– Every climber has a preference when it comes to belaying a partner or rigging a rappel. What do you prefer? ATC? Figure 8? Gri-Gri? ATC guide? Belay plate? With so many options to catch your partner which is the best? Safest? Most versatile? I believe most climbers begin their climbing career being taught one method and stick with that till the day they retire. Others diversify their technical abilities, learn the gambit of devices and safely ascend or descend any climb with any device at hand.
As far as I’m concerned, I always have an ATC Guide attached to my harness. It’s lightweight, versatile, simple, friction device. It is great for all facets of climbing; single pitch sport, multi-pitch trad, or big wall.
Besides knowing your devices all climbers should be familiar with the Munter Hitch. This little bend of the rope through a locking carabiner could be what saves you the day if a piece of gear gets dropped or left at home. Regardless of what you use know there are several devices out there and a multitude of uses for each. Familiarize yourself with them and broaden your spectrum when it comes to belaying and rappelling devices and techniques.