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Using a PAS for cleaning an anchor.
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By Andy Golz
From Duluth, MN
Nov 14, 2008
ME

Alright, I'm new to outdoor sport climbing so please bear with me. I was wondering what the best way to use the Metolius PAS would be to hook up to an anchor to clean it. Would you hook one loop to one quickdraw and then another loop to your second quickdraw for redundancy, even though it wouldn't be equalized, or is there a better way?


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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Nov 14, 2008
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.

Redundancy without equalization is fine for cleaning anchors where a fall is not expected. Actually, you want to clip the bolt hangers if possible, one with a locker at the end of the PAS and another at one of the inner loops. If you can't clip the bolt hangers, clip the quicklinks on them or both of the chain links.


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By Andy Golz
From Duluth, MN
Nov 14, 2008
ME

Thanks for the fast reply, very helpful!


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By Tim Kline
From Littleton, co
Nov 14, 2008
Classic climb called Gossamer in the monster area of Rushmore

I always have two slings wrapped between my 2 points when cleaning, and I just clip into the bolts with both slings, adjusting my body position pretty much equalizes it. Then I clean it. Sometimes it gets a bit cumbersome if you don't have the sling spaced properly between one another, because you need to be able to run your rope between them, but just check yourself before you start climbing. I personally don't think that you need to use the PAS for something that a couple 4 dollar slings can accomplish. Just my 2 cents!!


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By Paul Hunnicutt
From Boulder, CO
Nov 14, 2008
Half Dome

Technically if you want to be redundant...

you might want to clip into a different sling in instead of using the PAS twice. I've never heard of one failing while cleaning an anchor, but if the lower portion of the PAS failed the upper would be doing nothing. Even just a couple of quickdraws from your belay loop into the second bolt. I can't image a short "fall" onto a PAS or sling would break it...so I wouldn't be worried about equalization in this case. It also might be easier to move around without being clipped into the PAS twice.

I also leave the PAS (or daisy or sling or whatever) loose but clipped in...so that when I'm ready to lower I'm still clipped into something. Once I'm 100% sure the belay has me on tight, is attentive, and ready to lower only then do I unclip the PAS. This seems obvious but miscommunication between someone cleaning an anchor and the belayer has caused several deaths. Make SURE you are both on the same page before you unclip from any anchor. This goes for multipitch climbing as well.

Just to note: In general if you are ever going to clip two quickdraws together...don't just clip two biners together - an general rule. Clip one QD biner into directly into the sling of the other biner. The gates could twist and upclip one another. If you do ever have to clip two biners together use two lockers.


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By MarkGriffin
From Goretex-Vortex, CO
Nov 14, 2008
lizard.

Here's a trick that speeds up the cleaning process. Just learned this recently and had a "why didn't I think of that?" moment.

After securing yourself to the anchor with PAS, slings whatever, and before untying the rope from your harness:

Take up about 8-10 feet of slack.

Make a bight in the middle of this slack and pass it through the rings or chains.

Tie a figure eight on a bight on the end of this bight.

Use a locking carabiner to connect the figure eight to your belay loop.

Untie the original figure-eight-follow-through from your harness and pull the free end of the rope through the rings or chains.

Now you're set to be lowered, make sure your belayer has you tight again and disconnect your PAS.


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By Scott Thalacker
From Logan, UT
Nov 14, 2008
theodor adorno.

Andy, you pretty much have the right idea. The PAS is good because you can clip through multiple loops without worrying about it like you would need to worry about with a daisy chain. It's advantage over runners is that it is adjustable length. You should probably use lockers for this; maybe the back up clip is with a quickdraw.


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By Richard Radcliffe
From Louisville, CO
Nov 14, 2008

MarkG wrote:
Make a bight in the middle of this slack and pass it through the rings or chains.

One problem with this method is that it is sometimes difficult to pass a bight through the anchor dependent on its nature and when other gear is present (i.e., the two anchor draws). IMO it is usually much easier and only a tiny bit slower to tie off a loop first, clip to your harness with a locker, untie, feed the end of the rope through the anchors, retie back into your harness, and then unclip and untie the loop. Anyway, it just doesn't feel right to me to be attached to the rope via a carabiner for lowering.

Justin Cantrall wrote:
The problem with this is this still means you're being lowered through the rings--which are prone to wear via friction. Enough wear by people lowering through the rings, and they become unsafe.

