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To backclip or not to backclip
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By Brent Butcher
Nov 18, 2010
route photo

I recently got back from a trip to Red Rocks and was greeted with tons of criticism when I entered my local climbing gym. People believed that I backclipped the first bolt. I am trying to defend myself and my honor. I even have more evidence to prove that I am not guilty, but for now, I want you (Mountain Project Members) to be the judge.

backclipped or not?
backclipped or not?


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By Brent Butcher
Nov 18, 2010
route photo

Here is another photo. Note* It is the first quickdraw

better view
better view


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By Phil Lauffen
From The Bubble
Nov 18, 2010
RMNP skiing. Photo by Nodin de Saillan

definitely back clipped


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By J. Albers
From Colorado
Nov 18, 2010
Bucky

Its hard to see from your first photo, but there are only two options...

If your draws are setup so that:

a) both biner gates face the same direction (to the climbers right in your photo), then yes, you are backclipped

or

b) your draws are facing opposing directions, i.e. the rope end biner, when lying flat against the rock, faces to the climbers left (and the draw is NOT twisted 180 degrees), then no, you are not backclipped.

...and if I was going to guess, I would say it looks like your are indeed backclipped in the first photo. Question for you: do you own Freedom of the Hills? Perhaps you should get a copy, because it would answer this and tons of other questions that anyone stepping off the dirt should probably know.


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By Andy Hansen
From Longmont, Colorado
Nov 18, 2010
Intruder, 5.11+. Zion National Park. Photo: Matt Kuehl

Sometimes those BD draws get a bit twisted. It's hard for me to tell from these photos. It looks like in the first photo you are backclipped and in the 2nd you are not.


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By Nathan Scherneck
From Portland, OR
Nov 18, 2010
He took the whipper while trying to place his #1 Stopper.  So sad.

Yo Brent, you shouldn't need to post a photo on MP to figure out if you'd backclipped. It should feel wrong as soon as you clip. I suggest practicing clipping techniques until you've got them dialed. Won't take too long.


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By Tits McGee
From Boulder, CO
Nov 18, 2010
How I Send

What's your belayer saying to you? "Dude, you are totally back clipped."

If you have the gates on your draws facing the same way - you are. If they face opposite you ain't...

Your Profile says you can climb 10 trad, shouldn't you have clipping down at that level?


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By Erik W
From Bay Area, CA
Nov 18, 2010
North face of Ama Dablam - taken on approach to Kongma La.

Looks backclipped to me.


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By coloradotomontana
Nov 18, 2010
me

Your chalk bag is on backwards as well.


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By slim
Administrator
Nov 18, 2010
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.

definitely looks like you butchered that first clip, although on the plus side, at least the rope would be molesting the beam side and not the gate side if you peeled.


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By Price
From SLC, UT
Nov 18, 2010

Pat Erley wrote:
Your chalk bag is on backwards as well.

Agree, chalk bag is definitely back clipped.

Please refer to my post in the dumb things climbers have said thread.
www.mountainproject.com/v/general_climbing/dumb_things_other>>>

@slim ... very clever.


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By Brent Butcher
Nov 18, 2010
route photo

Yes, my chalk bag bag is on backwards, a strap broke on it the day before on Mescalito (Cat in the Hat). I just put it on real quick.

Before I climbed the route, my belayer, photographer and myself looked at the first quickdraw for 5 minutes before determining that this was the proper way to clip the rope to the first quickdraw. My point is that looks can be deceiving. You can clearly see that it is not backclipped. This is the last pic I am posting.

final picture
final picture


I caught so much flak from my local gym. This photo helped save face, so to my credit do I deserve to have my honor restored?


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By Ryan Kelly
From work.
Nov 18, 2010
My kinda simian

No.


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By Erik W
From Bay Area, CA
Nov 18, 2010
North face of Ama Dablam - taken on approach to Kongma La.

Brent Butcher wrote:
This photo helped save face, so to my credit do I deserve to have my honor restored?


You might have, that is until you admitted it took three of you 5min to determine the first clip on a pretty plumb-line route.


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By Nathan Scherneck
From Portland, OR
Nov 18, 2010
He took the whipper while trying to place his #1 Stopper.  So sad.

