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Sliding X: 1 vs. 2 Slings
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Oct 3, 2016
I need some clarification regarding the Sliding X and Redundancy. Nearly all online examples/tutorials demonstrating the Sliding X on use one sling. My understanding of Redundancy is simply everything in the anchor system is redundant. If the one sling were to break the systems fails. Is there a reason most examples/tutorials do not use two slings for redundancy? Or, if using two slings are you've simply created super strong anchor (which is always my goal)?

PLEASE AVOID all discussions regarding the the "No Extension" and shock loading.
Cory F
From Blacksburg, VA
Joined Jun 20, 2016
8 points
Oct 3, 2016
Most people that use the sliding x would also use limiter knots and argue that they provide redundancy. Mike13
Joined Dec 11, 2013
11 points
Oct 3, 2016
Nope, "everything" is not always redundant. Redundancy is simply a metric to evaluate an anchor, not a requirement.

I use the sliding X all the time after topping out. But there are definitely situations where you will want redundancy in your rigging, and the sliding X doesn't offer that. Here's a great (terrifying) example:

soundcloud.com/the_sharp_end/h...

Again, redundancy is an evaluation criteria, but it isn't always necessary.
Natatat
From NorCal
Joined Aug 28, 2014
5 points
Oct 3, 2016
The concept of redundancy in climbing applies more to your connections points to the rock rather than the equipment used to connect everything. Most climbers are always relying on only one rope, one belay loop, one carabiner, one master point etc. we all climb under the assumption that these things will not fail if used properly and inspected with some regularity. Where redundancy comes into play for most people is either fixed gear (bolts or otherwise) or trad gear placements, these things are more unknown, sometimes we cant tell for sure if a bolt is good (rock quality, hidden rusting, etc.) or if a gear placement will hold, so we want a backup, or multiple backups in the case of gear anchors. befozz
Joined Feb 9, 2015
13 points
Oct 3, 2016
befozz wrote:
The concept of redundancy in climbing applies more to your connections points to the rock rather than the equipment used to connect everything.



Thanks! I was wondering if the redundancy concept referred to the connection points and not gear.
Cory F
From Blacksburg, VA
Joined Jun 20, 2016
8 points
Oct 3, 2016
Natatat wrote:
Here's a great (terrifying) example: soundcloud.com/the_sharp_end/h...



Oh man, I saw that when searching the forums to find an answer to my question. Super terrifying! Thanks for the link!
Cory F
From Blacksburg, VA
Joined Jun 20, 2016
8 points
Oct 3, 2016
One sling with a single knot, in theory, provides redundancy, say for example, one bolt of a two bolt anchor fails. The other method using a single sling is twisting the sling. Per request, ignoring all the reasons why this is not a good solution. Two slings, one to each bolt, would also create a redundant system should one bolt fail. Again, all theoretical, and none of this information is particularly useful because your anchor will never be limited to just redundancy alone, but in principal theses methods would create a redundant master point on a two bolt style anchor should one point fail. Max Forbes
From Burlington, VT
Joined Jan 6, 2014
94 points
Oct 3, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: bouldering
I almost never use a sliding x. if the anchor pieces or bolts are good actual equalization is not an issue as much as redundancy. the only time the slideing x make much sense to use is to connect 2 crappy pieces to the rope. Since i generaly use doubble ropes on those kinds of routes it is 100% better to clip one strand to each piece rather than fart arround with sliding x crapola. Nick Goldsmith
From Pomfret VT
Joined Aug 23, 2009
352 points
Oct 3, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Belaying 2nd (or was it 3rd? 4th?) on Turk's Head ...
Please avoid discussing the reason why redundancy is a moot point but explain why these videos I saw on the internet don't demonstrate redundancy? Ted Pinson
From Chicago, IL
Joined Jul 11, 2014
183 points
Oct 3, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: bouldering
If you are Not climbing R and X rated routes and are useing the slideing X on G rated climbs STOP. Do not pass go and do Not collect $200.00
Instead of wanking arround with a trick tool that is best used in extreme circumstances, learn how to not only place bomber gear but to create a whole system of bomber gear. Starting from the ground where you place your belayer and continueing as you go up haveing each piece and every sling with correct directions of pull so you end up with a fast,eficient bombproof system of protection.
Nick Goldsmith
From Pomfret VT
Joined Aug 23, 2009
352 points
Oct 3, 2016
Cory F wrote:
I need some clarification regarding the Sliding X and Redundancy. Nearly all online examples/tutorials demonstrating the Sliding X on use one sling. My understanding of Redundancy is simply everything in the anchor system is redundant. If the one sling were to break the systems fails. Is there a reason most examples/tutorials do not use two slings for redundancy? Or, if using two slings are you've simply created super strong anchor (which is always my goal)? PLEASE AVOID all discussions regarding the the "No Extension" and shock loading.


