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Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors
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Poll: Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors
Rappelling is safer 5 / 6%
Lowering is safer 26 / 32%
Rappelling is better for preserving the integrity of bolted anchors (including chains, quicklinks, rap hangers, and regular hangers) 49 / 61%
Lowering is better for preserving the integrity of bolted anchors (including chains, quicklinks, rap hangers, and regular hangers)  0 / 0%
80 total votes
 

jmeizis


May 2, 2010, 5:00 PM
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Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors
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This is something I wanted to know after reading about people lowering through the anchors in another thread. The thought in that thread was that it was generally safer to lower and that it was the purpose of the bolted anchors being there in the first place.

I disagreed for two reasons. First I don't believe rappelling off of a bomber bolted anchor is less safe than being lowered from that anchor Given that the climber takes reasonable precautions to protect themselves on rappel (using a fireman's, friction hitch, etc). Regardless of what the situation of the route may be (traversing, overhanging, whatever). All the accidents involving climbers getting dropped from the anchors seems to support this, although not all of them were when climbers were cleaning the anchors. Secondly I think it's neither courteous or safe to lower through the anchor setup, whatever that may be. It causes wear to the equipment (though negligible it will add up over time), and someone has to replace it which requires, time, money, and effort. If someone doesn't replace it then eventually some unsuspecting soul who doesn't inspect the anchor equipment may take the big drop when they go to lower through the anchor.

I've seen both occur frequently at different areas in different parts of the country and it's curious to hear different reasoning. So what's your opinion? Anybody got any hard evidence to back up whether there are more accidents from peopel being lowered or rappelling?

Dammit, didn't make it to make multiple selections. How come I can't edit that like my post?


(This post was edited by jmeizis on May 2, 2010, 5:02 PM)


johnwesely


May 2, 2010, 5:14 PM
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Re: [jmeizis] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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I lower. I do it because it is faster and accepted practice at the place I climb. I have seen maybe one or two people rappelling off sport routes in the SE. If I climbed somewhere were I was expected to rappel, I would probably do that. I really don't think that wear is an issue with free rotating rings. It is more of an issue with quicklinks, but those are much more easily replaced.


shockabuku


May 2, 2010, 5:28 PM
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Re: [jmeizis] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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The safety of either technique resides in the competence of the people involved. Assuming mastery of both tasks on the part of the climber and belayer, I suspect it doesn't matter. It's not like rapelling accidents are unheard of.

In regards to the second issue, certainly rapping is easier on the anchors. But so what? If it's not an issue, don't make it one. Hardware wears out, it gets replaced. If the people who put it there did so with the assumption that it would wear out then it's all good.


carabiner96


May 2, 2010, 5:34 PM
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Re: [shockabuku] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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I started climbing in a place where it was standard practice to rap. I went somewhere else, and got looked at as if I had three eyes when I rapped down.


Partner climboard


May 2, 2010, 5:46 PM
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Re: [jmeizis] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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I see far more people lower where I climb. Cleaning steep sport routes on rappel isn't really practical and wear due to being lowered is negligible.


jakedatc


May 2, 2010, 5:47 PM
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Re: [carabiner96] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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carabiner96 wrote:
I started climbing in a place where it was standard practice to rap. I went somewhere else, and got looked at as if I had three eyes when I rapped down.

You have three eyes!? ;)


If i need to down clean the route then i lower.

If it has quick clips and the rope runs nice i lower.

If i don't need to down clean it and am threading anyway then i rap

If the rope runs over an edge then i'll make sure someone TRs it and then rap's

TR on your own gear then the rest is situational. 1 lower or rap per group is negligible wear on the gear.


jmeizis


May 2, 2010, 5:47 PM
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Re: [shockabuku] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Hardware wears out, it gets replaced.
If that were the case then nobody would ever see severely grooved rings, links, or chains. But they do. I think this applies to the idea that one person lowering causes negligible wear. Which is true, but then again if I throw a piece of trash out the window it's just a piece of litter, if everyone does it then it becomes a landfill.


