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By Matt TeNgaio
Apr 23, 2009
anyone familiar with this style of anchor?

climbinggearinc.com/chain-anch...

I'm looking at alternatives for sport routes.

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By Evan1984
Apr 23, 2009
Yes, I've seen them and I like them. Someone at the crag refered to them as "euro" anchors, but I don't know if thats the real name.

Anyway, they are supposed to be drilled and installed in vertical orientation with the rap ring on the bottom bolt, which appears opposite the way it is shown in that picture. That way, if either bolt goes while you're rapping on it, the other won't get shock loaded. The other advantage to this setup is that if you clip the bottom bolt hanger or the rap ring, it is redundant because the load is equalized between the two bolts; I still build an anchor if I'm doing naything other than rapping on this setup.

The downside is that drilling has to be fairly precise to get proper equalization and you obviously have to have a good section of rock in a vertical orientation, which is not always the case. I have no personal experience with this, so I can't speak to how big of a downside this is.

evan

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By John Hegyes
From Las Vegas, NV
Apr 23, 2009
South of Windy Peak
Evan1984 wrote:
Anyway, they are supposed to be drilled and installed in vertical orientation with the rap ring on the bottom bolt, which appears opposite the way it is shown in that picture.


Yes, the picture is funny because it shows the ring in the wrong place.
Faders chain anchor
Faders chain anchor

I like this style of anchor for the zero-extension principle. It does feel weird threading the rope through only one ring which lacks redundancy, but at least it's a huge burly one.

I would hope that people are only rapping through the ring and not top-roping or lowering through.

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By Ron Olsen
From Boulder, CO
Apr 23, 2009
In the cow pasture below the Tre Cime de Lavaredo, after climbing Spitagoras, a 12-pitch 10a route. <br /> <br />Photo by <a href='/u/bruce-hildenbrand//11057'>Bruce Hildenbrand</a>
For one-pitch sport routes, I use MussyHooks:



Quick and convenient to clip and lower. Toprope through your own gear, but the last person down doesn't have to untie from the rope to thread it through rings. Safer for a less-experienced person to clean the anchor. Thick steel will last a long time, even with direct toprope abuse. Tested to 8,000 lbs.

The original MussyHooks are available from Fish Products.



$5.00 for the hook and $2.75 for the quick link. You can buy the hanger, quick link, and hook for $9.25 from Fish.

You can also buy winch hooks for $4.77 at Home Depot; these are being used for anchor replacement at Golden Cliffs in Colorado -- see Photo. However, I feel MussyHooks are superior (bigger gate opening, better shape) to the Home Depot winch hooks.

A winch hook which looks very much like the MussyHook is currently on sale from Amazon.com or Grady's Hardware for $2.10 each (regular price is $5.15), but I haven't bought one to make a direct comparison:


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By Daryl Allan
From Sierra Vista, AZ
Apr 23, 2009
Me and my Fetish I guess.. ;)
Matt, a note on installing these contraptions.. The best thing is to hold it by the hangers in the manner that they are oriented against the rock as if they were being mounted. Move the entire rig around until both hangers can be mounted flat while maintaining the optimal distance between them. The 'optimal distance' idea being that the ring hangs on the bottom hanger and the bottom chain link as equally as possible. Keep in mind you have a little give (if absolutely necessary) on placing them just slightly off perfectly vertical in respect to one another.. but not much at all. An inch or two at most, imo.

It's tricky but what i do is get the rig really close to where you want it, let go of the top (or bottom - it's up to you) hanger letting it fall, then put the drill through the other hanger bolt hole and give it a whack (or a quick .5 second trigger burst) to mark the hole. Mount the first hanger then do the next one in the same fashion after. When you're marking the 2nd bolt, that's where you are looking for two things; flat hanger placement as possible and equal load on the ring. You probably won't get it perfect but the closer you get it, the more impressed people that have a clue what they're looking at will be. =)

I go through all that mainly bc i'm a little obsessive about making sure the hangers are as flat as possible (don't rock at all) before mounting them.

