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Heavy climber, light belayer
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Apr 4, 2012
johnL wrote:
Did you seriously just ask if you can crossload a belay loop?


No, I think he asked if that would generate too much force for the belay loop. And no, it wouldn't.
steverett
From San Diego, CA
Joined Feb 9, 2012
13 points
Apr 4, 2012
NCRob83 wrote:
the forces of being pulled one way on are much different from two ways of pull. That is very different from crossloading.


Fellow engineer here. Do you mean loading in three directions instead of two? This is bad for carabiners since it does end up cross-loading it somewhat, and they are not designed for that type of load. Belay loops, slings, and rappel rings are equally strong in any direction, so they can safely be tri-loaded (provided the loads don't exceed its strength).
steverett
From San Diego, CA
Joined Feb 9, 2012
13 points
Apr 4, 2012
Me
I've had a lighter belayer in the gym get taken to the first clip while I decked...IMO, its mostly a problem in the gym because there is so little friction from the strait bolt lines. Granted, it can happen outside, but in fairly specific circumstances...overhanging, strait lines etc. If you're worried about it, clip yourself into the ground. I've climbed with people literally half my weight and never had a problem outside, and rarely has it been a problem to make some kind of anchor on the ground for lighter belayers. joshf
From missoula, mt
Joined Oct 25, 2007
982 points
Apr 12, 2013
I've noticed a lot of the guys here seem concerned about the well-being of their light belayer, and not themselves. Why? I think it is more dangerous for the climber, I think it is so brave to climb with a lighter belayer.

My regular climbing partner is 90lbs heavier than me. While it sounds cool I belay a heavier person, really, the daring one is him, and not me. I get the security of knowing there is a huge margin of error for me if I fall. I get kind of nervous if my belayer is even my weight, and unless I'm on toprope, I won't climb with a belayer significantly lighter than me.

My climbing partner took his first 30-35 foot whipper last weekend, with 6 bolts clipped. I used a gri-gri, which was good because I got pulled to the first clip where the gri-gri prevented me from going up more.

this is what it felt like: he actually announced he was going to fall, when he couldn't clip the next bolt he had reached. I took in the excess slack I had given for him to clip the bolt. I watched him fall for a while, but didn't feel him weighted on the rope for what felt like a really long time. Then, I felt him on the rope. But there was a lot of friction in the system and I didn't get jerked up suddenly, like I do when someone falls from a bolt closer to the ground. I just felt like I was rising slowly, up to the 1st bolt.
Ana Tine
Joined Dec 7, 2012
66 points
Apr 21, 2014
Indian Creek
I understand how anchoring myself to the ground would be helpful when belaying someone almost twice as heavy (me being 100 lbs), but what would be the best technique when belaying from fixed anchors on a multi-pitch climb? I recently climbed a tower with someone who had 80 lbs on me and it was a bit scary, wondering what would happen if he whipped. We discussed anchoring me into the crack to my side or below me if possible. Any thoughts on this? Amanda Ramsay
From Basalt, CO
Joined Jul 20, 2009
5 points
Apr 21, 2014
Amanda Ramsay wrote:
I understand how anchoring myself to the ground would be helpful when belaying someone almost twice as heavy (me being 100 lbs), but what would be the best technique when belaying from fixed anchors on a multi-pitch climb? I recently climbed a tower with someone who had 80 lbs on me and it was a bit scary, wondering what would happen if he whipped. We discussed anchoring me into the crack to my side or below me if possible. Any thoughts on this?


You are clove-hitched into your anchor at the belay on a multi-pitch, right? So if your leader falls (after a piece is clipped), you might get yanked upward, until you come tight against the anchor. Just keep your brake hand on the rope and everything's fine.

Did I miss something in this scenario?

