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Foster Falls Anchor Policy
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By JeremyB
Dec 30, 2012
Me warming up at LRC.
Hi, everyone. I'm new to the outdoor sport-climbing world and am planning a trip to Foster Falls in March.

What is the policy at the anchors at Foster Falls? Rappel down or get belayed down through the chains? My first instinct would be to rappel down and save the hardware, but I read somewhere (don't remember where) that rappelling was prohibited. Can anyone share insight?

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By Alex Whitman
Dec 30, 2012
Luxury Liner, Indian Creek
This post violated Rule #1. It has been removed by Mountain Project.

By Chas Waterman
Dec 30, 2012
yup, Alex is right on. rodeo flip for more style points.

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By JeremyB
Dec 30, 2012
Me warming up at LRC.
Great, thanks for your extremely helpful responses.

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By MJMobes
From The land of steady habits
Dec 30, 2012
modern man
JeremyB wrote:
Great, thanks for your extremely helpful responses.


try your question here for a non snarky answer- mountainproject.com/v/beginnin...

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By Dave Wise
From Pinehurst, NC
Dec 30, 2012
Jeremy,
Best to rap to reduce wear on the anchors. Im pretty sure that rappelling is fine when done in conjunction with technical climbing. It's been a while since I've been to Fosters, but I've never seen, nor heard of, anyone having issues. Any rappelling ban is meant to prohibit sport rappellers from setting anchors on trees and rapping down on climbers.

Fosters is a great place to climb. Have fun!

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By JeremyB
Dec 30, 2012
Me warming up at LRC.
Dave Wise wrote:
Jeremy, Best to rap to reduce wear on the anchors. Im pretty sure that rappelling is fine when done in conjunction with technical climbing. It's been a while since I've been to Fosters, but I've never seen, nor heard of, anyone having issues. Any rappelling ban is meant to prohibit sport rappellers from setting anchors on trees and rapping down on climbers. Fosters is a great place to climb. Have fun!


Thanks, Dave. That's what I thought, but I wanted to be sure.

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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Dec 30, 2012
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lichen covered look from scrubbing a new route.
There are a bunch of threads where rapping vs. lowering on sport climbs is discussed.

In sport areas, the anchors are generally set up for you to lower off your own draws, then the last person clips in, and while still on belay, gets slack and threads the rope, re-ties (or clips a bite ) and gets lowered while cleaning the draws, saving the rapping for when the anchors are set back (to save wear on your rope). If the anchors are not beefy, then rap, especially if they are aluminum rings. Aluminum rings are trash and should never be lowered on.

Generally, rapping off sport routes creates more negatives than the wear on the anchors caused by the last person lowering off.

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By Jon Powell
From LAWRENCEVILLE GEORGIA
Dec 30, 2012
stone depot
You will find out that lots of people on this site break rule #1: Don't be a jerk. People often forget that when they first started they probably had lots of questions that some would find dumb. Keep asking and ignore the jerks. Id rather ask a question that some might find dumb rather than get hurt or in trouble. Keep climbing man.

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By JeremyB
Dec 31, 2012
Me warming up at LRC.
Thanks, Jon. I know what you mean, and a few jerks aren't going to kill my taste for climbing. It is funny how these jerks don't understand my question, or assume that I eat to spark a debate on this well-discussed topic.

The crux of my question involved reading that rappelling was off limits at foster falls. I am aware of the debate and best practices of lowering and rappelling, but the rappel ban confused me. Now I know that it refers to rappelling from the top of a cliff before climbing because someone could be climbing up.

Thanks for (mostly) everyone's insights.

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By ChillFancy
From Chattanooga, TN
Dec 31, 2012
Chilling on a hammock anchored with nuts made from tied rope.
Hi Jeremy. The Dixie Craggers Atlas is a great guide for foster. Please toprope from your own draws anywhere you go. When cleaning, please rappel from the anchors on your doubled rope. I've seen park rangers at the Obed lowering through the rings at Lilly Bluff; shame on them. Honestly, once or twice won't hurt but you should get in the habit of not letting the rope wear the fixed gear. Hope this is helpful. :)

Sprague, I don't agree that being lowered through the rings is beneficial. Rapping is better because there is no movement of the rope over sharp edges and the rings, causing less wear on the rope. I don't see how rapping could wear your rope more than lowering. Matter of opinion, but maybe you can defend your preference.

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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Dec 31, 2012
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lichen covered look from scrubbing a new route.
ChillFancy wrote:
Sprague, I don't agree that being lowered through the rings is beneficial. Rapping is better because there is no movement of the rope over sharp edges and the rings, causing less wear on the rope. I don't see how rapping could wear your rope more than lowering. Matter of opinion, but maybe you can defend your preference.

Perhaps I didn't write that clearly. I meant that in the case of set-back anchors it made sense to rap, to save wear on your rope. In the other thread I laid out why I think being lowered is generally better for a sport route (assuming you have a competent partner to lower you). I think it is easier and safer to clean your draws, especially while tramming in etc., if your partner has control of the lowering. In this case, the extra wear on the gear/rope is worth it.

