Mountain Project Logo

.


Original Post
Cunning Linguist · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2007 · Points: 1,305

.

rgold · · Poughkeepsie, NY · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 526

In weight, size, and price it is similar to a Gri-gri 2 (a little lighter), but of course you can't use the Gri-gri with half or twin ropes.

I don't think much in the way of discounts are likely. It is $100 with a carabiner. (The carabiner is probably a good idea. If you read threads on the Mammut Smart and Edelrid Mega Jul, you'll read about variations in performance related to the carabiner used. Climbing Technology has attempted to eliminate that issue by selling you a carabiner with the device.)

Some reviews:

mountainproject.com/v/alpin…

climber.co.nz/80/review/cli…

lorenzorobico.com/article/v…

Website: climbingtechnology.it/en-US…

U.S. distributor: libertymountain.com/product…

Store: rockandsnow.com/store/filte….

Will Cohen · · Denver, Co · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 80

K,

This device is solid for use with double or half ropes. Feeds very nicely and functions well.

There are two known issues I can think of with it.

A) If one wants to use the dynamic mode one needs to use the supplied carabiner (very specific radius on that thing).

B) There are some circumstances that can prevent lock up

This video explains the device nicely and the main problems at 10:30ish and 17:00 ish/18 minutes

youtube.com/watch?v=ZXfjShc…

THe owner of Rock and Snow in New paltz swear by it, but unless one uses only double ropes/very thin singles I would say not worth it.

The lead belay is smoother than the gri gri though.

rgold · · Poughkeepsie, NY · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 526

Hmm. I haven't experienced any of the "main problems" (but I do use the supplied carabiner and the others I use don't have any of the issues mentioned). At any rate, all the assisted-locking devices are sensitive to carabiner choice, so this is a problem the Alpine Up shares with the Mammut Smart and the Edelrid Mega Jul.

The business about catching part of the supplied carabiner on one of the device contours and thereby inhibiting full locking has never happened to me and doesn't seem possible with the rope threaded through the device: I tried to get the carabiner to catch even momentarily this way with the ropes threaded and couldn't begin to make that happen no matter how I twisted the gadget. I think this "problem" is the product of an overactive imagination and too much playing around with the device and carabiners with no rope threaded.

As I've said, the device is, in my opinion, the best device out there for managing the demands of half-rope belaying. If you don't use half ropes, it is good but has a number of worthy competitors.

Still, if you are, say, climbing multipitch routes with a 9.8 single rope, then it is more versatile than a Gri-gri and is actually better than a Gri-gri at the combination of paying out slack and locking up for falls. Moreover, you can switch from assisted locking to plate-style friction belay (say for sketchy gear requiring some controlled belay slippage) by moving the belay carabiner over a few centimeters but without unthreading the rope. If the leader can go off belay for five seconds, the belayer can effect the changeover. I don't think any of the competing devices can manage this as well, but it is of little real importance.

You absolutely should not let go of the brake hand with this device (or a Gri-gri either, for that matter), but there is this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFn4xzVQTgs

climber pat · · Las Cruces NM · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 241

I have been using one for almost 2 years now and think it is a great device, much better than an atc guide or reverso.

I started looking for a new belay device when I got a new thin slick rope and was no longer confident in my reverso ability to hold a severe fall without significant rope slippage and high probability of burning my hands; likewise my regular climbing paetner was concerned about his atc guide's performance.

I bought an alpine up, mammut smart, a mega jul, and some petz tube device. The alpine up is the winner of my device comparison. The assisted lock works well and locks better than the rest, the device feeds rope easily during lead belaying. It also is easy to pull in rope while in locked mode so followers are always locked off, rapelling is pretty good with an autoblock mode without a prussic, has an autublock belay mode and works well with double ropes.

I think the alpine up and the mammut smart are the future of belay/rapel devices. The atc and reverso are showing their age and need a redesign to be more like the mega jul or the alpine up to remain a safe choice. To me it does not make sense to use a device designed for 11mm single ropes on 9 mm single ropes with much better dry treatments.

Marc Marion · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 0

Me and my partner have enjoyed using the Alpine Up for the past season with double (half) ropes (Mammut Genesis 8.5).

