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Jan 8, 2017
Marc801,... And the loop is the component of a harness that gets the most wear and abuse. Though you are right, it is the strongest when manufactured. If you are using an ATC type device you can put the rope through BOTH the locker as well as a carabiner at the end of a draw or runner. The other end (depending on your harness) can be attached to another beefy location. This increases surface area on the rope, thus friction, and therefore increases breaking potential w/o affecting the flow of the rope when doing normal back and forth. If it is a runner you can also use that as your designated rappel back-up. More redundancy. In any event, I still want to go back to the belayer. Pick a good one and the ATC/What ever is being used palm up or down is less of an issue. Also being cognizant of the possible weight differences in the team as well as where a belayer might be pulled, if there is a difference, is an important thought process prior to setting off. I have caught some big falls over the years using munter hitches, stitch plates, tubers, and ATCs. It seemed that the trick to doing it right was: 1) Being attentive, 2) Being well positioned, 3) Having good communication with the leader, and 4) Having a bomber anchor when needed. Not to veer off topic here, but my #1 (Attentiveness), makes me ask you all about your call on "those glasses". My neck does hurt sometimes but I still have not gone there yet. I worry about losing attentiveness but most importantly being tricked into the fatal error of looking up when "rock" is called. Your thoughts? Roy Suggett
Joined Jul 20, 2009
6,085 points
Jan 8, 2017
Jim Titt wrote:
The grip strength of climbers has been tested with the pull from above and below, the average was 0.36kN upwards and 0.24kN downwards suggesting that palm up is considerably weaker.


Jim, was the pull from below tested on the rope emerging from the top of the hand (rather than the bottom)? This is the situation for the factor-2 catch.

I also wonder about the dynamics of the situation, which aren't included in ordinary grip strength tests. I think a sudden load, with the loaded rope emerging from the top of a hand held above the device, would invert a brake hand, putting the wrist in a very awkward position. As someone who, as I've described, has held 20 or so UIAA-level impacts in practice situations, I'd hate to have my wrist twisted that way...
rgold
From Poughkeepsie, NY
Joined Feb 15, 2008
40 points
Jan 8, 2017
Roy Suggett wrote:
Marc801,... And the loop is the component of a harness that gets the most wear and abuse. Though you are right, it is the strongest when manufactured. If you are using an ATC type device you can put the rope through BOTH the locker as well as a carabiner at the end of a draw or runner. The other end (depending on your harness) can be attached to another beefy location. This increases surface area on the rope, thus friction, and therefore increases breaking potential w/o affecting the flow of the rope when doing normal back and forth. If it is a runner you can also use that as your designated rappel back-up. More redundancy. In any event, I still want to go back to the belayer. Pick a good one and the ATC/What ever is being used palm up or down is less of an issue. Also being cognizant of the possible weight differences in the team as well as where a belayer might be pulled, if there is a difference, is an important thought process prior to setting off. I have caught some big falls over the years using munter hitches, stitch plates, tubers, and ATCs. It seemed that the trick to doing it right was: 1) Being attentive, 2) Being well positioned, 3) Having good communication with the leader, and 4) Having a bomber anchor when needed. Not to veer off topic here, but my #1 (Attentiveness), makes me ask you all about your call on "those glasses". My neck does hurt sometimes but I still have not gone there yet. I worry about losing attentiveness but most importantly being tricked into the fatal error of looking up when "rock" is called. Your thoughts?

None of what you wrote has anything to do with the belay loop.

Read this: rockandice.com/climbing-gear-t...

...which is the link in the first post in this thread, which you also should read:
mountainproject.com/v/harness-...


BTW, something is redundant or it isn't. There's no such thing as "more redundant".
Marc801
From Sandy, Utah
Joined Feb 25, 2014
0 points
Jan 8, 2017
rgold wrote:
Jim, was the pull from below tested on the rope emerging from the top of the hand (rather than the bottom)? This is the situation for the factor-2 catch. I also wonder about the dynamics of the situation, which aren't included in ordinary grip strength tests. I think a sudden load, with the loaded rope emerging from the top of a hand held above the device, would invert a brake hand, putting the wrist in a very awkward position. As someone who, as I've described, has held 20 or so UIAA-level impacts in practice situations, I'd hate to have my wrist twisted that way...


