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Fate of the Cordelette
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roy_hinkley_jr


Mar 5, 2006, 10:19 AM
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In reply to:
For all haters, here are a few questions:

1: With a Weballete, Trango instant anchor, or Metolius PAS can you make an effective prussik?

Yes, though a Hedden hitch is better most of the time.

In reply to:
2: Can you make a V-thread out of any other anchor system?

Yes, though never needed to on rock. Even with a cordadeath, you can't make one on ice without carrying a special tool.

In reply to:
3: With the exception of the weballete, can you make knotted chocks out of any other anchor system?

Yes, quite easily.


clmbnski


Mar 5, 2006, 10:20 AM
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(In regards to the poll) Ignore the duplicate options until someone fixes it, Im going to quit screwing with it. :roll:


stymingersfink


Mar 5, 2006, 2:26 PM
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where else am i going to find something on my rack that I feel good about:

cutting lengths to replace that ratty ol tat hanging from some rarely-used rap anchor

cutting to length for v-threads

slinging HUGE 'cicles with, that double-length slings would never fit around

slinging huge boulders/rock horns/flakes that standard slings won't fit over

extending an anchor to better facilitate bringing up a second



Personally, even with the discussion surrounding the whole "improved-x" brou-haha I'll continue using my 8mm dynamic to build anchors with, in as intelligent a manner as possible for each given situation. Sliding-x+limiting knots+large basket biner while paying attention to arm length and angles, same as always.

Hey, it's not perfect, but its as close as can be given the tools to work with in the situation i'm in.


akicebum


Mar 5, 2006, 2:42 PM
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WHAT!!!

"you cannot make a v-thread without a tool." Thats bullshit, I've done it more times than can count.

A haden hitch works, but sometimes if binds, but it is true, though only with a weballette or sling.

whatever I'm stickin to my cord. besides cord costs nothing compared to the presewn systems.


trebork2
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Mar 6, 2006, 2:25 PM
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Re: Fate of the Cordelette [In reply to]
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I think 8mm cord is the way to go. If you know how to build anchor systems correctly then I believe it works fine. I believe the problem with it lies in the climbers out there that don't know how to build a correct anchor system. I bet you that 75% of the climbers out there don't know how to build correct anchor systems. The same probably goes with know how to place a proper piece of protection. If you can't place the protection right anything is going to fail on you. I play it as safe as possible. I use a minimum of three anchor points, make sure everything is equalized and multi-directional. Maybe a lot of people need to go back to the basics of SRENE


gnat


Mar 6, 2006, 3:07 PM
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The Holy Grail is perfect for any anchor:

http://www.lib.rochester.edu/Camelot/pylegrls.gif

The same cannot be said for cordelettes, webettes, etc-ettes and whatever-ettes.


tradrenn


Mar 6, 2006, 3:29 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
Cord-a-death works great...till it doesn't...it's a long riiiiiiiide dooooown.

Care to elaborate your point ?

Sure. They were never safe to begin with but, based on the poll results so far, the lemmings keep on trusting in divine intervention.

I guess I'm owned on this one I didn't read the other thread till late night yesterday. I do like Gordolette thou. Let me see what happends, I'm only on page 12 so far.


tradklime


Mar 6, 2006, 3:57 PM
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It's funny that many people are arguing for a cordalette anchor by the virtues of having cord when climbing. There are many alternatives to the traditional cordalette anchor using the exact same cord. Perhaps its a simple terminology misunderstanding.

Anyway, for those that cling to their cordalette anchors... til death do you part, eh? :lol:


ryko


Mar 6, 2006, 3:58 PM
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In reply to:
I will elaborate some more for those not familiar.

Testing conducted recently by John Long et al. has found that the cordelette fails to equalize the forces when it is loaded. This was somewhat known but I guess never really investigated thoroughly.

The problem is due to (let me know if I am missing something) the different length arms in the cordelette stretching at different lengths and therefore loading the shortest arm piece the most. Also, the fixed power point does not adjust for loading from an unexpected direction.