(This post was edited by jmeizis on May 2, 2010, 5:57 PM)


shockabuku


May 2, 2010, 5:51 PM
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Re: [jmeizis] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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jmeizis wrote:
In reply to:
Hardware wears out, it gets replaced.
If that were the case then nobody would ever see severely grooved rings, links, or chains. But they do.

When does "severely grooved" require replacement? I've never seen it bad enough that I didn't trust the stuff enough to lower off of. YMMV.


jmeizis


May 2, 2010, 5:59 PM
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Re: [shockabuku] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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It doesn't happen that often, but it does happen. Either way, why should someone else have to pay to replace the stuff because other people won't just rappel when they're done with a climb?


altelis


May 2, 2010, 6:03 PM
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Re: [jmeizis] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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I think that hands down it is generally safer to lower when cleaning a steep sport or traversing route.


shockabuku


May 2, 2010, 6:04 PM
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Re: [jmeizis] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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jmeizis wrote:
It doesn't happen that often, but it does happen. Either way, why should someone else have to pay to replace the stuff because other people won't just rappel when they're done with a climb?

I'll say again, "If the people who put it there did so with the assumption that it would wear out ..." then that's why. Each area has its own rules. Why are you trying to make the world conform to your idea of correctness?


johnwesely


May 2, 2010, 6:08 PM
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Re: [jmeizis] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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jmeizis wrote:
It doesn't happen that often, but it does happen. Either way, why should someone else have to pay to replace the stuff because other people won't just rappel when they're done with a climb?

I can't imagine how many people would have to lower through fixe rings for them to need to be replaced. I imagine that the cost of doing so is a fraction of a cent per lower. The developer knows if people rap or lower at an area before they equip a route. I know that a lot of anchors in the south are maintained by the community, so if things need replacing we are the ones paying for it. Everyone still lowers.


jmeizis


May 2, 2010, 6:21 PM
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Re: [altelis] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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How do you figure?


jmeizis


May 2, 2010, 6:24 PM
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Re: [johnwesely] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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In the west where ropes get covered in sand it doesn't take that long, sometimes less than a year, which granted is probably a fraction of a cent per lower but I've never seen a paybox at the top of a route where I could chip in my penny per lower.

I'm not trying to get people to conform to my way of thinking, hence the reason for a poll. I do have my own opinion though. Beyond that, what happens when people coming from an area that they lower through the anchors all the time go to an area where people rappel all the time?


(This post was edited by jmeizis on May 2, 2010, 6:26 PM)


altelis


May 2, 2010, 6:29 PM
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jmeizis wrote:
How do you figure?

How do you not figure? Cleaning steep sport routes while on rapel quickly becomes dangerous, trying to suck in toward the draw, twist your body to be able to reach bolts, etc.

Sure its doable, but why taunt fate like that? I rarely see people cleaning steep sport on rapel, both out west and back east...


lena_chita
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May 2, 2010, 6:31 PM
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Re: [jmeizis] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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Funny, I recently asked the same thing in a different forum...

I much prefer lowering, though I was taught to rappel when I first learned.

I contribute money towards rebolting at places where I climb often, and I carry some 'biners that can be left at the anchors if the rings are too bad. Many steeper routes are equiped with drop-ins or 'biners at the top, which tells me that the route equipper was thinking of, and planning for, people lowering off the anchors.

Bottom line, it depends on the nature of the rock and local practice.

A local quarry has some bolted routes, and the people who maintain it prefer lowering, for example, and even toprope through the anchors... they put the anchors there, they replace them (and they are super-diligent about it), their choice.

At another small area in PA that i once visited, the person who showed us around was very specific about rapping off. No problem. When in Rome...


jakedatc


May 2, 2010, 6:39 PM
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jmeizis wrote:
How do you figure?

You don't know why lowering to clean a steep or traversing sport route is safer on lower than on rap>? you really are a fucking noob aren't you.

