What is the best mountain climbing insurer? It is true that many climbing insurers have been tested to test the effectiveness and quality of each of them, in different environments such as rock, ice, and snow, from the granite walls of Yosemite Valley to the colored walls in climbing gyms.
The quality of the climbing insurers is closely related to their design and is tested by seeing their ability to avoid falls, help colleagues with more difficulties and down rappel style. Even the self-blocking resistance is measured while climbing in the mountains. We can assure after the multiple studies that have been made that they all work well for most rock or gym situations. The main differences between climbing insurers are related to the different rope diameters.
Climbing Insurer: Which one to choose
The climbing belayer acts as a brake on the climbing rope by applying friction on it. The device, in addition to rapid braking by helping the ventral ring (which locks the free end of the rope), helps maintain tension in the rope and helps protect the climber at the other end. It is an essential device for climbing safely.
There are three main types of climbing insurance to choose from:
- Braking assisted
- Figure 8
The one you choose depends on the type of climbing you do.
Tubular climbing insurer
The tubular climbing insurers are best for multitrack climbing, professional climbing, sports climbing, and gym climbing.
These are very common and suitable for any type of climbing. The rope is folded and slid through slots and secured with a locking carabiner to the central ring of the climbing harness. The friction caused by the contact of the rope in the insurer slows and stops the rope, helping to protect the climber. Some tubular devices have crests or “teeth” to create even more friction.
For abseiling, the dual slots found in almost all tubular devices allow two ropes for the standard abseiling technique.
Some tubular devices can be configured as an assisted braking device to secure one or two climbers in a multi-track climb.
Advantages of the tubular fastener
- Compact, lightweight and easy to use
- Work with many rope diameters and can include single or double ropes
- Ropes do not twist or bend
- Can be used for abseiling with two ropes
Disadvantages of the tubular fastening insurer
- Some people, exceptionally light-weight climbers, notice the slow tubular clamping climbing belayer for abseiling
A climbing insurer with braking lock
The climbing insurer with braking block is best for sports climbing, gym climbing and multitrack climbing. Assisted braking devices (also sometimes called automatic braking, self-locking or electronic locking devices) are designed to block the rope when a sudden force is applied to help the ventral ring catch and hold the fall.
There are a couple of various types of assisted braking devices:
- Some provide assisted braking if you are securing a climber who follows you, a climber over the rope or a climber in a multitrack climb.
- Others offer an assisted braking mode only to ensure one or two followers.
Among the climbing insurers that provide assisted braking when securing the leader, top or bottom climber, it is normal to use an internal cam mechanism to block the rope when a climber falls. These machines tend to be heavier than other designs and usually only work with a single rope, which means that you can not rappel traditionally on two ropes as is done with the tubular climbing insurer. For this reason, these machines are mainly used for sports climbing, whether in the gym or outdoors. We recommend the Petzl Gigri2, a climbing insurer with maximum quality braking block.
Others have a passive design that pinches the rope between the device and the carabiner to assist. These are lighter than those with a cam mechanism, versatile enough for any type of climbing and capable of being used for abseiling with two ropes.
Devices that offer an assisted braking mode to secure one or two climbers are essentially tubular fasteners with an additional metal ring on the side. This metal ring allows you to connect the device directly to an anchor and configure it in an assisted braking mode.
These devices share all the benefits and problems of the tubular devices, at the same time they are capable of securing one or two climbers in an assisted braking mode. And, just because you can not use the supported braking way to ensure the lead climber does not mean you can not secure it. You merely have to use the device as if it were a primary tubular climbing insurer to do this.
As with any device, the assisted braking climbing insurer requires that you always use the proper technique and have the brake hand ready to block the rope. Be sure to read the knowledge provided by the manufacturer and fully understand how to use the device before securing or abseiling with it.
Advantages of the assisted braking insurer
- Help the ventral ring to stop the fall of the climber.
- Slide the rope gently.
- The supported braking devices with cam mechanisms facilitate the lowering of the climber in a controlled manner.
Disadvantages of the assisted braking insurer
- It does not work with all rope diameters, so be sure to check the manufacturer’s specifications.
- The supported braking devices with cam mechanisms are more substantial than other types of the climbing belayer.
- Some only allow abseiling with a single rope.
- Devices with cam mechanisms are not recommended for use with wet or icy cords
- Tubular devices with an assisted braking mode are locked under load when handled in this mode, which makes them difficult to use as descent devices.
Climbing insurer figure 8
The climbing insurer figure 8 is better for search and rescue, caving and abseiling. The devices of Figure 8 are used primarily for abseiling. However, they can be used to secure a leader or a top climber. They have the shape of eight, hence the name, with one hole more extensive than the other. When abseiling is done, the rope is passed through the large hole, it is turned around the neck, and it is put back through the big hole, so it rests on the central part of figure 8, where the force. The small hole is attached to the central ring by a carabiner. The climbing insurer in Figure 8 is also used in mountain sports for canyoning and climbing.
To be sure, different devices recommend different ways to put the cord through the machine. It is imperative to read the instructions included with the figure 8 insurers to learn the correct way to use it.
Advantages of the climbing insurer in figure 8
- Efficient and smooth for abseiling
- Dispels heat from friction efficiently
- Can be used with almost any diameter of the rope
Disadvantages of the climbing insurer in figure 8
- It requires more attention and more force in the hand of braking than another insurer of climbing.
- They make a twist on the climbing rope, which can make rope management difficult
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