What belay/rappel device do you use?

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LachlanB
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Re: What belay/rappel device do you use?

Post by LachlanB » 17 Aug 2018, 09:19

chunderfuzz wrote:
16 Aug 2018, 21:17
Have been using the hydrobot, I’m finding it a bit too fast on my skinny canyon rope after a bit of use (8.3 canyon fire)
Yeah, those things can be scary. :shock: I tried one out for the first time a few months ago on old, dry 10.5mm static rope, and got a nasty fright. I think I'll stick with a nice, comforting 5 bar rack.

sonnylawrence
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Re: What belay/rappel device do you use?

Post by sonnylawrence » 07 Mar 2019, 10:59

I started abseiling in 1970 using the Dulfersitz technique. I progressed to just wrapping a carabiner with the rope. When we got fancy we used 6 oval carabiners to fashion a brake rack. All of this was as a right-handed person. Life has gotten better. Since those days I have tried many devices. Finally, after more than half my lifetime, I let the mountain tell me to abseil right or left-handed. Many people, including experienced canyoneers have difficulty getting on the rope if the anchor is on canyon right. They try to step over the rope or flip it over the pack in order to rig for a right-handed descent. Instead, I just attach the rope and go left-handed. But to easily do this, I need a symmetrical device. I used the Pirana for many years. I have 8 of them in the basement today. They were okay. But they are asymmetrical. Rarely, I have been in a situation where a tube device is preferable. GiGi slots work well at this. Some devices have only one. But for double rope descent, two are needed. I prefer devices that are very easy to tie off. And last, depending on the shape of the device, it can be used to hook the rope back while stacking the rope. The Resonator fills my wish list. It is the primary device I use for canyoning. It is easy to add friction or soft tie in order to take pictures. I can use it right or left-handed. The bottom arm is curved such that I hook the rope bag while filling it with rope. Every now and then I use it for double rope abseils via the GiGi slots.

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DaveJones
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Re: What belay/rappel device do you use?

Post by DaveJones » 07 Mar 2019, 11:18

Mostly the Kong Hydrobot.
Used to use the Aussie PittStop and have a couple of racks, but I like the Hydrobot the best.

hankmoon
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Re: What belay/rappel device do you use?

Post by hankmoon » 08 Mar 2019, 03:01

Typically, either CRITR or ATC-XP. The former b/c it locks off easily and adapts well to most any body weight, rope type/condition or drop length; the latter b/c sometimes the CRITR is overkill and/or is a hindrance (extremely skinny slots in Utah).

Rad
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Re: What belay/rappel device do you use?

Post by Rad » 18 Oct 2020, 08:39

It looks like we mostly use an ATC and And auto block with an figure 8 as spare minimum. We don't pretend to be experts but recently been using a Grigri as I'm somehow always first man down, and the more I use it the more I like it. I think the nxt shopping trip will be an ATS for sure as we are canyoning more and more so the adjustable friction is looking the right idea.
Q. When is all the gear and no idea, simply too much as aposed to not much gear and all ideas. We are very put off by the clean gear experts on tube and very impressed to have found this group lately as these ppl are the real deal.. great work to all concerned. 👍.
We were practicing some advanced techniques last night getting ready for today's adventure and, the penny dropped, somehow all my previous training and adventures became real skills not guesswork. I'm sure some decenders are better than others for certain adventures but practice practice practice with every bit of kit that's available and know how it works and how to use it when the shit hits the fan and reading some of the other forum posts, it happens and The negative outcome can be deadly. Thanks for the great site guys stay safe.

Rad
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Re: What belay/rappel device do you use?

Post by Rad » 18 Oct 2020, 18:17

Used the ATC's again today in jarrara creek canyon two 9mm Edilrid static ropes bit Hessatant to start with but ( new ropes always are ) loved the control wasn't too fast, first half was dry nxt wet. All good. Played around with 2:1 prusick rig using old school srt rope grab top down to grigri on harnes back up to pulley Benier off srt. Don't get the swinging as you do with normal prusick foot loops. It's now my favourite assending rig.

