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A_Little_Off_Route

Do you take 2 cordalettes?

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I'm not exactly new to climbing, but I am new to some of the more modern techniques, so this section seemed like the best place for my question.

 

Do you take 2 cordalettes with you on a multi-pitch climb? It seems so me that if you're using one for your anchor on the top of pitch 1 it will stay there while you climb up pitch 2. At the top of pitch 2 you will need another anchor and thus another cordalette.

 

I've climbed with a buddy who carried one and used it, but we were at index and vantage only doing 1-2 pitch climbs on those days and there were often fixed anchors at the top of the second pitch.

 

If you do need to carry 2, then isn't 2 big wads of 7MM rope a lot more bulky than a few double and shoulder length runners?

 

Off_Route

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Yes.

 

Or take the max number of pieces you estimate placing per pitch and add two more long slings to the mix that are reserved solely for the anchor (i.e. out of reach, clipped to back on lead).

 

Having 2 cords can be good though, have one a length adequate for wrapping around a tree, or bridging a long gap between say the anchor and the edge of the cliff/ledge, and then have your second cord be a more prudent length for 2 to 3 closely spaced bolts, or 2 or 3 relatively closely spaced nuts or cams in the instance of a gear anchor.

 

The decision of 7 mm, versus 6 vs pre-strung slings etc...Whats the climbing? If its light and fast nix the weight. Climbing around Index can come to down to stacking a bunch of pitches in a day, potentially leading to more wear and tear on what your using, then maybe the heavier (cause your travelling it so far from the car after all) cordage is in order, as not to put unnecessary wear on your sling cache

 

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It all really depends on the type of climbing you are doing. Swinging leads? Bolted or gear anchors?

There are tons of anchor building methods out there, from just using the rope to hyper-engineering with cords/slings. Each has its uses, and logistical issues. You'll find them discussed ad nauseum here and every other climbing forum you can find.

 

Keep in mind that having spare cord can really come in handy. Being able to put your follower into a haul/assist system in <5mins can make a huge difference in the way the rest of the day/climb works out. It can make the difference between a bad day and a small speedbump in the climb.

 

I carry my spare cord wrapped around my waist2x as my chalkbag belt. Sometimes I carry 2x anchors, sometimes I use the rope, sometimes slings, sometimes equalette, sometimes cordalette, sometimes draws+1locker. All depends really.

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I carry my spare cord wrapped around my waist2x as my chalkbag belt.

 

Nice tip. My buddy carried it as a big wad at the back of the harness. Seems like 2 big knotty wads could really get in the way especially in an offwith or chimney.

 

Off_Route

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Blake is a far more accomplished climber than me, and makes good points, but I like cordelettes. It's true that they are a single-purpose piece of gear, but they make anchor building so fast and easy that to me they are worth it. If you're wanking around on 5.10- trade routes like me, they're a good way to go.

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I use a double shoulder length on about 90% of the multipitch routes I go on including alpine. The other 10% being alpine where I anticipate slinging of blocks (chossier gneiss in the N cascades vs granite).

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I notice people carry too much - my cordellettes are only 3m/18ft long, and I utilize 7mm cord or 6mm powercord (sterling).

 

Whether I carry one, two, or any cord at all depends on the route - lines like IB or Prime Rib of Goat have two-bolt anchors for ascending and descending, so its not necessary. If I'm climbing a trad route with big belay stances (i.e., R&D), I may bring one cordellette for ease of some anchor building. Then on full alpine routes, or trad lines with small or hanging belay stances, I'll bring make sure we have two cordellettes that alternate anchors - its just less hassle, more versatile, and makes for quick and immediate rap anchor material if we're bailing in an emergency (this has happened to me twice).

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I notice people carry too much - my cordellettes are only 3m/18ft long, and I utilize 7mm cord or 6mm powercord (sterling).

 

Whether I carry one, two, or any cord at all depends on the route - lines like IB or Prime Rib of Goat have two-bolt anchors for ascending and descending, so its not necessary. If I'm climbing a trad route with big belay stances (i.e., R&D), I may bring one cordellette for ease of some anchor building. Then on full alpine routes, or trad lines with small or hanging belay stances, I'll bring make sure we have two cordellettes that alternate anchors - its just less hassle, more versatile, and makes for quick and immediate rap anchor material if we're bailing in an emergency (this has happened to me twice).

