Alpine guides often carry with them a ropeman to use to make simultaneous climbing a little more safe. Climbers often climb simultaneously while on Alpine routes. As a section may too unsafe to climb unroped, but a normal pitched climb (where one person climbs at a time whilst being belayed) is too slow. So the climbers climb together, with one person leading attached together with a rope. The lead climber placing protection to protect them, with the second climber removing the protection as he comes across it. In this way the climbers attempt to protect themselves during the maneouver. However it is potentially very serious should the second climber fall. As this would pull the rope tight and probably pull the lead climber off as well. Who will fall to twice the distance between himself and the last piece of protection he placed (assuming he is fortunate enough and that protection holds his fall)
When climbing simultaneously, the lead climber could use a ropeman to avoid being pulled off, if the person following falls. When the lead climber comes across a strong anchor point, he attaches the ropeman to the rope and the anchor. It is attached so that the rope feeds through the ropeman easily in the direction the lead climber is going. The ropeman will then automatically lock if the rope pulls in the opposite direction (which would happen if the second climber fell). Weighing only 92 grams, and being so small it is a great piece of kit to put on the back of your harness incase you need it.