The Black Diamond ATC Guide makes belaying easier and safer on multi-pitch climbs.
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Share your thoughts
IS THIS A PRODUCT TO RECOMMEND?
IS THIS A PRODUCT TO RECOMMEND?
Great Belay Device
This belay device is on of the best devices i've purchased. Love the versatility and its use for multi-pitch. Definitely needs to be part of every climber's arsenal
Daisy Chain Failure
Here is a video BD put up on their website warning people about DasiyChain Failure. Thought I would post this video just so climbers are more aware.
Belaying with ATC Guide
In this photo I am belaying my brother (the guy who looks like he's trapped under a rock) on a thick rope and my other partner (who has just made it to the belay) on a skinny rope (the purple one).
An improvement on the standard ATC, but also requires a bit of thinking. I belayed two following climbers with this the other day which was pretty cool, but something I seldom do, but I could see how it would be very useful for guiding, which is perhaps why it is called the "ATC Guide." To set it up for two followers requires that it is hung from the anchors (not your harness) and it needs to be at an appropriate height, or it is difficult to feed. Standing on a ledge with the ATC at chest level is ideal. If it is lower or higher, it can be difficult to feed. On my first belay I accidentally fed the rope in backwards and although it still worked, it was obviously hard to feed in/out rope (the notches grab). I got it right on the second belay and the beauty of the device became apparent - you can belay two climbers on two different diameter ropes and lock either one off while still reeling in the other. Pretty cool. For belaying a leader, you need to change it over from the anchors to your harness like a regular belay device and of course, you should only be belaying one leader at a time.
The ATC Guide also works well for rappelling with different sized ropes.
The beauty of this device is that you can almost climb as fast with three people as with two because both followers can come up at the same time.
I like this device very much
Upgrading to the ATC guide is far more convenient than my previous method of redirecting a hip belay on a standard ATC through the anchor master-point while girth hitched to a double-length sling clipped to the top shelf. The only drawback to belaying directly off of the anchor is the loss of a dynamic belay afforded by the other method, but I still think that overall it is far safer, especially because of the autolock (my second is still safe if the party above me kicks off a loose rock and takes me out of commission while I'm belaying her.) Lowering is a bit jerky, especially when you first start. Make sure to keep your hand on the brake strand when lowering to maintain control of the speed. For even better control you have to rig up a tricky little redirect which attaches the lowering hole to your harness, allowing you to control it with your body weight (be sure to add a prussic backup if using this method). Doing so isn't usually necessary in normal climbing; I would only rig such a system in a rescue scenario. The ATC Guide also allows you to safely belay two seconds at the same time, so that a party of three can climb as fast as a party of two (or a party of four as well; leader ascends, belays two seconding climbers, than begins to lead the next pitch as one second belays him from below and the other belays the fourth climber from above). I have no betta as to how this device compares with competitors such as the Petzl Reverso 3. I've heard that this works better with beefier cords and the Petzl works better with thin ones, but I have no personal experience to back that up. My main reason for buying the BD instead of the Petzl was that, with the addition of the grippy teeth (which I almost never use for standard belaying and repelling on my 10.3 rope) and the guide functions, this device looks and handles exactly the same as my trusty old ATC, giving it a nice feeling of familiarity.
You gotta buy one
So my standard issue BD ATC took a nasty 37m fall... Though there were no signs of carnage, it's not something you should take a chance with, especially when they don't cost very much! So since I had to buy a new one there is really only one choice, this one. I plan on getting into multipitch so it was a no-brainer. So many features, so many options. If you have to buy a new one, you gotta buy this one.
Great belay device. I've used this a lot and a few others, and this one stands above the rest. If you're looking for a controlled belay this is what you want, I was tired of the jerky feel of lesser devices and wanted something I could control the belay with and this is exactly it and then some. Lots of features, great value, get one!
I've only used this ATC Guide a couple of times but it's so much smoother that any other belay device I've used. I haven't yet belayed off anchor but I'm going to learn how and then do it.
lightweight, cheep, gri gri sub?
this is an amazingly versatile piece of gear. the teeth on one side are so useful for alpine and ice climbing allowing you to safely run thin alpine ropes, the fact that you can belay off anchor with a self locking device is so helpful in the bigwall climbing world. and as for me ill avoid dragging a gri gri up a long pitch any time i can. and you can repell with it! recomended.
Best All Around Belay Device
This thing should be on every climbers rack do to its versatiliy, O and its cheaper than the reverso.It can belay the leader as good as any tube style device on the market. It can make smooth rappels even with a large pack on. It can belay the second in guide mode which is self locking. It can even function as a crude ratchet in a hauling or rescue scenario. In addition all climbers who do multipitch should have a device like this because belaying the second directly off the anchor is safer 95% of the time compared to redirecting the belay(pulley effect).
great belay device
Can't imagine to do a multi pitch climb without ATC, belaying is so easy (especially for the leader).
Figured I should upgrade from my first ATC when I dropped it off a 70-foot wall... so this was the answer. Wanted the top-rope belay capability, (my climbing buddy is about 70lbs lighter than I am, so it makes life easier for him that way). It's heavier than the reverso3, but in a piece of gear this small is it worth 30% more money for tiny weight savings? Your choice, but I love this ATC.
There isn't really a belay/rappel situation where this does not shine, the multitude of configurations allows for anything you might need.
Storm Mountain, Big Cottonwood Canyon, UT
My friend, Eric
takes a little time to properly get use to using this thing. you should know how to use this thing before you take it out. works like a dream after it is set up. great for belaying off an anchor. always comes with me when i am lead climbing !
What are the mainly differences between...
What are the mainly differences between this and reverso3, apart from weight. What is the best choice?
The reverso3 has its belay anchor loop in the opposite direction than the ATC guide. This supposedly allows for easier belaying off of anchors. Personally, I think they work about equally well, but I like the feel of the reverso3 a bit better. Combined with the light weight, thats the one I'd go for.
there really isn't much difference besides brand name. the atc guide has the anchor loop vertical and the reverso has the loop horizontal. it really comes down to personal preference between these two devices
It ultimately boils down to whether you want to buy American or French. In my opinion Black Diamond and Petzl are both at the top of the industry; I feel equally comfortable with both brands, knowing the thousands of man hours of development and testing which go into everything they make. That being said, if you grew up on the standard ATC like me, you might prefer the ATC Guide to the Reverso 3, because it looks slightly more similar (both are used in exactly the same way)
I've owned both the Reverso3 and the ATC guide. The Reverso3 is made of a softer metal and after a season of climbing doesn't inspire much confidence. The metal deforms easily and can develop sharp edges which will cut your ropes. The ATC guide I have is made of a harder metal and has not developed this issue. Something to keep in mind, all things are not created equal....
This would be the loaded edition of the ATC. I still prefer the ATC for simple and quick rappels as I feel it feeds rope quicker than this and the XP. However, there is no arguing that this device has all of the bells and whistles. The extra friction can be nice when belaying for heavier climbers or teaching someone new how to rappel for the first time (same as the XP). I probably won't use any of the other features that the Guide has any time soon, but I got the thing at a song and I cannot complain!
What are these grooves for?
Ugg ... the grooves again. The v shape grooves are worthless. They just dig into your rope decreasing your rope life. Many people still use a regular atc to belay and descend and have never had a friction problem. Buy a Trango B52. The B52 design is hard to beat.
How-to Video: Using the Black Diamond ATC Guide
Find out how to belay or lower one or two seconding climbers in guide mode with ease and control.