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Anna

I've been humbled

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I have a friend, a solid 5.11 - 5.12 sport climber who swore off trad leading after a successful, but very shaky lead of Midway pitch one (Jello Tower).

 

He'll always be able to climb way harder than I can, but the way this lead affected him underscores what a different game trad climbing is. That "5.5" pitch only becomes "casual" or "laughably easy" with experience.

 

Glad you are O.K. Anna. I'd follow the advice to do lots of aiding, probably the best way to regain trust in your gear.

 

--Michael

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Ok...... I'll take a stab at jumping into this mess of wisdom and slander. I'm 47 years old and have been climbing since I was 17.

 

At the end of my first year of climbing I clipped into a rappel I'd personally set up using equipment supplied by the school I attended in Switzerland. The rappel sling was tied incorrectly and I would have to say its my fault for not realizing it even tho I was a student. The sling didnt stay tied and I went 60', bounced off a ledge went another 20' and broke nearly every bone in my body.... severely fractured skull, several crushed vertabrae, split my pelvis in half and broke alot of other stuff that is somewhat less important.

 

I got a pretty big lesson in infant mortality that day and my back still hurts 1/2 the time. (especially sitting in this chair all day reading these threads!)

 

So Anna...... ask yourself what you want from climbing, read everything you can possibly get your hands on about gear placement, put them in the bathroom and read them over and over and over..... walk around your house looking for places to slot pro, learn to think gear. (the space between my refrigerator and the wall currently has a #8 hexcentric hanging there) Then find a supportive partner and pick leads you could probably solo and make a game of seeing how much pro you can possibly place. (ok ok... watch for rope drag too!)

 

I've spent my whole life battling with the baggage from that day in 1973. It's been worth it.... climbing's brought me good health, the best of friends and a lifetime of great travels. Just make learning a priority and enjoy yourself with good company.

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quote:

Originally posted by DavidW:

sling was tied incorrectly and I would have to say its my fault for not realizing it even tho I was a student

same thing happened to that Exum guide last year, bad water knot coming undone when weighted...could happen to anyone not checking knots

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....and if you ever get the chance, climb with this DavidW character. He's one of the most supportive and empathetic cats you could ever hope to share a rope with.

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quote:

Originally posted by Greg W:

quote:

Originally posted by trask:

does it really matter?

Not really, but it's kind of like wondering if the carpet matches the drapes - inquiring minds want to know...
[big Grin]
curiosity killed the cat

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I haven't read the entire thread so this may have already been discussed but:

 

quote:

Originally posted by glacier:

...I think in general it is 'safer' to rap in the case of a bad anchor. The forces on an anchor are much less when rapping than lowering - simply - You have the weight/force of one person (rappeller) rather than two (climber and belayer) acting on the anchor...

Regarding the forces on the anchor: I don't think you can count the "weight of the belayer" in when you are comparing the 2 situations. Imagine you were belaying/lowering directly off the anchor which was "anchored" to the earth. You would not count the "weight of the earth" in this situation. So the difference in force in the 2 situations would not necassarily be the weight of the belayer. Its Friday so I can't think that well at the moment, but it does seem logical that there is slightly more force in lowering.

--Dustin

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quote:

Originally opined by Dustin B, glacier, and others
...I think in general it is 'safer' to rap in the case of a bad anchor. The forces on an anchor are much less when rapping than lowering

I always prefer to rappel because I have a greater sense of control. But if you are comparing rapelling to lowering off an anchor and having intermediate anchors in place below the suspect (top) anchor, it is clearly safer to lower off if you have any significant faith in those intermediates and in your belayer. In this case, that is why Anna didn't deck - she was caught by the intermediate one - and in the hypothetical "average" situation, the greater force on the anchor (300 vs 150 pounds) probably isn't going to make much difference though perhaps the additional vibration introduced by lowering could be a factor in causing failure in rare instances.

