Daisy chains as etrier tethers


Original Post
gavinsmith · · Toronto, Ontario · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 83

I'm slowly learning to aid climb harder and more efficiently. I don't have a mentor for this, so I'm learning as I go, trial and error.

I have more or less settled on these primary pieces of gear: 6-step Metolius aiders, Petzl Connect adjustable lanyard, and dyneema daisies. I use the daisies as etrier tethers, which I see as pretty valuable when placing hooks, camhooks, and other gear that could be knocked off easily before they're weighted. This is where my question comes up.

Naturally, falling on a daisy is a shit idea. The purpose of the daisies in my system is primarily as a tether for the aiders and sometimes the piece it's connected to (again, hooks etc), but this past weekend when I found myself on a shitty and slowly slipping beak, I found myself wondering what would happen if I fell before removing my aider from the previous piece. Assuming it was a good piece and caught me, I'd be taking a factor 2 on a daisy, despite it being there for a different purpose. I was on a Silent Partner, and that would take a second to catch me, surely not before the daisy would. 

It seems this scenario comes up really often, basically any time you fall before removing the previous aider. Aside from doing that sooner, what might I do to avoid the scenario? Is this just an inevitability when shit goes down? I know landing on the daisy won't kill me (when backed up with a dynamic rope belay), but I'm not particularly interested in testing that.

Mark Hudon · · Lives on the road · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 415

#1) there ain't no reason for a "shitty slowly slipping beak". Don't make aid climbing harder than it is. If you aren't on some modern, real live, A5 nightmare, you've made the wrong move. I laugh when people tell me about some dicey hook, cam or beak placement on something like the Zodiac. If you are making that kind of move on the trade routes, you're making the wrong move. 

#2) this has been talked about to death but the black and white is DON'T Daisy fall! Your rope is far better suited to catching your fall.

#2a) I pretty much don't use daisies, except when hooking (only to attach myself to the hook, not the previous piece), or if the terrain is awkward or maybe severely overhung. BUT! I have friends who are among the best (and fastest) aid climbers out there right now who have their daisies permanently attached to their aiders. They are also very aware of #2 also.

gavinsmith · · Toronto, Ontario · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 83
Mark Hudon wrote:

#1) there ain't no reason for a "shitty slowly slipping beak". Don't make aid climbing harder than it is. If you aren't on some modern, real live, A5 nightmare, you've made the wrong move. I laugh when people tell me about some dicey hook, cam or beak placement on something like the Zodiac. If you are making that kind of move on the trade routes, you're making the wrong move. 

#2) this has been talked about to death but the black and white is DON'T Daisy fall! Your rope is far better suited to catching your fall.

#2a) I pretty much don't use daisies, except when hooking (only to attach myself to the hook, not the previous piece), or if the terrain is awkward or maybe severely overhung. BUT! I have friends who are among the best (and fastest) aid climbers out there right now who have their daisies permanently attached to their aiders. They are also very aware of #2 also.

1) Yeah, I hear you. I was on an anonymous piece of rock deliberately messing with technique. It looked good, but hey, I have next to zero experience. Appreciate the pointer.

2) Got it. So, if I do stick with the daisies, get it off the previous piece quickly or reevaluate. That'll get smoother with time I imagine.

2a) Good to know. I know it isn't the only technique, but when any hooks or similar are involved I get a little nervous about the drop potential.

Thanks for the comments!

Ryan Strickland · · Idyllwild, CA · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 131

I've taken a number of daisy falls on Zion sandstone. A few of them were close to factor 2 falls. You'll survive if you take a big daisy fall provided you don't end up ripping a bunch of pieces and decking out. They can hurt your hips and back though. It's worth noting that I use nylon daisies and I notice that they stretch. 

