Alpinhack: Half mast safety device with reverse lock

Tubers with eyelets, i.e. tubers with a plate function such as ATC-Guide, Reverso etc., are often used on multi-pitch routes. Because in the event of a second climber fall, the rope is blocked. Instead of a tuber, you can also use carabiners in an emergency. We'll show you how.

An article by Gebi Bendler – published for the first time in the trade journal mountaineering

The good old half mast safety device has the disadvantage that the brake cable must never be released, otherwise the second climber will fall if he falls or is resting. But this safety device can easily be equipped with a backstop.

This creates a similarly convenient belay system as when belaying with a tuber with a plate function. Only a second carabiner is required to install the backstop.

Instead of a tuber with a plate function, you can also use two carabiners in an emergency and thus create a second climber with a backstop. Illustration: Matthias Baudrexl | www.bergwerk-gestaltung.de
Instead of a tuber with a plate function, you can also use two carabiners in an emergency and thus create a second climber with a backstop. Illustration: Matthias Baudrexl | www.bergwerk-gestalt.de

Half mast safety device with reverse lock: This is how it works

  1. In the first step, as usual, we hang an HMS karabiner in the belay anchor, place a half mast hitch knot in this karabiner and check it by pulling it several times in both directions.
  2. We pull in a little rope so that the knot folds over into the "hauling-in" position. Then we loosen the knot but leave it in this position (1).
  3. We hang the extra carabiner in the MDF knot as shown in (2).
  4. We hang the second climber rope in the carabiner and screw on the locking device (3).
  5. We make sure by pulling on both ends of the rope that the rope can only be pulled in in the desired direction.

Of course, a tuber with a plate function is a bit more convenient to use, but this system also works very well in an emergency. Just try.


About the magazine bergundstieg

Mountaineering March

Bergundstieg is an international magazine for safety and risk in mountain sports and illuminates the topics of equipment, mountain rescue, rope technology, accident and avalanche knowledge. Bergundstieg is published by the Alpine Associations of Austria (PES), Germany (DAV), South Tyrol (AVS) and Switzerland (Customer Service).


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Credits: Cover photo Matthias Baudrexl | www.bergwerk-gestalt.de

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