The Origin and History of Belay Devices

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Messages 101 - 118 of total 118 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
ms55401

Trad climber
minneapolis, mn
Jun 15, 2014 - 08:07pm PT
this thread is great. I'm trying -- and failing -- to imagine what Walter Bonatti used back in the day.

I started climbing in 1994 (20 years ago!? wow.) Even back then the only device I saw at the crags was an ATC. Never saw a Figure 8, except in a catalog, and which was immediately dismissed as a museum piece.
Lorenzo

Trad climber
Oregon
Jun 15, 2014 - 08:30pm PT
Walter probably used what most of us of a certain age used. Hip belay. With a swami belt there was no good place to clip the belay device.
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Jun 15, 2014 - 11:37pm PT
Walter probably used what most of us of a certain age used. Hip belay.
Like this,
Mid 70's Big Rock hip belay
Mid 70's Big Rock hip belay
Credit: T Hocking
maldaly

Trad climber
Boulder, CO
Jun 16, 2014 - 08:29am PT
Steve, those pictures ore of a prototype "square tuber" that I was working on with Greg Lowe in mid-1991. I left Lowe in December 1991 to start Trango and the people remaining at Lowe abandoned the project so I took it on at Trango where it was refined and became the Pyramid.
Malcolm
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 16, 2014 - 09:01am PT
Thanks for the background, Malcolm.

Any idea what R.O.K. stands for?
Ghoulwe

Trad climber
Spokane, WA
Jun 16, 2014 - 10:12am PT
R.O.K. = Republic of Korea. Country of Origin.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 16, 2014 - 10:41am PT
Thanks!
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
Aug 5, 2014 - 01:17pm PT
Walter (Bonatti) probably used what most of us of a certain age used. Hip belay.

Well not on his famous solos.

DMT
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Aug 5, 2014 - 01:54pm PT

Bonatti, at his time, was known for using equipment from earlier times. He probably used a set-up of carabiners for self-belay. I have never been able to see any special belay devices among his equipment on photos.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Aug 5, 2014 - 02:03pm PT
Stitch Plates ruled. I remember getting an ATC and wishing that I still had the Stitch Plate without the spring.

You could do all kinds of stuff with that simple piece of gear. The tube devices couldn't lock off as well.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Aug 5, 2014 - 02:06pm PT
Klaus, what's with the bottle opener, or whatever that is? I must have
three Sticht plates, a double-niner, a nine/eleven, and a double-eleven
but I've never seen that sheet metal thingy. It looks after market.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Aug 5, 2014 - 02:21pm PT
I didn't like the ones with the springs - just something to snag something
at an inopportune moment (KISS!), plus extra weight for an alpinist. ;-)
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Aug 5, 2014 - 03:15pm PT
The future of the belay

Credit: Jon Beck
Roots

Mountain climber
Tustin, CA
Apr 9, 2015 - 12:06pm PT
A couple more not shown in this thread:

Note the wear marks.
Note the wear marks.
Credit: Roots

Brass figure 8. Stamped "Keswick".
Brass figure 8. Stamped "Keswick".
Credit: Roots

donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Apr 9, 2015 - 12:48pm PT
Hip belays work fine. I held long leader falls with one and was held on a long leader fall by one. I still use them on long multi pitch climbs when the follower is on moderate terrain and I suspect he will be moving quickly.
I do get the occasional odd look when my partner arrives at the belay. I haven't lost anyone yet.
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Apr 9, 2015 - 01:42pm PT
Pictures of devices, to follow, all are still Go to pieces that see action as often as any Grigri or Hip belay both of which I also use regularly.:
Credit: Gnome Ofthe Diabase
`
Credit: Gnome Ofthe Diabase
`
Credit: Gnome Ofthe Diabase
Below, Robots, these Work great! are the dental floss tamer's
Credit: Gnome Ofthe Diabase
Multi use,
Credit: Gnome Ofthe Diabase
Above, Hauling, auto-block,mode.Below rap. mode
Credit: Gnome Ofthe Diabase
these have both seen Miles of decent and hauling`
Credit: Gnome Ofthe Diabase
The green was new in '97?
Credit: Gnome Ofthe Diabase
Credit: Gnome Ofthe Diabase
= New and not nearly as versatile
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Apr 9, 2015 - 02:09pm PT
Mid 70's Eiger rappel brake bar and biner.
I used this rig some but always worried that the aluminum was too thin in the crotch of the notch, if that blew I was gonna die. Reverted back to the basic biner brake system for peace of mind.

Eiger Brake Bar <br/>
ca. 70's
Eiger Brake Bar
ca. 70's
Credit: T Hocking

Eiger Brake Bar and Biner <br/>
ca. 70's
Eiger Brake Bar and Biner
ca. 70's
Credit: T Hocking
tolman_paul

Trad climber
Anchorage, AK
Apr 9, 2015 - 02:46pm PT
Interesting how the belay devices have evolved. I got into climbing in the mid 80's and I think my first belay device was a Lowe tuber, though I had a figure 8 before I got the tuber. Didn't really pay attention to when figure 8's disappeared from racks but seems into the mid 90's you'd see a mix of devices at the crags.

I'm with Donini on the the hip belay for a second on easy ground. I've never been able to yard in rope they way you can with a hip belay when using a belay device. Aside from the automated gizmo's I think I've used most variety of plates, tube, atc, munter hitch etc.
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