I broke my personal rule of always clipping my belay device to the rear of my harness when not in use. It was a cold day and I was wearing lots of bulky layers which made it hard to check the front of my harness. Looking down at my belay device I assumed it was clipped to the strong belay loop when in fact it was simply clipped to a plastic gear loop. I began abseiling and immediately noticed it felt wrong (all the weight on the waist belt and none taken by the leg loops). I pulled back over the top of the crag and was shocked to realise I had just dangled 25m above ledges on a plastic gear loop.
I obviously should have tried harder to pull all the bulky clothing aside and eyeballed exactly what the karabiner was clipped to. By religiously clipping the belay device to the rear of your harness when not in use will make such an incident less likely.
Trad rock climbing
Belaying failure or error
Rescue Services Involved?
12 May 2019, 14:40:11
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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.