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#50937 - 03/23/10 07:00 PM Re: Accident this Past Saturday, 3/20/10 [Re: rg@ofmc]
Julie Offline

Registered: 01/16/00
Posts: 2082
Loc: SoCal
RG, I agree and will add one more thing: with each new innovation that comes out, it seems that some folks adopt it as their one-size-fits-all perma-solution without considering the drawbacks or other possible solutions. Autoblocks have their place, but so do 'conventional' redirects and waist belays or even a munter. Have we forgotten how to choose? I think it's partially a result of modern marketing - use this! every time! solves all problems! live forever!

#50938 - 03/23/10 07:03 PM Re: Accident this Past Saturday, 3/20/10 [Re: rg@ofmc]
TerrieM Online   content

Registered: 05/14/09
Posts: 419
Loc: Gunks in Summer, Southwest in ...
Tangent Point(not related to accident)

I haven't purchased the ATC Guide, and after seeing enough people who had no idea as to how to release under weight, I now ask any new partner who has a Guide if they have ever had to do the weighted release.

If they get that....look...(you know, the one that shows this is the first time the issue has occurred to them), I make them promise they won't use the auto-locking mode while belaying me. Not that I intended to fall and be unable to get myself off the rope(I carry prussiks and have maybe more experience using them that I should admit....), but for the unanticipated problems that, heaven forbid, could occur.

It irritates me that so many people just felt they *had* to have that ATC Guide when it came out.

#50939 - 03/23/10 07:44 PM Re: Accident this Past Saturday, 3/20/10 [Re: rg@ofmc]
Kent Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/21/00
Posts: 1036
Loc: The Bayards
Rich, in my experience, it's not all that annoying for seconds who want to actually climb the pitch. It's easy to tend the device, at least the Gigi which is what I used most, in a way that allows seconds to step down without the device locking. When the second falls and then wants to be lowered however it becomes somewhat of a PIA.

Julie makes a good point about choosing the right tool for the right application, and Terrie makes an equally good point about knowing how to use the tool chosen.

#50940 - 03/23/10 08:05 PM Re: Accident this Past Saturday, 3/20/10 [Re: rg@ofmc]
quanto_the_mad Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/14/02
Posts: 2628
Loc: brooklyn
I don't know, it doesn't make sense to me that they'd try to lower in autoblock mode. If the climber reached the top and was being lowered, I would just swap the biners on the belay device. Now it's in standard mode, to a casual passerby that saw it in autoblock mode a few minutes ago, it might not appear any different.

Then to lower, walk back to the edge so you can watch as you lower the person. But you can't forget to redirect the belay through a leg of the anchor; without that 2nd redirect, there's no friction in the system.

Of course, it could very well be loss of control while trying to unblock the device.

#50941 - 03/23/10 08:27 PM Re: Accident this Past Saturday, 3/20/10 [Re: quanto_the_mad]
Welle Offline

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 213
Loc: Western Slope
I'm only familiar with ATC Guide and Reverso 3, and both device manufacturers specifically say to never let go the braking hand from the rope even in auto braking mode. IMO, auto-brake is there for extra insurance against unforseen situations that may render the belayer temporarily incapable (a bee sting, a snake sighting, rockfall, etc..), but not to completely replace the braking hand.

Also, Petzl Reverso 3 takes a biner in the release hole, and the instructions specifically say to not use any other method (sling, cord etc.) to lower the second. BD ATC Guide however relies on a cordage to release the tension. I wonder if Petzl having developed their R3 later, had found some problems when using cordage to lower the second?

#50942 - 03/23/10 08:36 PM Re: Accident this Past Saturday, 3/20/10 [Re: quanto_the_mad]
ianmanger Offline

Registered: 04/25/03
Posts: 319
Thought I would pop back to see what the Speculation Machine had spat out recently. If it helps at all with your formulatin' and a-figurin', the belayer was wearing a red shirt. Surely that has some bearing...
Either that or wait for one of the people involved to clarify.

#50943 - 03/23/10 08:42 PM Re: Accident this Past Saturday, 3/20/10 [Re: ianmanger]
cracklicker Offline

Registered: 03/23/10
Posts: 8
The ATC Guide can also be released by a nut tool as opposed to a sling. Sad that people don't bother to learn how to use their gear and just pitch into the void. There seems to be such a lack of appreciation of the dangers in climbing...At least these people will get to live to climb another day if they ever decide to climb again...

#50944 - 03/23/10 08:44 PM Re: Accident this Past Saturday, 3/20/10 [Re: ianmanger]
Kent Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/21/00
Posts: 1036
Loc: The Bayards
Ian, your point is well taken. My comments are only directed at the discussion here about auto locking devices as I have no knowledge of the accident and no desire to pre (or post) judge the conduct of the injured parties. It seems that most on this thread are of the same mind.

Wishing a speedy recovery and otherwise safe season to the climbers involved.

#50945 - 03/23/10 08:52 PM Re: Accident this Past Saturday, 3/20/10 [Re: Welle]
Kent Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/21/00
Posts: 1036
Loc: The Bayards
Heya Welle, what you say about the ATC Guide and the Reverso instructions specifying that the devices are not intended for hands free use is why it is not smart for guides (or anyone else perhaps) to use them hands free. Guides moreso for liability reasons.

I don't have the Gigi instructions handy, but if my memory serves me correctly, the instructions say it is indeed intended for hands free use, which is why, among other reasons, some guides prefer it.

#50946 - 03/23/10 09:08 PM Re: Accident this Past Saturday, 3/20/10 [Re: Kent]
Doug Offline

Registered: 12/29/06
Posts: 165
Relax ianmanger - it is a discussion forum about the Gunks, of course people are going to talk about the accident. There isn't much else going on on this board, and you think people are really going to sit around waiting? Besides, the belayer or climber aren't necessarily good sources of info - embarrassment and / or defensiveness may temper their account, if they ever get around to giving it.

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