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Am I rappelling with my device upside down?


Kief Manning · · Elgin, AZ · Joined Dec 2017 · Points: 0
Amanda Edwards wrote: Im thinking that It's more about whether the brake strands come out away from you or towards you. I do it the way edelrid says to do it which is brake strand coming towards me, the opposite of belaying which the brake comes out away from you. 

Brake strands should be away from you. Don’t know if it will make a difference with the opposite orientation but I believe you will get better leverage that way. Never seen anyone rappel with the live ropes in

Cosmiccragsman AKA Dwain · · Las Vegas, Nevada · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 106

Since I didn't use the belay loop on the harness and clipped my pearbiner thru my harness loop and leg loop, it set up the ATC to where the rope came out to the left or right depending upon which side you were belaying from.
My harness didn't have a buckle so I used webbing to tie my Yates big wall harness together.
It came with a buckle but it was a nylon belt with a buckle  so it was like webbing  that you wound thru the loops on both sided of the harness to tie it together.
I just used 1 inch tubularwebbing to tie the belt together with a water knot just like in the old days.
I never did like buckles, belay loops or having the rope come out from the top or bottom of the atc

Remember back in the old days of hip belays or using the early belay devices on swami belts,  the rope was set up to the side rather than up and down. 

rockklimber · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 0
Carl Schneider wrote:

BTW, when belaying from above using an ATC, you do need to consider the orientation in my opinion as the brake hand may be above the device...

Agreed.  I belay from my harness which requires me to thread my belay device upside down so the brake strand is breaking upwards in the opposite direction as the load strand 

Mark Griffin · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 63

Please reference this video from the AMGA for best practices regarding setting up your rappel.




More videos here: https://amga.com/rock-videos/
Matt Westlake · · Durham, NC · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 632

Mark, one thing about that AMGA video that bugs the crap out of me is that he doesn't clearly illustrate weighting the rappel before removing the backup! Next to setting it up properly in the first place, this is a critical safety step and if you are making a video teaching people it should absolutely be part of the process. 

Carl Schneider · · Adelaide, South Australia · Joined Dec 2017 · Points: 0
rockklimber wrote:

Agreed.  I belay from my harness which requires me to thread my belay device upside down so the brake strand is breaking upwards in the opposite direction as the load strand 

Exactly. I also belay from my harness. 

Amanda Edwards · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2018 · Points: 0

Yea I had the guy who took me out to practice rappel (he has 6 years climbing experience) look over the illustrations for the jul first and we decided that it shows the brake strand coming out towards the person rappelling. I'm starting to think that the illustrations for the jul 2 are just not detailed enough to make this assumption. I am a student in a rock climbing class through idaho state university, so I'll talk to my instructor about it. I just wish my phone would let me upload the screenshot of the illustration.

rockklimber · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 0
Amanda Edwards wrote: Yea I had the guy who took me out to practice rappel (he has 6 years climbing experience) look over the illustrations for the jul first and we decided that it shows the brake strand coming out towards the person rappelling. I'm starting to think that the illustrations for the jul 2 are just not detailed enough to make this assumption. I am a student in a rock climbing class through idaho state university, so I'll talk to my instructor about it. I just wish my phone would let me upload the screenshot of the illustration.

Amanda, the answer to your question is yes, you have been rappelling with your belay device upside down.  Fortunately it will still work but wont brake as well because of reduced friction and causes the belay loop to twist (something it is not designed for)See the illustration from Edelrid’s website below.  It matches the one I posted earlier.  The brake strand clearly shows the brake strand coming out away from the climber and out the “bottom” of the belay device just like every other tube style belay device.You might want to rethink trusting the guy with 6 years of climbing experience.  Experience does not equal competence.
Ps.  For what it’s worth I have been teaching multipitch trad for 15years.    
Btw, try threading the belay device with the brake strand coming towards you and then brake down and you will see how the belay loop gets twisted.  
Mark Griffin · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 63
Matt Westlake wrote: Mark, one thing about that AMGA video that bugs the crap out of me is that he doesn't clearly illustrate weighting the rappel before removing the backup! Next to setting it up properly in the first place, this is a critical safety step and if you are making a video teaching people it should absolutely be part of the process. 

You're right! I hadn't noticed that. It is indeed a crucial step that can prevent accidents.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Beginning Climbers
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