And a note on that picture above. That's a horrible shot and, obviously, not how it should be mounted. Once you get one, it won't take long to play with it and figure out how it should go. There's only one sensible way to orient it so it works.

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By John Hegyes
From Las Vegas, NV
Apr 23, 2009
South of Windy Peak
Ron Olsen wrote:
A winch hook which looks very much like the MussyHook is currently on sale from amazon.com but I haven't bought one to make a direct comparison:

Ron, I'd stick with climbing gear from a more reputable company. Two things on the winch hook packaging that look pretty bad: "Made in Taiwan" and "Not for overhead use".

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By Ron Olsen
From Boulder, CO
Apr 23, 2009
In the cow pasture below the Tre Cime de Lavaredo, after climbing Spitagoras, a 12-pitch 10a route. <br /> <br />Photo by <a href='/u/bruce-hildenbrand//11057'>Bruce Hildenbrand</a>
John Hegyes wrote:
Ron, I'd stick with climbing gear from a more reputable company. Two things on the winch hook packaging that look pretty bad: "Made in Taiwan" and "Not for overhead use".

The Seachoice 36981 winch hook has a strength rating of 7,000 lbs. The product spec says "Not recommended for overhead lifting." I don't think even a 300 lb. climber lowering off one of these will be in any danger of breaking it.

...and the latest batch of MussyHooks I just got from Fish have a big "China" marking on them.

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By John Hegyes
From Las Vegas, NV
Apr 23, 2009
South of Windy Peak
Ron Olsen wrote:
The Seachoice 36981 winch hook has a breaking strength of 7,000 lbs. I don't think even a 300 lb. climber lowering off one of these will be in any danger of breaking it. ...and the latest batch of MussyHooks I just got from Fish have a big "China" marking on them.

Call them and ask what design factor they use in determining the breaking strength. Ask what testing method they use. Are they UIAA certified? NFPA? ANSI? CE? Probably not. When one breaks, try finding a company to sue.

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By Ron Olsen
From Boulder, CO
Apr 23, 2009
In the cow pasture below the Tre Cime de Lavaredo, after climbing Spitagoras, a 12-pitch 10a route. <br /> <br />Photo by <a href='/u/bruce-hildenbrand//11057'>Bruce Hildenbrand</a>
John Hegyes wrote:
Call them and ask what design factor they use in determining the breaking strength. Ask what testing method they use. Are they UIAA certified? NFPA? ANSI? CE? Probably not. When one breaks, try finding a company to sue.

Seachoice is a reputable marine products company that stands behind the products they sell: Seachoice warranty. Still, it would be great to have Fish test one of these hooks to see how its breaking strength compares to a MussyHook.

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By John Hegyes
From Las Vegas, NV
Apr 23, 2009
South of Windy Peak
Sorry Ron, when it comes to sailing hardware I don't think Seachoice is in quite the same league as Wichard or Harken. Or if you're just looking for a plain old made in America hook I'd buy one from Crosby or Chicago Hardware.

"Not for overhead lifting" is code for
"we don't exercise strict quality control or product testing" and
"our manufacturing processes are not consistent" and
"we have no traceability of our raw materials or our finished products" and
"we don't recommend this product for life safety applications".

The problem with cheap hardware store grade hooks, chain, quicklinks, etc., is that the products they most commonly offer are the cheapest available which translates to zero quality assurance. And when it comes to safety critical uses, the lowest bidder is not often the best bet.

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By Ron Olsen
From Boulder, CO
Apr 23, 2009
In the cow pasture below the Tre Cime de Lavaredo, after climbing Spitagoras, a 12-pitch 10a route. <br /> <br />Photo by <a href='/u/bruce-hildenbrand//11057'>Bruce Hildenbrand</a>
So John, you think the made-in-China MussyHooks are manufactured to stricter quality-control standards than the Seachoice hooks? The list price of the Seachoice hooks ($5.15) is more than the price of MussyHooks ($5.00); I just happened to find a place that has them on sale.

