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Best belay anchor?

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Re: Best belay anchor?

Postby Vitaliy M. » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:34 pm

Alpine, thank you for very informative, quality posts.
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Re: Best belay anchor?

Postby The Chief » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:35 am

alpine345 wrote:I drilled through Will Gadd's links to the 37 page thread on RC, and it appeared to validate the knot limited sliding X as the preferred system, with some type of AE as a second choice. It was fun seeing John Long, Malcom Daly, et. al. duke it out. I've used the different forms of the sliding X for over 25 years and it's never failed, but lately, when I've felt the need for a macrame project, I've been trying this AE system: http://www.paulraphaelson.com/downloads/acr.pdf I use a Climb X 30 kN ring with a 12mm rope bearing surface and 7mm Mammut cord...it seems simpler and more versatile than other inventions.


Good Post.

Trango makes one, an AE Device designed by Jim Cormier, that I have in my inventory and sometimes use on personal alpine adventures.....
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Re: Best belay anchor?

Postby Brian C » Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:50 am

I have been using the ACR setup almost exclusively (except when rigging with the rope works better) for the last year and have been extremely happy with it. I can set up a bomber, redundant and equalized anchor in about 30 seconds with it and I really enjoy how versatile it is.

PS - If somebody wants my Trango AE I will practically give it to you. Shoot me a PM. Here's a photo.
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Re: Best belay anchor?

Postby The Chief » Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:00 pm

Alpine

The AE/ACR/Sliding X is not a new invention as you well know. It has been around since at least the 70's. I first learned of it back east while on my first trip to Cannon in Oct of '77.

The one entity that has precluded me from utilizing this technique on a regular basis is the fact that there is no "Stop" in case either of the ears is totally compromised, i.e.completely severed/cut from rock fall as was presented to me when I was first exposed to it. I have had this occur to me twice in the past 40+ years of playing at this game. Once at Seneca and the other on Temple Crag. Both times were suedo hanging belays, I employed the standard Cordelette, and the anchor/Power Point held via the remaining two ears/extensions remaining attached to their pieces of pro. Both times I had minimal extension. Had I been using an AE/ACR/Sliding X on either event, I fear to say that I nor my partner/s, would not be here today.

Some say that the chances of this happening are a Billion to one. Well, all it takes is once.



I would also NEVER use an AE/ACR/Sliding X set up on any Free Hanging Belay, Big Wall System, solo or not nor any Guiding situ where a "Direct" belay is employed, for the exact reason I state above.
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Re: Best belay anchor?

Postby Brian C » Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:17 pm

The Chief wrote:AlpineThe one entity that has precluded me from utilizing this technique on a regular basis is the fact that there is no "Stop" in case either of the ears is totally compromised, i.e.completely severed/cut from rock fall as was presented to me when I was first exposed to it. I have had this occur to me twice in the past 40+ years of playing at this game. Once at Seneca and the other on Temple Crag. Both times were suedo hanging belays, I employed the standard Cordelette, and the anchor/Power Point held via the remaining two ears/extensions remaining attached to their pieces of pro. Both times I had minimal extension. Had I been using an AE/ACR/Sliding X on either event, I fear to say that I nor my partner/s, would not be here today.

Some say that the chances of this happening are a Billion to one. Well, all it takes is once.



I would also NEVER use an AE/ACR/Sliding X set up on any Free Hanging Belay, Big Wall System, solo or not nor any Guiding situ where a "Direct" belay is employed, for the exact reason I state above.


Interesting. I've used my ACR on numerous free-hanging belays and aid routes but I've always either tied two limiting knots in the legs or just tied it as a regular cordalette to prevent total failure. Good point to think about though.
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Re: Best belay anchor?

Postby The Chief » Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:47 pm

Brian C wrote:Interesting. I've used my ACR on numerous free-hanging belays and aid routes but I've always either tied two limiting knots in the legs or just tied it as a regular cordalette to prevent total failure. Good point to think about though.


Doing that totally negates the entire premise of "Sliding X" and just affords you the same extension to the Anchors as does a good ole Cordelettte.... Correct?
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Re: Best belay anchor?

