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Edelrid Mega Jul
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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Apr 27, 2013
Middle
John Wilder wrote:
The smart wouldnt do this, as its made of aluminum.


The Smart has it's own issues with carabiners such as focusing all the wear on a specific spot so you get a nice big groove.

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By Moritz B.
Apr 29, 2013
Profile Pic
The Mega Jul does scratch up your iodized biners. Your shiny carabiner will get scratches. Currently it is recommended to use the "HMS Strike FG" with it. It is a silver carabiner, therefore you donīt really see the scratches. Besides that, the shape of the HMS Strike fits perfectly into the Mega Jul. I havenīt heard of any case in which the biner had to be replaced because of the scratches. It is a cosmetic issue. You donīt have to dedicate the biner to the MegaJul. The biner is completely fine, it is just an optical deficit.

Concerning the MEC Review:
The people who reviewed the Mega Jul used it for only one day. It takes some training to fluently use the device. To me their review reads like they tried the MegaJul without consulting the manual. The manual tells you that your biner will get scratches from the Mega Jul.

Here is a picture of a HMS Strike FG after five days of climbing with a Mega Jul on it.

HMS strike / Mega Jul / 5 days use
HMS strike / Mega Jul / 5 days use


Edelrid is aware of the "scratching-issue" and will provide a solution to this in its 2014 product line.

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By jktinst
Apr 30, 2013
If the 2014 fix is developed on the side of the Jul, I’d say that it’s almost certain that I’d buy one but if the fix requires buying a special Edelrid biner while the Jul continues scratching other biners, I’d probably be a lot less enthusiastic.

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By Moritz B.
Apr 30, 2013
Profile Pic
The fix wonīt be on the side of the device.
As I said, the scratches are the drawback of the device. Everybody has to decide for themselves if he can live with a scratched biner or not :-)

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By bearbreeder
Apr 30, 2013
if yr gear aint scratched you arent climbing enuff ;)

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By Brad M
May 1, 2013
I'm using a mega jul and yeah, the device wears off the anodizing in a few areas, but by the time it makes any sort of gouge you should probably retire it due to rope grooves anyway. I'd avoid using something narrow and soft like the petzl attache 3D, but for the same reason it makes a poor belay biner for any device.

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By jktinst
May 2, 2013
bearbreeder wrote:
if yr gear aint scratched you arent climbing enuff ;)


No argument there. I am definitely not climbing nearly enuff.

My first reaction to the scratching issue was: I already have to watch out for bolt hanger scratches when I use the biners for things other than sport QDs or clipping wires. I am not keen on having to also watch for Jul scratches on biners that I may want to use for Munter hitches. I am getting increasingly tired of all this stuff that becomes use-specific, multiplying the amount of gear I need to buy to cover all the different uses. I also don't see myself stopping using the Munter for belaying the second anytime soon. I find it too useful for giving a tight rope or paying rope back out when needed (things at which the lock-assist devices like ATC Guide, Reverso and so on are either hopeless or lousy).

Having said that, I still very much like the idea of a small and light lock-assist device for belaying the leader. I suppose that having one Jul-dedicated biner per rope team would not be all that bad. Of course, with that system of a Jul to belay the leader and the Munter for the second, I really should find some sort of Munter-compatible back-up to give the second a level of protection against accidental loss of control of the rope at least equivalent to that of the Jul.

It seems that a prusik anchored to the leg loop of the belayer and positioned on the rope just above his brake hand should do the trick nicely for this. If you let go and the second falls (or tugs the rope, or you slump down, etc.), the prusik locks the brake strand. The knot will move down with the brake strand of the rope when it is being taken in and can be easily pushed back up the rope when sliding the brake hand back up. When paying out slack or lowering, the brake hand can go above the prusik to keep it sliding. You have to pay attention to the distance between the Munter biner and your leg loop and the length of the prusik to make sure that it will be long enough to allow a good taking in movement but short enough that it will lock the rope before butting against (or jamming itself into) the Munter.

This all seems fairly doable but the proof will be in the pudding and, since the weather has finally decided to turn nice around here, it'll soon be pudding time and I will be able to go back to not climbing nearly enuff outside!

