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how do you nicely tell someone they are belaying wrong
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Jan 29, 2013
Me on top of Chianti Spire
If I see someone belaying dangerously, I would politely let them know.

If I see someone belaying a climber on TOPROPE with a GRIGRI and not using their brake hand correctly 100% of the time, I mind my own damn business, because that is not actually very dangerous and I don't need to act like a know-it-all, and I don't know anything about them, they might even have much more experience than me and be well aware of the tiny chance they're taking, and be happy to be taking responsibility for their own well-being without some nerd nitpicking away at them.

You sound new.
Eric Fjellanger
Joined May 8, 2008
774 points
superkick wrote:
when I was at the gunks this fall I was watching a guy belay his wife one handed using a grigri who was working through a crux roof while his other hand had a cellphone glued to his ear. classy.


Nice! It's morons like that that ruin things for everyone with land access and such when someone gets hurt or killed!
Jan 29, 2013
They are called social skills. The object is that you can say something and have enough skills that whichever way they take your "advice" it all ends up friendly.
It comes with age and practice, "do I look fat in this dress" is probably the hardest test of all.
Jim Titt
From Germany
Joined Nov 10, 2009
195 points
Jim Titt wrote:
They are called social skills. The object is that you can say something and have enough skills that whichever way they take your "advice" it all ends up friendly. It comes with age and practice, "do I look fat in this dress" is probably the hardest test of all.


LOL! Jim's a smart man! LOL.
Jan 29, 2013
Rob Warden, Space Lizard wrote:
they were building campfires and screaming beta and shouting about how they were N***ger Fa***ts for not being able to send 5.10, just really damn loud, obnoxious people


I wouldn't have said shit to them. That kind of attitude wouldn't make me want to help them in any way, and I probably would have left as soon as possible.
Ian Stewart
Joined May 17, 2010
166 points
Jan 29, 2013
One of my first trad climbs, Ooga Chocka at Crowde...
Rob Warden, Space Lizard wrote:
shouting about how they were N***ger Fa***ts for not being able to send 5.10


At this point you can infer that they are assholes and stop worrying about their well-being. I wouldn't nicely tell those people anything.
sanz
From Raleigh, NC
Joined Nov 7, 2011
279 points
Jan 29, 2013
Accidents can threaten access, especially on private or otherwise sensitive land. Plus, witnessing and responding to trauma will pretty much disrupt one's day at the crag. Don't be afraid to speak up!

If the shit belay technique seems to be based on general inexperience, I'll often introduce myself and offer advice once the climber has taken or has finished their climb, preferably so they can hear as well. I usually ask if they're new to the device in question and show the proper technique as needed.

Oldskoolers and lackadaisical hardmen/women are a different story altogether, unfortunately. Unless something is unequivocally dangerous, I'd tread carefully. There is safe, and there is 'safe enough', and most of these climbers have gotten by on 'safe enough' for years without (major) incident.
BrianWS
Joined Apr 22, 2010
728 points
Jan 30, 2013
Jim Titt wrote:
They are called social skills. The object is that you can say something and have enough skills that whichever way they take your "advice" it all ends up friendly. It comes with age and practice, "do I look fat in this dress" is probably the hardest test of all.


Truer words have rarely been spoken.

Try saying, "Hey, can I get make a suggestion about ....(insert belaying, clipping, anchor, etc.)?"

Their response will be a great indicator of their receptiveness to critique and which path to take, speak up or leave.
Phalanges
Joined Aug 1, 2010
196 points
Jan 30, 2013
nonsense ... you just run around saying how everything must be done your way because some "expert" on the intrawebs forums told you the "proper" way to belay ...

you see it all the time here with people saying loudly how TR soloing is STOOOOPID ... if you dont use an equalette with lockers youre UNNSAFEE ... how gri gris KILL PEEOOPLE ... god forbid that you actually lead something as youre RIIISSSSKY ... and if you dont bring in a 50L pack with a sleeping bag, stove, bivy, on a short multi SAR will need to REEESCUUUE you ... and how falling on an overhanging sport climb is DEAADLY ...

im not joking ... ive hear all these things said out loud before ...

by people who cant even lead a moderate without sketching out and hangdogging at every gear placement ... or people who are too afraid to lead ...

there a real difference between politely informing someone of a real safety hazard ... and simply projecting your fears unto others loudly and publicly because you cant do it yourself or you want to show off how "knowledgeable" you are ...

ill do the later every chance i get ;)
bearbreeder
Joined Mar 1, 2009
2,053 points
Jan 30, 2013
Mashers Tower
I took my hand off the brake once waving at some girl on N Astrodome while my buddy lead P2 of Figures on a Landscape. She called me out on it and was laughing to her friends on the ground about it and my buddy heard it. Pretty humiliating. Never did that again.

