptitude.

It's rampant in climbing. Try to learn from this, rather than argue.

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By Dustin Stephens
Feb 4, 2014
Yet it's still belayer error. Ultimately the device used in all of these accidents is of secondary relevance at best. Blaming technology because people don't know how to use it doesn't make the problem go away... people always want to blame the Cinch, blame the Sum, blame the GriGri, blame the ATC, whatever, but few are willing to take responsibility for user error.

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By nicelegs
From Denver
Feb 4, 2014
You sure told me.

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By Dustin Stephens
Feb 4, 2014
Your pseudointellectual academic citations without any foundation whatsoever prove what exactly?

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By nicelegs
From Denver
Feb 4, 2014
Dustin Stephens wrote:
Your pseudointellectual academic citations without any foundation whatsoever prove what exactly?


They don't prove anything. I never pretended to be an intellectual, pseudo or otherwise. I'm merely trying to clue you in to the fact that you might, just maybe, not be competent enough to evaluate your own competency.

I wouldn't think that would be a stretch, considering you presented a very well known Trango Cinch accident as a Gri-Gri accident, to show your side of the argument. When confronted with this knowledge, you first said it still proves your point then second got mad.

If I were to point at someone here who might lack the metacognitive ability to evaluate his own incompetency, who do you think I should point at?

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By Dustin Stephens
Feb 4, 2014
Yourself perhaps? You have missed the point of this entire thread and should start over with a goal of comprehension in mind. This was caused by user error, the device is not relevant. The fact that a Cinch was involved in the DS accident and that the cause of the accident was essentially the same only strengthens this point. You "win" on the minor, and ultimately irrelevant, point of which device was being misused at the time. Congratulations, you can return to googling obscure academic trivia.

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By nicelegs
From Denver
Feb 4, 2014
I pointed at myself 5 years ago. I took my Cinch that had caught hundred of falls and tried and tried and tried to make it fail. And I could not. Yet the accidents continue to happen. I tossed it out.

If I want to make a gri-gri fail, or an ATC for that matter, I know exactly what to do and exactly the conditions that will make that happen. The Cinch isn't so simple, atmospheric pressure, I don't know. It's perfect for a long time then someone is on the ground. I don't know what else to tell you.

I'm not blaming the device, clearly there is an error being made. When 99 people can make the same error and the 100th drops someone, it's a problem. It's not predictable so it can foster bad belay habits that usually cause nobody any harm. Things like the gri-gri, or the tuber I learned on, are simpler, you quickly learn what you can do and what you can't and move forward or receive further instruction from there.

Just because a device made it to the market does not mean it is without flaw. Why is that so hard of a concept to understand?

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By Red
From Arizona
Feb 4, 2014
Cobra Kai
The Cinch, like all belay devises, works great when used properly. However, I am of the opinion that the Cinch requires a higher belay competency than any other belay device I have used. Too much room for user error. (disengaging the locking mechanism)

Dustin Stephens wrote:
The Cinch did not lock because you were holding the rope firmly above the device, reducing load on the locking mechanism. Blame the Cinch all you want, but the same result would likely have happened with a GriGri, Sum, or any other "ASSISTED braking" device. Unfortunately, it doesn't really sound like you've learned much from your very lucky accident--classic example of why one must be exceedingly careful with who they choose to partner with. And above all, keep control of the brake strand and catch the fall with your brake hand no matter which device you use... even with the left hand error you made, you could have still caught the fall with your right hand more quickly if you had the brake strand under control.


Dustin is absolutely correct. The blayers left hand caused the Cinch to not engage its locking mechanism.

I'm glad nobody was seriously hurt.

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By Dustin Stephens
Feb 4, 2014
Fair enough legs. No doubt it is not the best choice of the many out there. I use the Cinch for jugging, bolting, and toprope soloing that's pretty much it. It has never failed me in any context for many years, but it does seem to be an error-prone device for some people. And I did break the plastic handle on my first one and have to devise a rather elaborate rappel escape a few years back. But then I got another one for free shortly thereafter & it's great for development to keep from wearing out the Grig.