I would like to see the data for how bad the equilization really is and the way the drop tests were conducted. Hopefully that goes into the new book or a paper is written up on the testing.

So there has been attempts at creating new anchor systems: see sliding x thread.

Personally, I will keep using the cordelette unless something is invented that is similarly quick, versitile, and relatively simple unless I am faced with a situation where the pieces in the anchor are weak and equalization is manditory for strength.

Chris

If there is any inkling to these things not working as advertised, I'm surprised they're still on the market. If a fatal fall is investigated and determined that it was due to anchor failure at the cordelette, that's one major lawsuit.

I've used cordelletes quite extensively. Makes me wonder about using it now for anything other than top-rope or slinging a large block. :cry:


moose_droppings


Mar 6, 2006, 4:08 PM
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In reply to:
I use a minimum of three anchor points, make sure everything is equalized and multi-directional. Maybe a lot of people need to go back to the basics of SRENE

Would you care to show me this anchor that can do this and still remain;
Simple
Redundent
Equalized
No
Extension


healyje


Mar 6, 2006, 4:31 PM
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John,

From these discussions I'd say one take away is to be really carefully what you write this time around as anything you say ends up like a screw stuck in a tire going round and round. It's quite amazing how powerful the con-joined influences of learned skills and practiced habit can be such that one won't relinquish something even when confronted with the fact that is is often deficient.


sweetchuck


Mar 6, 2006, 4:40 PM
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So many people have been using the cordelette for so long. So now it's deficient and dangerous. It seems like there should be at least a few scary cordelette stories out there. Has anyone had a leg of their cordelette blow (how and what happened next)? Anyone hear about a cascade failure? I am just curious. I too have been following the sliding x thread, and am rethinking my cordelette. I guess I'm not expecting a holy grail, but I do hope a simple stable solution might come out of it. So, any
cordelette horror stories???!!!


jakedatc


Mar 6, 2006, 4:40 PM
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If there is any inkling to these things not working as advertised, I'm surprised they're still on the market. If a fatal fall is investigated and determined that it was due to anchor failure at the cordelette, that's one major lawsuit.

It's not the cord that is failing.. it is the system created that has not faired well in the drop tests.

all those prepackaged "cordalettes" are just 7mm cord tied together for marketability. what you do with it after is not the cord maker's problem.

7mm cord is used for alot of things.. they arent going to take it off the market


patto


Mar 6, 2006, 4:46 PM
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[Cordelettes] were never safe to begin with but, based on the poll results so far, the lemmings keep on trusting in divine intervention.

How exactly aren't they safe? Sure they don't perfectly equalise across all pieces but that doesn't make things unsafe.

You still have 3 pieces linked that should hold more than 10kN each, with the load spread over at least two pieces. Where the expected load is likely to be FAR less than 10kN.


As far as I'm concerned I'm sticking with the cordelette and yes I have undstand and believe discussion in the sliding-x thread.


healyje


Mar 6, 2006, 4:59 PM
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If I'm interpreting the test results right then cordelettes on more than two piece anchors simply fail at loads surprisingly below other designs.


delcross


Mar 6, 2006, 5:09 PM
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Partner philbox
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Mar 6, 2006, 5:35 PM
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The full test results have not been published yet. John does however describe the findings and that is contained within the sliding x thread.

I implore everyone to read that thread before posting anything in this thread. Lotsa awesome discussion in that thread and in fact I will go so far as to say that the sliding x thread may be one of the most important discussions as far as climbers go that has appeared in years.

I shall be linking to that thread from other climbing sites around the net. My thinking is that there is still a ways to go before this discussion has drawn any concrete solutions. Of course being the very inventive and resourceful souls that we are the discussion may never be finalised to a simple and effective anchor outcome that can be taught with confidence.


vivalargo


Mar 6, 2006, 5:48 PM
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Hi, all:

I only just received the initial data crunching and work ups from the statisticians, both nationally recognized PhD data wizards and experienced climbers. The drop tests themselves were conducted by the guy widely considerd the leading drop tester in the US, who has all the fancy UIAA drop towers and computer assist gear at his disposal. It took the poor guy weeks and hundreds of drop tests to finish the study.

