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NC Rock Climber · · The Oven, AKA Phoenix · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 60

Thanks for posting up again about this, Rich. I should have been more clear in my post; I do not use half ropes very often. If I did, the AU very well would have been my choice.

rock-fencer · · Columbia, SC · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 265

does anyone have a photographic size comparison between the alpine UP, Alpine Smart, and ATC guide. I was considering the Mega Jul - but the whole broken wire/biner wear issue has turned me off on it even though its killer light.

I'm in the market, and climb on all rope systems when i do get to climb these days.

Kind of looking to get one device to replace my old ATC guide (worn down teeth) and cinch (starting to show wear)

I'm kind of turned off by the fact that you cant rap with the UP on a single in "assist" mode. Seems like it defeats the purpose. I do a good bit of simul rapping for some reason.

currently climb on a 9.4 and 8.4 doubles - both sterlings

last edit: i pretty much exclusively climb multi-pitch so not looking for cragging properties

Cheers
T

rgold · · Poughkeepsie, NY · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 526
rock_fencer wrote: I'm kind of turned off by the fact that you cant rap with the UP on a single in "assist" mode. Seems like it defeats the purpose.
Well, turn back on then, because the UP works fine with a single in assisted braking mode in my experience. (That would be a single 8.5).

I sold my Smart otherwise I'd take a picture of it with the UP. The UP is about the same size and weight as a Grigri 2 if that helps, so heavier and bulkier than the Smart and BD XP.
bearbreeder · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 3,065
rock_fencer wrote:does anyone have a photographic size comparison between the alpine UP, Alpine Smart, and ATC guide. I was considering the Mega Jul - but the whole broken wire/biner wear issue has turned me off on it even though its killer light. I'm in the market, and climb on all rope systems when i do get to climb these days. Kind of looking to get one device to replace my old ATC guide (worn down teeth) and cinch (starting to show wear) I'm kind of turned off by the fact that you cant rap with the UP on a single in "assist" mode. Seems like it defeats the purpose. I do a good bit of simul rapping for some reason. currently climb on a 9.4 and 8.4 doubles - both sterlings last edit: i pretty much exclusively climb multi-pitch so not looking for cragging properties Cheers T
- with the alpine smart you may need BOTH versions ... one for singles and the other for doubles ... now the larger size smart will work with an 8.4mm rope, just that the locking is much less, but realistically no worse than an ATC guide ... i use the smaller version for my 8mm halves though

- rapping on a single on "assisted locking" mode on thinner ropes ... it may not lock with a smart ... with a 9.5mm mammut infinity single strand rap you need the brake hand to hold the rope sercurely

- the smart is built like a tank with solid sheet metal ... you could feed it to a bear who will defecate it out, and youd keep on using it ... there are no wires or moving parts to break

- biner wear is a major consideration with the smart ... below the DMM boa wore out to a sharp edge around a year of daily intensive use ... basically climbing 300 days of climbing that year, most of it outside, with many raps ... the petzl william seems to last longer and is perhaps the best feeding biner for the alpine smart ...

on a side note the boa shows why you dont use those fancy UL i-beam biners for general belaying ... save those for alpine belays where weight counts ... they wear to a sharp edge much too fast and you save like what, 20-30g or so over a durable round stock biner?

from top to bottom

- smart + attache
- ATC guide old version + rocklock
- alpine smart smaller rope + boa
- alpine smart larger rope + williams







;)
rock-fencer · · Columbia, SC · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 265

Thanks for the pics! Is the smaller alpine up not going to handle my 9.4 well you think? It's rated to 9.5 but that's a narrow margin for fattening up
Edit. Meant the smart not up

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

You are mixing up the devices. There aren't two sizes of Alpine UP, it (purportedly) handles the same range as the two Alpine Smarts.

As I've said elsewhere, take the manufacturer's recommended ranges with a grain of salt (this goes for all belay devices). A conservative rule of thumb would be to take the middle third of the recommended range as providing both good handling and sufficient friction for stopping high-load falls. You're going to start giving up one of these priorities at the ends of the recommended ranges.

rock-fencer · · Columbia, SC · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 265
rgold wrote: Well, turn back on then, because the UP works fine with a single in assisted braking mode in my experience. (That would be a single 8.5). ...The UP is about the same size and weight as a Grigri 2 if that helps, so heavier and bulkier than the Smart and BD XP.
Thanks for the size comparison! I thought it said in the instructions not to rap on a single in assist mode. I'll look at them again.

