In the next few articles I will review what we covered, hopefully passing on some valuable tips and inspiring you to go take one of these classes on your own. No matter how good my article (or stolen pictures) are, they will never replace practicing with an instructor.
Ready? How to escape a belay...
OR How to leave an annoying child hanging safely so you can go get a snack.
You will need to know: The Mule knot, the Klemheist knot, the Munter hitch.
Step 1: Tie off your belay device
Step 2: Transfer the load
Take a cordalette and hitch it to the loaded rope, about a foot above the belay device, with a Klemheist knot.
Take a locking carabiner and attach it to the anchor.
Take the free end of the cordalette and wrap it around the new locking carabiner with a munter hitch. Make sure that the munter is in the "go" position, meaning that it is oriented to take a load as soon as it is weighted, and won't flip over. See the direction of load here. Tie off the munter with another mule knot. This website has an excellent animation.
Now you have the load bearing rope, and the secondary cordalette both attached to the anchor and tied off.
Step 3: Escape the belay
Make sure the Klemheist is pushed up as far as it will go, and that the cordalette is taut. If it is not you will end up lowering your climber a bit, which may cause pain if they are stuck or injured.
Undo the mule knot from your belay device and carefully allow the rope to feed through it till the cordalette has been weighted. Remove the belay device and carabiner.
Attach another locking carabiner to the anchor. Using a munter/mule combination, hitch the climbing rope on to the new carabiner. Make sure that the munter is in the "go" position. This should look like the image above. (Note: The munter on the climbing rope is not in the "go" position. Not at all.)
When you are done you will have two biners attached to the anchor, the cordalette connected by a munter/mule to one, and the climbing rope connected by a munter/mule to the other. It should look like the image on the right. (Note, in the image instead of a Klemheist, we used a biner and a tiblock.)
Step 4: Get your stuff back
Undo the mule from the cordalette and slowly transfer the load back on to the climbing rope.
Undo the Klemheisted cordalette and carabiner and take them with you as you continue your rescue.
Or leave them on the ground as you walk away in disgust.
Warning! The information provided on this page may be incomplete, inaccurate or outright incorrect. Use your own judgment when using the information provided here. Considerable attention and effort have been made to ensure that these descriptions are accurate. However, many critical factors cannot be controlled. No responsibility is accepted for incidents arising from the use of this material.