I can't post the actual graphs and box charts, nor yet the long lists of numbers. But I can quote an abridged version of a few paragraphs from the study that give a clear indication of how the cordelette performed under dynamic loading (factor one fall). These paragraphs concern the initial testing, done with the cordelette (in both equal and unequal arm length configurations) connecting only two primary anchor points.

-------------

A. Cordelette, equal length: Tests simulating a factor 1 fall demonstrate that on average, a cordelette, equal length configuration generated an absolute difference in load that was a little less than 1 kN. Repeated measurements of the difference in the forces generated varied somewhat across multiple tests. Contrary to conventional wisdom and popular usage, the cordelette, with equal length arms is not a very effective system to achieve equalization.

D. Cordelette, unequal length: This clearly-the-worst-configuration tested produces an absolute average difference in force between the anchor arms of almost 3.5 kN. Aside from generating the largest difference in force of the riggings measured, the cordelette, unequal length rigging was the most inconsistent when repeated measures of this difference was taken. In some cases, the difference in load measured was greater than 5 kN! To put it bluntly, the cordelette, unequal length configuration is the poorest performing anchor considered in all the testing conducted. Not only is equalization very poor, the degree of equalization varies wildly from fall to fall. This configuration is very unpredictable, except in that the difference in the forces generated from a fall will be high. The cordelette unequal length is simply to be avoided.

Summary: While the equal armed cordelette distributes a dynamic load to an (barely) acceptable degree, and will no doubt remain a viable option in that configuration, a cordelette rigged with unequal arms is an inferior–and likely hazardous--choice when contrasted with the far more efficient load distribution of the sliding x and the equalette.


healyje


Mar 6, 2006, 5:57 PM
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Worth repeating for those that want the abridged version:

In reply to:
...To put it bluntly, the cordelette, unequal length configuration is the poorest performing anchor considered in all the testing conducted...

In reply to:
Summary: While the equal armed cordelette distributes a dynamic load to an (barely) acceptable degree, and will no doubt remain a viable option in that configuration, a cordelette rigged with unequal arms is an inferior–and likely hazardous--choice when contrasted with the far more efficient load distribution of the sliding x and the equalette.


roy_hinkley_jr


Mar 6, 2006, 6:16 PM
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So, any
cordelette horror stories???!!!

Like this one at Tahquitz?


sweetchuck


Mar 7, 2006, 6:36 AM
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Yeah Roy, just like that. I had forgotten that thread. Thanks.
sc


clmbnski


Mar 13, 2006, 2:37 PM
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...the poll is fixed


mrpants


Apr 6, 2006, 12:35 PM
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For the record, I can't believe that given the now available information on cordelettes that nearly 70% of the poll respondents don't seem to think there is a problem with using them.

John Long himself, the man who's anchor books are nearly universally read by any new trad leader, has pointed out some rather unsettling facts regarding the method. Are people simply unaware, or are they discounting his words because cordelettes just "seem" to make perfect sense?


schveety


Apr 6, 2006, 1:35 PM
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Kind of an aside to the whole cordelette issue, but to Roy-Hinkley-Jr on the Tahquitz accident. I was up there this past August and talked to one of the climbing members of the rescue team who responded to that accident and he said that the two climbers were inexperienced with placing gear and were actually seen placing their cams like chocks and not in the camming mode. So who knows if that accident really was forces on the anchor or inexperience..............


tomtom


Apr 6, 2006, 3:34 PM
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In reply to:
For the record, I can't believe that given the now available information on cordelettes that nearly 70% of the poll respondents don't seem to think there is a problem with using them.

John Long himself, the man who's anchor books are nearly universally read by any new trad leader, has pointed out some rather unsettling facts regarding the method. Are people simply unaware, or are they discounting his words because cordelettes just "seem" to make perfect sense?

Well duh.

I'm amazed that it took you this long to figure out that the cordelette isn't perfect.

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