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Self Belay Using Reverso 4
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By Gunkiemike
Jan 10, 2013

You say you didn't see any glazing of the rope. How much slack was in the system when you took your test fall(s)? If you pulled the rope through the Reverso then jumped off, that's about the same loading as catching the second falling when belaying from above. No concern there at all. I'm not altogether sure that the Reverso in guide mode will do so well if you fall 6 feet onto it, esp as you get closer to the anchor. AFAIK the guide mode isn't really designed for a high load catch like that.


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By MTKirk
From Billings, MT
Jan 10, 2013
Me on Supercrack

Gunkiemike wrote:
You say you didn't see any glazing of the rope. How much slack was in the system when you took your test fall(s)? If you pulled the rope through the Reverso then jumped off, that's about the same loading as catching the second falling when belaying from above. No concern there at all. I'm not altogether sure that the Reverso in guide mode will do so well if you fall 6 feet onto it, esp as you get closer to the anchor. AFAIK the guide mode isn't really designed for a high load catch like that.



I did some test falls up to 4' with 10' of rope (bluewater eliminator) out connected to a fixed anchor (so fall factor .4) result:

ATC Guide in guide mode-
no visible damage

Petzel mini-traxion-
ruined rope, mantle torn most of the way around rope and visible damage to kern fibers. Rope did hold.

The Mini-traxion caused damage to the sheath of a beal edlinger with a 2' fall! (.2 fall factor)


I didn't try any longer falls, the 4' was painful enough that I quit. I though about using a weight to see if I could get the rope to break- but then the test wouldn't really be a real world situation.

There are a lot of reasons not to use a guide mode tube device to self belay on top rope, but I don't think damage to the rope is one of them.

In light of my experiences, I find the popularity of mini-traxions for top rope self belay incredible.


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By YuenglingTrad
From NOVA, VA
Jan 10, 2013
West side of the Crime Buttress, Foster Falls, TN. I forgot what the routes name or what grade it was.

MTKirk wrote:
Your use of the word "static" is confusing people, in climber-speak we refer to this as a "Fixed" line.


Noted thanks.

MTKirk wrote:
If you're going to pre-tie the knots why not just tie them while you're safely at the anchor and lower the rope after they're tied?


Because you can't clip easily if the knot is placed at the crux, easier to see the route when I'm right in in front of it.

MTKirk wrote:
Also learn how to tie a mule to lock off your Reverso, people die from relying on friction hitch rappel back-ups (yes they do have their place).


That would be a pain in the ass for my application. I would rather tie an alpine butterfly one handed.

MTKirk wrote:
Next time you do this make sure you have a dynamic Y-lanyard. Make your own from climbing rope


I will do this! Good idea.

MTKirk wrote:
DON"T USE WIREGATES!!! when clipped into rope loops they have an annoying habit of un-clipping themselves, you MUST USE LOCKING CARABINERS!!!


I think I stated this in one of my posts...

MTKirk wrote:
Try a test fall with your body in a near horizontal position (under a roof, or climbing a steep section) your results will be different!


I don't know if I agree with this. The Reverso was on a carabiner (Grid Lock) and should self correct.


MTKirk wrote:
Also a PITA to unlock the thing after a fall isn't it?


Not really but I guess that I didn't take very big falls.


MTKirk wrote:
I'm extremely cautious about using anchors that are in single pitch crag areas, a lot of bolters tell themselves "it's only for top roping or rapping, it doesn't need to be that strong". I will almost always back up in these cases (tree, boulder, trad pro).


I was wrapped around two trees and had a #12 nut in place equalized with a sliding x with limiter knots.

MTKirk wrote:
In case you haven't heard this yet YER GONNA DIE!!!


Thatís a really nice thing of you to say. You know that I had a back up belayer when "experimenting" right? Sounds pretty safe to me!? I hate this statement in forums, especially to new climbers, oh and hopefully old and happy.


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By YuenglingTrad
From NOVA, VA
Jan 10, 2013
West side of the Crime Buttress, Foster Falls, TN. I forgot what the routes name or what grade it was.

Gunkiemike wrote:
You say you didn't see any glazing of the rope. How much slack was in the system when you took your test fall(s)? If you pulled the rope through the Reverso then jumped off, that's about the same loading as catching the second falling when belaying from above. No concern there at all. I'm not altogether sure that the Reverso in guide mode will do so well if you fall 6 feet onto it, esp as you get closer to the anchor. AFAIK the guide mode isn't really designed for a high load catch like that.


On some of the falls that I took, it would have been a little less than that. I was pulling rope at every rest that I could. It was a pretty easy route for me since I was just experimenting. I kinda hinted that this was not the best way to do this. That's why I bought a GriGri (I wanted one anyhow). I read somewhere that someone was doing a pull test on the Reverso and it didn't break until, I want to say 22kN. But don't quote me on that. Your right, it was not designed for a big leader fall or a fall with a high fall factor. I really was just experimenting with this setup because there isn't a clear post on any forum about this topic. It usually got dismissed or adverted to using other devices, which is fine. But if a new climber, or a new solo climber like me, were to go off what some other forums say they wouldn't have adequate information on why this system sucks from first hand experience and decide to go try it anyway (without asking questions). They could get seriously hurt! I knew that I could do this safely, ask questions, and decide to retire any gear that was damaged during the experiment based on my knowledge and this community's. Really I was a guinea pig, that now realizes and hopes to make others realize that this is not the best way to self-belay. And if they do still decide to try or use this method, take my first hand observations and your advice into consideration. So far this thread has a lot of helpful information!


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By MTKirk
From Billings, MT
Jan 10, 2013
Me on Supercrack

YuenglingTrad wrote:
That would be a pain in the ass for my application. I would rather tie an alpine butterfly one handed.


Learn how to do this

you will find it extremely useful for the rest of your climbing career. With a little practice you'll be able to do it in seconds, with one hand, without looking, and without even really thinking about it. To add saftey you can make the loop big and tie an overhand around the loaded strand with it, or what I do, keep a carabiner on my right leg loop and clip the mule loop to it.

YuenglingTrad wrote:
Not really but I guess that I didn't take very big falls.


This may be unique to the ATC guide, in even a light fall the brake and climber strands cross in the tube. The only practical way to release this is to completely un-weight it.

YuenglingTrad wrote:
I don't know if I agree with this. The Reverso was on a carabiner (Grid Lock) and should self correct.


Yes you are right here, the only time it won't self correct is if you have the blocking 'biner captured on a sling over your shoulder (the method shown in the link I posted, also the way I tried it) never occurred to me to try it any other way.

YuenglingTrad wrote:
Thatís a really nice thing of you to say. You know that I had a back up belayer when "experimenting" right? Sounds pretty safe to me!? I hate this statement in forums, especially to new climbers, oh and hopefully old and happy.



Apologies, a pathetic attempt at humor on my part. Yes all of us are going to die, I just hope I don't die in a nursing home.


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By YuenglingTrad
From NOVA, VA
Jan 10, 2013
West side of the Crime Buttress, Foster Falls, TN. I forgot what the routes name or what grade it was.

MTKirk wrote:
Apologies, a pathetic attempt at humor on my part. Yes all of us are going to die, I just hope I don't die in a nursing home.


Ya me too. If it comes to that, that's when I'll jump out of a plane for the last time right after I deactivate my ADD and "forget" to pull my parachute. Haha


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