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Chamonix Anchor System?


Original Post
Shawn Adrian · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2018 · Points: 70

Anyone have any idea what kind of anchoring system is going on at 5:40 through the end of the video?  Seems like a quad would be more efficient, less cluttered, and possibly safer?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqZQnCGl24A&t=429s

The entire video is worth a watch, but the last couple of minutes made me curious.  Is that just a clove hitch on the right anchor?  Doesn't look like there is any equalization either (all of the impact force would be on the left anchor).  Thoughts?  Maybe I'm just getting confused because their using twin ropes rather than a single rope--damn Europeans!

Andy Hansen · · Longmont, CO · Joined Sep 2009 · Points: 2,567

Looks like an interesting iteration on a direct belay. Seems somewhat standard. The quad allow for too much extension, in the event of a leader fall, when using a direct belay.

Turner · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 277

AKA the Banshee Belay.

J W · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,601

Say it with me now- equalization is not a thing and isn't a concern when building anchors.

Europe figured this out ages ago and America used to know it, but for some reason we seem to have forgotten it.

Jim Titt · · Germany · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 490

It´s just a normal Banshee belay (normal for Europeans anyway). I personally don´t usually bother with the sling at all and just use the rope in the same way.

curt86iroc · · Lakewood, CO · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 69

so, what's up with all the munters? 

Brandon.S · · Palm Springs, Ca · Joined Feb 2011 · Points: 15

Looks like a rat's nest to me.  A quad or overhand on a coradalette just seems so much more simple, faster and better equalized.  Realizing that perfect equalization is an ideal, not something achievable. But, always cool to learn something new, thanks for sharing, maybe after a more in depth look (when I'm not at work) I'll see the advantage.

Jim Titt · · Germany · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 490


Courtesy of the DAV. I use the left lower method. If you think using a quad/cordalette is simpler and faster then you are banana´s. Equalisation is of no interest in this scenario or in the video, redundancy is all we are looking for.
patto · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 25
Jim Titt wrote:


Courtesy of the DAV. I use the left lower method. If you think using a quad/cordalette is simpler and faster then you are banana´s. Equalisation is of no interest in this scenario or in the video, redundancy is all we are looking for.


Yep.  The obsession with equalisation is way over done in North America and it isn't only slightly less in the UK, Australia and other english speaking nations.  Continental europeans do things bit differently lets say do things a bit differently...  Lackadaisical grigri belaying while smoking a joint I'm not excited by, non equalised anchors are less of a concern.


Having learn trad and equalisation I struggle to find good reasons to stop.   Personally I'm normally using trad anchors and I'm normally equalising which probably takes me 30s-60s longer.  But I'd have no problems with non equalisation of good gear.
kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 15,932

Funny thing is that the Cordalette method often promoted by most of the same American experts who also promoted the concept of "Equalizing" as one of the serene essentials . . . was not actually Equalizing.
. . . (and that contradiction turned me off from using Cordelette).

The promoters (when they bothered to address to this question) came up with some other word (? static equalizing ?) and claimed that was close enough even if less than perfect. But I seem to recall that later actual tests indicated that most Cordelette setups were pretty far from equalizing the forces when loaded from any signifact angle away from preferred.

Then long afterward I finally got the news that perhaps (for non-snow-ice anchors) . (or for decenly sound rock) apparently equalizing wasn't so important anyway. I recall the key evidence was that after decades of American experience (with regular hand-wringing and warnings by experts about sloppy anchor construction), nobody had died from an equalization failure.

Ken

Jim Titt · · Germany · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 490

A more versatile variation which allows an attempt at equalisation is;


Which gives easy change over if you aren´t leading through (the second just clips in the opposite way round) and a re-direct/dummy runner (the rope on the right). Guide plate you can clip in anywhere you prefer and for lead belaying direct off the anchor you clip straight into one of the bolts (the guy in the video couldn´t as he was working with pitons and the eye is too small, bolts it is big enough).
patto · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 25
kenr wrote: Funny thing is that the Cordalette method often promoted by most of the same American experts who also promoted the concept of "Equalizing" as one of the serene essentials . . . was not actually Equalizing.
. . . (and that contradiction turned me off from using Cordelette).

The promoters (when they bothered to address to this question) came up with some other word (? static equalizing ?) and claimed that was close enough even if less than perfect. But I seem to recall that later actual tests indicated that most Cordelette setups were pretty far from equalizing the forces when loaded from any signifact angle away from preferred.

