The Black Diamond ATC Guide is a supremely versatile belay device with a self-locking Guide Mode. First and foremost the ATC Guide is an excellent traditional belay plate which feeds smoothly and locks up easily. The toothed grooves are slightly smoother than on the ATC XP and so there is less grabbing when abseiling or lowering, but plenty of stopping power, even when you're belaying a heavy leader. The windows in the side of the device reduce the weight down to just 80g without compromising strength and help to dissipate heat when abseiling.
The self-locking Guide Mode is extremely useful for those who climb with multiple seconds or for multi-pitch routes where one person will be doing most of the leading. It allows both seconds to be bought up at once, or for the second to be brought up on a direct belay to your anchor. This lets you climb more quickly (allowing you to do more), but also potentially increases safety margins when you're alpine climbing. The Auto-block release hole is now large enough to accept a small carabiner making lowering a second much easier.
The ATC Guide is a brilliant all-round belay device suitable for a range of abilities from novices (with its amazing stopping power) to alpine climbers (thanks to its time-saving Guide Mode).
Black Diamond ATC Guide Features:
- Multiple friction modes for belay and rappel
- Machined windows through the device result in weight savings
- Guide Mode works with one or two climbers ascending or descending
- Enlarged auto-block release hole to accept a small carabiner
- Durable cable holds its shape and resists getting caught between ropes
- Handles ropes from 8.1mm to 11mm