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Rope through hangers.
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By Ian Stewart
Sep 8, 2011

I've always just assumed that most people have the opinion that you shouldn't run rope/fabric directly through hangers. However, today I ended up on a random youtube video journey and ended up watching this clip that, as far as I can tell, shows Tommy Caldwell belaying Kevin Jorgeson directly off an anchor that is simply made from a rope tied directly through the hangers.



Am I missing something here? Are some hangers "rope friendly"? If so, what benefits might be had from using this method?

Rope anchor through hangers.
Rope anchor through hangers.


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By Finn the Human
From The Land of Ooo
Sep 8, 2011
Mathematical!

There are in fact rope friendly hangers, as seen here: www.metoliusclimbing.com/rap_hanger.html

Whether or not that is what he is using... no clue.


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By caughtinside
From Oakland CA
Sep 8, 2011

That is a chunk of old rope through those hangers, not the lead line they are climbing on. Think of it as a fixed cordelette on those bolts.

This is a pretty typical anchor setup in many parts of the world, because rope is very strong and it's a good use for rope that has been retired. It does wear out after several months or more in the sun, and you're correct that the relatively thin hangers will be hard on the rope.

It probably needs to be replaced every season or two, but it's lighter and cheaper than fixing those anchor stations with chain or links.


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By Brian in SLC
Sep 8, 2011
Climbing in Smuggler's Notch

Yeah, looks like an old piece of static line. Certainly not their lead rope.


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By BASE99999
Sep 8, 2011

Exactly. It is a fixed anchor using older rope.

Pretty lame video for Black Diamond to use. Just because it has Tommy C in it doesn't make it good or correct.

Being lazy and using old fixed stuff as your anchor.

Setting up the ATC Guide at your knees is a pain in the ass. Set it up at chest level for easy use.

What the h*** is Tommy showing people by letting go of the brake hand? !?! Dumb & dangerous.


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By Pat Erley
From Gunnison, CO
Sep 8, 2011
me

BASE1361 wrote:
Exactly. It is a fixed anchor using older rope. Pretty lame video for Black Diamond to use. Just because it has Tommy C in it doesn't make it good or correct. Being lazy and using old fixed stuff as your anchor. Setting up the ATC Guide at your knees is a pain in the ass. Set it up at chest level for easy use. What the h*** is Tommy showing people by letting go of the brake hand? !?! Dumb & dangerous.


Yea ... who would ever let go of the break hand on a hands-free device? Has there ever been a case of a plaquete letting rope through (slipping) in guide mode? That rope looks pretty decent, too.


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By smassey
From CO
Sep 8, 2011

As one who uses an ATC Guide almost every day, I would agree that he should have it higher for comfort's sake, but whatever. OMG - taking your hand off the device??? That's the whole point of the plaquette-type devices. What may young, impressionable climbers infer from Mr T taking his hand off the belay? Anything they choose, but namely: learn the applications, and mis-applications, of whatever gear you choose to use.


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By JPVallone
Sep 8, 2011

Pat Erley wrote:
Yea ... who would ever let go of the break hand on a hands-free device? .


It's not a hands free device though, It requires your hands to operate, so I don't know where people get the term hands free from?


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By bergbryce
From South Lake Tahoe, CA
Sep 8, 2011

BASE1361 wrote:
What the h*** is Tommy showing people by letting go of the brake hand? !?! Dumb & dangerous.


Because it's an ATC setup in autoblock mode. That's what that particular device is for. You can belay "standard" off your harness, or in autoblock mode, which is what he is doing here. The reason he removes his hand is to display the autoblock function. He even says something like "aahhh, he can fall, and it automatically locks!" or something like that.


There is nothing wrong with what's being done in this video.
As for the rope on hangers.... if you don't like the in-situ anchor, don't use it.


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By Pat Erley
From Gunnison, CO
Sep 8, 2011
me

JPVallone wrote:
It's not a hands free device though, It requires your hands to operate, so I don't know where people get the term hands free from?

Not sure, probably because you dont need a break hand on.


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By Robert Buswold
From Longmont, CO
Sep 8, 2011
Clear Creek Canyon, Capitalist Crag

I have seen a sort-of rope friendly hangar. At the rap anchors for Wind Tower in Eldo there is a glue-in eye bolt, and another bolt with a very fat hanger that is round enough to put a rope through, but essential just looks like a normal bolt hanger.


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By BASE99999
Sep 8, 2011

Straight from Black Diamond so stick it.



"Although belaying is relatively simple, it requires
complete attention and commitment. The belayer is
responsible for catching the climber’s fall and there is no
margin for error. Whether you are belaying or rappelling,
control of the rope is regulated by your brake hand. Your
brake hand must never leave the rope at any time."

"Be certain you have loaded the device
correctly. If loaded incorrectly, the device will not lock."


www.blackdiamondequipment.com/uploads/black-diamond/files/MM>>>

No one has ever loaded a belay device wrong now have they. Even with a diagram on the side of the unit.


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By Evan Sanders
From Westminster, CO
Sep 8, 2011
Flaming Pumpkin

BASE1361 wrote:
Straight from Black Diamond so stick it. "Although belaying is relatively simple, it requires complete attention and commitment. The belayer is responsible for catching the climber’s fall and there is no margin for error. Whether you are belaying or rappelling, control of the rope is regulated by your brake hand. Your brake hand must never leave the rope at any time." "Be certain you have loaded the device correctly. If loaded incorrectly, the device will not lock." www.blackdiamondequipment.com/uploads/black-diamond/files/MM>>> No one has ever loaded a belay device wrong now have they. Even with a diagram on the side of the unit.


