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By Unassigned User
Jan 27, 2013
A friend of mine that went oit to Devil's Tower climbing last summer told me about a method of clipping into a belay anchor once reaching the stance. They have a single runner girth-hitched to their harness with 1 locking 'biner on it. Upon reaching the belay they clip in using this sling - then go about tying in and such afterward with a Fig 8 or clove hitch at the belay anchors. They state that this is faster and in some ways 'safer' as one is geting 'clipped into' the anchors initially.

What's folks thoughts on this? have you heard of this, done it and/or endorse the method? Have to admit - I don't know about this one...

??

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By FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Jan 27, 2013
Clipping in with a sling, then clove-hitching, involves one extra unnecessary step. Forget about the sling; just clove hitch with the rope to the anchor with a locker. Keep in mind that you should still be on belay while tying your clove hitch.

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By Unassigned User
Jan 27, 2013
FrankPS wrote:
Clipping in with a sling, then clove-hitching, involves one extra unnecessary step. Forget about the sling; just clove hitch with the rope to the anchor with a locker. Keep in mind that you should still be on belay while tying your clove hitch.


Frank,
thanks. See that was was I was taught from Don Mellor - an instructor/climber guidebook writer back in the 80's. Just doesn't make sense to me to add another 'link' in the chain when you are already tied-in with the rope. I can't se personally waht's better than trying a simple clove hitch or Fig 8 knot into the rope from your harness and clipping in!

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By FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Jan 27, 2013
Michael,

To take it one more step, I think the clove hitch is better than the Fig 8 at the anchor because you can adjust (for comfort and position) it while still cloved-in to the anchor. To adjust with the Fig 8, you have to untie it.

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By Avi Katz
Jan 27, 2013
Yea, that seems a little unnecessary. Also girth hitches reduce material strength a significant amount. I think the exact numbers can be found in Mountaineering Freedom of the Hills.

If I'm cragging or doing multiple rappels I use a double length sling through my two hard points with an overhand on the end. I keep my belay device/locker and an extra locker on it. I use it to clip to the anchors at the next rappel and can put myself on rappel with the same sling.

If the bolts are cause for concern I'll sometimes clip a draw underneath the overhand to the 2nd bolt.

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By Brian Hudson
From Lenoir, NC
Jan 27, 2013
Valor Over Discretion (5.8), RRG
In my trad intro course I was actually taught by a guide to use the sling exclusively. I eventually started cloving in with the rope instead. Less gear to worry about and I just feel more secure with the rope.

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By jmeizis
From Colorado Springs, CO
Jan 27, 2013
The Beginning of Mr. Clean (5.8) at the Barkeater Cliffs in Adirondack Park NY.
Michael, that seems unnecessary. Why not just clove in while still on belay? You're still protected if you fall and once you're cloved in it's a less static connection to your anchor than a sling. I guess I just don't see any extra benefit, just extra steps.

Brian, that's really surprising to hear you were taught to clip in with a single sling like that by a guide. If you've got their info you should forward this DMM Video which shows a pretty good reason to use the rope.

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By Brian Hudson
From Lenoir, NC
Jan 28, 2013
Valor Over Discretion (5.8), RRG
That's a good (and scary) video. Hadn't seen it before. In my guide's defense, she did stress the importance of keeping slack out of the system. But ultimately I just think it's simpler and safer to use the rope.

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By Unassigned User
Jan 28, 2013
Thanks for the input all - my thought's exactly! Why use an extra piece of gear (a sling) to anchor in when you can just use your rope - which is IMHO much stronger and already tied into you.

The only practical application that I could see using that for is when rapping down on a multi-length raps - to speethingsgs up once one reaches the rap station.

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By rgold
From Poughkeepsie, NY
Jan 28, 2013
The traverse out to the Yellow Ridge on the Dogstick Ridge link-up.  Photo by Myriam Bouchard
Guides do things that make managing their parties as safe and efficient as possible. The guide is responsible for everyone's safety and can't afford to trust clients to do things such as correctly tying and adjusting knots for attaching to the anchor---the guide either has to do that themselves or vigilantly oversee it. Moreover, with multiple clients, the guide has to worry that, when starting up a pitch, some clients might accidentally unclip other clients and leave them unanchored. Clients can also get the ropes tangled and may decide that the only way to fix it is to untie from an end. (Every hypothetical mentioned here has actually happened in my experience.)

The result is that there are many guide practices that are appropriate for the guided situation that may not be best for other climbing scenarios. One of the problems with this state of affairs is that optimal guiding techniques can and do proliferate to non-guided situations, where those techniques are no longer ideal.

I'm almost positive that the guide in question was fully aware of the downsides of slings as belay anchor connectors, was careful to manage the situation so that problems do not arise, but felt the redundancy involved in having two connections to the anchor for each client was ultimately safest for the situation at hand.

