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#966183 - 06/25/10 07:58 PM Lowering vs. rappelling through rap rings at crags
redlude97 Offline
stranger

Registered: 07/16/09
Posts: 24
TRs: 0 Photos: 0
So I was originally taught by my mentor at sport crags that lowering through chains was acceptable, but that when rappel rings are placed you should thread and rappel. This has also been my experience watching others at places like exit 38/32, vantage, leavenworth, broughton and carver. My understanding that this was always the general consensus in the northwest, but was recently told it was basically BS and its perfectly fine to lower off rappel rings at anchors. These anchors are usually put in on routes that are less traveled and the rings are harder to replace. What are everyone's thoughts?

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#966184 - 06/25/10 08:07 PM Re: Lowering vs. rappelling through rap rings at crags [Re: redlude97]
genepires Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 06/27/01
Posts: 3804
TRs: 8 Photos: 59
Loc: sharing-hood
you talking about the rolled aluminum rings that are used with webbing or the fixe bolted anchor kind of rings?

I think it is bad to lower off the rolled aluminum rings due to the strength being reduced on a already relatively weak ring.

I think it is bad to lower off the fixe sort of rings too because as the rope wears the rings down, it is impossible to replace the rings without destroying the anchor.
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#966187 - 06/25/10 08:17 PM Re: Lowering vs. rappelling through rap rings at crags [Re: genepires]
Otto Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 09/05/01
Posts: 387
TRs: 33 Photos: 246
Loc: Seattle, WA
I agree with gene. Even further, it's bad form to lower off of chain links, as it wears down the chain and eventually someone has to replace it. (It may not be difficult to replace, what with quicklinks, but still, someone has to go to the trouble).

I was once chastised for lowering off chain at Red Rocks, at one of the over-popular crags. A local made a snide comment, I thought about it, decided he was right.
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"Try for Further" - Chuck Berry

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#966188 - 06/25/10 08:19 PM Re: Lowering vs. rappelling through rap rings at crags [Re: Otto]
Choada_Boy Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/05/05
Posts: 2432
TRs: 4 Photos: 39
Loc: Your Mom's House
+1 for rappelling. Saves the anchors for future use.

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#966192 - 06/25/10 08:35 PM Re: Lowering vs. rappelling through rap rings at crags [Re: Choada_Boy]
Coldfinger Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/16/05
Posts: 1395
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Loc: Wyoming
Well gee one could always use other links in the chain. rawk

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#966193 - 06/25/10 08:42 PM Re: Lowering vs. rappelling through rap rings at crags [Re: redlude97]
billcoe Offline
Spray Master

Registered: 10/02/02
Posts: 11948
TRs: 4 Photos: 872
Loc: pdx
I'm a rappeller - every time if I can (unless I just installed the stuff and it's easier of course as I'm a lazy person hrk hrk) , but I understand that there are some places where they lower a lot and just actively replace the last link on a chain as lowering is easier and safer at times. I believe that is at steeper overhanging hard sport climbs as you lower off and pull draws. I hope to someday be strong enough to do those routes.....sigh.....until then....


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#966201 - 06/25/10 09:49 PM Re: Lowering vs. rappelling through rap rings at crags [Re: billcoe]
ivan Offline
Sick Spray Bird

Registered: 03/12/02
Posts: 17478
TRs: 118 Photos: 1803
Loc: Oceania
rap

top-roping multiple climbers through the chains is bullshit anyhow, so you're gonna put your own draws on the anchors after the initial lead anyhow...
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#966202 - 06/25/10 10:11 PM Re: Lowering vs. rappelling through rap rings at crags [Re: ivan]
Peter_Puget Offline
sprayer

Registered: 04/17/01
Posts: 6994
TRs: 0 Photos: 55
Loc: Seattle
Originally Posted By: ivan
rap

top-roping multiple climbers through the chains is bullshit anyhow, so you're gonna put your own draws on the anchors after the initial lead anyhow...


