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David Trippett

Interesting Cordellette Study

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Ropes are disposable. We were up in Canada three years ago on an unnamed peak doing a FA traverse, and had to do something like 20 raps to get off. We used up all of our slings, webbing, and cut up an entire rope for anchors by the time we got off. My recollection is that when we hit flat land we had one more short piece of rope left, then we would have had to start cutting our brand new rope.

 

Frightening stuff, many of those anchors. Mostly just rapping off knots and chockstones. (edit: I am not sure many of the anchors would have passed a Mountie test, but it was back country where you do what you have to do.)

 

Ropes are just tools, to be used and replaced.

Edited by high_on_rock

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Same, here, ken. Cordelettes are fast, easy, and multi-purpose. And I am one of the old persons...!

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Good points have been made for the use cordelettes in this discussion, and those who are against using cordelettes will not address these points.

 

Cordelettes win!

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Thread drift: When does a figure eight fail?

 

Thread back on route: Mr Long really harshes on cordelettes and espouses the equalette instead. I have been experimenting with the equalette. Opinions on that?

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Bowlines fail because they can untie themselves. Fig-8s don't (except if tied as an EDK, when they roll even with really long tails). The only complaints about Fig-8s is that they are too hard to untie when projecting sport routes, or that they make you look like a n00b because you have been tying in with a bowline since the days of PA's and you are too oldskool to change and get safe.

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Thread drift: When does a figure eight fail?

 

Thread back on route: Mr Long really harshes on cordelettes and espouses the equalette instead. I have been experimenting with the equalette. Opinions on that?

 

Of course figure eights do not fail. Neither do cordelettes. I will happily stand corrected if someone has some good counterexamples.

 

Mr. Long makes a living selling books, does he not?

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Thread drift: When does a figure eight fail?

 

Thread back on route: Mr Long really harshes on cordelettes and espouses the equalette instead. I have been experimenting with the equalette. Opinions on that?

 

 

I do not believe that Largo harshes on the cordolette. Considering his new book I take away a couple points.

 

1) learn what is required and what is good enough. It is a waste of time and gear to build a monster anchor when it is it's not needed.

 

2) No anchor or equalization method is a do all and end all. Learn to apply differant methods as needed.

 

3) The cordolette does not perform as well as anticipated in many uses. It does for others, don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Edited by ketch

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I do not believe that Largo harshes on the cordolette. Considering his new book I take away a couple points.

 

1) learn what is required and what is good enough. It is a waste of time and gear to build a monster anchor when it is it's not needed.

 

2) No anchor or equalization method is a do all and end all. Learn to apply differant methods as needed.

 

3) The cordolette does not perform as well as anticipated in many uses. It does for others, don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

 

I agree that this is closer to his take home message.

 

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Of course figure eights do not fail. Neither do cordelettes. I will happily stand corrected if someone has some good counterexamples.

 

 

Take a look in ANAM at the Tahquitz double fatality where a cordelette caused sequential failure of a three point anchor because it did not equalize the three pieces. Sliding X's or an equalette would not have failed, as simulated replications of the accident using the same gear that failed in the same placements and test weights showed

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Cordelettes always go up the rock with me. Yesterday was able to use it in multiple uses. Frist time was to equalize an anchor, second time was to tie the wife down to a boulder while she belayed me, third time was to tie a tree as an anchor, and the fourth time was to equalize a giant cam and a bolt as an anchor.

 

That piece of nylon saved me from lugging around an army of slings.

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Of course figure eights do not fail. Neither do cordelettes. I will happily stand corrected if someone has some good counterexamples.

 

 

Take a look in ANAM at the Tahquitz double fatality where a cordelette caused sequential failure of a three point anchor because it did not equalize the three pieces. Sliding X's or an equalette would not have failed, as simulated replications of the accident using the same gear that failed in the same placements and test weights showed

 

Rhetorical question: Would you say that this was an appropriate time and situation in which to use the cordellete?

 

Projected answer: Clearly not.

 

So, does mis-use of a cordellette disqualify it from being a good tool to use in other situations?

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It was exactly the situation in which most climbers would have used a cordelette... because they believed it was a tool to equalize a three point anchor.

 

It is directly because of this accident that professionals and guides have reevaluated the cordelette and found it wanting.

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I wasn't so much asking about the accident, more of a general question. But , I'd like to read the article.....

 

I probably carry one maybe like 20% of the time I climb, MAYBE, but when I do I use it quite a bit.

 

I didn't realize that the the cordellette was such a divisive issue....carry on.

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It was on SuperTaco, it was in Rock and Ice, it was in Climbing, it was in ANAM. You can look it up. That's where I read about it.

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It was exactly the situation in which most climbers would have used a cordelette... because they believed it was a tool to equalize a three point anchor.

 

It is directly because of this accident that professionals and guides have reevaluated the cordelette and found it wanting.

 

Yeah but the great thing about 5m of 7mm is that you can use it for rescue hauling, you can use it for crevasse extractions, you can use it for prussics, you can throw it over a boulder, you can throw it over a bollard, you can untie it to thread behind a chockstone or icicle, and you can leave it behind cause it don't cost no thing.

 

Drawbacks aside, the cord's versatility outweighs its seemingly minor drawbacks.

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Of course figure eights do not fail. Neither do cordelettes. I will happily stand corrected if someone has some good counterexamples.

 

 

Take a look in ANAM at the Tahquitz double fatality where a cordelette caused sequential failure of a three point anchor because it did not equalize the three pieces. Sliding X's or an equalette would not have failed, as simulated replications of the accident using the same gear that failed in the same placements and test weights showed

 

It seems this was an error in setting up (equalizing) the anchor, not a problem with cordelette. The reason I do not use the Sliding X is because if one anchor point fails, the resulting extension will likely cause the others to fail...as in this case of a poorly equalized anchor. And, of course, the reason we use multiple anchor points is b/c we do not assume any single point will hold a fall.

 

Am I mistaken? Should I be reconsidering using the sliding x over an equalized and tied cordellette? In what situations?

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Everything has its ups and downs.

I usually avaiod a cordellete by using a Self-Equalizing Figure Eight knot with the rope. It's dynamic/self eqaulizing and fast to tie. Just tie a figue eight on a bite then thread the bite back through the top most loop of the figure eight. Bingo, a 2-3 point self equalizing anchor. Not very good for leading in blocks, but good for swapping leads. A cordellette is great for leading in blocks.

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