There has been much discussion on this site and elsewhere about this issue. My sense is that route developers generally don't seem to care too much especially since nowadays they typically add quick-links which are easily replaceable. Always carry a couple of quick-links with you so that anchors can be upgraded as needed. That gives all of us some ownership and responsibility for the care of our (un)natural resources.


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By Peter L K
From Cincinnati, OH
Nov 14, 2008
rrg

Andy Golz wrote:
Alright, I'm new to outdoor sport climbing so please bear with me. I was wondering what the best way to use the Metolius PAS would be to hook up to an anchor to clean it. Would you hook one loop to one quickdraw and then another loop to your second quickdraw for redundancy, even though it wouldn't be equalized, or is there a better way?


I think the idea is to be redundant on the anchors/bolts (clipping 2), but not redundant on the PAS, just as your rope isn't redundant.


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By Richard Radcliffe
From Louisville, CO
Nov 14, 2008

Justin Cantrall wrote:
call off-belay

Justin (and a few others above) brings up the absolute most critical aspect of cleaning an anchor, whether you're getting lowered or rapping: COMMUNICATION!!! I would bet that the majority of sport climbing accidents occur because of some kind of miscommunication. You should discuss your plan of action with your belayer ahead of time and make absolutely sure your belayer knows to keep you on belay at all times unless you explicitly state otherwise with clear and conventional commands.


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By MarkGriffin
From Goretex-Vortex, CO
Nov 14, 2008
lizard.

You're right, lowering eventually wears out the links or rings or chains. Sometimes it is more appropriate to rap. This is simply another trick to file away. It gets one back to the ground faster, in my opinion, is simpler and is a useful thing to know. Richard has a good point that this doesn't work with all anchor configurations. Moral being use the method that is appropriate given the anchor, and the method you feel comfortable with. If you don't trust a locking carabiner to hold your body weight while being lowered to the ground then tie in directly. Sometimes it is necessary to lower in order to clean gear.

As far as wearing out links or rings on anchors, I generally don't feel too bad using the above method at popular, grid bolted sport crags, however I don't use it at the more seldom visited and remote areas. That said I really don't do a whole lot of sport climbing. As Richard said the quick links are easy to replace and with the number of people one sees top roping and lowering repeatedly on the rings, they're bound to wear out sooner than later.

Sorry to be long winded AND off topic. At least I'm not being a jerk. (Edit: I think.)


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By Richard Radcliffe
From Louisville, CO
Nov 14, 2008

MarkG wrote:
Sorry to be long winded AND off topic. At least I'm not being a jerk. (Edit: I think.)

There's no such thing as long winded or off topic on these threads. And don't worry: you're not anywhere close to being a jerk (if you don't believe me, just check out some of the other threads).


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By Paul Hunnicutt
From Boulder, CO
Nov 14, 2008
Half Dome

I NEVER call off-belay while cleaning. I only ask for slack to untie and then once I'm all set to go ask if my belayer is ready to lower, etc...

Just another way for an accident to happen. Leave your partner on belay until they are on the ground. It also helps to discuss if you are rapping or lowering before you set off on the climb. Taking someone off belay or asking to be off belay while cleaning has lead to several fatal miscommunication errors - mostly not understanding if you are lowering or rapping.

Rapping is certainly better for the anchor...especially if they are fixed rings.

If you are new to climbing make sure you know how to rap and I would recommend backing yourself up while you rap.


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By MarkGriffin
From Goretex-Vortex, CO
Nov 14, 2008
lizard.

Haha, true Richard.

Back to the point though my girlfriend uses a PAS and we think it's an excellent piece of gear.

I agree the safest way to use it on a sport anchor is to attach to first bolt at desired length with a locker and use any remaining tail to back up onto the other bolt.

Yeah, Paul is definitely right. No need to call off-belay. Just slack and take/back on you/etc. Always alarmed and frequently amused to hear the drawn out exchange of frustrated partners yelling back and forth "are you rapping?" pause "what??". Sort it out before leaving the ground.


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By Mark Cushman
From Cumming, GA
Nov 14, 2008
Profiley Styley

Richard Radcliffe wrote:
One problem with this method is that it is sometimes difficult to pass a bight through the anchor dependent on its nature and when other gear is present (i.e., the two anchor draws). IMO it is usually much easier and only a tiny bit slower to tie off a loop first, clip to your harness with a locker, untie, feed the end of the rope through the anchors, retie back into your harness, and then unclip and untie the loop.

