UKC

Tie off belay plate - best method

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 WhiteSpider88 07 Apr 2022

I have been taught two methods of tying off a climber on belay. The first is to tie a slippery hitch through the carabiner with the dead rope followed by two half hitches on the carabiner. The second is to pass the dead rope through the carabiner and tie off with half hitches on a bight of dead rope around the live rope above the belay plate. Which method is best?  Thanks!

 jezb1 07 Apr 2022
In reply to WhiteSpider88:

Around the carabiner is a little better I think. Leaves the front end clear which is useful for some things, such as when setting up a hoist.

OP WhiteSpider88 07 Apr 2022
In reply to jezb1:

I was thinking of this after watching one of your videos a few weeks ago, what a coincidence, thanks for your reply! 

 C Witter 07 Apr 2022
In reply to WhiteSpider88:

Some people prefer the "around the live rope" method in winter, because they find it easier to tie when wearing gloves.  Both are fine, though I usually the backbar of the carabiner method or, in non-assessed, non-critical situations (e.g. swapping gear on a big ledge) I sometimes just put a big overhand in the rope that will block in the plate - lazy but effective enough.

 CurlyStevo 08 Apr 2022
In reply to C Witter:

but can be hard to sort out if it does end up being needed.

 timjones 08 Apr 2022
In reply to WhiteSpider88:

I prefer to tie the half hitches on the live rope, I find it is less fiddly and quicker.

2
 timjones 08 Apr 2022
In reply to jezb1:

> Around the carabiner is a little better I think. Leaves the front end clear which is useful for some things, such as when setting up a hoist.

Maybe I have freakily long arms but I've never found this to be a problem

 jezb1 08 Apr 2022
In reply to timjones:

It’s not arm length. In a hoist for example, the setup of the clutch prusik would be a pain if the front of the belay plate isn’t clean.

In reply to WhiteSpider88:

The best method depends on the scenario and there is no hard and fast rule for best.

 timjones 08 Apr 2022
In reply to jezb1:

Presumably you are thinking of remaining in the system and hoisting through the plate?

I was thinking of escaping the system before rigging the hoist and therefore maximising the options available if the hoist doesn't remedy the situation.

 jezb1 08 Apr 2022
In reply to timjones:

Yes. Because if I’d escaped the system for a hoist, I wouldn’t be using a method that needs a clutch prusik…

Honestly, I don’t care what people use, but I do think around the back bar is the most versatile, hence my original answer. I can’t get too excited talking about 100 different ways of doing these things, as long as it’s safe, simple and effective then it’s all good.

 timjones 08 Apr 2022
In reply to jezb1:

> Yes. Because if I’d escaped the system for a hoist, I wouldn’t be using a method that needs a clutch prusik…

Is there a method that doesn't need a clutch prusik without requiring other more specialist kit?

Honest question, I may kick myself for missing the obvious when I hear the answer

> Honestly, I don’t care what people use, but I do think around the back bar is the most versatile, hence my original answer. I can’t get too excited talking about 100 different ways of doing these things, as long as it’s safe, simple and effective then it’s all good.

I can only agree with that, I just tend to avoid tying off on the back bar as I find it fiddly with large and arthritic fingers

 jezb1 08 Apr 2022
In reply to timjones:

I’d use my belay device in guide mode so it’s auto blocking 😊

One thing I wouldn’t do is try using a clutch prusik style setup with an Italian / Munter. As I found out on my MCI assessment many years ago, that doesn’t work well at all, much to my assessor’s delight. 

Post edited at 12:45
 timjones 08 Apr 2022
In reply to jezb1:

> I’d use my belay device in guide mode so it’s auto blocking.

That seemed like such an interesting possibility that I jumped up from my desk to give it a try!

I don't think it would end well if I tried it in anger with my current combination of belay device and rope

 Martin Hore 08 Apr 2022
In reply to jezb1:

Hi Jez

Having just watched your excellent video on tying off a belay device, I'm interested in your thoughts, as a current instructor, on the question I posed on the other related thread. Your video suggests only using the simple overhand knot to leave you hands free when there is no chance of the rope being loaded (eg when changing leads on a large stance). But my friend was taught this method on an instructed course as the first stage in escaping the system when the rope is loaded, for example when the second has been unable to climb the pitch. He was given the impression that this is now a more regularly taught method. It's probably simpler to start with, but if you need to escape the system you need to get your belay loop somehow out of the belay karabiner with the system under load. which I found very tricky indeed, or rig a hoist to release some of the load. And if you simply want to lower, without escaping the system, then the jammed up overhand will make this quite unnecessarily difficult. But my friend is sure it was what he was taught. Have you ever come across it?

Many thanks

Martin

 jezb1 08 Apr 2022
In reply to Martin Hore:

Hi Martin, glad you liked the video!

For me, if it’s anything other than a quick lazy tie off on a ledge while we re rack gear, or I’m taking a photo type thing, I want everything to be easily releasable under load. Realistically with not much practice a releasable under load tie off, whilst taking longer than an overhand, will still only take seconds.

As an aside a fella I was assessing for a qualification once, by mistake, didn’t make a tie off releasable under load. It was mildly amusing for me to watch but very stressful for him to sort and that’s just on an assessment, not in a real life situation where stress levels are even higher. He did sort it, and pass, but it didn’t need to be as stressful as it was for him!

 Martin Hore 08 Apr 2022
In reply to jezb1:

Thanks for replying Jez

Martin


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