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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
 

jakedatc


May 3, 2010, 9:51 AM
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Re: [xtrmecat] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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xtrmecat wrote:
kaizen wrote:
2. I almost always lower. There is no point in swinging around all nimbly bimbly from a fixed anchor on rap to clean some steep route, when I can easily clean it being lowered. I'm not sure why you think that lowering will cause so much damage to quicklinks, shuts, etc. As long as you aren't top roping through the anchor, the wear is minimal.

2b. What is the local ethic/what does the equipper want? I've only been to a dozen or so different areas in the US and Canada, but have never been to a place where rapping is desired off the anchor. I only know two people who equip routes, but neither person cares about lowering through the anchor, and they do it as well.

I equip routes, and most certainly would appreciate it it you either pitch in for top anchors, or rap. Local area ethics are to rap. All our areas in the closest 250 miles are like this also. Non rappers cause lots of wear, just because you don't do anything about it or look for it doesn't make it nonexistent.

To the dingus(no offence Dingus) who mentioned that he has never seen a collection at the top of a route he has done. We keep em with us, keeps cheepskates and thieves from helping themselves, ask around, everywhere I have been has locals who will gladly take contributions for anchor repair in their area, including ours. Ignorance is never an excuse.


Bob

The route developers i know at Rumney are fine with one person lowering off the route to clean it after the group has used their own draws. They have also moved to using large chain links attached to the bolts by large screw links. Similar to most set up's at the Red river gorge. I find this set up is a)beefier than quick clips and b) discourages TRing through the gear c) you can easily thread a bight through the bottom links and tie in on a 8 on a bight + locker and stay on belay while threading the anchors.

my draw set up on the left.. empty anchor on right (click to make bigger)



karmiclimber


May 3, 2010, 9:52 AM
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Re: [jmeizis] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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jmeizis wrote:
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?

Rapping seems standard in my current neck of the woods (RRG), but it wasn't when I lived in Oregon. Let me clarify what I am about to say by first stating LOL that I don't climb very hard (overhung) routes. I prefer rappelling to clean because I can easily see and stop when I need to, rather than relying on my partner. I also like being in control when I am cleaning a route.
Seeing as the RRG is an extremely popular place to climb and the mantra here is to never lower, as it wears out the bolts...I agree. Yes, replacing gear may be par for the course, but RRG is virtually a huge outdoor climbing gym with so many people coming through, if everyone lowered we'd burn through gear much faster.


karmiclimber


May 3, 2010, 10:02 AM
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Re: [j_ung] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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j_ung wrote:
Whether I lower, rappel or clean the route by following it depends entirely on the route and the type of anchor.

Edit: and sometimes the condition that anchor is in.

This is the best answer. I do think we should abide by local ethics as much as possible though.


karmiclimber


May 3, 2010, 10:08 AM
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Re: [cracklover] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
blueeyedclimber wrote:
j_ung wrote:
Whether I lower, rappel or clean the route by following it depends entirely on the route and the type of anchor.

Edit: and sometimes the condition that anchor is in.

You mean it's situational? IT can't be decided by a poll? That's Crazy Talk!!! Cool

What about if the poll is broken and completely meaningless. Can it be decided then?

GO

In this case, can I ask my gumby question that hijacks the thread? Um, what about wear on the rope from lowering? I'm just CURIOUS. Thank you.


jt512


May 3, 2010, 10:11 AM
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Re: [karmiclimber] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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karmiclimber wrote:
cracklover wrote:
blueeyedclimber wrote:
j_ung wrote:
Whether I lower, rappel or clean the route by following it depends entirely on the route and the type of anchor.

Edit: and sometimes the condition that anchor is in.

You mean it's situational? IT can't be decided by a poll? That's Crazy Talk!!! Cool

What about if the poll is broken and completely meaningless. Can it be decided then?

GO

In this case, can I ask my gumby question that hijacks the thread? Um, what about wear on the rope from lowering? I'm just CURIOUS. Thank you.

