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Strong bolts don't always make good anchors!!
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By Chris Vinson
Nov 12, 2013

mussy hooks definately hold up to wear and tear but have their drawbacks. theyre so bulky that the backside of the hook wears grooves in the rock unless its a steep route, kind of like mini snow angel wings...which is no good.

Also the gates are pretty flimsy, adding a steel carabiner in between is kind of clever but youd have to add another anchor bolt.

whats wrong with a couple steel carabiners paired with a quickink and chain in this scenario?


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By J. Albers
From Colorado
Nov 12, 2013
Bucky

Mike Lane wrote:
And you can get them from Home Depot too, which seems to sell an 'imitation of the real thing' with everything else they have in that store. I have had so much of their shit fall apart and break on me in my daily business that in no way would I ever buy something there to fully trust my life to. It s a phobia of mine, Ace and Lowes are ok for some reason.


That's interesting Mike. While I make sure to get my bolts from a reputable source, I have always bought my chain at the local hardware store...but perhaps I should be being a bit more careful. Can you tell anything by reading the 'Made in XXXX' label? Do you have a brand of chain etc. that you prefer in your experience?

Brian Scoggins wrote:
3) I think "Joe, you live in Iowa, your point is invalid." is just about the funniest thing I've seen on here in a good long while. Keep up the good work!


Yeah, from my perspective that was just me (a born and raised midwestern/flatlander) teasing a fellow midwesterner. Perhaps my sarcasm did not translate though.


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By John Byrnes
Administrator
From Fort Collins, CO
Nov 12, 2013

nicelegs wrote:
What pisses me off is coming upon these , placed at the same height, 12-18" apart from each other. This twists the bejesus out of your rope no matter how much you fuck with it.


nicelegs, ignore all those annoying wannabe sport climbers (like Butler) and their holier-than-thou attitudes.

Yes, I agree with you. But have you noticed that sometimes this set-up does not twist the rope? I don't know if this was an intended design feature, but when both ring-anchors are placed so the weighted rings do not touch the rock, the rings will spin as you are lowered, and will not twist the rope. This also spreads out the wear on the ring evenly, tremendously prolonging its life. The problem is that they are rarely placed that way.

In Europe I saw many anchors, with two bolts placed vertically and connected with chain, that had one fat quick-link at the bottom. Thus, when it wore out the quick-link could be easily replaced for a very low cost and no one spent any extra money on a ring-anchor. I saw several parties with a quick-link on their harness.

The trick, of course, is getting the perfect bolt spacing to equalize the load.


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By Darren Mabe
From Flagstaff, AZ
Nov 12, 2013
wham bam hand jam. Wrapping up the final moves of Twist of Fate, Oak Creek Canyon. <br /> <br />photo: Blake McCord

John Byrnes wrote:
I saw several parties with a quick-link on their harness. The trick, of course, is getting the perfect bolt spacing to equalize the load.


nah, the trick is getting several parties to have a quicklink on their harness!

there would not be a problem if climbers would be better stewards, and not rely on the FAs. Take ownership of your crags! if the setup twists the rope, put a few more links on it. if the links wear out, replace them.


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By J. Albers
From Colorado
Nov 12, 2013
Bucky

Darren Mabe wrote:
nah, the trick is getting several parties to have a quicklink on their harness! there would not be a problem if climbers would be better stewards, and not rely on the FAs. Take ownership of your crags! if the setup twists the rope, put a few more links on it. if the links wear out, replace them.


^^^ Yup.


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By Taylor J
From new mexico, new england
Nov 12, 2013
5.6? 5.7? Fun climb was easier to solo then to lead...Not sure of the climb its on the right of the trail if coming from the slabs to round pond...

