/ Belay device for lighter climber

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Andy Mountains - on 12 Aug 2012
You may have read in a previous thread of mine that my wife has decided she wants to give climbing a go. Now she is quite small & a few stone lighter than me, and will obviously be a complete beginner at belaying.
So is there an ideal belay device I should get her to cope with this?
(thinking of my own safety here!)
henwardian - on 12 Aug 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains: Sport or trad or indoor? Toprope or lead? 1 rope or two? Can you anchor her to the ground? Why not take her as part of a 3 or 4 first few times till she learns so somebody can safeguard your safety?
Andy Mountains - on 12 Aug 2012
In reply to henwardian:

Not indoor, she's not interested in that. Trad, single rope. Will take her outdoor top/bottom roping a few times, then get her seconding me.
ceri - on 12 Aug 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains: Something like the simond cubix is good because it grips the rope well. However, indoors, you probably want to tie her down and i would wait for letting her belay outside until more experienced. Belaying isn't all about weight ( i have belayed much heavier friends) but if you don't have the body weight, technique is more important!
Andy Mountains - on 12 Aug 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains:

Yes don't worry people! I will be making sure she can belay properly before climbing something which I might actually fall off when she is seconding!!

What I'm asking really is a belay device for beginners which grips well. I used a black diamond ATC when I started, and it was fine.
ashley1_scott - on 12 Aug 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains:
An ATC will be fine, ATC XP would be a better idea as it has the added teeth to increase friction.
You said don't worry about her belaying you as you will do routes that you ain't likely to fall on. I have seen people that climb E6's have a foot pop while climbing a V Diff.
Although she may not like the idea of climbing indoors, I find it easier to show people there because the ropes are already set up. And as long as you have someone else with you (climbing in a three), Then a session indoors may be all she needs.
Ava Adore - on 12 Aug 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains:

I'm a few stone lighter than my main climbing partner and I've held his falls outdoors without any problem with an ATC.
ashley1_scott - on 12 Aug 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains:
Forgot to say, Im 4+ stone lighter than my normal climbing partner. And not had a problem with an ATC XP, or even a grigri 2 but that would be more for sport than trad. I won't go into the 'why people don't use grigri's for trad' talk, the yanks do all the time
henwardian - on 12 Aug 2012
In reply to ashley1_scott: Obi Wan once thought as you do, you don't know the power of the dark... Er, gravity...
Ahem. One day your partner may have a fall above gear on an overhanging climb where there isn't any appreciable rope drag and if you are a fair bit lighter THEN you will realise that weight can be a pretty major factor, it just takes the right conditions to expose it.
Being a heafty chap and occasional faller from above gear, I have pulled some belayers quite far in my time.

To the op:
ATC-XP should be fine really, might not be the grippiest possible device but really learning using a standard device and not getting surprised later when you borrow someone elses is probably a better option. Holding the rope will not be as much of a problem as staying on the ground I think.
Timmd on 12 Aug 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains:

Sprung stitch(sp) plates are grippy and easy to use i've found, I think they make standard ATCs feel a little bit slick.
Timmd on 12 Aug 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains:

When compared that is.
JimboWizbo - on 14 Aug 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains: Reverso has a lot of friction. And if you do any multipitch and she's top belaying the self locking might be useful.
girlymonkey - on 14 Aug 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains:
I think the friction through the device is not that important. She will hold you fine. It's staying on the ground that is the issue. I'm 6 stone lighter than my husband, and just use a normal ATC. I personally don't like the ATC XP, I find that it grips too much and I find lowering is not so smooth. I put an anchor in for myself at the bottom of climbs and that works fine.
Neil Williams - on 14 Aug 2012
In reply to girlymonkey:

I actually quite like it that people go up in the air when I fall off, so long as they're used to it. It means a nice soft catch without any skill or effort on their part - it just happens by default because I'm heavy.

That said, it does need to be controlled to the extent that they don't impact with the first clip or knock gear out.

Neil
r0x0r.wolfo - on 15 Aug 2012
In reply to ceri:
> (In reply to Andy Mountains) Something like the simond cubix is good because it grips the rope well. However, indoors, you probably want to tie her down and i would wait for letting her belay outside until more experienced. Belaying isn't all about weight ( i have belayed much heavier friends) but if you don't have the body weight, technique is more important!

They still sell them? It's an AWESOME belay man, got reverso 3/4 and a gri gri and it's still the most used for single rope. Grippy and slick sides to it. Really light and takes doubles too.
girlymonkey - on 15 Aug 2012
In reply to Neil Williams:
> (In reply to girlymonkey)
>
> I actually quite like it that people go up in the air when I fall off, so long as they're used to it. It means a nice soft catch without any skill or effort on their part - it just happens by default because I'm heavy.
>
> That said, it does need to be controlled to the extent that they don't impact with the first clip or knock gear out.
>
> Neil

the weight difference with me and my husband would take me to the first clip easily unless there's a fair bit of rope drag. When I belay him indoors he lifts me and the sandbag! I don't mind going airborne, but there are limits!!

Geff Davey on 16 Aug 2012
In reply to girlymonkey: My 13 year old son is about half my weight (if that) but belays me quite happily. If I felt there was going to be an issue due to potential for a long fall and little rope drag I would simply set him up at the bottom in the same way I would for belaying from above. In other words, anchor him to something solid! I dont think the exact device used will have any significant effect. None of the standard offerings require the use of significant strength (that is the point of them). I have yet to find one that had insufficient drag/lock-up when used with a standard single rope. If anything, I find that some devices on the market have too much drag when you dont want it! Narrower twin/half ropes may require a bit more care in selecting your belay device. At the moment I am using a climb-x belay device that is very similar to the ATC2. My son uses the same type to belay me.
unclesamsauntibess - on 17 Aug 2012
In reply to ceri:
> However, indoors, you probably want to tie her down

sounds intriguing.............................

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