You get to decide how much risk you're willing to accept, regardless of what videos on the internet show.

Is that one sling guaranteed to be free of manufacturing defects and chemical damage?

One would hope it is, but the key word is "guaranteed". Chance and consequence of failure and are two separate things. Chance of failure may be low while consequence of failure stays huge.

Using two slings instead of one to create the sliding X is a simple way to add redundancy.
Kent Richards
Joined Jan 10, 2009
81 points
Oct 3, 2016
befozz wrote:
The concept of redundancy in climbing applies more to your connections points to the rock rather than the equipment used to connect everything. Most climbers are always relying on only one rope, one belay loop, one carabiner, one master point etc. we all climb under the assumption that these things will not fail if used properly and inspected with some regularity. Where redundancy comes into play for most people is either fixed gear (bolts or otherwise) or trad gear placements, these things are more unknown, sometimes we cant tell for sure if a bolt is good (rock quality, hidden rusting, etc.) or if a gear placement will hold, so we want a backup, or multiple backups in the case of gear anchors.


Double Ropes, Metolius Safetech harness with double belay loops, locker + key lock = everything is redundant.
Pete Spri
Joined Jun 1, 2009
217 points
Oct 3, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: bouldering
on a standard 2 bolt top anchor 2 reguler old quick draws are 100% safer than a single sling with slideing x and lockers. YMMV obviously but that is how I see it. i rarely if ever use a slideing x. I do use 4ft runners with pre tied limiter knots for ice climbing and trad belays when leading in blocks. If leapfrogging I use the rope for belays. Nick Goldsmith
From Pomfret VT
Joined Aug 23, 2009
352 points
Oct 4, 2016
Nick Goldsmith wrote:
on a standard 2 bolt top anchor 2 reguler old quick draws are 100% safer than a single sling with slideing x and lockers.


I prefer opposing quick draws for their simplicity. However, the crag I'm referring to (Pilot Mountain, NC) has bolted anchors about 2' from the edge. Great top rope access but it prompts creative anchor building. Especially, when I have enough gear for two ropes and we typically have 3-4 ropes going. On day, I hope, my climbing friends will buy more slings etc for anchors.
Cory F
From Blacksburg, VA
Joined Jun 20, 2016
8 points
Oct 4, 2016
There really isn't much of an advantage to using two slings instead of one, especially if the anchors aren't perfectly even to begin with (in that case you will be using a knot anyway). Lots of folks focus mainly on how safe an anchor is, but it is also important to focus on how easy to use it is. Double or quad length slings eliminate the need to use single length slings at anchors.

One way to create redundancy with one sling is careful use of an overhand knot or knots.
While you lose the sliding X (which IMHO is NOT an appropriate way to rig an anchor in 2016), there are two ways to use an overhand:

1. One knot placed where the anchors are evenly weighted to create a master point and a shelf. Be careful if you use the shelf to clip it correctly.

2. TWO knots, and you can vary the amount of shock vs. equalization by varying the distance between the two overhand knots. The following video is about using four strands of perlon cord, but you can just as easily rig a sling using the same technique. A big plus of the quad is that you don't have to tie and untie at each anchor if you are using bolts or ice screws as that system allows a bit of variability on where the anchors are (depending on how wide or narrow you space the two overhands).


Quad Anchor

Keep in mind that the material characteristics (i.e. Dyneema vs. Nylon) factor greatly into the forces you will apply to an anchor if it gets loaded hard (e.g. fall onto anchor) or an anchor point fails. I would strongly caution against using a sliding X with dyneema.

One other factor against the X is that the pocket it creates can be a pain in the ass to deal with, especially when you are clipping a lot of gear (packs, rack etc) and two or more climbers to it. The single overhand and especially the quad anchors create a much easier to use and organize belay.
coldfinger
Joined Oct 23, 2010
72 points


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