Darren Mabe wrote:
nah, the trick is getting several parties to have a quicklink on their harness! there would not be a problem if climbers would be better stewards, and not rely on the FAs. Take ownership of your crags! if the setup twists the rope, put a few more links on it. if the links wear out, replace them.



nailed it


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By Emil Briggs
Nov 12, 2013

Darren Mabe wrote:
nah, the trick is getting several parties to have a quicklink on their harness!


And to make sure they don't use the quicklinks to bail from a bolt on a route they couldn't get up.


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By JCM
From Golden, CO
Nov 12, 2013

John Byrnes wrote:
The trick, of course, is getting the perfect bolt spacing to equalize the load.


With the strength and reliability of modern 3/8th or 1/2 inch bolts, the whole equalization concept is kind of a waste of time and brain space. While equalization may be worthwhile or neccesary if building anchors out of knifeblades or small clean gear, with good beefy bolts it doesn't matter. One well-placed bolt is plenty to hold any loads that we will put on it; the second is just as a safegaurd against freak failures, defective bolts, etc. As such, it is fine to be unequalized with all the weight on one bolt...it won't fail anyway. If it does fail, the other bolt is stong enough to handle a minor shock load, if neccesary. Plus, shock-loading is minimal in a lowering scenario, since you have likely 30+ meters of dynamic rope out.

I point this out becuase it seems that an excessive amount of attention is applied to creating equalized two bolt anchors for lowering off, when this is a failry unimportant concern as compared to having good lowering hardwear and having correct bolt position to optimize the run of the rope, preventing twisting, etc.


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By nicelegs
From Denver
Nov 12, 2013

I just thought I'd add.

I was unclear when I mentioned the mussy hooks. They are my favorite setup. If I were to go fix anchors that had two side by side Fixe rings, I would not use mussies. I would leave one Fixe ring and remove the other. I would then drill a new bolt somewhere above and somewhat equalize with chain. The ring is closed, requiring untying, so there is no reason for a mussy on the other bolt.

I used to put bolts side by side, each with two painted biners hanging from them. Or a quick link then a biner at the bottom. Quick, cheap, low profile, and dead easy to replace when worn. Sadly, people will steal these. If it's not wrench tight it goes away.


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By John Byrnes
Administrator
From Fort Collins, CO
Nov 12, 2013

JCM wrote:
With the strength and reliability of modern 3/8th or 1/2 inch bolts, the whole equalization concept is kind of a waste of time and brain space.


Yes, most of the time. No, the rest of the time.

There are places where the rock quality isn't great, often at the top of the cliff where the anchor is. Or in certain limestone areas where there are voids below the surface. Or where the bolts have visible corrosion. Or the route was put up by a Utahrd who expects everyone to rappel off it. Etc.

So while my intellect agrees with you, there are times when my gut is glad there are (at least) two bolts, equalized.


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By nicelegs
From Denver
Nov 12, 2013

John Byrnes wrote:
have you noticed that sometimes this set-up does not twist the rope? I don't know if this was an intended design feature,


Sure I've seen it. I've seen them twist as much or more. Rather than say it's fine when installed correctly, I'd be more inclined to say that they get installed wrong often enough that it should never be attempted in that configuration.

As for wear, if there is nothing blocking the rings from rotating when you pull them, they last so long that I just don't care about wear.


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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Nov 12, 2013
Stabby

J. Albers wrote:
That's interesting Mike. While I make sure to get my bolts from a reputable source, I have always bought my chain at the local hardware store...but perhaps I should be being a bit more careful. Can you tell anything by reading the 'Made in XXXX' label? Do you have a brand of chain etc. that you prefer in your experience?

Well, being in construction I come across tons if chain all the time. It usually comes from White Cap Supply. So it's usually free for me too. Then I usually make a point to get my quicklinks from a supply house as well.


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By John Byrnes
Administrator
From Fort Collins, CO
Nov 12, 2013

nicelegs wrote:
Sure I've seen it. I've seen them twist as much or more. Rather than say it's fine when installed correctly, I'd be more inclined to say that they get installed wrong often enough that it should never be attempted in that configuration.


