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Partner euroford


Feb 21, 2006, 6:52 AM
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Big Wall Anchors
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Lets start a discusion on your Big-Wall anchor techniques. With a belay, a bivy and hauling combined with insane exposure and possably tricky gear it leaves no doubt that wall climbing beyond any other will put your anchor skills to the test.

Lately i've been following along with the Improved Sliding X thread in the trad forum and Mr. Largo has gotten me all paranoid about anchor systems i've come to have great faith in. Lets not rehash that discusion, but if you would please share what has proven to work well for you, and perhaps some ideas you want to try in the future.

Many of the photos i see of wall climbing out in the valley or zion show thoroughly bolted belays, usually with a nice horizontal orientation. I only wish that was our case, as our adventure this summer will be taking place on The Diamond i believe all of my anchors will be setup with natural gear in near vert. cracks, with a couple of bolts thrown in, but only two that i have decent information on.


ridgeclimber


Feb 23, 2006, 5:03 AM
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I'm not a big wall climber, but I've always wondered whether it is safe for the second to jug the lead line with the rope fixed only at the leader's tie-in spot. It's always seemed safer to me to pull up all the slack, then fix the line with a fig 8, so you have two redundant attatchments. That system looks like it's OK in that department, but then again, I don't really know anything about wall climbing.


Partner euroford


Feb 23, 2006, 5:11 AM
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pmyche,

thanks for taking the time to make that excellent post and graphic. you've definitly given me some good ideas. i think tying in the lead rope like that might be a bit of a PITA for the follower while changing over the short fix, but worth it in the long run for added security.


iamthewallress


Feb 25, 2006, 1:40 PM
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One thing that we've been playing around w/ a bit is using a bunny-ear eight (aka double loop eight) to minimize biner usage at the fix point. (This way only uses two small lockers for fixin' and although not perfectly equalized, it's somewhat dynamic.) This is ideal for short fixing and when there isn't a lot of crapola to attach to the anchors (like extra haul bags, rope bags, lunch, spare rack, yada-yada). I find that it unties easier than the standard eight-on-a-bight.

I don't like to attach the humans and the haul to the same biner or have either weighting on top of each other since it can turn into a disaster to unhook one or the other...and in my CF'ed world, I often end up needing to rearrange something that I didn't forsee when I set up the anchor. If you're hauling, make sure that the haul is set up underneath and off to the side of this fix point like pmyche showed in his excellent drawing. As pmyche said, a seperate sling for the haul (or you) is a good idea. I like to keep the haul as high as possible so that I don't have to hang from my toes to get into the docked bag. Consider how low your bag will be when you lower it off the pulley and onto it's tether if you use a sling to extend the haul point away from the human attachment point.


flamer


Feb 25, 2006, 4:00 PM
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I only wish that was our case, as our adventure this summer will be taking place on The Diamond i believe all of my anchors will be setup with natural gear in near vert. cracks, with a couple of bolts thrown in, but only two that i have decent information on.


Word on the street is that the Dunn-westbay now sports bolts on all anchors.

josh


Partner euroford


Feb 26, 2006, 10:03 AM
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needless to say, that will cut down out CF factor in a major way. thanks for the info josh!


stymingersfink


Mar 5, 2006, 11:47 AM
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someone mentions "docking high on the anchor" in the image above.

There's only one problem with that... you have to haul from the highest point, and you must be able to free your hauler once the pig is docked.

How best to accomplish this? I preferr to dock to a large locker clipped directly to a bolt and backed up by sling material to an appropriate spot. I have also docked to one of the master points to one side, but I preferr to hang the bag as far from the middle of my anchor cluster as possible. In thinking about it, I could just hang a short sling with a locker attached for docking from the same locker my pro-traxion is hanging from as long as the sling is hanging behind the hauler. This would require an additional locker however, as once the pig is docked I may be able to remove the hauler but the locker is going nowhere! (notice I say may. not all carabiner gates will open/close with multiple-hundreds of pounds weighting them, and we wouldn't want to have to deal with that headache too)

Personally, I dock with the mariner's knot, as this is the way I was taught and it works well for me if there's not too much of a lower-out. More than about a 10'-15' lower-out though and I'll be saving the appropriate ammount of haul line to munter it with.

As far as fixing the lead for the second goes, I will generally solo-lead most pitches, this means the end of my rope is secured at the bottom anchor. If the second will be needing to lower-out from the anchor, I'd better have it already designed into the system or be prepared to lower some rope before fixing.

