A Figure of Eight Descender is a versatile tool, and here are some modes of usage. Please note, that this is not a comprehensive instructional, and many nuances of using a Figure Eight Descender maybe missing in this limited scope article.
LEAD BELAYING: STICHT MODE
Figure Eight is primarily a descender. While it’s primary purpose is not belaying, it has adequate friction for top-rope belaying in Sport Mode or Munter Mode. For Lead Belaying, only one mode is recommended, and that is the Sticht Mode.
Below modes, provide various levels of friction.
This is the most common or the standard mode for descending. Please note, that the rope around the neck should pass from the front, or facing the climber/descender. The rope passing from behind, creates a high risk of Lark’s foot or girth hitch. When the rope passes from behind, it can ride up when encountering an obstacle, and form the Lark’s foot.
Lark’s Foot or Girth Hitching risk is as shown in the next image. This locks up the device, and the operator wouldn’t be able to descend in this mode!
OTHER MODES OF FRICTION WITH FIGURE EIGHT DESCENDER:
Munter or Cross Mode:
Figure-4 Wrap or Standard Vertaco Mode:
Sport Vertaco Mode:
Tete d’alouette Vertaco Mode: