/ Belay device for 8mm half ropes
It isn't a problem as you know they are skinny ropes so you'll be aware of it when belaying. I use buggettes on my skinnies though, they work and lock off well
Second that. Bugette works very well on skinny ropes.
I wouldn't. Normal ATCs don't have enough friction to be safe with modern ropes and are obsolete.
Even full sized belay plates that claim to be designed to work on skinny ropes are a bit scary in my experience.
The question I ask is "would I ab on this?"
not for single ropes they aint (mind i wouldn't use it with a 9.1 joker or whatever)
an ATC XP is better with skinny ropes, look at the manufactures specs to get an idea
needlesports has some info (I dont like the WC VC Pro offerings, they tend to jam to easily)
the best device I have for this is the HB air marshall unfortunately this is no longer manufactured. The next best is the buggette. The ATC XP guide is pretty grabby but I still would preffer a buggette. The problem is holding factor 2 falls in that without enough friction a lot of rope may slip through the device causing burns to the hand of the belayer and causing them to release their grip!
Correction...it's an ATC - XP (the one with the grooves on one side). I imagine that would be ok. I'd like to avoid buying a new one but on the grand scheme I like living more.
A bugette will be more grabby, personally I have two specialist skinny rope devices for my 8mm one of which I give to my climbing partner.
I'll see how they feel once I've got them. This is all hypothetical at the moment as I haven't quite sold myself on the lie that I can afford 2 half ropes...yet.
In that vein, does anyone know of any good deals on a pair of Mammut Phoenix ropes? From looking around ukc it appears the consensus is they are the best at 8mm.
Another vote for the bugette. Amazingly light too, just don't ab too fast on it!
I personally think it's more a matter of being aware that they're thinner to begin with... you'll find you adjust to whatever you use I've found.
Just one comment about the Buggete. In winter, I find them a bit fiddly with big gloves on, hence the reason for buying the Reverso.
My combo as well for what it's worth.
My pheonix ropes are 6 years old and up until a couple of weeks ago were my only half ropes. They've still got life left in them too!
I'm not the only poster on here to find they last just as well as most 8.5 -> 9mm ropes
I think I'm pretty set on the phoenix's. Can't see past the wait saving as I want 60m ropes for winter and the Alps. Plus all reports seem to be positive on durability.
I will look into getting a bugette. How is the bugette different from the bug btw?
anyone tried the new 'twilight' 7.8mm 38g/m sounds scarygood
Bugette is great but gets frighteningly hot on long abs! The braking is brilliant but I don't think I'd object to a bit more thermal mass.
I use the Tendon 7.8mm, they are thin, light and appear to have a life of their own when it comes to knitting but that might change as the treatment wears off. Certainly nothing for day-to-day British trad Iīd have thought.
Yesterday I caught two falls by my second using a combination of Edelrid Megajul and Beal Iceline 8.1m I think (the dimensions I mean, it definitely was an Iceline). Not the same as a leader fall obviously but seemed to work well enough, albeit with a little give (no bad thing for the faller). The bugette he was using bites harder than the Megajul and, as has been stated already, heats up a lot quicker too!!
It's basically the same except smaller holes and much less metal. It weights nothing.
I'm really enjoying climbing on sterling nano fusions 7.8mm - you don't know they are there and you can floss on the belay
Although we don't stock it, it's worth checking this thread and article: http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=543075 (Edelrid Micro Jul)
So, properly understood, you shouldn't use a Reverso 4 for half-rope belaying of the leader with 8mm lines. The ATC-XP is not so different in design, so the same conclusion holds for it. You could figure this out anyway by just rappelling with the devices, which is not pleasant on 8mm lines (and must be even worse on 7.5mm strings), and this is a situation when both ropes are engaged and the loads are far less than potential leader fall loads.
I'd beware of claims by people who say they've used these device successfully with thin ropes. A lot, maybe even the majority, of climbing situations involve systemic friction which is enough to overcome the fundamental inadequacy of the devices. Devices that are inadequate for more serious occasions can hold a slew of low fall-factor leader falls in situations with good systemic friction.
That leaves the DMM Bugette and the assisted-locking devices: Edelrid Jul, Mammut Smart Alpine, and Climbing Technology Alpine Up. I don't have personal experience with the Bugette, but the people I know who have them find them satisfactory.
