Anchor - on a scale of truck to YGD...


Original Post
Matt Westlake · · Durham, NC · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 588

So, my partner wants to squeeze all of the length out of his cord anchor possible and thinks this is the answer:

7(?) mil cord loop joined by single fisherman's knot. His tails are about the same as the ones I tied in my pic, perhaps a tad shorter.

Connected to a master point (rap ring from fixed anchor) and rope end with a locking biner on either side.

He makes the strands of the same loop independent by putting a clove hitch on both locking biners.

EDIT FOR CLARITY:
The top biner is to be clipped into the master point of an above rap station to extend the system.

He maintains that a single fisherman's knot to join the tails is adequate and that the cloves separate the strands into two independent strands. I think this is jingus and asked something with redundancy as I don't like the idea of all keeping me safe being three knots that can slip under load. Granted this is typically experiencing TR loads but I still don't like it much. I guess you'd have to have two points slip before something catastrophic happened but it makes me uneasy.

Flame on and give me some ammunition or tell me I'm being paranoid. I already know how I feel about this anchor but I wanted to get a sense from the community how this looks.

Partner's dubious anchor setup

Top half of anchor showing single fisherman's join and clove to rap ring locker

Rope end locker with clove

Muscrat · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 3,610

First impression, and go for it MP's, is that you lack redundancy in that:
a) single biners at anchor and tie in spot
b) single anchor point?

Danger-Russ Gordon · · Orem UT · Joined Nov 2011 · Points: 590

Perhaps I don't understand the intention of this experiment very well, but it seems like if the idea is to get as much length as possible, why wouldn't you just tie a figure 8 in each end of the chord, that would almost double the length?

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

The cloves are fine and make the cord strands redundant. I don't really like the single fishermans, though. I've heard it can slip under load, although I haven't seen any testing on it. If he's really that concerned about the length of the cord, use a ring bend (same as a water knot but with cord) or, better yet, get a longer cord.

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

IMO it isn't an anchor if it only has 1 point of failure. This is nothing more than a long sling tied to a single bolt / piece of gear.

Lou Cerutti · · Carlsbad, California · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 214

The OP's wording is a bit lacking but I believe he meant to suggest that the upper locker is supposed to represent a master point and that the cord pictured is his partners solution for extending said masterpoint over an edge.

Matt Westlake · · Durham, NC · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 588

Sorry for the ambiguity. The upper biner is for clipping into the master point of an existing rap station to extend it. The distance is such that a 60m barely makes it and this gives a bit more comfort.

Firestone · · California · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 509

Why are you using the rap ring for an anchor? Use the hangers and leave the rings open for rapping.

chris magness · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 590

No.

I'd prefer to see something other than a single fisherman's here, although it is isolated.

Biggest point of concern is a single locker on the new master point. Should that gate open, you'd have a catastrophic failure. Two opposed lockers is the standard for a TR. Given this consideration, the master point clove will also have to be revisited. A BHK of some sort is a good option, like an overhand bite on a bite, which will create two strands at the new masterpoint. The higher clove is fine.

Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 265

If your partner pushes you when you are climbing, and that extra makes you get through that crux you want to give up on, great!

Partner who blows off you being uncomfortable with what your life is hanging from? Not good. Buy a longer rope, buy cord (or whatever) that will set up satisfactorily for you, or consider changing partners if they want it their way for everything. It's fine to have different solutions to the same problem.

Matt Westlake · · Durham, NC · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 588

There are no rap hangers it's fixed gear with a steel ring master and most folks either clip the ring or the cables.

I am well aware of many more standard alternatives and have equipment for my own setups. This is just a question of whether you would trust this setup or give your leader grief when you found out this is what you were about to lower from or have a TR party on.

chris magness · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 590

No, for the reasons I outlined above.

Old Lady H was spot-on too.

Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 265
Matt Westlake wrote:There are no rap hangers it's fixed gear with a steel ring master and most folks either clip the ring or the cables. I am well aware of many more standard alternatives and have equipment for my own setups. This is just a question of whether you would trust this setup or give your leader grief when you found out this is what you were about to lower from or have a TR party on.
Look, I don't have decades of experience. So, set up shown, bugs me, just at a glance. I can't articulate reasons (lack of experience), but it is far enough from what I would expect, that it has to justify it's worth, rather than I need to prove it's unworthiness. Make any sense? My expectation is one of those other things you said you are well aware of. Something in here rubs your sensibilities wrong. If it can't be made clear, easily, quickly, logically, what it is that you aren't seeing that makes this setup fine and dandy, the setup is not fine and dandy, maybe not for anyone, but for sure not for you. People die when they second guess themselves.

FWIW, my sorta noob self doesn't like it, at a glance, but I don't have enough to go on to tell you why. Clip into cables??? I would need: a) to be with someone I trusted very, very much, b) to have it explained to my satisfaction, or c) both, preferably. And someone who is patient and respectful.
Medic741 · · Red Hook, New York · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 265

Without legs that are somewhat distant from each other the master point will swing whenever the climber moves L/R of plum line. This will cause rope to 'saw' over an edge during a fall as both legs are dragged laterally, under load, over possibly sharp features.

