/ NEW ARTICLE: Protecting Winter Belays - Safety Tips

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UKC Articles - on 16 Jan 2012
Fig 1 - An early runner to protect the belay, 3 kbTop winter climber and professional instructor George McEwan explains how to make your winter climbing safer by protecting your belay.

"...Of course if the belay anchors are not the best then all bets are off and you might want to think about other options - like the leader must not fall...!"

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=4318

RKernan - on 16 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC Articles:
Excellent article. Just one little thing, it mentions

>(use Image 4 practising holding a sliding fall)
>


but this doesn't seem to be in the article?
Michael Gordon - on 16 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC Articles: Good article.

I think clipping a high piece in the belay as a first runner is often a very good idea.

Quote: "In simple terms the more rope available to stretch during the fall the lower the impact force on the safety chain". While this is true to an extent, the more rope out the longer the fall and the bigger the impact force will be. A 10m fall will create a lot more force than a 2m fall of similar nature.

wilkie14c - on 16 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC Articles:
No mention at all about frozen mars bars and the gear shown in the diagrams isn't even in rock!
Mark Reeves - on 16 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC Articles: Nice article Geogre, some of this is as appropriate for summer multipitch climbing as well. Especially that early first runner, been on scene at a couple of nasty factor two falls over the years! Ouch!
Paul Crusher R - on 18 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC Articles: On the subject of screamers. I had an ecrins trip over xmas, and conditions generally being not great and a bit warm, most routes became an exercise in trying to make safe dodgy belays and poor screws and runners. Ive never got round to buying any screamers never really having the need for them, but I think they would have made life a little less stressful.
So I had a little experiment with long slings, gaffa tape and various twists and turns on the crabs. You may laugh, n im not sure Mr Dmm would be too happy, but got some reasonable success. Fully being able to support body weight and only ripping under extra load. Made me think of putting them on the belay in case of a factor 2? Thoughts?
Paul Crusher R - on 18 Jan 2012
In reply to Paul R: .. i should say make what i said clearer, have people used rippers on belays as never seen it done?.. not saying using my daft home made things.
george mc - on 18 Jan 2012
In reply to blanchie14c:
> (In reply to UKC Articles)
> No mention at all about frozen mars bars and the gear shown in the diagrams isn't even in rock!

No it's in rimed up rock. Only eat Mars Bars. WTF would you belay of one?! ;)
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george mc - on 20 Jan 2012
In reply to Paul R:
> (In reply to UKC Articles) On the subject of screamers. I had an ecrins trip over xmas, and conditions generally being not great and a bit warm, most routes became an exercise in trying to make safe dodgy belays and poor screws and runners. Ive never got round to buying any screamers never really having the need for them, but I think they would have made life a little less stressful.
> So I had a little experiment with long slings, gaffa tape and various twists and turns on the crabs. You may laugh, n im not sure Mr Dmm would be too happy, but got some reasonable success. Fully being able to support body weight and only ripping under extra load. Made me think of putting them on the belay in case of a factor 2? Thoughts?

Well congrats on your innovation - not one to stifle that. I'd be thinking though - with 'screamer' type extenders on a main belay that if they deploy where do you the belayer end up and how would that affect your abilty to belay? There are several other options to reduce the impact force on a main belay 'in extremis' such as waist belay. Far more dynamic than a belay plate and would help to greatly reduce any impact force. Also leaders placing lot's of gear or the best option - the leader must not fall. Must admit I like that one - regardless of what end of the rope I am in winter! ;)


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