/ Very minor accident - warning

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Dandelion - on 01 Sep 2013
I thought I'd post a note about this, since though the risk is obvious in retrospect I wasn't careful enough to stop it happening and no doubt there must be a few other mugs about.

Yesterday I was belaying a friend on lead at the indoor wall. He'd taken the rope out of a rope-bag, seemingly tidy and in good order, so he hadn't flaked it out. Climbed up, all OK - but as I lowered him off the rope was tangled on the ground near me. It jammed in my belay device and drew my hand towards it, trapping the sking between thumb and fingers. I yelped repeatedly and two members of staff kindly came over and sorted it out for me. No major harm done but it hurt and was very scary - I was v glad it hadn't happened outdoors.

Lesson: even if the rope looks OK and has been used recently you MUST flake it out. Obvious, I know.
Run_Ross_Run - on 01 Sep 2013
In reply to Dandelion:

Yep, should be flaked.
timjones - on 01 Sep 2013
In reply to Dandelion:
> I thought I'd post a note about this, since though the risk is obvious in retrospect I wasn't careful enough to stop it happening and no doubt there must be a few other mugs about.
>
> Yesterday I was belaying a friend on lead at the indoor wall. He'd taken the rope out of a rope-bag, seemingly tidy and in good order, so he hadn't flaked it out. Climbed up, all OK - but as I lowered him off the rope was tangled on the ground near me. It jammed in my belay device and drew my hand towards it, trapping the sking between thumb and fingers. I yelped repeatedly and two members of staff kindly came over and sorted it out for me. No major harm done but it hurt and was very scary - I was v glad it hadn't happened outdoors.
>
> Lesson: even if the rope looks OK and has been used recently you MUST flake it out. Obvious, I know.

Tangles or kinks can happen even if the rope is flaked. I'd say that your error was not being well enough in control to stop before your hand hit the belay device.

EddInaBox on 01 Sep 2013
In reply to Dandelion:

... or learn how to coil it so that it doesn't get in a tangle. But as Tim said, you shouldn't let yourself get caught in the belay device, be that skin, clothing, hair, beard, privates or whatever.
Dandelion - on 01 Sep 2013
In reply to timjones: I did try and just couldn't stop it in time, even though I do manage to hold falls. Not sure why I couldn't. I've belayed for a couple of years without problems. Might be worth practising stopping every now and again maybe.
timjones - on 01 Sep 2013
In reply to Dandelion:
> (In reply to timjones) I did try and just couldn't stop it in time, even though I do manage to hold falls. Not sure why I couldn't. I've belayed for a couple of years without problems. Might be worth practising stopping every now and again maybe.

How do you lower?

With both hands on the rope below the plate and a decent gap between hand and plate this should be impossible if you lowering at a sensible speed.
Dandelion - on 01 Sep 2013
In reply to timjones: Yeah, I'd have thought that. There's a couple of stone difference between us and it's a fairly slick device but neither of those should be a problem. I guess I just need to keep my wits about me a bit more - I'm good at watching the climber but clearly there's more than that.
Dandelion - on 01 Sep 2013
In reply to Dandelion: I've been thinkign about this and I reckon it's that my hands were too high. I did notice I kept them a lot lower in the rest of the session!
Chick-on-a-Rope - on 01 Sep 2013
In reply to Dandelion: I think this is an excellent post. Even experienced climbers make errors in judgement and that would seem to be the case here, but new climbers can learn a tough lesion the easy way if they heed this post.

Thanks for sharing and I'm glad no harm was done.
Nick Russell on 01 Sep 2013
In reply to EddInaBox:
> (In reply to Dandelion)
>
> you shouldn't let yourself get caught in the belay device, be that skin, clothing, hair, beard, privates or whatever.

There's got to be a story here...
EddInaBox on 01 Sep 2013
In reply to Nick Russell:

... I used to have a fairly long beard.
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patto - on 01 Sep 2013
Trapping the your hand (skin between thumb and forefinger) is a risk only if you make the mistake of getting your hand too close to the device. It is a noob mistake plain and simple. But it is no big deal unless you compound your mistake with a poor choice afterwards.

I made it once when I was 40m off the ground on rappel.

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