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By Red
From Arizona
Feb 4, 2014
Cobra Kai
KevinK wrote:
4. We use the GriGri 2 now. It was hard to get used to and still does not feed slack as easily, but lives are worth the $80 that we paid for it. My Cinch is gathering dust somewhere. If the Cinch works for you, great. Keep using it. And I'm not being sarcastic; use what you like. 5. What is all this "blame the victim" mentality with climbers?

Either your ropes suck or you don't know how to use the GriGri 2 properly either. Mine feeds great. Flake your rope to make sure no coils get in the way and you should be fine. (assuming you are following the manufacturers recommended belay technique)

Nobody is blaming any victims, only the belayer that misused their belay device.

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By Red
From Arizona
Feb 4, 2014
Cobra Kai
nicelegs wrote:
I took my Cinch that had caught hundred of falls and tried and tried and tried to make it fail. And I could not. Yet the accidents continue to happen.

You must be using it correctly. Not everyone does that.

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By pfwein
Feb 4, 2014
Red wrote:
. . . Nobody is blaming any victims, only the belayer that misused their belay device. If the brake hand was solely on the brake strand and neither hand touching the belay devise or the rope going from the belay device to the climber, this would not have happened.


Perhaps I'm just misunderstanding you, but when a user is making a "correct" use of the Cinch (as defined by Trango's instructional video, see link below), his brake hand is always touching the belay device and his other hand is generally on the rope from the device to the climber (it's on that part of the rope whenever feeding rope).



Disclaimers: I don't own a Cinch (although I've used one many times, after reviewing the above video and noticing that many other users seemed to use whatever ad hoc method they felt like).
I now use a Grigri2 with the "new" technique. Don't want to say anything is truly idiot proof (and I could be the idiot some day), but it seems pretty hard to drop anyone with gg2 and new technique. When using a fat rope in particular, care must be taken to avoid short roping.

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By redlude97
Feb 4, 2014
Red wrote:
The Cinch, like all belay devises, works great when used properly. However, I am of the opinion that the Cinch requires a higher belay competency than any other belay device I have used. Too much room for user error. (disengaging the locking mechanism) Dustin is absolutely correct. The blayers left hand caused the Cinch to not engage its locking mechanism. Was your right hand solely on the brake strand of the rope or was it holding the Cinch as well? I've seen way too many climbers doing the latter, holding the device open as if they were needing to pay out slack all the time. If the climber falls at this point, they will be in for a longer ride than they hoped for. I'm glad nobody was seriously hurt.

Which way do you consider the proper method? The new upside down loading or the older method with the climber side coming out of the top?

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By camhead
From Vandalia, Appalachia
Feb 4, 2014
You stay away from mah pig!
Dustin Stephens wrote:
Get in touch with Muir Valley people, they might be willing to release information. There was a fatality at the Dark Side a few years back from GriGri user error. Belaying accidents are very common here on a variety of different devices.


Dustin, the fatality at the Dark Side was with a Cinch. Trust me. That particular belayer was belaying me with the same Cinch two weeks earlier. And it was also technically user error.

However, Morgan Patterson is wrong in thinking that Gri Gris will still lock even if the climber-side rope is gripped. I've seen at least two accidents in which the Gri Gri "just didn't brake!" and the belayer had rope burns on their left hand.

In the end, here's my take on Cinches: Regardless of whether they are prone to user error, or are inherently dangerous, none of us can deny that Cinches account for a disproportionate number of accidents. I don't know why this is (most likely it's because most people assume that they work the same as Gri Gris), but just the numbers are enough to make me very skeptical of belayers with the devices if I do not know them.

When someone is juggling their grandma's fine china while skateboarding, and then drops all the plates, that's user error, too. But it was still a risky situation in the first place.

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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Feb 5, 2014
Stoked...
camhead wrote:
However, Morgan Patterson is wrong in thinking that Gri Gris will still lock even if the climber-side rope is gripped.


Cam - that's not what I said, so of course it's wrong. I said firmly on the brake side, not the climbers side (climbers side = accident). The only way possible for the brake end to slip is if the cam was completely worn down in which case the rope guard would have likely been worn through and it would be blatant that the device was cooked. Or if you blocked the camming action, of course.

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