I think you're making a big deal out of something that's not really a safety issue in the context of loads experienced while lowering off of rock climbs. A hook with a 7,000 lb. strength rating isn't going to fail when lowering a climber weighing 250 lbs. or less. And there's redundancy of having two hooks, not just one. Climbers have been lowering off of puny cold-shut anchors for years -- these winch hooks are far beefier and more durable than that.

Oh, and tell Ken Trout, longtime Colorado route developer, that he shouldn't be using those Home Depot hooks for his anchor-replacement work. They're smaller and cheaper ($4.77) than the Seachoice hooks.

By the way, I'm not using the Seachoice hooks -- I was just suggesting them as a possible alternative to MussyHooks. And I have no idea of the quality control standards of MussyHooks, other than Russ's comment on his website "Tested to 8,000 lbs." But the latest batch now has "China" stamped on it, whereas previous batches did not. Same manufacturer? Same process? Has Russ tested these new hooks? Are they UIAA certified? NFPA? ANSI? CE? My guess is that they are not. I'm trusting Russ they are of adequate strength and quality for use as lowering anchors on rock climbs.

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By Derek W
Apr 24, 2009
First summit of First Flatiron
The reason I'd stay away from a hook designed for winching is they often have sharp edges. They are made in a mold and you get that ridge where the 2 halves come together. They are also often coated in some metal dip (I'm not sure what it is) that begins to peel off and possibly get into your rope. Basically, more than strength and safety ratings for a reputable hook would be what it could do to your rope. ?? IMHO

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By John Hegyes
From Las Vegas, NV
Apr 24, 2009
South of Windy Peak
Ron Olsen wrote:
So John, you think the made-in-China MussyHooks are manufactured to stricter quality-control standards than the Seachoice hooks?
Actually, I didn't say anything of the kind. I never mentioned Mussy Hooks. I haven't seen any specifications on them, but if they are "made in China", I'd say I'd be pretty suspicious of them.

My point is anybody can forge a hook and stamp a rating. A legitimate company however has invested a lot of money in testing and certification that the cheap knock off companies bypass. That's the difference between a good hook and a cheap one.

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By Ron Olsen
From Boulder, CO
Apr 24, 2009
In the cow pasture below the Tre Cime de Lavaredo, after climbing Spitagoras, a 12-pitch 10a route. <br /> <br />Photo by <a href='/u/bruce-hildenbrand//11057'>Bruce Hildenbrand</a>
John Hegyes wrote:
Actually, I didn't say anything of the kind. I never mentioned Mussy Hooks. I haven't seen any specifications on them, but if they are "made in China", I'd say I'd be pretty suspicious of them. My point is anybody can forge a hook and stamp a rating. A legitimate company however has invested a lot of money in testing and certification that the cheap knock off companies bypass. That's the difference between a good hook and a cheap one.

If cost were no object, I agree that using products manufactured with strict quality-control standards is the best course. However, I suspect that the cost of these ultra-high-quality hooks is far more than is reasonable for the light-duty use they get in climbing applications.

I suspect that the made-in-China MussyHooks aren't manufactured with strict quality-control standards either. However, at least some of them have been tested by Fish, and they have been used with success at rock-climbing areas for a number of years. I know of no field failure reports, and would be very surprised if that ever happened.

My personal experience with MussyHooks is that they have shown little wear after several years of use on popular climbs. Are they the highest quality hooks in the world? No. Are they strong enough and reliable enough for lowering anchors on rock climbs? Yes.

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By John Hegyes
From Las Vegas, NV
Apr 24, 2009
South of Windy Peak
And just to answer anybody that asks the question: Yes, I still climb with Black Diamond Camalots even though they are now made in China apparently. That would be an example of a company that can somehow maintain conformity with European Union standards - "CE", while manufacturing products in China.