My leading method involves me moving onto the next piece before unclipping my daisy/ladder from the previous one. I only do this when I'm reasonably certain that my next piece won't blow. It allows me to move quickly and never risk falling while pulling up rope. Unfortunately, my ability to judge solid pieces on Zion sandstone is terrible, particularly when it comes to thin nuts. I haven't yet made this mistake on Yosemite granite. It works for me. That said, if I'm questioning my next piece or at risk for injury if I fall, before I start "basement" bounce testing, I go ahead and unclip my lower daisy and clip the rope into the lower piece before testing and moving up.

You should listen to Hudon though, he knows what he's doing and has done more walls than I have.

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

If you like to be tethered to your aiders (like most)

Try the petzl evolves, and toss your daisies.

 Defenitly Your dyneema ones. They'll add some cooosh to your ooops. But don't oops. Have fun.

20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,352
Kauait wrote:

Try the petzl evolves, and toss your daisies.

Indeed, traditional daisies are obsolete IMO. Adjustable dasies are far faster, more efficient and safer. I cut down on my lead time by 30% overnight just by switching to them. It's nice not having to deal with a fifi and all that extra SNAFU. On a note, my partner once took a FF 1.25 fall onto a 5/16" bolt via his daisy when his top piece blew. It looked like a pretty rough catch, although he did get back up and finish the pitch.

kevin deweese · · Oakland, Ca · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 350
20 kN wrote:

Indeed, traditional daisies are obsolete IMO. Adjustable dasies are far faster, more efficient and safer. I cut down on my lead time by 30% overnight just by switching to them. It's nice not having to deal with a fifi and all that extra SNAFU. On a note, my partner once took a FF 1.25 fall onto a 5/16" bolt via his daisy when his top piece blew. It looked like a pretty rough catch, although he did get back up and finish the pitch.

At first I was like, really? What average climber can spot the difference between a 1/4"vs 5/16" bolt? Then I saw it was 20kN. Yup, it was definitely a 5/16" bolt. 

gavinsmith · · Toronto, Ontario · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 83

I just realized  (with the help of some comments) that I can probably eliminate the daisies by tethering to the aiders using what I am currently separately using as a dedicated tether. Not sure why I didn't realize that earlier. I think that my have been a gap in understanding. I'll get my hands on an Evolve Adjust and give that a go.

Mark Hudon · · Lives on the road · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 415

Whenever I say Daisy I'm meaning Adjustable Daisy of some sort. Do people really have a tethers AND adjustable daisies? 

gavinsmith · · Toronto, Ontario · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 83
Mark Hudon wrote:

Whenever I say Daisy I'm meaning Adjustable Daisy of some sort. Do people really have a tethers AND adjustable daisies? 

I did, but again, I think that was just a gap in my understanding, now that I think about it of course it makes sense to consolidate, working on it!

Mark Hudon · · Lives on the road · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 415

People are so scared of static fallls and shock loading that they put master points on modern 3/8" bolt anchors, yet a lot of aid climbers blithely risk static falls with every aid move they make. Isn't climbing above an anchor while clipped to it via a sling or PAS the same thing? Doesn't everyone know to not do that? 

NorCalNomad · · San Francisco · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 105
Mark Hudon wrote:

People are so scared of static fallls and shock loading that they put master points on modern 3/8" bolt anchors, yet a lot of aid climbers blithely risk static falls with every aid move they make. Isn't climbing above an anchor while clipped to it via a sling or PAS the same thing? Doesn't everyone know to not do that? 

No Mark.

YER GUNNA DIE

Mark Hudon · · Lives on the road · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 415

Yeah, and probably a lot sooner than most of you, although it will be of OLD AGE and not rock climbing. 

Alex Temus · · Small Town, USA · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 251

Because of the whole "Daisy chains should never be used for falls" scenario we always find ourselves in, I was pretty impressed to find the C.A.M.P. daisy that is good for 22kN on every loop!