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I think it depends on the anchor. If you are either rappelling or lowering of a sling on tiny nubbin/horn/knob on a steep wall, setting up a rappel can be nearly impossible. I can think of many cases where if the lower point is ahighly directionally dependant that lowering would be the better choice.

 

PP

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quote:

Originally posted by b-rock:

Right, in theory it would be the weight of the climber x 2.

Okay, I'll buy that. It would be 2 x the weight of the climber if a "frictionless" pulley was used for lowering. The the real case there would be even more force because of the friction in rope-biner setup. So the force during lowering is more than 2 times the force during rappelling, correct? Wow, I figured that out on a Friday afternoon!!

 

Dustin

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In this case, the anchor failed indirectly due to negligence. Simple. A textbook gear anchor would take 4 pieces, 3 down/ 1up. Every piece failed?!

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quote:

Originally posted by Dustin B:

Wow, I figured that out on a Friday afternoon

Except you may have figured wrong. Consider this: if there were so much friction that the rope wouldn't pull through, it would be just like the climber was hanging from a single strand hung on the anchor. If this is correct, then wouldn't some lesser amount of friction maybe tend to reduce rather than aggravate the doubling factor?

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quote:

Originally posted by shredmaximus:

This brings up interesting points and something that is pretty relevant to all of us given the forum that this discussion is taking place. I did not know Anna before that weekend. We had climbed Giverler's the day before and there was a whole bunch of C.C folks who were switching leads and belayers all over Caslte Rock. I don't think ANY OF US really had that good an idea of what the others limitations were...especially in regards to leading.

 

I was all geared up to lead the first pitch (which I later did by the way) and in a moment of enthusiasm Anna decided that she wanted to lead it. No problem...I wasn't fixated on leading it so I gave her my rack. I assumed she was up to the task...I'm sure at the time she did to. We've all been there. Your feeling good...you've got a day of climbing under your belt, you look up at the climb and say "I can do that" then you get on it and realize you are over your head! Sure as her belayer it was my responsibility to have gotten a better handle of her skills but I didn't...another lesson learned. I was not really in a position to tell Anna that she should probably not climb this because I assumed she could...as did everyone else that day. So in this age of finding random climbing partners on the internet, and C.C.com Rope Ups where you are climbing with lots of new folks, how do you get a handle on your partners limitations when you haven't really climbed with them before and may have only developed the leader/belayer relationship moments before???

I can't believe so many people jumped on the band wagon of blaming Anna's partners for "letting her climb something she wasn't prepared for"!! Come on folks. We all read the warnings on the equipment; it is up to YOU to keep safe while climbing. It doesn't sound like any one encourgaged her to lead something she didn't feel comfortable leading. That could be seen as irresponsible. The only way you could blame this on climbing partners is if they didn't catch the fall, or something along those lines.

 

Anna, didn't blame her climbing partners and I don't think anyone else should in this situation.

 

Dustin

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Whatever. I call it negligence. Ya she stepped up to the climb but someone was going to second, that person should know what kind of anchor they will be climbing under.

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dang you matt, you beat me to the draw... but i'll post it anyway:

 

actually, I think the friction in the rope setup would decrease the total force, i.e. force on the anchor is (2x weight of climber) – (amount of climber weight absorbed by friction an therefore not held by belayer) – (amount of climber weight and belayer strain absorbed by rope rubbing on rock). here’s my thinking:

 

if the climber weighs X pounds, the line from the climber to the anchor has X# of tension in it. anchor feels these X# completely. Friction at the anchor prevents some of this weight from being transferred to the other strand of rope, therefore the tension in the belayer’s strand of rope is less. Seems like rope friction on the rock would be greater in a lowering situation, since when rapelling, the rope below the rapeller is slack.

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quote:

Originally posted by mattp:

quote:

Originally posted by Dustin B:

Wow, I figured that out on a Friday afternoon

Except you may have figured wrong. Consider this: if there were so much friction that the rope wouldn't pull through, it would be just like the climber was hanging from a single strand hung on the anchor. If this is correct, then wouldn't some lesser amount of friction maybe tend to reduce rather than aggravate the doubling factor?

