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Re: Questions about setting up a belay system for rock climbing.

So I am a very new person to climbing, so please don't kick me if these are stupid questions.

Say two people were going on a thru-hike.  To get to the top of a cliff, they attempt to belay one person to the top.  Where would the anchor carabiner be located, where the rope is run through, attached to the climber and on the other end, the belayer's ATC?  Would it be located on the top of the cliff or would there be multiple on the sides of the cliff or just one near the top?

Second question, how would the belayer reach the top of the cliff if the first climber is already at the top, and can't belay the first belayer from the bottom?

-Confused, Kyle.

Kyle M | https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtrM2UkJKMvKv3qyR9WFv7w
Have a Great Day, and make your best adventure yet.
6 Replies

What you are describing is known as "lead climbing."  The leader ropes up, climbs up a bit and then places protection (chock or in the really old days, a piton), climbs a bit higher, places another piece, and so on until the pitch is completed, hopefully at a convenient ledge or equivalent where he can establish an upper belay for his partner, who will have a much safer journey as he progresses upward, removing the pro as he goes.  If on a multi pitch route, often leads are switched at this point.

Intervals between protection placement varies, depending upon assessment of the difficulty by the leader, terrain configuration, etc.  It is good to place pro every five meters or so, because if the leader takes a tumble, she will fall 2X the distance above the last placed pro (if that remains in place).  Believe me, a leader fall is no fun.

This is a fundamentally different game from sport climbing where you have  a bomb proof upper anchor and belay from below.  In days of old, this was known as "practice climbing."

I started climbing in the 50's. before the YDS, tying a single strand around the waist.  helmets? Why?  Climbing has progressed incredibly since then and it is wonderful to see.....

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

One more thing.  The hip belay was standard then and rope burns were fairly common ,   ATC???

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

Thank you for getting back to me @hikermor 

By ATC I think I mean what you just described as hip belay, and in the shop page as belay and rappel devices, of one i shall leave below in a link.

-kyle

https://www.rei.com/product/899109/black-diamond-atc-xp-belay-device 

Kyle M | https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtrM2UkJKMvKv3qyR9WFv7w
Have a Great Day, and make your best adventure yet.
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ok, stop right there, for safety sake.  Get some training, experience, with experienced climbers or guides, on the rocks, preferable not a gym, take a short course, read some books, but please be careful, don't try this with out very serious pre-thought.

Kind of like parachuting, if you fall, it's too late to start thinking about it.

that said, rock climbing is fantastic and addicting, you'll love it!

REI Member Since 1979 YouTube.com/philreedshikes
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@Philreedshikes 

Yes, I was thinking about getting classes but in a gym because around here it is very flat, and there are no good crags or any such formations.  Thank you for thinking about it, and my troop goes to the said gym every year to practice and earn the merit badge.

Kyle M | https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtrM2UkJKMvKv3qyR9WFv7w
Have a Great Day, and make your best adventure yet.
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Gym climbing is a very pale reflection of rock climbing, sanitized and cleaned up.  It closely resembles rock climbing but it is quite different,

For one thing, the holds are not going to break when you use them and they are obvious and their difficulty is known. None of this is true on outdoor rock where you also have weather (cold or hot, lightning, wind, etc), some sort of approach march, possible falling rock, and other assorted challenges of the outdoors.

Gyms have their place.  They are great for working on technique and perfecting moves, building strength, etc. but they are deficient in many characteristics that make rock climbing challenging and fun.

Hip belays are rarely employed today, for obvious reasons.   The belayer sits and braces herself firmly.  The rope attached to the climber runs around the waist and is held by the braking hand, usually the right hand (if right handed).  You stop a fall by increasing your grip on the rope.  Padding around the waist is a good idea.  From the same era, you also have the body rappel, also relying on body friction.

I am genuinely sorry you have only flat ground.  There must be something not too far away.  If not, heed Horace Greeley - "Go West, Young Man!!"

They give merit badges for gym climbing??

 

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.
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