Speak up, I always do. And I appreciate being called out if I get sloppy.
Cornelius Jefferson
Joined Apr 5, 2006
163 points
Feb 1, 2013
High Exposure
True story:

One day about a year ago I was running self belayed laps on this route when a guy shows up with his GF and sets a toprope next to me. They're both obviously new and I can see she's never climbed or belayed before. But, she makes it up the route and he lowers her off. After a few laps, I chat it up with them and ask if I can have a quick run on their TR. I tell him: "I'll give you a belay and then you can belay me"

It's then that I look at how he's set up his ATC: It's anchored to a tree but he threaded the rope into one slot of the ATC, around a locking carabiner and out the OTHER slot. I start taking it apart and the conversation goes something like this.

Him: What are you doing?
Me: I'm fixing your belay.
Him: Why? What's wrong with it?
Me: I've never seen it done like this before.
Him: No, it's right. My friend who's a guide showed me to do it this way.
Me: I think you misunderstood or your friend was wrong. You only use one slot.
Him: Nope. He said do it this way. That's why there's two slots.
Me: Let me show you my way and explain why it's better. Then you can decide.

Time passes......

Him: Wow! Your way IS better. I'm gonna tell my friend.
wivanoff
Joined Mar 3, 2012
121 points
Feb 4, 2013
Big Boulder, just a bit downhill from Temple of Ka...
Social skills are needed...... If I see something very wrong... I like to point it out.

I am confused somewhat by this topic....

I don't use a Gri Gri cause I hold on tight with my brake hand .... 40 year old habbit.

I thought the purpose of a Gri Gri was so you didn't need to have a brake hand in play.

Just saying...
Guy Keesee
From Moorpark, CA
Joined Mar 1, 2008
189 points
Feb 4, 2013
Wall Street, Moab, UT
Guy Keesee wrote:
I thought the purpose of a Gri Gri was so you didn't need to have a brake hand in play. Just saying...


Ha ha, yeah, for sure... they do get used that way a fair amount, but Petzl recommends using a brake hand- you know, lawyers and all...
Peter Stokes
From Them Thar Hills
Joined Apr 30, 2009
152 points
Feb 4, 2013
Guy Keesee wrote:
Social skills are needed...... If I see something very wrong... I like to point it out. I am confused somewhat by this topic.... I don't use a Gri Gri cause I hold on tight with my brake hand .... 40 year old habbit. I thought the purpose of a Gri Gri was so you didn't need to have a brake hand in play. Just saying...


Hahaha no.... that is not the point of a grigri at all. After forty years you think you would have learned a thing or two.
RocksClimbing
Joined Feb 2, 2013
0 points
Feb 4, 2013
I say go ahead and say something. I've met some douchey climbers before, but nobody with experience, that I've met, acts like that. I had a friend who I won't climb with anymore, that used to point out everything that was done differently than the way he did as wrong. Not because it was wrong, but because his way was the ONLY way. He actually refused to lower my gf off a climb because she didn't use the same color quickdraws on the anchors. Fuck those guys. But if I'm doing something that can hurt or kill someone else, I want to know. And even though they probably would have told you to fuck off, at least you have a clear conscience. Greg Pouliot
Joined Jul 23, 2012
7 points
Feb 4, 2013
Big Boulder, just a bit downhill from Temple of Ka...
"
Hahaha no.... that is not the point of a grigri at all. After forty years you think you would have learned a thing or two."


Or three.....

Or four, five....

I was at Malibu and watched somebody get dropped to within an inch of the deck.... from the anchors. The belayer,it seems, tripped on his own feet and as he fell over he held the lever of the Gri Gri open but at the last second, let go, to stop his facefrom slaming the rocks
this saved the climber....from death.

I have some very old habits that im proud of.... never letting go is one of them.

So please tell me ..... what good are those things for???? A serious question.
Guy Keesee
From Moorpark, CA
Joined Mar 1, 2008
189 points
Feb 4, 2013
Wall Street, Moab, UT
Guy Keesee wrote:
"So please tell me ..... what good are those things for???? A serious question.


I know, right? They seem to encourage really lousy belay habits. That said, most of the folks I know with them use them correctly, and they work pretty well if you know what you're doing. I'm from an earlier generation, and while I have one I'm just more comfortable using a tube style device that I can also rap a double rope with.
Peter Stokes
From Them Thar Hills
Joined Apr 30, 2009
152 points
Administrator
Feb 4, 2013
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after...
I seem to recall an occurrence last year in... Tennessee maybe? Where a leader pulled a sizable block off and it clobbered the belayer. The belayer was using a GriGri. It locked off when the belayer was knocked unconscious keeping the leader from decking from a good ways up. I wish I could find the story. I'm not for or against non-assisted or assisted devices. Brake hand should never come off regardless of what type of device is used. There have been instances though where these "new fangled" doohickis have kept a shitshow from becoming a tragedy. Whatever you use, employ it properly and don't take your brake hand off. Not to scratch your ass, not for anything. Just let it itch. Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Joined Jul 30, 2011
1,004 points
Feb 4, 2013
Big Boulder, just a bit downhill from Temple of Ka...
Peter.... I'm with you. I do use one, sometimes, but I think I should go back to belay school and learn the how and why of the GriGri.

