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Topic - Skinny ropes and belay plates

Robert Durran - on 25 Nov 2012
Are belay plates (or at least their use) keeping up with the use of ever skinnier ropes?

I suspect not. One or two things recently have made me question whether people are using belay plates with which it is too difficult to hold a fall (and specifically in winter in gloves or mitts and shiny everdry ropes). If it takes any real effort hold an abseil locked off, then I would say the belay plate is not suited to belaying with the same ropes. I suspect a lot of people use the same plate whether with a single or double ropes - if I can fit a single rope through a belay plate then I would not use it with half ropes (whatever the manufacturer says). I evn sometimes respectfully ask a belayer to use my skinny belay plate if I'm unhappy with theirs.

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