Anchor Building Question

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Tobe

Trad climber
Ames, IA
Topic Author's Original Post - Feb 21, 2013 - 05:30pm PT
So today I was climbing and I started talking to a guy at the gym about multi pitch anchors and now I'm confused. Basically he told me my way of building an anchor is unsafe and "yer gonna die!!!!!!"

I learned to build an anchor in this manner:
-Plug 2-3 pieces of gear or clip existing bolts
-Run a cordelette through the pieces or bolts, and tie them off with a figure 8. (like how you would tie an overhand knot)
-Clip in to the master point directly or with a sling depending on the situation
-Belay second from the master point, or from a secondary belay anchor. (i usually go off master point for simplicity sake)

I have also used three slings to make an anchor as well.

He said my anchor was bad because the master point will not equalize as my body moves, but I cant think of a time where my body moved a significant amount while anchored.

His way was like this:
plug gear or clip bolts
clove hitch the pieces/bolts with the rope
clove hitch locking biner to harness and belay second from the body.

That doesnt make any sense to me, it doesnt seem any more dynamic than a "standard" anchor and i feel like belaying a second from your belay loop would be awkward.

Was this guy an idiot or am i gonna die?

thanks
-ST
j-tree

Big Wall climber
Classroom to crag to summer camp
Feb 21, 2013 - 05:40pm PT
You're fine.

Climbing is about managing risk, not eliminating risk. Climbing theorists like to get their panties in a bunch.

No reason to belay off a secondary anchor, waste of resources.
FRUMY

Trad climber
SHERMAN OAKS,CA
Feb 21, 2013 - 05:46pm PT
Tobe - go to the stoney point thread- around 1340 -1360 watch Pyro's videos,look at the knots he's using setting up a top rope.
mhay

climber
Reno, NV
Feb 21, 2013 - 05:51pm PT
When I first started climbing self-equalizing was the hip thing to do. Then at some point it became pre-equalized, which is what you currently do. Apparently, the hip new thing has gone full circle back to self-equalizing. However, that is not what guy-in-gym is talking about. Cloving a bunch of pieces together does not self-equalize, so tell him to piss-off. But the part about you dieing is correct. So go climbing while you're still here.
Dave Kos

Social climber
Temecula
Feb 21, 2013 - 05:55pm PT
Remember SRENE

Anchors must be:

Solid
Redundant
Equalized
and have No Extension if one of the redundant components fail

If you don't have ALL of these 100% PERFECT (especially the last two), yer gonna die.

But the most important skill in anchor building is believing you know enough so that you can tell others that they are "unsafe."

WBraun

climber
Feb 21, 2013 - 06:04pm PT
No reason to belay off a secondary anchor, waste of resources.


Not true.

I've done it numerous times according to time and circumstance.

There are times when it's preferred and or necessary.

I'll be at the cookie again tomorrow, show up, and I'll make a million different anchor variations for ya.

Only one million though and no more .....


Bill Mc Kirgan

Trad climber
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Feb 21, 2013 - 06:10pm PT
You're way is fine Tobe, and not much different than what your critic recommends. Instead of using cordalette your critic does a static equalization with the rope using clove hitches.

Your way uses more gear, but is for all intents and purposes the same. If any part of the anchor rips then there will be some extension and shock loading to the remaining anchor points.

Self-equalizing anchors are just a myth, or an unattainable ideal. There will always be some extension involved.

Just remember... "Place thy protection well lest the ground rise up and smite thee".


the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
Feb 21, 2013 - 07:47pm PT
When I was starting out a guy told me NOT to belay off my harness I should always redirect off the anchor lol.

Unless you are dealing with sketchy placements most anchor methods are usually fine. Cordellette, Clove hitch the rope, sliding X, etc. I prefer not tying in with the rope because its a pain when you swing leads and it makes self rescue more difficult.

Belaying the second off your harness might mean less force on the anchor in a fall but to me that's usually outweighed by the ability with a redirect to easily hold a fallen second, easier to belay, and easier to self rescue.

Unfortunalty these know it all types make it harder to speak up or be listened to when people actually doing something wrong.
jstan

climber
Feb 21, 2013 - 07:50pm PT
Finally!

A thread on anchors.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Feb 21, 2013 - 07:52pm PT
I'll be at the cookie again tomorrow, show up, and I'll make a million different anchor variations for ya.

Call in sick, get in your car and be there in the morning. This is a very one time chance.

Edit: good opportunity.
briham89

Big Wall climber
san jose, ca
Feb 21, 2013 - 08:27pm PT
So today I was climbing and I started talking to a guy at the gym

Well there's your problem!!!!

You're fine don't listen to this guy.

I think the main thing as others have said is to learn the basics of what makes a "safe" anchor and know how to apply it to any situation you face.
ionlyski

Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
Feb 21, 2013 - 08:30pm PT
Tobe,

Run, don't walk to the Cookie. You got the old man now to show you the ways. You just short cut about 30 years off the learning curve.

Arne

edit-and it sounds like you mostly got it figured out anyway.
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Feb 21, 2013 - 09:49pm PT
Solid
Redundant
Equalized
and have No Extension if one of the redundant components fail

If you don't have ALL of these 100% PERFECT (especially the last two), yer gonna die.

Are you nuts?? I'll take solid and redundant, thanks. Have you actually climbed anything serious in your life?

Oh, the first two fwiw.
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Feb 21, 2013 - 09:49pm PT
Ames, IA?

Man, the trolls run wild here these days.
ruppell

climber
Feb 21, 2013 - 10:00pm PT
Are you nuts?? I'll take solid and redundant, thanks.

Yep. That whole shock load idea has been dis-proven for a while now. Sliding X is simple and bomber.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Feb 21, 2013 - 10:14pm PT

Freeze it in place.Bomber.
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Feb 21, 2013 - 10:24pm PT
No simple answer to this question.
You have to set up your anchors best suited to the situation are in.

Werner is right. It's good to know many different ways to set up anchors.
10b4me

Boulder climber
Somewhere on 395
Feb 21, 2013 - 10:32pm PT
Troll or not, I don't really care.
On multipitch, I would plug in a piece for an upward pull.i.e., when the second gets to the anchor, clip him in to your anchor, and the anchor used placed for the upward. That way he won't get pulled up if you take a leader fall
surfstar

climber
Santa Barbara, CA
Feb 21, 2013 - 10:47pm PT
A single blue camalot is and always will be equalized.
QITNL

climber
Feb 21, 2013 - 10:54pm PT
I grew up in Iowa and read every mountaineering book in our little public library (there were maybe a dozen) so I say we cut the kid a break. That was around the time Nixon got re-elected. I know I don't have a vote.
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