/ Mammut Smart Vs Climbing wall attendants

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danielb - on 29 Sep 2012
I've been using a mammut smart for a while now but since moving to Sweden I've been having issues with climbing wall attendants who really don't seem to like how the handling of a smart works e.g. touching the device especially when paying out for a leader. They usually try to insist I belay with it like its an ATC (which doesn't work for lead climbing) and its getting to the point I'm thinking about getting a GriGri (which is much more common than the smart) just to be left alone for a whole session..

The following is the official handling guide for a smart and as you can see you are meant to touch the device allot compared to an ATC style device: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A684wbremic
danielb - on 29 Sep 2012
Is anyone else having issues like this when trying to use the smart at the climbing wall?
Neil Williams - on 29 Sep 2012
In reply to danielb:

That video puts the nerves up me. I know it's a different type of device, but I don't like the idea of slowly sliding the dead rope through my hand to pay out[1] on any device, and I definitely don't like the way they slide their hand through on taking in.

I can see why someone in a position of responsibility not used to the device would pull someone up on it.

Indeed, if that's the only practical way to use one, rather than treating it as an ATC with a better grabbing/locking capability, I won't be bothering with one. But by the look of the device it seems it could be used like an ATC if you wanted - you seem to think that's not practical, out of interest why not?

[1] I know you have to on any device to some extent, but even when using a Grigri I'll do it the same way as I do on an ATC - slide dead rope hand down as quickly as possible then move your hand up to the device with a loop of rope held tightly, pay out through the device and repeat. That "slow slide" is a point at which loss of control is more of a possibility, IYSWIM.

Neil
nniff - on 29 Sep 2012
In reply to danielb:

It looks absolutely fine to me, although I have to say i'm not familiar with the device.

If I'm abseiling on a doubled, thickish rope I'll often tilt my belay device (currently a Reverso) a bit with my spare hand to smooth the feed out.

I'll also briefly pull the device away from the krab with my spare hand as part of the initial movement of paying rope out.

All perfectly normal and IMHO they're making a fuss out of nothing. A little knowledge etc
Neil Williams - on 29 Sep 2012
In reply to nniff:

"It looks absolutely fine to me, although I have to say i'm not familiar with the device."

That's probably the issue - it doesn't necessarily look like a locking device, more like an oddly shaped ATC type device, and the movements in that video on taking in would *definitely not* be OK with a non-locking device, and less safe than the alternatives on paying out.

Perhaps the best solution is to talk to the wall manager and suggest they train their staff on them?

Neil
iksander on 29 Sep 2012
In reply to danielb: Don't you have to touch a GriGri too to give slack for clipping? I think they need some training
Neil Williams - on 29 Sep 2012
In reply to iksander:

"Don't you have to touch a GriGri too to give slack for clipping?"

Yes, you have to use the lever or top of the cam.

Neil
danielb - on 29 Sep 2012
In reply to Neil Williams: It looks like it could be used like an ATC but lowering and paying out for a leader is very different you have to use the lever as attempting to pay rope through like an ATC will cause it to lock up..

I'm going to try using it again tomorrow and depending on the reaction I'll either keep using it or order a GriGri..
winhill - on 29 Sep 2012
In reply to iksander:
> (In reply to danielb) Don't you have to touch a GriGri too to give slack for clipping? I think they need some training

You only need to touch a gri gri if you yank the rope and activate the cam.

Although it's not consider bad practice to keep it closed, if you retain control of the dead rope.
Blastbar - on 29 Sep 2012
In reply to danielb: I use one of these at the wall I work at and a lot of the staff questioned it until they tried the device for themselves. I think it locks so effectively that you have to lift the device to pay out which does seem strange but I'd recommend them to anyone for sport.
ledifer on 29 Sep 2012
In reply to Blastbar:
My climbing partner uses one, they are really very good, but you cannot pay out without lifting the device.
Every now and then I use it. At the end of the climb I try and pay out as usual (reverso) but nothing happens leaving me confused until I remember I'm using the smart.

I think a short demo to the wall supervisor should sort out any problems
valjean - on 30 Sep 2012
In reply to danielb:

i use a smart at the climbing wall all the time when i am belaying someone on top rope.
i hesitated for a long time to use it for belaying a leader... but after some practice, with the leader on easy stuff where short roping him when hes about to clip wasnt going to be a huge concern, i am now comfortable with the device.

i climbed a multi pitch with someone who was using an alpine smart... after seeing that in action, my next belay device will be an alpine smart.

i see no reason why i wouldnt want to have that extra bit of security.

it is a bit "grabby" when lowering someone, especially someone heavier than me, as you try to find that perfect amount of pressure on the lever so the rope runs through smoothly
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danielb - on 01 Oct 2012
I used the Smart on Sunday at the wall for top roping and lead belaying and was left alone so that seems pretty promising.

I really like how easy it is to pay out slack for the leader using it the official way: I had been made to pay out like it was a ATC in the past which was very frustrating as the device grabs to easily for that to work well.

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