/ NEW REVIEW: Wild Country Pro Guide Lite Belay Device

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Abseiling with the Wild Country Pro Guide Lite Belay Device, 4 kbBritish Mountain Guide Tim Neill tests out the sexy looking Wild Country Pro Guide Lite Belay Device.

He likes it, but does find one problem... will Wild Country change the design for the next edition of this otherwise excellent belay plate?

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=6370

IainWhitehouse - on 23 Jun 2014
In reply to UKC Gear:

I'm a little confused by this:
"One design flaw of the device is the diameter of the eye that is clipped to the anchor during direct/locking mode. Unfortunately it seems that it’s too narrow to pass the barrel of any locking karabiner through it and definitely not the Synergy Locking karabiner that Wild Country recommend."

The first photo accompanying the article shows a DMM Aero HMS (?) clipped exactly where the article says it can't be.

If Tim is talking about the hole used to release the plate when locked then that needs to be made clear.
David Coley - on 23 Jun 2014
In reply to IainWhitehouse:

I think he is saying that the hole is too small for the a screwgate to be rotated through the hole as the barrel of the screw gate will be too fat. Therefore you have to rotate it the other way around the carabiner, which can be more of a pain than it sounds.
David Coley - on 23 Jun 2014
In reply to UKC Gear:

Tim, one thing worth pointing out is that the device (like the BD one) has the main hanging hole at a right angle to that of a Reverso. This has implications for the way the thing sits at the belay.

Any chance you could comment of the easy of pulling a single rope through the device in comparison with a BD or Reverso? The Reverso is poor with fat ropes.

Also, what's the friction like compared with the other two devices? Rapping out od a trees on a single ice line normally gives a good measure of this.

Thanks.
In reply to David Coley:

> I think he is saying that the hole is too small for the a screwgate to be rotated through the hole as the barrel of the screw gate will be too fat. Therefore you have to rotate it the other way around the carabiner, which can be more of a pain than it sounds.

Yes, this is exactly what Tim means.

Thanks,

Jack
jimtitt - on 23 Jun 2014
In reply to David Coley:

>

> Any chance you could comment of the easy of pulling a single rope through the device in comparison with a BD or Reverso? The Reverso is poor with fat ropes.

> Also, what's the friction like compared with the other two devices? Rapping out od a trees on a single ice line normally gives a good measure of this.

> Thanks.

Good Lord, that would be a test, not a review!
Send me one and Iīll tell you exactly how much force it needs to pull through in guide mode and more importantly how powerful it is stoppng a big fall.
Ffion Blethyn - on 23 Jun 2014
In reply to jimtitt:

Seconded (no pun intended)

Having read some of your posts I for one would be happy for you to review/test some of the gear that UKC is sent.
mkean - on 23 Jun 2014
In reply to jimtitt:

One feature of these 'lightweight' belay devices that interests me is does the reduced quantity of metal make a big difference to heat dissipation or does the more skeletal looking design mean higher surface area to volume ratio and better cooling?
Given that my belay device gets pretty warm after a long abseil does a light weight one get even hotter?
jimtitt - on 23 Jun 2014
In reply to Ffion Blethyn:

One main problem is it isnīt something you can do while you are climbing anyway or otherwise doing your outdoor fun thing, itīs just industrial work and to properly do the testing and make sense from the results itīs about a days work down the drain so I only normally do stuff that interests me for whatever reason.
Whether the manufacturers actually want people like UKC to publish damning results is another thing again, after all there will only ever be one winner!
Itīs expensive in labour and to do a pull test a belay plate is hanging on about 5 grands worth of gear as well. Drop testing is vastly slower and harder to do, youīd be lucky to get much more than 4 in a day.
jimtitt - on 23 Jun 2014
In reply to mkean:

I did start a project once on testing this, the main hassle is outdoors itīs virtually impossible to run the temperature sensors and the data collection while your abbing so I began to collect the bits to build a gigantic winch so one could run 50m or rope through at a constant load and with variable speed. Other projects got in the way like rebuilding a house!
The most heat is actually generated inside the rope or carried away on the rope surface but each plate is different and the various surface finishes mean you canīt use thermal imaging easily but really want embedded sensors.
andyathome - on 23 Jun 2014
In reply to jimtitt:

Jim,

At present we have a vague concept that 'standard' belay devices all sit somewhere on a continuum from 'slick' to 'grabbing'. I realise that much of the variables really depend upon the rope that is being fed through the device but it would be really, really useful to have a standard measure that says 'this device probably fits HERE in the continuum', don't you think?

Andy
jimtitt - on 24 Jun 2014
In reply to andyathome:

Well I work on "grabby" to mean that the plate tends to grab the rope and partly lock when Iīm feeding rope, thatīs annoying and means the belayer will be paying more attention feeding than actually belaying. Personally I just put that down as a fail.
Then thereīs plates with more braking power related to the hand grip from the belayer and plates with less power which is ultimately what matters, some slick plates have suprisingly more braking power than the grabbier ones.
Testing a plate as a one-off item is effectively impossible for a test lab which is why there is no official test but the rest of the world uses effectively a comparison test where we have a benchmark device and then compare how different ropes and plates work compared to this. There are tests out there from various companies which cover many devices but itīs a thorny subject publishing them, as there is no official test an aggrieved company could reasonably object that the method used was unfair. Posting on a forum on the other hand is just an opinion.
Jon Wickham - on 24 Jun 2014
In reply to UKC Gear:

Black Diamond have done some tests on a belay device's ability to melt a sling here: http://blackdiamondequipment.com/en/experience-story?cid=qc-lab-can-a-hot-belay-device-melt-my-rappe...

They also have some info on misuse of these guiding style plates: http://blackdiamondequipment.com/en/experience-story?cid=qc-lab-autoblock-misuse

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