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Material for Self Anchors?


Original Post
Andy Spellmeyer · · Boulder, CO · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 0

What is your preferred material to use for self anchors? Specifically when cleaning A TR. It seems most people I climb with (and myself) use two slings, one of which has a locking biner (my personal preference). I've also seen people use a PAS on one side and remain on belay on the other side. Also seen PAS on one side and use the rope on the other side (clove hitch to biner to the chain/ring). Rarely, I've seen people using a length of 6/7mm cordelette with a figure 8 in the middle, which is tied into belay loop/harness and then a biner on each end. This seems more common for mountaineering/alpinism.

Full disclosure: I'm only moderately experienced at cleaning anchors, probably have done less than a dozen. Last weekend I passed the rope thru the inside of a sling on accident and had to redo my rap. Kind of annoying but my (much more experienced) buddy said he's done this before as well. I feel like using a single length of cordelette rather than a sling could alleviate this issue in the future. Thoughts?

Wilson On The Drums · · Woodbury, MN · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 940

It's a personal choice and you'll get a lot of unnecessary feedback on here. The key points that really matter are:

Always, always communicate with your belayer if you are to clean the anchor and RAP, or to clean the anchor and LOWER. This simple lack of communication has gotten people seriously injured/killed.

Don't drop the rope! Sometimes you can feed a bight of rope through the anchors, sometimes you'll have to untie completely. Always make sure to pull up a good deal of slack and put an overhand on a bight and clip it to the anchor.

Finally, always weight the system, even after you've communicated with your belayer. Always double check.

(I sometimes use just a quickdraw, sometimes the rope, sometimes a sling, sometimes a pas. Just depends on the situation.)

Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 275

I have a couple Purcell's tied from cord that live on my harness, as ascenders. They get pressed into use as tethers, and other uses as well. As said above, tons of ways to do this, just make sure you're confident of yours.

Changing over at an anchor is one of the easy things to practice at home. Just rig up some draws to serve as anchors on a towel bar, chairs, whatever. I even propped up my phone to video, so I could check it after, and have my climbing partner check too.

What I try to keep in my head for the simplest possible "rule", is to always complete and double check the next bit that keeps you alive before undoing the current bit. That starts at the vehicle with making sure we've got all our stuff. PITA to go back for the stinkin' rope!

Best, Helen

goingUp · · over here · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 40

I bought a PASS when i first started climbing and rarely use it anymore... If you want something to buy, buy a Daisy chain. They are more versatile. I would be versed in a few of the methods you listed above. There are pros and cons to each. and the more you know and practice and think about now, even while sitting on the couch, the better mountaineer/climber you will be in the end.

other advice.... COMMUNICATION, both on the ground and on the rock... have a plan and stick to it.

Healyje · · PDX · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 290
goingUp wrote:I bought a PASS when i first started climbing and rarely use it anymore... If you want something to buy, buy a Daisy chain. They are more versatile.
They are also a really bad choice as an anchoring device. You should reconsider you decision.
Owen Witesman · · Springville, UT · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 113

Assuming a normal sport anchor, you don't need a tether of any kind or to go off belay. At most you need a couple of draws to fifi in and one locking biner.

americanalpineclub.org/reso…

Sam Stephens · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2010 · Points: 1,015

Can we please ban people who suggest use a daisy chain is acceptable for this? Aid only, not for cleaning, not for rapping, not for anything other than clipping into a piece of gear while aid climbing or jugging a rope with the appropriate backup.

Selected warnings from black diamond on daisy chains:

Daisy Chains are variable length tie-offs designed to support body
weight ONLY. DO NOT use them as part of your belay or
protection system. They are NOT designed to hold falls.
â—† Once you have established your primary anchor and have tied in,
you can also clip your Daisy Chain to the anchor for adjustability
(illustration 1).
â—† Always use a second carabiner to shorten your Daisy Chain
(illustration 1).
â—† NEVER clip a carabiner in to more than one pocket at a time
(illustration 2). If the bar-tacks between the pockets were to fail
under load, you would no longer be clipped in! This scenario could
occur when any two pockets are connected to a single carabiner
(illustration 3 & 4).

Also they detail it out very explicitly in this article: blackdiamondequipment.com/e…

BrianWS · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 790
Healyje wrote: They are also a really bad choice as an anchoring device. You should reconsider you decision.
Couldn't agree more. Daisies are designed for aid climbing, not personal anchors. The tacked loops do not bear shock very well, and have a low breaking point (depending on manufacturer and model). They are very easy to misuse and load improperly, potentially resulting in disaster.

blackdiamondequipment.com/e…

Skip to the bottom of the article for illustrations of potential failure scenarios and BD's explicit reminder to NOT use daisychains as personal anchors.
eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 456

I use a tether made from a small length of half rope. A sling will work just as well. My tether goes to one anchor point and then I use whatever the anchor was made from for the other anchor point.

Owen Witesman · · Springville, UT · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 113

If you insist on using personal anchor systems, Petzl has a nice offering now that uses dynamic rope. Why you would need that in a single pitch sport context when you have 60-80 meters of the stuff at your disposal already is another issue for a flame thread 11 pages long.

Firestone · · California · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 449
Wilson On The Drums wrote:The key points that really matter are: Always, always communicate with your belayer if you are to clean the anchor and RAP, or to clean the anchor and LOWER. This simple lack of communication has gotten people seriously injured/killed.
This is VERY important. I ALWAYS talk with my partner before I climb a pitch and agree what we will do when I reach the anchor.

Also I use the rope to anchor in. No extra stuff hanging off my harness, I have plenty of quick draws or spare snapgates if I need to transfer loads around.
goingUp · · over here · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 40

yup, im an idiot, I shouldnt have opened my mouth, I mis-spoke for sure. Basically the opposite of what I said (regarding PAS Vs. Daisy chain).... and there are far better options still.

Nathan Self · · Louisiana · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 90

The most important material you need for a "Self Anchor" is a Self. Unfortunately I'm busy.

cheers,

Daniel T · · Riverside, Ca · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 35

As others have said its kind of a pick your own adventure on this topic. I use a PAS with locker for primary tie in and 6mm cord (one end has a figure 8 on a bite girth hitched to my tie in point and the other has a non-locker cloved to it) on the other. The 6mm cord can be used a second prussic if I need to for whatever reason.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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