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Anchoring belayer to ground (single pitch)
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By Em Cos
From Boulder, CO
Dec 14, 2010
Matt N wrote:
It sounds like anchoring to her belay loop would be more comfortable, but many times a boulder/tree is farther back from the wall - is the haul loop the best bet for these situations?


I'm sorry, but what did you not understand about the organ-squishing? Having a tree farther from the wall does not change what we told you about the danger of clipping your girlfriend's harness in the front and back and then pulling them apart with a lot of force. Just try to really picture it. Then don't do it anymore. Please. For kidneys everywhere.

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By jt512
Administrator
Dec 14, 2010
Jay Tanzman redpointing Lethal Weapon. Photo by Hi...
jmeizis wrote:
Why does everyone belay off their belay loop?


Because we know what we are doing.

jmeizis wrote:
Do you belay off your belay loop at the top of a pitch?


Yes. Review the the thread on rc.com where basically Rgold and I explain repeatedly to a hoard of n00bs why belaying your second off the anchor is, more often than not, an inexcusable practice.

jmeizis wrote:
Have her belay directly off the anchor, backed up through her belay loop.


Please explain how you could routinely belay a leader in a safe manner directly off an anchor on the ground at a typical sport crag using an ATC.

Jay

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By Wannabe
Dec 14, 2010
But for the kind of climbing I do...multipitch 5.8-5.10 trad...I can't think of a situation where I wouldn't want my wife anchored to the ground. Maybe someone can convince me otherwise?

--Tom I mostly climb Trad as well. Have you or anyone else ever knocked something loose and watched it go whizzing down at her while she struggled to get out of the way while anchored? I can tell you from personal experience that it can really suck.

At the same time having caught a partner that outweighed me inches above a gnarly rock horn and watching his life flash before my eyes-- there's definitely a time and a place to be anchored IMHO.

I think the point of this whole discussion is that if you're relying on hard and fast doctrines or rules and not relying on an understanding of the forces at play and the scenarios that are possible then you probably should be climbing with or around more experienced climbers so you can begin to absorb some of this stuff. At least that's my approach.

--Wannabe

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By Alicia Sokolowski
From Brooklyn, NY
Dec 14, 2010
Hanging out waiting for Die Antwoord to come on st...
My climbing partner has about 100 lbs on me, and I don't feel comfortable without being anchored. That being said, I only anchor on rated loops, never haul loops. I HIGHLY recommend for anyone in my position getting something like the Mammut belay sling:

backcountry.com/mammut-belay-s...

For multi-pitch, once we are on p2, I just belay directly from the anchor. It's simple and secure. On the ground we are usually lucky enough to find a tree or a boulder. The sling really decreases the stress on my body. No more bruised kidneys ;)

I will also add, I have been beaned by a rock or two while anchored. I wear a helmet, so it was okay, but also crappy and scary at the same time. As the belayer, I pick my poison, and I choose to be anchored.

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By Legion
Dec 14, 2010
I'm usually the lighter partner, by as much as 80 pounds, and it's not all fun and games, despite what heavier climbers on the sharp end may think. Please thank your lighter belayers for keeping you safe all this time! For all those climbers who have never belayed someone 150+% of your weight, the practical tends to take priority over the theoretical. In other words, I don't always anchor but have no qualms about doing it in most sport situations.

It's not only about lead falls, especially in this situation of moderate single-pitch sport routes... I find anchoring is most helpful when lowering.

If I do anchor, I use a short sling/rope to keep me grounded, I position myself where anchor failure would not toss me around like a rag doll, I wear a helmet if anchor fails and I do get tossed around like a rag doll, I try to absorb the initial load to give a soft catch before the anchor comes into play. And yes, belay loop, brake side, no matter where your anchor is.

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By Timothy Mark
Dec 14, 2010
Jay Tanzman wrote:
Because we know what we are doing. Yes. Review the the thread on rc.com where basically Rgold and I explain repeatedly to a hoard of n00bs why belaying your second off the anchor is, more often than not, an inexcusable practice. Please explain how you could routinely belay a leader in a safe manner directly off an anchor on the ground at a typical sport crag using an ATC. Jay

Could you link to it, for people who don't read rc.com? Or perhaps recap the argument here?

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By goatboywonder
Dec 14, 2010
Hiking around Lumpy
Timothy Mark wrote:
Could you link to it, for people who don't read rc.com? Or perhaps recap the argument here?


+1

I always belay my second off the anchor. I guess I need to join the hoard of n00bs.