The Jul and the Smart Alpine have, as far as I'm concerned, deal-breaking handling requirements for half ropes: in order to pump slack to the leader, one belaying hand has to be engaged in levering the device away from the harness while the other hand pulls the slack through. This may work for single ropes or twins, but it is bad in the context of half-rope belaying, when one rope may have to be taken in while the other is being paid out.
That leaves the Alpine Up as the only assisted-locking device that really makes sense for half-rope belaying. You use the same natural hand-motions you would with a tube-style device. It is, however, relatively bulky, heavy, and expensive, the equivalent in all three categories of carrying a Gri-gri.
You can buy plates like that new, they're made by Cassin and ABC I think. I like them quite a lot, going to use one to teach friends to belay as I always found one reassuring as a 9 stone teenager belaying my dad at 13/14 stone, very easy to lock off.
There might be other devices more suited though...
But surely it doesn't say that because having two ropes through the device means it operates in a different way to having just one rope through it.
I'd be interested to hear if anyone has had the problem you are suggesting. Personally I've used and old ATC with double icelines (8.1 I think) and found it too slick when abseiling. Then the original Reverso - OK, but a bit slick, and more recently the last but one version of the Reverso and the ATC guide both of which are great with them, even when icy or covered in snow and with snowy gloves. I think the ATC Guide is a great all-rounder personally for doubles and singles of all sort of different sizes.
> But surely it doesn't say that because having two ropes through the device means it operates in a different way to having just one rope through it.
I think why Petzl says what they say is a really interesting question, because no matter how you read it, it doesn't make sense. There is no intelligent technical reason to lump twin ropes and half ropes together.
The fact that rappels are "a bit slick" is prima facie evidence that the device will be inadequate for a high fall-factor fall in a situation with little systemic friction, and for this reason my rewritten form of the Petzl specification makes a lot more sense than the original version.
UKC has plenty of accounts of burned hands from trying to hold leader falls, many of which refer to the use of relatively thin lines.
The only time I've seen slippage with doubles is when the climber was using a single rope teamed up with a skinnyish half rope, the climber fell onto the thinner rope.
I don't read every thread on UKC I guess, but I've read many of them since the end of the 90s and I don't remember reading about these sorts of accidents - is it really as much of a problem as you seem to be suggesting? Did you have a bad experience like this?
I'm not convinced, but I guess everyone has different experiences. I have friends who use 8mm doubles who find both the Reverso and the BD insufficient for rappelling without doing something to add extra friction. Beal says on the Ice Line specification page, "Select an appropriate belay device for use with thinner diameter ropes," so they obviously think there may be a problem with some belay devices. Then they say "Please note: When a rope is new, the braking effectiveness of belay devices is significantly reduced." Hmmm. One belay device for new ropes, another for older ones?
But the main issues is how the devices will perform in the rare and unexpected cases when the loads are really high. These situations don't happen often, and I think many climbers don't realize that they may have a lot of trouble holding such falls. So when someone says, "I'm not having any problems," I'm not necessarily sure that means all is well.
So all those climbers climbing on two "skinnyish" half ropes, which is what is under discussion here, will be having that slipping problem. In other words, you just confirmed my statements.
An extremely cursory search turned up these two threads:
There are many more references in the logbooks.
I think that whether you think it is a problem or not depends partially on whether you think the belayer should be able to deal with every possible fall or whether you are willing to give up on the belayer holding the very unlikely but really bad ones without severe burns and possibly loss of control.
I have a lot of experience in the sense that I learned to climb in the U.S. at a time when we practiced catching severe leader falls (like fall factor 1.8) with no friction other than a single carabiner. From this I learned how much worse a severe fall is then the kind of "ordinary" fall we are called on to hold most of the time. Almost no one does this kind of practice any more, so most climbers have no idea what a severe fall is like to catch unless and until one happens to them in the field, at which point it is a little late in the day to discover that the belay device has inadequate friction for the task. I'm not convinced the standard belay devices are fully up to the this task with ordinary single ropes, and I'm almost positive those devices will be wanting with an 8mm half rope.
