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ACR Anchor Method?
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By JBaker
From Belmont, MA
Dec 2, 2010
summit of Mt. Washington, NH
What are you thoughts on the ACR Anchor Method: The Alpine Cock Ring

Seems kinda cool, but also kidna gimmicky. One concern is clipping a biner to the rap ring. I have always been told biner to biner is bad practice, so is this the same kind of thing?

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By Chris90
From Unity, Maine
Dec 2, 2010
Seems intersting. I know what you mean about metal to metal, I was taught the same way. But if you used a fully rated rap ring ( not cheap aluminum), and it stays weighted and loaded properly, it seems legit.

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By rgold
From Poughkeepsie, NY
Dec 2, 2010
The traverse out to the Yellow Ridge on the Dogsti...
The link seems broken. Try

paulraphaelson.com/downloads/a...

The virtues and drawbacks of sliding equalization systems have been discussed ad infinitum. Paul's solution is arguably the simplest and most effective of the lot.

Unfortunately, we really don't know the effects of friction in these systems. There are reasons to believe that once frictional effects have been taken into consideration, there may be no significant advantages.

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By saxfiend
Administrator
From Decatur, GA
Dec 2, 2010
Relaxing at the P1 belay of Fruit Loops at Rumblin...
I've played around with Paul's system, and it seems fairly handy. My take on it is that it's essentially a homemade version of Trango's Alpine Equalizer. I'm a fan of the AE and use it a lot for trad anchors.

Regarding clipping a biner to the rap ring, I don't see why there'd be any concern with this. It's no different from clipping into the rings at a bolted anchor.

JL

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By Wayne
From Superior, CO
Dec 2, 2010
Just a tip on posting links - I have seen this several times. Include the http: and // prefix when posting the link. Include it when typing the link directly or when using the url tags.

Why (if you happen to care): When you post it without these, the browser will usually prefix the link with the current site URL, so the first poster link was actually going to www.mountainproject.com/v/trad_climbing/acr_anchor_method/www.paulraphaelson.com/downloads/acr.pdf which of course is a bad link. By the way, I tried to type the above bad example with the http: but the forum software recognized it as a link and both made it a hyper link and did not display the http: part.

And a second trick for those stumbling over bad links: Look in the address bar after you get one of these and look for a www.something..... in the middle and get rid of everything to the left of that www and try again. Some links are just bad and this will not help, but it does in this case.

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By Jon H
From Boulder
Dec 2, 2010
At the matching crux
After a lot of tinkering, I now keep my cordellete tied into an ACR all the time for cragging purposes. I haven't found anything quicker. I find that having no bulky knots to dress or finesse is my biggest time saver in anchor prep. Further, since the ACR will load all your gear relatively equally in all directions of downward pull, it saves further tinkering. Obviously finding gear takes the longest, but there's nothing you can do about that.

I haven't taken it up into the alpine yet, I need to give it some more thought. Normally I just carry a bunch of double and triple length slings twisted up to minimize on weight and bulk and don't bring any cordellete at all. It's a tradeoff... less bulk and weight vs incrased speed and simplicity. It really depends on the route I suppose. Oh well.

I'm not remotely concerned about biner to rap ring - like someone said above, it's no different than clipping in to an anchor. Obviously use a locker and that will mitigate any accidental gate opening concerns.

I wouldn't think of it as a homemade Trango AE. They use a similar principle - sliding aluminim rings for low friction equalization, but that's where the similarities end. The ACR has the ring for a masterpoint, the AE uses 2 small rings to minimize friction between anchor legs. The big difference is that everything in the ACR can be repurposed or reused in any fashion (tie it as a regular cordellete, steal the ring to make a rap station, cut some cord to make a thread, etc). The AE is single purpose, can't be cut, the rings can't be used for anything else, etc. So that's why I personally prefer the ACR.