Edit: Are you concerned you won't be able to catch the fall?
FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Joined Nov 19, 2009
130 points
Jul 8, 2015
I weigh 95 pounds, opposing my boyfriend who weighs 185. Surprisingly enough, this was never an issue for us until he slips while clipping into a draw. Our gym provides a 50 pound weight bag you can clip into. As for climbing at the crag, we bought a fitness weight bag you can fill with sand. We use whatever we can find to add weight, which typically ends up being rocks.

I hope this helps. Cheers!
Tiffanie Tran
Joined Apr 8, 2015
0 points
Jul 8, 2015
Belay at top of P1
Gaines and Long address this in "Climbing Anchors." In this situation at a belay station where the climber far outweighs the belayer (I believe Long recounts giving Lynn Hill a long ride upwards) they highly recommend one piece in the anchor specifically should be set for an upward pull - so you have your three minimum as usual and then a fourth for upward. This could be a nut in a crack oriented upwards or a piece that can take multi-directional pull like a flexible-stemmed cam or tricam. Without it, there's a risk all the placements could be plucked out when pulled upwards (assuming they were passive an placed for a downward/outward pull.) Matthew Williams 1
From Canonsburg, Pennsylvania
Joined Nov 26, 2014
40 points
Jul 8, 2015
button head
KaraFinch wrote:
...I think it was my grigri technique that was the problem! I had always been taught when using a grigri that if you want to give out slack quickly you press down the lowering barrel. From this article, this is a no no. ...


This seems likely. I weigh 220+ lbs and have taken whippers with belayers that weigh as little as 150lbs and have never lifted them more than 6 feet or so.
gription
From Inyokern
Joined Jul 10, 2012
12 points
Jul 8, 2015
Out of the blue.  Photo by Mike W.
Amanda Ramsay wrote:
I understand how anchoring myself to the ground would be helpful when belaying someone almost twice as heavy (me being 100 lbs), but what would be the best technique when belaying from fixed anchors on a multi-pitch climb? I recently climbed a tower with someone who had 80 lbs on me and it was a bit scary, wondering what would happen if he whipped. We discussed anchoring me into the crack to my side or below me if possible. Any thoughts on this?



Yes, what Frank said. And, be sure you anchor can resist an upward pull. Either you have at least one or two pieces that are multidirectional or you should add at least one or two pieces specifically for upward pull.
Greg D
From Here
Joined Apr 5, 2006
960 points
Jul 8, 2015
Big Boulder, just a bit downhill from Temple of Ka...
Ha.... your anchor had better be strong against an upward pull, or just grab your partner as he wings on past.... Guy Keesee
From Moorpark, CA
Joined Mar 1, 2008
189 points
Jul 8, 2015
Cold day at Smug's
gription wrote:
This seems likely. I weigh 220+ lbs and have taken whippers with belayers that weigh as little as 150lbs and have never lifted them more than 6 feet or so.

Really? I weigh around 150 and when my partners that weigh >180 take falls, I routinely get lifted more than 6ft unless I actively sit down on the rope...which of course, I rarely do.
csproul
From Davis, CA
Joined Dec 3, 2009
214 points
Jul 8, 2015
button head
csproul wrote:
Really? I weigh around 150 and when my partners that weigh >180 take falls, I routinely get lifted more than 6ft unless I actively sit down on the rope...which of course, I rarely do.


Strange...I have never caused somebody to hit the first anchor like I said I think about six feet is the highest I ever lifted anybody. I also don't mind the weight disparity since I always get a soft catch.
gription
From Inyokern
Joined Jul 10, 2012
12 points
Jul 8, 2015
Cold day at Smug's
gription wrote:
Strange...I have never caused somebody to hit the first anchor like I said I think about six feet is the highest I ever lifted anybody. I also don't mind the weight disparity since I always get a soft catch.


I guess it has been rare that I've hit the first bolt. True on the soft catch. If you're over 200 lbs you're probably getting one from me whether you want it or not!
csproul
From Davis, CA
Joined Dec 3, 2009
214 points
Jul 8, 2015
Mystical Weapons.
A lot of sketchy advice on this thread...

"The first clip is as much for the belayer/anchor as it is for the leader."

