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auto-belay for rope solo lead climbing

Anybody have experience using a Beal Birdy assisted belay device for rope soloing?  Any other rope soloing suggestions on best belay device to use?

3 Replies

If your belay or ascent hardware has failed, basic rope work will provide a backup solution.

The following is how I was formerly trained and certified:

Select a suitable length of Prusik cord, of which is of the same kernmantle construction, but smaller diameter, than your belay rope diameter and make it into into a loop, connecting both ends, using a Triple Fisherman’s Bend Knot.


Affix the Prusik Loop onto the belay rope, using a Prusik Knot.


The Triple Fisherman’s Bend Knot should not be close to the Prusik Knot, as to interfere with the travel of the Prusik Knot.


Affix a single locking carabiner, or 2 equal and opposing single carabiners, to both your harness and to the Prusik Loop.

Slide the Prusik Knot up the belay rope as you ascend, placing anchoring hardware and carabiners, to secure your belay rope, as you ascend.

If correctly assembled, practiced and executed, the Prusik Knotted Loop, should provide a basic and safe self belaying device.


Thanks Marc 


Just to emphasize how versatile the Prusik Knotted Loop is….when paired, they can be used as an ascender, and as part of a mechanical advantage pulley system incorporated braking device, during rescue scenarios.