  • It has very smooth rope handling characteristics while belaying,rapping and auto-blocking the second.
  • The assisted locking mode is solid in both belaying and rapping. Rapping double ropes on a device with a handle release lock (like a Gri-gri) is pleasure when untangling the lines.
  • In practice, when auto-blocking the second (think guide mode) it releases smoothly without fiddling with levered sling.
  • It is very versatile... as it can be loaded in a dynamic mode which acts like a standard tube device while belaying and rapping (still very smooth rope handling with positive feeling lock-offs).

The downsides...

  • The versatility (click-up vs dynamic mode) adds complexity...there is a learning curve...so do your homework before hitting the wall. A minor plus is that a miss-threaded device when belaying... still works (no actual experience here though)
  • It is expensive but includes an excellent belay biner with spring bar to prevent crossloading.
  • Sometimes rapping with it twists the rope. Not exactly sure why. I'm guessing it is in the click-up/facilitated mode when the secondary biner is rotated so that the rope runs over the biner's spine...but have yet to confirm this.
  • Larger fuzzy ropes (over 10+) loose all the buttery smooth rope handling characteristics....stay away from this combo.
  • Must be used with larger HMS biners. We have successfully used Williams and Attache biners with it. We are currently trying the Rocklock...which looks good. I climb with it clipped to my harness with a secondary HMS biner already attached to the UP with my gloves.

bottom line...if I dropped/lost mine....I would get another.
Ray Pinpillage · · West Egg · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 180
climber pat wrote:I think the alpine up and the mammut smart are the future of belay/rapel devices. The atc and reverso are showing their age and need a redesign to be more like the mega jul or the alpine up to remain a safe choice. To me it does not make sense to use a device designed for 11mm single ropes on 9 mm single ropes with much better dry treatments.
That is silly.
wivanoff · · Northeast, USA · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 553
rgold wrote:As I've said, the device is, in my opinion, the best device out there for managing the demands of half-rope belaying. If you don't use half ropes, it is good but has a number of worthy competitors.
rgold, could you comment on how well it works when you have to feed out one rope while taking in the other? Thanks.
climber pat · · Las Cruces NM · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 241
Ray Pinpillage wrote: That is silly.
Why do you think this is silly? Belay devices and ropes work together as a system. I don't think that it is silly to expect belay devices to change as ropes change to achieve adequate performance. Ropes today are much thinner and the dry coatings are much much slicker than ropes 20 years ago. The ATC was released about 20 years ago when ropes where pretty much either single 11 mm or double 9 mm.

I don't believe that we have reached the end of cleverness of engineers to build a better belay device.

I have owned and used each of these devices (and others) for years.

storrick.cnc.net/VerticalDe…

storrick.cnc.net/VerticalDe…

storrick.cnc.net/VerticalDe…

storrick.cnc.net/VerticalDe…

storrick.cnc.net/VerticalDe…

storrick.cnc.net/VerticalDe…

As you can see, the devices get more refined and more effective as time passes.

Maybe I am wrong about the form of the next generation of belay devices but I doubt I am wrong that commonly used belay devices 10 years from now will be not be the ATCs and Reversos sold today.
bearbreeder · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 3,065

Everyone should still be taught on an ATC or something which emphasizes the brake hand

The smart is NOT autolocking

On slick supple ropes there may be very little assisted breaking effect ...

There have been multiple drops with the smart in our local gyms due as many climbers seem to buy these devices to make up for cr@p belay techinique

I own and use all 3 smart variations extensively ... And most of my partners have a smart among their devices

For about a year i used nothing but the smart , however within that year i noticed i was getting progressively lazier and less aware of the brake hand

Then one day it finally happened ... I was on a rap and transitioning to an ascending rig ... And my hand came off the brake .... Without A catastrophe knot ... Fortunately the smart when it slips, it tends to do so quite slowly on thicker fuzzier ropes ... On thin single line raps it will slip as fast as an atc

So ive since went back to varying my brake devices .... Simply to keep those belay techniques in practice ...

