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Rapping w/o chains, links, or biners
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By csproul
From Rancho Cordova, CA
Nov 19, 2012
Summit of Wolf's Head with Pingora in the background

RockyMtnTed wrote:
Yes he did.... later on the thread. When you initially made your post it was not clear.

You mean here, where he said they were not Metolius hangers:

Paul Trendler wrote:
"Thanks for all of your insights on this folks. To clear things up the hangers were not the larger metolius rap hangers, they were their standard stainless hangers.

No sheath damage, stuck rope, flat spots, or dead climber... yet"


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By RockyMtnTed
Nov 19, 2012

csproul wrote:
You mean here, where he said they were not Metolius hangers: Paul Trendler wrote: "Thanks for all of your insights on this folks. To clear things up the hangers were not the larger metolius rap hangers, they were their standard stainless hangers. No sheath damage, stuck rope, flat spots, or dead climber... yet"


Uhhh not sure what the point of this post was unless you are super slow....?

Yes, this is the spot where the OP confirmed they were not the metolius hangers.... After Johns initial post. Any other brillant questions for us? You know how to tie your shoes?


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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Nov 19, 2012
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.

Yes, It is OK to rappel directly through hangers. The edges are usually nicely finished to be rounded on good quality hangers. It just doesn't pull as nicely as quicklinks.

Don't leave anything unless you want to be a champ and add two quicklinks per hanger so they are aligned correctly.


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By csproul
From Rancho Cordova, CA
Nov 19, 2012
Summit of Wolf's Head with Pingora in the background

RockyMtnTed wrote:
Uhhh not sure what the point of this post was unless you are super slow....? Yes, this is the spot where the OP confirmed they were not the metolius hangers.... After Johns initial post. Any other brillant questions for us? You know how to tie your shoes?

I'm quick enough to pick up on how much of a dick you are.


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By Brian in SLC
Nov 19, 2012
Climbing in Smuggler's Notch

RockyMtnTed wrote:
Yes he did.... later on the thread. When you initially made your post it was not clear.


From the OP's original post:

Rap station with two regular stainless Metolius hangers placed about eight inches apart.

Was pretty clear to most of us, methinks.

Tim, you're not helping! Ha ha... Fixe and Petzl both have fairly sharp edges (and considered "good quality hangers").


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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Nov 19, 2012
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.

Brian in SLC wrote:
Tim, you're not helping! Ha ha... Fixe and Petzl both have fairly sharp edges (and considered "good quality hangers").


OK.

YER GONNA DIE!!!!1111


Better?

I have run into this situation about three times. The first two times I left carabiners. The last time I threaded the hangers and rapped. No damage to the rope as far as I could tell. It's not like you are sawing the rope into the hangers with full weight on it.

So do we need a tech weenie video now to prove this? Do we? Huh?

What the fuck, are you attached to this world or something????


Look, this is just a good indication that a lot of you folks need to buy some quicklinks and put them in your packs to help maintain your crags. Come on. We can do it. Get with the program and come in for the big win.


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By Kenan
Nov 19, 2012
Shelf Rd

redlude97 wrote:
What's the problem with that if you are planning on leaving the sling behind anyways?


It's a bad idea to run the rope directly through a sling, as those 2 materials will create a lot of friction (and therefore heat) when the rope is pulled. Also if the friction is uneven (i.e. from rapping on 2 different diameter ropes), there can be movement of the rope through the sling even as you're rappelling. The sling/webbing can cut through this way, or the rope itself can become damaged. Why go there? Just carry a few quicklinks on multipitch routes where you might need to bail on your own gear. They're like < $2 each at the hardware store.


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By Ian Stewart
Nov 19, 2012

Mike Lane wrote:
I've seen where douchebags steal quicklinks off of anchors disturbingly often.


Serious question: where have you seen this happen? I can only see this happening at a place where you can walk off the top, but if that's the case then you can just walk off if you encounter this anyways (even though it's annoying).

Stich wrote:
Don't leave anything unless you want to be a champ and add two quicklinks per hanger so they are aligned correctly.


I'd rather have two misaligned quick links than none. Of course an even number of links on each anchor is always preferable, but I'm betting that even people that carry quick links usually don't bring more than a couple with them (I never have more than two).

Kenan wrote:
It's a bad idea to run the rope directly through a sling, as those 2 materials will create a lot of friction (and therefore heat) when the rope is pulled. Also if the friction is uneven (i.e. from rapping on 2 different diameter ropes), there can be movement of the rope through the sling even as you're rappelling.


The person you're quoting (redlude97) said that he's leaving the sling, as in it's being used as a disposable sling. When you pull the rope it will be moving across the sling so that no one part of the rope could see any sort of friction wear...certainly no more than it would when you pull a rope and it runs over the rock. As for the uneven friction, I doubt that you would ever be in a situation where you couldn't reduce that movement to near-zero, and I doubt that that movement would be anything to worry about.

I carry a couple quick links so I've never had to rap off a threaded sling, but I doubt that there's as much danger with rapping off slings as people make it seem. If my rope can't deal with the wear of pulling half a rope length of unweighted rope through a sling, I'd be pretty terrified of climbing on a rope in general. I'd rather rap off a threaded sling than directly off hangers (though I'll avoid both if I can).


