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Nov 26, 2012
What is the technique that enables you to soft catch someone? Justin Tomlinson
From Monrovia, CA
Joined Apr 4, 2010
235 points
Nov 26, 2012
ukclimbing.com/articles/page.p... bearbreeder
Joined Mar 1, 2009
25 points
Nov 26, 2012
My climbing partner's girlfriend that weighs 50 lbs less than me Caleb Cerling
From Boulder, CO
Joined Mar 29, 2010
20 points
Nov 26, 2012
"Euro-slack", Google it. Tradoholic
Joined Apr 17, 2004
10,910 points
Nov 26, 2012
It has a lot to do with the action you take when you feel the weight of the climber come onto the rope, not the amount of slack in the system. Having said that, the three most popular methods are stepping in, small jump, or remaining neutral. It will mostly depend on the weight difference between climber and belayer. The main goal is always keeping the climber from hitting the ground an/or any obstacles. PAS
Joined Jul 19, 2009
10 points
Nov 26, 2012


That article gives a fair explanation. Remember, you don't need a lot of slack in the system to give a dynamic belay.
Finn the Human
From The Land of Ooo
Joined Jul 11, 2008
3 points
Nov 26, 2012
i'm a little heavy and was taught to generally stay close to the wall and jump to soften the catch. So far partners - some much lighter - have been happy with the softness. The idea about standing away from the wall and moving quickly towards is seems a little more risky for the belayer than being below the first bolt.

but hey, opinions are like assholes.
OldManRiver
From Cottonwood Heights, UT
Joined Jul 18, 2012
30 points
Nov 27, 2012
OldManRiver wrote:
i'm a little heavy and was taught to generally stay close to the wall and jump to soften the catch. So far partners - some much lighter - have been happy with the softness. The idea about standing away from the wall and moving quickly towards is seems a little more risky for the belayer than being below the first bolt. but hey, opinions are like assholes.


on steep overhang starts, jumping up may not be the best option ... if you do, wear a helmet ;)

on trad, standing far away may not be the best option if a zipper is possible ...

use that thing between yr ears =P
bearbreeder
Joined Mar 1, 2009
25 points
Nov 27, 2012
Andrew Bisharat's book, Sport Climbing, has an excellent overview. Something that helps me time the jump is keeping a slight bow of slack out with my guide hand, and when I feel it go taut, jump.

A really great way to practice is to have a gym leading session where you are not allowed to clip the anchors, which forces you to take and catch lots of falls. Try experimenting (within reason) with slack, and various degrees of jump.

If there's enough rope drag (I mean A LOT), it might be necessary to give slack as the only way to provide "give" in the system.
Rajiv Ayyangar
From Portland, ME
Joined Jun 22, 2010
140 points
Nov 27, 2012
Use a lot of screamers. divnamite
From New York, NY
Joined Aug 1, 2007
90 points
Nov 27, 2012
cool, thanks everyone.

@ divnamite, isn't that called "no-catch"?
Justin Tomlinson
From Monrovia, CA
Joined Apr 4, 2010
235 points
Nov 27, 2012
Introducing extra slack in the rope before the fall is NOT the way to do it. This increases the force (for FF<1) instead of reducing it. csproul
From Davis, CA
Joined Dec 3, 2009
25 points
Nov 27, 2012
csproul wrote:
Introducing extra slack in the rope before the fall is NOT the way to do it. This increases the force (for FF<1) instead of reducing it.


Precisely. A longer unchecked fall is not a softer catch. It's what you do to decellerate the climber that softens the catch. I don't think I'd want to climb with anyone who doesn't know the difference.
Gunkiemike
Joined Jul 29, 2009
1,850 points
Nov 27, 2012
csproul wrote:
Introducing extra slack in the rope before the fall is NOT the way to do it. This increases the force (for FF<1) instead of reducing it.

Exactly! avoid slack but let some rope slip trough and brake softly!
Pitty
From Marbach
Joined Apr 27, 2011
10 points
Nov 27, 2012
a little hop when the rope goes tight will do it in almost all situations. Crag Dweller
From New York, NY
Joined Jul 17, 2006
50 points
Nov 27, 2012
Crag Dweller wrote:
a little hop when the rope goes tight will do it in almost all situations.

+1
Adjust 'hop' based on body weight difference, amount of rope between climber & belayer and protection (bolt/gear/iffy gear).
Daryl Allan
From Sierra Vista, AZ
Joined Sep 13, 2006
390 points
Nov 27, 2012
if you're a fatty, step in. if they're a fatty, hang on. Leave enough slack off the end of your gri gri so when the climber makes a move they aren't short roped (usually for me this is enough that the gri gri sits just under parallel with the ground). frankstoneline
Joined Apr 23, 2009
20 points
Nov 27, 2012
So when I am hanging off of 2 tied off knife blades equalized with a Snarg and my partner is out of sight whining about the verglas (at least I think that is what those noises are) and it's getting dark and the snow is getting heavier and we're 6 pitches up with 2 to go - should I be hopping up and down constantly in the hopes of softening the inevitable (and with the added bonus of warding off hypothermia)?

Do you think context might occasionally come into play?
Eric Engberg
Joined Apr 28, 2009
0 points
Nov 27, 2012
Eric - strange post, dude. Climb on. Wally Wally
From Denver
Joined Apr 12, 2006
0 points
Nov 27, 2012
Eric Engberg wrote:
So when I am hanging off of 2 tied off knife blades equalized with a Snarg and my partner is out of sight whining about the verglas (at least I think that is what those noises are) and it's getting dark and the snow is getting heavier and we're 6 pitches up with 2 to go - should I be hopping up and down constantly in the hopes of softening the inevitable (and with the added bonus of warding off hypothermia)? Do you think context might occasionally come into play?


The real question is why are you still climbing with snargs?
Wade J.
From Boulder, CO
Joined Aug 11, 2011
0 points
Nov 27, 2012
""""use that thing between yr ears =P"""

Best advise yet seen on any web site.







Guy Keesee
From Moorpark, CA
Joined Mar 1, 2008
105 points
Nov 27, 2012
Wade J. wrote:
The real question is why are you still climbing with snargs?


Sometimes they actually are the best option.
Eric Engberg
Joined Apr 28, 2009
0 points
Nov 27, 2012
A hip belay will give pretty soft catch I bet. I personally haven't needed to do a lot of dialing in of my catching system. John Husky
Joined May 10, 2011
0 points
Nov 27, 2012
1. use a gri-gri 2. have alot of slack 3. when they fall run in opposite direction richie Janow
From englewood, tn
Joined May 10, 2010
35 points
Nov 30, 2012
In order to make any impact reducing the peak load you would have to jump at the precise nano second before the peak load. This would be just as the rope is starting to stretch but before it has come completely taught. So you would have to be starring at the leader ready to react with ninja like reflexes and time the precise moment right before the peak load.

To put it in perspective, a free falling body falls 16 feet in one second. So a 16 foot fall from start to finish will only take slightly more than one second because of the deceleration time. If you blink your eyes for a fraction of a second you are too late

I believe rgold has done some testing and found little or no evidence jumping does anything to reduce peak loads. The best thing you could do is use ropes with low impact ratings, use atc's vs grigris, give with your body a little, or climb with skinny chicks.

Jump on!.

Jump on!
Greg D
From Here
Joined Apr 5, 2006
511 points
Nov 30, 2012
Hey Greg, have you ever tried it in real life? It's not that hard and it does make a difference, at least based upon my years of experience. michaeltarne
Joined Jan 2, 2011
75 points


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