scouts-l Mail Archive for November of 1999: Re: CLIMBING PRACTICES for unit outings (not council camps)
Mario Suarez (Steam0235@AOL.COM
Tue Nov 09 1999 - 10:26:18 CST
To your first comment as to why a seperate line is needed at all, I have
worked in our council camps climbing program for several years and I have
seen scouts who were rappeling either let go of the rope completely (yes that
has been knowen to happen) or they start trying to race down and started
going to fast. It's often a matter of they lose there footing for a second
and try to use there hands to steady then selves.
The third method you describe is a fireman's belay. a person rappels
without a seperate belay line and a belay will pull his line tight if he
seems to be going to fast. This does work in most cases. If your belaying
with an ATC, plate or other tuber you'll be stoped instantly. However with
larger 8s it's very hard to stop or slow a person qickly with that method of
As for the belayer walking them down after they finish a climb. This is
indeed safer than just letting the scout rappel. Remember that the socut on
the rappel will face much more distractions than one on the ground, he'll be
on a big adrinaline rush. The belayer however will be on the ground right
next to you. If you want to add a back up belay on teh ground more power to
In a message dated 11/9/99 9:13:30 AM Mountain Standard Time,
> 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.
> Any comments?
> P.S. Climb-on-Safely is what we are working to.