Date of Incident
Near Miss: I arrived to the top of the climb to find my partner had incorrectly set up the belay device into what he thought was 'direct to the anchor'. He said he wanted 'to practice'. Although he had intended to set up his tube style device in guide-mode it was not designed for this, so had in fact simply set up a floating plate which would have made a fall very difficult if not impossible to hold, requiring the brake hand go above the belay (out and away from his position - very strenuous).
My friend had belayed direct off the anchor with an Italian hitch in the past and had seen others (namely myself) belay direct with an ATC Guide. This led him to feel confident enough to practice belaying direct with his belay device, but resulted in a dangerous configuration.
He should have properly researched and practiced the technique, following manufacturer instructions. Thankfully I didn't test the anchor during my second.
Trad rock climbing
At the belay
Belaying failure or error
Rescue Services Involved?
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All reports are self-submitted and have not been edited by the BMC in any way, so please keep an open mind regarding the lessons and causes of each incident or near-miss.