Belay Device and Rope

This article demonstrates how to properly attach a rope to the ATC belay device. 

  1. Locking carabiner: A locking carabiner is the ATC’s best friend and cannot live without it! It is highly recommended to use a smooth rounded pear shaped locker. This guarantees better rope handling and less wear and tear on the rope. Especially when rappelling, a bigger (pear shaped) carabiner is useful since there is more surface for the rope to glide over. The locking carabiner has to be clipped to the “Belay Loop” so that the “Belay Rope” is facing away from the belayer. The handling of the rope and safety is much increaed if the “Belay Rope” faces away. When clipping to the device make sure that rope loop an device loop are both clipped (as shown in picture)
  2. ATC Belay Device: Originally a brand name, the “ATC” has now replaced the generic term “tubular belay device”. Check our article on ATC bleay devices.
  3. + 4. “Climber’s Rope” and “Belay Rope”: after the rope is fiddled through the device, there are two “ropes” exiting off of one opening of the belay device. The one rope that leads to the climber is called the “Climber’s Rope”. The other rope that leads to a pile of extra rope on the ground (or eventually back to the belayer) is called “Belay Rope”. Check our article on belaying to learn about the Inn’s and Out’s of belaying


ATC caption

The Rope will only be in locking mode as long as the “Belay Rope” is being held below the device. In this position, the rope gets mechanically kinked off and therefore cannot pass through anymore = rope is locked in the device

inside page ATC belay device with rop through device