Personally I can´t imagine belaying using a plate in any other way than the loaded rope exiting between my thumb and fingers to the belay plate. I´ve never seen it done any other way or heard of it.
Palm-up to me is when the belay plate is below the belayers hand which automatically turns to be palm upwards and in many climbers this is the weaker orientation.
Edit. I suppose when I´m taking in rope fast from someone below me I change over to palm up, not sure what I do when they fall off though!
Jim Titt
From Germany
Joined Nov 10, 2009
0 points
Jan 8, 2017
Roy Suggett wrote:
Marc801,... And the loop is the component of a harness that gets the most wear and abuse. Though you are right, it is the strongest when manufactured. If you are using an ATC type device you can put the rope through BOTH the locker as well as a carabiner at the end of a draw or runner. The other end (depending on your harness) can be attached to another beefy location. This increases surface area on the rope, thus friction, and therefore increases breaking potential w/o affecting the flow of the rope when doing normal back and forth. If it is a runner you can also use that as your designated rappel back-up. More redundancy.


The belay loop is the place to install your belay device. If it´s worn by a new harness.
Adding another karabiner to the belay device that isn´t essentially the same size and shape as the first one reduces the braking effect. Adding a second karabiner that isn´t clipped into the same place as the first reduces the braking effect. Under load they must lie beside each other.
Jim Titt
From Germany
Joined Nov 10, 2009
0 points
Jan 8, 2017
Marc801 wrote:
None of what you wrote has anything to do with the belay loop. Read this: rockandice.com/climbing-gear-t... ...which is the link in the first post in this thread, which you also should read: mountainproject.com/v/harness-... BTW, something is redundant or it isn't. There's no such thing as "more redundant".



Not wanting to restart some old argument can we agree that (at least in the popular lexicon) there is "more redundancy" when you have 3 bolts at the anchor rather than two, and 4 is even better than 3....in addition, some pieces of equipment have more "margin of safety" built into them ie, strength that is greater than max impact force, than others.

Not every belay loop is created the same and there are numerous ways to increase the margin of safety.
King Tut
Joined Aug 19, 2012
105 points
Jan 8, 2017
King Tut wrote:
Not wanting to restart some old argument can we agree that (at least in the popular lexicon) there is "more redundancy" when you have 3 bolts at the anchor rather than two, and 4 is even better than 3....in addition, some pieces of equipment have more "margin of safety" built into them ie, strength that is greater than max impact force, than others. Not every belay loop is created the same and there are numerous ways to increase the margin of safety.

I agree about the concept of margin of safety.
While all belay loops aren't designed the same, *all* are more than enough to do their job, with significant safety margin. There is no need to back them up or defeat the design of a harness by attaching a belay biner through the tie-in points.
Marc801
From Sandy, Utah
Joined Feb 25, 2014
0 points
Jan 8, 2017
Marc801 wrote:
I agree about the concept of margin of safety. While all belay loops aren't designed the same, *all* are more than enough to do their job, with significant safety margin. There is no need to back them up or defeat the design of a harness by attaching a belay biner through the tie-in points.


Well, I am in total agreement that there is zero need to put the biner through the tie in points (and many bad reasons) but big wall climbers and route setters are in total agreement that more substantial belay loops on Big Wall style harnesses (BD), or a second for redundancy (Metolius) for example is better for safety as they wear substantially when jugging ropes a lot (see Skinner accident). Virtually all "big wall" harnesses have the belay loop enhanced in some way to greatly improve the margin of safety as compared to other harnesses.

The constant weighting and un-weighting of the loop causes biners or daisy chains/PAS to wear the loop rapidly.

Your average climber has little to worry about, though they should cautiously replace the loop at the first signs of wear. Most domestic makers will sew a new loop on a loved harness.
King Tut
Joined Aug 19, 2012
105 points
Jan 8, 2017
Jim Titt wrote:
The belay loop is the place to install your belay device. If it´s worn by a new harness. Adding another karabiner to the belay device that isn´t essentially the same size and shape as the first one reduces the braking effect. Adding a second karabiner that isn´t clipped into the same place as the first reduces the braking effect. Under load they must lie beside each other.



You are right and I failed to mention the biners need to be the same size. If, as was mentioned, you wear on the loop a great deal, or just want to add another point of contact, it works, at least for me. So what about those glasses? Do they enhance attentiveness and are they not an issue for rock fall?

PS Thankx Marc. I did read those links.
Roy Suggett
Joined Jul 20, 2009
6,085 points
Jan 8, 2017
Roy Suggett wrote:
If, as was mentioned, you wear on the loop a great deal, or just want to add another point of contact, it works, at least for me.


