scouts-l Mail Archive for November of 1999: CLIMBING PRACTICES for unit outings (not council camps)
Anthony J. Hitchings, ASM T42, San Mateo (AHitchi@BART.GOV
Tue Nov 09 1999 - 09:51:59 CST
The other day we adults were receiving instructor training, and got to
wondering why the belay line is required during a scout's self-rappel. We
concluded that it was to allow for possible (albeit improbable) lack of
attention on the part of the rappelling scout - letting go- dropping etc.
So perhaps the belay line seemed warranted for scouts with no sense of self
preservtion. So, later, I am thinking about how we proposed letting the
scouts climb on belay, then have the belayer "walk" them down the pitch
(like in climbing gyms) - a process where the scout is at the mercy of the
belayer - i.e., only one scout is holding the rope. This situation seems
worse than the rappel situation, since the scpout on the pitch has no
control over the rope (in many cases, the up and down ropes are not close
enough). It seems that a backup is rquired for this case too. A simple
backup is to have a shadow belayer holding the rope, behind the principal
belayer. The shadow belyaer pulls the tail tight if the belayer is not
paying attention and lets go. Actually, the same method would work for
rappel, obviating the need for a separate belay line for a scout on rappel.
P.S. Climb-on-Safely is what we are working to.