CMC Podcast 4 – Is the Belay Competency Drop Test Still Valid?
Contributors in this Episode
To be prepared for an edge transition gone wrong, the Belay Competency Drop Test is supposed to be representative of a fall onto a second line from your main line during an edge transition. The Belay Competency Drop Test is a 200kg mass falling 1 meter onto 3 meters of rope with no more than 1 meter of rope slipping through the device and the maximum arresting force felt on the anchor should be no more than 15 KN. This is now an ASTM standard: ASTM F2436 – 14(2019). In this episode hosted by Kelly Byrne with guests John McKently, LeRoy Harbach and Wayne Chapman we discuss the question, ‘Is the belay competency drop test and whistle test (where everyone lets go of the system at once) still a valid test method or rigging paradigm?’ and is there a better way?
- What is the Belay Competency Drop Test?
- Brief history of past papers and arguments discussing the topic.
- How do you have a good test to test something where you have to let go of it to make it work?
- Is there a way to account for the human element?
- Is there a better test?
- If one line fails, is it still controllable?
- Where do you want your best guy?
- What is the safest belay system?
- When was the last time there was a main line failure during a real operation as opposed to training?
- 1:05 ASTM F2436 – 14(2019) https://www.astm.org/Standards/F2436.htm
- 4:05 John Dill, 1991, Are You Really on Belay?, Part 1 (from Response Magazine, Summer 1991) https://caves.org/section/vertical/nhback/NH32.pdf
- 4:05 John Dill, 1991, Again…..Are you REALLY on Belay, Part 2 (from Response Magazine, Fall 1991) http://itrsonline.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/OnBelay.Thorne.20071.pdf
- Russel McCullar, An Analysis of the Modern‐Day Belay: Competent Belay or Competent Belayer? http://itrsonline.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/McCullar-Belay-ITRS-2017-Revised_12.pdf
- 13:10 Kelly Byrne blog discussing not letting go: http://rescue2training.com/?p=1355
- 22:45 Kirk Mauthner, ITRS 2014 Moving Beyond 10:1 SSSF http://itrsonline.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/008.Mauthner.2014.pdf
- Kirk Mauthner, ITRS 2016 Dual Capability Two Tensioned Rope Systems (DC TTRS) http://itrsonline.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Mauthner-Presentation-ITRS-2016-v2.pdf
- 22:55 Mike Gibbs & Kevin Koprek, ITRS 2019 Two Tension or Not to Tension, http://itrsonline.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Two-Tension-or-Not-to-Tension_Koprek_2019.pdf
- 23:00/23:36 Russ McCullar ITRS 2017 An Analysis of the Modern‐Day Belay: Competent Belay or Competent Belayer? http://itrsonline.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/McCullar-Belay-ITRS-2017-Revised_12.pdf
- 23:00 Russ McCullar ITRS 2015 An Analysis of Traditional Un-tensioned Belays and Two-tensioned Rope Systems in Rope Rescue http://itrsonline.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/McCullar_Analysis-of-Traditional-and-Two-tensioned-Rope-Systems.pdf
- 23:10 Tom Pendley ITRS 2017 Slow Pull Testing of 8 mm Prusik Loops in Basket Hitch and Girth Hitch Configurations http://itrsonline.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/2017_Analysis-of-8mm-prusik-loops_Pendley.pdf
- 23:15 Tom Pendley ITRS 2018 Belay performance testing with a Petzl ASAP Lock at the anchor http://itrsonline.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Pendley_Petzl-ASAP-Belay-Testing.pdf
- 23:15 Tom Pendley ITRS 2017 Slow Pull Testing of Track Line Tensioning Systems Used in High Line Systems. http://itrsonline.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/2017_High-line-force_Pendley.pdf
- 33:10 Kirk Mauthner, 2016, EMBC Rope Rescue NIF Equipment Testing Summary Report https://members.bcsara.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/EMBC-Rope-NIF-Basecamp-Testing-Results.pdf
- DRR Rescue 2012 AZ Vortex Drop Testing Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEyUnEEwdLI&feature=youtu.be
- SAR3 List of Belay Testing: http://sarrr.weebly.com/belays.html
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