I saw someone take a 30+ foot swing into trees and rocks because they unclipped their tram (similar to unclipping the last draw while on rap) on this route



Swapped this out on the 2nd bolt of a steep route that gets projected a bunch.. ie a bunch of falling/lowering. Also used the rap rings instead of the quick links to lower off a very popular .9 that unfortunately people TR through the quick links instead of putting up their own draws and they looked worse than the biner. (hopefully someone cuts off the QL and leaves the rings soon)


so like i said. one lower per group is par for the course and expected. Top roping through the gear puts a lot more strain


johnwesely


May 2, 2010, 6:50 PM
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Re: [jmeizis] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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jmeizis wrote:
In the west where ropes get covered in sand it doesn't take that long, sometimes less than a year, which granted is probably a fraction of a cent per lower but I've never seen a paybox at the top of a route where I could chip in my penny per lower.

Maybe you could get people in Colorado and make an organization that does fixed hardware maintenance. I am sure that if it is as big of a problem as you claim, people would love to join.


pdpcardsfan


May 2, 2010, 6:51 PM
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Re: [jmeizis] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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I climb in the Red, I donate to the RRGCC, but I would find it rude and self centered of me to lower thru the anchors regardless of their nature. What right do I have to purposely increase the wear on something, no matter how small the wear might be? I agree with the the person who said "if someone throws 1 peice of garbage out their window its litter, if everyone does it it's a landfill". Personal choice of mine.


jakedatc


May 2, 2010, 6:59 PM
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Re: [pdpcardsfan] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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pdpcardsfan wrote:
I climb in the Red, I donate to the RRGCC, but I would find it rude and self centered of me to lower thru the anchors regardless of their nature. What right do I have to purposely increase the wear on something, no matter how small the wear might be? I agree with the the person who said "if someone throws 1 peice of garbage out their window its litter, if everyone does it it's a landfill". Personal choice of mine.


you will find out when you get on something more overhanging.

I would challenge you to down clean many of the routes at the red on rappel.


jmeizis


May 2, 2010, 6:59 PM
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Re: [altelis] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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It's just as easy as tramming in with a quickdraw. The only difference is you should use a backup and have your belayer pull you in on the side clipped through the draws. I don't feel like I'm taunting fate when I do this.


jakedatc


May 2, 2010, 7:01 PM
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jmeizis wrote:
It's just as easy as tramming in with a quickdraw. The only difference is you should use a backup and have your belayer pull you in on the side clipped through the draws. I don't feel like I'm taunting fate when I do this.

please stay out west and gumby guide noobs on gumby climbs. k thnx. East coast does not want you back.


jmeizis


May 2, 2010, 7:02 PM
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Re: [jakedatc] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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In reply to:
You don't know why lowering to clean a steep or traversing sport route is safer on lower than on rap>? you really are a fucking noob aren't you.

Wow there, who shoved something up your ass there cowboy. The same thing would happen while lowering. As soon as you unclip the tram you'd swing out. If you unclipped that last draw and still had the tram draw connected on the belayers side of the rope then you'd just pull them off their feet ya noob.


(This post was edited by jmeizis on May 2, 2010, 7:03 PM)


jakedatc


May 2, 2010, 7:14 PM
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Re: [jmeizis] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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jmeizis wrote:
In reply to:
You don't know why lowering to clean a steep or traversing sport route is safer on lower than on rap>? you really are a fucking noob aren't you.

Wow there, who shoved something up your ass there cowboy. The same thing would happen while lowering. As soon as you unclip the tram you'd swing out. If you unclipped that last draw and still had the tram draw connected on the belayers side of the rope then you'd just pull them off their feet ya noob.

being on belay gives you alot more options than on rappel.. If your belayer is ready for it holding the jolt from swinging with the tram attached isn't that hard. You can also climb up a bit to a spot with less swing. on rap you're going for a swing. Being able to be hands free and able to rotate in many directions on belay can be really useful. I've been horizontal and almost inverted getting draws back before.


jmeizis


May 2, 2010, 7:19 PM
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Re: [jakedatc] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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I guess I'm confused why I can clean on rappel with both hands but other people can't. Granted it's all easier on rappel because someone else is doing the work, but it only seems slightly less convenient and no less safe. By the way I'll be back east for a few weeks in Sep/Oct. I'll be hitting Rumney for a day or two so hopefully you'll be there to laugh at me when I clean everything on rappel.

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