If NOT solo-leading, I will pull up as much rope which can be safely removed from the system before fixing. This rope can/will provide me with a long teather allowing me to body-haul heavy loads 15-30' off the anchor before jugging back up my haul line.

I will always fix using a butterfly knot to the master-point, backed up by another butterfly to an appropriate place on the anchor to facilitate beginning the next pitch or hauling as mentioned above. These knots are much easier to untie than any other knot I've dealt with.

have fun on the Diamond. Good Luck :wink:


stymingersfink


Mar 5, 2006, 11:55 AM
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In reply to:
I'm not a big wall climber, but I've always wondered whether it is safe

It's not. Don't try it. You'll die.

In reply to:
but then again, I don't really know anything about wall climbing

and you probably ought before you try it. (You'll die.)


ridgeclimber


Mar 5, 2006, 1:09 PM
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Huh? Did you actually read my post? :?: Where did that come from?


apollodorus


Mar 9, 2006, 5:52 PM
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You should equalize the pieces at the anchor, and not use a sliding-X. If one of the pieces pulls, you don't want you and the haul bag dropping as the X slides, and then shock-loading the remaining anchor. If the anchors are equalized, if one pulls, the PP swings a bit, but doesn't fall very far.

Here is a photo of a big wall anchor at three bolts. Two 8mm x 20 foot cordelettes are used; both are clipped to all three bolts. You clip each piece, pull down three bights, equalize them and tie a fig-8 knot in the six strands. Before tying, you can shift the equalized PPs to one side or the other, to create two anchors spaced far enough to allow two haul bags.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...st_start=14&id=10361


stymingersfink


Mar 11, 2006, 11:01 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
you have to haul from the highest point

Have to? Hauling can easily be done off either PP or off a sling clipped to a higher piece. I would actually rather haul off multiple EQed pieces than any single piece. Docking the bag--whether with a Münter mule, adjustable daisy or whatever--can be done nearly anywhere on the anchor, best somewhat in plumb with the hauler/bag. I suggest docking high in the illy above b/c a Münter is easier to control from below the knot (one can get below the Münter no matter where it is on the anchor, usually less moving around if it's placed high to begin with). With an adj daisy dock, the lowering Münter can be rigged just before lowering to avoid one more cluster element. (Back up adj daisy always.)

I stand corrected. I should have said "I like to haul from the highest point I can get."

True, it is usually a pp, though i've hauled from single fattie asca bolts in the recent past. Wouldn't always feel comfortable doing so however, but in some situations...

What I can't/won't do however, is dock ABOVE my hauler. As I mentioned, I use a mariners knot to dock with, and back the bag up to another (non-human as much as possible) anchor. Since it often physically impossible to lift my pigs by hand, I must dock lower than my haul point (unless i hang it on a long sling or yada-yada-yada). As I mentioned, the mariners releases the bag for short lowers with a decent modicum of control. For longer lowers I utilize the tail of my haul line.

If reaching the high point for the day, I prefer to dock the bags as far from center as possible. This allows me to set up my ledge next to the bag, rather than under or over it.

I try to dock the bag at such a height that my ledge hits it near the top third of the bag, this way I will be able to reach into the bag without too much difficulty. With my partner sitting on the other side of the ledge, I am able to sit with my back to the stone and retrieve dinner, sleeping bags, etc with relative ease and very little shifting of the ledge.

If I dock it too high, someone must stand to get into the bag, whereas if i dock it too low one must lie prone to retrieve anything and may not even be able to reach to the bottom of the pigs.

As always, YMMV, and I'm relatively low mileage on the big stone compared to some of the others in this forum. Buuut, I've inherited(thanks, alan) some systems that do work quite well for me, and I'm more than happy to share the suggestions with others.


stymingersfink


Mar 11, 2006, 6:28 PM
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as someone was mentioning (i think they were shouted down) in the follow-up thread to the sliding x conundrum:

it's important to have as varied a bag of tricks as possible, and the wisdom to know what to use when

Unfortunately, wisdom only comes from experience, and you'll have to live through it first. (or, as someone once told me: a wise man learns from the mistakes of others)

^^which is why this site can prove so valuable at times^^


Partner holdplease2


Mar 11, 2006, 7:41 PM
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Mr Stymingers:

Thank you for the idea of the mariner's knot. I usually dock with a Munter-Mule, and sometimes it gets a kink, preventing the loop from "popping" through the knot, meaning the pigs are stuck and I'm screwed.