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T2
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Re: What belay/rappel device do you use?

Post by T2 » 19 Oct 2020, 13:09

Rad, my main concern with ATCs is the inability to easily add friction. When climbers abseil on them, it's almost always double rope. For canyoning, best practice is to go single rope (for a range of reasons, including rigging releasable, ghosting, etc). On long drops / skinny ropes, the lack of variable friction can be quite dangerous. There have been a number of serious accidents in the US caused by people canyoning with ATCs. Many rope manufacturers specifically warn not to use ATCs on thinner canyoning ropes.

The issue with a Grigri or similar devices that have more complex internal mechanisms is that they're not designed to operate in dirty, muddy settings. Canyon ropes get a lot more grit and grime on them than climbing ropes, and this can gunk up or damage the internal workings.

There are many canyoning-specific descenders available that resolve these issues. The lack of moving parts / internal mechanisms means they survive sandy ropes and wet canyons. But the real key benefit is the ability to easily add and remove friction, and lock off mid-descent. The result is I rarely canyon with gloves, because I don't need to grip the rope. I let the device do the hard work for me. The safety benefits of these devices are significant, particularly if you are switching between ropes of different diametres or doing a mix of single and double rope abseils. You just dial in the friction setting you need at any given moment, then adjust as needed.

The ATS is a good, effective, and affordable option among this class of canyoning-specific descenders.

You're also absolutely spot on about the knowledge being as important (or more) than the gear. I look back at my early days canyoning and realise how lucky I got that we never ended up in a really sticky situation. The longer you canyon, the more you realise what you don't know. Some of the most experienced people I know are the ones who are most active at learning new techniques and practicing their technical skills. Over time you realise what can go wrong, and you want to make sure you're equipped with the gear and knowledge to safely deal with whatever is thrown at you!

Rad
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Re: What belay/rappel device do you use?

Post by Rad » 25 Oct 2020, 19:38

Great points Tim. As we are progressing we are keen to try new and proven gear. About to purchase some canyon decenders. Prob start with AustriAlpin Mad, Kong Hydrobot and Sqwurel. Kong OKA looks worth a try. Hopefully from your website. Let me know if these are in stock and will place an order.

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T2
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Re: What belay/rappel device do you use?

Post by T2 » 25 Oct 2020, 20:19

The No.Mad is quite good. Not as versatile as some others, but smaller and cheaper. Sqwurel is quite cool. I've done a lot of canyons on my V2 version (although the new V3 is meant to be even better).
I don't stock the Hydrobot or OKA. The OKA has a bad reputation for the metal being quite soft and wearing out quickly. I'm just about to get an alternate version that works the same way but is hopefully longer lasting. It is a good design. My issue with the Hydrobot is it only really works well on double ropes. Given various single rope techniques are faster and safer, I'd rather sell descenders that can work well for both.

Rad
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Re: What belay/rappel device do you use?

Post by Rad » 19 Nov 2020, 19:45

We purchased the decenders as discussed. Mad, ATS and Sqwurel. I was most excited about trying out the ATS for some reason... like a kid at christmas with a new toy..... first impressions. wow they are small, I really thought I'd bought a scale model, and took some time to get around this. Rigged up a rope in the shed, attched the Mad, loaded it played around on single and double ropes.... yeh does everything as expected. NXT was the Sqwurel, As I didn't have much confidence TBH. All I wanted was to try the ATS. Rigged up the SQ same range of movements.... mmmmmm I like this. ATS same deal... yeh nice liked it but rigged up the SQ again single and double then back to the ATS. Back to the SQ and TBH I think the one I had least confidence in was the one. I liked all and would be confident on any but the SQ gets my thumbs up. Then the ATS, the mad is great also. I feel that the mad was not as interesting to me as the other two For what ever reason. All good tho. I'd be happy going bush with any. So another lesson for me as I say to others ... have confidence in your gear. Whatever it is. Buy right and enjoy the great country we have.

We are testing for real this Saturday and I'm sure we are all smiles. 👍

Thanks T2 supplying the decenders on the no hassle purchase. We will be back very soon.

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