So why start this thread by posting the two not-so-good pics and leave out the one that answers the question?

You could've done two laps on that route in 5mins.


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By Goran Lynch
From Seattle, WA
Nov 18, 2010

The most interesting aspect of this thread is that there's a gym full of backseat climbers who have incredible ESP! You enter the room and SHAZAAM they know how you clipped while climbing elsewhere.

Remarkable.


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By Luke to Zuke
From Anchorage
Nov 18, 2010
Middle Troll

You spun the biner around... classic move.


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By Rick Blair
From Denver
Nov 18, 2010
This is a novel auto blocking belay device.  I think it works quite well, depending on rope thickness and sheath quality, it belays very smooth.  Great to lower with.  You gotta love over engineering.  $3 at a gear swap!

How does you changing direction and not being back clipped in the last picture negate the fact that you are back clipped in the first? What am I missing?

Edit: I see, the gates are facing the opposite direction.


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By Brian in SLC
Nov 18, 2010
Climbing in Smuggler's Notch

At first blush, it looks backclipped, because its hard to see which direction the draw is twisted.

I always tend to try to face the gates of my carabiners away from the direction of travel. Ie, opposite how the rope would run if I popped off. Had you done that, it would have been much easier to tell if you backclipped, I'd think.

Yeah, chalk bag on backwards ha ha.

Also, your belayer is belaying palm up with his brake hand in a position that wouldn't hold a fall...

-1 for the belayer's loafters with white socks, too. That's a fashion faux pas. Even if they're those ratty looking things Sharma shills for...(har har).

Cheers!


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By Choss Chasin'
From Torrance, CA
Nov 18, 2010
Black Mountain

Brian in SLC wrote:
Also, your belayer is belaying palm up with his brake hand in a position that wouldn't hold a fall... -1 for the belayer's loafters with white socks, too. That's a fashion faux pas. Even if they're those ratty looking things Sharma shills for...(har har). Cheers!


Look on the bright side Brent had you fallen and decked it would have been your belayers fault! I saw a guy try to catch a fall with that hand orientation and ended up dropping climber and sustaining massive rope burns on both hands (since he was trying to grab the strand going up with left hand). Freedom of the hills, and, "Mountaineers Handbook", (the latter being kind of techy) are both good resources if your trying to break out of your plastic pulling gym world!


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By Price
From SLC, UT
Nov 18, 2010

what i said was dickish - good for you for climbing and welcome to MP.com.


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By Michaeld916
From Sacramento, CA
Nov 18, 2010

You're not back clipped.

The first pic looks like it, but the belayer being to your right, the climber biner turned clockwise towards you.

The first and last pic match. You're fine dude.

You're belayer could use some work though, take in slack instead of leaving you with a dick load, as in the second pic.

On my quick draws, both biners face the same way.
Depending on which hand I'm using to clip, i face the biner the opposite way for easier rope clipping. Get in the habit of knowing your own system so you don't have to question yourself.


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By Candemir Orsan
Nov 18, 2010

Sadly you also forgot to put your helmet on. Between that and your belayer, a fall surely would have ended badly back clipped or not.

But at least your rope, draws, and shirt are all color matched.


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By Brian in SLC
Nov 18, 2010
Climbing in Smuggler's Notch

Corsan wrote:
Sadly you also forgot to put your helmet on.


But, in two out of three of the photo's, he doesn't appear to have a head...

Cheers, and, welcome to the 'proj!


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By Brian
From North Kingstown, RI
Nov 18, 2010

It looks like you may not be backclipped (the rope is going from the rock out) but the biner gate is facing in the wrong direction in the first photo. Remember "spine towards the line." You are traversing left and the gate is facing left. This can unclip.

Spine-toward-the-line
Spine-toward-the-line


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By Ben Cassedy
From Denver, CO
Nov 18, 2010
IP

Brian wrote:
It looks like you may not be backclipped (the rope is going from the rock out) but the biner gate is facing in the wrong direction in the first photo. Remember "spine towards the line." You are traversing left and the gate is facing left. This can unclip.



Cite an example.


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