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Building an anchor with climbing rope
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By Buff Johnson
Feb 21, 2012
smiley face
nice!

He knows every rope anchor requires 30M in the rigging at a minimum; 35 just to be safe

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By rgold
From Poughkeepsie, NY
Feb 21, 2012
The traverse out to the Yellow Ridge on the Dogsti...
LJ,

I almost always belay the second off my the rope tie-in loop to my harness. This is effectively belaying off the anchor. Very occasionally, I'll either redirect or use an autoblocking plate on the power point, but that's only for rare circumstances.

I'm not sure what you mean by adjusting the distance to the anchor, since this method allows the belayer to decide exactly how far from the anchor they want to be and exactly where the power point should be located relative to the harness tie-in point. It is true that once you have decided where to put the power point and rigged the anchor, you can't change the power point location, but given that you can decide exactly where you want it to begin with, this has never been a problem for me.

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By JesseT
From Portland, OR
Feb 21, 2012
25' drop...wheeeeee!
Leeroy Jenkins wrote:
Yeah, thanks for the critique Jesse. I posted that photo more to show the OP what is possible with building an anchor with just the rope. You'll notice that I stated I have not and plan on never having to build an anchor like that. If I had to plug in 6 hand sized pieces at the belay to feel confident it wouldn't fail, the only place I'd be going is back down...


Leeroy Jenkins wrote:
...I think that trying to equalize that much gear with sliding x's is a waste of time. That is when the friction you were pointing out would come into play...


Indeed, I'm not looking to get myself into a situation where I need to equalize 6 pieces using any method.


Leeroy Jenkins wrote:
...FWIW, I'm not sure what you are referring to when you bring up friction. There is no equalization in that anchor and I don't expect it to adjust to any one piece failing....


OK, now I see what's going on there. I'd thought there were 2 overlapping equalettes going through the PP.

Despite the practical issues I guess I can see this setup being a useful thought experiment. As a way of saving some rope it looks like it would be possible to pair up the pieces (left two and middle two) and run a single loop with two cloves through each pair since it's not dynamically equalizing. Whatcha think?

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By cms829
Feb 22, 2012
high e
All of these are WAY more complicated then using a cordelette....just sayin. I dont see any type of benefit. If that makes me a less advanced climber, so be it.

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By Darren Mabe
From Flagstaff, AZ
Feb 22, 2012
wham bam hand jam. Wrapping up the final moves of ...
JesseT wrote:
not looking to get myself into a situation where I need to equalize 6 pieces using any method.

i think at that point i would place two fat bolts

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By rgold
From Poughkeepsie, NY
Feb 22, 2012
The traverse out to the Yellow Ridge on the Dogsti...
cms829 wrote:
All of these are WAY more complicated then using a cordelette....just sayin. I dont see any type of benefit. If that makes me a less advanced climber, so be it.


Note the title of the thread please. It isn't about the relative merits.

But, since you brought it up, the method I posted is as fast and often faster than setting up a cordelette and is far more versatile, accommodating all kinds of situations a cordelette is bad at, such as low anchors and remote pieces. I see more and more climbers setting up less than optimal anchors for their stances because their vision of what is possible appears to be constrained by the dimensions of what their cordlette will reach and the position it has to be in to provide a comfortable power point.

Moreover, in real life, the rigging I posted tends to distribute the load better, because people often don't manage to get the strands of a cordelette equally tensioned and even if they do, the way those strands pull out of the big powerpoint knot is not always predictable. Any strand in the system I posted can be fine-tuned in a few seconds after the rigging has been completed. A cordelette with a poorly-tensioned arm has to be retied.

So the rope method has plenty of "types of benefits" and is only "WAY more complicated" if you aren't skilled at clove hitches (which ain't exactly rocket science). Cordelettes have their advantages too of course. I use 'em myself sometimes.

By all means carry on with whatever system you are most comfortable with. Do be careful not to drop your cordelette though.

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By Harry Dorcy
From Denver, CO
Feb 22, 2012
rgold,

Excellent picture, and just as fast and simple as Helmuth's video (which is what I've been using for my anchors). Could you please elaborate on the text in the bottom-right corner of your picture? Your use of the butterfly knot is the only difference from Helmuth's video, and I'm trying to understand how this rigging is better for belay escape.

Thanks!

