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Mixing Metal on Anchor Chains. Thoughts? Experience?


Tapawingo Markey · · Reno? · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 75
John Barritt wrote:

Why do people want to save money on life-saving stuff? 

Easy to install, easy to replace, you can lower/set up top ropes without untying, you don't need a PAS, $14 seems pretty cheap considering the number of deaths and injuries from sport anchor falls to me.


If they're installing quicklinks, one would not need to untie or go off belay to lower/set up TR. But I do like the ram's horns and mussy set ups. 


Edit: Sorry for thread drift, proceed...

John Barritt · · OKC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 1,084
Tapawingo Markey wrote:

If they're installing quicklinks, one would not need to untie or go off belay to lower/set up TR. But I do like the ram's horns and mussy set ups. 


Edit: Sorry for thread drift, proceed...

The hooks the OP posted would require quicklinks, so would "nice" mussys. The rams horns wouldn't. I think not fiddling with screws on links is worth the cost of the hooks and would prevent falls.

No gate to fail or mess up and one thing besides the bolt in the system is the way to go imo, if you've ever been stabbed in the hand by one of those hook gate springs you know what I mean.

OP didn't say if his crag was salt air or not so titanium might not be necessary but it would last longer than stainless either way.

Bobby Hutton · · Gold Country CA · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 819

Good insight. Thanks guys. I will look into the rams horns, I confess that I have never run across them. I definitely would not need the titanium ones as much as I like what the folks over at Titan climbing are doing. I had looked at some type permadraw but they don't seem to be cheaper. Interesting points about them being weaker and more difficult to change and more likely to be top roped thru. 

caughtinside · · Oakland CA · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 1,450
John Barritt wrote:

Why do people want to save money on life-saving stuff? 

Easy to install, easy to replace, you can lower/set up top ropes without untying, you don't need a PAS, $14 seems pretty cheap considering the number of deaths and injuries from sport anchor falls to me.


Because it’s overkill, there are other systems which cost less which work. Not a knock on the rams horn, it’s a smart idea. 

If you’re putting up several routes, cost is a legitimate consideration if it does not affect safety. 

Ken Noyce · · Layton, UT · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 2,415
John Barritt wrote:

The hooks the OP posted would require quicklinks, so would "nice" mussys. The rams horns wouldn't. I think not fiddling with screws on links is worth the cost of the hooks and would prevent falls.

No gate to fail or mess up and one thing besides the bolt in the system is the way to go imo, if you've ever been stabbed in the hand by one of those hook gate springs you know what I mean.

OP didn't say if his crag was salt air or not so titanium might not be necessary but it would last longer than stainless either way.

You've got some interesting theories here.  Not quite sure I understand how mussy's require "fiddling with screws on links" since the only people who have to do anything with the quicklinks are the installers and anyone replacing them which is very rare, so I don't see how they would prevent falls.  I do agree that it is nice to not have a gate, but it is also a bit more difficult to get the rope into a rams horn than a mussy, so I'm not sure that one is necessarily better than the other, both have their pros and cons.  As far as not having anything else in the system besides the bolt, yes that is possible, but not always practical, and why does it matter?  As long as all of the components are plenty strong for the task, it really doesn't matter how many components there are, and having more links can make clipping much easier.  Last point, why would titanium last longer than stainless?  Stainless is much more resistant to abrasion than titanium, and typically anchors have to be replaced due to wear, not corrosion, so stainless would in fact last much longer in most circumstances. 

John Barritt · · OKC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 1,084
caughtinside wrote:

Because it’s overkill, there are other systems which cost less which work. Not a knock on the rams horn, it’s a smart idea. 

If you’re putting up several routes, cost is a legitimate consideration if it does not affect safety. 

Overkill? 

Let's look at cost here, OPs linked hooks $6 ea. Rockso's linked chain $6 ft. Quick links $1.80 ea. Titanium rams $14, Jims linked (stainless) rams $7.56

Soooo.... 

