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thebrowze

Redundant personal anchors?

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Want to get the opinion of the hive mind here: when sport climbing, especially multi-pitch should one always use two personal anchors and clip to both anchor bolts at the top of pitches, or is one generally sufficient?

 

I guess you could always clove hitch the climbing rope to act as a backup personal anchor rather than use two slings or loop chains?

 

How about when rappelling when you wouldn't have the rope to use as backup?

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These days when I'm cragging and reach a two-bolt anchor, I clip my personal leash into one bolt, and I clove hitch the rope into the other bolt. Simple.

 

When rappelling I ad-lib depending on how sketched out I feel...

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It depends what you're doing!!!!!!

 

Are you continuing on with another pitch? If yes, just use the rope.

 

Are you setting up to rap, or lower :shock:? If yes, why waste the time to backup with the rope if you have to untie from it anyway. Just use 2 quick draws. Also, I've used 1 sling with 1 biner (not always even a locker) plenty when rapping a bunch of times ::skull::. Depends on the situation!!!!!!!!1

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It seems to me that if it's easy to make a redundant and timely second clip to another independent anchor, it's worth the time. When preparing to rap from that point, test the anchor while clipped to both anchors if you can (to reduce extension/anchor stress if one anchor fails), then rap when you feel the anchor test passes.

 

Otherwise, use the rope on a clove to the anchor in addition to a PAS, if you're continuing in a multi-pitch scenario. IMHO, that's how I'd handle things.

 

What kind of a PAS are you using, and how is it rigged to your harness?

 

In CBS's case, where he uses a single PAS to a double anchor...if the PAS fails, it doesn't matter if there's one or two anchors; there's no redundancy. I think as you suggest, two independent nylon (not spectra; with a mid-knot) slings is the way to go nowadays, IMHO.

Edited by treknclime

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Otherwise, use the rope on a clove to the anchor in addition to a PAS, if you're continuing in a multi-pitch scenario. IMHO, that's how I'd handle things.

 

 

Why?

 

Why isn't the rope good enough? This is nonsense.

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thebrowze asked about 'redundant' anchors, and I responded with a way to obtain that goal.

 

Using only the rope isn't a redundant approach to tying into an anchor. :)

 

Not saying I don't use only the rope, but if there's a mistake with the hitch or the anchor fails, it's fatal. Using a sling or PAS in addition to the rope (on a separate anchor, if possible), builds in redundancy.

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I use a PAS clip to both bolts if they are close together.

 

This is also what I do on lead. After building an anchor I will usually clove hitch into the master point then undo the PAS to unclutter the bolts. When following I am always clove hitched to the anchor. As soon as the lead says off belay I clip into the bolts using my PAS and start tearing down the anchor while the lead sets the next anchor to bring me up. This practice seems to be efficient especially when you are not on a big ledge. As far as one sling in a bolt, it’s up to you and your comfort level. Personally I always use both bolts with my PAS (one locker one non). Note that even though you may be clipped into two bolts with a PAS if a loop fails the PAS is not redundant. In contrast two slings are redundant.

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Thanks for the replies. I guess built into my question was whether redundant personal anchors are necessary when sport climbing.

 

Personally, I used to use two shoulder length slings (on separate bolts), but found they were too short to be comfortable, so I would end up girth hitching them together in some cases to make a longer one, but the length would be too much sometimes.

 

Now I use a loop chain girth hitched to my belay loop with a locking 'biner on one of the anchor bolts (or a third bolt, if present). I found this is much easier for adjusting the length, but without the cross-clipping danger of a daisy chain. I only have one, so I was wondering if people thought that was enough, or if I should back it up either with the rope (when continuing up) or with another sling (when rappelling).

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thebrowze asked about 'redundant' anchors, and I responded with a way to obtain that goal.

 

Using only the rope isn't a redundant approach to tying into an anchor.

 

Again it's all about your comfort level. Assuming the anchor is built right the anchor is redundant. If you don’t trust the rope to clove hitch into the anchor than why are you climbing on it right?

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Thanks for the replies. I guess built into my question was whether redundant personal anchors are necessary when sport climbing.

 

Personally, I used to use two shoulder length slings (on separate bolts), but found they were too short to be comfortable, so I would end up girth hitching them together in some cases to make a longer one, but the length would be too much sometimes.

 

Now I use a loop chain girth hitched to my belay loop with a locking 'biner on one of the anchor bolts (or a third bolt, if present). I found this is much easier for adjusting the length, but without the cross-clipping danger of a daisy chain. I only have one, so I was wondering if people thought that was enough, or if I should back it up either with the rope (when continuing up) or with another sling (when rappelling).

 

Again, if it's easy to do, timely, the anchors are available, and doesn't take much gear, IMHO you're better off taking the extra step.

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justinp...good point. Comfort level is an aspect of this, too.