 

What you say makes a lot of sense to me. I was also thinking that it would make a fine rap/bail piece of gear, so maybe it's not a totally dedicated piece.

 

I'll have to play around with the concept at ground level and see if I even like this new-fangled idea first. Since I'm a sailor, I'm sure I can scare up some rope to play with somewhere....

 

Off_Route

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We usually cary two 6mm pro cord (no longer available high strength nylon) cordalets. Sure they are dedicated pieces of gear but they get used every pitch. I went without for a while but a friend who had done some guiding and hard long free climbing convinced me the extra organization was worth it.

 

Especially when leading in blocks with hanging belays and autoblock devices...I don't understand what people using no cordalet or personal anchor sling do here. Clip the autoblock to a knot in the rope and when they need to swap ends clip in with a sling, untie and trade ends? Doesn't sound efficient to me.

 

I also find double length slings aren't long enough for much slinging of blocks and large trees as found commonly in some areas like Blodget Canyon.

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Especially when leading in blocks with hanging belays and autoblock devices...I don't understand what people using no cordalet or personal anchor sling do here.

Never use autoblock devices or belay off anchors, ever, so it's not an issue.

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Joe also does not believe in antilock brakes...

True, being from snow country, the last thing I want is a weak algorithm managing any skids I happen to get into. So yeah, I similarly don't delegate belaying to a device either and don't think belaying off anchors is a particularly good idea. But it does play into doing other things than belaying when belaying if one is already so inclined.

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Joe also does not believe in antilock brakes...

True, being from snow country, the last thing I want is a weak algorithm managing any skids I happen to get into. So yeah, I similarly don't delegate belaying to a device either and don't think belaying off anchors is a particularly good idea. But it does play into doing other things than belaying when belaying if one is already so inclined.

 

Weak algorithm? You obviously don't know anything about antilock brakes produced after 1990. Is the advice your doling out regarding climbing as up to date as your opinions towards automotive technology?

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Especially when leading in blocks with hanging belays and autoblock devices...I don't understand what people using no cordalet or personal anchor sling do here.

Never use autoblock devices or belay off anchors, ever, so it's not an issue.

 

No autoblock? Then when do you eat???

 

I would definitely consider leaving the cordalets for a crag climb at index or similar with bolted anchors and where the second would potentially want to lower negating the use of an autoblock but for longer stuff with gear belays on cramped/no ledges I bring one.

 

I'd actually love to learn the rope management/organizational tricks people like sol and blake do when leading in blocks and using the rope as an anchor and moving quickly as, to me, having a dedicated piece of gear to build the anchor and dedicated tethers for each person takes the thought out of the process and speeds up transitions (ie you can flip the coiled rope, unteahter and go or swap ends) though using the rope is definitely safer.

 

Also I seem to often find myself in a situation on easier stuff where the nice belays are exactly 60 or 70 m apart and there is no rope left to use in the anchor.

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Joe also does not believe in antilock brakes...

True, being from snow country, the last thing I want is a weak algorithm managing any skids I happen to get into. So yeah, I similarly don't delegate belaying to a device either and don't think belaying off anchors is a particularly good idea. But it does play into doing other things than belaying when belaying if one is already so inclined.

Weak algorithm? You obviously don't know anything about antilock brakes produced after 1990. Is the advice your doling out regarding climbing as up to date as your opinions towards automotive technology?

I know they make zero, zip difference when you are hydro-planing on a sheet of water or flying over black ice in the Gorge and I can manage a skid on snow way better than they can. Oh, and I'm a software engineer with aviation and automotive experience and do actually know about abs performance which, like autoblocks, is why I don't use them.

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Interesting turn of discussion....

 

Personally I don't believe in autoblocks myself, and have never owned a car with antilock brakes. Actually, I don't much like driving cars built after 1990. I belay with a stitch plate and still regard the ATC as "new". I still regard the GriGri with a jaundiced eye, not just because it's mechanical when it doesn't need to be, but because it takes a perfectly dynamic belay and makes it static.

