Alpine up belay device


Original Post
djh860 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 110

Is this belay device worth having?

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,175

Not for $70. Try out the Megajul, $35 I think.

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 456

I paid $50 for mine, used from a guy on here. I love it and wouldn't trade it for any other device, but I wouldn't pay the $100 retail price. The megajul sucks, if you want something like that, go with the alpine smart. If you use half ropes, the alpine up is priceless.

Robin S · · OR · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 30
eli poss wrote: The megajul sucks
I have to disagree. the Mega Jul has some distinct advantages with some admitted flaws. I've been using it for nearly a year now with my 9.2 rope and have found that once you get used to it, it's a great device. The assisted locking mechanism works very well, it's uber light, incredibly durable (made of steel), and has more features than most other devices like it.

I've found that rappelling with it in the auto-lock orientation is quote jerky, and I generally flip it around so it doesn't autolock and back it up with an autoblock prussik knot. Lowering takes a little bit to get the hang of, and it can confuse partners at first.

I haven't used the Mammut Smart Alpine although I've used the single-tubed version and thought it was great. It's a little heavier and a lot bulkier and costs a bit more, but may be worth it.
aikibujin · · Castle Rock, CO · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 290
Robin S wrote:and has more features than most other devices like it.
So what does the Mega Jul have that other devices don't? Is it an espresso feature? Because I would definitely pay $100 for an espresso feature.
anotherclimber · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 70

It depends what your use case is and what you are expecting from it. If you can tell us more about how you're planning to use it and what you want out of it, we might be able to tell you if it fits well for you.

You also might get the information you need from the review thread:

https://www.mountainproject.com/v/climbing-technologies-alpine-up-review/109687295

It's also talked about within the following thread:

https://www.mountainproject.com/v/the-deadly-atc/112357901__1

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 456
Robin S wrote:I've found that rappelling with it in the auto-lock orientation is quote jerky, and I generally flip it around so it doesn't autolock and back it up with an autoblock prussik knot. Lowering takes a little bit to get the hang of, and it can confuse partners at first.
This is why it sucks, because it's jerky. One of my favorite features of the alpine smart is the ability to have it auto-lock on rappel. The alpine smart is a bit heavier but it does it's job much better than the megajul and also works well on ropes that aren't skinny (>9.5mm)

The vast majority of people who have used the alpine smart and the megajul agree that the alpine smart works a lot better.
Ray Pinpillage · · West Egg · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 180
eli poss wrote:I paid $50 for mine, used from a guy on here. I love it and wouldn't trade it for any other device, but I wouldn't pay the $100 retail price. The megajul sucks, if you want something like that, go with the alpine smart. If you use half ropes, the alpine up is priceless.
The Megajul does in fact suck. Alpine Smart or Reverso if weight is a concern.
rgold · · Poughkeepsie, NY · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 525

Read the links posted by anotherclimber. All any of us with experience with various devices can do is to repeat ourselves at this point. The one thing I'll repeat is that if you regularly use half ropes in the 8--8.5mm range (so probably mostly a trad/alpine climber), then the Alpine Up is, in my opinion, by far the best semiautomatic device out there.

For fatter single ropes, there is a lot of competition, at least until the ropes get too big, in which case none of the semiautomatic devices are any good.

jason.cre · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 10
eli poss wrote: This is why it sucks, because it's jerky. One of my favorite features of the alpine smart is the ability to have it auto-lock on rappel. The alpine smart is a bit heavier but it does it's job much better than the megajul and also works well on ropes that aren't skinny (>9.5mm) The vast majority of people who have used the alpine smart and the megajul agree that the alpine smart works a lot better.
Does the Alpine Up suck on single ropes in the 9.5-10 range? Or is it still passable?
rgold · · Poughkeepsie, NY · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 525

I have friends who say it works fine for belaying with their 9.8. I'm not sure about rappelling in locking mode though, and wouldn't be entirely optimistic about that. I suspect handling will begin to suffer around 10mm but don't have direct or indirect experience for that.

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 456
jason.cre wrote: Does the Alpine Up suck on single ropes in the 9.5-10 range? Or is it still passable?
I've used it with a stiff old fatty 9.8 which now handles more like a 10 something, fatty 10 something gym ropes, a new 9.8, and my go to 9.7 rope.

