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Using DMM pivot in guide mode off your harness to rappel

Original Post
Adam Beach · · North Conway, NH · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 28

This has crossed my mind a few times and I normally just say forget it and extend my rappel and use a hollow block, but what do people think about attaching the belay device to your harness via the pivot point, then rappelling with a carabiner as a lever the same way that dmm states you can lower a climber from the anchor. Thoughts on this? I need to test it out in some form but it always pops into my head on top of a cliff and I always just rappel normally.

Thoughts?

Ryan M Moore · · Philadelphia, PA · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 35

Seems more dangerous and slower than a normal rap, although sure it would “work”.

SethG · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 258

YGD. Why on earth would you try something like that when you can just rappel the normal way?

The holding power of guide mode depends on the device being oriented in the proper way above the climber. I do not think you can orient the device properly off of your harness to provide a reliable autolock during a rappel. 

Adam Beach · · North Conway, NH · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 28

i Dunno just seemed like maybe an option and that’s why I threw the idea out here. I’ve used it in guide mode to ascend a rope before and it locked perfectly, so I do believe so he orientation would be correct 

Adam Beach · · North Conway, NH · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 28

but obviously I’m gonna die, this is dumb, etc.

Bryan · · Minneapolis, MN · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 351

If you are going to do this it would be far better to attach a double length sling to the carabiner lowering hole and you can step in it like a gas pedal to lower yourself but I don't see why you would want to do this. The only time I would do this is lowering myself after having to counter ascend a rope in guide mode to pick off a climber but it doesn't make sense to rappel like this just for fun.

Jeff Luton · · Yosumite · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 5
SethG wrote: YGD. Why on earth would you try something like that when you can just rappel the normal way?

The holding power of guide mode depends on the device being oriented in the proper way above the climber. I do not think you can orient the device properly off of your harness to provide a reliable autolock during a rappel. 

I’ve played around with the petzl reverso after hearing you can use it as an emergency ascender. With the “teacup” loop clipped to my belay loop and a bean going through the two rope strands as normal but not clipped through the belay loop it definitely held me hands free. Just had some time before work one day and had already rapped the route, set it up on the ground and ascended back up. 

After playing around with that I started to make sure I extend my rappel normally if leading the rap in case I need to go back up, it’s easier to clip a bean through the loop and snag my belay loop.
As far as OP’s question, I’ve only held that device once, the lock off in my case is very angle oriented and with the pivot, I don’t think I would try it that way, but you could always do what I did and set it up on the ground, go up a few feet and see if it works
Bryce Adamson · · Connecticut · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 1,144

I don't know why people think it wouldn't lock up. Using a pivot in guide mode to ascend a rope is fine. Using it to rappel sounds like a pain and like it would be a real struggle to go down. I'm not sure why you would want to put yourself through that torture when an autoblock backup is so easy to manage.

SeƱor Arroz · · LA, CA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10

Sounds like what you really want is a Mammut Smart Alpine. Autolocks on rap (uh, brake assists!) and ascends a rope super easy if you need to go back up. No goofy rigging required. 

rocknice2 · · Montreal, QC · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 3,184
Bryan wrote: If you are going to do this it would be far better to attach a double length sling to the carabiner lowering hole and you can step in it like a gas pedal to lower yourself but I don't see why you would want to do this. The only time I would do this is lowering myself after having to counter ascend a rope in guide mode to pick off a climber but it doesn't make sense to rappel like this just for fun.

Yeah 'cause nobody ever steps on the gas in a panic situation.

stolo · · Shelby, NC · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 215
SethG wrote: YGD. Why on earth would you try something like that when you can just rappel the normal way?

The holding power of guide mode depends on the device being oriented in the proper way above the climber. I do not think you can orient the device properly off of your harness to provide a reliable autolock during a rappel. 

It will hold, this is a way that you can climb the rope during a normal rappel. Get enough slack to clip device in guide mode off harness, now works as progress capture to climb rope.


But the control would be horrible trying to rap by releasing guide mode!
NegativeK · · Nevada · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 40
stolo wrote:


But the control would be horrible trying to rap by releasing guide mode!

Isn't the whole point of the Pivot that a guide mode lower isn't horrible?

(Not that I would recommend this.)
stolo · · Shelby, NC · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 215

On long raps really anything assisted locking is more annoying and tiring than using an atc and autoblock. Having to hold open the lever or whatever the device is after day of climbing gets old real fast. Grigri is probably the easiest to use, releasing a guide mode device would be on the other end of that spectrum (right up there with using a megajul in assisted lock mode for rap!)

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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