Best belay anchor?

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mountainsandsound

 
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Best belay anchor?

by mountainsandsound » Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:21 pm

I thought I would ask because Excitableboy's link to the cordelette vs. sliding x article in a different forum got me to thinking about belay anchors. In the realm of vertical rock I'm still mostly a sport climber transitioning to trad and haven't had to build too many anchors yet. With the 2 bolt anchors present on top of many crags I have been using a sliding x with limiting overhand knots on each side of the biner. I think I read about it in John Long's book, and it seemed to make sense to me. Good equalization like the plain ol' sliding x, and some shock load minimization. What do other climbers think? Would this have good application in trad anchors?

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The Chief

 
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Re: Best belay anchor?

by The Chief » Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:36 pm

Single 7 or 8mm Cordelette attached at each point with lockers (non-lockers are fine if lockers are not available) with the gates facing out and down (allows for easier access when loaded), equalized, then tied off with a single overhand or overhand eight with an attached locker (Countered dual non-lockers if a locker is not available) for the Power Point.

Simple.

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The Chief

 
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Re: Best belay anchor?

by The Chief » Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:55 am

Ahh..... 99% of all my belays over the past 40 something years have been pretty standard as described above. Regardless if they are Sport, Trad, Big Walls, AID Soloing, Alpine and Ice.

Standardize your Belay Anchor, and you will not screw the pooche when shit hits the fan, the weather is shitstick bad, a rescue is in dire order etc etc etc.


Most Certs, AMGA, PCGI and UIAA will teach and req the same standard belay system set up for most climbing scenarios.

These two books are great sources:
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Image

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ExcitableBoy

 
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Re: Best belay anchor?

by ExcitableBoy » Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:02 am

According to Alex Lowe, the best belay anchor is the one having the most fun.

I don't like disagreeing with The Chief :( but I think the cordalette with a tied power point works better in theory than practice. I stopped using it pretty quickly for the reasons Will Gadd outlines in his article. http://willgadd.com/?p=271I have found it near impossible to tie it in such a way that each leg is equally weighted at all times with the natural movement of the belayer. The sliding X backed up with a runner to a third piece in my experience does a better job of equalizing the load.

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The Chief

 
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Re: Best belay anchor?

by The Chief » Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:18 am

Hey, if that set up works for you EB, than Great!

All I am stating is a "Standardized Equalized System" should be applied in most situs unless some odd ball situ arises.

I personally use the Cord Set Up as it is great for Guiding and ensuring a Dynamic "Direct" Belay can be applied and can be gotten out of/tied off to if something happens to the client/second coming up . It is also great for Hauling Systems. Just my pref. Not saying it is the only way.

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mountainsandsound

 
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Re: Best belay anchor?

by mountainsandsound » Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:29 am

I should have known I might have opened up a can of worms with this post...

I think a science background forces me to constantly question and reevaluate, that's why I like things like the Will Gadd article popping up. Climbers giving good reasons for doing what they do is worth hearing.

Now if they could only publish some scientific journal articles with some numbers and statistical tests to go along, this eternal skeptic might be closer to satisfied.

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Re: Best belay anchor?

by E_Rolls » Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:49 am

I too like the cordaette if for no other reason than it's simplicity and master point. Sometimes I'll use a sliding X on two small and/or marginal pieces. Or two pieces that are located further away to bring a single clip point closer to the rest of the anchor. Sometimes using the rope is easiest if always swinging leads. IMO, bottom line is learn every anchor option available because every anchor and climbing situation is different. Then choose the option that best suits. Also, you'll be able to build the best possible anchor with the gear at hand.
And for the record I'm a cordalette/rope anchor kind'O guy. 8)

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The Chief

 
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Re: Best belay anchor?

by The Chief » Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:05 am

Gadd does not indicate in his article whether he is using his slider X with a "Direct" or "Indirect" set up.

Be interesting to find out.


PS: When with my regular partners, I will use the Slider X and tie (Clove Hitch) my end of the rope directly into it as well. Fast, simple and efficient. I will use either the Direct or Indirect Belay.

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Vitaliy M.

 
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Re: Best belay anchor?

by Vitaliy M. » Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:57 am

Something I totally forgot about and was reminded is that dyneema loses it's strength if you tie a knot in it.
For one of my anchors I used a double length dyneema sling equalizing two pieces with sliding X (making it dynamic), and I put in a knot to the longer piece to prevent shock loading (for this situation this anchor did not really matter since I was setting it up on a HUGE ledge (top of 1st pitch of Dribbles (wi4 in Hyalite) and there would be no way my partner could produce a factor 2 on that anchor with a fall)...than I was reminded that dyneema is not as strong with a knot. Does anyone know if nylon is ok for this type of anchor?

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mountainsandsound

 
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Re: Best belay anchor?

by mountainsandsound » Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:19 pm

Here is a caving website that posted some previous test results of nylon vs. the various types of wonder cord.http://www.caves.org/section/vertical/nh/49/cthsc/cthsc.html

The study this was taken from is available at this informative website, along with other tests of knots, techniques, equipment. http://user.xmission.com/~tmoyer/testing/

Here is a graph from the first website that I think answers your question.

Image

The graphics are bad, I know. This is testing tensile strength of the material with and without the knot. It is a figure 8, rather than an overhand knot, but I think the message would be the same. 7 mm nylon cord retains 92% of its tensile strength with a knot, 1" nylon webbing, 70%. Most of the other materials don't retain as much relative strength when tied. And not just relative either, the knotted nylon was stronger than all but one knotted alternative material (whatever the second one in from the right is).

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The Chief

 
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Re: Best belay anchor?

by The Chief » Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:37 pm

This recent test from DMM pretty much says it all. The video is quite informative actually....

How to Break Nylon & Dyneema® Slings

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Gafoto, kamil, Marcsoltan, mountainsandsound

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aran

 
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Re: Best belay anchor?

by aran » Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:33 pm

Sadly, and gratefully, that video you just shared might have saved my future life. Thank you. Pretty damn informative indeed.

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mountainsandsound

 
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Re: Best belay anchor?

by mountainsandsound » Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:10 pm

The Chief wrote:This recent test from DMM pretty much says it all. The video is quite informative actually....

How to Break Nylon & Dyneema® Slings


Good post. The part about knots in nylon slings reducing the force acting like "shock absorbers" was pretty interesting. I like his skullet hairdo.

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alpine345

 
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Re: Best belay anchor?

by alpine345 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:00 pm

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.

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