4. Belay Device Fundamentals
In this video we review the belay device fundamentals required for the belayer. To begin, you’ll need a locking carabiner and a belay device.
If using a passive belay device, which requires the belayer to manually arrest the climbers fall, see below (and the video) for instructions:
Step 1: Clip the carabiner to your proper belay loop, located between the two proper hardpoints of your harness.
Step 2: Feed the rope through the metal slot of the device, on whichever side is the same as your dominant hand, ensuring the end of the rope flows out the bottom end. Once done, the rope will parallel the retention cable of the belay device.
Step 3: Feed the rope AND retention cable of the belay device into the carabiner.
Step 4: Once the rope and retention cable are inside the carabiner, lock your carabiner by either manually turning the screw gate closed or releasing the auto locking gate. Check to make sure the carabiner is locked by pushing on the gate to perform a proper bounce test.
Step 5: Check to ensure that the carabiner is loaded along the spin, and NOT cross loaded. See video for demonstration.
If using a mechanical belay device, such as a GriGri that assists in braking with an auto block device, see below (and video) for instructions:
Step 1: Clip the carabiner to your proper belay loop, located between the two proper hardpoints.
Step 2: Flip open the side panel of the GriGri which shows how to thread the rope through the device.
Step 3: Feed the rope through the device as shown on the instruction, with the end of the rope feeding out of the skinny end (right side) of the device.
Step 4: Close the side panel of the auto-lock device, and correctly clip the device to your carabiner.
Step 5: Once the auto-lock is clipped onto your carabiner, lock your carabiner and perform a proper bounce test to make sure it is locked.
If the climber is heavier than the belayer, you might consider anchoring the belayer to the ground. See below for details on anchoring the belayer to the ground.
Step 1: Place the foot which matches your dominant hand next to the anchor.
Step 2: Grab the anchor and pull the carabiner as high as it will go on the belay loop. At that point you will want to clip the corresponding loop of the anchor into the carabiner along with the rope and retention cable.
Step 3: Once the anchor loop, the retention cable, and the rope are all correctly inside the carabiner, you will properly lock the carabiner. Make sure there is minimal slack in the anchor system. Remember to perform the bounce test with the locking carabiner, to make sure it is locked.
Note that when using an anchor, you’ll want to stay close to your anchor, in the direction of the potential fall by the climber. If done correctly, the belayer can easily belay a much heavier climber (as seen in the next video in this series).
We hope you found this video helpful. Feel free to comment below with questions or thoughts!
Please remember, climbing is inherently dangerous. Climb at your own risk.