Using your method, if you re-clip the other side of the rope (the one heading down to your belayer) to the last two bolts as you are heading up to the anchors, this would also give you redundancy from the anchor. If you were to catastrophically mess up cleaning the anchor, you'd fall down to the last bolt, being caught by the bight you clipped to your harness with the locker.

I still think that communication is the most important - make sure your belayer and you know what is happening and be careful with your commands. Don't call "off belay" when you are just clipping in short to clean and be lowered.


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By Richard Radcliffe
From Louisville, CO
Nov 14, 2008

MarkG wrote:
Sort it out before leaving the ground.

That is the key. I also like the PAS for all climbing situations -- never leave home without it. Just take into consideration that the PAS is non-dynamic and could have implications for the potential forces applied to an anchor in many climbing situations other than those of the one-pitch-sport-climbing variety.


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By Richard Radcliffe
From Louisville, CO
Nov 14, 2008

Mark Cushman wrote:
Using your method, if you re-clip the other side of the rope (the one heading down to your belayer) to the last two bolts as you are heading up to the anchors, this would also give you redundancy from the anchor. If you were to catastrophically mess up cleaning the anchor, you'd fall down to the last bolt, being caught by the bight you clipped to your harness with the locker.

True. I was working under the assumption that you're leading the climb and would therefore be clipped to all the bolts on the route.

EDIT: Mark, I see you've climbed at Seneca. That's where I learned how to do mutli-pitch leading. Haven't been there in something like 25 years. I'd love to get back one of these days.


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By Dave Pilot
From Boulder, CO
Nov 14, 2008
Jack Ripper

A PAS may be cool, but it's not necessary, and the extra ounce of weight could drag you off on your coveted redpoint attempt. It's also money that you could have instead spent on beer.

Assuming that you're not toproping through the anchors (which of course causes wear and should be avoided), you should have two shoulder length slings at the anchors with lockers that the rope is clipped into. Take another shoulder length sling with a locker when you climb with one end girth hitched around your belay loop. At the top clip the locker end into one hanger. Take the rope end of the sling connected to the other anchor hanger, unclip it from the rope and clip the rope end into your belay loop. If you're going to rap, call off belay. If you're going to lower, tell your belayer to give you slack and make sure he/she does not take you off belay. Make eye contact. Pull up a bight, tie off a loop, clip it to your harness, etcetera etcetera. You know the rest.


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By splitclimber
Dec 24, 2009

quote: Take the rope end of the sling connected to the other anchor hanger, unclip it from the rope and clip the rope end into your belay loop.

thread revival- can this be reworded?

rope end of the sling? it?

Thanks all


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By splitclimber
Dec 24, 2009

Mark said: "Make a bight in the middle of this slack and pass it through the rings or chains. Tie a figure eight on a bight on the end of this bight. Use a locking carabiner to connect the figure eight to your belay loop. Untie the original figure-eight-follow-through from your harness and pull the free end of the rope through the rings or chains. Now you're set to be lowered, make sure your belayer has you tight again and disconnect your PAS."


So, you don't re-tie to your harness? Just lower off with the rope tied off on a locker connected your belay loop?

Seems quicker but riskier.


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By Jake D.
From Northeast
Dec 24, 2009

splitclimber wrote:
Mark said: "Make a bight in the middle of this slack and pass it through the rings or chains. Tie a figure eight on a bight on the end of this bight. Use a locking carabiner to connect the figure eight to your belay loop. Untie the original figure-eight-follow-through from your harness and pull the free end of the rope through the rings or chains. Now you're set to be lowered, make sure your belayer has you tight again and disconnect your PAS." So, you don't re-tie to your harness? Just lower off with the rope tied off on a locker connected your belay loop? Seems quicker but riskier.


If the rings or whatever anchors are big enough this is easy and redundant. If you are really worried then put 2 lockers to your harness.

I think it's funny that people are paranoid about redundancy and what tie in points are connected when they just climbed over x amount of bolts with non locking biners on all of them facing way more force during a fall than when you are lowering.

If the rings are big enough i am trying to get into the habit of using the above technique. with smaller anchor points i attach with a single 24" sling girthed to my harness (usually wrapped up on a single locker.. i don't know how people climb with them attached and threaded either under their leg or around their waist, that would piss me off)

and to add fire i never rap if i'm cleaning draws on the way down. I will rap if my rope goes over an edge and i cleaned the route on TR.. though that is rare. The anchors at Rumney are built and are being re-fitted to be easy to replace and made of beefy steel. 1 person lowering per party is SOP.


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