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