That makes it unsafe. I would not trust this if there were sharp edges. I would pad the edge with my backpack and keep backpack from moving by tying a Prussik on anchor leg to secure backpack padding in place and clip chest/hip straps around anchor legs

JK- · · SLC · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 58

1-10....

Maybe a 4.5. Probably fine, but not particularly well done or thought out. If I'm bailing off a multi-pitch and in mega-conserve-gear-mode it'll do. I've done much worse canyoneering (more than once... as have most people who do it lots). If I'm cragging, I'd never set up something like this. Eight-on-a-bight (or even better super eight) would do a much better job of isolating the strands. EOAB wouldn't use much more cord either. Doubling up biners is rarely a bad thing.

AKA: It depends.

Michael Schneider · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 745
JK- wrote:1-10.... Maybe a 4.5. Probably fine, but not particularly well done or thought out. If I'm bailing off a multi-pitch and in mega-conserve-gear-mode it'll do. I've done much worse canyoneering (more than once... as have most people who do it lots). If I'm cragging, I'd never set up something like this. Eight-on-a-bight (or even better super eight) would do a much better job of isolating the strands. EOAB ?wouldn't use much more cord either. Doubling up biners is rarely a bad thing. AKA: It depends.
This seems like a half & half answer.
Try out an experiment. Get a shoe lace create that crap anchor and see if you can pull it to failure.
Or
cut one loop of the clove? . . .
( it is unlikely that one side of a clove hitch will fail but as a previous post spoke to)
a weighted cord rubbing against the rock under tension is courting disaster.

Why risk it?

One thing is never really redundant...
Two pieces of cord
Two wraps in the DOUBLE fishermans...
TWO 'bieners' in opposition . . .

Stop climbing with this set up.
Sure - it will likely be fine - until it isn't!

Also-
always tie a knot below your belay device after your climber is ten feet up.
So that the rope won't slip through the device, dropping the climber.
Pad sharp edges
Spend 6 dollars on a second cord

take this to a professional (split the cost of the guided day with "same partner") before you climb with
out redundant anchors again.
dave Hause · · carrboro, nc · Joined May 2013 · Points: 240

That looks like my anchor set up!
Am I allowed to vote on this dubious anchor?

Michael Schneider · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 745
Crushin' Prussian wrote:That looks like my anchor set up! Am I allowed to vote on this dubious anchor?
N0 ! , you do not get to voice anymore of an opinion than . . . .:
it is DUBIOUS

https://www.mountainproject.com/v/redundancy-not-in-fashion-these-days/112180324
Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 190

Yeah, I can't see any good reason to use that. As others mentioned, joining 2 tails requires at LEAST a double fisherman's.

jktinst · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 55

(Second post. First one - now deleted - was major brain-fart)

If I understand correctly, this is for a mid-multipitch anchor where the anchor needs to be extended significantly but the next pitch is a rope-stretcher. The only reason I can think of to need this extension is if there are no protection opportunities within a few metres either above or below the anchor. In this situation, I would agree that it's essential for the extension to be both solid and redundant for the sake of the belayer's safety. If using solely this one cord loop for the extension, I would also want the fisherman's to be doubled and the redundancy knots at the two ends to be 100% non-slip, as mentioned by others. If the non-fisherman strand were cut, you'd need the fisherman's to be as bombproof as it could be, and if the cut were to occur near one end, you'd also want zero slippage of the end knot. Of course the cut could also occur right on the bight, for which there would be no redundancy. For that reason, I would prefer using two distinct pieces of cordage for the extension (although for a rope-stretcher pitch, I can see the appeal of leaving as little cordage as possible at the belay).

Going along with your premise of using a single cord loop, I would also keep the belayer's weight mainly on one of the two strands and have the other one slightly slack to make it less likely that the same cord-cutting event might nail both strands at once. If the tensioned strand were cut, it would mean a slight shock-load on the back-up one but, hopefully, the belayer would be tethered to the extension though a dynamic personal tether (and that's another reason to want the double fishermans, whether it's on the tensioned or the slack strand).

I don't really get the necessity of squeezing the most length possible out of the one cord either. Sure, using double fishermans', non-slip knots and leaving a bit of slack on one strand will shorten the loop a bit (about 8-9 in.) but over the length of the whole cord, this will make very little difference in the stretch and fall-arrest capability of the rope if the leader were to fall before placing his first pro above the main anchor. I'd say that you'd be better off with the extra redundancy than with the extra few inches (just to be absolutely clear: in this situation, the leader of your next pitch would clip the main anchor as his first progression pro, right?)

Of course, if there are pro options below but not above the main anchor, you could just as well build a non-extended main belay station at the lower position and use the main anchor as a bombproof first progression/jesus anchor, provided that would still leave enough rope available for the rope-stretcher pitch.

RickG Gutz · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 35
Michael Schneider wrote: Also- always tie a knot below your belay device after your climber is ten feet up. So that the rope won't slip through the device, dropping the climber.
Don't mean to derail this thread, but this is the first time I've ever read this. Michael, is this commonly taught? Will the forces of a high fall not be dangerous for the belayer in this case? Just wondering since I hadn't run into this before. Thanks.

I guess you'd have to lock out the climber first to then do the knot below the belay device.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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