 

Sometimes I feel when I'm getting too comfy with things...is just about when I'll make a silly mistake or something. Using some kind of redundant system may reduce those kinds of accidents.

 

I think the biggest thing...is that when moving into and out of a belay station (trad or sport)...a system of some sort is used, to minimize confusion and a mistake. I thought you had a good example of a system that worked for you in that regard. A person may or may not want to increase redundancy, depending on the situation and strength of the anchors.

 

FWIW, I think the AMGA is moving towards the double nylon sling approach, vs. a PAS or single sling (not redundant). The double sling is used as an extension when rapping; or use a 2x length sling with a knot midway, with a clip through the "X", and then clip the end of the loop back into the harness (relates to last question in original post).

 

Good discussion!

Edited by treknclime

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clove both bolts and then clip your PAS to on of them - if you are multipitching. OR... Use one PAS and the rope cloved to the anchor.

 

When I first started I had 2 PAS's, but that means that you have an extra biner clipped to your gear loop. 1 PAS is sufficient if you are cloving the rope too. But its what you are comfortable with... don't do it if you are not comfortable with it!

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Honest question, not trolling here...

 

For those of you who don't think a clove hitch on your tie-in rope is good enough, which part of that chain don't you trust as being enough?

 

The anchor? The clove hitch? The rope? The 'biner? The fig 8 knot attaching the rope to your harness?

 

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I use a clove hitched rope if I am doing multi-pitch and going to stay tied in and follow the next pitch, BUT I use two slings with locking biners girth hitched to my harness for single pitch sport if I'm untying, threading the rope and lowering off. I don't see many others using this, I got it from that book on learning to lead trad. I like the redundancy, and sometimes the slings come in handy.

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The first step, before you get off belay, is to build your anchor (if necessary) and put your personal anchor in. Then you can be safely taken off belay, and set up a clove hitch to belay on. This is sufficient protection. I use one personal anchor and one clove hitch.

 

Actually, I fell on my personal anchor yesterday when clove hitching in. It was kind of scary, but they are rated to something like 22kN, and my fall was probably like 1 or 1.5kN, so there wasn't much to worry about.

 

-Mark

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Actually, I fell on my personal anchor yesterday when clove hitching in. It was kind of scary, but they are rated to something like 22kN, and my fall was probably like 1 or 1.5kN, so there wasn't much to worry about.

-Mark

Not sure if you care, but I remember reading somewhere that you are supposed to replace PAS's after a fall. Also 1.5 kN = 337 lb force thus your fall likely generated a force higher that 1.5 kN unless it was only an inch or two…

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Typically a fall factor zero (ie dropping onto a sling with no slack, bounce testing, etc) will generate a force equivalent to 2-2.5 x the weight, so assuming your average sport climber is a svelte 80kg, that would be about 1.6-2kN. I think a static sling will increase this somewhat, because that figure is for a typical low stretch rope.

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Typically a fall factor zero (ie dropping onto a sling with no slack, bounce testing, etc) will generate a force equivalent to 2-2.5 x the weight, so assuming your average sport climber is a svelte 80kg, that would be about 1.6-2kN. I think a static sling will increase this somewhat, because that figure is for a typical low stretch rope.

 

Interesting - how studious of you! :tup:

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note that snoboy's scenario is without any slack. falling with slack onto a daisy, sling, or other non-stretchy stuff will generate a high shock load and is not good for the anchor, the daisy chain or your body.

 

rocketparrotlet, what are you using for a personal anchor? how long was your fall onto it?

 

there are a few reasons OSHA approved safety harnesses have screamers attached, one is to protect the worker's body from the shock load.

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note that snoboy's scenario is without any slack.

 

Indeed! I think we went over that in another thread recently, but the numbers once you get into FF1 - ie your tie in level with your harness attachment - can become scary, especially using spectra slings and the like.

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note that snoboy's scenario is without any slack. falling with slack onto a daisy, sling, or other non-stretchy stuff will generate a high shock load and is not good for the anchor, the daisy chain or your body.

 

rocketparrotlet, what are you using for a personal anchor? how long was your fall onto it?

 

there are a few reasons OSHA approved safety harnesses have screamers attached, one is to protect the worker's body from the shock load.

 

I am using a BlueWater daisy chain personal anchor, rated for 24kN. I don't think it was a high shock load because I only weigh 50kg (0.5kN), and it wasn't a straight fall- it was more like I slipped, then swung a little before I actually hit the bottom of the PA; it wasn't a straight drop. It didn't hurt at all. I fell because I was tying a clove hitch to set up a belay, and I slipped.

 

-Mark

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clove hitch on a rope without redundancy is definitely good enough. It's faster (and therefore safer), easiest to set up (and therefore harder to screw up...safer), doesn't result in 'redundancy clusterfuck', which can cause more errors/accidents than not, and...um...how about that non-redundant rewoven figure eight you're depending on the rest of the time?

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