Not sure what you mean by this. If I feel like it I lower off. Generally don't TR from chain. A proper anchor set-up should be easily upgradeable. Too many anchors have fucked up washer set-ups or even worse cold shuts. These I usually rap off.
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#966206 - 06/25/10 11:31 PM Re: Lowering vs. rappelling through rap rings at crags [Re: Peter_Puget]
Rad Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/11/03
Posts: 2454
TRs: 28 Photos: 760
Loc: The Emerald City
Probably best to put qdraws on anchor and use those for followers and TRing until it's time to get the rope off the route. Then, rapping is better for anchor and usually rope, but on seriously overhanging routes rapping is a PITA and lowering is the often better. Chains/Quicklinks can be replaced/added without damaging the anchor per se.
At the x38 crag I'm developing I'm leaving old biners on chains so folks can lower quickly and easily without damaging anything. Got the idea from Nason. BTW, tis the season and I'm glad to take folks out who are interested. pm to connect.
Rad
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#966215 - 06/26/10 08:03 AM Re: Lowering vs. rappelling through rap rings at crags [Re: Rad]
tomtom Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/15/02
Posts: 2385
TRs: 0 Photos: 28
Loc: Russia With Love
I was climbing at Tieton recently and a local (certified) mountain guide was sharing ropes with us. He set up his top ropes through the chains and lowered off.
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#966221 - 06/26/10 09:11 AM Re: Lowering vs. rappelling through rap rings at crags [Re: tomtom]
sobo Offline
Spray Master

Registered: 12/17/00
Posts: 10987
TRs: 4 Photos: 270
Loc: The Oklahoma Dustbowl of AFG
Seems to me that I've always set up the TR independent of the chains while the route gets worked, then clean it up and re-rig for lower or rap, depending upon how big the links are. If they're small, I'll rap it to preempt the clusterf$%#. If they're large or quick-links, I'd likely lower. Just depends...

Also, I consider my belayer. If it's someone who's technique I am not familiar with, I'll rap and be responsible for my own descent. I've seen too many folks get decked during a lower by an inexperienced rope-handler...
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#966226 - 06/26/10 11:03 AM Re: Lowering vs. rappelling through rap rings at crags [Re: sobo]
Off_White Offline

Capricious Warlord

Registered: 04/04/02
Posts: 9268
TRs: 22 Photos: 363
Loc: Tenino
As I understand it, the Fixe rings actually roll around and you don't get the same repetitive wear in the exact same spot that you do on a chain link, so if anything lowering on those rings is better than lowering on chain. Still, if more people take responsibility for anchor maintenance, it's not too big a deal.

TR'ing on a route most often should be done on your own quickdraws, putting the wear on your own equipment. I don't think lowering one person versus the wear from pulling the rappel rope is so much more that its a big issue. Lots and lots of up and down is though.

Here's the new standard in Tenino, got a good deal on a pile of stainless biners with the eyelet. As a private crag having an owner who hovers, and great folks who make donations, a little upkeep is not an problem.


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Don't believe everything you think

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#966302 - 06/27/10 09:23 PM Re: Lowering vs. rappelling through rap rings at crags [Re: Off_White]
letsroll Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/18/04
Posts: 1176
TRs: 9 Photos: 20
Loc: In the shadows shadow of Snibb...
Setup your own TR set up. then when you are done rap off. UNLESS you are going to take the time to replace. I see that as respect for people who have been there and those who will be there since I have yet to take the time to replace what is warn on my own time and dime.

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#966305 - 06/27/10 09:32 PM Re: Lowering vs. rappelling through rap rings at crags [Re: tomtom]
chris_stolz Offline
member

Registered: 07/26/03
Posts: 101
TRs: 3 Photos: 13
Originally Posted By: tomtom
I was climbing at Tieton recently and a local (certified) mountain guide was sharing ropes with us. He set up his top ropes through the chains and lowered off.


Guides are sometimes idiots too...I once saw a guide on Dierdre, belaying his two clients off of one non-locking biener clipped to one belay bolt. They were training for Rainier...go figure...

My understanding of etiquette is, one does not lower off fixed installed hardware (rings, chains) but if there are bieners on there, lower away. A chain anchor is expensive, and once the bottom link wears out, you don't just throw a mallion on there-- you have to put the mallion on the second-last link, which clusterf**ks the links a bit, yadda.

If you are top-roping beginners, wnat to preserve the chinas, and don't want to re-climb the route once your last top-roper is done with it to remove the quickdraws, there's a simple way to deal with this (assuming the anchor is rap-equipped):

1) when you get to the anchor, clip two draws (or bieners, or whatever works depending on the anchor) to the bolt hangers. Run the rope through these-- these should take the weight. Then, run the rope through the rap rings/chain ends/whatever.