Postby Marcsoltan » Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:33 pm

I agree with all the people who are recommending both Cordallete and sliding X systems, depending on the situation. Carrying a cordalette has another advantage. You can cut the cord into shorter pieces to produce anchors for rappelling on longer routes, if you have to. Having a cordalette sure saved my life on Middle Cathedral in Yosemite, long story.

How come nobody's talking about using a directional? 99% of the time it's not needed, but when the situation arises, you are so glad to have it, such as in stopping a bad fall, another long story.
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Re: Best belay anchor?

Postby Brian C » Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:12 pm

The Chief wrote:
Brian C wrote:Interesting. I've used my ACR on numerous free-hanging belays and aid routes but I've always either tied two limiting knots in the legs or just tied it as a regular cordalette to prevent total failure. Good point to think about though.


Doing that totally negates the entire premise of "Sliding X" and just affords you the same extension to the Anchors as does a good ole Cordelettte.... Correct?


Yup. Tying it like a cordalette sure does but sometimes that seems to be the most appropriate way in some situations. Tying the two limiting knots still offers a fairly wide range of self equalizing (certainly more-so than a regular cordalette) without having the whole system fail due to a partial severing. I guess I feel that carrying the ACR is helpful in that it can be quickly set up to provide smooth and near-perfect equalization in some circumstances while still being able to be used as a regular cordalette. A cordalette can be tied into the sliding x but it is not as fast nor does it equalize as well as the ACR. I also think it's neat that having the rappel ring built in so you have one handy to use with the cord in a bail scenario. Maybe I've just gotten used to it but I've liked it more than than just carrying a regular cordalette.
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Re: Best belay anchor?

Postby The Chief » Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:29 pm

Replace the Rap Ring with an Oval Locker which one will have on the Cordelette and whalla, instant AE or ACR and can be implemented just as quickly.

Bottomline, both are in many ways as variable as the other. Just a different title/name.

Marcsoltan wrote:How come nobody's talking about using a directional? 99% of the time it's not needed, but when the situation arises, you are so glad to have it, such as in stopping a bad fall, another long story.


Agreed. Being proficient in setting one up and utilizing it, can and will one day save your ass as well. Great Point!
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Re: Best belay anchor?

Postby Brian C » Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:11 pm

The Chief wrote:Bottomline, both are in many ways as variable as the other. Just a different title/name.


Agreed.
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Re: Best belay anchor?

Postby TheGeneral » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:21 am

Best belay anchor? Clove hitching to pieces.
“The carping and bickering of political factions in the nation's capital reminds me of two pelicans quarreling over a dead fish.” -- William Tecumseh Sherman
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Re: Best belay anchor?

Postby Jukka Ahonen » Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:10 pm

Just to add an option, I recently wrote an article on a Quad anchor.

As has been discussed elsewhere (you can find a link to the discussion in the article), the Quad has some advantages, and personally I have used it especially in multi-pitch sports climbing.

http://www.summitpost.org/quad-anchor/777941
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Re: Best belay anchor?

Postby DanTheMan » Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:07 am

You can still use the sliding with knots on more than 2 pieces. Just clove hitch a single strand instead of clipping a double strand. Adjust the clove hitches to equalize it all.

Sometimes on low angle terrain it is good enough to just sit down with your feet against something, or belay directly off a horn of rock for friction. It depends.
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Re: Best belay anchor?

Postby TheGeneral » Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:13 am

My previous post left out the most important part.

TheGeneral wrote:Best belay anchor? Clove hitching to bombproof pieces.
“The carping and bickering of political factions in the nation's capital reminds me of two pelicans quarreling over a dead fish.” -- William Tecumseh Sherman
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Re: Best belay anchor?

Postby logsden » Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:39 am

TheGeneral, although it's certainly a valid option, clove hitching directly to your pieces can make fully escaping and transitioning to a lower or tandem rap significantly more challenging.

This is not the only consideration when building an anchor, but certainly an important part of the evaluation.

There is no "best belay anchor" for all situations. Principles ARE universal. Learn the principles that guide each of the systems noted here and apply them to each situation as needed.
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