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Chockstone Forum - Accidents & Injuries

Report Accidents and Injuries

 Page 2 of 5. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 80 | 81 to 96
Author
Stop saying "SAFE"
One Day Hero
12-Jan-2015
5:07:55 PM
On 12/01/2015 mikllaw wrote:
>Vanessa started saying things like "I'm safe to take"
That might not have been entirely accurate, given your recent shift in paternal status :)

Wendy
12-Jan-2015
6:40:30 PM
I don't think the problem is really with the word safe. I mean, safe sounds as much like take as as slack, or mate, flake, rake, cat, jerk or Kate or many similar monosylabic words, which is really, not all that much. The problem is really with a lack of thinking about the context. Would one really be safe at the top of a sport route you expect them to just lower off? And if you say safe, would you really expect to be on belay a minute later without any correction to the situation? If your climber is out of sight but doesn't seem to have gone far enough to be at the belay or if they have been struggling and suddenly you seem to hear safe, well, bloody double check by asking! If in doubt, keep them on.

The suggestions about using names are good - i almost always say "safe thanks, so and so". If I'm going to say take and it's not in urgency, it will be "take pls so and so". My mother must have brought me up nicely. But it's also clear that you aren't going to have said "safe pls"! When I take people off belay, I will tell them i am doing so - "taking you off belay" so they have a moment to say, no, fck, that's really not what i wanted and "off belay" when they are off. And if you are going to fuss about not really similar words sounding similar, what about the risk of someone hearing "off belay" from their leader and thinking it was "on belay"? Which is really a much more likely thing to expect your leader to say. What if someone said they were impure or found a cure and you thought it was secure???? I don't think it matters what you say. It's about both people thinking about the broader picture and double checking. Saying secure or off belay in this situation would have have the same result. I'm with the just clip in and ask for slack group. And I always say "take pls so and so" when ready to be lowered, then weight the rope before unclipping myself or double check with "have you got me?".

Douglas thinks we should start using a word you wouldn't normally hear in conversation. He suggests pterygium. So then it will be completely clear what you mean when you yell pterygium from the top of the cliff.

And can someone who goes to that gym go and bite their head off? That is one of the stupidest practices in a sea of stupid practices i have seen climbing.

JMK
12-Jan-2015
8:27:20 PM
I have one rule for my belayers - never ever ever take me off belay until I have clearly confirmed it at least 2 times and said that I am going to rap down instead. While it may be a pain it certainly is safe. The circumstances can change but the principle is the same. As Wendy says it is about thinking and not just assuming

billk
12-Jan-2015
9:28:15 PM
On 12/01/2015 Wendy wrote:
My mother must have brought me up nicely.
>
I've met your mum. She is very nice and I'm pretty sure is very proud of how nice you are


>And can someone who goes to that gym go and bite their head off? That
>is one of the stupidest practices in a sea of stupid practices i have seen
> .

Will try.

There is a problem when gyms are owned/ run by non-climbers. They don't think enough about the effect of their practices about what happens on real rock. If non-climbers own or run gyms I would urge them to surround themselves with climbers and listen carefully to their advice.

Snacks
12-Jan-2015
10:35:54 PM
I prefer the practice of using whatever your agreed calls are and then either waiting to be pre-tensioned before removing safety OR removing safety and then manually feeding the rope through until the rope is tensioned or I can see the belayer...

Alternatively, you can get ahead of the curve and just Facebook message your belayer with a selfie and include a series of "hashtags" such as: #inhard #safe #dontbloodytakemeoffbelay... etc...


Olbert
13-Jan-2015
7:49:42 AM
I'm not sure what's wrong with the current system. I've been in a situation where I was belaying and I was expecting my partner to yell 'safe' at any moment. So when I heard "...aaaa..." whispered on the breeze I yelled back "ok - off belay!" Before I could finish undoing my locker I heard another call - carried to me slightly clearer: "....uuuuucccckkk f--- f--- take take take....". I promptly took in the rope and all was well. All you complainers are just complaining!

Also, on a totally unrelated note, I've started waiting for confirmation before taking people off belay.
Howsie
13-Jan-2015
8:47:43 AM
Very much agree that safe should not be used whilst sports climbing, but I dont see the need for a substitution.

"Give me some slack" is the first my belayer will hear on a sport route after I have attached the safety line, then "takle it in", then "ok" whilst motioning to lower or "ok Fred, bring me down" if they cant see me.

Have found that a few people took me off belay when I have shouted safe whilst sports climbing so I stopped using it on sports routes. Have not had a problem on trad as there is a fair pause whilst anchor building before "safe" is shouted.
martym
13-Jan-2015
9:20:43 AM
On 12/01/2015 Wendy wrote:
>I don't think the problem is really with the word safe.
+1

I think the subject here is:
  1. climbers learn to communicate with your belayer
  2. belayers need to confirm things before taking climbers off belay


As an extra confusion (there's another topic all about this here.)

