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clipping anchor bolt as first piece of gear?
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By Buff Johnson
Apr 29, 2013
smiley face

If a bolt anchor won't hold ya, yer gonna die anyway


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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Apr 29, 2013
Bocan

The Stoned Master wrote:
Do it = fine Don't do it = fine. No right or wrong in climbing. You seem to grasp the "why" of clipping into the bolt/anchor piece and the "why not" could be/might be because of shotty/suspicious/bad gear/bolts and you may not want to fall directly on the piece/bolt. There's no UNIVERSAL right or wrong. Find YOUR right or wrong, will do or won't and the "why" and "why not" of it all.


Well I guess I've been wasting my time trying to learn the correct and safest way to do things. I get the point you are trying to make but there are flat out WRONG things in climbing, such as back clipping. Sure it's not "wrong" if it doesn't kill you, but if it does well...it's wrong. Flat out.

In this particular case, sure I'd do either or. I agree with JD ^^ that if there isn't a piece for a bit, hells yes I'll clip the anchor.


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By The Stoned Master
Administrator
From Pennsylvania
Apr 29, 2013
Day Lily.

"I get the point you are trying to make but there are flat out WRONG things in climbing, such as back clipping. Sure it's not "wrong" if it doesn't kill you, but if it does well...it's wrong. Flat out."

Relativity: to YOU its wrong if Someone dies while climbing. Do all climbers feel the same way? All humans?

So if a soloist dies are they wrong? You assume everyone clings to life as you seem to (proof not everyone human clings to life, possessions or labels/identitys the same: the crofts and honnolds). I am blown away the, not new, theory of relativity is not grasped here: situation dictates.


This dudes question/statement (in a nutshell) was: I clip the bolt at the belay, do you?

I pointed out he already stated WHY clip the bolt (one of possibly many) and I threw out there a WHY NOT (one of possibly many). You can clip every bolt, every piece, every time. Go ahead. There is no right or wrong. But what if the bolt sucks? My point was there is no universal answer. My answer to bolt sucks: have the system (shitty anchors FOR ME = equalized and not pre-equalized) absorb as much shock as possible and let the belayer do a "dynamic" belay (rope slippage) versus having the shitty bolt take a much larger load.

Situation dictates which way to go. There is no "always do this or always do that". Why so many effected negatively by truth: there is no true right or wrong? Every person and every situation/moment is different.

Go experiment, have fun and always, always, always be a student and open to learning/growth so when the time comes YOU'LL know what to do ACCORDING TO YOURSELF and not people you don't know on the internet.


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By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Apr 29, 2013
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after a day of cragging.

I see what you're saying Stoned, but I think it is fairly safe to assume unless you're on some obscure route that never gets climbed, and since you have built an anchor from said bolts, they are good.

If it's not good, I would hope that it wouldn't be incorporated into an anchor, unless there truly is no other choice, which will be a rare occasion.

It's always a good idea, just as it is from the ground, to get at least one piece between you and the belay/ground ASAP. So, having said that, if the choice is nothing for 30 feet (as Jonathan said after the OP), or drop the belayer down 5 feet (or however many you prefer) and use one of the bolts in the anchor as the first piece of pro, then I would say it's wrong not to- regarding taking unecessary risk by subjecting you and your belayer to a FF2 when you don't need to.

Comparing someone that chooses to solo knowing full well the consequences of "blowing it" to someone that uses ropes and gear specifically for the purpose of preventing death or serious injury might not be the best way to get your point of subjectivity and relativity across, as they are very different.


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By Eric G.
Apr 29, 2013

The Stoned Master wrote:
Relativity: to YOU its wrong if Someone dies while climbing . . . You assume everyone clings to life as you seem to . . . I am blown away the, not new, theory of relativity is not grasped here . . . There is no right or wrong . . . Why so many effected negatively by truth: there is no true right or wrong? . . . when the time comes YOU'LL know what to do ACCORDING TO YOURSELF.


Socrates paraphrased Plato in critiquing relativism:

"My opinion is: Truth must be absolute and that you Mr. Protagoras, are absolutely in error. Since this is indeed my opinion, then you must concede that it is true according to your philosophy."

There are absolute truths in life, Stoned Master. Being rascist is wrong. Being kind is right. Climbing barefoot in the gym is wrong. Wasting time on MP at work is definitely wrong, but feels so right.


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By Sir Wanksalot
From County Jail
Apr 29, 2013

Wholey Shiet! Seriously, is this a debate? Just clip the damn anchor, buddy. You didn't even need to ask this question. Now look what you did, all the theorists have come out of the woodwork to debate some old bullshit. If you have one good reason to clip an anchor bolt, clip the damn bolt. You're an adult, you can make decisions.