With the gri gri many prople can get away for years or decades with shiet brake technique as it locks pretty well ... Till it slips one time, or hits the cam the wrong way ... and someone gets dropped

With the smart you CANT do that it ... can slip on many different rope/biner configurations especially if theres drag on the route ... Without good brake control, which these devices dont exactly promote ... Youll get dropped eventually

;)

Ray Pinpillage · · West Egg · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 180
climber pat wrote: Why do you think this is silly? Belay devices and ropes work together as a system. I don't think that it is silly to expect belay devices to change as ropes change to achieve adequate performance. Ropes today are much thinner and the dry coatings are much much slicker than ropes 20 years ago. The ATC was released about 20 years ago when ropes where pretty much either single 11 mm or double 9 mm. I don't believe that we have reached the end of cleverness of engineers to build a better belay device. I have owned and used each of these devices (and others) for years. storrick.cnc.net/VerticalDe… storrick.cnc.net/VerticalDe… storrick.cnc.net/VerticalDe… storrick.cnc.net/VerticalDe… storrick.cnc.net/VerticalDe… storrick.cnc.net/VerticalDe… As you can see, the devices get more refined and more effective as time passes. Maybe I am wrong about the form of the next generation of belay devices but I doubt I am wrong that commonly used belay devices 10 years from now will be not be the ATCs and Reversos sold today.
Lots of words and blablabla. I caught a lead fall on a single strand of doubles using a Reverso 4 a couple of days ago.
rgold · · Poughkeepsie, NY · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 526
wivanoff wrote: rgold, could you comment on how well it works when you have to feed out one rope while taking in the other? Thanks.
For me, the most effective half-rope technique is to belay palm-up. In this position, I can, by pinching the taken-in rope either between thumb and first finger or first and second fingers, literally pay out one rope while taking in the other. This can be done (in a different way) in the palm-down position but is much more awkward and much more likely to accidentally lock up whatever device you are belaying with.

I see a fair amount of half-rope belaying going on in the Gunks, and many of the belayers I see are managing their ropes in a way that negates some of the critical advantages of double ropes, e.g. pumping out slack in both ropes when the leader is pulling up one of them.

Of course, with an ordinary tube-style device, the palm-up position is less satisfactory for braking, which is where assisted locking comes in. Now the brake hand is only required to position the brake strands below the device in reaction to a fall, it doesn't have to provide any significant braking force.

Unfortunately, both the Smart and the Mega Jul are designed for palm-down belaying---especially the Smart with its handle. If I belay palm down with an assisted locker while trying to manage two ropes, I'll accidentally lock up the device, short-roping the leader on clips, more than I consider acceptable.

Others of course are going to claim this doesn't happen for them. All I can say is that I've climbed with people who make such claims and---I can't put this delicately---the claims are either false or the ropes are being managed in a way that negates half-rope advantages.

The Alpine Up is the only gadget I've found, currently on the market (the TRE Serius was another), that provides very reliable assisted locking and allows for palm-up belaying with very little occurrence of unwanted locking when there are rapid rope motions going through the device in opposite directions. For now, I think its the best mousetrap for this type of belaying.

I too think assisted locking devices will turn out to be the future of belaying. When the engineers figure out how to allow for a little energy-burning slippage under high impact loads while still ultimately locking up, it will be the end of tube-style devices.

The fact that many of us have caught loads of leader falls on single strands of half ropes with tube-style devices isn't the point for me, because I still believe the tubes are inadequate for worst-case scenario falls. I say this as someone who has caught a high fall-factor fall (around FF 1.8) on a single 8.5mm strand with a Reverso without losing control, but in spite of that success, I'd rather not count on myself or anyone else to manage this in all possible situations.

I would urge anyone who thinks a modern Reverso or BD ATC is adequate for 8.5's and below to do a single-strand free-hanging rappel with their thin rope and their device and evaluate the control effort involved, realizing the loads involved in big falls are many times greater (but of course of much briefer duration). If you are satisfied with the effort required to control the rappel, and I for one am not, then carry on with your ATC.
Buff Johnson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2005 · Points: 1,145

good read on this device, guys. thanks

Jim Titt · · Germany · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 490

The Alpine up is not certified as a locking assisted braking device, only as a manual braking device.
Personally I think the standards don´t reflect reality in seperating standard plates, braking assist and locking assist but there you go. The Germans differentiate between the three types in normal use but the UIAA don´t.
The future is devices which give full operator control over the braking force with more ultimate friction than is available with a standard plate combined with auto-locking if the operator doesn´t intervene. Just got to make it!

climber pat · · Las Cruces NM · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 241
Jim Titt wrote:The Alpine up is not certified as a locking assisted braking device, only as a manual braking device. Personally I think the standards don´t reflect reality in seperating standard plates, braking assist and locking assist but there you go. The Germans differentiate between the three types in normal use but the UIAA don´t. The future is devices which give full operator control over the braking force with more ultimate friction than is available with a standard plate combined with auto-locking if the operator doesn´t intervene. Just got to make it!
Jim,

Are you sure the alpine up is not certified as assisted locking? The UIAA pages for both the grigri 2 and the alpine up are listed at type 129 which is a breaking device. How do you tell which devices are assisted locking and which devices are manual locking?

grigri2 page safety.theuiaa.org/front/pr…
alpine up safety.theuiaa.org/front/pr…

I look forward to seeing a device designed by you on the market.
Jim Titt · · Germany · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 490

The UIAA tell you nothing, just allow manufacturers to put their symbol on the product for advertising purposes, for a fee of course.