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By Reginald McChufferton
Dec 31, 2012
This post violated Rule #1. It has been removed by Mountain Project.

By JohnWesely
From Red River Gorge
Dec 31, 2012
Gunking
ChillFancy wrote:
I've seen park rangers at the Obed lowering through the rings at Lilly Bluff; shame on them.


Seeing as this is standard practice in the Southeast, I will let it slide.

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By Blake Cash
Jan 1, 2013
Should you rap? Probably...should everyone? Probably. Does anyone? Nope. The honest truth is that rarely anyone brings an atc to the crag anymore....grigri's are becoming the standard for belaying. Hang your gear on the anchors for TR'ing and lower through rings when done. No one is going to get you in trouble if you choose to rap when finished. You'll be in the minority for sure...but that may be a good thing?

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By Nick Zmyewski
From Newark, Delaware
Jan 2, 2013
the frozen topout during a winter ascent
Blake Cash wrote:
Should you rap? Probably...should everyone? Probably. Does anyone? Nope. The honest truth is that rarely anyone brings an atc to the crag anymore....grigri's are becoming the standard for belaying. Hang your gear on the anchors for TR'ing and lower through rings when done. No one is going to get you in trouble if you choose to rap when finished. You'll be in the minority for sure...but that may be a good thing?


Most of the people I climb with, even if using a gri-gri to belay, will bring an ATC also to clean while rapping. And you can rappel with a gri-gri also. It just takes a slightly different set-up to do it safely.

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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Jan 2, 2013
Having done my share of anchor replacement, I would say that generally speaking, once a route gets steep (generally mid/hard .11, but not always), lowering is the safest, best way to clean a route. Generally speaking, most crags i've been too are set up this way- rap rings on the lower angle stuff, carabiners, shuts, mussys, etc, etc, on the steep stuff.

There's always exceptions to the rule, of course, but i'd say in general, thats how i approach sport climbing. We put mussys on stuff we know people are going to lower off of, rings on rappel worthy climbs.

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By Jeremy Hand
Jan 2, 2013
slopey
If any of you egotistical assholes had any respect for the condition of fixed gear you'd down climb every time. Shame on you all

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By Blake Cash
Jan 2, 2013
Cres Simpson wrote:
I'd ask that you don't speak for me, and I'm sure there are many others who would share that sentiment. I'm not experienced enough to know exactly how much wear lowering through the anchors when cleaning contributes (I'll leave that to the experts), but if I can do even a small part to help keep the fixed gear that those more experienced people have put in place in tip-top shape, I'm definitely going to. I always rap to clean the anchors. I think you should consider re-evaluating your attitude towards climbing and, more importantly, realize that your climbing ethics and those you climb with do not reflect the community as a whole.



ha! Get sarcasm much? I'm not speaking for anyone...I'm speaking from experience and the massive amount of dumb stuff I see at the cliff, daily. Lowering through anchors does indeed cause much wear...but complacency from the gym culture does not breed the type to care at all for this. Rap rings are for rapping, that's it. You can rap with a grigri, of course...butterfly knots and pulling from the right side are fine. The other way to rap with a gri gri is the same as lowering...


NO need to get your panties in a wad. If you're going to exist in this world, a sarcasm meter would help some of you out.

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By csproul
From Rancho Cordova, CA
Jan 2, 2013
Summit of Wolf's Head with Pingora in the background
John Wilder wrote:
Having done my share of anchor replacement, I would say that generally speaking, once a route gets steep (generally mid/hard .11, but not always), lowering is the safest, best way to clean a route. Generally speaking, most crags i've been too are set up this way- rap rings on the lower angle stuff, carabiners, shuts, mussys, etc, etc, on the steep stuff. There's always exceptions to the rule, of course, but i'd say in general, thats how i approach sport climbing. We put mussys on stuff we know people are going to lower off of, rings on rappel worthy climbs.

^^This

Most of the people that advocate rappelling on sport climbs are climbing low angle (read: often easier) climbs. Rappelling is no problem here. Climb anything of any steepness (read: usually harder), and rappelling becomes impractical and potentially dangerous. I'd actually like to see how much sport climbing is done by those who support rappelling and how many of them are climbing anything steeper than the 5.9->5.11- warmups at the average sport crag.

More recently equipped sport routes generally either have pretty beefy rings, some form of replaceable ring, or some form of replaceable shut...all done with the intention that climbers will lower from the anchors. I have seen only a few places that have had real issues with wear on the anchors from lowering and they tended to be places with lots of sand. The other exception might be places that have high (gumby) traffic, either just from the sheer volume or possibly because people were TRing through the anchors. From what I've seen, lowering at most all sport areas is not only the norm, it is what the route developers/equipers do and expect that other climbers will be doing the same. For those that still think you should rap your average sport route, have you ever seen a severely worn anchor? Have you done anything to replace them or are you just worrying for someone else?

Next up on the silly sport climbing argument table...stick clips, love em or hate em?

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