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Fixed Anchors .... without chains


Original Post
Russ Keane · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 145

Any thoughts on why a fixed 2-bolt anchor (intended as a rap station) would be installed without hanging chains? Every time I rap off a two-bolt station, I look at the forces pulling inwards and think -- how much better it looks when there are chain extenders hanging down to improve the angle.

Those of you who put up fixed hardware- What's the deal?

Thx

T Roper · · DC,VA,NM,UT,CT,MA · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 860

Either its intended for a walk off, just TRing on your own gear or its just waiting for someone to replace the hardware that was stolen off of it. Not good for lowering.

Brian L. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 90

Ideally yes, they should have chains, but in a rap situation it's not a big deal. You're v-angle starts small, and decreases the further down the rap you get, reducing the load the anchor see's. You's also dealing with body weight, which is much much less than what a bolt should hold.

Someone may have stolen the hardware, also.

Also, if there isn't hardware, and the hanger isn't designed to run a rope through I'd plan to leave something behind.

Jayson Nissen · · Corvallis, OR · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 273

Russ- I assume that the anchor has two bolts about 8 inches apart with a single quicklink and rap ring on each bolt. I can't quite tell what you are describing.

I do this because it is much cheaper and lighter. I don't have to buy two more quicklinks and extra chain. And in either case the load on the bolts is not an issue compared to their strength.

I have been sold on the idea of using a quicklink to chain to a steel biner since it costs only a little bit more and I like the ease of cleaning routes that the biners offer. But I have a lot of s/s rap rings that need to go somewhere.

I would be stoked if someone approached me and wanted to upgrade the hardware on routes I have worked on. Not so stoked if they wanted me to do it for them.

Kauait · · Sandy Utah · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 0

Russ sounds to me like you need to volunteer your time to put some chains on it. Thanks for your service ahead of time;)

M Sprague · · New England · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 4,931

If they are not really need, there is less visual impact without chains

Russ Keane · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 145

Yeah, anytime you actually participate in something, you understand it better. I would love to do some "cliff work" - I'm sure it's hard.

Where I climb, the process of adding any hardware to a wall is pretty serious. There's a process, a consensus, and then certain people are doing these things based on the decision of "the committee". This being the case, I would never think to add anything. In fact I would think that because of so much thought being put into it, the rap stations would be as ideal as they can be.

I see how the angle is only sharp at the beginning of the rappel.... that makes sense. And Sprague's point about minimal visual impact... that also makes sense. It must be the combination of these two factors.

patto · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 25
Russ Keane wrote:Any thoughts on why a fixed 2-bolt anchor (intended as a rap station) would be installed without hanging chains? Every time I rap off a two-bolt station, I look at the forces pulling inwards and think -- how much better it looks when there are chain extenders hanging down to improve the angle. Those of you who put up fixed hardware- What's the deal? Thx
That is standard practice where I am. No issue at all. P-bolts or U bolts are perfect for this. Twisted shackles can also be added to reduce the minor wear on the bolts.
ViperScale . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 235

Chains really are pointless, not needed for rappelling and it helps motivates people not to TR on them. The only time I care to see them is if the bolts are on top of the cliff and the chains are used to go over the edge so textiles don't have to drag over the edge.

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 456

chains are nice when you're climbing with newbies and don't want to climb a route again to clean the anchor.
mountainproject.com/v/setti…

Brian in SLC · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 13,812
Russ Keane wrote:Any thoughts on why a fixed 2-bolt anchor (intended as a rap station) would be installed without hanging chains? Every time I rap off a two-bolt station, I look at the forces pulling inwards and think -- how much better it looks when there are chain extenders hanging down to improve the angle. Those of you who put up fixed hardware- What's the deal? Thx
Depends on the location and how the route was established.

If its a fair hike from the car, and, a longer route, chain is heavy and takes up space in the kit. If a route can be done with Fixe rings (I don't prefer the single rings, but, really like the double rings w/ hangers), then those are compact and get the job done.

