Click Up Review
Climbing Technology Click Up Review
Mountain Works are the importers of Climbing Technology’s new belay device the Click Up. Brought onto the UK market in 2010 this device rivals other such semi automatic belay devices for sports climbing like the Gri Gri and the Ed. I have been using the device now for a few months and have been impressed. In this review you will read my views of the device put to use in three main areas; personal sports climbing, group peer belaying and other (those ways in we as instructors, use a bit of kit in other applications).
The belay device has no moving parts and is really smooth on most ropes. It is designed to be used with ropes from 9mm diameter to 10.5mm. When the load comes onto the rope it automatically “Clicks Up” in a semi automatic* way into a locking position. To resume the normal belaying position the belayer simply pushes forwards on the body, taking in is still possible in the locked position. The device lies at the top end of the scale of grippy belay devices and is intended for bolted climbing only.
*like all semi automatic devices you are still required to hold the “dead end” of the rope.
In the Click Up’s instructions the recommendation is to use a HMS karabiner with a 12mm round bar, they recommend their Concept HMS karabiner with Spring bar which can be brought individually or as part of a kit. After personal, extensive testing on various styles of locking crab I found that the best is an oval 12mm bar locking crab, the style used for pulleys. The HMS crabs have a tendency of acting in a different way if the click up lies in the corners of the crab. I beam technology is also not ideal as this changes the biting point of the device. My old style of Petzl OK oval shaped carabiner is the best I used with the device, second is the newer version of the OK, Climbing Technology’s Oval Pillar SG or the DMM Ultra O.
For personal climbing it is really simple to use and unlike other devices, if threaded the wrong way it works like a normal belay device with out the click up mechanism and the climber is less likely to hit the deck due to lack of control. In my experience devices like the Mammut Smart or the Wild Country SRC have the tendency of locking if the climber suddenly hauls up a length of rope without the belayer being ready for it, with the Click Up this happens less often. It is also vastly lighter than the Gri Gri or the Ed which is a real bonus for your baggage allowance.
Whenever I am teaching climbing, no matter what level from taster session to multi day progressive courses, I like to keep as close to real climbing as possible ensuring my clients gain the most realistic experience to what they will encounter after their time with me and for that reason I tend not to use semi locking devices in a group environment. However saying this can see a their place in this environment…
Due to the fact the climber can still be taken in when in locked mode during a bottom top roping situation there is an increase in safety in the event of the belayer inadvertently letting go. It will also lock again when pushed too hard during decent.
For the times it is necessary for the instructor to lead an indoor route with a client belaying there is potential for an increased safety margin when using the Click Up. If taught to use as a conventional belay device it is worth remembering that a mistake in the direction of threading the rope a climbers load can still be held and lowered.
For a light weight alternative for ascending a fixed line adjacent to a novice lead climber the click up is ideal, lying permanently in the locked position it will elegantly auto slide up your rope if you choose to climb rather than jumar. When jumaring the taking in is effortless however will never lock if diverted through your ascender. In the event of simultaneous lowering of you and your client to the ground there is enough friction (dependent on rope diameter) to lower safely, an extra “braking crab” can always be added for increased friction if required.
So the Click Up has a place on my rack. It is worth testing the device and understanding its limits in a safe environment on a variety of ropes and karabiners before committing a climber to it. The accompanying instructions offer all of the information you need.
All Climbing Technology equipment is available to AMI members at a discount of 20%. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
POSTED: 16th November 2010
CATEGORIES: Gear Reviews