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A_Little_Off_Route

Do you take 2 cordalettes?

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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.

 

Modern ABS is pretty refined, in fact I'm pretty certain you couldn't outbrake it on a majority of slippery surfaces with manual brakes, especially on turns.

 

What's wrong with autolock for belaying the follower? After all it's just a top rope. Frees up a lot of time especially on a big wall. You can also belay two followers at once, easily stack twin ropes, and stop to take pictures. It's just plain easier.

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Do you take 2 cordalettes with you on a multi-pitch climb?

 

I take up to 5 cordalettes, especially when I'm climbing ice with the 4 tool method

 

[video:youtube]

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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?

 

When they leave the belay they grab the reverso they'd been hanging from, and its 2 lockers.

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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.

Modern ABS is pretty refined, in fact I'm pretty certain you couldn't outbrake it on a majority of slippery surfaces with manual brakes, especially on turns.

I know exactly how modern abs units work, half of what I do of late is write sensor-related apps. The problem is they don't help at all in the Gorge when I want it most, are worse when dealing with snow skids, and only excel during emergency stops on dry/somewhat wet pavement. Not enough benefit for the intrusion from my perspective. Basically the two things I for sure don't want a computer doing is braking an automobile and talking (ever).

 

What's wrong with autolock for belaying the follower? After all it's just a top rope. Frees up a lot of time especially on a big wall. You can also belay two followers at once, easily stack twin ropes, and stop to take pictures. It's just plain easier.

Exactly. "Easier" is certainly one word for it I suppose. But it's tough enough as is these days to get people to simply STFUAB without introducing a habit which encourages even more slovenly habits. Belaying a second on a big wall aid line? Sure, but that's pretty much it. As for the other, I don't like climbing in threesomes, don't ever want two followers climbing at the same time, and don't really like seeing someone taking pictures, eating or picking their nose when some else is climbing.

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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!

^^^THIS!^^^ Mugsy nails it, much faster and stronger than any cordelette. Not needed for belaying the 2nd on a long aid line. Fix and jug. Cordelettes can be real useful on long aid climbs where things get clustered up, but lots of real good aid climbers don't use them and don't want them. Mark Hudon, for instance, was recently pointing out that he has no use for them on hard El Cap routes and was showing pics of his clean looking anchors on Supertopo with just the rope and some butterfly knots.

 

So what you are left with is that clusterfuckolettes really excel when you have multiple climbers, say, you and too many noobs. Then it's sweeter than ABS and safety belts together. IMO. Metolius makes one of the damned sweetest ones out there, as it packs down into a tiny pack you clip off to your harness for deployment, and is a badassed strong piece of webbing. Ya might choke on the price but it's real solid and worth the scratch, but if you re-read Blakes link upthread, you're back to trying to keep it simple. No clusterfuckolettes for me. Not one, and especially not 2. It's a personal choice for me. Folks can and will do what they wish of course.

 

S10.jpg

 

Good stuff.

 

 

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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!

 

This is a great way to do it, except that it can be a bit harder to escape the belay in case of accidents (and it does use up a bit more rope).

 

However, don't forget to clove the rope back to your harness. John Long actually recommends that you clove the rope back to your harness after every second piece to avoid setting up a death triangle, and to allow for equalization.

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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.

 

 

 

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.

 

Thanks guys. Thats actually more or less the method I learned before I switched to the cordalet and with the unavailability of high strength nylon (ie not techron/vectran/spectra that weakens in knots) 6mm cord I may switch back as 7 mm is pretty bulky.

 

I'm hearing that using the rope only makes sense when swaping leads...otherwise you end up having to tether in, untie and swap ends of the rope instead of flipping or restacking it?

 

When not using the rope I do think the cordlet is faster then slings because you only have to tie one knot instead of one per piece/sling to get an anchor that won't extend if a piece fails. I feel that non-extension and redundancy is much more import then equalization because, when we rope climbed we tend to do so on less traveled things and I often find myself setting belays off several dirty thin kitty litter cracks where it isn't unheard of for a piece to fail unexpectedly at relatively low force. If you are belaying off hand sized cams in clean cracks this is a non issue.

 

For using the rope when the pieces weren't in a single line/crack I used to use something like (http://www.chockstone.org/TechTips/BunnyEars.htm) and then clove hitch two pieces in one of the ears but that takes up a lot of rope and doesn't make sense if you are leading long pitches.

 

Also I think there is some confusion between an autoblock (ie reverso or atc guide) which is essentially a one way clutch and pretty darn fool proof for bringing up a second and an assisted braking device like a gri gri which is not what we are talking about here.