  1. 6" chains, plus two links on two bolts No rings, $10 Add $6 for longer chains if 6" isn't enough =$16 Add rings or quicklinks =$20
  2. Two links and two of the OPs linked mussys on two bolts = $16
  3. Jim's rams on two bolts $15.12
  4. titanium rams on two bolts $28

Looking purely at cost stainless rams are the best option, and the least work, least moving parts, eliminate untying and threading.


John Barritt · · OKC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 1,084
Ken Noyce wrote:

You've got some interesting theories here.  Not quite sure I understand how mussy's require "fiddling with screws on links" . 

That was a reply to Marky saying if you have links (and forgo hooks or horns) you don't have to untie, so you would be opening links to get the rope into them in that case.

          Tapawingo Markey                 ·         1 hour ago        ·                    Unknown Hometown                             · Joined Feb 2012            · Points: 75               

If they're installing quicklinks, one would not need to untie or go off belay to lower/set up TR. But I do like the ram's horns and mussy set ups

Stainless is much more resistant to abrasion than titanium, and typically anchors have to be replaced due to wear, not corrosion, so stainless would in fact last much longer in most circumstances

You are right there. In Utah or other sandy areas the stainless would last longer. Salt air, high humidity, less sandy environments titanium would be better. 


Ken Noyce · · Layton, UT · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 2,415
John Barritt wrote:

That was a reply to Marky saying if you have links (and forgo hooks or horns) you don't have to untie, so you would be opening links to get the rope into them in that case.

          Tapawingo Markey                 ·         1 hour ago        ·                    Unknown Hometown                             · Joined Feb 2012            · Points: 75               

If they're installing quicklinks, one would not need to untie or go off belay to lower/set up TR. But I do like the ram's horns and mussy set ups.


Got you, sorry, I completely misunderstood your post!  I think Markey was saying that you can slip a bight of rope through the links, tie an 8 on that bight and clip into that bight with a locker prior to untying so that you never have to go off belay or be untied at any given time to do it.  Kind of a cumbersome process and drop in's are much better, but I think that was the method he was referring to, not opening the links.

Bobby Hutton · · Gold Country CA · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 819
John Barritt wrote:

Overkill? 

Let's look at cost here, OPs linked hooks $6 ea. Rockso's linked chain $6 ft. Quick links $1.80 ea. Titanium rams $14, Jims linked (stainless) rams $6

Soooo.... 

  1. 6" chains, plus two links on two bolts No rings, $10 Add $6 for longer chains if 6" isn't enough =$16 Add rings or quicklinks =$20
  2. Two links and two of the OPs linked mussys on two bolts = $16
  3. Jim's rams on two bolts $12
  4. titanium rams on two bolts $28

Looking purely at cost stainless rams are the best option, and the least work, least moving parts, eliminate untying and threading.


I am inclined to agree with you about SS pigtails or rams horns being a good safe cost efficient solution for an all Stainless steel set up that would work for a lot of my anchors. Thanks for bringing them to my attention, I had not run across them before.  I am not finding any pigtails for less than $7.56 though (http://team-tough.com/product/woo-single-2-2/), not to quible on your point, just don't want to miss a deal. 

John Barritt · · OKC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 1,084
Bobby Hutton wrote:

I am inclined to agree with you about SS pigtails or rams horns being a good safe cost efficient solution for an all Stainless steel set up that would work for a lot of my anchors. Thanks for bringing them to my attention, I had not run across them before.  I am not finding any pigtails for less than $7.56 though (http://team-tough.com/product/woo-single-2-2/), not to quible on your point, just don't want to miss a deal. 

My bad, I mixed up the chain/SS ram price, still the way to go IMO. I think as more people come from gyms to outside drop ins are going to save a lot of bacon. I'll edit my post.

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
Ken Noyce wrote:

I think Markey was saying that you can slip a bight of rope through the links, tie an 8 on that bight and clip into that bight with a locker prior to untying so that you never have to go off belay or be untied at any given time to do it.  Kind of a cumbersome process and drop in's are much better, but I think that was the method he was referring to, not opening the links.

