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The Devils Lake top rope cluster Fu&k thread...


Garrett M · · Chicago, IL · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 140
Mark Wenzel wrote:

I could care less, I've climbed there for 10+ years already, I'll probably never go back (more, better, life is getting short). Just sayin... if you want to preserve the place. I mean 'cmon, they put in asphalt trails back in the day for the same reasons.

You don't know your history

Mark Wenzel · · Charlotte, NC · Joined May 2015 · Points: 45
Troyd wrote:

You don't know your history

Trust me, I do. Sometimes to preserve, you have to change. Other crags have in a managed way, and it's been for the better.

m Mobes · · MDI, ME · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 865

I only brought up the anchor subject because of an earlier comment about people running anchor lines across the trail and live trees not being there anymore.

Honestly I'd love to see more sketchy TR anchors. Whats up?

jon jugenheimer · · Madison, WI · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 2,478

Pics from Saturday on the East bluff.  The first photo is the overall anchor.  The rest of the photos are the individual pieces of pro.  Yes, it is hard to see in a few of the pics what is actually going on here, but what do you think is the overall strength of this anchor?  

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 523

From the best I can tell the first nut looks alright. Although I can't see how much surface area is really contacting the rock, the constriction looks good. The cam and the 3rd picture nut are both shit. The last nut seems alright if the direction of pull is to the right, although it's kind of a small nut to begin with. Wouldn't want to be TRing off that.

Andy Summers · · Madison, WI · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 50

That cam...

Was he trying to only use purple stoppers?

Dylan B. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 521
jon jugenheimer wrote: Pics from Saturday on the East bluff.  The first photo is the overall anchor.  The rest of the photos are the individual pieces of pro.  Yes, it is hard to see in a few of the pics what is actually going on here, but what do you think is the overall strength of this anchor?  

New photos of DL clusterfucks! Happy days are here again!

In other good news, it looks like some or all of the old photos up thread have been recovered.
Andy P. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 190

Because someone is bound to bring this up...

Kyle Harding · · Oak Creek, WI · Joined May 2014 · Points: 503

I'd climb on it. But only because I feel bad for whoever sacrificed their shorts to "protect" the master point!

Mikeyy Blisz · · Glendale Heights, IL · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 323

Gonna go out on a limb and throw out some assumptions and see if anyone yells at me:

-Anchor built with dumb methodology that the crappy pieces, put together somehow sum up to acceptable. This baloney is perpetuated even by Climbing Mag:
https://www.climbing.com/skills/learn-this-the-12-point-trad-anchor-rubric/
IF one of those crap pieces blows this will shift weight onto the others in a potentially odd way. Only way I'd accept that is if one leg was to a immovable object, tree, boulder

- Anchor builders are new and don't know what they're doing. Reference: Shiny new tipped out .75. Brand new BD basic Qd's model, shiny new cordellete. Unkinked cables on nuts even though they seem to be side-ways-nuts happy. Brand new BD nylon sling - those suckers always get dirty looking! I also have those lockers and the anodized locker fades pretty quick with use. This thing just left the parking lot and already the Check engine light is flashing!

-Further newness assumption reference: No one I know sets a 4 point anchor that is experienced at setting them, there's usually a better option somewhere

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 210

Yesss Jon delivers!  Way to keep the thread alive. My guess is that cam was probably “ok” when they placed it and that it walked into that spot while they were equalizing and/or down setting up hammocks, but based upon some of those nuts...maybe they just thought that’s how cams work!

Adam Ronchetti · · Madison, WI · Joined May 2011 · Points: 25
jon jugenheimer wrote: Pics from Saturday on the East bluff.  The first photo is the overall anchor.  The rest of the photos are the individual pieces of pro.  Yes, it is hard to see in a few of the pics what is actually going on here, but what do you think is the overall strength of this anchor?  

On the gear front I agree with previous posts that 1 looks "good" and 4 might be good. I feel like I would need to see it before commenting more. Also did all the lines just go to a carabiner based masterpoint or did they extend it? I can't quite see that much of the anchor. 

James Schroeder · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined May 2002 · Points: 3,130

Mikeyy Blisz wrote: Gonna go out on a limb and throw out some assumptions and see if anyone yells at me:

I'm your huckleberry.

Mikeyy Blisz wrote:-Anchor built with dumb methodology that the crappy pieces, put together somehow sum up to acceptable. This baloney is perpetuated even by Climbing Mag:
https://www.climbing.com/skills/learn-this-the-12-point-trad-anchor-rubric/
IF one of those crap pieces blows this will shift weight onto the others in a potentially odd way. Only way I'd accept that is if one leg was to a immovable object, tree, boulder

One of the heuristics I use when I am teaching anchoring courses is "You cannot build a solid anchor from weak pieces." Which is pretty close to what you're saying, and even though it's not strictly true; it is practically true in most real-world situations. More importantly, people using this heuristic will hopefully only make "good" mistakes (i.e. not trusting a good anchor rather than the converse).

