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Heavy climber, light belayer
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By steverett
From West Hartford, CT
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.


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By steverett
From West Hartford, CT
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).


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By joshf
From missoula, mt
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.


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By Christiney
From Wheat Ridge, CO
Apr 12, 2013
Horseman

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.


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By Amanda Ramsay
From Basalt, CO
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?


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By FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
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? I've heard of leather belay gloves, but have never used them. Anyway, what are you concerned would happen if your heavier leader fell?


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