For lead belaying, I've never had it lock up unless the climber weighted the rope. If you use the carabiner that CT designed for it, I can't imagine it would ever lock up unless the climber weights the rope. This is because the carabiner has to be pulled up into a certain position in order to lock up and to get there is has to travel through a narrow slot. It takes a certain amount of weight from both the climber strand and the brake strand to force the carabiner through this slot, which effectively keeps it from locking up while feeding slack.

For use in guide mode, I wouldn't go much thicker than 9.8mm. I've used it with a brand new 9.8mm and my 9.7 which is very supple and handles more smoothly than average for its diameter. Guide mode was a breeze with with my 9.7 (although not quite as smooth as an alpine smart) but it was sometimes a PITA with the 9.8, especially with rope drag from linking pitches.

IMO the alpine up is the closest brake assist device to an ATC when it comes to handling. However, this comes at a cost. Using a single rope, it requires a very small amount force from the brake hand to lock up. If you're knocked unconscious by rockfall, it may or may not lock up, depending on whether the loss of consciousness causes you to let go of the rope. Limited testing has shown that it can catch a fall unattended with double ropes. It also self-locks reliably on a double rope rappel.

For rappelling in auto lock mode (I haven't ever rapped with it in dynamic mode), It will work up to around 10.8ish but anything above 9.8 is gonna suck. I used it extensively rapping with a new 9.8 in El Potrero Chico. For nearly vertical to gently overhanging raps it was slow to start but after about 20-30' it worked nicely.
Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,175

Those who think the jul sucks don't have the technique to use it correctly.

Jim Titt · · Germany · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 490
Tradoholic wrote:Those who think the jul sucks don't have the technique to use it correctly.
Or alternatively they know what good belay devices are like.
anotherclimber · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 70
jason.cre wrote: Does the Alpine Up suck on single ropes in the 9.5-10 range? Or is it still passable?
It does work fine in those ranges. Just don't go wider than 10mm, preferably less than that. I use it regularly with a single 9.2mm very successfully. I once accidentally used my Alpine Up on a friend's relatively new 10.5mm for a whole day of occasional top belaying and regularly rappeling. While it did work, it had a lot of friction pulling the rope through, more so than myself and most people would be willing to live with. I won't make that mistake again. Like user rgold has mentioned before, Climbing Technology was way too lenient with the rope diameter specifications for the Alpine Up. No one in their right mind would use this with a single 10.5mm, which is technically within specifications, given a choice. Keep going wider and you'll actually jam the device in lock mode and have a really, really difficult time getting it out. I tried it on an old, swollen gym top rope.

For anyone interested in this device, make sure you understand that this device requires a small amount of brake hand force to put it into lock mode for lead or top rope belay. Meaning it won't lock without a hand on the brake for single ropes. It may or may not with half or twin ropes. One video out there shows it does for half or twin ropes, user rgold's tests show it did not. You can find that information in "The Deadly ATC" thread that I linked in my prior comment. I didn't know this when I bought the device and am glad I tested it. For this reason I don't use the Alpine Up for lead or top rope belaying. For half rope lead belaying in the way rgold mentions it being used it sounds like a good solution. But again, you have to be ok with it potentially not locking if the belayer has an accident and can't hold the brake strand.
jason.cre · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 10
anotherclimber wrote: It does work fine in those ranges. Just don't go wider than 10mm, preferably less than that. I use it regularly with a single 9.2mm very successfully. I once accidentally used my Alpine Up on a friend's relatively new 10.5mm for a whole day of occasional top belaying and regularly rappeling. While it did work, it had a lot of friction pulling the rope through, more so than myself and most people would be willing to live with. I won't make that mistake again. Like user rgold has mentioned before, Climbing Technology was way too lenient with the rope diameter specifications for the Alpine Up. No one in their right mind would use this with a single 10.5mm, which is technically within specifications, given a choice. Keep going wider and you'll actually jam the device in lock mode and have a really, really difficult time getting it out. I tried it on an old, swollen gym top rope. For anyone interested in this device, make sure you understand that this device requires a small amount of brake hand force to put it into lock mode for lead or top rope belay. Meaning it won't lock without a hand on the brake for single ropes. It may or may not with half or twin ropes. One video out there shows it does for half or twin ropes, user rgold's tests show it did not. You can find that information in "The Deadly ATC" thread that I linked in my prior comment. I didn't know this when I bought the device and am glad I tested it. For this reason I don't use the Alpine Up for lead or top rope belaying. For half rope lead belaying in the way rgold mentions it being used it sounds like a good solution. But again, you have to be ok with it potentially not locking if the belayer has an accident and can't hold the brake strand.
great, thanks for the info. Does everyone use the included CT locking Biner, or does it work fine with other lockers as well? I've hear the BD rocklock works?
anotherclimber · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 70
Tradoholic wrote:Those who think the jul sucks don't have the technique to use it correctly.
I'm actually starting to believe this is indeed the case. I recently wore through the Mammut Crag Smart HMS carabiner for my Mammut Alpine Smart Belay where it would not hold completely anymore with single ropes. I tested this cautiously by lifting a small loop of slack in the brake strand while both hands are firmly holding the brake and watched the rope slowly slide through on a 9.8 and 9.2mm single. A surprisingly small amount of wear. Rather shocking actually!

