Best approved Belay devices for Vertical (Level 2) Cave Leader

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Now that use of a Petzl Stop or Pulley Jammer are no longer approved for lifelining for BCA Cave/Mine Leader Award which of the various devices listed as suitable are recommended and why? Which devices are easiest generate least friction while taking in and therefore work best with hauling systems such as a Z rig or counterbalance?

Pete K:
Hi Steve. You'll want to pick up a device with the EN15151-1 certification and manufacturer approval for belaying/lifelining. There are many devices out there with that but the one that is almost universally found on Vertical Cave & Mine Leader harnesses is the Petzl RIG.

Provided it's not muddy...

Pete K:
Depends on the experience of the user and placement of friction krab. I have been using mine all day today on utterly filthy ropes in mines full of volcanic clay and shale mud. I use the RIG for personal caving now more than the Stop because I personally find it far better to use for the things I tend to do on rope (at work and play).

I've primarily used a RIG for lifelining groups in caves for years now. I even use it frequently for the safety line in non-cave abseils. I also use it for positioning when working at height. But I still prefer a Stop for cave abseiling - I might change my mind when I'm forced to get one of the new models, though.


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