The biggest downside of the ACR is lack of redundancy. If a leg of the ACR gets chopped, the whole thing immediately fails, unlike a normal cordellete or equallete, where the legs are isolated from each other by a big knot. That same big knot though introduces all the downsides that the ACR is trying to solve. As Paul recommends, always clove your rope to the strongest piece to cover that very, very unlikely scenario of anchor failure. Like everything else, it's a tradeoff. Read the last paragraph in his PDF... like he says, if you're so concerned about rockfall, chopped anchors, and lack of redundancy (when you only have 1 harness, 1 rope, etc) maybe you shouldn't be climbing at all.

Your mileage may vary.

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By Darin Berdinka
Dec 2, 2010
I use short ACRs for rope-soloing and like it a lot. One additional advanatge is that the rappel-ring acts as a lightweight powerpoint that you can clip up to three biners to. Lead line, haulline and onhe daisy. The system equalizes quite nicely as I go from cleaning a pitch to leading the next.

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By Timothy Mark
Dec 2, 2010
This looks really interesting - but I'm wondering if I'd use it over a sliding X. It shares the same major strengths (equalization) and weaknesses (non-redundancy on the cord). Here's how it breaks down to me:

Advantages (ACR over sliding x):
  • Harder to make a rigging mistake, and easier to assess.
  • Ring presents a clear power point.
  • Might slide more smoothly?

Disadvantages:
  • Need to carry a special-purpose cord, instead of just extra slings.
  • Ring size limits the number of biners you can attach to the power point.

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By Mike
From Phoenix
Dec 2, 2010
Doing the jump-across off The Mace.  I never get t...
People probably hate to see posts like this in threads like these, but... Why not just anchor with the rope instead of bringing all the extra thingamajigs along? You are already tied in to a super-strong, super-dynamic cord. Just use it.

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By Buff Johnson
Dec 2, 2010
smiley face
I like the idea.

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By Derek W
Dec 2, 2010
First summit of First Flatiron
I haven't had time to read through the whole link posted by rgold, but in regards to the redundancy, what would people think about tying the ACR out of 2 strands of 5mm mammut procord or something similar. Smaller diameter, but together, plenty strong and now redundant. Small enough that they should slide and adjust reasonably well. Would this be an improvement or do you see a fatal flaw??

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By Derek W
Dec 2, 2010
First summit of First Flatiron
Wehling wrote:
ACR out of 2 strands of 5mm mammut procord or something similar.


Or even 4mm cord if we are going to go down this road...

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By Rick Blair
From Denver
Dec 2, 2010
This is a novel auto blocking belay device.  I thi...
I use a pre-tied equalette. The advantage of this over the equalette is true equalization of up to 3 pieces while the equalette can truly equalize only 2 points.

The disadvantage is the better extension limitation of the equalette especially in vertical orientation.

I would give the edge to the equalette but I will have to play with this.

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By mountainmicah83
From Colorado Springs
Dec 2, 2010
Kit Carson
So a plus is that you are more equalized on your anchors, but what about shockloading? If any piece pops, you will likely shockload the others and maybe even pull those from the shock forces. Then it doesn't matter how strong your rap ring and cordalette are. While traditional SRENE methods can never be truly equalized, they seem to be the safest for shock loads. The sliding x falls subject to this as well. You have a tossup from equalization and shockloading.It is nice to have another backup completely separate from your main anchor system as well no?

I suppose you could tie a limiter knot(s) in your Setup but then you don't have the range on equalization and have added another knot to your system.

Just trying to throw out thoughts from a trad newb.

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By Buff Johnson
Dec 2, 2010
smiley face
I say forget those unwarranted fears of shockloading and redundancy, make your anchors distribute loads with solid pro, good angles, and move fast.

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By Brendan Blanchard
From Strafford, NH
Dec 2, 2010
Obi Wan Ryobi - Darth Vader Crag, Rumney NH
Did you see what the article said about shock loading though? The limiter knot the in long side reduces it quite a bit, and it can only drop half the distance of the longest arm. In his diagram the largest ended up being 11" I think, so you only drop 6" give a little for stretch, now doing it with Dyneema or Dynex....thats a different story.

