Is this an acceptable belay anchor?


Original Post
FourT6and2 Haftel · · San Francisco, CA · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 45

I'm going to be in Europe at the same time as a buddy and we figured why not give Diga Di Luzzone a try. For those not familiar, it's a 500-foot concrete dam in Switzerland that has holds bolted to it. 5 pitches. Each pitch has a belay ledge. The anchor at each ledge looks to be a single metal bar bolted to the wall with two bolts. And the metal bar has two quick links through it. I figured it'd be like any other two-bolt anchor setup. You can either build the belay anchor from the rope or just tie off a figure-8 on a bite with a sling or cordalette, etc. And then belay off that anchor with an ATC in guide mode.

I was watching a few videos people made of this climb. And I noticed the anchors they were using were not as I described above. Seems they are anchoring themselves with a single sling or PAS to one of the quick links. then they are belaying directly off the other quick link. So I don't really see any redundancy here. But is it needed? Both quick links are attached to the same, singular metal bar, that's bolted to the wall. So essentially, both quick links are attached to each other via the bar and being held by two bolts. The only thing not redundant would be each quick link?

I'd still feel more comfortable with a sling or cordalette tied into a master point off both quick links. And belay from that. But was just curious if what I'm seeing here is considered acceptable?

And yeah, "yer gonna die." I know.

Some kinda anchor ish

another anchor ish

Jason Todd · · Cody, WY · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 953

The last thing I'm worried about is the strength of a 10 or 12mm quicklink.

This is often the "master point" for rappels.

I'd say it is acceptable, in THIS situation. Others may feel better about adding components to the system for the purpose of backing up the quick link.

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 190

I'd say it's fine. Plenty of people use a similar setup on 2 bolt anchors for multipitch sport. I would say a better method would be to belay off the harness and to use the second quick link as a redirect. Although this puts more force on the piece, as others mentioned, it's not a big concern, and in the off-chance that the scenario you are worried about occurs, they're still connected to the first bolt through you (if that link were to fail, you'd have a pretty awful shock-load scenario but it would at least be on dynamic rope).

Jim Titt · · Germany · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 490

Ha! The famous Schweizer Plättli, you´ll find them in various forms littering the cliffs of Switzerland, for some reason using a plate to join two bolts is popular there. Basically an idea which only works on granite slabs (and concrete dams). Guess all the chain goes to make snow chains and tie up the cows.
We always clipped into both points anyway and belayed off the harness like usual. The climbing on the dam is astoundingly boring, like a bad day at the gym without any girls or a bar.

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65

We may have just hit the all time high of anchor paranoia. Has half the climbing world forgotten you can belay a follower directly off your harness???

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 190

Your gyms have bars?!

FourT6and2 Haftel · · San Francisco, CA · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 45
Jim Titt wrote:Ha! The famous Schweizer Plättli, you´ll find them in various forms littering the cliffs of Switzerland, for some reason using a plate to join two bolts is popular there. Basically an idea which only works on granite slabs (and concrete dams). Guess all the chain goes to make snow chains and tie up the cows. We always clipped into both points anyway and belayed off the harness like usual. The climbing on the dam is astoundingly boring, like a bad day at the gym without any girls or a bar.
Have you done this climb? It's boring? I mean... the only climbs I have access to right now are pretty short: 65-90 feet. So I figure this would be different.
FourT6and2 Haftel · · San Francisco, CA · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 45
Marc801 wrote:We may have just hit the all time high of anchor paranoia. Has half the climbing world forgotten you can belay a follower directly off your harness???
Am I being paranoid here? Everyone always talks about EVERYTHING'S GOTTA BE REDUNDANT OR YUUUUURRRRRR GUNNNNAA DIIIIIIEEEE. You got the belayer haning on with one sling. And he's belaying directly off a quick link. No backups. No redundancy, etc.

