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Do you use Quad anchors?

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Do you use Quad anchors?

Postby Jukka Ahonen » Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:47 am

I just posted an article about how to build and deploy a Quad anchor: http://www.summitpost.org/quad-anchor/777941

I have used this when multi-pitching, but I was wondering if there are some drawbacks to this system I am not aware of?


cheers,
Jukka
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Re: Do you use Quad anchors?

Postby SLCompulsion » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:36 pm

I read about these but I believe they are mainly recommended for routes with bolted, horizontal side by side anchors since it is pre-configured for two anchor points. For a gear anchor with anything less then ideal placements I'd want a third piece in at a minimum.

See "Climbing Anchors" by John Long and Bob Gaines for details and alternatives.

Mike
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Re: Do you use Quad anchors?

Postby The Chief » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:39 pm

If it works, is safe and time saving, then it's good for you.

Innovation and new concepts/applications are dynamic and great. But, I always keep this standard rule of thumb to any new "Anchor"
set up/applications and thoroughly test them out on the deck prior to applying them in the Vertical World....

KISS!

Keep
It
Simple
Safe



PS: I do everything to keep the clutter hanging off my harness down to a minimum. It never fails that when making a "crux" over hanging move etc, something dangling off my ass gets caught up.
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Re: Do you use Quad anchors?

Postby Jukka Ahonen » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:52 pm

Thank you for these insights. I have slightly altered the contents of the article to reflect these comments.
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Re: Do you use Quad anchors?

Postby divnamite » Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:01 pm

Since the Quad is useful mostly to two horizontal pieces, why even bother with the Quad? EARNEST is overrated in this configuration. Just tie in with your rope. Clove hitch into each pieces and be done with.
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Re: Do you use Quad anchors?

Postby Jukka Ahonen » Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:13 pm

So you would clip a biner to each bolt, and then clove hitch to each biner? And when the second comes up, would he also do the same, or what?

And where do you attach your belay device?

I ask because I have never done it that way, and would like to understand the pros and cons.
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Re: Do you use Quad anchors?

Postby jbvdb493 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:32 am

hey
so i used to use something similar to what divnamite is saying but only on bolted anchors
i would clove hitch myself to a bolt pull up some slack clove hitch to another bolt and tie a 8 on a bight in between the bolts and use that as a focal point to bellay with a reverso
pros: fast and uses minimal gear, is a dynamic system
cons: once its set you can't adjust your clove hitch because that un equalizes the focal point, if you need to do any kind of self rescue you are pooched as you need the rope and anchor to be separate, you could use it with a 3 point gear anchor but it seems shitty to use (although I've never done it)
i never use that way anymore due to the ass pain it would create in a rescue scenario

the problems i see with your system is that its a single use piece of gear i.e.: its only really good for side by side bolts as already mentioned but you can't use it for 3 point gear anchors or even around trees

finally what i now use is a 7 meter (i think :) ) long piece of 3/4 inch tubular webbing with an over hand on a bight on each end
this allows me to clip a piece with each overhand and the middle to the middle piece of a 3 piece gear anchor with the middle of the webbing and to the equalize the anchor with an overhand knot
i can also use the same piece around trees or rock horns
its basically a homemade version of this
http://www.mtntools.com/cat/mt/webolette/webolette.html
the draw back is that its too long for 2 point bolted anchors and for some reason i find using the shelf of the anchor confusing with that system
sorry for the rant but thats my 2 bucks
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Re: Do you use Quad anchors?

Postby logsden » Sat Feb 25, 2012 6:24 pm

Like any anchor system, this system has it's pros and cons. Learning to identify all of these issues and apply the knowledge to each situation is the critical element in keeping any climb safe.

As The Chief said...KISS. But having a hundred different tricks up your sleeve for those inevitable, oddball situations should still be a goal for each climber.

fwiw - I rarely climb with a "pre-rigged" setup. I evaluate the anchor when I reach it, and use what is most appropriate given the needs of the overall climb and the best system for managing overall safety. This ranges from a terrain belay to clove hitching sequential pieces to a full on 5 piece equalized combination of all the tricks you might know.

Not pre-rigging your setup should add no significant time to building your anchor - especially when you consider the potential for reaching anchors that are not easily compatible with your pre-rig, requiring additional futzing around just to accommodate your previously uber-efficient pre-rig.

Recommendation for your article - you show a picture of the basic setup without a picture of a properly clipped anchor point. This could be confusing to someone not familiar with the setup. It would be a good idea to include a shot of it properly rigged.
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Re: Do you use Quad anchors?

Postby Buckaroo » Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:25 am

4 strands of 8mm seems like overkill, not exactly "going light". Try some 5mm tech cord or skinny dyneema runner even better.