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By Brad M
May 2, 2013
First you rail against extra gear then proceed to build the most complex belay system ever. Do you seriously expect that cluster f of knots to work as smooth as a guide style belay device?

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By Christiney
May 2, 2013
Brad M wrote:
First you rail against extra gear then proceed to build the most complex belay system ever. Do you seriously expect that cluster f of knots to work as smooth as a guide style belay device?


LOL. no need for belay devices at all, munters and waist belays is where it's at

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By Redpoint
May 2, 2013
The Swirl in the Logo
Redpoint has the Mega Juls back in stock. Order from the webstore and enjoy free shipping no matter how inexpensive the order is. Or stop in the shop to see before you buy.

Eric

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By Christiney
May 2, 2013
ok thanks!

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By bearbreeder
May 2, 2013
jktinst wrote:
It seems that a prusik anchored to the leg loop of the belayer and positioned on the rope just above his brake hand should do the trick nicely for this. If you let go and the second falls (or tugs the rope, or you slump down, etc.), the prusik locks the brake strand. The knot will move down with the brake strand of the rope when it is being taken in and can be easily pushed back up the rope when sliding the brake hand back up. When paying out slack or lowering, the brake hand can go above the prusik to keep it sliding. You have to pay attention to the distance between the Munter biner and your leg loop and the length of the prusik to make sure that it will be long enough to allow a good taking in movement but short enough that it will lock the rope before butting against (or jamming itself into) the Munter. This all seems fairly doable but the proof will be in the pudding and, since the weather has finally decided to turn nice around here, it'll soon be pudding time and I will be able to go back to not climbing nearly enuff outside!


good luck feeding slack out fast this way ..theres a reason why we dont belay with prussik backups ...

if i saw anyone belaying like that i wouldnt climb with em ...

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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
May 2, 2013
Middle
After using the Smart and the Mega side by side for a while and doing large overhung raps on a variety of ropes I think both have their advantages but the Smart works better for general cragging. The Smart raps smoother, is easier to belay a second, and locks up faster. The Mega Jul works better with thin ropes (especially twins/halfs), is lighter, and is easier to use as a regular tuber than the Smart.

The issue with scratching carabiners is bullshit. Harden up a bit, Nancy.

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By jktinst
May 2, 2013
Brad M wrote:
First you rail against extra gear then proceed to build the most complex belay system ever. Do you seriously expect that cluster f of knots to work as smooth as a guide style belay device?


In case it wasn't clear, it's having to buy all the extra gear that pisses me off. Second, there really is no cluster f*#@! just the extra 10 sec. to set up the prusik. The handling after that is hardly different from the regular Munter. Finally, after a few experiences with seconds who needed tight ropes, lowering, etc. I completely swore off the guide devices and happily went back to the Munter.


bearbreeder wrote:
good luck feeding slack out fast this way ..theres a reason why we dont belay with prussik backups ... if i saw anyone belaying like that i wouldnt climb with em ...


Feeding slack out fast when bringing up the second... Could you supply some examples?

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By bearbreeder
May 2, 2013
jktinst wrote:
Feeding slack out fast when bringing up the second... Could you supply some examples?


ahhh ... my bad ... so you dont want the assisted locking when lead belaying?

with a munter/prussik from a top belay you still have to release a loaded prussik ... which means a munter mule ...

if you wanted assisted locking with easy lowering ... simply use the smart with a redirect belay ...

its that simple ;)

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By jktinst
May 2, 2013
As I said, I do actually like the idea of lock assist for belaying the leader.

Regarding the locked prusik issue, this can only happen in extremely rare circumstances: me losing temporarily my hold on the brake strand and the second falling right at that time; or me losing consciousness and the second either falling or, after realizing that I'm no longer taking in slack or responding, locking the prusik by tugging on the rope, etc.

Recovering from a locked prusik is going to be a non-issue most of the time. As soon as the second gets back on the rock, tension on the rope will be relieved and, if I am conscious, I can just loosen the knot. If I am not, the second will definitely want that knot to stay nice and tight. If the second just cannot get back on the rock after I've regained consciousness, I should be able to simply re-grip the brake strand below the prusik, lift the leg to release tension on the prusik, pry the knot loose again and resume normal belaying (starting with lowering my second till he can get back on the rock).

