Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
Problem: you’re belaying your second directly off the anchor station when he falls. He hollers up, asking to be lowered 10 feet to a ledge. To feed the requisite slack with many self-braking belay devices, you’d have to hook a release hole with an extra carabiner (possibly adding a sling) and use mechanical advantage. Solution: the Mad Lock from Mad Rock (madrockclimbing.com). Applying only manual pressure (depending on the climber’s weight/belayer’s strength) to a protruding horn, you can gradually release the lock. Another clever twist comes via the removable friction pin, which allows the Mad Lock to handle, with customizable bite, ropes from 8 to 11mm.
A LITTLE HELPWhen the Mad Lock’s set up as a standard, tube-style device, this secondary horn offers a handy rope-wrap point, so you can lock off your climber while she dogs the project du jour.
HORN OF PLENTYThe aluminum horn that gives the Mad Lock its unorthodox appearance has two functions: 1) it’s the cantilever with which you release the device when belaying off an anchor in self-braking mode, and 2) it’s a bottle opener, for brews with your bizzled braus (!).
ADJUSTABLE FRICTIONUse a small hex key to add or remove this secondary pin, to custom-size the rope slots. Up the friction to handle skinnier ropes or heavier climbers.