/ Belay device for a newbie...
Can you recommend a simple belay plate for a newbie. Must be available in a selection of colours to match harness etc...
For the missus? DMM Bug.
The recommendations are only my opinion, and perhaps you should go to the wall and use a wide selection to find what works the best for you. I would say though:
ATC-XP Guide, or ATC-XP if you're not bother about the guide mode, ( and dont see your self wanting it in the future).
The ATC-XP (and guide), have a smooth feed, and a a good positive grab due the v shapeed groves. It can also be rigged in a low friction mode for thicker ropes / lighter climber.
I know this might seem a little complex compared to others, but it means you will buy once and not waste your money.
Avoid things the wild country VC and VC2, as they some how manage to be to grabby when feeding whilst requiring a lot of effort to hold a climber when working routes. As they seem to be the cheapest they usually get bought by people who haven't used them before, and usually are replaced soon after.
Or some thing dead simple, functional and light as the Dmm Bug as mentioned!
Not the Mrs but a female friend who's just started out..Thanks.
Thanks Andy lots of nice colours aswell??
Check these out:
Would have edited my original but I think you'd have missed it.
Bug? Though if they might belay heavy people not so good.
You can do far worse than an ATC XP. Really wouldn't recommend the Variable Controller, it jams up badly with some krab/rope combinations and a beginner can do without that sort of hassle.
Cheers what a choice!!
She's going to be good as well....
Seconded! Really useful to have two modes depending on the climbing speed/likeliness of holding for a long time/weight of climber. Even in the high friction mode they are smooth to lower off as well (except with well used thick fluffy ropes).
Fully agree, I am happy ATC-XP user (used for both lead and top-roping belaying). It is a great belay device plate and whenever I happen to use any other plate, it just doesn't feel as good as ATC XP.
Once being at local wall, a stranger looked at my belay device (I used it in a low friction mode that time) and he said that my belay device is "upside down". I tried to explain that this belay device can be used either in low or high friction mode, but he did not want to accept that (well, he was with newbie friend and probably wanted to show off!). I looked at his belay device and it was the same, ATC XP. Sadly, not everyone knows how to use their own gear.
Thanks for all suggestions.....
She has decided on either a Mammut Element or Petzl Verso device which comes recommended?
What ever is cheaper/comes in the best colour?
Yeah, don't get the VC/VC Pro etc. they jam up pretty badly.
Get an ATC-XP, Verso or a Reverso /ATC Guide if she's planning on multipitch in the future.
I've considered this question over many years. I'm assuming you mean for lead climbing.
Have you considered getting a grigri?
If they are new to the sport then making them responsible for the leader's life might be considered unfair. They will have enough going on in their head and the possibility of them not reacting in the 10(?) milliseconds they have between the rope going tight and them holding on for dear life reasonably high (although I have no data). They would obviously need to practice down the wall all the lowering and letting out slack stuff until they had it dialled.
It is often said that beginners should practice with a belay plate before moving on to a grigri as using a belay plate successfully is a key skill. However most people seem to judge successful as being able to let out slack. To me successful means holding unexpected falls of various scales. Strangely, I don't often see people who suggest that beginners should use belay plates training and testing them with such falls.
And they come in at least two colours.
What device do you use? Lend her that to get started, and then buy her one if she sticks with it.
I use the DMM bug....which I find OK...so could do as you suggest!
It won't be for lead climbing at the moment just top roping indoor but yes that's next....she is very new to the sport.
Indoors for a beginner? pretty much any belay device will do... I got a DMM bug as my first which is foolproof and simple and comes in lots of colours I believe (mine is purple). You can get similar A-symmetrical plates with added 'grip' but I find this doesn't change much when stopping a fall personally, might add extra confidence for a weaker belayer maybe??
More multi-purpose ones would be Petzl reverso, great for trad and everything in general. makes it future proof if your friend is looking to go outdoors later on....
There are lots of auto-locking devices which can be great, but expensive. Grigri is a great example. Some are simpler like the mammut one (I forget the name, looks like an elephants trunk!), but arn't as nice to use as a normal belay device. I personally use the mammut for giving to people who belay me when I climb with clubs... quite often I don't know there skill level very well and a lot of them I don't trust so this device gives me a little confidence boost when climbing.
In the end you want several belay device anyway for different situations. Personally I take my Mammut and bug to the climbing walls, and the petzl reverso for trad
Had a play with a Bug last night (haven't used one in ages) and I found it near enough as grabby as my ATC XP Guide when catching a fall, but that once lowering there was a bit less friction. Not a bad beginner's device, though.
The person I borrowed it off is happy belaying me and catching my 17ish stone bulk on it, both top rope and lead, so that must be a selling point.
I dont see how using a GRi-Gri negates this responsibility?
A Clickup or similar might be a good choice if you want the protection of a brake-assist or locking device, but lowering with a Grigri is awkward, and lead belaying even more so. I wouldn't want a novice belaying me using one.
Gri gri is not an 'auto-locking' device, it is an assisted locking device, and should be used in the same way as a belay plate according to Petzl, ie. brake hand always in the braking position.
There are several ways a newb can get even toprope belaying wrong with a gri gri, eg gripping the body and opening the cam. They are not foolproof, and can breed a bit of complacency. Practice is needed.
Negates, might be going a bit far. But maybe 99% of the time a grigri will lock up when the leader falls even if the belayer is not holding the rope. Hence their use in solo aid and backups when jugging. This is a very good safety margin, although the 1% remains!
With a beginner is it hard to see how they would have enough knowledge to understand the issues of safety and responsibility that they are being given. Many experienced climbers have not held a FF1 fall.
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