And you must never operate heavy machinery while drunk either. What's your point?


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By BASE99999
Sep 8, 2011

Evan Sanders wrote:
And you must never operate heavy machinery while drunk either. What's your point?


Don't take your brake hand off the rope.


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By Brice Harris
Sep 8, 2011

Have you ever actually belayed from above BASE? I find it hard to believe anyone who has used the guide in guide mode would question its functionality.

The whole point is that you can be doing other important tasks while your second is climbing. IE - Hauling, setting up for the change over, drinking beer, etc...


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By Phil Lauffen
From The Bubble
Sep 8, 2011
RMNP skiing. Photo by Nodin de Saillan

BASE1361 wrote:
Straight from Black Diamond so stick it. "Although belaying is relatively simple, it requires complete attention and commitment. The belayer is responsible for catching the climber’s fall and there is no margin for error. Whether you are belaying or rappelling, control of the rope is regulated by your brake hand. Your brake hand must never leave the rope at any time." "Be certain you have loaded the device correctly. If loaded incorrectly, the device will not lock." www.blackdiamondequipment.com/uploads/black-diamond/files/MM>>> No one has ever loaded a belay device wrong now have they. Even with a diagram on the side of the unit.


Yes. The reason for this disclaimer is fear of litigation. It releases them from culpability. It is completely fine to take your hand off your guide.


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By wankel7
From Indiana
Sep 8, 2011

BASE1361 wrote:
Don't take your brake hand off the rope.



Dont let reality stand in the way of a good rant BASE1361!


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By Copperhead
Sep 8, 2011

BASE1361 wrote:
Don't take your brake hand off the rope.

You'll be entertaining on the forums. Please don't learn anything about what you are talking about, read lots of web material, and offer opinions on everything.


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By Grover
Sep 8, 2011

BASE1361 wrote:
Straight from Black Diamond so stick it. "Although belaying is relatively simple, it requires complete attention and commitment. The belayer is responsible for catching the climber’s fall and there is no margin for error. Whether you are belaying or rappelling, control of the rope is regulated by your brake hand. Your brake hand must never leave the rope at any time." "Be certain you have loaded the device correctly. If loaded incorrectly, the device will not lock." www.blackdiamondequipment.com/uploads/black-diamond/files/MM>>> No one has ever loaded a belay device wrong now have they. Even with a diagram on the side of the unit.


Tool!


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By dlangdon
Sep 8, 2011

sorry to vary from the apparent rant, but what about this for soft goods through an anchor?


two bolt anchor
two bolt anchor




I realize the sling is girth hitched through a ring anchor, so there isn't an edge to rub on. An acceptable practice? What about on a traditional bolted anchor with no ring? Is the fear of cutting through the webbing too great?


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By cellige
Sep 8, 2011

I'm with base on this one. There are not so difficult ways to block the functionality of an autoblock, such as the device getting pinched on the rock. If it is not free to move it won't lock. Even if the climbers side of the rope were to hang up on a horn or something that is a bit sideways from the device, it won't lock.

Saying an autoblock is hands free doesn't seem to different from saying a grigri is hands free, each have about the same chance of not locking as far as I can see.


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By Woodchuck ATC
Sep 8, 2011
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008

Doesn't anybody except old traddies still use 1 inch tubular web material for anchors like this? Strong and pretty tough stuff. Most know to change it out when it looks faded from the sun.


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By Brice Harris
Sep 8, 2011

I think it depends on the bolt type which is hard to tell in the video. If its just two regular hangers I'd much rather have the thickness of an 9 mil rope instead of webbing. That said I bailed off a route once via a sling through a bolt when I first started climbing and didn't know anything.

If it's a rap bolt I don't think it really matters what you use.


As far as the anchor above, the only thing I'd do differently if I could would be to basket hitch the rap ring on the left instead of girth hitch, it's stronger, but you'd have to use another sling. Also I always clip the bolt with my gear, mostly so I don't nick the rap ring with the beaner or do something else that may compromise it. Both of those are more preference than safety though...


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By Emmett Lyman
From Washington, DC
Sep 9, 2011
Personal photo

The question is not so much about the safety of the guide - we all use it, we all take our hands off the brake, whatever. It's more about whether or not it's appropriate for Tommy Caldwell to demonstrate that use in a video that newbies might watch, and then try to replicate incorrectly before they really understand how the gear works. All it takes is putting the rope into the guide upside down (e.g. brake line over the climber's line) and letting go.

It's kind of like crossing the street. Do you wait for the little crosswalk light to tell you its safe, or do you just look both ways to make sure you aren't going to be pancaked? We all use the second approach because we aren't jackasses and we know we'll get across safely. But if an impressionable little kid is watching us, what kind of message does it send? I don't want some 4 year old thinking it's OK to cross the street any time he wants because of me.


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By Forestvonsinkafinger
From Iowa
Sep 9, 2011

BASE1361 wrote:
Setting up the ATC Guide at your knees is a pain in the ass. Set it up at chest level for easy use. What the h*** is Tommy showing people by letting go of the brake hand? !?! Dumb & dangerous.

+1
-1 for BD


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By Ryan Kelly
From work.
Sep 9, 2011
My kinda simian

cellige wrote:
I'm with base on this one. There are not so difficult ways to block the functionality of an autoblock, such as the device getting pinched on the rock. If it is not free to move it won't lock. Even if the climbers side of the rope were to hang up on a horn or something that is a bit sideways from the device, it won't lock.


I'd be curious to see how many people could figure out what to do in time if they were in a situation where their second took a fall and the guide didn't lock at all, and their hand was on the rope. Provided that the guide was set up at head level or so and the second took enough of a fall to really pull some rope through.


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