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Author Topic: Standard arch belay  (Read 219 times)

Admin Al

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Standard arch belay
« on: May 06, 2003, 02:40:18 PM »

be aware that most of the rap slings are gone from the top of the arch where the natural thread is. right now there is a blue double sling with 2 aluminum rings and that's it. there were 2 parties behind us on Monday & both ended up there together. unless you have some big cams it's very hard to build your own anchor there, so be aware. it would be nice if someone took up some good rope or static line & put in a coupe of solid anchors. it's very common for a party to be there on Standard and another heading up Wave Length. with a single sling anchor it's going to be tricky.

and of course the bolt police would freak if a couple of shiney's sprouted there, even tho it would be logical.

Al
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frak

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Re: Standard arch belay
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2003, 06:59:44 AM »

So why exactly would it be logical to put two bolts where a natural thread belay works fine. The thread is perfectly safe as long as it gets replaced once or twice per season. You can always back it up with your own slings or a cam or two. Or is it getting too inconvenient to have to place gear nowadays?
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Admin Al

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Re: Standard arch belay
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2003, 11:51:21 AM »

the deal is that several routes come up to that same place, and at least 2 routes continue off from that point - Standard & Wavelength. it is not at all uncommon for there to be at least 2 parties, as many as 5-6 climbers, at that location at the same time. there needs to be a LOT of slings around the thread to make it managable. in addition, it is hard to get cams in there. the crack on either side of the thread is quite large. you would probably have to bring a pair of #4's to build a good gear-belay.

I never said I was going to do this... it's just interesting to think about.

Al  
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xmikeyx

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Re: Standard arch belay
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2003, 02:35:01 PM »

correct me if i'm wrong (i could be it's been a while since i did that route - and even longer since i belayed there), but i think i remember a shallow crack below the thread that you can slot a couple of TCU's and tri-cams into. granted it's not the best belay anchor in the world but when there's a group on the thread slings, i've used that and backed it up with a double length sling hitched around the thread.
just a thought. i'm normally all for nice bolted belay anchors because of the high convenience factor, and if there was an anchor there i'd sure as heck use it, but i don't feel it's absolutely necessary.

but while we're on the subject, i was thinking that the upper part of bombardment could use a couple bolts, because i don't have a lot of cams in that size...

hehehehehe...just kidding.  ;)
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slobmonster

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convenience?
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2003, 03:58:31 PM »

with all due respect, admin al, drilling a couple more holes on one of the oldest, easiest, complete routes in the white mountain region would be a disservice to its historical character as well as to those aspiring leaders who wish to tackle standard and learn their lessons well.  yes, there are several 2B anchors on the route.  there are also some pins, some vegetation, gear where you can get it, and a nice historical pinch, the arch belay you refer to.  convenience is not a justification here... and perhaps next time four or five parties converge on the arch, several can just WAIT a little while, soak up some rays, and be polite.  or build an achor to the left of the pinch.  or spread out the anchor on the horizontal to accomodate more people (green camaot junior to the fixed slings' right).  we don't have to be racing up 5.5, please.  
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John Nitsuko

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Re: Standard arch belay
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2003, 12:16:57 PM »

I would say install a bolt belay. There have been several traffic jams up there which have been harsh in the heat and bugs. Also having up to 8 people at that station is very cramped.
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Admin Al

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Re: Standard arch belay
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2003, 12:30:27 PM »

slobman... good to hear you again. where ya been lately???

again, I wasn't saying I was gonna DO it. I was just pointing out a place where it might make some sense. if it were just Standard that folks were going up, hanging out & waiting might make sense. but there are other routes that take off from there & if you have 2 parties, minimum, up there it getts to be a bit of a cluster f***. when we were up here in the early spring there were parties behind us on the arch, parties coming up the direct past the crystal pocket & a party coming up to do Wavelength. and that wasn't even in the busy season.

just havin' a discussion here dude. <grin>

Al
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Dick

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Re: Standard arch belay
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2003, 03:19:34 PM »

I am compelled to say here, that the capacity for people at the belay is not what should be permanantly modified. I, like many others over the last seventy years have found the thread quite servicible. And I backed it up the first couple of times, so clean gear is available. The real problem is people who crowd belays. I tend to get pretty pissed when another party decides that, without asking(warning), they will, in fact, be joining me in my cramped little sloped stance. I don't really give a fl**ng f**k if you are sure it's safe, or if it's how you always do it. Clipping another's gear, crowding someone while they are belaying, crossing a party's cord,even passing without asking is really damn rude and potentially very dangerous. True, without rampant swarming and cluster humping, only less than 50 or so teams will be able to send Standard or U. Refuse, Thin Air ..... But just maybe it could be OK to stand nearby(on tension of course on that wicked slab) and wait for the belay to open up. Btw, the worst offenders? Guides.
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Marc

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Re: Standard arch belay
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2003, 03:50:28 PM »

Al,
You are right it can get crowded there.  But adding bolts will only make it more crowded, not because more people will do it but because they will all belay at the same spot (the two bolts).

You are wrong on one point, you do not need large gear for a trad anchor there.  With a standard rack (pun intended) 5 parties could each have their own anchor in the vicinity.  Bolts there would only make everyone head to the bolted anchor making for a crowded anchor and even more of a cluster.

With an eye for trad belays and natural lines you would be surprised the good anchors you can get on allot of routes on Whitehorse where bolts are a "necessity".

Maybe what we should do is remove the slings.  People would then have to actually look at the crack.  Climbers would then disperse along the crack finding anchors where they see the best placements given the gear they are carrying.  Some might find the thread and use it with their own sling.  Imagine the satisfaction a leader might have climbing the cliff in as close to a natural state as we can possibly keep it!  There is more to climbing then following the bolt line up the cliff.  Route finding by following a natural line unmarked by others passage is a real treat that is getting harder and harder to find.  Where is the LNT (leave no trace) ethic in climbing?  


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Dave

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Re: Standard arch belay
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2003, 10:51:37 AM »

You need to open your eyes, there are multiple anchoring options around the corner to the right, including a perfect nut belay.
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Admin Al

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Re: Standard arch belay
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2003, 01:11:34 PM »

well I stand corrected...
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Al Hospers
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Buckeroo

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Re: Standard arch belay
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2003, 02:00:55 PM »

Well Al, I hope that teaches you a lesson about posting an honest idea (not to mention trying to give a heads up on the removal of the rap slings).  

If it's worth anything, Thanks for the info and the guts to mention (not suggesting) adding a few anchor bolts.

It was amusing to see the reply's come in fast and furious!

Buckeroo
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