So I want to defend the author of the article to which you link. Teaching anchors is a challenge. There is always a limit to the number of instruction hours and/or words on the page. Heuristics are inevitable, even if they're not, strictly speaking, "correct" in every situation. Most instructors I know (myself included) struggle to find the balance between "accuracy" and "survivability" (the latter to which the scale should be heavily tipped). I'm not sure I could accurately cover all that I know about anchoring in a semester course, or that anyone would be inclined to take (let alone pay for) that course even if I could. So inevitably we try to create shortcuts, heuristics, and rubrics that will help participants in our courses make good decisions in the field. These shortcuts (whether it's the "12-point-trad anchor-rubric", SERENE, 3 good pieces, etc.) are usually designed to be quickly and easily remembered (and referenced) while helping create bomber anchors in almost all possible circumstances - a tall order for a heuristic.

In truth, anchoring, at least at an advanced level, ends up looking a whole lot more like Coltrane than Beethoven - though potential anchor-builders would be well-suited to learn their "Twinkles" first.

Mikeyy Blisz wrote: - Anchor builders are new and don't know what they're doing. Reference: Shiny new tipped out .75. Brand new BD basic Qd's model, shiny new cordellete. Unkinked cables on nuts even though they seem to be side-ways-nuts happy. Brand new BD nylon sling - those suckers always get dirty looking! I also have those lockers and the anodized locker fades pretty quick with use. This thing just left the parking lot and already the Check engine light is flashing!

Yes, you've identified a lot of red flags. I'd agree, the anchor appears to be the work of "true beginners" and not "masters embracing the beginner's mind".

Mikeyy Blisz wrote: -Further newness assumption reference: No one I know sets a 4 point anchor that is experienced at setting them, there's usually a better option somewhere

I set four piece anchors all the time, and I often teach four piece anchors for particular applications. Here's where we get to circle back to the first point. While you cannot rig your way from bad pieces to a good anchor; adding independent pieces (regardless of their quality) in the right way will almost always increase your margin of safety. This is because even the addition of weak pieces, or pieces of unknown strength, will increase the number of individual failures necessary to result in complete anchor failure, and therefore lower the ultimate probability of failure in most practical situations.

Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 959
jon jugenheimer wrote: Pics from Saturday on the East bluff.  The first photo is the overall anchor.  The rest of the photos are the individual pieces of pro.  Yes, it is hard to see in a few of the pics what is actually going on here, but what do you think is the overall strength of this anchor?  

Because someone couldn't resist and had to come on and blast the "newness"....I'll fill my role on MP as resident noob and ask a few questions. Beginner! Be nice, please.

First, I am guessing the bottom/left piece, horizontal in the picture, is meant to be a directional? If it isn't, wouldn't the angle between it and the right-most piece compromise both?

If any single bit of the top three blew, would this hold? I don't know which part is which, but they seem to only be expecting load in one direction in the placement of the pieces. Overly optimistic?

The purple nut looks to have nothing to keep it in, if it could be pulled toward us at all?

And, what is holding the silver stopper in? The teeny bit of a nub above it? It looks like it would have only gone in about where it is, and, the hole is bigger past the tiny nub, in the direction of pull, perhaps?

Thanks! OLH
cyclestupor · · Woodland Park, Colorado · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 91
Old lady H wrote:

Because someone couldn't resist and had to come on and blast the "newness"....I'll fill my role on MP as resident noob and ask a few questions. Beginner! Be nice, please.

First, I am guessing the bottom/left piece, horizontal in the picture, is meant to be a directional? If it isn't, wouldn't the angle between it and the right-most piece compromise both?

If any single bit of the top three blew, would this hold? I don't know which part is which, but they seem to only be expecting load in one direction in the placement of the pieces. Overly optimistic?

The purple nut looks to have nothing to keep it in, if it could be pulled toward us at all?

And, what is holding the silver stopper in? The teeny bit of a nub above it? It looks like it would have only gone in about where it is, and, the hole is bigger past the tiny nub, in the direction of pull, perhaps?

Thanks! OLH

I agree with your assessment.  That "silver"/light purple nut (picture #5) looks highly suspect to me.  It looks like it is just loosely sitting in the crack, resting against the the tiny nub.  Looks like it would come out with a slight jiggle.  For that matter, the blue nut could be suspect too.  It looks like it was placed just behind the constriction (bump in the rock) instead of wedged into/against the constriction.  But I could be wrong about that, the picture doesn't show inside of the crack.

So basically this 4 point anchor has maybe 1 decent piece in it (assuming I am wrong about the blue one)!

