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Anchor Bolts: Clip Above or Below Chain/QuickLink?


FourT6and2 ... · · San Francisco, CA · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 45

I know it's only top roping, but this climb would result in a decent pendulum swing on top rope that can torque the biners over the chain/ring on the hanger. That's why I put 'em underneath. But this other guy had me questioning my thinking so figured I'd ask here. I was using Petzl Spirit screw gates on the hangers. Anyway, my question has been answered, but if y'all want to keep discussing knock yourselves out :)

Brian in SLC · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 14,421
Jim Titt wrote:

The hangers bend and distort so much under load and before things break that any leverage you see unloaded would disappear.

Yep...

Jim Titt · · Germany · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 490
Greg D wrote: Thanks for the tests Jim. That looks like a fairly linear loading along the spine of the biner. Could you do a test or two where the biner is leveraged over a ring or a link. That’s when thngs can get weird.

It´s hard to visualise a realistic scenario where the biner gets levered over the next element in a lower-off as it is going to be perpendicular to the rock and gets forced out of the way, the lengths anyway mean it would normally be the sling/dogbone that´s resting on whatever and not the karabiner. I´d need a picture of how to set it up.

Bruce Hildenbrand · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2003 · Points: 1,060

I don't think the biner is going to break in either of the two scenarios, especially with the forces generated in top roping.  However, I think there might be a significant difference in gouging of the biner under load.  I think a reasonable test if to put a reasonable "top rope" load on a carabiner in both configurations and see if there is any gouging and if so, is there any significant difference.

r m · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 0
Greg D wrote: Thanks for the tests Jim...
+1000

We tend to just talk shit in our fantasy world, all of little value until someone shows up with some empiricism.
Jim Titt · · Germany · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 490
Bruce Hildenbrand wrote: I don't think the biner is going to break in either of the two scenarios, especially with the forces generated in top roping.  However, I think there might be a significant difference in gouging of the biner under load.  I think a reasonable test if to put a reasonable "top rope" load on a carabiner in both configurations and see if there is any gouging and if so, is there any significant difference.

What, compared with taking ten whippers? 

Since part of the load is on the chainlink it should be less but fundamentally who´s bothered about a few marks on bolt-end biners anyway?

Stagg54 Taggart · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2006 · Points: 10

I always clip underneath, but it has nothing to do with fear of the biner breaking.  It's so that the rap rings are always open.  I used to climb a lot at Seneca and often the belay was also a rap station.  So someone could potentially come down from above and want to rap through.  Clipping underneath was just a polite way to avoid a clusterfuck...

King Tut · · Citrus Heights · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 430
Jim Titt wrote:

It´s hard to visualise a realistic scenario where the biner gets levered over the next element in a lower-off as it is going to be perpendicular to the rock and gets forced out of the way, the lengths anyway mean it would normally be the sling/dogbone that´s resting on whatever and not the karabiner. I´d need a picture of how to set it up.

Its going to be hard to find an image of an example but I assure you, if the wrong size hardware is on the hanger the biner can be dangerously bound and loaded over an edge/opening the gate if you clip on top instead of lifting the hardware and clipping underneath.

What precisely happens in a fall, like the possibility of the gate on the biner opening under load etc. is going to be very hard to replicate for empirical testing. Needless to say you might be shocked at some of the anchors and their hardware out here in the Wild West. You'd want to get it completely out of the way too.
Bruce Hildenbrand · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2003 · Points: 1,060

"Since part of the load is on the chainlink it should be less but fundamentally who´s bothered about a few marks on bolt-end biners anyway?"

I think that's the question that testing needs to try and answer. Most bolt hangers are designed for the carabiner to be at the bottom of the hanger.  If you clip above the hardware then the carabiner is not at the bottom of the hanger.  Is this significant or not in terms of potential gouges left in the carabiner?