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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Nov 19, 2012
Stabby

Ian Stewart wrote:
Serious question: where have you seen this happen? I can only see this happening at a place where you can walk off the top, but if that's the case then you can just walk off if you encounter this anyways (even though it's annoying).

Penetente mostly, Castlewood. The problem is that yes, they accessed the anchors via the top in order to steal them; but then you still need to get your draws back somehow.


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By PTR
From GA
Nov 19, 2012

Leaving behind a sling that has been potentially damaged by pulling a rope can be a time-bomb for future parties. Right? Didn't a couple of young climbers die at the Red this way in recent years?


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By redlude97
Nov 19, 2012

Kenan wrote:
It's a bad idea to run the rope directly through a sling, as those 2 materials will create a lot of friction (and therefore heat) when the rope is pulled. Also if the friction is uneven (i.e. from rapping on 2 different diameter ropes), there can be movement of the rope through the sling even as you're rappelling. The sling/webbing can cut through this way, or the rope itself can become damaged. Why go there? Just carry a few quicklinks on multipitch routes where you might need to bail on your own gear. They're like < $2 each at the hardware store.

While this is all nice in theory, people have been rappelling off of slings forever. I would do it 99% of the time off a nylon sling off my own rack. I also wouldn't worry about damage to the rope. Cutting through the sling is the only reason to not do this and if the situation warranted leaving gear because of the possibility of severe sawing then I would just leave a carabiner or two. Carrying extra quicklinks for these occasions seems silly to me.


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By Ian Stewart
Nov 19, 2012

Mike Lane wrote:
Penetente mostly, Castlewood. The problem is that yes, they accessed the anchors via the top in order to steal them; but then you still need to get your draws back somehow.


Set up your anchor, lower/clean your draws, then walk to the top to clean your anchor. It's a PITA, especially if the walk to the top is long, but I'd still take that route over threading the rope through the anchors (or even leaving quick links if I knew they'd likely be stolen anyways).

PTR wrote:
Leaving behind a sling that has been potentially damaged by pulling a rope can be a time-bomb for future parties.


If you rap off an old sling that's been threaded through the anchor, especially one that doesn't have a ring on it, you should definitely reevaluate your climbing safety procedures.


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By redlude97
Nov 19, 2012

PTR wrote:
Leaving behind a sling that has been potentially damaged by pulling a rope can be a time-bomb for future parties. Right? Didn't a couple of young climbers die at the Red this way in recent years?

Climbers should know better. If you come upon a sling without any hardware it should be assumed that a rope was pulled through it and you should back it up with your own sling or replace it.


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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Nov 19, 2012
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.

I took a piece of cord off of the first anchor on Montezuma Tower once right after a party rappelled from it and pulled their rope through. It only had a slight darkening of the sheath, but no other damage. I used it to afix my daughter's bouncy chair from the balcony. Suprisingly, the cord held.


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By csproul
From Rancho Cordova, CA
Nov 19, 2012
Summit of Wolf's Head with Pingora in the background

redlude97 wrote:
While this is all nice in theory, people have been rappelling off of slings forever. I would do it 99% of the time off a nylon sling off my own rack. I also wouldn't worry about damage to the rope. Cutting through the sling is the only reason to not do this and if the situation warranted leaving gear because of the possibility of severe sawing then I would just leave a carabiner or two. Carrying extra quicklinks for these occasions seems silly to me.

This^^.

I'd make sure to leave links or biners if it is a place where lots of other parties will be rapping off in the future. If I'm just trying to get down, I'll just use a sling. If it is an established route and the top does not have something to rap/lower off of, then 99% of the time there is another established way off. That might mean walking or finding other rap rings, but I have never encountered a reason you should have to thread your rope through normal hangers. Bailing for some unusual circumstance (injury, storm, zombies) might be the exception, but even then I'd most likely tie something to the bolts.


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By John Husky
Nov 19, 2012

All my gear is expendable. Any of it that comes home with me is great. Two biners is like not much money.

Carry quick links or rap rings. A cordalette also comes in handy (sorry, here we go) for fixed tat.

Rapping directly through slings or cord is fine, once. If I come across slings with no hardware, that a rope was likely pulled through, I cut it off. So should everyone else.

I always have something to make an anchor out of. So do you, you just think it is worth more than it is.


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By Nate Reno
From Highlands Ranch, CO
Nov 19, 2012
Ellingwood Point Summit, Little Bear in the background.

Stich wrote:
I took a piece of cord off of the first anchor on Montezuma Tower once right after a party rappelled from it and pulled their rope through. It only had a slight darkening of the sheath, but no other damage. I used it to afix my daughter's bouncy chair from the balcony. Suprisingly, the cord held.


Child Services has been called.


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By Reginald McChufferton
Nov 19, 2012

Even one shiny bolt hanger is a damn sight better than a couple of dead bushes growing in 3 inches of dirt on a ledge which sometimes, in the alpine, is all ya get.