Anyways... I took out the Edelrid Megajul with it's associated Edelrid HMS Strike FG carabiner and Pure Straight carabiner for the nose hole as a replacement that I had previously thrown into the bottom of my gear bin in disgust for many, many months as I couldn't get it working satisfactorily. I had done that because I found it awkward and difficult to lower and impossible to rappel in brake assisted mode. I'm now finding it a delight to use, although I did have to practice with it quite a bit to find the right adjustments in technique. I even think I've got the rappelling in brake assisted mode figured out, but still need to test that with a long rappel with a lot of the hanging rope weighting the device. This thing locks up very quickly and reliably and I'm now finding it easier to use than the Alpine Smart Belay.
anotherclimber · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 70
jason.cre wrote: great, thanks for the info. Does everyone use the included CT locking Biner, or does it work fine with other lockers as well? I've hear the BD rocklock works?
No problem! Happy to help.

The Alpine Up is sold with the correct carabiner that it is tested to work with. It actually says right on the product page:

ALPINE UP is supplied and must be used with the proper CONCEPT SGL HC carabiner with hardcoated wear-proof anodization and ACL system that prevents the possibility of the cross loading.

Source: climbingtechnology.com/en/o...

I personally would not use it with any other carabiner in brake assisted mode for lead and top rope belay. For top belay the Black Diamond Rocklock works great as the carabiner to hold the rope in while the supplied carabiner holds the Alpine Up to the Master Point. A Black Diamond Light D carabiner works great as the one to cross the Rocklock in top belay/guide mode so you can easily lower.
Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 265

Does the Alpine Up work as a progress capture device with a double rope? Ascending, for example? That could be nice in the gym, as a setter.

OLH

Trevor. · · Boise, ID · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 819
Old lady H wrote:Does the Alpine Up work as a progress capture device with a double rope? Ascending, for example? That could be nice in the gym, as a setter. OLH
Sort of, in that if you rappel past your intended destination, you can take in rope and it'll capture that progress, but it isn't as low friction on taking in slack under load as say a GriGri, so it's not ideal for that purpose. For setting, the GriGri is, and probably always will be king. And yes, you can take my AlpineUp for a test drive one of these days.

Going back to the original post, I'm super happy with my AlpineUp. I find it really easy to fast feed rope(up to ~9.8mm) without it choking on the rope, and I generally trust it's locking action. I've done a few test falls onto it without a hand on the rope(backup knots obviously), and it has always caught. Regardless, it is not to be treated as a hand's off device, and is probably less likely to lock in a hands completely off the rope scenario than a GriGri or a MegaJul. That said, I vastly prefer the lead belay of the AlpineUp over either of those devices, and don't plan on ever not having my hand on the brake strand, so for me the trade off is worth it.

For what it's worth, mine saved my life when I weighted the rope 100ft off the deck and my (novice) belayer had her brake hand off the rope.

There's definitely a learning curve with the device, and it's not perfect, but the pro/con balance is good enough for me that it's usually the device I wind up using.
eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 456
Old lady H wrote:Does the Alpine Up work as a progress capture device with a double rope? Ascending, for example? That could be nice in the gym, as a setter. OLH
I've never used it for ascending in guide mode like one would with a reverso or ATC-Guide so I can't speak for that. However, I did miss a rap station and had to pull myself back up and it worked well for that in auto-lock rappel orientation.

And about the carabiner supplied with it, yes it needs to be that carabiner. With the megajul and the alpine smart, the reccomended carabiner actually worked crappily with it so I would use a roundstock pearabiner but the alpine up works differently. Using a biner with a cross-section that is either too wide or too narrow will not work well (this is for lead/TR belaying, not belaying in guide mode).
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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