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Topic - Belay gloves: a bad idea?

David Coley - on 31 May 2014
Hi, I was abseiling off an overhanging aid route the other day and hence wearing aid gloves. I was descending an 8.5mm rope and had real difficulty controlling the descent using a Reverso4.

I've often rapped the same rope with the same device, but never wearing gloves. So, I took the gloves off and all was fine, with my hand providing more than enough friction.

This led me to start playing around with various ropes etc., and as far as I can tell, leather gloves that have been used for a while, are much more slippy than hands, and often so slippy that I can't control an ab' rope let alone hold a lead fall.

A quick search of the internet showed that others had found the same thing in more serious situations. For example, with an auto locking device with the brake hand with a glove and the top hand without. This gave more friction on just the wrong rope, the device didn't lock, dropping the leader.

Anyhow, I was wondering if this was all common knowledge: gloves might be good when using Munters, but seem a very, very bad idea the rest of the time.
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