EDIT: To avoid hijacking this tread, I started a new one here because I would really like to hear why belaying the second off the anchor is a bad idea.

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By Buff Johnson
Dec 14, 2010
smiley face
Jay Tanzman wrote:
Review the the thread on rc.com where basically Rgold and I explain repeatedly to a hoard of n00bs why belaying your second off the anchor is, more often than not, an inexcusable practice.


This is a bit of a wtf to me. we're not doing 3 meter static drops on cable

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By James Beissel
From Boulder, CO
Dec 14, 2010
Ghostride da whip!
Jay Tanzman wrote:
Review the the thread on rc.com where basically Rgold and I explain repeatedly to a hoard of n00bs why belaying your second off the anchor is, more often than not, an inexcusable practice.


Did you mean to write leader?

Otherwise that's going to warrent an explanation, or at least a link.

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By Martin le Roux
From Superior, CO
Dec 14, 2010
Stairway to Heaven
Jay Tanzman wrote:
Review the the thread on rc.com ...


I tried looking on rc.com. They have an interesting analysis of regulation of investment fund managers under the Dodd-Frank financial reform act, but nothing about climbing anchors. Did you mean some other site?

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By -sp
From East-Coast
Dec 14, 2010
Buenos Dias!
James Beissel wrote:
Did you mean to write leader? Otherwise that's going to warrent an explanation, or at least a link.


I think this is the link to the RGold comments about belaying a leader.
rockclimbing.com/cgi-bin/forum...

You might need to scroll up to "Nov 14, 2010, 1:41 PM
Post #9 of 68"

But I couldn't find anything about belaying a second.

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By jmeizis
From Colorado Springs, CO
Dec 14, 2010
The Beginning of Mr. Clean (5.8) at the Barkeater ...
I think there might be some misunderstanding of what I'm saying.

Not talking about belaying a leader off the bolted anchor on a multipitch climb. Talking about belaying the leader off a ground anchor at the bottom of a single pitch climb. Very simple process:

1. Build ground anchor with the masterpoint at about the same height as your belay loop.
2. Hook belay device into anchor, just as you would otherwise belay a leader.
3. Belayer clips their belay loop into the masterpoint as well to provide a backup should the anchor fail. They could just as well connect a sling from their belay loop to the belay locker, or masterpoint (can't see their being a significant difference between the two)
4. Belay as normal but eliminate any transferance of force to the belayer themselves.

I'm not sure what Jay is talking about. Belaying a second directly off the anchor is not only common amongst climbers, it's advocated in climbing courses across the U.S. As for belaying leaders directly off the anchor on a multipitch climb, that's a different story. Haven't seen it in practice, nor advocated by anyone I've ever talked to but I can't, off the top of my head, see why it's not possible when an adequate anchor is available. I can see pro's and con's but no more so than when belaying directly off the belay loop.

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By Crag Dweller
From New York, NY
Dec 14, 2010
My navigator keeps me from getting lost
jmeizis wrote:
I think there might be some misunderstanding of what I'm saying. Not talking about belaying a leader off the bolted anchor on a multipitch climb. Talking about belaying the leader off a ground anchor at the bottom of a single pitch climb. Very simple process: 1. Build ground anchor with the masterpoint at about the same height as your belay loop. 2. Hook belay device into anchor, just as you would otherwise belay a leader. 3. Belayer clips their belay loop into the masterpoint as well to provide a backup should the anchor fail. They could just as well connect a sling from their belay loop to the belay locker, or masterpoint (can't see their being a significant difference between the two) 4. Belay as normal but eliminate any transferance of force to the belayer themselves. I'm not sure what Jay is talking about. Belaying a second directly off the anchor is not only common amongst climbers, it's advocated in climbing courses across the U.S. As for belaying leaders directly off the anchor on a multipitch climb, that's a different story. Haven't seen it in practice, nor advocated by anyone I've ever talked to but I can't, off the top of my head, see why it's not possible when an adequate anchor is available. I can see pro's and con's but no more so than when belaying directly off the belay loop.


This sounds like a fairly standard belay set up for belaying someone off the anchor of a multi-pitch climb. You're on the ground but it's still belaying off the anchor. And, it strikes me as a lot of work with limited benefit and the same risks that make belaying a leader off the anchor a bad idea in a multipitch setting.