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

for the smart the suppleness of the rope matters more than the range

for example my 10.2mm tendon is very soft and supple and handles quite well in my smart .... much better than a 9.8mm mammut tusk

in general for the smart (and the gri gri to a good extent) you want ropes that are very supple ... i stay away fro maxims which get as stiff as hell after a while, and mammuts which are the same to a lesser extent

these devices LOVE beals, some edelrids (like the boa/python) and some tendons

for a 9.4/9.5mm id use the larger alpine smart still ... if its a mammut ... ive used my larger smart down to a 9.3mm mammut nordwand and it caught whippers fine ...

also once you use an alpine smart in autoblock you wont carry a gigi anymore ... it pulls through just as easily even with 2 10mm ropes

;)

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

the alpine smart will handle 10.2mm ropes like butter in guide mode, even up to some 10.5mm ... even 2 of them at once .. when you consider you dont need to pay or carry for an additional device like you would with a gigi, then it makes sense

as to the alpine up, i havent tried it ... i cant see myself paying 100$ for a belay device and biner

if the megal jul actually handled well in guide mode ... and had no wire issues, i would gladly use that

unfortunately no other device short of a gigi, or grigri handles as well in an autoblock setup as the smart ... the mega jul licks doggy balls in guide mode with thicker ropes ... i use autoblock alot and like to save my forearms

the smart has upsides and downsides ... there is NO perfect device

;)

bearbreeder · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 3,065
VaGenius wrote:I have a hard time seeing how an ATC and a Gigi aren't superior to the Smart, in terms of value and redundancy. Point taken that you love the thing. Next topic!
theres no assisted locking for those vicious high factor falls of course !!!

;)
Luis Colon-Colon · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 15
rgold · · Poughkeepsie, NY · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 526

As I said, it worked fine for me when I tested it with an 8.5mm Mammut Genesis, fairly new. And think about it: it is supposed to catch leader falls on a singe strand. But better take their word for it. Perhaps the issue is a more Gri-gri-like tendency to release too easily and get going too fast.

This is, by the way, another example of terrible instruction writing. There is nothing about this in any of the sections on rappelling.

Luis Colon-Colon · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 15
VaGenius wrote:Hey RG, thinking of using this device on a 9.1 and a 9.4, same time. Manu suggestions aside, do you see problems with this?
Dear VaGenius:
Will you please care to write your impressions (positive or negative) of using that combination? (Again manu suggestion aside). I want to know your thoughts and reviews on giving and taking slack with that combination -Both strands at the same time either as twin (giving and taking the same amount) or as double (giving and taking more on one strand than the other). I’m thinking on buying a mammut revelation 9.2 and use it with a millet absolute pro 9. Do you think that combination will work fine with both strands at the same time?

Again, thanks for your comments.
rgold · · Poughkeepsie, NY · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 526
VaGenius wrote:Hey RG, thinking of using this device on a 9.1 and a 9.4, same time. Manu suggestions aside, do you see problems with this?
Sorry, I missed this question. I don't have any experience with ropes of different diameters. However, in the universal spirit of internet advice, I won't let total ignorance stop me from giving an opinion.

Which is this: I don't think it is a good idea. When belaying, you want the device to lock up both strands equally. It seems plausible that the bigger strand will keep the device a little too open for proper braking of the smaller strand.
toerag · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 0

So, how is it?

Kai Larson · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 250

I have one. Have been using it quite a bit.

Performance is very good. Reliable catches of leader falls, smooth rappels, and easy to use in guide mode. Used it with single and half ropes. No issues. No complaints.

Only down side is that it's pretty bulky and heavy compared with my Megajul.

It has become my belay/rappel device of choice for everyday climbing, but I wouldn't take it alpine climbing, where I'm trying to save weight. (For alpine climbing, I'd prefer the Megajul.)

Gregg J Gagliardi · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 10

It's nice to have several different kinds of belay devices for different applications: Gri Gri for sport routes and SPI instruction; ATC Guide for climbing with others who will be carrying them and know how to use them but don't know how to use other devices; Alpine Up for adventure routes with thin ropes, two seconds, and uncertain rappel routes; Mega Jul for trips with long approaches and climbs where every ounce counts. All of these tools have their time and place. If I had to pick the best all around tool it would be the Alpine UP.

