Close Call

11:45 a.m. on July 1, 2013 (EDT)
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I foolishly went out to the crag Sunday in the heat (very hot) and witnessed a near ground-fall from a group nearby. 

To be fair I must mention that all four of them are better climbers than me and most of them sent a 5.10b that I can't and they all easily sent a 5.10a that took me three+ tries.

The story:

A guy was belaying a lead climber and she was nearing the fourth clip when she fell suddenly without warning.  Her belayer wasn't paying attention and the rope slipped through his ATC causing the climber to fall to within eight feet of the deck before he finally caught her. 

She was cussing as she fell and the volume really increased as the rope slipped and never stopped until she was untied and informed the belayer that he should retrieve his grigri and use it for the remainder of the day. 

As I left to go home I noticed the same guy belaying with the grigri with his hands hanging at his side. 

I'd rather have an alert belayer with an ATC than an inattentive one with a grigri.

4:02 p.m. on July 1, 2013 (EDT)
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We switched gyms and one woman who came with us (ticketed at the first gym) flunked the belay test at the new gym and left in a snit. I didn't know her and was a bit surprised - she'd climbed for a couple of years.

I have since watched her back at the original gym, belaying while carrying on long conversations with friends on the floor beside her while ignoring her climbing partner. She will never belay me. 

Grisgris are for beginners, but they can't compensate for inattentiveness.

July 28, 2014
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