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Tacticalinterve
06-28-2009, 12:23
I have used a fugure 8 for long time, but wonder what you guys think of this. Tactical use not rec use

http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/gear/atc.php

monsterhunter
06-28-2009, 12:34
Strictly from a mountain/rock climbing point of view: I use it only when belaying a lead climber, or should I have to lower someone down. A friend of mine, who is a regular mountain climber, uses that product for rappeling as his primary tool. He feels it is easier for him to apply the brakes when wearing a full back.

HOLLiS
06-28-2009, 15:28
Strictly from a mountain/rock climbing point of view: I use it only when belaying a lead climber, or should I have to lower someone down. A friend of mine, who is a regular mountain climber, uses that product for rappeling as his primary tool. He feels it is easier for him to apply the brakes when wearing a full back.

Sort of depends.

Long raps, a reppel racks is better, One can add resistance as the decent. 8's are real popular for less than 150 ft raps.

Everything has pros and cons. The rescue 8's where popular for a long time, until the reppel rack was developed.

For belaying, I like the munter hitch. What is important is to understand how the work, what are their limitations and probably the most important aspects, the principles of reppelling and belaying.

I have used probably used most of them from the Dulfersitz to the reppel rack. They are all good to know.

Some are more for static situations, some are more for dynamic situations.

Tacticalinterve
07-03-2009, 13:55
Thanks info was for buddy. I will stick with my old 8 as I dont usually go farther than 100 foot anyway and been happy all these years with figure 8.

Anyone else remember the old single line, just carabiner days with crappy gloves? I think I still have burn marks

FSU_CJ
07-03-2009, 14:23
I used an ATC for years. I love 'em..

Aoresteen
07-22-2009, 13:04
Thanks info was for buddy. I will stick with my old 8 as I dont usually go farther than 100 foot anyway and been happy all these years with figure 8.

Anyone else remember the old single line, just carabiner days with crappy gloves? I think I still have burn marks

Check! The last time I burned down a rope was 1983 or so!

gagners
07-22-2009, 13:15
ATCs are great for ANY length rappel without kinking the rope, whether it's 50ft or 300ft, which means less kit to carry.

I have used the munter as a belay "device" as well, but you can rig an ATC to be self-locking from the top, allowing you to belay a follow-on climber or lower someone while doing things like prepping for the next pitch, or more tactically, pulling top-side security.

koz
07-22-2009, 14:50
I've also used an ATC for over a decade. One of the best pieces out there - IMO

Dozer523
07-22-2009, 15:36
20 bucks seems a little pricey.

CSB
07-22-2009, 16:20
What is important is to understand how they work, what are their limitations and probably the most important aspects: the principles of reppelling and belaying.



'nuff said.

koz
07-22-2009, 17:23
20 bucks seems a little pricey.

Well I guess the cheapest is the dulfersitz but I REALLY like my nuts where they are - I'll spend the $20... :lifter

NoRoadtrippin
07-22-2009, 22:37
Sweet!

A subject I might actually go so far as to consider myself an expert on...

The BD ATC is essentially the standard out there for most rock climbers. I don't often see many people using something else, and if they are they still have an ATC (or clone) somewhere on their rack.

One thing you run into though is the use of the term "ATC." For BD this means Air Traffic Controller. It is literally their proprietary name. It would be akin to calling all tissues Kleenex.

In reality it is just a modernized version of the old school sticht plate. You can see a lot of good examples here:

http://storrick.cnchost.com/VerticalDevicesPage/Belay/BelayTubes.html

Pretty much every hardware company makes a model or two or six. You will see also that BD themselves make a number of variations of the ATC. The ATC Guide is seen pretty often now as people like the extra lock up of the teeth on smaller ropes.

When either belaying or rappelling, there are some advantages to the ATC design. One, it dissipates heat well. You will see some ridges to add to this effect. Another is that it takes very little strength to control, but at the same time often seems to take less lateral movement of the rope--as compared to an 8--when rappelling in order for it to feed smoothly. When belaying, it allows for ropes of multiple sizes, and allows for two ropes at once to be used in case you are climbing on twin or half ropes. This is the major catalyst for the design. The belayer can feed a leader one or both ropes as necessary. Using something like an 8 or a munter doesn't make this task very easy.

Another big potential plus over a figure 8 (or maybe a downside depending on needs I suppose) is that it will not lock up as an 8 can do. Having a "Rescue" 8 with the ears on either side prevents this of course. But then it also makes it heavier.

