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Item #: JR112-87226
THE THEORY OF BELAYING Arnold Wexler 1950 Softcover Reprint AAJ Article Fine Multiple Copies Available
By Wexler, Arnold
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Reprint from the AAJ, 1950. 26 pp, diagrams. Stapled reprint article. Fine-New and Unused. 

The is the first widely disseminated discussion of a modern technique of belaying the leader during a rock climb. It was a project that both the Sierra Club and the American Alpine Club took the lead in, as many experienced climbers as well as beinners were using belay methods that were inadequate. In the 1950s and 1960s, as rock climbing was starting to become a very popular but dangerous sport, this article became required reading and live practice to keep all those fledgling climbers alive. 

Arnold Wexler and Richard Leonard of the Sierra Club originally wrote this as a 32 page essay in the 1946 Sierra Club Bulletin, when it was reprinted in 1947 by the Sierra Club. Then the Alpine Club included it in the 1950 American Alpine Journal, and from that article this booklet was created.  

Leonard and Wexler in the 1960s expanded this essay into an 85 page booklet called Belaying The Leader, An Omnibus On Climbing Safety which was sold in climbing shops. 

A very important advance in belaying methods is proposed. The theory of belaying is finally approached in such a way as to accommodate the great stresses put on the rope, with the limitations of the strength of natural fiber ropes, and how the leader can be adequately protected.

The idea of allowing the rope to slide over the belayers body, or other static point, is shown to provide that margin of dynamic arresting of the fall. The 'dynamic belay' was better than allowing the rope to fail in a static belay.
 
Fortunately nylon ropes soon came into common use just after this was written, and just as higher climbing standards were being created, so adequate protection was available for climbers, with a much simpler methods of belaying for the second or belayer. 

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