Although still "shock loading," you maintain a pretty solid anchor, and you are backed up to the strongest piece. You could put another piece entirely separate if it made you feel better.

Also the writer mentioned that although SRENE is somewhat ignored in this, the anchor setup is for maximum speed and efficiency in set-up and transition between pitches.

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By Jay Eggleston
From Denver
Dec 2, 2010
Berlin
Alias wrote:
just use the rope

+1

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By Larry
From SoAZ
Dec 2, 2010
I started out with Robbin's philosophy of minimal devices. Hip belay, carabiner brake rappel, and anchoring with the rope. Or anchoring with just one nut, or even no anchor at all if the circumstances are right.

Eventually it became clear that having a device to belay and rappel with made sense.

Since I first heard of the cordalette, I've thought that maybe that, or something like that, might make sense too.

One reason to separate the anchor from the rope is simplified escape of the belay, in case you need to assist an injured partner. (No, I've never had to assist an injured partner.)

Having an equalized, redundant anchor seems like a good idea, if it doesn't take a long time to set up. These systems seem particularly applicable to hanging belays from gear, when maybe you've used up most of your gear on the lead, so maybe you don't have the ideal pieces.

I can still see times when anchoring with the rope makes sense, for instance in a vertical crack.

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By JPVallone
Dec 2, 2010
If you needed this configuration for what ever reason, then wouldn't the locking carabiner in place of the ring accomplish the same thing without the extra piece of gear?

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By Derek W
Dec 3, 2010
First summit of First Flatiron
JPVallone wrote:
If you needed this configuration for what ever reason, then wouldn't the locking carabiner in place of the ring accomplish the same thing without the extra piece of gear?


I was wondering the same thing also. How is this really any different than a sliding x rigged to 3 pieces? The only plus I see over it is you don't have to question, "Did I put a twist in both sides? Were they twisted the right direction?"

I still would like thoughts on 4 or 5mm double lines rigged this way though, to provide redundancy.

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By Greg D
From Here
Dec 3, 2010
Out of the blue.  Photo by Mike W.
For starters, the math on the extensions are way off.

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By Greg D
From Here
Dec 3, 2010
Out of the blue.  Photo by Mike W.
JPVallone wrote:
If you needed this configuration for what ever reason, then wouldn't the locking carabiner in place of the ring accomplish the same thing without the extra piece of gear?


Yes.

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By Greg D
From Here
Dec 3, 2010
Out of the blue.  Photo by Mike W.
Wehling wrote:
I haven't had time to read through the whole link posted by rgold, but in regards to the redundancy, what would people think about tying the ACR out of 2 strands of 5mm mammut procord or something similar. Smaller diameter, but together, plenty strong and now redundant. Small enough that they should slide and adjust reasonably well. Would this be an improvement or do you see a fatal flaw??


No.

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By Greg D
From Here
Dec 3, 2010
Out of the blue.  Photo by Mike W.
Wehling wrote:
Or even 4mm cord if we are going to go down this road...


Definitely no.

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By Greg D
From Here
Dec 3, 2010
Out of the blue.  Photo by Mike W.
Mike wrote:
People probably hate to see posts like this in threads like these, but... Why not just anchor with the rope instead of bringing all the extra thingamajigs along? You are already tied in to a super-strong, super-dynamic cord. Just use it.


Great option, especially when swapping leads.

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By Greg D
From Here
Dec 3, 2010
Out of the blue.  Photo by Mike W.
Rick Blair wrote:
I use a pre-tied equalette. The advantage of this over the equalette is true equalization of up to 3 pieces while the equalette can truly equalize only 2 points. The disadvantage is the better extension limitation of the equalette especially in vertical orientation. I would give the edge to the equalette but I will have to play with this.


Now I'm getting turned on!

FLAG


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