No, no - that's exactly NOT what I meant. We talked about it afterwards and we decided that when you have a fatter rope in your hand and you grip that, its greater diameter has to mean you can't apply as much gripping action to the thinner rope next to it. If the the two ropes are closer in diameter then the force of your grip will be spread more evenly between them. One of the threads you linked talked about the ropes being of different diameters, although not hugely so, but it does seem that can play a role. They guy was also using an original ATC - when they came out in the mid 90s most people were using them with 9mm ropes. I agree with you that as ropes got skinnier over the last decade or so, the original ATCs were way to slick, for my tastes anyway. When skinnier singles came out this was also a problem - my early Mammut Revelation came with a freebee belay device from Mammut designed to be used with it - so I do agree with much of what your saying. But I've found the ATC Guide with its 'teethy' bits and the Reverso III to both be fine on thin singles and doubles, and that includes catching a couple of biggish falls.
Some harder UK trad routes do see big falls taken from time to time by people using double ropes - the big lines at Pembroke for instance - and I've not heard of belayers getting their hands hurt; it would be interesting to know if they do though, or what belay devices/ropes people doing those sorts of routes are using.
i cant believe someone would have a problem abseiling on 8mm ropes,i actually turn my guide/reverso round into low friction mode for abseiling,ive abseiled 1000's of meters on skinny ropes.
of course petzl say select the right device,a tube style device without grooves is no good as plenty of others have realised,this is why myself and others on here carry a buggette for the belayer in case.
atc xp guide reverso 3/4 are all fine,ive abbed caught falls and been caught with little and lots of rope out on 8's with no slip or problem whatsoever.
mega jul and micro jul are great with skinnys,i find my mega locks off fine on used 8's so i dont bother with the micro i will keep that for my 7.5mm twilights,the mega jul is just the same as any other belay device on half ropes,they feed smooth with the thumb pushed out and i dont believe you could keep the thumb pushed out in a fall if you tried, the fall would whip the device back to the carabiner i.e. safer than most other devices,how well they lock/assist depends a lot on the rope and type of carabiner used,experimenting and practise are needed as with any new gear,momentarily pushing the thumb out to take a rope in or feed a rope out is pretty much the same as a standard device.
new ropes are a problem and i think ropes should have warnings on the packaging to let people know about this,ive personally had a brand new fat single slip several meters.
i suspect bad belaying and bad rope/device conbination has more to do with rope burns while belaying than the evil that is 8mm ropes....
Ok Toby, I misunderstood your point about the skinnyish rope---I thought you were talking about leader falls caught on the skinnier of two strands.
Although difficulty in controlling rappels definitely tells you that it will be hard to hold big falls, the lack of difficulty in controlling rappels tells you virtually nothing, since rappel loads are probably at most two or three times body weight.
Since some folks have rappelled 1000's of meters with no problem and other need to double up carabiners and add prusik backups to increase friction on 8mm ropes, it seems hard to arrive at any conclusions about rapping with 8mm ropes with the devices in question. Presumably, the amount of wear on the ropes and the steepness of the rappels is part of the issue.
What I would say to anyone contemplating a Reverso 4 or BD-ATC for 8mm half ropes is, do a free-hanging single-strand rappel on one of your 8mm lines with no extra biners or prussik backups (but please, with an upper belay). If that is in any way problematic, then for sure you won't be able to hold a big fall without a lot of slippage.
If you have no problem with the single-strand rappel, then you're on your own in deciding whether your device supplies enough friction for, let's say, a UIAA-standard fall. Just don't take as conclusive evidence the fact that you can easily hold low fall-factor falls with additional systemic friction to boot.
Thanks to Rgold and Jim Titt for their informed comments on this, and previous threads.
Is there any mileage in knotting the rope a few metres below the belay plate when your leader leaves a multipitch belay and a factor two is possible?
The latest ATC XP guide definately has more friction / is grabbier than the old ATC XP I have. The grooves are quite a different shape. I'd certainly not struggle to hold falls on my 8.5mm genesis with it. However I think I'd err on the side of caution with 8mm and below.
> i suspect bad belaying and bad rope/device conbination has more to do with rope burns while belaying than the evil that is 8mm ropes....
How much do you and your partners weigh? Its a huge difference holding a 9 stone whippet taking falls compared to a 14 stone big guy.
And I agree on the latter. Perhaps manufacturers advocate too large a diameter variation capability for their devices?
> Thanks to Rgold and Jim Titt for their informed comments on this, and previous threads.
