Great debate – belay loops

Home Forums Accidents, near-misses and mishaps Great debate – belay loops

This topic contains 7 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Mike Webb 12 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #3298 Reply

    John Knight

    Clip into just the belay loop, or int othe harness too? I got told off the other day for using just clipping the belay loop (despite the fact that they were the manufacturer’s instructions), and got told that clipping the other two points was ‘industry standard’.

    I said I was cautious about such advice and usually follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Turns out it’s a big argument. Good link below, thoughts people?

    #3299 Reply

    Mr T

    Clip/Belay off belay loop. Hence the name.

    Tie into double loops that belay loop is threaded through.

    Nuff said.

    #3300 Reply


    Agreed. The belay loop is designed to clip into. I think the clipping thru both harness and leg loop comes from the old days when there was no belay loop?? That said a lot of people still do it. I guess it just comes down to what you were first taught.

    #3301 Reply


    Safety in numbers john. Two points are safer than one.

    #3302 Reply


    If the manufacturer says that the belay loop is sufficient, it is sufficient. No sane manufacturer would risk a business-blowing lawsuit by providing not just insufficient instructions but actually deliberately misleading instructions.

    In this case no need for backup: not that this is relevant in this (as above) but there are many single point failures in the safety system, like the rope, harness waist loop, belay plate, dreaming belayer etc.

    The belay loop (and the rest of the harness) do need to be ocassionally inspected for wear and tear, but the manufacturer instruction will say that anyway.

    Well-meaning people giving uninformed advice should be politely listened to, thanked, and ignored.

    #3303 Reply


    Hi all,

    It’s a belay loop. Were you climbing or belaying when asked to clip into the top and bottom loops John?

    When climbing not belaying, I will continue to tie into both points. When belaying a leader either outdoors or in gyms, I will continue to clip both top and bottom partly because that puts my belay device exactly how and where I want it for maximum control and safety which I guess is fine by my climnbing partners. Belaying at the top of a climb or at a belay on a multi-pitch climb, I’ll use what ever gives me the best and safest geometry. Belaying top rope in gyms, the belay loop is generally easier and it certainly should be strong enough. Abseilling, usually the loop. The people I took advice from generally weren’t uninformed, but I and I alone am responsible for the decisions I take, whoever gave me what ever advice. The most important safety item we possess is between our ears.


    #3304 Reply

    John Knight

    I was standing by the counter buying a mars bar! I’ll tie into the hip and leg loops, but would never tie into a belay-loop, that’d be crazy! 😉 Most stuff I do outdoors involving a krab is jsut belaying, otherwise I just tie-in the the leg and waist loops. Clip wise, I used to do belay loop and waist, then someone told me it was crazy (will remain nameless), then other bloke told me to use both. I’ve since decided, stuff the lot of ’em, use the belay-loop when clipping, and depending on what I’m doing, use me noggin’ and allow for redundancies and failures, depending on whatever that will entail for whatever situation.

    #3305 Reply

    Mike Webb

    When rapping or belaying, I clip into a D mallion that I have going through my waist and leg loops (the mallion also helps when doing change overs). When climbing I will tie through my waist and leg loops.

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