Surviving Sedona.....January 8th is my new second birthday

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High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Jan 14, 2013 - 12:17pm PT
the sling can hold 500 lbs for 5 seconds and your testing uses up about 3 seconds of that

What does this mean? Can anyone tell me? To me, it points to a lack of savvy regarding a rappel system and how its parts work esp in terms of functionality, forces and failure.

I've never bounce-tested a rap anchor and don't imagine I ever would

This is certainly a disturbing remark from someone so experienced. Esp concerning something so basic to the sport of climbing.

.....

Then, also, we have all this talk about replacing old webbing (which goes without saying, really, when it's called for, so why is it even an issue), well the same philos about testing the system also applies to top rope anchors with suspect bolts. If you're in the backcountry, for example, and you encounter a questionable anchor, you're not necessarily in position to go out of your way to replace a questionable rap anchor or top rope anchor of whatever makeup. So what do you do under many circumstances? You stand below it and bounce test it while backed up by something else. I've done this hundreds of times over my climbing history. Along similar lines, when I'm at a crag and encounter a questionable anchor for TR, say, which might amount to simply an unknown anchor, history-wise, say, I'll bounce test it when I'm near the ground for both myself or the group as the case may be for the ensuing top rope session (which we can imagine might last hours). This should all be Rappel Basics 101 or Top Rope Basics 101. For everybody who cares about safety.

Insofar as it isn't, no wonder many shirk rappelling. While others love it.

.....

Other points have been made, too, regarding anchors that are suspect, which aren't really of any issue; instead, it's all just Rap 101. For instance, (1) sending the heaviest down first while he is backed up; (2) providing a fireman's belay at every opportunity (though not an anchor issue) just a backup safety issue that often requires no extra effort.



Maybe we should add the obvious: If one is considering a rap at a suspect anchor of any sort that (a) cannot be backed up for testing and (b) is hanging or thereabouts, whose failure would spell a fall, then he should NOT bounce test it (which can subject the system to many g's). But thankfully I think the majority of climbers understand this point.

Finally(?), testing also tests more than just the slings.
One of the goals is to uncover unobserved flaws in the anchor system.
So I believe testing is still quite useful in the real world.

Yes, indeed.
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 14, 2013 - 01:56pm PT
JLP--I posted a link and a quote from the BD QC Archive that might well have been what Jim remembered.

The one I'm recalling was much more broad and tested many more samples. Some of those samples were the tester's own that they dated and later tested - possibly a few years later. This test was linked to and talked about on these forums for quite some time. The biggest surprise and most of the discussion was about the weakness of Spectra after UV damage. It was defintitely before 2005, possibly long before. Maybe I'll search for it at some point.

rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Jan 14, 2013 - 02:01pm PT
This is certainly a disturbing remark from someone so experienced. Esp concerning something so basic to the sport of climbing.

The remark in question is about not bounce-testing rap anchors. I might have added that I've never climbed with anyone who bounce-tests them either, and over 56 years I've climbed with a lot of experienced climbers. Maybe I'm just climbing with the wrong folks. Who here regularly bounce-tests their rap anchors?

I guess the main problem with bounce-testing is that it is total folly without an independent back-up anchor that is good enough to hold a short fall on static material, and such anchors are not always available or may require time and effort to rig---they will have to be good enough for considerably higher loads than the rap anchor requires.

As I've said, I almost always back up the slings, even pretty new-looking ones, with an independent sling for all but the last person down, so the initial raps do constitute a substantial and realistic test of the sling integrity. I almost never rappel on a single sling without installing another one for redundancy. If it is easy to rig an independent anchor or if it isn't but the rap anchor itself appears dodgy to me, than I'll install the extra anchor and, once again, let the first rappeller(s) constitute the rap anchor test.

I might add that I always test the set up of the rappelling device with a bodyweight test and small jerk while still tethered to the anchor as Ed mentions, but of course this test already assumes the slings and anchor are adequate and does not seem to me to be germane to the present discussion.
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Jan 14, 2013 - 02:10pm PT
understanding the weathering process on nylon

I wonder if a better material is available. According to what I'm reading on the internet, Dacron/polyester has the best UV resistance of all fiber types and is used to support antennas. Also, I notice that these dacron ropes are colored black, I wonder if the color makes a difference? If so then just using black nylon slings might help.

http://www.k1cra.com/catalog/product.aspx?productID=2144
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Jan 14, 2013 - 02:20pm PT
I might have added that I've never climbed with anyone who bounce-tests them either, and over 56 years I've climbed with a lot of experienced climbers. Maybe I'm just climbing with the wrong folks. Who here regularly bounce-tests their rap anchors?

Well, if we're going to have a valid, accurate and meaningful discussion then let's make sure we're framing it right.

a) Who here regularly bounce-tests their rap anchors?
b) Who here regularly bounce-tests their highly suspect rap anchors when conditions or cirumstances, like an available ledge, allow it?

Here, I think you're likely to get different answers to the two questions.

I'll start: (a) Seldom. (b) Always.