 

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I carry one six-millimeter cordelette pretty much everywhere - it's just "part of my harness" like the belay device that lives on the belay loop. I almost never use it for building belay anchors. Trained as a guide back in the eighties, to me it's an "all-purpose" emergency piece. I use it to sling BIG trees, to build loops to stand in at hanging belays on free climbs, and it's an essential element in most self-rescue maneuvers. Escaping a loaded belay without one takes more ingenuity than I like to count on... I go through one or more per season, because I cut them up for rappel anchors when I need to build those. So I vehemently disagree that it's a "one-trick pony". Hell, I've even used them to construct emergency harnesses in hairy situations. I've almost never felt the need to carry more than one at a time.

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Also I think there is some confusion between an autoblock (ie reverso or atc guide) which is essentially a one way clutch and pretty darn fool proof for bringing up a second and an assisted braking device like a gri gri which is not what we are talking about here.

I don't believe there is any confusion at all from what I've read.

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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?

 

I know Blake likes to mix up his belay devices, but assuming you and your partner are both using a reverso, once you nick his reverso and put him on belay to lead the next pitch, he cleans the reverso off the anchor before he takes off. This saves time faffing with the anchor and gear.

 

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Cordelettes DO NOT work, out of date John Long books aside. Stop using them.

 

http://willgadd.com/?p=271

John Long stopped suggesting using them in 1995 or so. Even beating your old Will Gadd post that dated from 1996 Drew.

 

"If every primary anchor placement could sustain a factor two fall, and moreover, if we all could reliably determine same with visual inspection, the rigging wouldn't much matter. Fact is there are many anchors out there built on so-so primary placements, and there are many climbers who lack the experience to know the relative strength of said anchors by simply eyeballing them.

 

But beyond this, there is the issue of what is actually a better way to go about things, and what criteria we use to define "better."

 

A standard evaluation criteria is SRENE, and to that end, the cordelette unequal arm rig is not as effective as the equalette--which is just as simple and just as quick to rig as the original cordelette configuration, and is far superior in terms of equalization and redundancy.

 

A blanket statement claiming the cordelette is "safe," and that any contrary evidence is "rubbish" is simply not a well informed judgement. Moreover it encourages folks to continue using the cordelette unequal arm configuration after testing has shown it places the bulk of all dynamic loading on a single piece of gear. Switching to another system is an example of preventitive medicine. If you suggest that climbers wait till the disease (anchor failure) actually shows up, you've done nobody any favors.

 

But as someone already said--do as you please. But kindly don't imply that using the cordelette unequal arm configuration is a viable practice simply because more of such rigs haven't so far failed.

 

What is the logic in continuing to use a system that testing has show to be sketchy (in certain circumstances) when a better system has been provided? I can only look to the basic human tendency to resist change, and to call that wisdom.

 

JL

 

I suspect he's tossed that by now as well and is advocating just using the rope you are tied into. That is all he use to climb with when he was climbing. Pretty good thread here: http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=729138&tn=0&mr=0

 

Rgold = Richard Goldstone.

 

Largo = John Long

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I am still waiting for someone to show me an anchor failure that was probably caused by a cordelette's unequal loading of protection.

 

There was a double fatality at Tahquitz in ANAM a couple years ago that fingered the cordelette as the culprit. Three bad pieces loaded sequentially rather than equally by the cord, pop pop pop, and two climbers fell hundreds of feet as a result. ::skull::

 

 

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There was a double fatality at Tahquitz in ANAM a couple years ago that fingered the cordelette as the culprit. Three bad pieces loaded sequentially rather than equally by the cord, pop pop pop, and two climbers fell hundreds of feet as a result. ::skull::

 

 

How do they know that's what happened if they're both dead?

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The analysis of the failure was pretty extensive and that's the answer they came up with. I mean all three pieces were still on the cord attached to the guy who was belaying. I believe they actually found where they fell from and set up a similar anchor in the scarred slots the gear pulled out of and tested it with a weight to be sure

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Obviously you shouldn't build a belay out of 3 bad pieces, but thanks for mentioning that, it is what I was asking for, and more than I've heard in the past.

 

To quote Will Gadd:

If the belay is so shitty that I feel perfect equalization is in order then I might go for the duo-glide option, but realize I’m basically being an idiot for trusting my life and that of my partner to a dubious belay.

 

Stay safe everybody.

Edited by counterfeitfake

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I want to see a quad length skinny runner with a rap ring sewn in so it can be used like an ACR Equallete.

 

http://www.paulraphaelson.com/downloads/acr.pdf

 

Or is there anyone in town that could sew a skinny runner back together?

 

the skinny quad runner weighs 1/2 the weight of a 5mil tech cord (not to mention a 7mil) and you could make it even shorter because the ACR doesn't have a knot.

 

the lightest strongest rap ring is the SMC

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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.

Modern ABS is pretty refined, in fact I'm pretty certain you couldn't outbrake it on a majority of slippery surfaces with manual brakes, especially on turns.