That was my understanding as well.

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
John Barritt wrote:

OP didn't say if his crag was salt air or not so titanium might not be necessary but it would last longer than stainless either way.

From the OP:

"Other Factors. The rock is volcanic breccia at about 8000 feet in the Sierra Nevada's."

John Barritt · · OKC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 1,084
Marc801 C wrote:

From the OP:

"Other Factors. The rock is volcanic breccia at about 8000 feet in the Sierra Nevada's."

There you go......

caughtinside · · Oakland CA · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 1,450
John Barritt wrote:

Overkill? 

Let's look at cost here, OPs linked hooks $6 ea. Rockso's linked chain $6 ft. Quick links $1.80 ea. Titanium rams $14, Jims linked (stainless) rams $7.56

Soooo.... 

  1. 6" chains, plus two links on two bolts No rings, $10 Add $6 for longer chains if 6" isn't enough =$16 Add rings or quicklinks =$20
  2. Two links and two of the OPs linked mussys on two bolts = $16
  3. Jim's rams on two bolts $15.12
  4. titanium rams on two bolts $28

Looking purely at cost stainless rams are the best option, and the least work, least moving parts, eliminate untying and threading.


Your own math has links and chain $5 cheaper per anchor. Go with galvanized and not stainless and you save even more. Plus it’s availabel at the hardware store. In my experience shipping on steel hardware has not been cheap. 


Again, the rams horns look like a good system, probably best used in high travel d routes. 

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 507
John Barritt wrote:

Overkill? 

Let's look at cost here, OPs linked hooks $6 ea. Rockso's linked chain $6 ft. Quick links $1.80 ea. Titanium rams $14, Jims linked (stainless) rams $7.56

Soooo.... 

  1. 6" chains, plus two links on two bolts No rings, $10 Add $6 for longer chains if 6" isn't enough =$16 Add rings or quicklinks =$20
  2. Two links and two of the OPs linked mussys on two bolts = $16
  3. Jim's rams on two bolts $15.12
  4. titanium rams on two bolts $28

Looking purely at cost stainless rams are the best option, and the least work, least moving parts, eliminate untying and threading.


If you're putting the pigtails directly onto the bolt hangers, then either you have to put the bolts very close together or it will twist the rope. And putting bolts that close together isn't always safe, or even an option depending on the rock. I can tell you straight off the bat that, in my local rock, putting pigtails straight on the hanger isn't an option. 

John Barritt · · OKC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 1,084

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 507
John Barritt wrote:

Yeah...

I'm working with San Juan choss over here and that just isn't gonna work 95% of the time. The odds of finding two suitable spots to drill about 6" perfectly horizontally apart are pretty slim around here.

John Barritt · · OKC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 1,084
eli poss wrote:

Yeah...

I'm working with San Juan choss over here and that just isn't gonna work 95% of the time. The odds of finding two suitable spots to drill about 6" perfectly horizontally apart are pretty slim around here.

You can spread them out or use one on a bolt with chain linking it to a bolt above it and to either side. Or one on a bolt and one on a chain from a bolt above and to one side. I'm sure there's always exceptions but these look like the answer to a lot of sport injuries to me.

John Barritt · · OKC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 1,084

Tapawingo Markey · · Reno? · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 75
Ken Noyce wrote:

Got you, sorry, I completely misunderstood your post!  I think Markey was saying that you can slip a bight of rope through the links, tie an 8 on that bight and clip into that bight with a locker prior to untying so that you never have to go off belay or be untied at any given time to do it.  Kind of a cumbersome process and drop in's are much better, but I think that was the method he was referring to, not opening the links.

You called it Ken, thanks for clearing that up. I agree drop ins are more efficient but passing a bite through and tying in with a locker is still fairly efficient. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Fixed Hardware: Bolts & Anchors
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