Why aren't you Nancy Boys out climbing?


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By Jason Kim
From San Diego, CA
Apr 29, 2013
Descending Cox Col (Bear Creek Spire). Photo by Ryan Slaybaugh. <br />

Ryan Kempf wrote:
A fall directly on your belayer is a violent catch. Factor 2 falls do terrible things to gear. Being hundreds of feet off the ground compounds the inherint risk of climbing. Cliping one of the belay bolts creates a pulley effect, decreasing the force of the fall and changing the direction of pull on your belayer.


The pulley effect may decrease the force on the belayer, but it is worth noting that it most definitely increases the force on the piece in question (a bolt, in this case).

You can mitigate some of these concerns by clipping your belay device to your belay loop AND your fig-8 tie-in loop. This puts more force onto the anchor and less onto the belayer. Not appropriate for all scenarios, but probably most.

Caprinae monkey wrote:
And hard on the rope which just got a FF of almost 2 (not quite 2 b/c of the slack in the rope and any slippage thru the belay device). And a farther fall.


Ropes can handle FF 2 falls just fine.


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By Ryan Hill
From Oakland, CA
Apr 29, 2013

Buff Johnson wrote:
If a bolt anchor won't hold ya, yer gonna die anyway


I think the concern has more to do with the impact on the climber than a bolt wrenching out of the wall. From what I have seen and heard a factor 2 fall can cause some serious damage to the falling climber. That and it really isn't a comfortable thing to land on or fall past your belayer.


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By Brendan Blanchard
From Strafford, NH
Apr 29, 2013
Obi Wan Ryobi - Darth Vader Crag, Rumney NH

Okay, here's what would happen.

If you have a 2 bolt anchor, and you're about to climb to the right onto the next pitch. Since you're on the right side of the anchor, you'd clip the right bolt and carry on your way.

You climb 10' and fall. From your partner to the clip on the bolt is what, 2'? So you fall 20', with 12' of rope out. Your fall factor goes from 2, to 1.66. That's not a tremendous difference when you're talking about a bolt holding a fall, marginal gear might be a different story.

BUT what you've done is put all the force on the single bolt, so you've decreased the force by ~17%, but it's 83% on one point, rather than 100% split 50/50. Keep in mind that the % difference will decrease the longer the fall, because the distance from belayer to anchor does not change. For instance, falling 50' above the anchor with 2' of rope between anchor and belayer causes the FF to go from 2 to 1.92, which is really pretty marginal.

Issues of not landing on your belayer are legitimate, and I've always understood that when belaying a second up, you always direct through the anchor so you're not wrenched sideways if they fall. This concept should follow for belaying a leader without gear. Either clip the bolt and accept the greater load, or extend your belayer from the masterpoint, and direct the belay through the masterpoint.

To address the philosophy, it's not that there is no absolute, it's that as the situation changes, the answer changes. Know the facts, do the math, and make your own decision.


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By Eric D
From Gnarnia
Apr 29, 2013
Born again on the last move of the Red Dihedral, high Sierras.

Wow. What a classic example of a simple question being over-analyzed on the internet.

Yes, clip a bolt for your first piece as you leave the anchor. If the bolts are suspect, maybe equalize them and then clip that.


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By Christiney
From Wheat Ridge, CO
Apr 29, 2013
Horseman

I wonder if the bolt would have anything to say about this, all of us debating the forces upon it. But unlike us tethered to our desks (though I have a nice view from about 4-5 pitches up) the bolt doesn't have wi-fi, and skipped the math course on percentages. Yet it still manages to hold our falling 1500 lbf asses.

yah, i know ropes can handle fall factors of 2, but then you have to jot it in your notebook and perhaps buy a new rope sooner.


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By Sean Brady
From Boulder, Colorado
Apr 29, 2013
Ronin

Not all gear can handle the force of a FF2. It's generally good practice to use one of the anchor pieces as your first piece. Falling directly onto your belayer is something that you typically want to avoid if at all possible.


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By Matt N
From Santa Barbara, CA
Apr 29, 2013
OTL

Can the next two pages go on about how a FF2 requires braking in the opposite direction and which is the best way (palm up/palm down) to brake for this?

And how about belay gloves?


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By Brian Hudson
From Lenoir, NC
Apr 29, 2013
Valor Over Discretion (5.8), RRG

Matt N wrote:
Can the next two pages go on about how a FF2 requires braking in the opposite direction and which is the best way (palm up/palm down) to brake for this? And how about belay gloves?