If that's cool, fine. I got no problem with it. But I figured I'd ask. I guess I should expect the people coming in to flame me for it though haha ;)
Rick Blair · · Denver · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 268
Ted Pinson wrote:Your gyms have bars?!
Why not? I think the elementary schools have bars in some parts of Europe.
Jim Titt · · Germany · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 490
Ted Pinson wrote:Your gyms have bars?!
Sure, never been to a climbing wall in Germany that didn´t have one. The ones round here range from a restaurant with wood-fired pizza oven down to a crate of beer in the corner. We have beer vending machines in factories too.
Jim Titt · · Germany · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 490
FourT6and2 wrote: Have you done this climb? It's boring? I mean... the only climbs I have access to right now are pretty short: 65-90 feet. So I figure this would be different.
Well I´m not a fan of doing routes at the gym, I usually just boulder so the Diga was just pulling loads of plastic holds one after the other, even the freakiness wore off quickly (my local gym has 30m high smooth vertical concrete walls so nothing new really for me). Compared with doing routes at say the Grimsel Pass it´s boring.
Climbinghorst · · Pergine · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 70

Hi there,

What I can see is a short piece of L-beam being fixed to the wall by two bolts. So there is some kind of redundancy in that part. The L-beam provides two holes with two Maillons Rapide. The way the guys are belaying there is no redundancy, should one Maillon break out (e.g. in case of a F2 fall by the leader) the whole belaying-system will fail.
I would prefer to build in some more redundancy.

Cheers

JK- · · SLC · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 58
Climbinghorst wrote:Hi there, What I can see is a short piece of L-beam being fixed to the wall by two bolts. So there is some kind of redundancy in that part. The L-beam provides two holes with two Maillons Rapide. The way the guys are belaying there is no redundancy, should one Maillon break out (e.g. in case of a F2 fall by the leader) the whole belaying-system will fail. I would prefer to build in some more redundancy. Cheers
Rapides are incredibly strong. You're probably going to break you, your harness, your rope, the angle iron, or the bolt long before you break a rapide.
Climbinghorst · · Pergine · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 70

You're absolutely right. MAybe I haven't been precise enough, I'm more concerned about the L-beam. From the photo I can't judge what material has been used, how hollowed out the holes might be, if the metal is showing traces of excessive stress...

Dylan B. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 938

That doesn't look like any fun at all.

Jason Todd · · Cody, WY · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 953
Climbinghorst wrote:I'm more concerned about the L-beam. From the photo I can't judge what material has been used, how hollowed out the holes might be, if the metal is showing traces of excessive stress...
Of course the condition of the steel is imperative.

Same as not using small dead trees for anchors.

FourT6and2 wrote:EVERYTHING'S GOTTA BE REDUNDANT OR YUUUUURRRRRR GUNNNNAA DIIIIIIEEEE.
This seems to be a common theme around here lately. There are many examples of climbing system components that are redundant by virtue of their strength.

truck
Climbinghorst · · Pergine · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 70

Now I can tell what was bothering me, in case of already prepared anchors I'm used to see two chains holding the Maillon. But yes, the by far weakest point of the system are the bolts and these have redundancy.

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 190
Climbinghorst wrote:Hi there, What I can see is a short piece of L-beam being fixed to the wall by two bolts. So there is some kind of redundancy in that part. The L-beam provides two holes with two Maillons Rapide. The way the guys are belaying there is no redundancy, should one Maillon break out (e.g. in case of a F2 fall by the leader) the whole belaying-system will fail. I would prefer to build in some more redundancy. Cheers
How exactly do you anticipate a FF2 leader fall when belaying up a second? :/

Jim: that sounds amazing. Germans know how to build gyms!
Climbinghorst · · Pergine · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 70

Anywhere between the second and the fifth pitch, with one of them leading?

FourT6and2 Haftel · · San Francisco, CA · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 45

Well to be fair, I'm pretty sure those guys belayed the leader a little differently. Those photos are only showing belaying the second. For the lead belay, I think they did the standard thing of belaying off the harness while anchored into both quick links somehow. Probably with a clove hitch in their end of the climbing rope. Maybe. I don't know. That's how I'd do it.



Climbinghorst · · Pergine · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 70

If they're American yes. But if they're German, Austrian, Swiss, or Italian they might be doing something like that:


or that:

I like the second version for speed reasons.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply

Log In to Reply