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By mr. mango
Mar 9, 2013
north wash
There have been a few of these over the years but I never get tired of them. Post your picture of a bad anchor or any other sketchy pro.
Rapping off of a single pin in "the squeeze" aka segars hole canyon UT.
Rapping off of a single pin in "the squeeze" aka segars hole canyon UT.

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By DannyUncanny
From Vancouver
Mar 9, 2013

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By Woodchuck ATC
Mar 9, 2013
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
DannyUncanny wrote:

Aw, c'mon, that won't slip off with the first weight put on it!!!

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By 20 kN
Administrator
From Hawaii
Mar 9, 2013
Damn, I have used my fair share of shit anchors, but those two photos are pretty ludicrous. I would not rap off either. I would leave gear. The second would not be so insane if the rope was in the middle of the block, where it couldn't slip out the left side.

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By mr. mango
Mar 10, 2013
north wash
The only thing possible was a piton in the smooth Navajo sandstone. Or a risky downclimb.

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By DannyUncanny
From Vancouver
Mar 10, 2013
20 kN wrote:
The second would not be so insane if the rope was in the middle of the block, where it couldn't slip out the left side.


If you did that, you would never get your rope down.

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By Greg D
From Here
Mar 10, 2013
Out of the blue.  Photo by Mike W. <br />
The drilled pin really isn't that bad for a downward pull, except that it is not redundant. Two of those would be bomber. I have taken lead falls onto those and they are pretty solid. They can be stronger than an expansion bolt in softer rock because expansion bolts can fracture the rock without visible signs. Whereas a drilled pin gets hammered into a pre drilled hole. YMMV

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By Clifton Santiago
Mar 10, 2013
Bomber

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By Austin Baird
From SLC, Utah
Mar 10, 2013
Me scaring years off my mom's life
Totally Bomber
Totally Bomber



Canyoneers sneer at climbers' antipathy to rapping off of substandard anchors.

Seriously though - you rap off some sketchy stuff in canyons. We didn't even think twice about this. (Pandora's Box - Capitol Reef)

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By mr. mango
Mar 10, 2013
north wash
Austin Baird wrote:
Canyoneers sneer at climbers' antipathy to rapping off of substandard anchors. Seriously though - you rap off some sketchy stuff in canyons. (Pandora's Box - Capitol Reef)

+1 climbers have nothing on canyoneers.

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By 20 kN
Administrator
From Hawaii
Mar 10, 2013
DannyUncanny wrote:
If you did that, you would never get your rope down.

Running a rope directly around a piece of rock is retarded. The proper way is to sling the rock and throw a rap ring or biner on the sling. With that method I would get my rope back.

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By TWK
Mar 10, 2013
mr. mango wrote:
The only thing possible was a piton in the smooth Navajo sandstone. Or a risky downclimb.

Yeah, like one or two more equalized drilled pitons wasn't a possibility.

Why trust you and your partners' lives to three equalized shitty anchors when you can get by with one without a backup?

What could go wrong?

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By Austin Baird
From SLC, Utah
Mar 10, 2013
Me scaring years off my mom's life
Mango - I'd love to see what these guys would say about rapping off a deadman, a hook, or a sandtrap.

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By Brian C.
From Longmont, CO
Mar 10, 2013
On Blanca after traversing from LB
I saw this one 2 days ago...


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By TWK
Mar 10, 2013
Austin Baird wrote:
Mango - I'd love to see what these guys would say about rapping off a deadman, a hook, or a sandtrap.

After you see a few clusterfucks from skanky rappel anchors in real mountains at twilight, you tend to exercise a little more caution and be less cavalier regarding what you're willing to trust or pressure your partners to trust.

What's the saying? Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.

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By mr. mango
Mar 10, 2013
north wash
Austin Baird wrote:
Mango - I'd love to see what these guys would say about rapping off a deadman, a hook, or a sandtrap.

haha yeah me too.

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By mr. mango
Mar 10, 2013
north wash
TWK wrote:
Yeah, like one or two more equalized drilled pitons wasn't a possibility. Why trust you and your partners' lives to three equalized shitty anchors when you can get by with one without a backup? What could go wrong?

Unfortunately this isnt a drilled piton. It is hammered into the soft sandstone and in the effort of keeping the canyon as clean as possible, we decided to use one pin.

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By TWK
Mar 10, 2013
mr. mango wrote:
Unfortunately this isnt a drilled piton. It is hammered into the soft sandstone and in the effort of keeping the canyon as clean as possible, we decided to use one pin.


Well, I'm just glad that it worked out for you, and you're here to post its picture. I'm personally too chicken$hit to rap off sketchy stuff like that anymore.