Only if we can all agree that you can't catch a FF2 without gloves.


...


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By Matt N
From Santa Barbara, CA
Apr 29, 2013
OTL

Brian Hudson wrote:
Only if we can all agree that you can't catch a FF2 without gloves. ...


What if its on slab?


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By VerticalUrge
Apr 30, 2013

clipping a bolt? this thread obviously belongs in sport climbing forum. Admins, please move ASAP before I begin rant of placing bolts anywhere on "trad" routes


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By bearbreeder
Apr 30, 2013

MPing is soo muuuuch fun ...

clip it or the masterpoint ... is an effing bolt anchor ...

its that simple ;)


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By teece303
From Highlands Ranch, CO
May 1, 2013
Aiding.

Jason Kim wrote:
Ropes can handle FF 2 falls just fine.


Factor 2 falls should be avoided like the plague.

They are teeth chattering, dangerous, and damn unpleasant. Sure, your rope won't break, but it is certainly the worse for wear. Whip with a factor 2 often, and you'll have ropes with soft spots, and you'll have issues with your back.

You know how all manufacturers say to possibly retire gear if it takes a hard fall? Factor two is as bad as it gets (even if it's a two foot factor two!).


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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
May 1, 2013
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lichen covered look from scrubbing a new route.

Jonathan Dull wrote:
I too climb in North Carolina and its common to climb 30-40 feet off the belay before you get a good piece or bolt, especially on all the slabby stuff around the state.

Sorry man, but that is such a stupid holdover from macho, lazy (to put a bolt in where there should be one) or cheap climbers. Unless the climbing is so easy and slabby that the chance of a fall and being able to generate much force is nil, that is incompetent bolting.


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By Matt N
From Santa Barbara, CA
May 1, 2013
OTL

Jonathan Dull wrote:

I too climb in North Carolina and its common to climb 30-40 feet off the belay before you get a good piece or bolt, especially on all the slabby stuff around the state.

M Sprague wrote:
Sorry man, but that is such a stupid holdover from macho, lazy (to put a bolt in where there should be one) or cheap climbers. Unless the climbing is so easy and slabby that the chance of a fall and being able to generate much force is nil, that is incompetent bolting.


...and the first stone has been cast...


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By csproul
From Rancho Cordova, CA
May 1, 2013
Summit of Wolf's Head with Pingora in the background

M Sprague wrote:
Sorry man, but that is such a stupid holdover from macho, lazy (to put a bolt in where there should be one) or cheap climbers. Unless the climbing is so easy and slabby that the chance of a fall and being able to generate much force is nil, that is incompetent bolting.

Common now...it's the only way to make slab climbing fun!


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By CJC
May 1, 2013

M Sprague wrote:
Sorry man, but that is such a stupid holdover from macho, lazy (to put a bolt in where there should be one) or cheap climbers. Unless the climbing is so easy and slabby that the chance of a fall and being able to generate much force is nil, that is incompetent bolting.


lolz


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By Will S
From Joshua Tree
May 1, 2013

M Sprague wrote:
that is incompetent bolting.


By modern stds, maybe so. But most of those things weren't put up in modern times. They were established when the name of the game was ground-up, hand drilling from stances.

If you've ever done this, or even tried it, you realize it's a much different game than rapping down a wall and spraying in bolts with a power drill. For one, it's terrifying...slowly greasing off some sloping dish of a foothold, usually way runout because you can only stop to drill where there is some kind of stance. All while trying to make solid hammer blows without knocking yourself off the stance.

You ran it out 30 or 40, because drilling was time consuming, scary, and sometimes there just isn't a place to stop.

I enjoy those routes, just like I enjoy closely bolted sport routes, gear protected routes, and boulering. They are just another flavor, a different taste of the game. It's like a buffet...some of this, some of that, add spice to suit your own tastes.


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By Ryan Kempf
From Boulder, CO
May 1, 2013
Ryan on the Sharks Fin wishing he was on Mt. Whiteny.

Ahh the good old days of ground up ethics and hand drills. They don't make em like they used too.

There's a good story behind the bolting of "Solid Gold" (at least the 1st pitch) in Jtree that exemplifies Will's point that hand drilling from poor stances is scary business.


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By Eric D
From Gnarnia
May 1, 2013
Born again on the last move of the Red Dihedral, high Sierras.

M Sprague wrote:
Sorry man, but that is such a stupid holdover from macho, lazy (to put a bolt in where there should be one) or cheap climbers.


Not the case. As was said by someone else, it was due to the fact that hand-drilling on lead is not easy, and often can't happen until you get to a stance, which may be 40 feet off the belay.


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