2) When you are top-roping, your draws/bieners will take the weight, so you aren't trashing the rings/chain.

3) When your last top-roper is at the anchor, tell them "take the quickdraws off". Since the rope is already running through the chains/links/whatever, no need for the top-roper to secure in, untie, etc. All they do is take the draws, and then you lower them off the chains/rings. Yes, this is bad, but it is better than top-roping six people through the chains.

If you endlessly top-rope through bolts/chains/rings, you get the Cinnamon Slab area at Smith, where death for unknowing boy scouts is a mere flick of the top-rope away.

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#966310 - 06/27/10 10:19 PM Re: Lowering vs. rappelling through rap rings at crags [Re: chris_stolz]
miladugga Offline
member

Registered: 04/03/05
Posts: 175
TRs: 0 Photos: 17
Loc: Oly, WA
I think everyone knows that you're supposed to top rope and lower off on your own draws or biners and then rappell off the fixed gear when you're done, but it's like recycling or something- sometimes you're just too lazy to do what you know you should do so you do the easiest thing instead. Or so I've heard.
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#966428 - 06/28/10 06:08 PM Re: Lowering vs. rappelling through rap rings at crags [Re: miladugga]
Coldfinger Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/16/05
Posts: 1395
TRs: 0 Photos: 18
Loc: Wyoming
My 2 cents.....

Metolius rap hangers (and the Fixe hangers with one ring) are a MUCH better anchor than all that eurotrash and dyi stainless clutz....

Kinda nice to climb where the bolts and anchors are not visible from ten miles away.

As far as chains, I can see no reason to use them unless you want people to have the convenience of using them for tr and descent.

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#966452 - 06/28/10 08:53 PM Re: Lowering vs. rappelling through rap rings at crags [Re: redlude97]
obwan Offline
addicted to cc.com

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 448
TRs: 0 Photos: 14
Loc: Renton, WA
All of the above advice is good - another consideration is the experience level of the climbers. They should be told precisely how to clean and lower or rap, whichever. I had to witness some newbies at Vantage once and it was scary. The mentor on the ground sent up a newbie to "clean" the anchor, and said we'll lower you. When the climber got up to the anchor, she unclipped the rope from both draws without clipping in to the anchor - and said " now what do I do?"
And a few years a go a climber at Smith went up and put the rope through the webbing and said ok - lower me, it sawwed through and down she went.
yoda
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#966456 - 06/28/10 09:33 PM Re: Lowering vs. rappelling through rap rings at crags [Re: Otto]
Plaidman Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/03/07
Posts: 993
TRs: 24 Photos: 329
Loc: South slope of Mt. Tabor
Originally Posted By: Otto
I agree with gene. Even further, it's bad form to lower off of chain links, as it wears down the chain and eventually someone has to replace it. (It may not be difficult to replace, what with quicklinks, but still, someone has to go to the trouble).

I was once chastised for lowering off chain at Red Rocks, at one of the over-popular crags. A local made a snide comment, I thought about it, decided he was right.


You are right Otto.
Always Rappel!!!

Plaidman


Edited by Plaidman (06/28/10 09:34 PM)
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#966475 - 06/28/10 11:00 PM Re: Lowering vs. rappelling through rap rings at crags [Re: Plaidman]
OlympicMtnBoy Offline
Marilyn Monroe

Registered: 09/23/03
Posts: 1295
TRs: 39 Photos: 79
Loc: Kirkland (Seattle)
almost regardless of anchor type

Option 1: lower through the anchors = small wear on the anchor which can be noticeable over time

Option 2: rappel from the anchors = no wear on the anchor

I always try to have the lowest impact possible (in climbing and many other things). Always seemed pretty straight forward to me. Unless you are on a crag where you are involved in replacing the anchors yourself, or at a gym where you are paying others for the upkeep.

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#966547 - 06/29/10 11:18 AM Re: Lowering vs. rappelling through rap rings at crags [Re: OlympicMtnBoy]
Hokus Offline
stranger

Registered: 12/20/04
Posts: 19
TRs: 0 Photos: 2
Loc: Salt Lake City
Rapping will save your rope too. Lowering can beat your rope up really quickly.

+1 for rappeling.

