/ Positive belaying story

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csw on 19 Jan 2013
Having just read SeriousCallersOnly's thread, it reminded me, in a roundabout way, of a story I heard about a climber, way back in shoulder belay days, who was stopped inches off the ground after taking a huge lob off Rhododendron Buttress in Houghton Quarry. In a similar vein, I once organised a trip with someone on here who asked me to [a] lend him a belay plate as he didn't own one and [b] remind him how to use it as it had been a while. Subsequently he caught me after 2/3 of my gear ripped, leaving me dangling about 40' below the belay. A feat for which I'm sure I haven't thanked him enough.

I know we pretty much take good belaying as a given, and so we should, but I'd bet that for all those tales of inexperienced, inattentive or just plain dopey belayers, there are a few of the other kind. Anyone want to share?
The Pylon King on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to csw:

What? stories of when you fall off and your belayer catches your fall?
Offwidth - on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to csw: Leading Layback Crack at Gardoms when my foot slipped and I came off spinning backeards. I caught my belayer unawares but he deliberately took rope burns to stop me rather than letting go because it hurt.
Fredt on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to csw:

About 1990 my employers deemed that if I were to take students out climbing, I should be assessed.
So this guy from Sheffield City Council came and took me and a couple of others to Burbage North. I was paired up with a guy who was obviously a lot heavier than me, but I didn't see a problem.

I led a severe, chosen by the assessor. At that time I always used a waist belay, (Even then I'd been climbing 25 years, and plates weren't totally widespread.)
So I arrranged my waist belay. The assessor said that that was not acceptable, I had to use a sticht plate. I refused, saying I would prefer to use a waist belay, as that was what I was used to. He was not happy, but he wamdered off down to the bottom to instruct my second man.

Predictably, the second fell off, and became a dead weight, pretending to be unconcious. The assessor suggested I escape the system and organise a rescue. I took a look down, and seeing there were no runners between me and him, I proceeded to haul him up.
Those of you familiar with waist belays will know it's quite easy to bend your legs while taking in, stand up while pulling the second up, etc.

I repeated this until I had hauled the guy over the top.

The assessor still failed me, the only reason being that I didn't carry and use a Sticht plate.

csw on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to Mr Mark Stephen Davies:
> (In reply to csw)

What? stories of when you fall off and your belayer catches your fall?

Pretty much, yes, but some falls [and catches] are more memorable than others - The one I mentioned wasn't my first, or last

In reply to csw:

20+ years ago I was following Binky up Left-hand Route (Dovedale) and got to a stuck runner. After a couple of goes at it I decided to sit on the rope, and immediately headed rapidly for the ground.
It turned out he had clipped the belay plate to the loose ends of the rope (tucked back into his harness). I went about 30 feet until the belay plate hit the top runner - then stopped! He got pretty badly burnt but we finished the route in good order then went and did Adjudicator Wall before seeking medical attention!


Chris
jwa - on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to Fredt:
> (In reply to csw)
> The assessor suggested I escape the system and organise a rescue.

Wouldn't the simplest thing to do in this situation be to lower the second to the ground and then assist them?
csw on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to Chris Craggs:
> (In reply to csw)
>
> 20+ years ago I was following Binky up Left-hand Route (Dovedale) and got to a stuck runner. After a couple of goes at it I decided to sit on the rope, and immediately headed rapidly for the ground.
> It turned out he had clipped the belay plate to the loose ends of the rope (tucked back into his harness). I went about 30 feet until the belay plate hit the top runner - then stopped! He got pretty badly burnt but we finished the route in good order then went and did Adjudicator Wall before seeking medical attention!
>
>
> Chris

Bloody hell!!
nocker - on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to Chris Craggs: I take it you are refering to the legend that is Colin. Might this contribute to his fastidiousness in checking others' tying in / belaying at Rock Antics all those years ago ?
1poundSOCKS - on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to Chris Craggs: Positive outcome Chris, not necessarily a positive belay story!
In reply to nocker:
> (In reply to Chris Craggs) I take it you are refering to the legend that is Colin. Might this contribute to his fastidiousness in checking others' tying in / belaying at Rock Antics all those years ago ?

The same guy, and yes it could well have contributed!



Chris
harold walmsley - on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to csw:
Another positive outcome but not good practice story. I was waist belaying Steve Kenny on the final pitch of Empire on Raven Crag before belay plates were in common use. He put no gear in the first easy bit (5 m or so) then asked me to turn round and face inward as he moved round the main bulge so I could direct him back to a good undercut if need be. Still no gear but a peg coming up just after a big flake. The flake (chalked) came off and Steve fell, passing me on the side that unwrapped the rope from my waist so I was left holding the rope in two hands behind my back. (I had Dachsteins on so wasn't getting burnt). This wasn't even slowing him down so, with mind working in accelerated time, I decided to let go with one hand and flick the loose end back round my waist. I then managed to stop him not far from the ground (not really believing I would be able to). I still don't understand how he was stopped but a contributory factor was him grabbing the ropes below the stance. He burnt the flesh off part of one hand. The following week I became and early adopter of the Sticht plate.
KiwiPrincess - on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to csw:
Not a dramatic story but anyway...
Last week I made a route finding mistake and came off just before 2nd bolt, I was off to the side so expected a swing over the rope. Not only was the belayer in nice and close but at the end of the fall My belayer gave me a little extra rope,taking the force out ,so The swing at the end was gentle. Skill, experience, readiness.
gunbo - on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to csw: not myself but I was belaying my mate wife a husband and wife duo next to me the wife was not really paying attention had a lot of slack in the system the husband shouted take me i....... And promptly popped off he probably dropped about six/seven meters and lifted his wife off her feet bouncing her off the wall. She got him to the ground where he bollocked her out I was laughing (once I realised they were ok) but it was scary seeing him fall

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