So I'm getting into climbing, chosen my harness and I'm going to opt for a vc pro II or a black diamond atc xp belay... for my first carabiner I am looking at a Dmm aero screw gate as I like the colour, strength and heftyness, however they say rope radius 10mm-10.3mm or words to that effect, does this mean I will be limited in my rope choice? (I don't know what rope diam . My gym uses)... I will be belaying my mate who is heavier than me, will this carabiner do the job? I thought any pear/hms biner would belay fine, is there more technical aspects to it that I have missed? Thanks
The radius they're referring to is almost certainly the bearing radius where the rope runs over the krab. It's nothing to worry about.
Either of those devices with pretty much any locking krab will work fine on a range of ropes.
Yep, as jkarran says, it's the 'cross-sectional' radius of the carabiner at the point at which the rope is supposed to be in contact with it. The bigger the better, in theory.
Any screwgate will do, but I'd get a belay specific biner, such as a Gridlock or a Belay Master.
I would get an HMS biner, I rate the DMM lightweight ones http://www.needlesports.com/Catalogue/Rock-Climbing-Equipment/Karabiners/HMS-Karabiners/Sentinel-Scr...
You'll be fine with any of the suggestions. Some belay devices come with a crab too, so it may be cheaper to go down that route.
Just make sure you can use it properly. You'll soon run out of climbing partners if you don't !
Served me well for many a year. I flogged my VC pro as I found the teeth very 'grabby' when I started out and my belaying suffered as a result. I also find the HMS version of the aero works better than the D shaped one.
As for Carabiner, I have a BD Gridlock and its a pain in the arse, the DMM Belay master is a better choice, plus works better for Solo TR IMHO.
Personally, while I admire the design of the gridlock I'd never use one. Both the examples I've handled had sharp edges inside the 'harness end'.
> Personally, while I admire the design of the gridlock I'd never use one. Both the examples I've handled had sharp edges inside the 'harness end'.
Yeah thats one of the reasons i dislike it.
it has two points of contact, both very small and the potential for wear is a lot higher than the Belay master. Plus when loading it the little thing gets in the way.
The ATC XP is a good solid choice for a beginner, especially if belaying a heavier climber. I can't think of any great reason to recommend anything else.
Yes. The Aero HMS is a decent choice offering good value for money. Another fairly similar option is the Wild Country Synergy Lite which Go Outdoors were selling pretty cheaply.
Yes, any HMS or Oval will work fine. Other options fall into two categories; lightweight mini-HMS designs or various designs with added 'safety' features.
UKC did a decent review recently of some of the later - Locking Gate Karabiners With Added Safety Features http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=4854
Good to hear you agree with me. IMHO it's a dangerous finish on what could have been a design classic
If you are starting out climbing inside I'd go with an ATC sport and a DMM Belaymaster crab. The ATC sport has one rope slot which is all you need for inside and the DMM belaymaster makes sure you can't forget to tighten the screwgate or cross load.
OP: Wild Country were struggling to give those things away. Whatever screwgate you get, I'm sure it will work out, but I seriously recommend you do not get a VC Pro.
What's the benefit in having only one slot? It's restrictive away from the wall* and doubles the wear rate to save what, 30g and £2?
* Get a GriGri if all you do is sport
> What's the benefit in having only one slot? It's restrictive away from the wall* and doubles the wear rate to save what, 30g and £2?
> * Get a GriGri if all you do is sport
The one slot means there's only one place to put the rope. With two slots you can get it on the 'wrong' side for your dominant hand by mistake and it'll feel slightly awkward. For a beginner the Belaymaster + ATC sport is the most faff-free and impossible to get wrong set up there is.
There's a growing collection of belay devices at the bottom of our climbing bag - ATC sport, ATC guide, Petzl Reverso 3, Grigri. They all work fine but it's always the ATC sport that gets snaffled first at the wall.
Another vote for avoiding the VC Pro, they jam up something rotten. Go for the ATC or whatever the Petzl one is called.
I'm also not confident that erroneously clipping the harness the wrong side of the gate wouldn't cause some sort of damage or even failure, while with the Belay Master the clip will just come off and you are left with a normal krab. The Belay Master clip also has the advantage that it reminds you to screw the screwgate in as the clip won't go on without the screwgate screwed in.
As for devices with "teeth" I think they are a good choice if you might belay someone heavy, and I wouldn't go for a single slot one because you might want the second slot later, either for belaying half ropes or abseiling.
Personally I mostly (when not whining about Gri-gris) use a Belay Master with the ATC XP Guide and I find the combination hard to fault. The non guide version is near enough identical so a novice might as well save their money on that.
> The one slot means there's only one place to put the rope. With two slots you can get it on the 'wrong' side for your dominant hand by mistake and it'll feel slightly awkward. For a beginner the Belaymaster + ATC sport is the most faff-free and impossible to get wrong set up there is.
There is no wrong slot, you can put it in either side for either hand.
> There is no wrong slot, you can put it in either side for either hand.
Sure you can. But don't you find it feels more natural with the rope on the side next to your brake hand? The ATC sport is a nice bit of kit for indoor climbing it's really small and light and gives you nothing to think about.
Doesn't take a massive amount of thinking to put it in the side nearest the brake hand, I do it automatically. For alpine harnesses it doesn't matter at all, I usually default to the "bottom" slot then but either works.
The guide bit is unnecessary but I bought it just in case I want it in future.
> Sure you can. But don't you find it feels more natural with the rope on the side next to your brake hand?
Not really, I generally pick a slot at random and take no notice, we're talking about a difference of 15mm max here.
And I also belay ambidextrously anyway, which becomes a necessity on some outdoor stances.
> I'm also not confident that erroneously clipping the harness the wrong side of the gate wouldn't cause some sort of damage or even failure.
I've seen a BD Gridlock thats snapped at the small 'gate', results in a carabiner with a razorsharp edge, which is as we all know, is the kind of thing you don't want in a belay system!
I really would avoid the Gridlock, Mine might be handy for clipping my stinky shoes onto my bag to air i guess!
I'd say go for a Belay Master, its straight forward, can be 'converted' to a standard carabiner if the clip annoys you, and the clip has over handy uses.
Belay device, ATC XP. Looking at your requirements it seems to be the best of both worlds. Two slots, high and low friction side. Job bloody done.
Wouldn't bother with the ATC sport, the ATC XP is only about £1 more and its the same sodding thing as the sport but handles two ropes.
I like my current setup of the dmm belay master with petzl grigri 2
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