For one thing, finding a way to build a good anchor at belay loop-height may not always be feasible. I sometimes find it difficult to find a good point to leash my dog to at sport crags. And, all I'm trying to accomplish is a placement (or, sling) that keeps the dog close enough to be out of others' way and far enough to keep her from getting me tied up in the leash.

And, clipping the belay 'biner directly to the master point...you can't belay off the anchor any more directly than that. You can build in the redundancy but why?

It's not that hard. Sling a tree or boulder, place a piece, whatever. Clip it to the belayer's harness and belay as usual.

Edit to Add: Actually, I'm not sure you're system is redundant. If I'm interpreting correctly, you have the belay off the anchor and the belayer locked into the anchor separately. If the anchor fails, the belayer will take a ride as the masterpoint pulls him up. But, I'm not sure that gives any redundancy to the belay itself other than by making sure the belayer goes with the belay point.

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By Rick Blair
From Denver
Dec 14, 2010
This is a novel auto blocking belay device.  I thi...
Stich wrote:
I've seen lighter belayers picked up and flipped onto their heads when catching big falls and being anchored to the ground or a tree by the haul loop. Only use the belay loop to anchor someone to the ground.

Did they manage to keep their grip on the rope?

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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Dec 14, 2010
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Pea...
Rick Blair wrote:
Did they manage to keep their grip on the rope?


Miraculously, they did since the natural reaction was to maintain a death grip. Imaging a stick caught in between a wound rubber band and you can see what happens.

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By -sp
From East-Coast
Dec 14, 2010
Buenos Dias!
Stich wrote:
Miraculously, they did since the natural reaction was to maintain a death grip. Imaging a stick caught in between a wound rubber band and you can see what happens.


Clearly a God among belayers.

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By jmeizis
From Colorado Springs, CO
Dec 14, 2010
The Beginning of Mr. Clean (5.8) at the Barkeater ...
Crag Dweller, I agree that it can be hard, in some places, to find a good ground anchor but if you can find an adequate ground anchor then this takes no more time than the previous suggestions of building a ground anchor the the belayer clips into while still belaying off their belay loop. It sounds like the OP is making no exceptions to having this particular belayer be anchored at the bottom so the method I'm advocating will require just as much time, will have a few more benefits, and is just as safe, maybe a little safer. Of course it will take some practice, but all new skills do.

Granted I think it's only benefits over belaying off the harness with an anchor backup is less being pulled around in a fall, ease of transferring the belay to another person, and I guess easier self-rescue, all which are very limited circumstances anyways, but the OP asked if his way was the best way. As far as eliminating forces on the belayer in the event of a fall, this is as good as it gets aside from having someone else belay. Below that I'd put having them harness belay with an anchor backup as the next best thing which was what most people suggested. It's pretty much just putting the belayer or the masterpoint of the anchor in the front of the setup. Tastes may differ but I prefer this method if I have to anchor someone down, which I don't like doing anyways.

As for the redundancy of the system, you're right it doesn't add redundancy to the anchor system, just the belayer's attachmente to the belay device. They'll take a ride with the belay device just as they would if they weren't attached to anything at all. If they weren't there the rope and belay device would most likely just be ripped out of their hands and the climber would deck.

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By topher donahue
Dec 14, 2010
Hey everyone. You're all correct! Every belay is a little bit different. If you anchor someone directly below a climb with a little loose handhold, that can be more dangerous than no anchor because your belayer can't move to avoid a rock fall. Sometimes pull in rope when someone falls. Sometimes let it slide a bit to give the softest catch.
All the little people I know who have climbed a lot have no problem catching much bigger leaders taking huge whippers with no anchor. Use a bottom anchor if you're not experienced or outweighed massively, but learn how to catch falls without the anchor. Many crags just don't have decent bottom anchors. Like most things in climbing - do it a little differently every time to adapt to the situation at hand.

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By jt512
Administrator
Dec 15, 2010
Jay Tanzman redpointing Lethal Weapon. Photo by Hi...
jmeizis wrote:
[I'm t]alking about belaying the leader off a ground anchor at the bottom of a single pitch climb. Very simple process: 1. Build ground anchor with the masterpoint at about the same height as your belay loop. 2. Hook belay device into anchor, just as you would otherwise belay a leader. 3. Belayer clips their belay loop into the masterpoint as well to provide a backup should the anchor fail. They could just as well connect a sling from their belay loop to the belay locker, or masterpoint (can't see their being a significant difference between the two) 4. Belay as normal but eliminate any transferance of force to the belayer themselves.