I'm not arguing that point, I'm just saying it's possible to do it right.

nicelegs wrote:
As for wear, if there is nothing blocking the rings from rotating when you pull them, they last so long that I just don't care about wear.


I've seen plenty of rings that have grooves worn half-way through them.


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By MJMobes
From The land of steady habits
Nov 12, 2013
modern man

Mike Lane wrote:
And you can get them from Home Depot too, which seems to sell an 'imitation of the real thing' with everything else they have in that store. I have had so much of their shit fall apart and break on me in my daily business that in no way would I ever buy something there to fully trust my life to. It s a phobia of mine, Ace and Lowes are ok for some reason.




Mike Lane wrote:
Well, being in construction I come across tons if chain all the time. It usually comes from White Cap Supply. So it's usually free for me too. Then I usually make a point to get my quicklinks from a supply house as well.


dude, last I heard White Cap has been owned by the Home Depot for about 10 years now, can you really trust their products now?

and BTW how is it free, are you charging customers/your boss for your climbing rigs?


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By Bill C.
From Fort Collins, CO
Nov 12, 2013

Maybe I'm just crazy, but I rapped off of fixe ring anchors like the ones in the link the OP posted thousands of times, and it has never once twisted my rope.

Rope running through fixe rings
Rope running through fixe rings



I have however rapped off of 2 bolt stations with just a single quick link on each bolt it like this picture, and that HAS twisted my rope.
Single link on bolt hanger
Single link on bolt hanger



Of course, bolts aligned in a vertical line are still more ideal, but I just never experienced fixe ring anchors (installed correctly) twisting my rope up.


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By MJMobes
From The land of steady habits
Nov 12, 2013
modern man

Bill C. wrote:
Maybe I'm just crazy, but I rapped off of fixe ring anchors like the ones in the link the OP posted thousands of times, and it has never once twisted my rope. I have however rapped off of 2 bolt stations with just a single quick link on each bolt it like this picture, and that HAS twisted my rope. Of course, bolts aligned in a vertical line are still more ideal, but I just never experienced fixe ring anchors (installed correctly) twisting my rope up.


its mainly about lowering, not rapping. plus as many know the force is MUCH less with vertically installed anchors


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By Brian in SLC
Nov 12, 2013
Climbing in Smuggler's Notch

Bill C. wrote:
I have however rapped off of 2 bolt stations with just a single quick link on each bolt it like this picture...


Picture looks kinds familiar...


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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Nov 12, 2013
Stabby

TR purist wrote:
dude, last I heard White Cap has been owned by the Home Depot for about 10 years now, can you really trust their products now? and BTW how is it free, are you charging customers/your boss for your climbing rigs?

HD Supply (parent corp. for White Cap) was bought away from Home Depot in 2007. Last big hunk of chain I inherited from the steel erectors who left it behind. I kept it in my gang box for months, constantly mentioning it to the general (lost tool karma). In the end they never came back; so, booty. Should not have referred to it as always getting free stuff. For climbing hardware I use my own accounts and $. Mostly.
Heh, kinda got me there.


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By Bill C.
From Fort Collins, CO
Nov 12, 2013

Brian in SLC wrote:
Picture looks kinds familiar...



Just did a google search, didn't realize until now it was a pic you posted :)


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By kennoyce
From Layton, UT
Nov 12, 2013
Climbing at the Gallery in Red Rocks

Bill C. wrote:
Maybe I'm just crazy, but I rapped off of fixe ring anchors like the ones in the link the OP posted thousands of times, and it has never once twisted my rope.....


I'm with John here, I absolutely hate the two ring fixe setup like in Bill's first photo above. I rapped off of this exact setup at the top of a 35 m trad line on Saturday and guess what, it twisted the crap out of my rope as I pulled it. The couple of times I have used the fixe rings in anchors I've placed I use one ring placed below a fairly equalized chain. Why all route developers can't figure this out is beyond me.


