How To Use An ATC Device

Do you want to know how to use an ATC device? An ATC device for climbing is a device that helps slow the rope in case of a climbing fall. It can be used in different ways. First, an ATC device can be used as a rappelling device. A climber that needs to climb down a wall can clip an ATC to his harness through a locking carabiner and go down safely, slowly releasing the rope while hanging from it. When using an ATC as a belaying device, a belayer can give a climber some safety in the event of a fall while the climber is either leading a climb or doing a top-roped route.

  1. To use an ATC device, first clip the ATC to your harness. Use a locking carabiner to accomplish this.
  2. Take a bite on the rope and make it go through both the ATC window and the carabiner, then lock it again. Note that most ATCs have a drawing that details the correct way to use them.
  3. If the purpose is rappelling, then both ropes coming from the anchor have to go by each of the openings of the ATC for additional safety. For belaying, one rope will go through one opening. Sometimes one of the openings is wider than the other, so you can choose which to use. The smaller will provide more friction and more acute rope angles, while the wider opening of the ATC will allow for faster rope movement.
  4. Always double check the equipment. This includes yours and that of the people around you. This will help to prevent accidents caused by preventable mistakes. Read the equipment's instructions before going out, and be familiar with how to use every piece you bring.
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