Belay from above question


Original Post
Daniel T · · Riverside, Ca · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 15

My question is simple and I think I know the answer but I want see if I am right. This would be a multi-pitch scenario or just practicing top belays. I get to the top and build the anchor, pictured below. Is it acceptable to clip my belay device into the shelf and then bring up my second? In the picture you can see the "extra" carbine hanging off the chains from where my ATC Guide(in guide mode) was clipped to. To be totally overkill safe I could have clipped a draw into each chain and then my belay biner into the draws for a "master point". Yeah this will work on sport climbing but when I get out for Trad there wont be anchor chains hanging around to clip into.

Anyways thanks for taking the time to read.

Bunny ears anchor on sport multi-pitch

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 136

yes

Matthew Williams 1 · · Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 0

Yeah clipping it into the shelf means you're utilizing the redundancy of the anchor, whereas hanging the device off one bolt is not.

James T · · Livermore · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 20

As long is your "shelf" is clipped through both (or all) the anchor legs and not just around one leg.

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 45

In short, yes. However, you need to have something weighting the masterpoint itself, otherwise it is theoretically possible (albeit improbable) for the knot to pull through. So if you clip yourself to the masterpoint knot and weight it (there should be no slack) and hang your belay device from the shelf (or vice Versa), you're good. Also, there is a right and a wrong way of clipping the shelf - make sure you are clipping all 3 strands, otherwise you'll lose redundancy.

curt86iroc · · Golden, CO · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 3
James T wrote:As long is your "shelf" is clipped through both (or all) the anchor legs and not just around one leg.
this
Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 1,875

It is slightly better to clip yourself to the shelf and put the belay device on the masterpoint. Why? So that the moving rope doesn't run across the stationary strand or other rigging.

Thomas Chapman · · Sewanee, Tennessee · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 0
Gunkiemike wrote:It is slightly better to clip yourself to the shelf and put the belay device on the masterpoint. Why? So that the moving rope doesn't run across the stationary strand or other rigging.
This is the system i'm more a fan of. Both ways will work but this leads to a cleaner system
steverett · · San Diego, CA · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 40
Gunkiemike wrote:It is slightly better to clip yourself to the shelf and put the belay device on the masterpoint. Why? So that the moving rope doesn't run across the stationary strand or other rigging.
My standard procedure as well. Keeps my tether out of the way. Works best with a cordalette/sling anchor though.

If you are using bunny ears right off your harness like OP, then there is no masterpoint. I would clip the shelf from below and let the guide plate hang below the anchor then, to keep the rope from running over the anchor.
Matt Himmelstein · · Orange, California · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 95

As long as you are using a device with a guide mode, then you are fine. The standard ATC is meant to function only when clipped to your belay loop. Will it work as you described, yes, but it is not designed to be used that way and you are asking for problems.

When you get out for trad (and even some sport routes), you would build and equalized anchor and then create a master point. If you have a device with guide mode and want to use it that way, you clip that into the master point and belay off that. Depending on number of variables that impact how practical it is to belay off my harness or the master point, I end up using both techniques based on how I build the anchors.

Daniel T · · Riverside, Ca · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 15
steverett wrote: My standard procedure as well. Keeps my tether out of the way. Works best with a cordalette/sling anchor though. If you are using bunny ears right off your harness like OP, then there is no masterpoint. I would clip the shelf from below and let the guide plate hang below the anchor then, to keep the rope from running over the anchor.
Ill have to try this out next time. It might be just the trick I need for better rope management.
Daniel T · · Riverside, Ca · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 15
Matt Himmelstein wrote:As long as you are using a device with a guide mode, then you are fine. The standard ATC is meant to function only when clipped to your belay loop.
To clarify I am using the ATC Guide I just got lazy while typing. Ive edited the OP.
Daniel T · · Riverside, Ca · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 15
James T wrote:As long is your "shelf" is clipped through both (or all) the anchor legs and not just around one leg.
Yes, this is how I would be clipping in. Thanks for clarifying for those new to the topic.
Daniel T · · Riverside, Ca · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 15
Gunkiemike wrote:It is slightly better to clip yourself to the shelf and put the belay device on the masterpoint. Why? So that the moving rope doesn't run across the stationary strand or other rigging.
Can you explain this a little better. I cant picture this setup in my head specifically on a 2 bolt sport anchor.
wivanoff · · Northeast, USA · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 392
Daniel T wrote: Can you explain this a little better. I cant picture this setup in my head specifically on a 2 bolt sport anchor.
Daniel, I suspect he was referring to an anchor built with a cordelette, not the bunny ears tie in you show in your photo.