Next time up its Mariner's knot for me. With appropriate backup, of course. :)

-Kate.


mhabicht


Mar 20, 2006, 10:42 AM
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Well... I have my own reason for USUALLY jugging or hauling off of cloves and sliding x's (clove the rope into a sliding x anchor) SPEED!!! I think they are safe and then you dont have to spend 10 minutes unwelding the knots of your cordolette or master jugging tie in point. The key to this rig is using key-lock shaped biners so you can just slide the clove off of the biner- no loosening required. Speed is part of safety in my mind- less time on the wall = less risk exposure.

It's not all cut and dry- we all have reasons for rigging the way we do and if I jug up to your cordolette anchor I wont freak out but I might just wrap the darn thing up and let you untie it while you belay the next pitch. Grumble grumble....

-micheal


Partner euroford


May 17, 2006, 7:40 AM
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I though this was worth a bump, and now i have a couple more questions to maybe spark the discusion back up a bit.

So last weekend was a totally miserable 40 deg. and raining kind of lovely midwest weekend. just the kind that makes us enjoy having the crags to ourselves for some bigwall training. so basiclly we picked a couple of steep crack routes, aided up, built a belay (all trad gear 100% freehanging), fixed the lead line, hauled da pigs, then lead back off to the top.

things really worked out very well, clusterfuk was minimal, most things worked as we intended them to work. we used Pmyche's basic strategy as pictured at the begining of the thread, and expanded uppon it as necessary. since one of our routes was traversing (upper diagonal if your familiar with the devils lake area) it was rather entertaining to watch everything re-equalize with on guy pulling straight down, the jugger pulling to the side, and the pig pulling the other side down.

i think i was left with two questions following this weekends excersize:

what type of slings do yall like to use for wall anchors? our collection is almost exclussivly 8mm dynema slings. i've always had more than enough faith in these for trad purposes, but maybe something a little more robust would be good with so much going on for such an extended time period. maybe the some the heavier bd ones i can dedicate to anchors??

rope managment: okay, whats the scoop on rope bag use, should i buy one of fish's chum buckets? it wasn't that bad, but it could definitly be better! of course, this was deinfitly made worse by our 'practice' sessions taking place on 50' pitches....

thanks yall!


yetanotherdave


May 17, 2006, 12:53 PM
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>> rope managment: okay, whats the scoop on rope bag use, should i buy one of fish's chum buckets?

the new fish double rope-bag is primo! Easy to hang, burly, and more than big enough for any rope I'd care to drag up a wall (my doubles easily stack in one side).

If you're already hauling, the extra few seconds taken to set up a rope bag will WAY more than pay for themselves.


anti_bolt_climber


May 17, 2006, 1:06 PM
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Not only is a cordelette anchor safer because it elininates extension but it is much faster for a 3 point anchor than slings are. Cordelette is also much easier to adjust length with.


lambone


May 17, 2006, 2:09 PM
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chordellets don't equalize. that is the main problem with them.

which is more important, equalization or no extention? you can't have both.

pmyches slixing X slings with limiter knots is likely the best set-up. and redundant if using two as he does. But it means you must carry 4 double length slings for two at each belay.

don't hash this "safe anchor" argument out here...it has been done to death in the Trad forum.

Euford, I like the regular BD spectra slings. the Dynamma ones are nice but if you tie limiter knots in them they the weighted knot can be hard to untie.


Partner euroford


May 17, 2006, 2:32 PM
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the Dynamma ones are nice but if you tie limiter knots in them they the weighted knot can be hard to untie.

yeah i definitly had experience with that this weekend.


rockguide


May 17, 2006, 2:36 PM
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the Dynamma ones are nice but if you tie limiter knots in them they the weighted knot can be hard to untie.

yeah i definitly had experience with that this weekend.

perhaps try figure 8 knots rather than overhands. Much easier to untie, but take up more material.

Brian


stymingersfink


May 20, 2006, 8:54 AM
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the Dynamma ones are nice but if you tie limiter knots in them they the weighted knot can be hard to untie.

yeah i definitly had experience with that this weekend.

neat little trick someone (Stretch) showed me some time ago:

Tie the overhand limiter knot, but before you cinch it tight clip a keylock biner into it (basket down+out is nice). This will provide the ability to loosen the knot after being weighted simply by working the 'biner out (it works well in powerpoint knots too).

On the one hand, it eats a biner from the rack. OTOH, it makes a handy little clip-in point for the iPod speakers, water bottle, etc.


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