Clients who are interested in progressing to independent activity should ask their guides to discuss how and why things might be done differently when the clients are off on their own.

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By Michael C
From New Jersey
Jan 28, 2013
Mt Minsi, PA
This is a great way to clip-in at an anchor you are going to be rappelling off of. I use this method on a regular basis and found it to be very quick, safe, and easy to use.

Scroll down to where it says "preparing for rappelling" for an illustration.

petzl.com/en/outdoor/news/even...

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By Larry S
Jan 28, 2013
The wife and I road-trippin on the Connie.
Michael Urban wrote:
A friend of mine that went oit to Devil's Tower climbing last summer told me about a method of clipping into a belay anchor once reaching the stance. They have a single runner girth-hitched to their harness with 1 locking 'biner on it. Upon reaching the belay they clip in using this sling - then go about tying in and such afterward with a Fig 8 or clove hitch at the belay anchors. They state that this is faster and in some ways 'safer' as one is geting 'clipped into' the anchors initially. What's folks thoughts on this? have you heard of this, done it and/or endorse the method? Have to admit - I don't know about this one... ??


Was your friend the second or the leader? I could see having the second do this if I were guiding. It's easy to verify that they're secure and safe before you take your hands off the belay and tie them in with the rope. As a normal climbing team, you expect your second to be able to tie themselves in.

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By The Stoned Master
Administrator
From Pennsylvania
Jan 28, 2013
Day Lily.
Good link michael. Some sound information.

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By Brian Hudson
From Lenoir, NC
Jan 28, 2013
Valor Over Discretion (5.8), RRG
rgold wrote:
Clients who are interested in progressing to independent activity should ask their guides to discuss how and why things might be done differently when the clients are off on their own.

trust me, I asked many questions that weekend. And, being so interested, I did independent homework on various methods which brought me to the standard rope clove.

I see your point about guiding being a different situation with different acceptable risks.

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By teece303
From Highlands Ranch, CO
Jan 28, 2013
Aiding.
I'm always leery of tying in to the anchor with a clove hitch, because John Long put it in my head when I read the first edition of Climbing Anchors that this was inferior for your main tie in (it allows rope to slip beyond a certain force threshold).

Was Long crazy? Everybody seems to love the clove hitch for your main anchor tie in. I still use a figure eight on a bight.

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By john strand
From southern colo
Jan 28, 2013
Typically a clove into one piece and then an eight into the other.

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By jmeizis
From Colorado Springs, CO
Jan 28, 2013
The Beginning of Mr. Clean (5.8) at the Barkeater Cliffs in Adirondack Park NY.
I'm not leary of using a clove hitch. I think the research I've read says it slips at about 1000 lbs. Of course you could just tie in with an eight on a bite. Though if I factor 2 with my anchor attachment I'd rather have something that's going to slip and absorb energy. A figure eight on a bite would have some of that same energy absorbtion as the knot tightened down. That'd be an interesting comparison I'd like to see DMM do.

There is a way to tie in with the rope for rappels but for most people it's probably more work and complication than makes sense. I don't bother. It kind of goes back to the guiding thing Rgold touched on, there's a different level of care and a different way of doing things. That being said I still use the rope for client attachments. Less equipment, safer in my opinion, and I haven't had any problems with anyone unclipping the wrong person. I do spend a lot of time making sure they know which attachment is their's and use different color carabiners and ropes to make it more obvious.

I'm really curious about the figure eight vs. clove attachment now...

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By Malcolm Daly
From Boulder, CO
Jan 28, 2013
Read what rgold said. Then read it again.

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By Unassigned User
Jan 28, 2013
My friend was climbing as a 2nd on the rope.

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By bearbreeder
Jan 28, 2013
it depends ... theres no hard and fast rule

- if im doing block leads then for those blocks im doing all the leading, i will simply use a PAS/sling and top belay off that ... the only forces involved are me hanging off the anchor ... i keep the masterpoint open for my autoblock and my partner to clove into when he gets up

- if im swapping leads ill simply clove into the anchor with the rope

- if i reach a hanging belay with an unstable stance ill clip in with a sling first so i can hang and set up my anchor, rather than depend on tension from my belayer who might not be able to see/hear me ... then i may keep clipped in with the sling as well as cloved through the rope for the simple reason that once i clean it, ill be hanging from the sling again rather than fumble around

- if im swapping leads on 2 good bolts ... ill often clip one bolt with the sling/pas ... put a biner on the other bolt and clove/fig8 the rope to that ... and then clip the bolt with the sling for the first piece when the partner leads ... this is fastest way i know off to set up a multi pitch anchor on 2 good bolts ... takes 5 secs ... and for hanging belays the easiest ...

- in a party of 3 ... the third who doesnt need to lead belay, i often just clip em in with a sling ... they are hanging off bodyweight only ...

there is no hard and fast rule ... other than to keep slack out of the sling and if yr lead belaying youll want something dynamic in the system

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