The Alpine Up conforms to EN 15151-2:2012 type 2 (which should read prEN... as it it not yet approved and may well not be). The -2 means it is a manual belay device and the type 2 means it is for both belaying and abseiling without a friction adjustment mode.
The GriGri on the other hand is prEN 15151-1 type 6 which is a Braking Device with Manually Assisted Locking (the -1) and the type 6 tells me it is for abseiling and belaying but has no panic locking element.

In Europe the `trained´retail staff are required to break of from spraying about their last V10 send to their buddies to explain this to the noob customer, there are two categories and eight types by the way.

rgold · · Poughkeepsie, NY · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 526

The Alpine Up's DIN certification is EN 15151-2:2012 type 2, the Gri-gri 2 is EN 15151-1 type 6. I can't find any reference to DIN certification for the Smart on Mammut's site.

The details for these standards have to be purchased (for about $100) and do not appear to be available for public viewing. Very brief summaries are all the hoi polloi can read. Edit: Jim has supplied some of the information moments before this post.

As mentioned, the Alpine Up has a configuration for manual belaying and, apparently, is only certified for that purpose. I don't think that manual certification is any different than one for a figure-eight device, which is to say not particularly demanding in terms of supplied friction.

I have not had any experience in which the Alpine Up slipped when it was supposed to lock; it has been totally reliable in a broad range of circumstances so far. I have heard of slippage with the Mammut Smart, some of it reported here on MP. I didn't keep my Smart long enough to personally observe such anomalies. Gri-gri's are allowed by their UIAA certification standard to slip at low loads, but have to pass a stringent hands-free locking test with a high fall-factor fall.

Whatever the standards say or don't say, in my experience in the field the Alpine Up stops leader falls with almost no grip effort from the belayer while allowing pumping of slack for leader clips with a smaller chance of accidental locking compared to other devices.

Jim Titt · · Germany · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 490

It´s not really a DIN standard except in Germany, it´s just an EN which have to be integrated into each countries standards system so the British one is BSI EN..., in Austria ÖNORM EN... and so on.

Like all EN´s you have to buy them, they are industry standards and wholly financed by industry, there is no public money involved.
It´s not worth buying though, first because it hasn´t got through yet so may be junked altogether anyway which is looking increasingly likely as the years go by. Second it´s really not very exciting!
It just tells you that for manual devices there is no requirement whatsoever to show that it actually works as a belay device let alone how well, since it is self-certification the manufacturer can say a frozen turkey is a belay device and sell it as such.
For the assisted category you get an independent lab test as shown by the UIAA for a hands-off drop test and then are required to state in the instructions you must hold the rope. not only confusing and contradictory but there is no provision for a hands-off device so Petzl must add this to their instructions no matter what they want.

The UIAA can only tell you it holds a safety label for UIAA 129 but not what category it is as the EN has 8 different ones which are not included in UIAA 129, a useful state of affairs! Give them another decade or two and it might get sorted out.

rgold · · Poughkeepsie, NY · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 526

Wow Jim, what an effin' mess!

Is certification a voluntary thing?

Can I legally sell a non-certified frozen turkey as an assisted locking device?

Do you know if the Mammut Smart has any certifications?

Are there reasons why Climbing Technology would not certify the Alpine Up as an assisted locking device (besides the obvious "it can't pass the test," which seems unlikely in view of its field performance and the video I posted earlier)?

bearbreeder · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 3,065

a device can behave very differently depending on the biner, rope configuration and even on the climb itself

generally the test shown in videos is the "best case" scenario .. no drag, straight fall, no "slow falls" or climbers slowly weighting the rope

how it behaves on moderate high drag trad climbs with lighter climbers learning back ... or with a rope at its minimum limit is a different story

MP should sell some "hands free" belay turkey ...

;)

Buff Johnson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2005 · Points: 1,145

does the white meat have a different cert than the dark meat?

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Climbing Gear Discussion
Post a Reply to "."

Log In to Reply