The drawback of tying in with the rope is it's unequalized and puts you too short on full length pitches
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Re: Do you use Quad anchors?

Postby Jukka Ahonen » Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:40 am

logsden wrote:Recommendation for your article - you show a picture of the basic setup without a picture of a properly clipped anchor point. This could be confusing to someone not familiar with the setup. It would be a good idea to include a shot of it properly rigged.


That is indeed true. I will try to take some additional pictures shortly, and add them to the article.
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Re: Do you use Quad anchors?

Postby Jukka Ahonen » Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:41 am

Buckaroo wrote:4 strands of 8mm seems like overkill, not exactly "going light". Try some 5mm tech cord or skinny dyneema runner even better.


The recommendations I have found on other sites have varied from 5,5 to 6 mm - 8mm is indeed too thick, the reason is quite simply that when I built my own Quad in Spain, the shop did not have anything else in stock.

At least I know which part of my rig is not likely to fail first... :roll:

EDIT: I have now updated the Article with some pictures taken on my backyard. Hopefully these will make the article easier to understand.
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Re: Do you use Quad anchors?

Postby Rob » Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:31 pm

Image

Redundant - The resulting anchor should be redundant for every part in it. In simple terms, pay attention to every piece of gear you have installed; if any one of them should break, you should always have secondary security built into the anchor. No single failure should lead to total failure of the anchor.


Redundancy requires that you clip in with at least two biners, your picture only shows one, and also....

No Extension - There should be no extension, or slack, in the system. The more extension there is, the more brutal the shock forces will be in a case of a fall.


Don't forget that in your picture, if one of those anchors blows, the other is going to get shock loaded when the slack comes tight. From what I see, the only way to fix this problem, would be to add extra slings.

No, I don't use a quad, or cordelette, I like to use slings and the rope to clip in and equalize, since that's what I carry with me when I climb. I don't like the clutter of extra stuff (and bulky) just to clip in with.

Cheers!
Rob
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Re: Do you use Quad anchors?

Postby Jukka Ahonen » Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:48 pm

Good points, Rob. I will update the description of the image to point out the lack of second biner.

As for the slack, I would think that most anchors will experience some shock forces in a partial failure. In the case of a Quad, the amount of potential slack in the system depends on how you have placed the overhand knots. I will make a note of this as well.
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Re: Do you use Quad anchors?

Postby divnamite » Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:55 pm

I generally avoid using ice screws in a horizontal formation because ice tend to fracture horizontally. I don't see the point of them on multi pitch routes even if it's a sport route with bolts for every station. For flexibility, nothing beats sliding X.

Quad is a really useful tool for top rope in areas where top anchors are bolts with small spacing between them, otherwise, the V angle of load will increase the force on anchor.
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Re: Do you use Quad anchors?

Postby TommyMac » Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:35 pm

Jukka,
I strongly suggest you buy a copy of John Long & Bob Gaines' 2nd Edition of Climbing Anchors. For $16, it's the best thing out there. A few observations:
1) As some of the guys mentioned, the quad is great for side-by side two bolt anchors, be it top roping or multi-pitch. And yes, if top-roping always use 2 biners, locking or gates opposed (Gaines recommends 3 biners if none are locking). One locker is fine for climber attachment - just remember to attach with the dynamic climbing rope, not a static sling or daisy chain.
2) If your anchor is anything but two side-by-side bolts, Gaines and Long recommend the "equalette" (basically the same configuration as the quad but not doubled - so you have one loop - knot - two strands - knot - one loop). This is great for tying off 3 or four pieces using clove hitches and still having great equalization. Use a locker on each of the two strands. Not only is it (and the quad) super fast, simple, strong, but also MUCH easier to escape from in an emergency (those clove hitches directly to each piece not only totally sacrifice any equalization but are a nightmare to escape should you ever need to). Personally, I think you should always have a cordelette on hand on multi-pitches for rescue situations anyway, so to me it's not an issue of extra gear, either.
3) Shock loading is a bit of a myth assuming you don't have HUGE extension potential (which you don't here) and the system is not static. True shock loading occurs when you do something like attach to anchor directly with a daisy chain or static sling, climb above the anchor, then fall. According to tests done Duane Raleigh at Rock & Ice Magazine, shock loading does not occur in a failed sliding X configuration with moderate extension as long as you are using dynamic rope. This, of course, makes perfect sense - otherwise, any leader fall would result in "shock loading" on a bolt, a quick draw's sling, and the biners on the draw. But of course, we all know that does not happen, thank god, because of the dynamic rope.
Get a copy of the book - it is really informative and, if nothing else, makes for a great read, complete with some horror stories of mistakes to avoid.
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