When whistle blowing on long windy routes - we agreed on the following:
4 blasts = Safe (Climber)
4 blasts = off belay (belayer)
1 blast = repeat (either)
Repeated blasts = "What? No STOP STOP STOP That wasn't me"

3 Blasts = On Belay, climb when ready (Climber/top belaying)
3 Blasts = Climbing (Seconder)

All I'm saying is - you need to have a back & forth confirmation process.
Whether you say "Secure" or "You can take me off belay" or "John, Remove the rope from the belay device" - what really matters is that both parties clearly understand what the other one is doing and what that means for them.
martym
13-Jan-2015
9:24:12 AM
I think the real question is - why are you taking someone off belay if you're about to lower them again?
Why is someone yelling "safe" when they're only temporarily safe; they are then expecting to sit on the rope without yelling any other confirmations?

If you're sport climbing, and can't see your belayer, just clip in, haul up a little bit more rope, sort your anchor, then to your belayer's surprise yell very clearly: "OK, you can lower me down now"

Sabu
13-Jan-2015
9:32:49 AM
As per the thread you've linked I wouldn't use 3 whistle blasts for anything other than an emergency. If I heard that at the cliff (especially being repeated) I'd be very concerned!
simey
13-Jan-2015
10:23:44 AM
Whenever I am about to be lowered from an anchor I tend to keep hold of the other end of the rope as a back-up until I am certain that the belayer is holding me. When you reach the edge of the cliff you can usually sight the belayer and make sure everything looks good. Given that I sometimes weigh almost twice as much as my belayer it also reduces the chance of my belayer being taken by surprise by my weight and yanking them from their belay stance.
simey
13-Jan-2015
10:52:47 AM
On 12/01/2015 shiltz wrote:
>I guess I tend to chat a bit if I have a clear line of sight to my partner
>but once I get out of sight I tend to revert to the minimum of calls.
>This is because I find I end up in situations where it is difficult or
>impossible to hear my climbing partner pretty often due to wind or cliff
>shape. And in those cases keeping the number of calls to a minimum is
>essential.
>e.g. get to the top of the pitch, build your anchor, take in the slack,
>put them on belay and then call "on belay fred". If you don't hear a response
>just give 3 big tugs on the rope to indicate the same.

I reckon communicating with tugs on the rope never works. If you anticipate poor communication, then as the lead climber you simply rig the belay and start hauling rope. If the belayer can't hear you, they simply feed the rope to you through the belay device until there is no more rope left. Takes a bit longer, but it is not as time consuming as screaming and tugging and getting frustrated because you are trying to communicate in a cyclone. From the belayer's point of view, once there is no more rope left to feed out, you can pretty much assume your partner is ready to belay you (maybe give them a minute to thread the rope through their belay device). Once you start climbing just make sure that they are taking rope in, otherwise stop climbing until they do.

>e.g. get to the top of a sport route, clip in hard, thread the anchors,
>weight the rope and yell "lower away fred". Since your partner knows it
>is a sport route with a lower off they'll lower you sooner or later even
>if they can't hear or see you.

I'm not so sure about this idea. If I was the climber who had just threaded the anchors and I wasn't able to communicate with my belayer I would start pulling the rope up from my belayer and effectively lowering myself. If you were really paranoid you could actually put your own belay device on the belayers rope and lower yourself whilst pulling up rope from your belayer.

>And I agree with patto, "off belay" is a question that requires an "ok"
>before you actually do it.
OozeDumbHopeless
13-Jan-2015
11:02:15 AM
On 13/01/2015 martym wrote:

>When whistle blowing on long windy routes - we agreed on the following:
>4 blasts = Safe (Climber)
>4 blasts = off belay (belayer)
>1 blast = repeat (either)
>Repeated blasts = "What? No STOP STOP STOP That wasn't me"
>
>3 Blasts = On Belay, climb when ready (Climber/top belaying)
>3 Blasts = Climbing (Seconder)
>

2 blasts = is that you or the other guys down there?
5 blasts = yeh it's me
6 blasts = who is me ?
7 blasts = is that repeated blasts meaning it wasn't me or is that really you?

shortman
13-Jan-2015
11:12:27 AM
On 13/01/2015 simey wrote:
>
>I reckon communicating with tugs on the rope never works. If you anticipate
>poor communication, then as the lead climber you simply rig the belay and
>start hauling rope. If the belayer can't hear you, they simply feed the
>rope to you through the belay device until there is no more rope left.
>Takes a bit longer, but it is not as time consuming as screaming and tugging
>and getting frustrated because you are trying to communicate in a cyclone.
>From the belayer's point of view, once there is no more rope left to feed
>out, you can pretty much assume your partner is ready to belay you (maybe
>give them a minute to thread the rope through their belay device). Once
>you start climbing just make sure that they are taking rope in, otherwise
>stop climbing until they do.