I bought one a few weeks ago, and even though I still try to avoid a scenario like that, I like that it gives me a bit of peace of mind. It's basically a non-issue now.

http://www.campsaver.com/c-a-m-p-daisy-chain-twist

Mark Hudon · · Lives on the road · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 415

A daisy fall will hurt you but at least it won't break? Is that your logic? 

kevin deweese · · Oakland, Ca · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 350
Alex Temus wrote:

Because of the whole "Daisy chains should never be used for falls" scenario we always find ourselves in, I was pretty impressed to find the C.A.M.P. daisy that is good for 22kN on every loop!

I bought one a few weeks ago, and even though I still try to avoid a scenario like that, I like that it gives me a bit of peace of mind. It's basically a non-issue now.

http://www.campsaver.com/c-a-m-p-daisy-chain-twist

So you're worried about it breaking while you're tied into a rope but not about the effect upon your body from a F2? That daisy is made to deal with the issues of clipping a daisy incorrectly that EVERY PAS except for orig style daisies also account for.

delly84 · · Golden, Co · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 154
Alex Temus wrote:

Because of the whole "Daisy chains should never be used for falls" scenario we always find ourselves in, I was pretty impressed to find the C.A.M.P. daisy that is good for 22kN on every loop!

I bought one a few weeks ago, and even though I still try to avoid a scenario like that, I like that it gives me a bit of peace of mind. It's basically a non-issue now.

http://www.campsaver.com/c-a-m-p-daisy-chain-twist

C.A.M.P. Daisy Chain Twist Details

The spiral construction of the Camp Daisy Chain Twist addresses one of the main concerns with traditional daisy chains where the user clips a single carabiner through two loops creating a situation where they are secured by nothing more than the single bar tack between the loops instead of the 22 kN strength of the entire loop. Robust 16 mm polyester construction with special machine-driven bar tacks distribute the load multi directionally.

sort of an aside to the point of this thread, but i'm not sure i understand the concept of that camp daisy. so the point is that there is a twist so if you clip two loops to shorten it you're not being held in by just bar tacks. 

...but it seems like that only applies to skipping an even number of loops. if you skip an odd number of loops you're still only clipped in with bar tacks ... right?

caribouman1052 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 5

No, do not bother with daisies as etrier tethers.  I've done that for a few years and all those little loops just add to the visual cluster, not to mention the sketchiness of having a fifi pop out of a pocket as you move up, and the Factor 2 -onto-a-sling bit...  Why not use a section of 8 or 9mm dynamic rope as your etrier tether?  Girth hitch that to a maillon on your harness, and you have a double tether that you can actually fall on.  A couple of Kong "Slyde"s and you have an adjustable, dynamic etrier tether, that also acts as an infinitely adjustable anchor tie-in.  Or you could buy the Petzl Evolve. 

gavinsmith · · Toronto, Ontario · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 83
caribouman1052 wrote:

No, do not bother with daisies as etrier tethers.  I've done that for a few years and all those little loops just add to the visual cluster, not to mention the sketchiness of having a fifi pop out of a pocket as you move up, and the Factor 2 -onto-a-sling bit...  Why not use a section of 8 or 9mm dynamic rope as your etrier tether?  Girth hitch that to a maillon on your harness, and you have a double tether that you can actually fall on.  A couple of Kong "Slyde"s and you have an adjustable, dynamic etrier tether, that also acts as an infinitely adjustable anchor tie-in.  Or you could buy the Petzl Evolve. 

Yeah, we've established as much. It was a missed step while learning everything. 

It is clearly not the correct way to go. Thanks for chiming in!

Mark Hudon · · Lives on the road · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 415

I can't imaging that two feet of dynamic cord gives you much of a dynamic catch. I'd bet that the difference between dynamic and static at that length is pretty negligible. The Kong Slyde might move though, that would help. 

Ryan Hamilton · · Orem · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 20
Mark Hudon wrote:

I can't imaging that two feet of dynamic cord gives you much of a dynamic catch. I'd bet thatthe difference between dynamic and static at that length is pretty negligible. The Kong Slyde might move though, that would help. 

My thought too. I have the Petzl daisy and really like them, but I'm not expecting anything better than a static fall if I ever take a fall on one. (which I do my darnedest not to do)

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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