Probably not best practice but let's not be hysterical about it. If you're concerned just leave a sling.


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By Dan Bachen
Nov 19, 2012

pooler wrote:
Yeah rope through sling = no good. Unless of coures you intend to leave your rope behind


Did you mean the sling? The rope will be fine, but this technique ruins the sling as the friction of the pull heats the nylon. It does not affect the rope as the rope moves and heat never builds up in one section. Not the ideal way to anchor a rappel but in a pinch it will do.


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By Locker
From Yucca Valley, CA
Nov 20, 2012
...

Generally amazed at some of what is being posted here. I guess I've forgotten what it's like being a "n00b".


I've rapped many times off of SLINGS. NO problem! Still alive!

Rapped many times through regular hangers. No rope damage, and yep! Still alive!

Not sure what the real issues is here, in this thread.

Someone not know how to get down?


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By ChaseLeoncini
From San Diego, California
Nov 20, 2012
El Cajon Mtn. Leonids. 5.9.

I carry two really small (25 or 22kn, cant remember) carabiners wit me juss in case i find myself rappelling (in an emergency of some kind) off of bare bolts. They were 8 bucks.

Ive had a rope get caught in chains once when rappeling off to an angle, im sure threading straight through the hangers makes that chance more likely. Live and learn. Don't do it again.


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By Kenan
Nov 20, 2012
Shelf Rd

ARGH! This is one of the things that drives me nuts about this forum. Posts like this just go on and on with anecdotal accounts of how people didn't die from utilizing inferior techniques, so they must be just fine.

The simple fact is that you should run your rope through metal links with rounded edges for rappels. This is how it's taught by properly trained folks, and this is how everyone should do it whenever possible. If you're stuck in a situation where you've got no option but to run your rope directly through a nylon sling or webbing (or over sharper metal edges which was the original topic here), yes you'll probably survive. But 99% of the time people are doing this simply because they don't want to leave something as cheap as a biner behind. Another classic thing you see is a 1-piece anchor consisting of some manky tat slung around a loose block, again with no biner or quicklink. WTF?! Why risk your life for a few dollars? It blows me away.

Here is an excerpt from Eli Helmuth's site on the topic. By the way, this is really the kind of source that a newcomer should be consulting for advice on these topics:

-----

The Master Point: Your connection to this world

The master point is what any anchor comes down to: make sure you are using the right materials and applying the same principles of Solid, Equalized and Redundant. Metal links at the master point are always a better idea than relying on the nylon from cord or webbing.

I have seen ropes of the same diameter burn through one inch webbing because they move through a rappel device at different rates. Aluminum rappel rings are the cheapest solution: remember these are hollow and unless brand new should be doubled up to assure adequate strength. Steel links bought from a hardware store or climbing shop (5/16 minimum) are the more modern solution and their stamped strength is actually 1/3 of their full strength as they are manufactured for industrial use which has different rating guidelines - the strength should be printed on the side of the link.

----

taken from
www.climbinglife.com/tech-tips/rappelling-essentials.html


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By Ian Stewart
Nov 20, 2012

Kenan wrote:
ARGH! This is one of the things that drives me nuts about this forum. Posts like this just go on and on with anecdotal accounts of how people didn't die from utilizing inferior techniques, so they must be just fine. The simple fact is that you should run your rope through metal links with rounded edges for rappels. This is how it's taught by properly trained folks, and this is how everyone should do it whenever possible. If you're stuck in a situation where you've got no option but to run your rope directly through a nylon sling or webbing (or over sharper metal edges which was the original topic here), yes you'll probably survive. But 99% of the time people are doing this simply because they don't want to leave something as cheap as a biner behind.


Sure, you SHOULD run your rope through rounded metal if at all possible, as many people here have already said, but why are you so vehemently against other techniques that (even you admit) will work fine? I've never rapped directly off slings and wouldn't really like doing it, but if I found myself in a situation where I had to bail and rap off a few pitches without rap rings, I wouldn't think twice about cutting up some webbing/cord and rapping directly off it. Would I want to leave lockers or opposed biners when a few feet of webbing is sufficient? No. Would an engineer spend $100 million to build a bridge when $50 million is sufficient? No.

It seems as though you think rapping directly off slings shouldn't even be discussed, but I think it's worth knowing about ALL the possibilities so that you can use all that knowledge for your particular solution. You never know what situation you'll find yourself in, and knowing that rapping directly off a sling is safe could save you from leaving other gear that you may need for something else. Just like I know that girth hitching a sling directly to a nut isn't the most desirable situation, too, but knowing that it's safe enough has helped me avoid other worse situations in the past.


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By redlude97
Nov 20, 2012

I actually feel better rapping off a loop of nylon than a single nonlocking carabiner, maybe its just me. Doesn't mean I wouldn't do either depending on the situation


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By Matt N
From Santa Barbara, CA
Nov 20, 2012
OTL

redlude97 wrote:
I actually feel better rapping off a loop of nylon than a single nonlocking carabiner, maybe its just me. Doesn't mean I wouldn't do either depending on the situation


Tip I learned - tape turns it into a locker.


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