- Harry

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By rgold
From Poughkeepsie, NY
Feb 22, 2012
The traverse out to the Yellow Ridge on the Dogsti...
Harry Dorcy wrote:
rgold, Excellent picture, and just as fast and simple as Helmuth's video (which is what I've been using for my anchors). Could you please elaborate on the text in the bottom-right corner of your picture? Your use of the butterfly knot is the only difference from Helmuth's video, and I'm trying to understand how this rigging is better for belay escape. Thanks! - Harry


Harry, the difference between what I do and Helmuth's method is that he rigs up a separate attachment to the anchor for power point. This requires estimating how much rope to use and so is subject to miscalculations requiring retying, and that's why I like my method better.

It is no better or worse for belay escapes as far as I can tell. But if you are escaping the belay, at least the way I do it, then there is a moment when you want to connect (with a Munter mule) the free rope coming off the anchor to a prussik on the loaded rope. As the anchor is set up, that free rope is only connected to one anchor piece. Clipping it back to the power point engages the other parts of the anchor. Of course, you could just do this at the outset, but considering how exceptionally unlikely belay escapes are in the real world, I'd rather conserve the extra biner.

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By cms829
Feb 23, 2012
high e
Leeroy, First off no one got defensive or ridiculed anyone...except yourself. Lol....I knew that would get peoples blood flowing. And I guess I worded it wrong, which made it worse. Im not cocky nor am I better then anyone, but Ive probably seen and built more anchors then most people, Rgold aside maybe, so relax. Dont expect me to fight or argue over a post about anchors. lol. Your right the one picture that you posted to demonstrate was a mess. Would it of worked. Sure, was it simple? Not really. However Now it makes sense that your were posting that as an example of whats possible, not what someone SHOULD DO, I hope everyone understands that!! I am a certified rescue tech for a fire dept, and Ive also been climbing for 16-17 years. I use my rope as well in certain situations, I also carry two cordellettes most of the time (so I can adapt further). While at work I also carry TONS of webbing, static rope, bear claws (anchor plates), edge rollers, tripods, etc etc..lol. I agree that you can build a more compact and faster anchor with your rope. I also use a purcel prusik most of the time when I need to extend an anchor and have it adjustable on the fly. Or I'll just clove hitch into the main point. Dont get the wrong idea that I am one of those people who only use ONE anchor system. Rgold, your system is pretty self explanatory, however most of the ones first posted in this thread are way over complicated for using a single rope to build an anchor. Thats what I meant, sorry I didnt exclude yours. Im also well aware of the illusion of equalization. You dont have to explain to me, nor get all defensive. However I stick to my guns, the first couple pics that were shown as examples, all would of been quicker and simpler to build with a cord. Bottom line. Some of them are WAY too complicated for their purpose.

Lots of people here are way too defensive. Geeze Needless to say, MR gold was the only person in this thread to state the actual benefits of knowing how to anchor with your rope. Everyone else said there were benefits to doing so, but never mentioned what exactly those benefits are.

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By Br'er Rabbit
From The Briar Patch
Feb 23, 2012
'Bred en bawn in a brier-patch, Brer Fox--bred en ...
CMS makes a good point.
In the interest of clarification...I find the benefits to be as follows:

Speed.
Given a proper scenario, setting up with a rope and a couple lockers on two bolts, a couple solid pieces, or on a solid natural feature takes less time than rigging any other system, in my experience.

Simplicity.
I think simpler is always better and just generally prefer to look at a clean anchor....easier with the rope.

Utilizing the rope negates the need to go digging on your harness for your cordalette, webolette, rabbit runner, ACR, Alpine Equalizer, or whatever. Elaborate gear anchors, shifty/shallow/thin gear at a belay, and other outlying situations typically call a simple cordalette....but this is typically easily avoided.

I believe anchoring with the rope works best in the following scenarios:

- Swinging leads on a multipitch climb with one partner, single or double ropes.
- Climbing in a group of three on two singles, swinging leads with one or both other people.
- Anchoring at the top of single pitch climbs where you are bringing up the second from above.

NOTE: Bolted or solid/simple gear anchors make any of these scenarios a breeze.

When it is cumbersome, at best, and totally silly, at worst:

- Single pitching where there are ring anchors splattered across the top of a cliff....where a climber leads and other TR and clean.
- Climbing long routes, leading all pitches, with one partner.
- Climbing in a group of three on double ropes where one or two climbers are not leading and both followers climb simultaneously.
- Sport climbing.
- Aid climbing.


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