Because you drive up complexity in a relatively pointless endeavour to create a psuedoredundant system. Complexity breeds mistakes, by having this extra clusterfuck going on you may well be making things less safe.
r m
Joined Apr 29, 2015
0 points
Jan 8, 2017
More thoughts on palm up vs down. If I am belaying my second off my harness, my device is pointing down. I have done this always with palm down and during low force falls and not had any issue with the device braking adequately (always wear gloves). As mentioned early, more force is generated in this position (much like a rower). Is this force adequate for F2 fall? Seems up for question in this thread. But also seems some question for any device to stop F2 short of potential injury.
I do see how the diameter of the rope (and learning from this discussion, dry treatment) may also play into stopping power. And also the advantage of the passive braking devices over a regular ATC.
I am curious that except for the MJ, many of these passive braking devices say "for gym and sport climbing" - what would be the exclusion for trad multi-pitch.
Great discussion BTW - learning lots! thanks everyone.
Paul Deger
Joined Sep 15, 2015
20 points
Jan 8, 2017
r m wrote:
Because you drive up complexity in a relatively pointless endeavour to create a psuedoredundant system. Complexity breeds mistakes, by having this extra clusterfuck going on you may well be making things less safe.



Good point. So let's go back to the munter hitch belay.
Roy Suggett
Joined Jul 20, 2009
6,085 points
Jan 8, 2017
If you're to the point where you're worried about your belay loop the solutions isn't "backing it up"... The solution is "buy a new harness you cheapskate"... JK-
From SLC
Joined Nov 3, 2012
0 points
Jan 8, 2017
JK- wrote:
If you're to the point where you're worried about your belay loop the solutions isn't "backing it up"... The solution is "buy a new harness you cheapskate"...


Is that an option on a 7 day El Cap route?

It obviously isn't which is why Big Wall harnesses use much more substantial webbing x4 or a full second belay loop.



Rock Climbing Photo: BD Big Gun
BD Big Gun




Rock Climbing Photo: Metolius Waldo
Metolius Waldo
King Tut
Joined Aug 19, 2012
105 points
Jan 8, 2017
King Tut wrote:
Is that an option on a 7 day El Cap route? It obviously isn't which is why Big Wall harnesses use much more substantial webbing x4 or a full second belay loop.

My understanding is they use a second loop not for redundancy but for organization?
JK-
From SLC
Joined Nov 3, 2012
0 points
Jan 8, 2017
Yeah, I believe it is for aid climbing, so that you have room to hitch more stuff to your harness. There is absolutely no reason why a single 7 day push would compromise the strength of a belay loop that is in good condition; these things are designed to last several years. Ted Pinson
From Chicago, IL
Joined Jul 11, 2014
40 points
Jan 8, 2017
Okay folks, did not want to get off here. I REALLY work a harness. I hate seeing the fray. So "I" back it up. I live 3 hr.s drive one way from a place with only a few new harness to try on. A good fit and a good harness (both) are hard to come by w/o trying on the damn thing. I use a matching biner on one end and a sm. locker attached to my leg loop (YOUR HARNESS SPECS MAY ASK TO ATTACH SOME PLACE ELSE). In between is a long runner that I can adjust with at least three lengths using various "loops". eg. french loop. This is quick to clip an anchor (no daisy chain needed) as well as use to back up a rap as a prusic. When belaying it seems to me, based on experience, to help slow a fall due to the extra friction on the second biner the rope touches. I do not always do this, but when I see my leader running it out, I can quickly add this insurance. It is not in the way, and serves 3 purposes. No cluster f there. Of course, I also have other components to attach to the anchor. For me it is about safety, speed and simplicity. If other things work for you then go for it! If you need to school me, then I am open to learn. Roy Suggett
Joined Jul 20, 2009
6,085 points
Jan 8, 2017
JK- wrote:
My understanding is they use a second loop not for redundancy but for organization?



Look at the BD harness. It is redundancy.


Ted Pinson wrote:
Yeah, I believe it is for aid climbing, so that you have room to hitch more stuff to your harness. There is absolutely no reason why a single 7 day push would compromise the strength of a belay loop that is in good condition; these things are designed to last several years.



I have never seen the Metolius style used for aid leading per se, but Wall climbers and course setters have been backing up their belay loops with a redundant loop ever since sewn harnesses were invented.