If you're using all stainless, easier to get anchors to take paint and if folks are adding chain, its usually zinc painted which doesn't take paint (or keep it) as easily. So, yeah, minimal visual impact.

I've gone back and added chain to some routes, especially if I've upgraded to stainless chain, rapides, and a ring. Low impact visually and pretty functional.

I think a lot of time routes get done with the hardware available. Upgrades are slower to happen. Depending on the area, I think most folks wouldn't mind an upgrade to established top anchors especially camo'd stainless chained anchors. Especially if someone else is willing to pony up the hardware.
john strand · · southern colo · Joined May 2008 · Points: 1,640

Yes, Fixe double rings, a really good thing.

Another way to reduce the angle is to offset the hangers ..make one of them below and slightly to the side of the first one. Takes a bit more chain and can create more visual but it does reduce stress

climberz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2007 · Points: 90

2 separated bolts with rings for rappelling from is the same if not worse than the "American triangle". In a place with soft rock such as Moab, often two freshly replaced bolts are spinners in less than a year with this set-up. This is a shame given the time, effort, and good intentions of the person equipping the route. In hard rock, the bolts don't become spinners for quite a while, though it will likely happen eventually. A length of chain will usually keep this from happening. I also appreciate the chain for the multiple options for where to clip in while cleaning, especially on multiple rappels with multiple people.

Brian L. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 90
climberz wrote:2 separated bolts with rings for rappelling from is the same if not worse than the "American triangle". In a place with soft rock such as Moab, often two freshly replaced bolts are spinners in less than a year with this set-up. This is a shame given the time, effort, and good intentions of the person equipping the route. In hard rock, the bolts don't become spinners for quite a while, though it will likely happen eventually. A length of chain will usually keep this from happening. I also appreciate the chain for the multiple options for where to clip in while cleaning, especially on multiple rappels with multiple people.
The force from rappelling on this setup will be less than the force of a top rope fall. So I doubt that's the real contributor to your spinner problem.
john strand · · southern colo · Joined May 2008 · Points: 1,640

Part of the problem is not prepping the rock surface enough before placing the bolt...it must be FLAT.

Brian in SLC · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 13,812

I think vertically oriented anchors is "the way". Force in a single direction.

Fine clip and go on Il Lupo

Common in Europe. I've used a few here in the US, but, folks like their anchors to be separate and redundant.
john strand · · southern colo · Joined May 2008 · Points: 1,640

Brian, I pretty much always orient bolted anchors offset like that.

Not so sure about the clips though.....

ViperScale . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 235

I have seen some like that but I normally see 2 rings at the bottom so it is redundant vs a single ring = single point of failure. You also are basically loading the bottom or top bolt 100% that way, never really going to get the force shared.

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 456
Brian in SLC wrote:I think vertically oriented anchors is "the way". Force in a single direction. Common in Europe. I've used a few here in the US, but, folks like their anchors to be separate and redundant.
That looks like it's gonna be material and labor intensive to replace. Using quick links instead welded links will make replacing significantly less expensive and time consuming. Also, I'd feel better if it had two biners for lowering off or two ramshorns.
patto · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 25
Brian in SLC wrote:I think vertically oriented anchors is "the way". Force in a single direction.
Which has no real advantage. Other arrangements might produced forces that are not vertical but it is still a single force direction.

ViperScale wrote:You also are basically loading the bottom or top bolt 100% that way, never really going to get the force shared.
Which really isn't a big deal.

A much bigger deal is a clean rope pull and easy access setup. As long as you have two good bolts in good rock then your safety is covered.
BrianWS · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 790

Eli - It depends on the area. If it's low traffic and in the right climate, by the time the ring is worn and the welded links shot, so will the bolts and hangers.

You can purchase the entire array, hangers and all, pre assembled. Not so labor intensive to swap out, and certainly easier than trying to loosen corroded quick links.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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