> Is there any mileage in knotting the rope a few metres below the belay plate when your leader leaves a multipitch belay and a factor two is possible?
Not really, a short FF2 isnīt going to give enough slip to cause burns. Itīs longer falls even with much lower fall factors that cause the problem as burning is a factor of the total energy going into the skin. Petzl gave this as 1800J and others consider 0.5m to 1.5m of slip to be the tolerance level. And no-one wants to take FF2 onto a knotted rope surely?
I use 8.1mm Icelines. From personal experience I don't think it's safe to use a standard ATC / Bug with skinny ropes - whatever manufacturers recommend. I took a moderate leader fall a few years ago. My parter had a standard plate and was left with rope burns for a week due to inadequate friction from the plate. I use a Bugette but found ATC XP-type plates to be adequate in the past. I usually lend my partner my plate when I'm on lead if they have a standard ATC / Bug.
probably prefer it to the belayer letting go of the rope due to burns !
Belay gloves for skinny ropes?
Well thatīs the answer from Beal when I talked about the issue with them and they arenīt wide of the mark.
Sounds sensible doesn't it - doesn't seem to be a 'UK thing' though. I read Bisharat's piece about Tito Traversas sad death the other day - he starts off by describing a simple belaying mishap he had; which in short seems to have been he had replaced his old belay gloves. It just struck me that he seemed to see them as a fundamental part of the system whilst I've hardly ever seen UK climbers using them. I wonder if they are the norm in the US?
the article: http://eveningsends.com/2013/07/close-calls-titos-tragedy-and-youtube-buffoons/
It isn't the norm in the U.S. either. People use belay devices which slip at high loads by design, and in some cases argue for the reduced loads to protection that result, but take no measures to insure that when that purportedly beneficial slippage does occur, they will actually be able to handle it.
I'm with you on this Cliff.
As someone who has experience of several 8mm ropes; Mammut Phoenixes and Edelrid Merlins and all the afore mentioned devices but more frequently on Reverso 4 and Mega Jul, I think that any claims that they are not fit for purpose are very provocative and ungrounded.
As my name implies I'm not a big fellow 9st 4lbs regularly catching lobs of on my Reverso 4 of people 4 or 5 stone heavier, I can see little reason for concern.
Regarding the usability of Edelrid Mega Jul for double rope situations I can only imagine that it is not based on any sort of first-hand experience with the device and afore mentioned ropes.
P.S. And I do not condone this in any way ... With a Petzl Reverso I can hang my Phoenix over the grooves of the device, on abseil at the anchors and the weight of the rope will lock off tight enough to support my weight with no hands ;-)
Yes that is the dumbest thing to do that you've ever heard - I am aware of that!
Oh no it's not, not by a long way....:)
I have caught leader trad falls and not slumps on the rope either, as someone else mentioned, Pembroke can be quite a place for free space trad falls. No issues of slippage and certainly no "OMG, I need a new belay device!"
As far as abbing goes - I've used the combo at Tremadog on Monday, as did my partner and the lads who hopped on to save deploying their ropes. I won't use the Reverso on anything over 9mm as it's just far too grabby but with 8mm halfs, it's just fine. Seeing as I'm not a light lad at 13 and a half stone, I can only assume that your friends weigh way more than me or have issues with abbing anyway. I always use a 6mm cord prussic wrapped four times round the ropes, the same prussic that I would use on any climbing ropes. If your friends are having issues - then they need to look at their technique. In my experience, everything works smoothly and in control and I'm certainly not one for fast descents, we had a club member die abbing last year and since then, smoothly does it for me.
As for using one rope - I've happily led on one of the 8mm halves in winter and belayed a leader on vertical ice on just the one half too, this with the Reverso. No falls caught as non have happened. However, I've also lead trad and belayed trad on just one 8mm half too, having caught a fall and then taken a fall myself.
In GUIDE mode - Petzl don't approve of 8mm ropes. I've not used the plate this way anyway.
I wouldn't care to comment on other ropes than the Merlins I have, for all I know, other ropes may handle in a different manner completely - certainly Icelines stretch more than mine, maybe there are other differences. I can comment on the Reverso 4, the Buggette and the Bug, as I've used all on these ropes.
I hope that clarifies my earlier statement.
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