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Permanent lockers ("triangles") at Marymoor Climbing Wall anchors

Original Post
Serge Smirnov · · Seattle, WA · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 252

I was taught a couple of "standard" ways of using the anchors at Marymoor, but when I teach others I realize my story is inconsistent.  Wondering if somebody has a better one.

The 2 aspects I find inconsistent:

(1) Whether or not it is acceptable to put lowering rope wear on the triangle (permanent biner) while top-roping.  I would think not, but one of the accepted practices seems to be to top rope through the permanent biner augmented (in parallel) by your own biner.  Adding one's own biner certainly reduces the wear on the permanent one by ~2x - is that considered enough to make it ok ?

(2) Whether or not it is acceptable to trust the triangle alone for body weight (rappel). If not, how do you rappel after cleaning ?  I've noticed some people leave the triangles upside-down, and I've heard this indicates "needs replacement - do not use".  But, as far as I can tell, nothing has been replaced in the 8 years I've climbed there, so other people just flip them back down and use them anyway.  Are the rusty-looking things actually in bad shape, and if so why won't the county replace them ?  Has the county said "they're fine, you're being overly cautions" ?  Or is this a situation where bringing the issue up with the county runs the risk of getting the wall closed altogether ?

I'm fairly content to keep doing what I've always done but curious if there is a good explanation.

Rafe · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2009 · Points: 515

The steel protection pieces fixed at Marymoor are pretty stout and if steel is rusted it doesn't mean it's compromised. A visual inspection of anything you are concerned about should suffice. If rope wear has worn through the running points on the fixed gear very significantly, it may be time for them to be replaced. Also if they show cracks or other deformities they may be compromised. 

If my memory serves me correct Marymoor gets ran pretty hard by Mountaineers and other teaching groups. I guarantee those groups do pretty thorough inspections of the hardware along with other climbers with experience in fixed gear quality. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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