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By Peter Franzen
Administrator
From Phoenix, AZ
Nov 12, 2013
Belay

What I can't figure out is why the Fixe hardware is set up so that you end up lowering/rapping through a non-replacable piece of hardware. How is the permanent ring on a Fixe anchor better than a ring attached to a standard hanger via a quicklink or a length of chain?


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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Nov 12, 2013

Peter Franzen wrote:
What I can't figure out is why the Fixe hardware is set up so that you end up lowering/rapping through a non-replacable piece of hardware. How is the permanent ring on a Fixe anchor better than a ring attached to a standard hanger via a quicklink or a length of chain?


it's not. that's why I never use fixe anchor kit for anchor replacement. always build one using parts for future maintenance.


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By Jim Titt
From Germany
Nov 13, 2013

Peter Franzen wrote:
What I can't figure out is why the Fixe hardware is set up so that you end up lowering/rapping through a non-replacable piece of hardware. How is the permanent ring on a Fixe anchor better than a ring attached to a standard hanger via a quicklink or a length of chain?


Fixe are like all climbing gear companies, they supply what customers will buy. Some people like the two-ring system and some donīt and Fixe will sell you the parts to do it your way if you prefer.
If you read through a selection of threads on lower-offs or talk to both equippers and climbers youīll find there is no agreement from the user side on what is best so the manufacturers are effectively left in the position of having to offer all the options.
Even climbing gyms have no agreement on what to use and they are in a good position to work out the balance between user friendliness, safety and value for money without the additional problems of climate and local conditions to worry about.
We donīt know what to make because climbers donīt know what they want, the two horizontal ring problem has been known for about 80 years for example but some countries still hang on to it like it is the best idea in the world. Like the other companies I just offer all the options, thereīs little point in telling people what they donīt want to hear.

The other aspect which gets touched on briefly but is never properly adressed is the finance side. A lower-off will survive thousands of ascents but when it comes to replacement finding the $20 is difficult because the climbing community hasnīt worked out yet that we will all have to contribute (and a way to collect). The previous system of the good-spirited local activist(s) is showing strain as the number of climbs and climbers increases dramatically. The bolt fund model has itīs problems as well, they usually start off well but after a decade of begging for a few bucks and giving up climbing time to replace anchors for the patagucci clad, BMW driving masses the keenest activists feel less enthusiasm.
Something needs to happen but what it is and who will do it is the question.


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By Jim Titt
From Germany
Nov 13, 2013

Teaching your Granny to suck eggs?
It has nothing to do with the subject and the UIAA have no official opinion whatsoever on lower-offs, their suitability, effectiveness and safety.


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By Mark Hudon
Nov 13, 2013
On the North America Wall in 1977.

JCM wrote:
With the strength and reliability of modern 3/8th or 1/2 inch bolts, the whole equalization concept is kind of a waste of time and brain space. While equalization may be worthwhile or neccesary if building anchors out of knifeblades or small clean gear, with good beefy bolts it doesn't matter. One well-placed bolt is plenty to hold any loads that we will put on it; the second is just as a safegaurd against freak failures, defective bolts, etc. As such, it is fine to be unequalized with all the weight on one bolt...it won't fail anyway. If it does fail, the other bolt is stong enough to handle a minor shock load, if neccesary. Plus, shock-loading is minimal in a lowering scenario, since you have likely 30+ meters of dynamic rope out. I point this out becuase it seems that an excessive amount of attention is applied to creating equalized two bolt anchors for lowering off, when this is a failry unimportant concern as compared to having good lowering hardwear and having correct bolt position to optimize the run of the rope, preventing twisting, etc.


It really is a amazing that most people don't understand this. Two modern bolts in good rock will hold far, far, more weight than we can ever put on them.

As far as stewardship goes, it would be nice if more people stepped up. Simply leading by example has it's rewards though.


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