Then long afterward I finally got the news that perhaps (for non-snow-ice anchors) . (or for decenly sound rock) apparently equalizing wasn't so important anyway. I recall the key evidence was that after decades of American experience (with regular hand-wringing and warnings by experts about sloppy anchor construction), nobody had died from an equalization failure.

Ken

Funny thing is that it was equalising to an extent.  It certainly was equalising as much as any vaguely thoughtful analysis would suggest.  (It ain't rocket science)  For a two point anchor you can get pretty good results from basic geometry.  (Three points you are always dealing with a statically indeterminate system.)

Though some people got it into their heads that the equalisation was close to equal and then threw up their arms in Eureka discovery when if was found that it wasn't.  (HINT: John Long, 2006:
http://www.rockclimbing.com/forum/Climbing_Information_C2/The_Lab_F69/Improved_sliding_x%3A_Is_it_really_safer_P1306133 )

So then searching for a solution for a non problem resulted.
kemple sr. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2011 · Points: 95

For a two bolt anchor, I use a double loop figure 8.  It doesn't use up any gear, is very fast, and gives redundancy with some equalization.

I found the video very interesting. First, that people are actually this testing, but secondly, how can a belayer who is getting yanked upward generate more force than an anchor on the wall?
I think they are using a munter and intentionally allowing some slippage much like David Brower and Sierra Club developed in the 50's. That is not always a practical real world possibility.

It also contradicts another series of tests that was on MP where they did video of static anchor verses a hop at time of impact.  that one clearly showed efficacy of the hop in not only lowering forces, but in preventing the leader from being slammed into the wall.  Of course a hop is not usually possible on a multipitch climb.  

patto · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 25
kemple sr. wrote:
I found the video very interesting. First, that people are actually this testing, but secondly, how can a belayer who is getting yanked upward generate more force than an anchor on the wall?
I think they are using a munter and intentionally allowing some slippage much like David Brower and Sierra Club developed in the 50's. That is not always a practical real world possibility.

Simple.  An accelerated mass give a greater impact force than the same force applied directly to the restraint.


It is the same mistake the John Long made in his testing.  It is how dropping a rock on your toe isn't the same as placing a rock on your toe.  It is why seatbelts work.
climber pat · · Las Cruces NM · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 241
kemple sr. wrote: For a two bolt anchor, I use a double loop figure 8.  It doesn't use up any gear, is very fast, and gives redundancy with some equalization.

I found the video very interesting. First, that people are actually this testing, but secondly, how can a belayer who is getting yanked upward generate more force than an anchor on the wall?
I think they are using a munter and intentionally allowing some slippage much like David Brower and Sierra Club developed in the 50's. That is not always a practical real world possibility.

It also contradicts another series of tests that was on MP where they did video of static anchor verses a hop at time of impact.  that one clearly showed efficacy of the hop in not only lowering forces, but in preventing the leader from being slammed into the wall.  Of course a hop is not usually possible on a multipitch climb.  

The belayer is being accelerated by the falling climber and stopped by a static piece of webbing and static load cell attached to the anchor.    

Harumpfster Boondoggle · · Between yesterday and today. · Joined Apr 2018 · Points: 138

To be fair, the Cordelette system was developed with guide placed gear anchors in North America and not the nearly standard fixed anchors at the end of every pitch on guided routes in Europe. And noobs like this idea of "equalizing" their gear anchor because they don't have the experience to know their placements are good enough.

But the method presented in the video is superior for all intents and purposes (btw the orange sling is a dynamic one, I believe). Its tied short to leave the Munter in complete control of the belayer.

The technique is not likely to be adopted here because there is no commercial incentive to promote the Munter hitch.

People around here are more likely to believe and promote the latest ad copy from the AMGA or some maker selling gear and then buy 10 locking carabiners to build an anchor.

@Jim Titt: What the industry needs is an assisted belay device that can be used on single or double ropes without qualification on the anchor with easy handling like a Munter but doesn't twist the rope. To me that is the Holy Grail of belay devices.

Maybe that Holy Grail is just the Munter but that goes against our basic insecure materialism thinking more shiny gear will make us safer (and assisted braking is nice).

Matt Westlake · · Durham, NC · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 597

I tend to go with what I learned which is some configuration of cordellete, although I convinced myself pretty early on that equalization wasn't really one of the things you get out of it - all you have to do is be a paranoid noob working your first hanging belay and start freaking out as you lean one way or another and watch the arms of anchor take differing amounts of load pretty clearly. However, one thing I tend to like about using a cord versus the clove-in-series style of some of these is that it gives you some control over the range of the loading angle on the pieces. If you are right up on it the pull angle can vary and that seems more likely to make your pieces want to wander but if you are extended a ways the effect of moving around is lessened by reducing leverage.