Have you ever actually done this? It sounds awfully awkward. First of all, since you would be facing the ATC, you will be using motions to feed out and take in rope that are the opposite of normal. Secondly, you almost certainly could not clip your belay loop directly into the anchor master point; you'd be way too close to the anchor. You'd have to clip in with a sling (maybe that's what you meant, but at best, you were ambiguous).

But ignoring the apparent awkwardness, you're not going to find such an ideal placement for the anchor for very many sport routes. Sport routes almost by definition have few to no gear placements, much less placements right where you need them to get your anchor at waist level. I'd be hard pressed to think of more than a handful of sport routes I've ever seen where you could do this.

Finally, as to safety, it is generally considered poor practice to belay a leader directly off a gear anchor. Usually, this is discussed in the context of multi-pitch climbing, in part, I'm sure, because that's where the impact force can be the highest, but probably as well because nobody would contemplate doing a direct belay off the ground.

And on a philosophical note, how can you even entertain the notion of backing up a belay anchor?

Jay

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By jt512
Administrator
Dec 15, 2010
Jay Tanzman redpointing Lethal Weapon. Photo by Hi...
Jay Tanzman wrote:
Review the the thread on rc.com where basically Rgold and I explain repeatedly to a hoard of n00bs why belaying your second off the anchor is, more often than not, an inexcusable practice. Please explain how you could routinely belay a leader in a safe manner directly off an anchor on the ground at a typical sport crag using an ATC.


Timothy Mark wrote:
Could you link to it, for people who don't read rc.com? Or perhaps recap the argument here?


Actually, our objections were to belaying the second off the anchor using an autoblocking device. In the original rc.com thread, someone posted a quote by Richard Goldstone that was a better statement of my opinion than I actually made in any of my own posts.

Richard Goldstone wrote:

"Auto[b]locking belay devices have their place for experienced climbers moving fast on multipitch routes, especially in parties of three, and for guides who want to keep their clients moving up. For cragging, I think they suck for giving upper belays because of the difficulty of paying rope back out to a second who wants to step down. Guides don't care much about this; let the client end up on tension, but for seconds who would actually like to climb the pitch, an autolocker belay is an annoyance.

"When it comes to lowering, they also stink. Depending on how much of the climber's weight is transmitted up to the belayer, the belayer might have to exert a lot of force in order to rotate the plate into lowering position. They might be tempted to use both hands to do this. When you release a loaded autolocker, there is a quite sudden loss of friction and the potential for a rapid drop, although the plate should lock back up in that situation once the raising force is released.

"All in all, what we have is a solution to a problem that never existed. Yes, it is slightly more convenient to use guide mode, easier on your back, for instance, but you are interposing another layer of technology and then practially inviting disaster by enjoying all the hands-free "benefits" conferred by the device."

I'd post a link to the original thread, but it seems impossible to do, or even to just post the URL, since the URL contains semicolons. If you want to peruse the original thread you can search for a phrase in Rich's quote above on rockclimbing.com. There are a handful of good posts, but you'll to suffer through a lot of flaming to find them.

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By Rich Farnham
Dec 15, 2010
Jay Tanzman wrote:
...Sport routes almost by definition have few to no gear placements, much less placements right where you need them to get your anchor at waist level. I'd be hard pressed to think of more than a handful of sport routes I've ever seen where you could do this...Jay

Clearly you've never climbed in Boulder Canyon.

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By Rich Farnham
Dec 15, 2010
EdAsh wrote:
Wow Rich! Kudo's to you.. I must defer to your experience ... I've only climbed in Boulder Canyon for....let me think...32 years... but go on...tell me how cool you are and how trad you are??

Calm down. It was a joke.

And what is your point exactly? That there aren't lots of bolted cracks in Boulder Canyon?

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By Rich Farnham
Dec 15, 2010
EdAsh wrote:
Rich, I think your an idiot...

That's priceless.

Here, I'll help you out: wikihow.com/Use-You're-and-You...

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By J.J
Dec 15, 2010
EdAsh wrote:
Rich, I think you're an idiot, but let's just climb something together... (just joking... I admire your style) and yes let's climb.

I also want to point out "let's"

Sorry, been doing an english project for the last many hours.

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By -sp
From East-Coast
Dec 15, 2010
Buenos Dias!
JJ Brunner wrote:
I also want to point out "let's" Sorry, been doing an english project for the last many hours.


Back to the books for you* - "let's" is a contraction (let us) and in the context Ed used it, correct.








  • there are no allies when it comes to grammar-Nazis.

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