Ummm no. Pulling the belayer into the first piece is a great way to compromise the belay, and dirt the climber.
Alex Bury
From Ojai, CA
Joined Jun 29, 2012
1,732 points
Jul 8, 2015
The traverse out to the Yellow Ridge on the Dogsti...
Getting pulled into the first bolt is a prescription for belayer hand injury and also possibly a dropped leader. Studies by the CAI reveal that there is almost no load reduction advantage in being lifted more than about a meter, so the best solution is probably a ground anchor with perhaps four feet of slack in it to allow for some lifting. The the ground anchor strand should run from the harness connection over the same hip as the brake hand so that the belayer isn't spun around and remains in a natural position while being lifted. rgold
From Poughkeepsie, NY
Joined Feb 15, 2008
288 points
Jul 8, 2015
rgold wrote:
Getting pulled into the first bolt is a prescription for belayer hand injury and also possibly a dropped leader. Studies by the CAI reveal that there is almost no load reduction advantage in being lifted more than about a meter, so the best solution is probably a ground anchor with perhaps four feet of slack in it to allow for some lifting. The the ground anchor strand should run from the harness connection over the same hip as the brake hand so that the belayer isn't spun around and remains in a natural position while being lifted.


its not about load reduction on sport climbing

its about preventing the swing and getting spiked

in that case a metre may not be enough to prevent it on a big overhung/traversing fall

;)
bearbreeder
Joined Mar 1, 2009
2,058 points
Jul 8, 2015
Cold day at Smug's
bearbreeder wrote:
its not about load reduction on sport climbing its about preventing the swing and getting spiked in that case a metre may not be enough to prevent it on a big overhung/traversing fall ;)

^^this

and I assume the comment about the first clip "being for the belayer/anchor..." is meant in the context of a multi-pitch anchor and preventing a fall back onto the anchor and not in the context of belaying a sport climb from the ground.
csproul
From Davis, CA
Joined Dec 3, 2009
214 points
Jul 8, 2015
squeakeasy
Ground anchors aren't always a bad idea. All multi-pitch belays essentially operate that way.

A couple suggestions for giving a more 'dynamic' while in to a ground anchor.

1. Allow some slack in the ground anchor. This allows some mobility for the belayer to soften the catch.

2. Use the rope or something not static to anchor to the ground.

3. (If absolutely necessary) like multi-pitch climbs with marginal belays or protection that you don't want to stress too much. Allow a litle rope slip with the ATC to soften the catch.

I'm 195 lbs and my GF is somewhere btw 110 and 130 (I'm not allowed to ask). When we sport climb and I'm likely to whip I like to have her wear a b'pack or tie into the ground somehow. We've found that she usually comes off the ground less when belaying with an ATC as opposed to a Gri Gri (likely due to a small amount of unintentional rope slip, which softens the jerk* on her harness)
Colin Brochard
From San Francisco
Joined Apr 29, 2008
137 points
Jul 8, 2015
Mystical Weapons.
CSPROUL wrote:

"I assume the comment about the first clip "being for the belayer/anchor..." is meant in the context of a multi-pitch anchor and preventing a fall back onto the anchor and not in the context of belaying a sport climb from the ground."

No, reread the OP.

"We were sport climbing in the gym and he was pulling out slack when he slipped. He'd skipped the first clip to prevent me from slamming into the wall if he fell..."

"There's your problem right there. If he didn't skip that first clip, you would have stopped getting pulled up higher once you reached it. The first clip is as much for the belayer/anchor as it is for the leader."



The first bolt is for the leader. Proper positioning of the belayer, appropriate use of ground anchors, and solid belay technique are the right tools for keeping the lid on the belay. Cheers!
Alex Bury
From Ojai, CA
Joined Jun 29, 2012
1,732 points
Jul 8, 2015
The traverse out to the Yellow Ridge on the Dogsti...
Amanda Ramsay wrote:
I understand how anchoring myself to the ground would be helpful when belaying someone almost twice as heavy (me being 100 lbs), but what would be the best technique when belaying from fixed anchors on a multi-pitch climb? I recently climbed a tower with someone who had 80 lbs on me and it was a bit scary, wondering what would happen if he whipped. We discussed anchoring me into the crack to my side or below me if possible. Any thoughts on this?