Fran M · · Cottbus, DE · Joined Feb 2019 · Points: 0

Sorry to revive such an old thread but I thought it was a worthy addition before making a new thread.

I have been trying different setups to laed-belay directly off the anchor in traditional multi pitch climbs (usually with bolted anchors, and some bolts for not easy to protect sections). The reason is my partner is 50Kg and I am 75Kg + full rack.
So far I have tried the Munter Hitch, ATC XP and Grigri both with single and double ropes (except the Grigri of course). My favorite so far has been the ATC XP as the Munter kinking issue takes time and effort to deal with; and the GriGri may give too-hard catches for removable protection, as well as being much heavier than the other two options.
Still, I would like to add an assisted breaking functionality into the system, specially for double rope technique.

Has anyone tried the Alpine Up in such configuration? Or can think of any features that make it unsuitable? I have not gotten one yet as it is quite expensive and I can't imagine using it in any other scenario compared to the Grigri or ATC XP.

EDIT: CT has a video showing this configuration: https://youtu.be/poSMPTN_HN0?t=2m57s although it is not detailed in the instruction manual: https://www.climbingtechnology.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/instruction-manual-alpine-up.pdf

I will try to get a unit so I can try it out.

Further questions:
Does it lock similarly to a Grigri or allows for more slippage before locking?
What happens if using only one half rope in this configuration?

Also, what happened to the name of this thread?!

Derek DeBruin · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 585
Fran M wrote: My favorite so far has been the ATC XP as the Munter kinking issue takes time and effort to deal with; and the GriGri may give too-hard catches for removable protection, as well as being much heavier than the other two options.
The GriGri definitely results in greater forces on the anchor. Removable pro might sustain these loads, but more importantly, it puts very high forces on the lead climber, particularly with fall factor 2. I'd very much encourage you NOT to use an ABD (such as the GriGri) for fixed point belay unless the manufacturer specifically allows for it.

See: http://staff.weber.edu/derekdebruin/fixedpointbelay/Comparison%20of%20Fall%20Forces%20between%20Fixed-Point%20and%20Redirected%20Belays%20in%20Recreational%20Climbing%20Systems.pdf

Still, I would like to add an assisted breaking functionality into the system, specially for double rope technique.

Consider a hybrid system as recommended in the paper above: fixed point belay until there is bomber protection on the pitch, then switch to ABD off the harness. Not appropriate in every case, but can leave the ABD on the rope from the start of the pitch with adequate slack out so that the fixed point belay is backed up the whole time. 

mattm · · TX · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 1,395
Derek DeBruin wrote: The GriGri definitely results in greater forces on the anchor. Removable pro might sustain these loads, but more importantly, it puts very high forces on the lead climber, particularly with fall factor 2. I'd very much encourage you NOT to use an ABD (such as the GriGri) for fixed point belay unless the manufacturer specifically allows for it.

See: http://staff.weber.edu/derekdebruin/fixedpointbelay/Comparison%20of%20Fall%20Forces%20between%20Fixed-Point%20and%20Redirected%20Belays%20in%20Recreational%20Climbing%20Systems.pdf

Consider a hybrid system as recommended in the paper above: fixed point belay until there is bomber protection on the pitch, then switch to ABD off the harness. Not appropriate in every case, but can leave the ABD on the rope from the start of the pitch with adequate slack out so that the fixed point belay is backed up the whole time. 

I'm hoping Jim will chime in here as I can't recall specifics but if I recall correctly, GriGri's will slip around 4.5kN highly dependent on rope thickness and coating etc with others such as the AlpineUp more in the 2kN range.  So the forces found in their tied off scenario of 8kN seem unrealistically high given the fact even an ABD a device will start to slip before the peak loads found in their tied of scenario are reached.  I'm also not a fan of how little emphasis is given to the "flying belayer" syndrome or loss of control by the belayer in high impact falls.  They do acknowledge it yes, but for me this is the BIG gotcha.  IF the belayer can't hold the force (no glove, rope slipping through hand, belayer pulled violently etc) then you'll never reach the peak forces the paper is worried about.  I think it was Semmel who noted that he thought 5kN was a more realistic MAX an anchor could possibly see in high force, real world falls    

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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