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eternalX

Magic X versus quickdraws

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I agree. I usually only use a sliding x as a main anchor on two-bolt anchors, if needed. I'll use it to equalized two small pieces as part of a cordelette setup, but not often.

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I just carry a bolt gun and a few dozen half-inchers. Then I don't have to worry about perfectly equalizing anything!

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I just carry a bolt gun and a few dozen half-inchers. Then I don't have to worry about perfectly equalizing anything!

 

I only carry that if I have my headset two-way radio on and I know I'll be hanging by one hand from a small hold for any amount of time in a black spandex singlet.

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There really is no "one best" anchor system. This is true in much of life, as well as climbing. Sometimes the magic-x makes the most sense, sometimes a pair of quickdraws is fine, other times a statically equalized cordelette is the best bet. For instance, if the bolts are over the top lip of a cliff edge, short little quickdraws ain't gonna do it.

 

Also, no one has mentioned the angle of force on the anchor pieces. If the bolts are very far apart, two quickdraws can actually magnify the force on the anchor bolts because of the wide angle they hang at.

 

If I'm using a magic-x, I usually use two slings (redundant), and two biners for the master point (redundant). If any of those pieces of equipment should fail, they're backed up. Is it worth the extra weight? Yeah, I think my kids unknowingly appreciate me hauling one extra biner and a sling. If I'm really concerned about a few ounces, I'll take a dump before I climb.

 

Mike

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One thing to add re:"sliding x"

 

You can reduce the potential of shockloading by throwing an overhand in each leg betweeen the powerpoint and the protection piece. You probably don't need alot of travel in the "x" unless the route wanders all over. By knotting each leg a few inches above the powerpoint, you can reduce the potential shockload from a foot to a couple of inches.

 

Cordelettes are great because you essentially have built-in redundancy in the sling system, but you will never be able to perfectly equalize one. A fall onto a cordelette belay will almost certainly load one piece of the anchor before the others.

 

That said, last week I used cordelettes, sliding x's on a single sling with 3 lockers, a sling to each piece and 3 lockers, and 2 regular quickdraws to set up anchors in a two day period. Learn lots of systems and then decide what is appropriate at the time based on what gear you have available, the condition of anchors, path of the routes, etc.

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You can reduce the potential of shockloading by throwing an overhand in each leg betweeen the powerpoint and the protection piece. You probably don't need alot of travel in the "x" unless the route wanders all over. By knotting each leg a few inches above the powerpoint, you can reduce the potential shockload from a foot to a couple of inches.

 

Now we're talking! That's a good idea, thanks.

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Two regular draws, in oposition is what I have always used. I have never had it come unclipped or broken them. With that said locking biners are safer, but in my opinion, overkill.

 

While I have never seen the rope become unclipped, I have seen the gate of one of the draws (rope side) get pressed against the rock or the other draw and come open. For this reason, I prefer locking biners (at least on the rope end) and I have a pair of locking draws I use for setting up TRs on bolt anchors. I usually only bring them along on sport climbing outings. I sometimes just use regular draws though. I used to do the magic X thing with a double-length sling, but prefer the redundancy of having two independent slings. I don't think it's necessary to worry about the equilization of two good bolts, especially in a top-roping situation.

 

Knowing lots of different ways to set up anchors is good, especially on multipitch routes when you might have used your one and only cordelette (or whatever your prefered anchor setup is) in the previous anchor and need to use something else for your next anchor.

 

Will, the overhand knots isolating each piece to prevent excessive extension of the anchor in the event of a failure of one piece of the anchor is a cool idea. I've never done that, but I think I will in the future, especially with those maybe-not-quite-bombproof gear anchors that one sometimes has to build in the alpine.

 

Glad to see you are getting out on the rock EternalX!

 

Cheers!

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On two bolt anchors, I typically use two alpine draws (tripled single runners) and then clip a locker through both runners. The rope runs through all three biners.

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Will makes a really good point,

Another variation on his idea is to tie just one overhand and adjust it to the direction of pull.

Then clip a locking biner into both halves, isolating the knot in the middle.

Very fast to create and simple, using only one knot.

 

This setup works best with skinny webbing.

392714-the%20hot%20knot.JPG

5a1a55b9a589f_392714-thehotknot.JPG.dd9cf6c3a0af995f5d9225c1c279b0d3.JPG

Edited by lancegranite

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