They can go from looking worn, but fine, to dangerous in one route.
King Tut
Joined Aug 19, 2012
105 points
Jan 8, 2017
I have an extra loop tied to mine with some doubled up tubular 7/16 webbing just for hanging the drill on, clusterfuck belays and to have an extra piece of something to bail off of. Its not for redundancy at all but it cant hurt and its never in the way. T Roper
From DC,VA,NM,UT,CT,MA
Joined Mar 31, 2006
730 points
Jan 8, 2017
Heck I don't even know if I am palm up or down. I do know that in 35+ years of climbing I have gotten it done in the real world catching real falls and despite some close calls never dropped anyone. Use a combination of Body belay, munter, ATC Guide for fat ropes, petzle variant of same for skinny ropes and gri gri 2 for rope solo, projecting and aid. all depending on the situation.
The one thing I will add to this conversation is that you should NEVER be in a situation where a real FF2 is even a possibility unless you are first ascending or climbing crappy ice/alpine. Your new to intermediate/normal advanced climber should NOT be in that situation. Certainly slab climbing there often is no gear or bolt starting off the belay but is a slideing ass dragging fall really an FF2??? and the leader simply can NOT fall in those situations. If you think its ok to just huck and see what happens on anything other than a bomb proof protected steep climb with a clean fall zone then it's time to go back to the fucking gym/sport crag and stay there.
Nick Goldsmith
From Pomfret VT
Joined Aug 23, 2009
15 points
Jan 8, 2017
^^^What he said! Roy Suggett
Joined Jul 20, 2009
6,085 points
Jan 8, 2017
Nick Goldsmith wrote:
Heck I don't even know if I am palm up or down. I do know that in 35+ years of climbing I have gotten it done in the real world catching real falls and despite some close calls never dropped anyone. Use a combination of Body belay, munter, ATC Guide for fat ropes, petzle variant of same for skinny ropes and gri gri 2 for rope solo, projecting and aid. all depending on the situation. The one thing I will add to this conversation is that you should NEVER be in a situation where a real FF2 is even a possibility unless you are first ascending or climbing crappy ice/alpine. Your new to intermediate/normal advanced climber should NOT be in that situation. Certainly slab climbing there often is no gear or bolt starting off the belay but is a slideing ass dragging fall really an FF2??? and the leader simply can NOT fall in those situations. If you think its ok to just huck and see what happens on anything other than a bomb proof protected steep climb with a clean fall zone then it's time to go back to the fucking gym/sport crag and stay there.


words to live by
T Roper
From DC,VA,NM,UT,CT,MA
Joined Mar 31, 2006
730 points
Jan 8, 2017
You can always avoid a real factor 2 by simply using the anchor as your first piece of protection. Anyways, i think belaying correctly is important, not just "getting it done". That's not the right attitude. I really dont know why i get suckered into these forums. Chris CW
From Boulder, CO
Joined Jul 14, 2016
0 points
Jan 8, 2017
I take someone who gets it done any day over a tech weinie gear head..... Isa getting it done FFF P2 of the Cleaver.
Rock Climbing Photo:  Isa Oehry, FFA The Cleaver.
Isa Oehry, FFA The Cleaver.

Before you get your pantys all bunched up over bolting a crack, that thing is a huge detached flake that sounded like a tuning fork in Bb when I tapped it with my hammer. I did have a hex in there to drill the bolts on lead but did Not think it was a good idea to take whippers on that thang.....
Nick Goldsmith
From Pomfret VT
Joined Aug 23, 2009
15 points
Jan 8, 2017
Nick Goldsmith wrote:
Heck I don't even know if I am palm up or down. I do know that in 35+ years of climbing I have gotten it done in the real world catching real falls and despite some close calls never dropped anyone. Use a combination of Body belay, munter, ATC Guide for fat ropes, petzle variant of same for skinny ropes and gri gri 2 for rope solo, projecting and aid. all depending on the situation. The one thing I will add to this conversation is that you should NEVER be in a situation where a real FF2 is even a possibility unless you are first ascending or climbing crappy ice/alpine. Your new to intermediate/normal advanced climber should NOT be in that situation. Certainly slab climbing there often is no gear or bolt starting off the belay but is a slideing ass dragging fall really an FF2??? and the leader simply can NOT fall in those situations. If you think its ok to just huck and see what happens on anything other than a bomb proof protected steep climb with a clean fall zone then it's time to go back to the fucking gym/sport crag and stay there.



Look Nick, I think as we all get older we become more and more adept at picking our routes and managing risk in general. But look at the threads on rusted bolts, some of these things are breaking under body weight due to invisible corrosion or simple age. THOUSANDS of time bombs are out there ready to generate potentially severe fall events at seemingly safe sport climbing areas due to protection bolt failure.

Throw in unexpected loose rock, overconfidence, shit happening etc and at the very least it is something to think about.

I think these threads at least prepare some for thinking about the possibility of holding serious falls more than they considered previously and I think there is some benefit to that.
King Tut
Joined Aug 19, 2012
105 points


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