Well, you do have to be anchored, and the anchor has to be able to withstand an upward load. The simplest set-up for this occurs when the pieces can be placed in a horizontal crack, but if only vertical cracks are available, then there has to be at least one solid piece oriented for an upward pull. Do not count on cams in a vertical crack that are oriented for downward pulls to rotate 180 degrees and still work.

If rigging just with the rope, it is easy to create an anchor that will resist in both up and down loads. When belaying, clip your device to the loop of rope that forms your climbing rope tie-in rather than clipping to the harness loop. In this way, loads are transmitted directly to the belay anchor rather than imposing twisting and shearing loads on the harness.

If you are using a tube-style device, it is appropriate to worry about whether you can catch a severe fall of someone far heavier. After all, your grip strength, which may be exceptional for people of your size and weight, is still somewhat correlated with your weight, and so may be less than is needed with a plate and a much heavier person. I'd play it safe by using two carabiners for the tube, which will increase friction and only decrease handling ease a little bit, and absolutely always wear gloves. (Gloves are a bit of a tradeoff, because they decrease your grip strength a little, but the protection from rope burns and so the ability to hang on no matter what is more important.)
rgold
From Poughkeepsie, NY
Joined Feb 15, 2008
288 points
Jul 8, 2015
Squamish
Tiffanie Tran wrote:
I weigh 95 pounds, opposing my boyfriend who weighs 185. Surprisingly enough, this was never an issue for us until he slips while clipping into a draw. Our gym provides a 50 pound weight bag you can clip into. As for climbing at the crag, we bought a fitness weight bag you can fill with sand. We use whatever we can find to add weight, which typically ends up being rocks. I hope this helps. Cheers!


I use this same concept some times with my heavier partners. I often fill one of our backpacks with some rocks and then clip it to my belay loop. Its worked pretty well in the past. Still allows for a "soft catch" without being tied to the ground
ColeT
From Columbus, OH
Joined May 30, 2012
21 points
Jul 8, 2015
Ana Tine wrote:
I've noticed a lot of the guys here seem concerned about the well-being of their light belayer, and not themselves. Why?


Perhaps because a compromised belayer is a safety issue for the climber?

Imagine getting yanked up to where your head or brake hand slams into the rock. Then it becomes an issue for the climber...
Kent Richards
Joined Jan 10, 2009
4 points
Jul 8, 2015
button head
Ana Tine wrote:
I've noticed a lot of the guys here seem concerned about the well-being of their light belayer, and not themselves. Why? ...

I as a big guy am used to rope stretch and soft catches contrast that with most belayers are not used to catching a a 220 lbs leader. I am told it can be painful even under the best conditions.
gription
From Inyokern
Joined Jul 10, 2012
12 points
Administrator
Jul 11, 2015
S. Neoh wrote:
Please politely inform those people who have taught you the wrong way to learn the right way to use a Gri Gri, especially before 'educating' others. This is a common mistake that has resulted in several bad accidents in recent years. This is definitely something to be aware of; I have seen it happen so many times indoors. To the OP, this might have happened to you without you realizing it at the time. Or, as you said, you were holding down the cam as he pulled up rope to clip, resulting in rope running thru the device unchecked before you let go of the cam.


In addition, be aware that grabbing the climber's side of the rope can also prevent the Grigri from locking, resulting in serious accidents.

mountainproject.com/v/another-...

This seems to happen more often with light belayers who, anticipating being yanked into the air, grab the climbers rope to brace themselves.

Based on your description, this also could have been what happened.
John Byrnes
From Fort Collins, CO
Joined Dec 11, 2007
324 points


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