Ken Noyce · · Layton, UT · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 2,249

Personally, If I'm climbing a single pitch route where I will be lowering off and having someone else TR the route, I always clip the TR draws into the lowest link of the chain.  I do this primarily because this ensures that I am not going to be using anything that the person cleaning the route needs to clip into except in the case of a single ring on a hanger, and in that case, unfortunately that's about your only option anyway.  When the person who will be cleaning the route gets to the anchor, they can clip into anything above the lowest link that they want to, then they can easily remove the TR draws from the lowest link before threading the rope.  Now I know that people are going to say that this is completely unsafe because there are more links to fail or whatever other silly argument they want to use, but when it comes down to it, if you don't trust those lowest links to a TR load, you shouldn't be trusting them for rapping off of either.

Edit to add: If there are lower-offs I will typically clip the TR draws into the hangers and I usually do it over the anchors for ease of cleaning.

Tom Sherman · · Bristol, RI · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 412

Didn't read any of this thread...

I always clip underneath.

One day in the past I arrived at an anchor I had created and the wiregate was open and torquing over the chain below it.

It's always a bitch for other climbers to clean because of it underneath.

I could probably re-assess my doings, I think it only would really matter on a horizontal setup (AKA bolts face the sky and not out from the cliff), but I just always clip underneath out of habit.

Who know's whats best...

Tom Sherman · · Bristol, RI · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 412
John Wilder wrote: Underneath is better to reduce torque on the carabiners, but it can create a pain to clean. However, you should be able to unweight one bolt at a time fairly easily at most anchors. If it's full hanging and going to be a pain, I'll just clip to the rings.

Interesting perspective:
More diligent to clip underneath, but throw that out the window if the climber can't get a decent stance.

I think I might adopt that, and as I stated above its probably a non-issue in most places where you can't get a decent stance, so win-win. I'm picturing this time in my head where I totally screwed the second at a featureless belay. Once he weighted the rope through the chains must've taken him twenty minutes to clear the setup! Ooops
Kelley Gilleran · · Sacramento, Ca · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 2,675
Tom Sherman wrote: 

One day in the past I arrived at an anchor I had created and the wiregate was open and torquing over the chain below it.

This has happened to me as well.

Chris Blatchley · · Somerville, MA · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 0

i ran into this problem this weekend. I led and set up an anchor on the hangers, beneath some fat chains with rings. since the chains were so thick, putting a carabiner on the hanger above the chains would have caused the carabiner to lay at an angle outward instead of straight up and down. for that reason, i think Jim's test isn't a sufficient demonstration of safety for that use case.

Jim Titt · · Germany · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 490
Bruce Hildenbrand wrote: "Since part of the load is on the chainlink it should be less but fundamentally who´s bothered about a few marks on bolt-end biners anyway?"

I think that's the question that testing needs to try and answer. Most bolt hangers are designed for the carabiner to be at the bottom of the hanger.  If you clip above the hardware then the carabiner is not at the bottom of the hanger.  Is this significant or not in terms of potential gouges left in the carabiner?
Why are gouges in the karabiner of such interest? 
eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 487
Jim Titt wrote: Why are gouges in the karabiner of such interest? 

https://dmmclimbing.com/Knowledge/November-2011/Carabiners-and-potential-rope-damage

I personally differentiate between bolt and rope side biners but some people don't like to and therefore want to avoid gouges in their biners. 
Mobes Mobesely · · Granite island · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 865
eli poss wrote:

https://dmmclimbing.com/Knowledge/November-2011/Carabiners-and-potential-rope-damage

I personally differentiate between bolt and rope side biners but some people don't like to and therefore want to avoid gouges in their biners. 

;)

Jim Titt · · Germany · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 490
eli poss wrote:

https://dmmclimbing.com/Knowledge/November-2011/Carabiners-and-potential-rope-damage

I personally differentiate between bolt and rope side biners but some people don't like to and therefore want to avoid gouges in their biners. 

Well I know that but why is gouging in the biners used in a hanger for top roping any different from the gouges you get normally? They´ll get nicked and scratched whichever side of the chain they are anyway.

Bruce Hildenbrand · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2003 · Points: 1,060

Once more.....the question is does clipping above or below the chains do more gouging and is that damage potentially significant?

Jim Titt · · Germany · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 490
Bruce Hildenbrand wrote: Once more.....the question is does clipping above or below the chains do more gouging and is that damage potentially significant?

No idea, I rarely top-rope and can´t even remember the last time I clipped a plate hanger though it was probably three or four years ago.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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