I guess, either way, you're keeping the canyon as clean as possible--the big greasy hairy bloodstain at the bottom will wash off with the next rain. ;-)

" . . . plummeting like dead weights . . . with a whoosh!, accelerating at the rate of thirty-two feet per second to land with a hideous plop! . . . and die disgustingly there in public like an alpaca sack full of hairy strawberry ice cream, bleeding, pink toes awry."
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

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By mr. mango
Mar 11, 2013
north wash
I don't see what a book following a World War 2 pilot has anything to do with this but thanks for the advice. I'm sure it will come in handy the next time I rappel thirty feet into a pothole.

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By TWK
Mar 11, 2013
It's just you seemed to think it's some kind of joke to rap off skanky anchors. Just using a literary reference to previsualize the spectrum of reasonably possible outcomes. Climbers whose anchors fail needlessly are subject to the same laws of nature as anybody else, whether semi-fictional pilots from the last century or any page torn from "Accidents in North American Mountaineering."

Might as well as borrow my revolver, one bullet, and play Russian roulette with your climbing partner. Have fun.

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By Austin Baird
From SLC, Utah
Mar 11, 2013
Me scaring years off my mom's life
TWK - if you've never gotten into canyoneering, I can understand why you'd react to these anchors the way that you are. Climbers will ensure that their rap anchors are as safe as they can be made and they see rappelling as a chore and a danger.

Canyoneering has a completely different mindset and a different ethic. While there are trade routes in canyoneering, routes in which all of the anchors are bolted or rigged off of massive trees, that's not the case for all canyons. It's instructive to think of canyons like one would think of climbs. Many canyons are like well-bolted sport climbs. They're fun, easy, and don't require much skill or tolerance for risk. Other canyons are more like sketchy R/X trad climbs. Because of the prevailing ethic in a particular area (or because of the chossy nature of the rock), bolting is discouraged (either by word of mouth or by bolt-chopping. Canyoneering has seen its share of bolt wars.) Much as sport climbers might look at an X rated route and say "why not bolt that if it's so dangerous?", non-canyoneers look at certain canyons\rappels\areas\etc. and wonder why we don't just bolt every drop. Canyoneering has a different mindset when it comes to rappels - rappelling off of hooks, bags of sand (or water), single pitons, dead trees, buried rocks, etc. is the standard for many canyons. The technique is to use a meat anchor (your largest buddy) backed up to the sketchy or substandard anchor in order to test the strength of the anchor. You save your lightest canyoneer or best rappeller (there are techniques that minimize the load to the anchor) for last, once the strength of the anchor has been tested.

Climbers might look at these ethics and think they're stupid, but it's really no different than a sport climber thinking that trad climbing is unsafe\idiotic\etc. Once you're more comfortable with canyoneering, you don't even think twice about things like this.

(Also - there have been very few canyoneering deaths caused by catastrophic anchor failure. These "sketchy" anchors are more stable than you think.)

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By mr. mango
Mar 11, 2013
north wash
The only problem is that even if the pin broke or the sling ran through, a magic substance called water would have added enough cushion to keep me from seriously injuring myself. So a revolver would be a bit of an extreme analogy. Perhaps a foam bat would be better.

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By TWK
Mar 11, 2013
Austin Baird wrote:
These "sketchy" anchors are more stable than you think.

I appreciate the different perspective. I suppose I wouldn't be too enthused trying to keep up with you guys in the slot canyons for a day. We've had our epics on multiple raps in the peaks, and seen other climbers really get hurt bad on descent, so we probably over-emphasize the security of the anchors.

But I'm okay with that.

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By mr. mango
Mar 11, 2013
north wash
No one ever said that making anchors extra safe was a bad thing. Canyoneering and mountaineering are two completely different practices that are both awesome. The problem is that it's like comparing apples and oranges. They are both good but the objectives and ethics are wildly different.

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By Andrew Mayer
Mar 11, 2013
top of mt. lady washington - rmnp
Austin - thanks for that great comparison. I had never really thought about it like that but that makes alot of sense in my mind.

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By 20 kN
Administrator
From Hawaii
Mar 11, 2013
A bit OT, but there is something worth noting about bad anchors. While I dont have a serious issue with R/X routes and bad anchors on unpopular routes in major climbing areas, I do have somewhat of an issue with them at smaller crags. The problem is that when someone is killed, for whatever reason, and the landowner does not have any form of legal protection, he/she/it may be well inclined to ban climbing. One person gets killed from a crappy 1/4" bolt and everyone looses their right to climb at the crag.

When that happens it is a complete utter bitch to reopen the area. It takes years, sometimes over five years, to get things worked out. In some cases, the area is never reopened. Additionally, it takes thousands of hours of hard "95% of the work is done by 5% of the people"-type work to get the area reopened. All because of one injury or death. Thus, in areas where closures are a concern, I think the community as a whole has a duty to eliminate dangerous routes and bad hardware. Access is more important than bolting ethics or ego.

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