Google "cordelette master point verses shelf" to see.

In your configuration with bunny ears, YOU are what might be considered the "masterpoint" and the only thing you have left is the "shelf". Not to confuse the issue but something that may help is look at David Coley's Multipitchclimbing.com and read about the Direct Isolation Loop (DIL) in Topic 6 section 5
Xan Calonne · · Joshua Tree, Ca · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 15
Daniel T wrote: Can you explain this a little better. I cant picture this setup in my head specifically on a 2 bolt sport anchor.
For the bunny ear 8 knot you're using in the picture, the shelf essentially is the masterpoint, and the comment you quote is not relevant. If you were to have used a sling or cordage to build the anchor (or rigged your rope anchor differently), then there would be a loop below the knot itself, the masterpoint. Using this lower point would prevent the rope from running across the other strands in the anchor, avoiding any potential "sawing" of the anchor material.

Personally, for two bolt anchors using the rope as an anchor, I prefer to hang the belay device off of a single bolt. It keeps the device higher, which I find easier to work with. Regarding redundancy, assuming you have connected the bolts to one another (as you have with your knot) both bolts are backed up should either fail. Is it extension limiting? Not really. Is it "equalized" no. Neither of these issues concern me much on a bolted anchor, and if the anchor is that sketchy, then I'm belaying off the harness anyways. ymmv.

-Xan

edit to add: wivanoff beat me to it.
steverett · · San Diego, CA · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 40
wivanoff wrote: Not to confuse the issue but something that may help is look at David Coley's Multipitchclimbing.com and read about the Direct Isolation Loop (DIL) in Topic 6 section 5
The next section (6.6) also covers using the shelf pretty thoroughly.
steverett · · San Diego, CA · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 40
Daniel T wrote: Ill have to try this out next time. It might be just the trick I need for better rope management.
Your rope management looks pretty good; I also coil over my tether. This is more for making sure the anchor doesn't interfere with the belay, and vice versa. Guide plates work best when they aren't contacting anything. If they can't rotate freely, they might not work properly.

I usually use a cordalette; this is my typical setup. If the ATC were on the shelf, it would be against the masterpoint knot or loop.

(source: multipitchclimbing.com)

Downside of this is the ATC is even lower, which means you need a longer tether to be below it.
wivanoff · · Northeast, USA · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 392

I dunno, man.

Seems like a case of "I MUST use a guideplate, therefore I WILL make my anchor use it no matter what."

When a redirect might work better...

Or "I MUST use bunny ears, so I have to use this shelf"

When clove hitching the rope to both bolts and tying a masterpoint in the loop between the bolts might work better for the guide plate.

OP, there are lots of valid ways to do things. Don't get locked in the noob view that there is only "one true way".

Dan Africk · · Brooklyn, New York · Joined May 2014 · Points: 170
Ted Pinson wrote:In short, yes. However, you need to have something weighting the masterpoint itself, otherwise it is theoretically possible (albeit improbable) for the knot to pull through.
Just to clarify, you don't need to be weighting the master point to be safe, just having a locking carabiner clipped through the master point is fine. Weighting it is preferable, since it prevents the knot from capsizing or getting distorted, which could be a nuisance for various reasons- it could be harder to untie, make the master point smaller etc.

But as long as it's clipped with a biner, the knot can't pull through. And in my experience, even fully weighting the shelf on a hanging belay doesn't mess with the knot too much.
steverett · · San Diego, CA · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 40
wivanoff wrote:I dunno, man. Seems like a case of "I MUST use a guideplate, therefore I WILL make my anchor use it no matter what." When a redirect might work better... Or "I MUST use bunny ears, so I have to use this shelf" When clove hitching the rope to both bolts and tying a masterpoint in the loop between the bolts might work better for the guide plate. OP, there are lots of valid ways to do things. Don't get locked in the noob view that there is only "one true way".
I was trying to avoid going too far off topic from the original question, but if I can't get the anchor to be above me, then I belay directly off my harness or through a redirect, depending on the situation.

Daniel, if you are going to be doing trad multipitch make sure you are knowledgeable and comfortable with these techniques too.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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