I have never killed a partner of mine, yet.

Jake..... best reason I have ever herd of.


But back to the topic....

About the most dangerious stuff I see is the placement of the belayer. I was at Indian Cove the other day and I notice lots of belayers sitting about 15 or 20 feet back from the base of climbs.... might be OK with all bolts protection. But a distaster in the wating when the gear is TRAD.
Guy Keesee
From Moorpark, CA
Joined Mar 1, 2008
189 points
Feb 4, 2013
Guy Keesee wrote:
So please tell me ..... what good are those things for???? A serious question.


Sport climbing. Your buddy is working a route and taking at a lot trying to figure out the moves. A lot easier to hold someone with the gri gri locked up than to sit there with an ATC pinching the rope for a couple of minutes. So theres one answer.

Guy Keesee wrote:
I was at Indian Cove the other day and I notice lots of belayers sitting about 15 or 20 feet back from the base of climbs.... might be OK with all bolts protection. But a distaster in the wating when the gear is TRAD.


Even with bolts the belayer still gets whipped into the wall and could lose control of the belay device.... And when you get smacked into the wall and let go the grigri will have a chance of catching while the ATC won't. So there is another instance where a grigri is useful, although obviously not belaying like a gumbie from the start would be a better option.
EricSchmidt
Joined Feb 3, 2013
5 points
Feb 4, 2013
Big Boulder, just a bit downhill from Temple of Ka...
And when you get smacked into the wall and let go the grigri will have a chance of catching while the ATC won't

Eric... Thats why I never let go with brake hand, even when running down hill, or smacked and dragged across JT stone riding on my four knuckles.... 40 years of tried and true experience.

But if one was young and didn't have deeply ingrained habbits I could see using one.... train yourself to just let go with both hands!!!!

.... but that means you let go with brake hand.

Now I am confused.

And another way to let somebody know they are unsafe.....

If they have hot GF.... go talk to her... tell her you want to take her away from this unsafe dude she is with.... and total bliss can be had, but only if you show her the ropes.
Guy Keesee
From Moorpark, CA
Joined Mar 1, 2008
189 points
Feb 4, 2013
Set their car on fire, Rob. They can't see it from Kelly's Rock. Ethan Newman
Joined May 7, 2012
71 points
Feb 4, 2013
blah
your a bad man ethan Rob Warden, Space Lizard
From Springdale Ut
Joined Dec 19, 2011
46 points
Feb 6, 2013
Guy Keesee wrote:
And when you get smacked into the wall and let go the grigri will have a chance of catching while the ATC won't Eric... Thats why I never let go with brake hand, even when running down hill, or smacked and dragged across JT stone riding on my four knuckles.... 40 years of tried and true experience. But if one was young and didn't have deeply ingrained habbits I could see using one.... train yourself to just let go with both hands!!!! .... but that means you let go with brake hand. Now I am confused. And another way to let somebody know they are unsafe..... If they have hot GF.... go talk to her... tell her you want to take her away from this unsafe dude she is with.... and total bliss can be had, but only if you show her the ropes.


Uhhh how do you keep a hold of the brake hand when you are knocked unconcious from hitting the wall with your head? Or a rock falling on your head?? Those are some SKILLZ! Pretty unlikely but just pointing out the obvious...
RockyMtnTed
Joined Jul 24, 2012
7 points
Administrator
Feb 6, 2013
A Very Not Snowy Christmas...
Guy Keesee wrote:
And when you get smacked into the wall and let go the grigri will have a chance of catching while the ATC won't Eric... Thats why I never let go with brake hand, even when running down hill, or smacked and dragged across JT stone riding on my four knuckles.... 40 years of tried and true experience. But if one was young and didn't have deeply ingrained habbits I could see using one.... train yourself to just let go with both hands!!!! .... but that means you let go with brake hand. Now I am confused. And another way to let somebody know they are unsafe..... If they have hot GF.... go talk to her... tell her you want to take her away from this unsafe dude she is with.... and total bliss can be had, but only if you show her the ropes.


Grew up climbing without an GriGri or autolocker... these days I pretty much demand my partner use an autolock. Self preservation in a true life and death situation is unavoidable unless you have time to think about it which usually one doesn't. It is in one's nature to strive to preserve their own life over one others' life. If taking your hand off the brake means saving your life, you will, and if you keep your hand on and then die well what good was the ATC anyway, your dead and you leader is still SOL on the wall with no belay.

So in general don't be an idiot, just use an autolocker. Yes there certain one offs where using a atc or some tube makes sense... but they are few, very few, IMO. Guy - your record is commendable but if yourself unconscious and bloodied on the belay end of the rope would you still be able to sing your tune? on a multi pitch the auto could save your life let alone your leader.

Oh yeah for the OP - Tell them to harden the fu*k up and belay right!
Morgan Patterson
Joined Oct 13, 2009
8,420 points


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