I know exactly how modern abs units work, half of what I do of late is write sensor-related apps. The problem is they don't help at all in the Gorge when I want it most, are worse when dealing with snow skids, and only excel during emergency stops on dry/somewhat wet pavement. Not enough benefit for the intrusion from my perspective. Basically the two things I for sure don't want a computer doing is braking an automobile and talking (ever).

 

What's wrong with autolock for belaying the follower? After all it's just a top rope. Frees up a lot of time especially on a big wall. You can also belay two followers at once, easily stack twin ropes, and stop to take pictures. It's just plain easier.

Exactly. "Easier" is certainly one word for it I suppose. But it's tough enough as is these days to get people to simply STFUAB without introducing a habit which encourages even more slovenly habits. Belaying a second on a big wall aid line? Sure, but that's pretty much it. As for the other, I don't like climbing in threesomes, don't ever want two followers climbing at the same time, and don't really like seeing someone taking pictures, eating or picking their nose when some else is climbing.

 

Can the anti-lock feature be disabled on new cars?

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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.

Quad skinny runner with SMC rap ring set up like ACR with a light locker--- 150g

 

time to construct and deconstruct using overhand knot to stow < 60 seconds. Could probably get it to < 30 seconds with some practice.

 

better equalization than rope/clove hitch, better for full length pitches, better for block leads, better for getting out of the rope.

 

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Can the anti-lock feature be disabled on new cars?

 

Yes but you are going to have a light on the dash and it may disable other features like traction control

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I want to see a quad length skinny runner with a rap ring sewn in so it can be used like an ACR Equallete.

 

http://www.paulraphaelson.com/downloads/acr.pdf

 

Or is there anyone in town that could sew a skinny runner back together?

 

the skinny quad runner weighs 1/2 the weight of a 5mil tech cord (not to mention a 7mil) and you could make it even shorter because the ACR doesn't have a knot.

 

the lightest strongest rap ring is the SMC

 

Interesting. It looks a lot like the trango alpine equalizer, only it's home made from off the shelf parts and it can be un-made into it's useful component parts.

 

Nice. I will study this further.

 

Off_Route

 

PS Since I'm a sailor and lived on a boat for the last 11years I am fairly familiar with rope, and own about a mile of it. Any of you climbing types ever consider using some of the high-tech sailing cordage out there? For a cordalette/equalette where you don't need the dynamics of a lead climbing rope there is some REALLY strong/light/small stuff out there and some of it will even hold a knot!

 

Check out this stuff for example: 22KN breaking strength, 5mm diameter, 9grams/foot and designed to last in the harshest environment for years (and withstand lots of UV). Holds knots too. Sailing cordage

Edited by A_Little_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.

 

What you have here is not an anchor though. Cloving into a series of pieces gives you no equalization, which is a pretty serious compromise in safety. Sure, there's a balance... there comes a point when efficiency is more important, but I would say this system is flat out dangerous.

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PS Since I'm a sailor and lived on a boat for the last 11years I am fairly familiar with rope, and own about a mile of it. Any of you climbing types ever consider using some of the high-tech sailing cordage out there? For a cordalette/equalette where you don't need the dynamics of a lead climbing rope there is some REALLY strong/light/small stuff out there and some of it will even hold a knot!

 

Check out this stuff for example: 22KN breaking strength, 5mm diameter, 9grams/foot and designed to last in the harshest environment for years (and withstand lots of UV). Holds knots too. Sailing cordage

 

Well I just answered my own question with this link: Data HERE

 

I now know why climbers shouldn't use Vectran rope, though it is definitely not for the reasons I though it would be. The link above is a pretty good set of data on different cord strengths and different knot strengths IN DIFFERENT TYPES OF CORD. It's good data, and it makes me like good old nylon even more than I already did.

 

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 _"

 

Four pieces, all clove hitched, they all pulled.

 

excerpt

 

""The team was leading with two 9mm ropes, and both climbers were properly tied to both ropes. Dunwiddie was equipped as leader, with each of the two ropes passing through Eldridge's belay device (an ATC). About 25 feet of each lead rope separated the two climbers; no lead protection was found on either rope.

 

Their anchor-which appears to have pulled in its entirety during the accident-consisted of the following. One 3/8-inch Alien and one #4 Black Diamond Stopper were clove-hitched together to one of the lead ropes approximately three feet from Eldridge's tie-in point. Two double-stem Camalots, .5 and .75, were each independently clove-hitched about a foot and a half apart on the other lead rope with 15 inches separating the lower piece from Eldridge's tie-in point. There was no evidence that bolts or other fixed protection were involved in the anchor.

 

All of the anchor pieces were severely damaged, though it is impossible to know whether the damage occurred when they were pulled out or during the fall and final impact. Nevertheless, the two Camalots were each bent in a similar way suggestive of a severe downward force after being placed in a vertical crack.""

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