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andrewbanandrew

Lowering off of fixed anchors

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I am new to climbing, and just began sport climbing outdoors about three months ago. I was taught to not lower off the chains as it puts wear extra wear on them.

 

I have seen other climbers do it, however, so I'm guessing the opinion on this probably varies from crag to crag and from climber to climber. I suppose a definite answer could be obtained by asking the FA or developer, but that's not always that easy.

 

Is it acceptable to lower off of the chains on a single pitch sport climb?

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The chains are there to be lowered off of or rappelled from.

Toproping off the chains causes excessive wear and is not good practice, but I think we've all done it and will do it a few more times in our lives. The wear caused by lowering is expected. Rapping every time would be the best use, but I don't think anyone has a problem with lowering. It saves a considerable amount of time.

 

I usually use one of these methods:

1. lead climb, bring up second, they clean, both rap from chains.

2. lead climb, clip draws to anchor, lower and top rope off of draws. Last climber takes draws and raps from chains.

3. lead climb, clip to anchor, lower from chains and clean on the way down.

 

What I see alot is:

Lead climb, lower from chains, top rope from chains then pull rope. This is excessive wear. Not good.

Edited by Bill_Simpkins

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1 & 2 = good

3 = bad

 

Yes, it wears on the chains, but it's done 90% of the time at the crags. That doesn't make it right, but it's common practice. Most sport climbers lead, clip to chains, thread rope through chains, re-tie, then get lowered and clean.

It is even expained in some instruction books, specifically, I think John Long's Advanced Rock Climbing.

Rapping the chains is best on the anchors. I don't always rap, I re-tie and lower because it's faster or sometimes easier. Top-Roping the chains is very bad, but I bet 90% of the people here have done it or still do it from time to time. I see it EVERY time I got toa popular crag. I've seen people on this site do it. I've done it too.

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Yes, it wears on the chains, but it's done 90% of the time at the crags.

 

I don't always rap, I re-tie and lower because it's faster or sometimes easier.

 

Bullshit. 90%? I don't think so. I think you are trying to rationalize your bad behavior.

 

Top-roped climbing wears the chains much less than lowering off. If you're going to take the effort an untie to thread through the chains, you can take an additional half a minute to pull up the rope and rappel.

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I don't think 90% of people have done this. In fact, I'd say I've seen someone lowering through chains less than 20% of my time at the crags, and TRing through them even less than that. I've only been with one climbing partner who has actually done this.

 

This is a site where new climbers (myself included) come to for information. I believe in the courtesy of leaving the outdoors in the same condition you found it, including small wear on chains. In the interest of preventing excessive wear (and subsequent replacement) of rap stations, people should be discouraged from lowering or rapping through chains.

 

And besides, if you're going to be lazy at the crags, what does that say about you when you get out into the mountains?

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Bullshit. 90%? I don't think so.

i agree. (and i'm totally with dru.) it's just poor lazy form. the people you probably see doing it are probably the same people you've seen doing it before. thumbs_down.gif i don't know how many times i've had to clean gear on rappel, but i do at least know how to do it. wazzup.gif

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Top-roping and lowering through the chains is just plain lazy and irresponsible. Here is a variation on methods already described that is easy and--with a little practice--quick:

 

1. Lead climber clips into chains with his daisy chain or cows tail, threads a sling through the chains, and sets up an anchor with locking or reversed biners, threads rope through the new anchor, pulls up the rope and raps off. An autoblock on the rap makes it easy to clean the draws since you can stop and use two hands. Or you can lower off, since the rope is now through your biners and not the chains (but your belayer has to stop you to clean each draw).

 

2. Then you can top rope the route for as many climbers as you want.

 

3. Last climber clips in to chains, cleans the anchor, threads rope through the chains, pulls up rope and raps off.

 

When installing and cleaning the anchor, be sure to clip the rope to your harness while it is untied so you don't drop it.

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there's different kinds of chains/rings. Some are easily replaced or renovated and some will require a complete anchor rebuild once worn out. It should be obvious which is the naughtiest type to TR or lower through. If you do regularily lower through the chains at the very least though you should be carrying a few quicklinks and a wrench to replace worn ones you see.

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When ever I see people TRing or lowering off chains I have to hold myself back from saying something. I don't see it very often though. thumbs_down.gif I use to think it was ignorance, no I just think it is lazy. I didn't think climbers were lazy.... confused.gif

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Get off my case, I'm just telling you what I see, and I see it a lot. I bet over half you bastards have lowed off of chains so get off your high horse.

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You can't rap down a doubled rope with a GriGri very easily, can you? Not to mention carrying two extra draws and a rap device up your "proj" might totally wreck your gram-conscious redpoint burn!

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You can't rap down a doubled rope with a GriGri very easily, can you? (snip)

 

Jam the knot against the link and rap the single rope on the other side would work. Why you'd want to do this versus using a rap/belay device is another question...

 

And, uh...

I believe in the courtesy of leaving the outdoors in the same condition you found it, including small wear on chains.

confused.gif

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I believe in the courtesy of leaving the outdoors in the same condition you found it, including small wear on chains.

 

sorry, it worked in my head cantfocus.gif

 

what I meant was that I think causing small wear on chains (by lowering or TRing through the chains) is leaving the climbing area in worse condition than when you found it. thumbs_down.gif

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Well in that case, I will continue as I have always done and not lower through the chains. Although I think lowering off the last climber through the chains would save time, bad habits are easy to form...

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Get off my case, I'm just telling you what I see, and I see it a lot. I bet over half you bastards have lowed off of chains so get off your high horse.

 

My post wasn't directed at you, although you sure did take it personally.

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Get off my case, I'm just telling you what I see, and I see it a lot. I bet over half you bastards have lowed off of chains so get off your high horse.

 

My post wasn't directed at you, although you sure did take it personally.

 

I think I'm suffering from cubical frustration.

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Some of you are making a mountain out of a mole hill. I will occasionally TR a "newer" climber directly through the chains if I fear they will not make it up the route or if they are not comfortable switching the anchor over. Unless you're doing it on 5 Gallon Buckets at Smith or some extremely over used area, big deal, steel chain does not wear out that fast.

 

If you see me do it, go ahead and say something to me, here's my response: the_finger.gif you! Better yet mind your own buisness. And yes, I have and do add or replace chains often. wave.gif

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If you don't trust someone to do a change over, you can feed the rope through the chains, then attach a doubled-up sling with two biners (or however long you need it) to the bolt, and clip the rope in the draw to take the weight off the chains. This way the top-roper can just climb up, unclip the draw, and they are back on the chains ready to be lowered.

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If you don't trust someone to do a change over, you can feed the rope through the chains, then attach a doubled-up sling with two biners (or however long you need it) to the bolt, and clip the rope in the draw to take the weight off the chains. This way the top-roper can just climb up, unclip the draw, and they are back on the chains ready to be lowered.

 

 

Edited by slaphappy

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I am new to climbing, and just began sport climbing outdoors about three months ago. I was taught to not lower off the chains as it puts wear extra wear on them.

 

I have seen other climbers do it, however, so I'm guessing the opinion on this probably varies from crag to crag and from climber to climber. I suppose a definite answer could be obtained by asking the FA or developer, but that's not always that easy.

 

Is it acceptable to lower off of the chains on a single pitch sport climb?

IMHO you should always rap off the chains. it is shitty not to unless you intend to spned a boat load of money replacing the chains you lowerd off of. yet i too have been scetched out and tierd at the end of the day and have lowred off chains. I always feel realy guilty when i do it though blush.gif

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