General > General Climbing

Anchor Clipping, Direct Anchor Belays: Will Gadd

(1/10) > >>

Admin Al:
Check out Will Gadd's latest blog posting. As always, he comes up with great stuff to think about. I have very often clipped a draw into the top bolt on an anchor as a first gpiece, but I'm going to really think about it from now on!

http://willgadd.com/anchor-clipping/

Also, here is the link to the video he mentions in the blog. It is well worth watching, especially for the very illustrative demonstrations at the end!

http://vimeo.com/44869774

What do you think?

Al

DMan:
I agree that "always do this" type of mentality is bad for a sport like climbing that has so many variables, however I think Will missed one important point about why many of us clip the anchor before leaving, and that is direction of the following pitch.

Let's use a low angle slab route as an example, like Standard Route on Whitehorse. In a situation like this a factor 2 is impossible even if you do not clip the anchor, but if the belayer is breaking with the right hand, and you leave the anchor and climb up and right then slip, you will slide past the station on the right side. "Real-world" as Will mentions will show that no matter how well your belayer attempts to break the brake strand and the loaded strand will be parallel after the leader falls (slides) past you. We all know how much friction is on an ATC when both stands are parallel. In this situation there are only two smart moves;

1) Clip a bomber part of the anchor to re-direct the load strand should this fall occur or

2) Have the belay brake on the left side of their body, preferable re-positioning the rope so it is on the opposite side of the belayer than the direction of the following pitch. If a fall occurs with out the anchor clipped it is "easy" to apply friction with an ATC in this scenario...

All belayers should be competent belaying with their "brake hand" and "guide hand" reversed to handle this situation, but I meet many intermediate climbers who "can only brake with their dominate hand".

My example is a slab route, so the "violent sucking up into the anchor" issue is a bit moot, but I use it to illustrate (or re-iterate) what Will is saying about don't "always do something". Adapt to the situation.

The photo used in the article is a bit over dramatic, as most people should know that could be 100% better if that quickdraw was clipped directly to the rap ring, or better yet right to the bolt. The obvious tri-axel loading potential of the pictured set-up is meant to give us pause, yet he never mentions it...

<photo removed as it is too big for the thread>

I think direct belaying off the anchor would make sense if the pitch was so difficult that the leader was always moving slowly, and there was potential for FF+1 falls on vertical or more than vertical terrain. In many situations direct belaying off the anchor would not be worth it. I definitely wouldn’t think it a good idea for an ice climb or any climb where the gear isn’t super bomber as it is way more force on that top-piece than a belay off the harness.

EDIT: One last option not mentioned that is worth considering if the route doesn’t have gear close to the anchor, is to purposefully extend the belayer’s anchor attachment and then clip the anchor. On some routes it might even make sense to extend the belayer 10-15 feet below the anchor. This eliminates all of Will’s concerns IF the anchor is bomber...

Skip to 7:45 in the video to see some cool examples of the difference on a steep climb... totally makes sense if you are expecting 1.5 FF falls on terrain like that....

Admin Al:
watch the video

DMan:
I just did... editing my post to reflect that...

"I think direct belaying off the anchor would make sense if the pitch was so difficult that the leader was always moving slowly, and there was potential for FF+1 falls on vertical or more than vertical terrain. In many situations direct belaying off the anchor would not be worth it. I definitely wouldn’t think it a good idea for an ice climb or any climb where the gear isn’t super bomber as it is way more force on that top-piece than a belay off the harness.”

Also, in that video example at 7:45, I would like to see a 3rd take where the belayer is extended 10 feet below the anchor... bet it would not be so dramatic.

lucky luke:

--- Quote from: DMan on September 03, 2013, 08:43:52 PM --- however I think Will missed one important point about why many of us clip the anchor before leaving, and that is direction of the following pitch.
--- End quote ---

As much I agree with Dman that reading anam is important for safety, as much I think that confrontation to improve our knowledge. Some one can think that it is a fight, but I think that it is more a friendly discussion to be better climber. if you remember the theory behind the discussion, if we agree each other on some point honestly, what will stay is some think that can save your life.

Should I disagree with Dman on the direction of the following pitch... :)..... :D..... ;D.....yes!

If my leader fall on the right, I will hang on my left foot and turn to the right so, my device will be in the good direction. If he fall on the left, I will hang on my right foot and turn to the left. I will always have the same breaking hand, my right, which is stronger. If the slope is close to 90 degree, I will let some rope to go true the device to have a soft belay (see the term) if the slope is 70 degree, I will try to avoid any slippage of the rope to the belay.

the reason of that is not as a belayer, but as a leader. When you lead, you arrive at the top of the pitch and you will built your anchor. Did you clip just one bolt? No, at least two... and often more.  You are not going to place just two pro, but also a back up to prevent the belayer to pop out the anchor in the case of a leader fall with one pro. When you have two bolt, you equalize them with a sling. You like that two bolt hold your weight and a fall when your partner lead the next pitch. As your second climb, the forces on the belay in a fall is very close to his body weight (one or two kilo newton). You want a strong belay only when you lead... that is the important point.

As a climber, what do you want? You want that an anchor will hold the most important fall in any situation. Imagine hanging at the end of the rope with no anchor, even in a "standard" slab, and you know: it will hurt when you will touch the ground. The anchor is the most important think in your life when you climb (exception of running belay, why not running anchor? there is a reason).

Let put that in number. Fall factor two generate a maximal force of 12 Kn (I don't remember: uiaa standard or some think). if you fall on one bolt who hold 24 Kn there is no danger. If the bolt is weaker and hold 10 Kn the bolt will pup out and the second one, place in the same rock, will do the same, your death. If you have two bolt, equalize with a sling of 16 Kn, less the weakness of the knot, you can hold a fall factor 2 (12 Kn) with two stopper of 6 Kn each. that means two stopper number five.

Dman, I will be honest. I didn't understand any thing of your explication. Could you say the same for mine?   

Navigation

[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version