So it would seem, now I am truely perplexed.

 

But ponder this: Lets assume this is the case. What is causing this much friction? Probably rope drag caused by the other end of the rope running through the other pieces placed while leading. So these pieces would be taking some of the force then.

 

Okay, my mental capacity is maxed for now. Maybe I'll ponder this issue on Monday with a fresh mind. Now it is time for [HORSECOCK] and [big Drink]

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quote:

Ya she stepped up to the climb but someone was going to second, that person should know what kind of anchor they will be climbing under.

Well if she had made it to the top of the climb she would have had bolts as her anchor so no problem there. I saw her placements on the lower pieces when I finished the climb and they were fine, so she was doing OK as far as leading it went. The problem arose when she was faced with doing something she did not have the skill to do, and not planned on doing, which was rigging and anchor in the middle of the climb. At this point I think she should have done what Highlander suggested and down climbed or down aid climbed back to safe footing and not weighted the suspect anchor.

 

[ 11-01-2002, 04:37 PM: Message edited by: shredmaximus ]

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quote:

Originally posted by forrest_m:

actually, I think the friction in the rope setup would decrease the total force, i.e. force on the anchor is (2x weight of climber) – (amount of climber weight absorbed by friction an therefore not held by belayer) – (amount of climber weight and belayer strain absorbed by rope rubbing on rock).

I'll give it another go (I just deleted my long ass response so this is shorter):

 

The increased friction is this scenario would not "decrease the total force of the system" (which remains constant), rather is would decrease the total force on the top piece. The resultant (missing, other) force would be felt by the rope on rock friction and rope drag through other pieces (and therefore increased force on those pieces). Afterall, these other things are what is causing some of the friction. Strictly speaking, assuming no other frictional forces exist, the friction between the rope-biner on the top piece can't reduce the force on the top piece, that is physically impossible. Now do I have it?

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my best advice to new trad leaders is always take the number 4 snaffle. That guy seems to fit everywhere and has saved my ass a number of times.

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not quite so I think, the more inefficient your pulley, the worse your mech advantage. An ideal 2:1 is....2:1. Introduce a non-ideal (real) pulley and you drop to the 1.7's, .8's etc. So w/ a really crummy pulley (dyn. rope over biner), I think it would stand to reason that you would reduce it further if the analogy stands.

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??????????????????????????????????????????????????

 

Lets fly sometime Mister Chips...now that is something I know quite a bit about, and love too....still training in a 152 though....

 

ANNA ANNA ANNA... I was feeling bad for what Mr. Chips had said to you regarding some stupid judgment you and your party made climbing, until I read the above. For crying out loud! You don't a bloody damn thing about flying.

 

You said it yourself "still training in a 152"

 

I'm a pilot, endorsed, multi engine IFR, High Performance, land/sea, PPC's on BE200, BE90, DHC6. I flew medivac opperations in the arctic for 4 years and I THINK I STILL HAVE ALOT TO LEARN ABOUT AVIATION.

 

How much experience do you think someone needs to fly circuits around the strip VFR? or touch and go's at ZBB? not much.

 

It baffles me how cocky and ignorant newly licenced Commercial pilots are. Are you even Commercial?

 

I think what Mr. Chips is trying to say is, You don't know shit! probably about climbing and MOST DEFFINATLY ABOUT FLYING! so think long and hard about your choice of words and more importantly, your skill level. Your life depends on it!

 

thats OK, like you, all of started at the same place. Just know where you are starting from.

 

KNOWBODY wants to hear about your demise on some alpine route or read about your Navajo flying into a granite cloud.

 

So to everyone reading this, Next time your doing your slide shows or telling your Starbuck's war stories. Remember, you're only half as good as you say you are. Someone can always do it better but never talks about it.

 

Anna, Fly/climb safe

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