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By bearbreeder
May 3, 2013
jktinst wrote:
As I said, I do actually like the idea of lock assist for belaying the leader. Regarding the locked prusik issue, this can only happen in extremely rare circumstances: me losing temporarily my hold on the brake strand and the second falling right at that time; or me losing consciousness and the second either falling or, after realizing that I'm no longer taking in slack or responding, locking the prusik by tugging on the rope, etc. Recovering from a locked prusik is going to be a non-issue most of the time. As soon as the second gets back on the rock, tension on the rope will be relieved and, if I am conscious, I can just loosen the knot. If I am not, the second will definitely want that knot to stay nice and tight. If the second just cannot get back on the rock after I've regained consciousness, I should be able to simply re-grip the brake strand below the prusik, lift the leg to release tension on the prusik, pry the knot loose again and resume normal belaying (starting with lowering my second till he can get back on the rock).



the smart is even easier ... just lift the handle if the tension is out of the rope ... and you can give slack easily ...

the problem with your method is that youll have a one hand on either side of the munter in order to "feed" it ... which means the prussik will need to be somewhat loose, which will means it may not grip properly ... it also means that taking in slack quickly with fast moving seconds will be harder ...

honestly ... just use a smart alpine ... it feeds like butter in autoblock ... and you have the assisted locking on LEAD belay as well ...

theres also the autoblocking munter ... but thats another thread ;)

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By Brad M
May 3, 2013
WTF, do you lose consciousness on belay on a regular basis? Your second falling into space is more likely to happen than any other scenario, and no matter how ready you are that prusik will probably lock, or you'll have to keep it so loose that it's practically useless.

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By jktinst
May 3, 2013
Ray Pinpillage wrote:
After using the Smart and the Mega side by side for a while and doing large overhung raps on a variety of ropes I think both have their advantages but the Smart works better for general cragging. The Smart raps smoother, is easier to belay a second, and LOCKS UP FASTER. The Mega Jul works better with thin ropes (especially twins/halfs), is lighter, and is easier to use as a regular tuber than the Smart. The issue with scratching carabiners is bullshit. Harden up a bit, Nancy.


Well, I went to the MEC this am and they had only one Mega Jul left and no demo model (a couple of months ago, they let me fool around with the Demo Smart Alpine and my own rope in the store). I bought the Jul on the understanding that I could try it at home and bring it back if I wasn't happy. And, boy, am I ever not happy! The part changed to CAPS above is a major understatement, as far as I can tell. In my limited experience of trying them indoors, the Smart Alpine locks up most of the time whereas the Mega Jul does not.

I know that neither is really supposed to lock up unassisted but for me, the whole point of getting one of these is that they should stand a reasonable chance of catching a fall if the belayer fumbles (or, much more unlikely, becomes unconscious). I would only become interested in their performance as regular belay and rappel devices if the first condition were met. I tried the Mega Jul with and old Mammut 8.5 mm (quite stiff) and an old Edelrid 8.5mm (extremely supple), both used with half-rope technique, and my current Edelrid 10.3mm and it only properly locked the Edelrid 8.5. With the other two it would lock only after having having been jammed hard by a solid arrest, ie, not a chance that it could do it in a fumble, let alone with the belayer unconscious. I tried different pear biners but it made no difference.

By comparison, the tests I did with the SA was with the stiff Mammut 8.5 and it locked by itself in all the tests done standing up. The "unconscious belayer tests" (belayer lying flat on the ground - yes, I did get a few stares in the store) was trickier. In some positions of the belayer's body with respect to the stacked rope it would lock, in others not, particularly, when the rope did not have to make a bend between the device and the stack. This suggested that it might be better to keep the stack behind the belayer rather than in front, as a precaution. However, that's a far sight better than the Jul.

I will definitely return the Jul. I still find the SA really bulky but, since the Jul is clearly not the smaller/lighter alternative to the SA I thought it might be, I may bite the bullet and get the SA.

bearbreeder wrote:
... the problem with your method is that youll have a one hand on either side of the munter in order to "feed" it ... which means the prussik will need to be somewhat loose, which will means it may not grip properly ...


