Finding a climbing partner that weighs the same is hard to do. Many climbers team up with their significant other or climb with youth and the weight difference can lead to dangerous situations. When we say heavier lead climber, we mean a lead climber that is heavier than their belayer.
If a lead climber that weighs more than their belayer takes a big fall, they can pull their belayer up and into the wall at dangerous speeds. Many climbing accidents have results from this.
The Edelrid Ohm is the first product to try and succeed at fixing the unbalanced lead/belayer problem. As Edelrid says, “It is a solution for the problems experienced by climbing partners with a significant difference in weight.
“That is to say the risk for a heavier lead climber if their partner has difficulty controlling their falls and the risk for a lighter belayer if their partner’s falls pull them off the ground, hurling them against the wall. The Ohm is an assisted-braking resistor that you install at the first bolt in the safety chain.”
The Ohm is fixed to a quickdraw that the lead climber pre-places the rope through and then clips to the first bolt. If the lead climber falls, the Ohm adds friction and takes some of the weight away from the belayer.
After using the device in climbing gyms for the past few weeks, we can attest to how much safer the Ohm makes lead climbing. It can be used indoors or outdoors.
It makes no difference to the lead climber in terms of clipping action, but kicks into action during a fall. For more on the great new device, see here.