Granted this is easily achieved using a rope anchor, but I'm more talking about the difference between a bit of extension versus having the connections right up on the gear which some of the above use. This goes out the window when you are talking about bolts (omni-directional) that aren't going anywhere. 

Jim Titt · · Germany · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 490
Harumpfster Boondoggle wrote: To be fair, the Cordelette system was developed with guide placed gear anchors in North America and not the nearly standard fixed anchors at the end of every pitch on guided routes in Europe. And noobs like this idea of "equalizing" their gear anchor because they don't have the experience to know their placements are good enough.

But the method presented in the video is superior for all intents and purposes (btw the orange sling is a dynamic one, I believe). Its tied short to leave the Munter in complete control of the belayer.

The technique is not likely to be adopted here because there is no commercial incentive to promote the Munter hitch.

People around here are more likely to believe and promote the latest ad copy from the AMGA or some maker selling gear and buy 10 locking carabiners to build an anchor.

@Jim Titt: What the industry needs is an assisted belay device that can be used on single or double ropes without qualification on the anchor with easy handling like a Munter but doesn't twist the rope. To me that is the Holy Grail of belay devices.

Maybe that Holy Grail is just the Munter but that goes against our basic insecure materialism thinking more shiny gear will make us safer (and assisted braking is nice).

Well the TRE Sirius did the job fine (apart from some wear issues) but the patent was bought by Edelrid and screwed up big-time. Must be running off-patent soon so maybe I shall have a look.....

The sling might be a Beal stitched cord sling but they don´t come orange and they are thicker than that one seems to be (8.3mm). It looks most like one of those snazzy Skylotec cipE slings which are 6mm  Dyneema cord, 22kN and have no join, they are woven as a sling.
Harumpfster Boondoggle · · Between yesterday and today. · Joined Apr 2018 · Points: 138
Jim Titt wrote:

Well the TRE Sirius did the job fine (apart from some wear issues) but the patent was bought by Edelrid and screwed up big-time. Must be running off-patent soon so maybe I shall have a look.....

The sling might be a Beal stitched cord sling but they don´t come orange and they are thicker than that one seems to be (8.3mm). It looks most like one of those snazzy Skylotec cipE slings which are 6mm  Dyneema cord, 22kN and have no join, they are woven as a sling.
My conception is something like an ATC Guide with more "assist" on the belay biner side but with a spring to improve handling (like the old Sticht plates). That way the function for bringing up the second is maintained and handling (less chance of a lock up short-roping the leader) is improved. Would have to figure out a way to improve lowering the leader after a lock up if you have assisted braking I guess.

All of these device handling issues are paramount because people don't like having their arms up high (tiring) to belay the leader.

If not a dynamic sling why do you think ENSA chose that other than a lighter and more compact Dynema sling?
Jim Titt · · Germany · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 490
kemple sr. wrote: For a two bolt anchor, I use a double loop figure 8.  It doesn't use up any gear, is very fast, and gives redundancy with some equalization.

I found the video very interesting. First, that people are actually this testing, but secondly, how can a belayer who is getting yanked upward generate more force than an anchor on the wall?

The peak force on the top piece is the sum of the force imposed by the faller and the force imposed by the belayer. That´s simple BUT the two peak forces don´t coincide normally, the two force peaks are offset in time due to frictional hysterises in both the rope and the belay device, somewhere of the order of 0.3-0.5 seconds for normal falls. The belayer peak leads the faller peak and so if you delay the belayer peak the sum of the forces increases, maybe 30% or so (all depends on the fall). 

Appliying the maximum belayer force as soon as possible is better than taking the time to accelerate the belayer six feet or so which inconveniently moves the two peaks closer together.
Jim Titt · · Germany · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 490
Harumpfster Boondoggle wrote: My conception is something like an ATC Guide with more "assist" on the belay biner side but with a spring to improve handling (like the old Sticht plates). That way the function for bringing up the second is maintained and handling (less chance of a lock up short-roping the leader) is improved. Would have to figure out a way to improve lowering the leader after a lock up if you have assisted braking I guess.

All of these device handling issues are paramount because people don't like having their arms up high (tiring) to belay the leader.

If not a dynamic sling why do you think ENSA chose that other than a lighter and more compact Dynema sling?

That´s exactly what a Sirius was, a guide plate with a handle to allow lowering and a spring to hold it off.

The Skylotec slings are Dyneema-cored polyester so more robust than a straight Dyneema sling.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Fixed Hardware: Bolts & Anchors
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