Italian company Climbing Technology has developed a new belay device called the Click Up. Lightweight and simple to use, the auto-locking belay device employs an HMS carabiner to do the hard work. Very little effort is required to give or take in slack and lock off if your climber should fall.
To use, simply insert a rope bight into the Click Up and clip your HMS carabiner through the belay device on top of the loop and then through your belay loop on your harness- much as you would any other belay device. In this mode, it is easy to move the rope up and down to give or take in slack.
To arrest a fall, simply pull down on the free end of the rope and the HMS carabiner will automatically "click" into the lock off position of the belay device. When you are ready to lower, simply apply a bit of pressure with the palm of your hand to the outside of the Click Up and the rope will gently feed through. If the climber falls while being lowered, the carabiner will automatically click back into lock mode. Apply enough pressure and you can "click" the carabiner back into the free position to start taking in or giving out slack again.
The Company has developed some other very interesting climbing products. One of the most innovative is the avalanche shovel which uses an extremely lightweight and strong ice axe as a handle. You store the shovel head in your pack and use the ice axe while alpine climbing. When needed, simply click the ice axe into the back of the shovel head and it's ready for use.
Similar to the new Black Diamond leashes coming out, Climbing Technology has created a coiled ice tool leash that clips into your harness, not around your wrist. This way you can climb in the same style as you would leashless but not have the worry of losing a tool on those long climbs where you rappelled in! I also like their ice screws with integrated quickdraw and easy turn handle which you can see in the right side of the picture below.
Watch this video to see the Click Up belay device in action. It's in German but you will get the gist of how the device is meant to work.
Stefano Codazzi from Climbing Technology gave me a Click Up to test out. So who is up for some climbing to play with the new belay device? I am offering to be your belay slave! Stefano wants some cool US shots of the Click Up in action for his product catalog. Ouray anyone?