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TOPIC: ATC or figure of eight for rappelling? which one is better?

ATC or figure of eight for rappelling? which one is better? 7 years, 2 months ago #554

What to use? ATC or figure of eight for rappelling? what are the pros and cons of both?
  • uphillclimb
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Re: ATC or figure of eight for rappelling? which one is better? 7 years, 2 months ago #555

Both these belay types are good enough. You would have to chose depending on the usage. While some experts say that figure 8 are hardly used, some say that ATC tubular belay is less preferred while rappelling. Both the types have their pros and cons – but ATC might have a slight advantage, read on..

ATC
The ATC is basically a Tubular belay and is the most widely used belay device.

Pros :
  • These are compact, light and entail convenient usage. They can be used with a number of rope diameters and can accommodate both single and double ropes. They don't lead to twisting or Kinking of ropes and can be used for both, rappelling and belaying.
Cons:
  • On the downside, some rappelling enthusiasts, especially lighter-weight climbers, have found that tubular belay devices are slow for rappelling.

Figure 8

Figure 8 is a belay device which resembles the digit 8. It is restricted to top-roped setups.

Pros:
  • Figure 8s are efficient and smooth. The best part about figure 8’s is that they dissipate heat properly and just about any rope diameter can be paired with this belay.
Cons:
  • Figure 8s offer insufficient braking for anything but top-roping, unless they are doubled up to be used as a belay plate with a bight of rope going through only the smaller hole.
  • Moreover, they require more attention and more force from the hand of the belayer than other devices and last, but not the least, they can lead to twisting of the climbing rope, leading to difficulties in handling the rope.
So you can conclude that ATC is a better option and Black Diamond is a well known brand for belays.
Read more on –
www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/belay-device.html
climbing.about.com/od/climbinggear/a/BelayRapDevices.htm
  • sheereeb
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Re: ATC or figure of eight for rappelling? which one is better? 7 years, 2 months ago #560

Have used both and would say that each one has proved to be more useful than the other depending on the situation (in case of rappelling and how long the pitch is ) .

The only reason I personally prefer figure of 8 and have been using it for years is because of the ease of avalibility of it in Stores in India . Even wild craft keeps it . Where as ATC is difficult to find as compared to figure of 8 .
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