Omega Pacific makes a nice ATC style device that doubles as an 8. Offers a bit of the best of both worlds. You can check it out here:

http://www.omegapac.com/op_products_sbgii.html

Also, one thing you might consider if looking for something new is a Petzl Gri-Gri. The disclaimer here is that it takes some attention to detail each time you load in order to make sure you don't do it backwards. However, that said, it is not difficult in the least. Just necessary to be aware of. Its added feature is that it is self-locking. I often use mine on an instructor line when working with clients. Allows me to move forward and back at the top of a climb as needed. Also allows for rappells and self-belays. Its a pretty versatile device and it is another piece that you will see on many racks.

Roger_Out
11-24-2009, 07:52
Coming from a mountain team guy, I would advocate the multiple uses of an ATC as others have stated.

- Fast heat dissipation

- Ability to go hands free either through the use of a dead mans catch on the leg with the use of a cordalette, or through tying off through the ATC. (You may need two hands to clean pro, dis-entangle a rope, pull security, lower/raise gear etc)

- Use in rescue systems, if the need arises

- Ease of use to belay for up to two other climbers

- Ability to be used on multiple diameters of rope, due to the teeth for rope grip

I personally have a Petzl Reverso 3 on my rack, and think the price is worth the feature set.

Sneaky Pete
11-24-2009, 08:49
I will second what others have posted here addressing the positives of the ATC in a vertical rock environment. Its use is also endorsed by the American Mountain Guide Association.

The Petzl Reverso 3, as Roger_Out mentioned, is a real step forward in functionality, if you need those features.

I will leave it to the professionals here to comment on the ATC's appropriateness for tactical application.

Regards,

Dark Matter
11-24-2009, 15:20
I cannot speak to the tactical use of these devices. However, I do have a lot of experience working with them.

I personally carry the Black Diamond ATC Guide. I think it's simply the best, most versatile device on the market. I haven't worked with the new Reverso yet, although it looks to be top-of-the-line as well. The older style Reverso had softer metal that wore through over time. My old one is very sharp on the load end from repeated raps (but I loved it!).

In addition to several of the points brought up by other members, I would like to stress a couple points. The auto-locking feature of the ATC Guide (or Reverso) is incredibly useful. First, it allows you to build your belay off the anchor instead of off yourself. This is especially useful in a rescue situation, as you no longer have to escape your belay in order to initiate further rescue actions. It also gives you some freedom of movement, which is positive for your comfort, as well as allowing you to be more efficient by hydrating, eating a bar, adding/subtracting layers, checking topos, etc while your second is climbing. Furthermore, it allows you to belay two seconds simultaneously, which is far more efficient than climbing one at a time on two ropes or climbing with a 20' 'donkey tail'. It does take some good rope management skills though...

As for rapping, I almost always rap on an extension unless I am cleaning sport pitches. This moves the device away from my body which allows for several benefits. There is little possibility for sucking loose clothing, straps, or hair (not a problem for me, but some people...) into the device and ruining your day. The extension also doubles as your method to clip into the top anchor. It also allows you to place your autoblock (Roger_Out's dead man's catch) on your belay loop instead of on the leg loop, which considering it's my back-up system in case something else goes south, I want it to be full-strength. This also lets you use both hands for braking. Finally, there is a nifty guide trick to turn your ATC Guide or Reverso into an ascender in a matter of seconds if need be (I have actually used this quite often to free stuck ropes and in crevasse rescue).

I think the Gri-Gri is great for sport climbing. It's low drag to pull when belaying and locks off. However, I would only recommend experienced belayers use it (which is somewhat contrary to popular opinion). This is because when used improperly, the device loses all friction. I have corrected several people who were holding the device in a way that could lead to a ground fall. It is also bigger and bulkier than the ATC Guide and less versatile. For multipitch or alpine I typically carry the ATC.

If there is going to be little vertical terrain I might rely on a munter hitch. I don't like the munter for long stretches of vertical ground because it puts twists in the rope, but it's good to know as a back-up for most anything. Most rescue systems take advantage of munter-mule combinations to create a load-releasable hitch that can be tied off and be safe to leave (if you need to rappel down to someone, for instance).

Back to pure rappelling, if you have little or no reason to belay, the figure-8 is smoother and faster than ATC's or most other rappel devices. I think Freedom of the Hills has a table of different devices and their pros and cons.

About 80% of climbing accidents occur on the descent. A vast majority of accidents in Accidents in North American Mountaineering are lowering and rappelling accidents! Don't get casual!