 

I'm interested in the new technique of the cordalette and appreciate the discussion so far in this thread. John long's books are good for the general pros and cons but I like how some here have pointed out that they are good for certain climbs but not others (ie if you can expect bolted anchors).

 

Off_Route

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1. Put a cam in close to you, clove hitch the rope to its racking biner.

2. Put another piece in a little further away, clove hitch the rope to it.

3. If you need another piece, put it in now, and clove to it.

4. Pull up rope, slap your [belay device of choice] on, and yell "On belay _"

*Climber ascends to belay, then continues to lead the next pitch. He yells down "I'm anchored _"

5. Start disassembling your anchor to whatever you feel comfortable with.

6. You hear "On belay _" from above.

7. Drop the last clove hitch or 2, rack those cam(s), and GO!

 

How could a cordelette be faster than that? Consider the time it takes to de-rack and re-rack a cordelette.

It takes me 2-3 seconds to whip up a clove hitch, and 1-2s to later pull it off the biner.

 

My 18' 7mm ACR cordelette weighs in around 300g with an ultralight locker.

That's about the same weight as 5 Metolius TCUs, or a #4 Camalot C4.

 

I usually still have a variety of biners, a 60cm or two, and sometimes a 120cm sling at the top; if I plan on switching the belay over, they come into play.

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Like everything else in climbing it comes down to making situational decisions. 2 QD's work great sometimes, using the rope works great as well. Cordalettes? Equalettes? Magic X w/limiter knots? Quad? etc etc etc. They all work, and they all shine in different situations.

 

The only thing that really comes to mind is that since I've been practicing my self rescue skills is that not having cord handy sucks, and anchoring off the rope in this situation sucks as well. Of course you can always cut the rope, but once again, being prepared for the little stuff can make the difference between a bad day or a minor hiccup.

 

When I am honest with myself I learn that the reason I didn't climb a route or fell at a crux has nothing to do with whether or not I'm carrying 300g extra or 3 too many carabiners. Almost every time it comes down to something else, like not committing to the move, or getting trolled on climbing forums when I could be training.

 

You can make your anchor safe and fast with a minimum of equipment, as well a self rescue... but what we are really talking about here is convenience.

 

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I'd actually love to learn the rope management/organizational tricks people like sol and blake do when leading in blocks and using the rope as an anchor and moving quickly as, to me, having a dedicated piece of gear to build the anchor and dedicated tethers for each person takes the thought out of the process and speeds up transitions (ie you can flip the coiled rope, unteahter and go or swap ends) though using the rope is definitely safer.

 

Also I seem to often find myself in a situation on easier stuff where the nice belays are exactly 60 or 70 m apart and there is no rope left to use in the anchor.

 

Hey Ryan,

 

 

I'll assume a scenario of building acnhors. If there are two bolts, just clip them both with carabiners and there's your anchor.

 

If I'm leading in blocks I'll generally try to connect 2 or 3 piece with a sliding X using a 48" runner or normal runner if the gear is close together. Maybe I'll equalize 2 pieces and then put another piece in, clipped to one of the two legs.

 

I'd belay off the "x" with a reverso-type device in auto-lock, and have the arriving follower clip in there with one locker, cloved to rope they are tied in to. While belaying I'd likely be just cloved to a couple pieces in the anchor, and when I am ready to lead again i remove the cloves but switch my clove into the anchor's top piece and just clip through that piece for factor-2-avoidance.

 

If we are flipping leads, the follower never clips into anything, they just hang on the reverso and I'd steal their belay device and put them on lead belay with it.

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If we are flipping leads, the follower never clips into anything, they just hang on the reverso and I'd steal their belay device and put them on lead belay with it.

 

Are they then going to belay you with a munter on the next pitch? Or is this assuming that this is the topout pitch?

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5 mil tech cord or quad length spectra runner which is 1/2 the weight of tech cord. It's a little shorter than the standard cordalette but the knot takes up less length so it evens out.

 

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If we are flipping leads, the follower never clips into anything, they just hang on the reverso and I'd steal their belay device and put them on lead belay with it.

 

When flipping leads you can also clip your harness belay loop into the braking beaner on the autolock setup, then undo the autolock anchor beaner, to put someone on lead belay, without ever taking them off belay.

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