Funnily enough I'd never been is this situation as the belayer until I climbed that 50m route behind the plaque wall with ya when this happened. You were long out of sight, I couldn't here a bloody thing and you were taking friggen forever being the super safe bastard u are. But their was no way I was gonna take you off belay until a good 10 minutes had passed with absolutely no rope movement. I remember thinking fark I'm climbing with simey the superstar, no way i'm gonna f*ck this up, :)




Jayford4321
13-Jan-2015
11:58:08 AM
On 13/01/2015 shortman wrote:
>On 13/01/2015 simey wrote:
>>
>>I reckon communicating with tugs on the rope never works. If you anticipate
>>poor communication, then as the lead climber you simply rig the belay
>and
>>start hauling rope. If the belayer can't hear you, they simply feed the
>>rope to you through the belay device until there is no more rope left.
>>Takes a bit longer, but it is not as time consuming as screaming and
>tugging
>>and getting frustrated because you are trying to communicate in a cyclone.
>>From the belayer's point of view, once there is no more rope left to
>feed
>>out, you can pretty much assume your partner is ready to belay you (maybe
>>give them a minute to thread the rope through their belay device). Once
>>you start climbing just make sure that they are taking rope in, otherwise
>>stop climbing until they do.
>
>Funnily enough I'd never been is this situation as the belayer until I
>climbed that 50m route behind the plaque wall with ya when this happened.
>You were long out of sight, I couldn't here a bloody thing and you were
>taking friggen forever being the super safe bastard u are. But their was
>no way I was gonna take you off belay until a good 10 minutes had passed
>with absolutely no rope movement. I remember thinking fark I'm climbing
>with simey the superstar, no way i'm gonna f*ck this up, :)
>
Got some news for ya shorty. Simey supastar didn't really need ya anyway.
Ya reckon, I hear ya saying?
Considering he doesn't worry about ropes, harness, shoes, clothes or protection when doing nude barefoot first ascents with hipster who climbs way harder than most, you can take it as given that you were being indulged.
Now, if you were belaying stuie between his egg run records it woulda been different as 10 minutes of waiting would've cost him another record.

Funny thread this.
Teaching gym gumbies how to be safe now they have invaded spurt climbing prolly has no end.

shortman
13-Jan-2015
12:04:10 PM
On 13/01/2015 gnaguts wrote:

>Considering he doesn't worry about ropes, harness, shoes, clothes or protection
>when doing nude barefoot first ascents with hipster who climbs way harder
>than most, you can take it as given that you were being indulged.

Actually, this was the vibe I was sensing after hassling him for years to go climbing.

That one time with Dave Graham at Taipan though....I was climbing pretty good, :)

shortman
13-Jan-2015
12:06:00 PM
On 13/01/2015 gnaguts wrote:

>Funny thread this.
>Teaching gym gumbies how to be safe now they have invaded spurt climbing
>prolly has no end.

The dude who fell was not really a gym gumby.
kieranl
13-Jan-2015
12:37:28 PM
Why do people insist on making simple things so confusing?
"Safe" means that the belayer is longer responsible for the other climber's safety.
"Off belay" means that the rope is free of any belay device.

I understand the urge to chat, though I'm not well-known for it myself, but why all the superfluous calls on the cliff.

Why do I hear climbers shouting "at runner" at every piece? How does that add to safety, especially with multiple parties climbing within earshot of each other? You probably need to communicate that you're about to unclip the runner at the start of a 10m unprotected traverse but I doubt that "at runner" would be the call I'd be making.

Why does the belayer need to know that you're at the chains? They still have you on belay so set up your lower and yell "Take" and then "Down please" or whatever you use.
People are so busy shouting unnecessary information that the crucial stuff isn't as easily identified..

As so many others have said, it comes down to everyone understanding what the plan is. Know the plan, know a few simple calls, make sure the rope is properly threaded through the belay device and that there is a knot in the free end of the rope and you'e pretty well covered.
Jayford4321
13-Jan-2015
12:46:31 PM
Shortie, I'm still waiting the mikl report, but from what he wrote (below), it sounds to me like a gumby mistake.

On 12/01/2015 mikllaw wrote:
>Accident report to follow I hope, but yet again someone topped a pitch
>and used the magic word "Safe". Belayer took them off belay. Person got
>back on rope and fell whole pitch.
>
>Don't say "Safe" when you're not safe.
>
It begs the question, especialy if they were experienced of, why was leader taken off belay if they wrre going to be lowered off regardless of the call made?

Eduardo Slabofvic
13-Jan-2015
1:04:15 PM
Is there somebody else named Simey too?

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