Your post drew my attention for suggesting that there is never a reason to bounce-test by your comment... "I've never bounce-tested a rap anchor and don't imagine I ever would..." Further, the concluding "unless" part seemed to me to minimize the importance of this valuable safety protocol.

The rest of your posts I agree with.
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Jan 14, 2013 - 02:26pm PT
Hmm. If I had a highly suspect rap anchor that I couldn't just replace with a better one and a comfy ledge to test it from, I'd bounce test it too, so I should retract my inability to imagine more than one circumstance. However, that particular combination of good and bad circumstances has never arisen for me. Whenever I've been confronted with a highly suspect anchor (as opposed to just the slings) I've always managed to build a much better one somewhere in the vicinity (or even, in one or two cases, not really in the vicinity).

I should also confess to a period of building and convincing my partners to rely on some sketchy anchors. Back in the day when we still had hammers, I used to be fond of hammering rocks into cracks---creating unnaturally wedged chockstones---and slinging them for rappels. This was before nuts came on the scene and we became more sophisticated about wedging things into cracks. What worries me in retrospect about those hammered chockstones is the possibility that the hammering might have cracked them.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Jan 14, 2013 - 02:37pm PT
That particular combination of good and bad circumstances has never arisen for me.

Really? Well, this is surprising. This difference in experience then might explain our hangup on this thread.

There are several wide-open aging crags in my area that have literally dozens of suspect rap or tr stations featuring a ledge, a semi-ledge, or even a top where it permits me, and behooves me, for safety sake to bounce-test them (but true, more often just to jerk-test them) before they earn my trust to use.

And, to add, then when I have rapped on these suspects or unknowns (maybe they're two old rusty quarter inchers, say, set 25 years ago by who knows), I try to be Mr. Smooth about it and give all my attention to not shocking the system (say, with more than 1.5 g or so).

So far no issues. Knock on rock.
10b4me

Boulder climber
Somewhere on 395
Jan 14, 2013 - 03:05pm PT
Who here regularly bounce-tests their rap anchors?

not me.

what my partner and I did was to place a piece as a backup. first guy raps, if the primary piece didn't move, or the rock was solid. it was all good. the second cleans the backup piece, raps, and everybody is happy.
Jeremy Ross

Gym climber
Jan 14, 2013 - 05:52pm PT
are you in the camp with moosedrooler such that you never question anything once it gets into a "respectable" publication?


Every scientist worth his/her weight will question any article in any publication for methods used, conclusions, data, etc. Tony, your recent posts about scientific journals in various threads leads me to believe you neither understand the scientific method nor the method of reading/analyzing/deconstructing/understanding a peer reviewed journal.



-JR
mission

Social climber
boulder,co
Jan 15, 2013 - 12:25am PT
Don't they have some sh#t you can smoke that will make you more paranoid?
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jan 15, 2013 - 12:40am PT
Blah blah blah blah seconds this blah blah blah seconds that the sling broke under body weight.

Body weight.

Jackasses. Just another completely useless technonerd discussion, a great sound and fury signifying nothing.

Body weight.... (sheesh)

DMT
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
Jan 15, 2013 - 09:14am PT
^^^ what dingus said ...

except that our dear and glorious donini continues to decline to cite the article which he himself mentions in the OP, whilst doniniolaters try to cover for him by guessing which article it was.

amen to sheesh. much like vatican city, where an industry of casuists occludes an inaccessible library. (i hope this is all big-headed enough for locker.)
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Jan 15, 2013 - 09:30am PT
Whatever you do, don't make a pledge to be diligent.

That was aimed squarely at you Jim. heh...
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 15, 2013 - 10:45am PT
Tony, I can't remember where I saw the article....then again, I can't remember when I had a memory.
Randisi

Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
Jan 15, 2013 - 11:07am PT
Shite, the number of times I've almost died while crossing the streets here in China...

I've got a whole lot of birthdays!
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
Jan 15, 2013 - 11:29am PT
well thanks, jim, and sorry to be so pointed about it. i guess the weathering of these things is pretty much a wild card.
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Jan 15, 2013 - 11:35am PT
So, no one was impressed by my idea of using uv-resistant polyester for rap slings instead of nylon?
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Jan 15, 2013 - 11:44am PT
Come to think of it, isn't bandaloop as dangerous as rappel? I suppose it could be if they didn't test the system.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ky1pwD46tqs

Different strokes for different folks. Eh?

I wonder when they will they give a Bandaloop performance on El Cap?
10b4me

Boulder climber
Somewhere on 395
Jan 15, 2013 - 11:47am PT

I wonder when they will they give a Bandaloop performance on El Cap?

It's been done
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Jan 15, 2013 - 11:49am PT
QT What do you want to be when you grow up?
ANS A bandaloop dancer. :)

.....

It's been done.

Oh, that's right...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=mmoA3pcX3QE

Well, at least in rock climbing, we don't "risk it all" on something so silly. ;)

Someday climbers and bandaloop dancers will have to compete for use on El Cap.

Now that's a thought.
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