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By Darren Mabe
From Flagstaff, AZ
Apr 24, 2009
wham bam hand jam. Wrapping up the final moves of Twist of Fate, Oak Creek Canyon. <br /> <br />photo: Blake McCord
Matt TeNgaio wrote:
anyone familiar with this style of anchor? climbinggearinc.com/chain-anch... I'm looking at alternatives for sport routes.


back on track.
those work a bit better for rap/belay station IMO. for sport, lately i have fancied a quicklink on each hanger, and a biner hanging from each.. example, (minus the hook). now if everyone plays nicely, then 1)no one will booty the biners, and 2)anyone can swap them out when they wear down. everyone has spare biners to leave.

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By Jake D.
From Northeast
Apr 24, 2009
The folks are Rumney have been moving towards this set up minus the hooks. Except with multiple links of big chain depending on the need for that anchor (distance apart..unlevel bolts due to rock etc)


I like it because it discourages TRing through the anchor you can always rig something like this if you have a noobie who doesn't know how to clean anchors

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By AnthonyM
Apr 24, 2009
Maroon Bells-Bell Cord Couloir
I think what John was saying is that there is no way to know how reliable the hooks are. You may get batch of good hooks which will withstand forces greater than 7,000 lbs... Every once in awhile you will get one (either batch or unit)that is not as high of quality. That's why I like the certifications (UIAA, etc.) because it helps to ensure that there is a constant level of quality-with 100% of the products. Many defects are not cosmetic and I do not trust that small chance of using one that got ran over by a fork-lift or that was just produced incorrectly.

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By John Hegyes
From Las Vegas, NV
Apr 24, 2009
South of Windy Peak
JLP wrote:
I would guess the safety factor here is around 3-5, 10-20 k-lbs is more what I would expect just at the weld.

When a safety factor is not available you have to assume it is "1". To guess is a big mistake. Again, the problem with the China knock-offs is that safe working load generally equals breaking strength. And neither statistic is reliable due to lack of controls.

That's all, I'm done beating a dead horse. Go buy your cheap gear and good luck to us all!

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By Brian in SLC
Apr 24, 2009
Climbing in Smuggler's Notch
Matt TeNgaio wrote:
anyone familiar with this style of anchor? I'm looking at alternatives for sport routes.


Yeah, I use them all the time. And the Fixe ones too.

I like that they have a ring on the bottom. Seems to spead the wear and tear out a bit more than a fixed biner, hook or rapide, which nest the rope in the bottom and will groove out in the same place over time.

Also buy just the ring and attach with a rapide to a hanger, too.

Cheers.

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By Ron Olsen
From Boulder, CO
Apr 24, 2009
In the cow pasture below the Tre Cime de Lavaredo, after climbing Spitagoras, a 12-pitch 10a route. <br /> <br />Photo by <a href='/u/bruce-hildenbrand//11057'>Bruce Hildenbrand</a>
Brian in SLC wrote:
Yeah, I use them all the time. And the Fixe ones too. I like that they have a ring on the bottom. Seems to spead the wear and tear out a bit more than a fixed biner, hook or rapide, which nest the rope in the bottom and will groove out in the same place over time. Also buy just the ring and attach with a rapide to a hanger, too. Cheers.

Agree that grooving out can be a problem for fixed biners, chains, and quick links -- but not for MussyHooks. These babies have 1/2"-thick steel at the bottom wear point. The time required for these to wear out from toproping and lowering will be measured in decades, not years. Hooks I installed two years ago on a popular route have yet to show any significant signs of wear.

It's a $5 part that can easily be replaced...and the advantage of not having to untie to thread the rope is a big plus over rings, chains, and quick-links, both for safety and speed.