Brad M wrote:
... and no matter how ready you are that prusik will probably lock, or you'll have to keep it so loose that it's practically useless.


First I should come clean about the "prusik". For most of the "usual" applications (rappel back-up, ascending, PMMOs and now, top Munter belay back-up), I use the inverted Klemheist (it probably has its own name but I can't remember it... wait, Hedden, maybe?). I was originally (early 80s) taught to use the regular Klemheist as a better alternative to the prusik: easier to install and remove, catches just as well but releases easier. Then in the late-80s, I switched to the inverted version, as recommended by the Ontario Rock Climbing Association (just as easy to install, easier to unlock and still catches just as well, putting the lie to the widespread belief that the Klemheist is unidirectional).

Back to the topic at hand: what's with the "prusik" having to be either too loose to catch or to tight to slide? I've been very happy with my inverted Klemheist in all these usual applications over all this time. Sure if you leave it too loose, it may not catch and if you keep it too tight, you will burn through it on short notice and get your rope covered with melted nylon, but it's really not that difficult to get it just right so that it will both slide and catch easily.

With so many climbers using their own preferred version of an auto(b)locking knot as rappel back-up, I would assume that they too are generally satisfied that they can get it to both catch and slide reasonably well.

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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
May 3, 2013
Just an fyi- if you return the Jul to MEC, they will have to destroy the device and will not be able to resell it.

I always hate it when I hear about people returning climbing gear because 'they dont like it' to REI/MEC- those companies basically have to eat the cost of that stuff as they cannot resell it nor can they return it for credit. In other words, your 'trial' of the Mega-Jul just cost MEC the wholesale cost of the device. And that unit will be destroyed and thrown away.

It'd be way cooler of you to sell the device to another climber- someone who can actually use that device rather than it being thrown in the garbage.

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By redlude97
May 3, 2013
John Wilder wrote:
Just an fyi- if you return the Jul to MEC, they will have to destroy the device and will not be able to resell it. I always hate it when I hear about people returning climbing gear because 'they dont like it' to REI/MEC- those companies basically have to eat the cost of that stuff as they cannot resell it nor can they return it for credit. In other words, your 'trial' of the Mega-Jul just cost MEC the wholesale cost of the device. And that unit will be destroyed and thrown away. It'd be way cooler of you to sell the device to another climber- someone who can actually use that device rather than it being thrown in the garbage.

usually the climbers that work at REI are in charge of "disposing" of said gear....

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By jktinst
May 3, 2013
When I said that "I bought the Jul on the understanding that I could try it at home and bring it back if I wasn't happy", it was at the suggestion of the salesperson, otherwise, I would never have bought it. I would have just waited for some other opportunity to try it out.

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By Moritz B.
May 3, 2013
Profile Pic
Hey jktinst,

Iīm sorry to hear the Mega Jul didnīt fulfill your expectations. Did you get a chance to watch the tutorial video (
?

Have a nice weekend

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By jktinst
May 3, 2013
Well, I'm sorry too. I realize that my expectations are pretty high and probably not entirely realistic. I'm basically hoping for something that locks (almost) as well as a grigri, is about 10X lighter and less bulky and works with half ropes.

I had seen the video before and did look at and read the instructions. The salesperson didn't really know anything about the device (or about the Reverso either). I'm sure that if I had gone at a busier time I might have found a more knowledgeable person at the climbing gear counter but I don't think that it would have made a difference. I was really just looking to see how the device does at autolocking so all I did with it is belay a bit, lock it down holding the brake hand and try to lock it down just yanking the lead rope, as I had done before with the SA. For this, pretty much the only thing I had to make sure of was that the rope was threaded the right way around through the device. The braking strand was dangling all the way to the floor and was piled up there so it was providing as much passive braking as it could.

Once I saw how it did with that test, I was not interested in trying out any other functionality, like belaying the second, rappelling, etc.

The biners I tried were the DMM belay masters 1 & 2, Metolius Element, Petzl Williams and an old DMM round stock pear biner with a plastic twist gate lock from the late 80s that, incredible but true, is non-anodized and all scratched up.

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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
May 3, 2013
Middle
jktinst wrote:
And, boy, am I ever not happy!


SHOCKING!

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