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Question regarding locking carabiners on top rope set ups
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By Federico
Sep 10, 2012

So i've taken some anchors classes and have a question regarding locking biners. When the guide was teaching us, he said that pretty much every part of a top rope anchor should have locking biners, as well as belay anchors. I was reading Bob Gaines' top roping book, and there is a section in the advanced anchors chapter where he delineates the "jtree anchor set up". In this case he has set up 2 three piece anchors, extended over the edge by a long static rope. If i was setting up a similar anchor would all those pieces "nuts, cams, bolts, etc." be connected with lockers, bringing the total number of lockers for the total set up to 8? or could you use regular biners for the cams and nuts?

The anchor set up is similar to this but with 3 piece anchors.
p.s. not my anchor
www.flickr.com/photos/becht/5544685922/

I know some might say it is over kill, but ill be overkillin it till i feel more comfortable with my anchors.


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By Peter Stokes
From Them Thar Hills
Sep 10, 2012
Wall Street, Moab, UT

Good question.... I personally use regular carabiners for trad anchor pieces, mostly because that's what I use when placing hardware on lead, so it's habit, I guess. If you've done it right there shouldn't be a problem, since the anchor pieces shouldn't be moving around, or at least not moving around as much as the hardware the rope runs through (which should always have lockers, reversed and opposed, etc.). That said, small locking biners don't weigh noticeably more than non-lockers, and they don't cost much more, so sure, why not?


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By RockyMtnTed
Sep 10, 2012

You could use regular biners since it is a 6 point anchor... What are the chances of the cord coming out of ALL 6 of those anchors, even one is pretty unlikely. But as the other guy said, sure why not. Its definitely over kill to put a locker on each anchor point but do what makes you comfortable.

Now lets see how many people reply and say basically the same thing.... Go!


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By Jeff J
From Bozeman
Sep 12, 2012

Peter Stokes wrote:
Good question.... I personally use regular carabiners for trad anchor pieces, mostly because that's what I use when placing hardware on lead, so it's habit, I guess. If you've done it right there shouldn't be a problem, since the anchor pieces shouldn't be moving around, or at least not moving around as much as the hardware the rope runs through (which should always have lockers, reversed and opposed, etc.). That said, small locking biners don't weigh noticeably more than non-lockers, and they don't cost much more, so sure, why not?


ditto!

RockyMtnTed wrote:
You could use regular biners since it is a 6 point anchor... What are the chances of the cord coming out of ALL 6 of those anchors, even one is pretty unlikely. But as the other guy said, sure why not. Its definitely over kill to put a locker on each anchor point but do what makes you comfortable. Now lets see how many people reply and say basically the same thing.... Go!


Ditto!


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By Federico
Sep 12, 2012

Thanks for the suggestions guys!


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By randy88fj62
Sep 12, 2012
Thunderbolt Peak in the Palisades

When it's just me on a sport top rope I have no problem placing two long quickdraws opposite and opposed.

If I am rigging up a bunch of top ropes for a group of people where there will be climbing going on for hours I will use 11mm static rope and lockers all around at all anchor bolts. I also use steel lockers opposite and opposed for the main rope in order to avoid getting my ropes covered in AL oxide. For trad pieces (i.e. nuts, cams, etc I have no problem using regular carabiners.)

Remember to place your lockers down so if the screw lock shifts it will stay in the locked position. Some brands have smoother action on the screw locks.


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By TomCaldwell
From Clemson, S.C.
Sep 12, 2012
Me on One Pitch Wonder at Whitesides.  Photo credits to Kyle Jones and his lucky anti-rain jacket.

Not all carabiners have to be locking in this system. The two carabiners that the rope runs through should be lockers, but you can get away with two opposite and opposing. The reason the upper carabiners don't have to be lockers is because they are constantly weighted by the weight of the anchor (static, webbing, or cord). This weight will keep the carabiners from jumping and rotating. When someone falls in a TR setup, the rope can sometimes bounce around in the carabiners they are attached to, because the rope can go from weighted to unweighted. This is where it helps to have lockers, but you can also get away with QD's as someone else has said or alpine draws with just regular gates.

The anchor in the photo is a fine setup even with all the regular carabiners in the system.


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By NickO
From Utah
Sep 12, 2012

I have also top roped sport climbs with two quickdraws opposite and opposed quite often. At first it sketched me out a bit but then it became common place and wasn't a big deal. Then once climbing a lower angle climb where you couldn't see the anchor from the belay, the rope was twisted and after reaching the top one of the quickdraws had come unclipped. After coming unweighted the twist must of spun and unclipped a draw...luckily not both. Has anyone else experienced this? Is it not pretty common practice to lap sport routes with the anchor set up like that. Granted it was totally our fault that the ropes were twisted but scary none the less.


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