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By Evan1984
Apr 24, 2009
JLP wrote:
I think the anchors in the OP are overpriced, unservicable, and less redundant than cheaper alternatives.


Please elaborate; I recognize that "the best" setup is largely personal, so this isn't an attack, I just want your perspective.

They've been servicing me just fine; what is you issue with them? 2 bolt hangers, a rap ring, and a foot of chain for 12.95 doesn't seem all the more espensive than a couple bolt hangers and beefy rap links or piece of chain.

How do you figure it is less redundant?

Evan

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By Matt TeNgaio
Apr 24, 2009
Fuck man, why does every post have to turn into a pissing match. I appreciate all the feedback but how about saving the over-technical and personal slamming for somewhere else.

All these set ups that everyone has mentioned work fine. I've installed mainly chains (in various combos) and "sport" style (like the Fixe Sport Hooks, Cold Shuts if you will, and like those but they are overpriced IMO. I believe one can install a safe anchor setup for under $15.

Anyway, thanks, all. Keep the positive and helpful comments coming.

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By Evan1984
Apr 24, 2009
^^^I think I made it pretty clear that it wasn't a personal attack.

I am still curious as to JLP's aversion to these. I understand the "these aren't my favorite anchors" position but "unserviceable" and "I don't like them at all" are much stronger statements; statements that usually come from a significant personal experience. So, I am curious as to what makes him think this as I don't want to run into the same problems.

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By Ron Olsen
From Boulder, CO
Apr 24, 2009
In the cow pasture below the Tre Cime de Lavaredo, after climbing Spitagoras, a 12-pitch 10a route. <br /> <br />Photo by <a href='/u/bruce-hildenbrand//11057'>Bruce Hildenbrand</a>
Matt,

Sorry if the discussion got sidetracked from your original question about the Fixe Trad Anchor:



I've used them for rap anchors in Eldorado Canyon in Colorado, and think they are fine for that use. The steel ring on this anchor is very strong (50 kN), but be aware that some climbers may not be comfortable with its lack of redundancy. I think this lack of comfort is irrational (a 50 kN ring is just not going to break), but that's the way it is. One experienced climber added a bolt and ring to a Fixe Trad Anchor to gain redundancy and peace of mind on a commonly used rap anchor in Eldorado. He was concerned that wear would eventually reduce the strength of the single ring and wanted a redundant setup to compensate for that.

However, I don't think Fixe Trad Anchors are the best alternative for anchors at the top of sport routes:

  • It is more difficult to use this anchor to toprope through your own gear. Many sport climbers use two draws of equal length for toprope setups. This is simplest when you have two bolts in horizontal alignment. To do this with the Fixe Trad Anchor, you would have to clip both draws into the ring, have two draws of different lengths so you could clip one to the ring and one to the chain, or else come up with a sling-based toprope setup to allow attaching biners to the anchor at different heights.

  • Clipping both draws into the ring might make some climbers uncomfortable, again due to the lack of redundancy with one ring instead of two. And the orientation of the draws would have the biners lying flat against the rock, and the rope possibly rubbing on the rock.

  • Using a sling-based toprope setup with two attachment points at different heights takes more time to setup and equalize, and many sport climbers will not be equipped to do it if all they are carrying are quickdraws.

For these reasons, I feel that sport anchors with two bolts in horizontal alignment allow faster and simpler setup for toproping through your own gear, and are preferred over the Fixe Trad Anchor for that use.

If you like having bolts in a vertical alignment, then equipping them with two chains and quick links is probably a better solution than the Fixe Trad Anchor for sport routes. Is it easy to clip two quickdraws of the same length into the chains or quick links to create an equalized setup for toproping.

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By John Hegyes
From Las Vegas, NV
Apr 24, 2009
South of Windy Peak
Evan1984 wrote:
How do you figure it is less redundant? Evan

The lack of redundancy would be based on the fact that the ring is a single point failure. With these anchors I don't think that it's too big of a concern as the rings are very strong.

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