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#966572 - 06/29/10 02:56 PM Re: Lowering vs. rappelling through rap rings at crags [Re: Hokus]
redlude97 Offline
stranger

Registered: 07/16/09
Posts: 24
TRs: 0 Photos: 0
Thanks everyone for your 2 cents. I see that a lot of you were more general in your answers in that you always rappel even through chains. One thing that has always stuck in my head from my mentor about lowering is that developers often set chains in high traffic areas and expect them to be lowered through. The reason being that it is significantly faster to be lowered than to set up a rappel, and in very busy areas this is more convenient and a courtesy to the climbers in line behind your group. So in those cases I think that lowering is not only accepted but encouraged.

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#966576 - 06/29/10 03:20 PM Re: Lowering vs. rappelling through rap rings at crags [Re: redlude97]
DavidW Offline
member

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 144
TRs: 3 Photos: 47
Loc: Seattle, WA
Its never a courtesy to grind your way through the rappel gear or to use the next guy as an excuse for poor style. If you have EVER forked up your own money to fix gear on popular routes then disregard this post. For the rest: Lowering causes alot of wear on the rings and some of us spend hundreds of dollars annually fixing this stuff. This is not new routes but rather "let's fork up another $50 and fix a few mistreated routes this weekend"

Fixing and replacing gear goes on all the time. Pay your way... lower away... otherwise how 'bout some common sense and maybe some respect for the people who used their own money to build you a climbing area?

It IS easier to be lowered than to rig a rappel... and it's also easier to steal the rap gear off the wall at climbing stores than to pay for them... I assume you would draw the line at that?

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#966580 - 06/29/10 03:28 PM Re: Lowering vs. rappelling through rap rings at crags [Re: DavidW]
redlude97 Offline
stranger

Registered: 07/16/09
Posts: 24
TRs: 0 Photos: 0
Originally Posted By: DavidW
Its never a courtesy to grind your way through the rappel gear or to use the next guy as an excuse for poor style. If you have EVER forked up your own money to fix gear on popular routes then disregard this post. For the rest: Lowering causes alot of wear on the rings and some of us spend hundreds of dollars annually fixing this stuff. This is not new routes but rather "let's fork up another $50 and fix a few mistreated routes this weekend"

Fixing and replacing gear goes on all the time. Pay your way... lower away... otherwise how 'bout some common sense and maybe some respect for the people who used their own money to build you a climbing area?

It IS easier to be lowered than to rig a rappel... and it's also easier to steal the rap gear off the wall at climbing stores than to pay for them... I assume you would draw the line at that?

The guidebook for Exit 32/38 mention lowering almost exclusively throughout, I would tend to think they are or consulted with the developers when writing the book. What is your opinion in that case?

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#966583 - 06/29/10 03:43 PM Re: Lowering vs. rappelling through rap rings at crags [Re: redlude97]
orion_sonya Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 130
TRs: 0 Photos: 9
All the chains I have placed, I assume will be lowered from. When cragging, I always lower unless the anchor is set up with rap rings or hangers. If I place anchor biners, I assume they will be top-roped through and will wear even faster.

The only place I have seen where anchors are continually needing replacement is at Smith and I think there it has to do with the abrasive nature of the rock/dirt, the high volume of people on routes like 5 gallon buckets, and the fact that a lot of people are TR'ing through chains. I can't think of too many WA routes that are in chronic need of chain replacement. Thin Fingers and Japanese Gardens have pretty deep grooves in the steel biners, but that is from top roping.

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#966589 - 06/29/10 04:24 PM Re: Lowering vs. rappelling through rap rings at crags [Re: orion_sonya]
DavidW Offline
member

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 144
TRs: 3 Photos: 47
Loc: Seattle, WA
my opinion is that lowering damages the links...and i've travelled all over the world. like orion says.. go look at Thin Fingers and J Gardens.... you should be toproping through your own gear too.. which is stated in plenty of places... OK orion, so you assume the stuff will be lowered from... do you go back and fix it every coupla years? if you do.. then hats off to you.. where can I send you a check??? Tell me and I'll send you money.

otherwise... dirt+ropes=wear.... somebody has to fix the stuff... sooner or later. if YOU are willing to do the work then most of your friends are not.

Like I said.... if YOU spent your own money then go do what you want, disregard this post. If you have never paid for anything like this then do the right thing and use a light touch... toprope off your own draws and rappel don't lower... anything else is just plain lazy and letting someone else be responsible. The gear belongs to someone else...The gear will be asked to support the life of someone after you... don't just pick the story that makes it easiest for you.

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