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By Justin Tomlinson
From Monrovia, CA
Nov 26, 2012
Summit of Mt. Langley

What is the technique that enables you to soft catch someone?


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By bearbreeder
Nov 26, 2012

www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=1844


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By ccerling
From Boston, MA
Nov 26, 2012
me

My climbing partner's girlfriend that weighs 50 lbs less than me


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By Tradoholic
Nov 26, 2012

"Euro-slack", Google it.


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By PAS
Nov 26, 2012

It has a lot to do with the action you take when you feel the weight of the climber come onto the rope, not the amount of slack in the system. Having said that, the three most popular methods are stepping in, small jump, or remaining neutral. It will mostly depend on the weight difference between climber and belayer. The main goal is always keeping the climber from hitting the ground an/or any obstacles.


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By Finn the Human
From The Land of Ooo
Nov 26, 2012
Mathematical!



That article gives a fair explanation. Remember, you don't need a lot of slack in the system to give a dynamic belay.


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By OldManRiver
From Cottonwood Heights, UT
Nov 26, 2012
Red Rock, Cannibal crag

i'm a little heavy and was taught to generally stay close to the wall and jump to soften the catch. So far partners - some much lighter - have been happy with the softness. The idea about standing away from the wall and moving quickly towards is seems a little more risky for the belayer than being below the first bolt.

but hey, opinions are like assholes.


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By bearbreeder
Nov 27, 2012

OldManRiver wrote:
i'm a little heavy and was taught to generally stay close to the wall and jump to soften the catch. So far partners - some much lighter - have been happy with the softness. The idea about standing away from the wall and moving quickly towards is seems a little more risky for the belayer than being below the first bolt. but hey, opinions are like assholes.


on steep overhang starts, jumping up may not be the best option ... if you do, wear a helmet ;)

on trad, standing far away may not be the best option if a zipper is possible ...

use that thing between yr ears =P


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By Rajiv Ayyangar
From Portland, ME
Nov 27, 2012
Cut! Sadly my flash attempt met with dismal pump-failure two bolts later.

Andrew Bisharat's book, Sport Climbing, has an excellent overview. Something that helps me time the jump is keeping a slight bow of slack out with my guide hand, and when I feel it go taut, jump.

A really great way to practice is to have a gym leading session where you are not allowed to clip the anchors, which forces you to take and catch lots of falls. Try experimenting (within reason) with slack, and various degrees of jump.

If there's enough rope drag (I mean A LOT), it might be necessary to give slack as the only way to provide "give" in the system.


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By divnamite
From New York, NY
Nov 27, 2012

Use a lot of screamers.


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By Justin Tomlinson
From Monrovia, CA
Nov 27, 2012
Summit of Mt. Langley

cool, thanks everyone.

@ divnamite, isn't that called "no-catch"?


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By csproul
From Rancho Cordova, CA
Nov 27, 2012
Summit of Wolf's Head with Pingora in the background

Introducing extra slack in the rope before the fall is NOT the way to do it. This increases the force (for FF<1) instead of reducing it.


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By Gunkiemike
Nov 27, 2012

csproul wrote:
Introducing extra slack in the rope before the fall is NOT the way to do it. This increases the force (for FF<1) instead of reducing it.


Precisely. A longer unchecked fall is not a softer catch. It's what you do to decellerate the climber that softens the catch. I don't think I'd want to climb with anyone who doesn't know the difference.


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By Pitty
From Marbach
Nov 27, 2012
My cool Elly....

csproul wrote:
Introducing extra slack in the rope before the fall is NOT the way to do it. This increases the force (for FF<1) instead of reducing it.

Exactly! avoid slack but let some rope slip trough and brake softly!


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By Crag Dweller
From New York, NY
Nov 27, 2012
My navigator keeps me from getting lost

a little hop when the rope goes tight will do it in almost all situations.


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By Daryl Allan
From Sierra Vista, AZ
Nov 27, 2012
Me and my Fetish I guess.. ;)

Crag Dweller wrote:
a little hop when the rope goes tight will do it in almost all situations.

+1
Adjust 'hop' based on body weight difference, amount of rope between climber & belayer and protection (bolt/gear/iffy gear).


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By frankstoneline
Nov 27, 2012

if you're a fatty, step in. if they're a fatty, hang on. Leave enough slack off the end of your gri gri so when the climber makes a move they aren't short roped (usually for me this is enough that the gri gri sits just under parallel with the ground).


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By Eric Engberg
Nov 27, 2012

So when I am hanging off of 2 tied off knife blades equalized with a Snarg and my partner is out of sight whining about the verglas (at least I think that is what those noises are) and it's getting dark and the snow is getting heavier and we're 6 pitches up with 2 to go - should I be hopping up and down constantly in the hopes of softening the inevitable (and with the added bonus of warding off hypothermia)?

Do you think context might occasionally come into play?


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By Wally
From Denver
Nov 27, 2012

Eric - strange post, dude. Climb on. Wally


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By Wade J.
From Boulder, CO
Nov 27, 2012
winter aid climbing

Eric Engberg wrote:
So when I am hanging off of 2 tied off knife blades equalized with a Snarg and my partner is out of sight whining about the verglas (at least I think that is what those noises are) and it's getting dark and the snow is getting heavier and we're 6 pitches up with 2 to go - should I be hopping up and down constantly in the hopes of softening the inevitable (and with the added bonus of warding off hypothermia)? Do you think context might occasionally come into play?


The real question is why are you still climbing with snargs?


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By Guy Keesee
From Moorpark, CA
Nov 27, 2012
Big Boulder, just a bit downhill from Temple of Kali. Alabama Hills, CA.

""""use that thing between yr ears =P"""

Best advise yet seen on any web site.








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By Eric Engberg
Nov 27, 2012

Wade J. wrote:
The real question is why are you still climbing with snargs?


Sometimes they actually are the best option.


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By John Husky
Nov 27, 2012

A hip belay will give pretty soft catch I bet. I personally haven't needed to do a lot of dialing in of my catching system.


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By richie
From englewood, tn
Nov 27, 2012

1. use a gri-gri 2. have alot of slack 3. when they fall run in opposite direction


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By Greg D
From Here
Nov 30, 2012
Out of the blue.  Photo by Mike W. <br />

In order to make any impact reducing the peak load you would have to jump at the precise nano second before the peak load. This would be just as the rope is starting to stretch but before it has come completely taught. So you would have to be starring at the leader ready to react with ninja like reflexes and time the precise moment right before the peak load.

To put it in perspective, a free falling body falls 16 feet in one second. So a 16 foot fall from start to finish will only take slightly more than one second because of the deceleration time. If you blink your eyes for a fraction of a second you are too late

I believe rgold has done some testing and found little or no evidence jumping does anything to reduce peak loads. The best thing you could do is use ropes with low impact ratings, use atc's vs grigris, give with your body a little, or climb with skinny chicks.

Jump on!.

Jump on!


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By michaeltarne
Nov 30, 2012

Hey Greg, have you ever tried it in real life? It's not that hard and it does make a difference, at least based upon my years of experience.


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