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 210

Haha I didn’t even see the one at the very bottom - yes, this is way too obtuse of an angle, and I would say they were better off not using it and just getting 3 good pieces clustered closer together.  This is probably why they had problems equalizing and had to do the yellow sling shenanigans.  As far as pieces blowing...depends on what caused it.  There’s maybe one good piece in this anchor, so if it goes, I wouldn’t expect the rest to hold, but it looks somewhat equalized, so there shouldn’t be too much of a danger of shock loading...which again, is irrelevant if your placements suck.

Suburban Roadside · · Abovetraffic on Hudson · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 1,959


James Schroeder Wrote: (Among A bunch of other excellent points,sic)  "One of the heuristics I use when I am teaching anchoring courses is "You cannot build a solid anchor from weak pieces."
Definition of heuristic
: involving or serving as an aid to learning, discovery, or problem-solving by experimental and especially trial-and-error methods 
  • heuristic techniques
 
  • a heuristic assumption
; also : of or relating to exploratory problem-solving techniques that utilize self-educating techniques (such as the evaluation of feedback) to improve performance 
  • a heuristic computer program
— heuristically
 play \hyu̇-ˈri-sti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Edit; I used the book version of M Websters Dictionary
citation:​https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heuristic​​​
Dylan B. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 521
Ted Pinson wrote: Haha I didn’t even see the one at the very bottom - yes, this is way too obtuse of an angle, and I would say they were better off not using it and just getting 3 good pieces clustered closer together.  This is probably why they had problems equalizing and had to do the yellow sling shenanigans.  As far as pieces blowing...depends on what caused it.  There’s maybe one good piece in this anchor, so if it goes, I wouldn’t expect the rest to hold, but it looks somewhat equalized, so there shouldn’t be too much of a danger of shock loading...which again, is irrelevant if your placements suck.

I don’t know. There’s an indiscernible amount of foreshortening going on in this photo. That angle may not be as bad as it looks. If you adjust your view and assume more depth to the anchor, the angle becomes reasonable. If you look at it as though it’s perfectly flat, then it appears to be approaching 90º. I can’t really tell where in the middle it actually falls.

James Schroeder · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined May 2002 · Points: 3,130

Michael,

I'm using it in this sense from Wikipedia:

A heuristic technique (/hjʊəˈrɪstɪk/; Ancient Greek: εὑρίσκω, "find" or "discover"), often called simply a heuristic, is any approach to problem solving, learning, or discovery that employs a practical method not guaranteed to be optimal or perfect, but sufficient for the immediate goals. Where finding an optimal solution is impossible or impractical, heuristic methods can be used to speed up the process of finding a satisfactory solution. Heuristics can be mental shortcuts that ease the cognitive load of making a decision. Examples of this method include using a rule of thumb, an educated guess, an intuitive judgment, guesstimate, stereotyping, profiling, or common sense.

Wikipedia addresses on another page as well:

In psychology, heuristics are simple, efficient rules which people often use to form judgments and make decisions. They are mental shortcuts that usually involve focusing on one aspect of a complex problem and ignoring others.[1][2][3] These rules work well under most circumstances, but they can lead to systematic deviations from logic, probability or rational choice theory. 
A quick review of "Thinking Fast and Slow" would serve any outdoor adventurer well, especially those who get mired in the intricacies of anchor construction.
James Schroeder · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined May 2002 · Points: 3,130
Ted Pinson wrote: Haha I didn’t even see the one at the very bottom - yes, this is way too obtuse of an angle, and I would say they were better off not using it and just getting 3 good pieces clustered closer together.  This is probably why they had problems equalizing and had to do the yellow sling shenanigans.  As far as pieces blowing...depends on what caused it.  There’s maybe one good piece in this anchor, so if it goes, I wouldn’t expect the rest to hold, but it looks somewhat equalized, so there shouldn’t be too much of a danger of shock loading...which again, is irrelevant if your placements suck.
Dylan B. wrote:

I don’t know. There’s an indiscernible amount of foreshortening going on in this photo. That angle may not be as bad as it looks. If you adjust your view and assume more depth to the anchor, the angle becomes reasonable. If you look at it as though it’s perfectly flat, then it appears to be approaching 90º. I can’t really tell where in the middle it actually falls.

Without being there and able to see it up close; I'd lean more towards Dylan's assessment. I tend to be less concerned about angles overall, as angles are almost always a trade between anchor stability/multi-directionality and force multiplication. Remember, at least in a theoretical two-leg anchor, it's not until we reach 120 degrees that the force on each piece equals the load on the master point. Though the whole angles discussion presumes we can "equalize" the system under field conditions, which is very difficult (if not impossible), so it's all largely moot anyway. An "angles heuristic" I sometimes use to evaluate whether a given piece is worthwhile is "If everything else in the anchor blew; would this piece still be well-positioned from a direction-of-pull perspective?" If the answer to that question is "Yes." then it's probably good to go from an angles perspective.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Midwest
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