Quasi-Floating Belay?


Original Post
Bill Lawry · Dec 1, 2015 · New Mexico · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,394
Anyone using this configuration at bolted belays as a common practice?

Belayer is up top and directly attached to a single bolt. Rope runs from belay device through biners of two draws and down to the climber below. Idea is if "direct" single point fails, belayer falls into counter-balancing with climber.

Quasi-Floating Belay?

My primary concern is belayer movement leading to belay failure should the single point fail - especially with a lot of rope out.

rock_fencer · Dec 1, 2015 · Columbia, SC · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 205
how is this different from a normal two quickdraw anchor and those failure modes?

PJHeinz83 · Dec 1, 2015 · Pennsylvania · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 0
Doesn't seem like a common practice to me at all.

Why not just set up a quad or any other equalized anchor on the two bolts and save yourself the time and provide some peace of mind?

ton · Dec 1, 2015 · Salt Lake City · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 0
as described, this depends on the climber's (and belayer's) body weight as the point of redundancy. which is simulclimbing... sure, it's relatively safe. but there are better ways to create redundancy in an anchor.

Derek Jf · Dec 1, 2015 · Northeast · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 120
following just for the stick figure diagrams, please let there be more

Ryan M Moore · Dec 1, 2015 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 0
Why not just use a banshee belay? Locker on both bolts, rope cloved into both lockers, belay off a locker attached to one of the cloved lockers redirected or guide mode. Less gear equally quick more redundant( not as safe as standard methods with equalized master point but on two solid bolts more than safe enough for me).

Em Cos · Dec 1, 2015 · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 0
This is just a harness belay redirected off the anchor. The only potential problem is the lack of redundancy of the belayer's tie-in. Add an extra clove hitch to the other bolt and you're good.

rocknice2 · Dec 1, 2015 · Montreal, Quebec · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 2,958
Ryan M Moore wrote:Why not just use a banshee belay? Locker on both bolts, rope cloved into both lockers, belay off a locker attached to one of the cloved lockers redirected or guide mode. Less gear equally quick more redundant( not as safe as standard methods with equalized master point but on two solid bolts more than safe enough for me).
^^^^^ this ^^^^

rgold · Dec 1, 2015 · Poughkeepsie, NY · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 40
It's potentially a bad idea if either the geometry of the stance and/or a weight mismatch with much heavier follower allows the belayer, and, more critically, the belay device, to be pulled into the carabiners on the draws.

Jeremy in Inyokern · Dec 1, 2015 · Inyokern · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 3
I agree with several of the points already made. Either its two opposed draws on bolts and thatas fine to me. But personally I'd go with some sort of banshee set up with guide mode.

Mark Hudon · Dec 1, 2015 · Lives on the road · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 0
What's the point?

Safer than simply tying into both bolts? Faster?

I don't see any advantages.

Bill Lawry · Dec 1, 2015 · New Mexico · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,394
Thank you, everyone.

I will not try to defend it over other methods - it does not fall into the set of criteria that I think of as preferred.

And it appears no one here is using it as a common practice. Still, if someone is using it, feel free to elaborate.

I wouldn't say it should never be used. Even the lowly stance belay has a place under certain circumstances.

David Coley · Dec 2, 2015 · UK · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 0
Bill, if you remove the right hand quick draw from your diagram then not common, but done reasonably often when moving very fast with solid belay bolts.

As in:
draw on left hand bolt, clip rope through it
locker on right hand bolt, clove hitch into that with lead rope
hang off right hand bolt
pull slack up
put grigri on
bring second up
second hangs from grigri (with an overhand in the rope as a backup) when they reach the belay to sort gear, then leads the next pitch with the draw as the jesus piece

At all times there are two bolts between you and death. But I guess if the right hand bolt failed just as you take the slack up it would be a long fall. A grigri is required as it is your back up if the right hand bolt fails when the second is climbing. The combo of grigri and redirect works well.

Hope that is useful.

Jeremy in Inyokern · Dec 2, 2015 · Inyokern · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 3
The reason I don't use the set up in the picture for multi is that it eats up gear (quick draws) that could be given to the second for the next pitch. Again I would use a pair of lockers and banshee them them.

Bill Lawry · Dec 2, 2015 · New Mexico · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,394
Makes sense, David. The addition of a break assisting device is hopeful. But I think it could come hard up against the biner of the draw and so the cam might be forced open.

David Coley · Dec 3, 2015 · UK · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 0
Bill Lawry wrote:Makes sense, David. The addition of a break assisting device is hopeful. But I think it could come hard up against the biner of the draw and so the cam might be forced open.
I guess this is possible whenever part of the belay is clipped as a jesus piece.

BirminghamBen · Dec 3, 2015 · Birmingham, AL · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 1,430
Simpler is better.

George Bracksieck · Dec 3, 2015 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2008 · Points: 1,125
I prefer the OP's belay configuration (but with belayer attached to both bolts) over using an autoblock anchored to a power point. This configuration is faster to set up, and lowering the second is easy. And you don't need to set up a Munter-hitch back-up before going to the difficulty of releasing a loaded rope from an autoblock.

The OP's belay configuration is especially desirable if the second of this pitch is going to lead through on the next pitch. Having protection between the belayer and the leader of the next pitch would prevent a factor-2 fall directly onto the belayer. To prevent the belay device from getting pulled into the draws, the belayer should hang from a longer tether attached to each belay bolt.

Jake D. · Dec 3, 2015 · Northeast · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 355
Derek Jf wrote:following just for the stick figure diagrams, please let there be more
needs more asteroid...

mtc · Dec 3, 2015 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 0
Leaders aren't tied in. Everybody dies lol. However, they died doing what they loved, i.e., suffering blunt force trauma. Die hard indeed.

Bill Lawry · Dec 4, 2015 · New Mexico · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,394
GB: " To prevent the belay device from getting pulled into the draws, the belayer should hang from a longer tether attached to each belay bolt."

I am not sure this would be enough at the extreme end of a big fall.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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