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Sport ethics and anchors?
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By boardline22
From Fort Collins, CO
Sep 23, 2007

I climbed at the Palace near Fort Collins yesterday. The have two chains at the top for anchors. I always though that I was suppose to clip two quick draws of the bolts themselves to TR. Then the last climber should climb to the top and rap of the middle chain links. The guy I was with told me though that we can just setup a TR through the chains and then lower off and call it a day. What should we do?


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By Malcolm Daly
From Boulder, CO
Sep 23, 2007

Case hardened chain will last longer than anything but the Fixe Rings. Regardless, it's still a good idea to TR off your own gear then lower through the chains when you're done. If the local consensus is to go ahead and TR through the chains, so be it, then nobody will call you out over it but it's still not the best way to do it.
Mal


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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Sep 23, 2007
Stabby

boardline22 wrote:
I climbed at the Palace near Fort Collins yesterday. The have two chains at the top for anchors. I always though that I was suppose to clip two quick draws of the bolts themselves to TR. Then the last climber should climb to the top and rap of the middle chain links. The guy I was with told me though that we can just setup a TR through the chains and then lower off and call it a day. What should we do?


If you want to TR thru the chain links you will likely end up with a fat, fuzzy rope. As an added bonus, it might get well-twisted too. Then you're at the park dragging your fat, fuzzy twisted rope around. That, my friend,is a very pathetic sight. If Killis is anywhere near, he'll spot you for a noodler and poach your gear.


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By John Hegyes
From Las Vegas, NV
Sep 23, 2007
South of Windy Peak

Jared Workman wrote:
Please forgive my ignorance on the subject but why exactly, is it bad to top rope/lower off of anchors? I personally bring two 24 inch runners with four locking carabiners, attach them to the bolts or chains and top rope through the carabiners. The last person to climb then attaches to the anchor via a runner and locking carabiner then removes the runners, and rappells of of the bolts/chains. I do this because I was taught to do this but never understood why doing it all off of the anchors was bad. Please clarify.


Whenever a belayer lowers the climber off, you place approximately twice the climber's weight directly on the anchor. As the rope passes through the anchor, all the sand in the rope grinds into the anchor, slowly wearing it away over time. This leads to premature anchor failure, especially in the desert due to the prevalence of sand.

It's much more polite and ethical to lower through your own gear, as you can easily inspect and replace that at appropriate intervals, whereas fixed gear rarely gets replaced, and is arguably more difficult to do so.

Rappelling through anchors places a certain force on the anchors as well. But the largest force is applied while the rope is not running through the anchor. The only time the rope runs is when you pull the rope down and there is hardly any load at that time.

And finally, just to drive the point home, the effect that lowering has is significant. If you've ever seen links, rings, etc., partially worn through (I see this all the time), this is directly from such bad practices.


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By John Hegyes
From Las Vegas, NV
Sep 24, 2007
South of Windy Peak

All this points to the fact that it's not a bad idea to use a rope tarp to keep your rope out of the dirt and to clean your rope once it's filthy.


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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Oct 15, 2007
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lichen covered look from scrubbing a new route.

After trying different setups at Rumney, I think the best is for each bolt to have a 1/2" quicklink with a single link of 1/2 " hardened "logging" chain on the bottom. If the anchor needs to be longer I use an even numbered link 3/8" chain between two 1/2" quicklinks. Here is a link for the chain: www.steelchain.net/grade43.html This is much cheaper than the Fixe stuff and more bomber. If the chainlink or bottom quicklink ever wears out, it is easy to replace. The problem with the Fixe stuff, besides being expensive, is that often the whole contraption has to be replaced if one part gets warn. Also, some of the designs use two anchors but only one ring for the rope to run through. I like redundancy. Those aluminum rap rings shouldn't even be on the market IMO.

Yea, people should avoid TRing directly through the anchors. I usually lower off if I am the last person on a route or rap if my rope will run badly on the rock. Lowering will wear the anchor a bit more, but the difference is not generally worth the hassle I think. Maybe in a really sandy environment. Especially as most sport climbers use Grigris to belay and lower, I think it is somewhat safer then rappelling.


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