Forum
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...

Can you burn through a sling with a hot belay device?

Info on gear, conditioning, and preparation for hiking/climbing. Gear Classifieds
User avatar
Posts: 206
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 4:16 pm
Location: Boulder, CO.

Can you burn through a sling with a hot belay device?

Postby Snowgirl » Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:05 pm

Black Diamond has the answer.

http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en-us/journal/culture//qc-lab-can-a-hot-belay-device-melt-my-rappel-slings

For all the gear & science geeks, this is a fun read... although perhaps not enough samples to be very robust :)
Such things for example as the grasp of a child's hand in your own, the flavor of an apple, the embrace of a friend or lover...sunlight on rock and leaves, the feel of music, the bark of a tree, the abrasion of granite and sand, the plunge of clear water into a pool, the face of the wind--- what else is there? What else do we need?
--Edward Abbey

Moderator
User avatar
Posts: 4886
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2004 9:54 am
Location: Woodland Park, Colorado

Re: Can you burn through a sling with a hot belay device?

Postby CO Native » Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:12 pm

Agreed it's not a very robust test but it's great to see some numbers and tests with something I've learned to worry about but really have had no idea of the actual risk.
Remember what your knees are for.
http://www.hikingintherockies.com

User avatar
Posts: 261
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 4:54 pm
Location: Erie, CO

Re: Can you burn through a sling with a hot belay device?

Postby roguejackalope » Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:11 pm

Any study that quantifies the temperature at which spit sizzles is alright by me.
"Hiking is just walking where it's okay to pee" - Demetri Martin

Posts: 1474
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 11:14 am
Location: Englewood, CO

Re: Can you burn through a sling with a hot belay device?

Postby TomPierce » Fri Oct 19, 2012 3:45 pm

Interesting, thanks for posting this. I did a full 70m rappel on Sunday and my ATC became too hot to touch (but not spit sizzlin' hot... :lol:); happens frequently but good to see some data on this.
-Tom

Online
Posts: 2045
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 7:44 am

Re: Can you burn through a sling with a hot belay device?

Postby Doug Shaw » Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:57 pm

I'm designing a belay device with superior heat management capabilities.

First, it addresses initial heat generation by the use of regular lubrication to help reduce friction.
Second, it will have sharp fins along the edges and sides to increase surface area and act like a heat sink to bleed off what heat does build up.

If anybody is interested in field testing this revolutionary device, please let me know.

User avatar
Posts: 2146
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:47 pm
Location: Colorado Springs

Re: Can you burn through a sling with a hot belay device?

Postby Dancesatmoonrise » Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:14 pm

We all get in a hurry, but why not take the extra 10 seconds to control that rap? Most of the time my belay device does not get hot enough to be uncomfortable to touch. It is a standard ATC. Seems there are other dangers of getting the device too hot - like stopping at the end of the rope on a multipitch route, inadvertently burning a hand, causing a spinal reflex to release...you can guess the next frame in the sequence.

Quick story. Couple years ago there were several parties on E K-rock in the Garden; we traded top-ropes with one party. I was dismayed to see the fellow lowing his partner with ridiculous speed, on my rope! I don't think they knew any better, and it was my fault for trading routes; it happened before I could say anything. The outcome? That rope was permanently glazed. Never quite trusted it after that. New rope, too.

Like the article says, "The answer is SLOW!" :-D

Posts: 1474
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 11:14 am
Location: Englewood, CO

Re: Can you burn through a sling with a hot belay device?

Postby TomPierce » Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:22 pm

I hear ya, Jim. My ATC was too hot to comfortably handle, but posed no danger of melting anything, it wasn't that hot. The one thing that wasn't really addressed in the BD data is the trade off in rapping off skinny ropes (I was using 7mm twins) and the duration of the rap. I've found it's a trade off of sorts: 7mm's feed so damn fast that you almost have to muscle the ropes to control the speed, and of course the issue is aggravated by overhanging free raps. So for me sometimes it makes sense to get through such sections quickly vs creeping down slowly, esp when rapping such a distance.

And yes, an auto-block is an option to control the speed, but I don't know too many experienced climbers that consistently use them.

Doug: Sounds like a cool invention, but I'll wait for the water-cooled version. :lol: Hope all is well.

-Tom

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], GK83, JaredJohnson, schumi248, Slim481, voxnihili and 15 guests