Your rope will wear out faster if you lower on it than if you always rap.

Jay


Partner cracklover


May 3, 2010, 11:08 AM
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Re: [jakedatc] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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jakedatc wrote:
my draw set up on the left.. empty anchor on right (click to make bigger)

^^^ Gumby! Ya clipped your draw on the last bolt in the wrong direction! Gate should be facing right!

Jake iz gonna dye!

GWink


johnwesely


May 3, 2010, 11:45 AM
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Re: [karmiclimber] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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karmiclimber wrote:

Rapping seems standard in my current neck of the woods (RRG), but it wasn't when I lived in Oregon.

I climbed at the Red for a month last summer and I did not see a single person rap off a route. Not one.


bill413


May 3, 2010, 11:50 AM
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Re: [johnwesely] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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I'm glad that
Other people think that the poll is broken. (Multiple choice, people!)
Other folks think that it's situational.


karmiclimber


May 3, 2010, 12:02 PM
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Re: [johnwesely] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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johnwesely wrote:
karmiclimber wrote:

Rapping seems standard in my current neck of the woods (RRG), but it wasn't when I lived in Oregon.

I climbed at the Red for a month last summer and I did not see a single person rap off a route. Not one.

Thats weird dude. I did not cut my teeth on climbing on this side of the country, so I did not know about it, until I heard locals talking at the gym, people around the campfire at Miguels, and some local partners talk about "never lowering." I dunno, thats just what I have heard. I could be wrong, I am still a RRG newb.


(This post was edited by karmiclimber on May 3, 2010, 12:02 PM)


johnwesely


May 3, 2010, 12:15 PM
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Re: [karmiclimber] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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karmiclimber wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
karmiclimber wrote:

Rapping seems standard in my current neck of the woods (RRG), but it wasn't when I lived in Oregon.

I climbed at the Red for a month last summer and I did not see a single person rap off a route. Not one.

Thats weird dude. I did not cut my teeth on climbing on this side of the country, so I did not know about it, until I heard locals talking at the gym, people around the campfire at Miguels, and some local partners talk about "never lowering." I dunno, thats just what I have heard. I could be wrong, I am still a RRG newb.

It might be more common on routes like the slabs at Roadside or other less steep routes. It is also possible that there has been a vast sea change in terms of lowering vs rappelling in the last 12 months. There is currently a poll of RRclimbing.com, it suggests that most people lower with only 22 percent of people replying "rappel always".


karmiclimber


May 3, 2010, 12:18 PM
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Re: [johnwesely] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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johnwesely wrote:
karmiclimber wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
karmiclimber wrote:

Rapping seems standard in my current neck of the woods (RRG), but it wasn't when I lived in Oregon.

I climbed at the Red for a month last summer and I did not see a single person rap off a route. Not one.

Thats weird dude. I did not cut my teeth on climbing on this side of the country, so I did not know about it, until I heard locals talking at the gym, people around the campfire at Miguels, and some local partners talk about "never lowering." I dunno, thats just what I have heard. I could be wrong, I am still a RRG newb.

It might be more common on routes like the slabs at Roadside or other less steep routes. It is also possible that there has been a vast sea change in terms of lowering vs rappelling in the last 12 months. There is currently a poll of RRclimbing.com, it suggests that most people lower with only 22 percent of people replying "rappel always".

Yeah, I don't climb very hard routes, like I said. Plus, I like rappelling, so I didn't mind. I'll have to go back and read through the thread as to why lowering is better...even if I trust my belay partner, it always feel s better to have my life in my own hands. Maybe because I am a control freak, lol.


lena_chita
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May 3, 2010, 12:54 PM
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Re: [karmiclimber] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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karmiclimber wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
karmiclimber wrote:

Rapping seems standard in my current neck of the woods (RRG), but it wasn't when I lived in Oregon.

I climbed at the Red for a month last summer and I did not see a single person rap off a route. Not one.

Thats weird dude. I did not cut my teeth on climbing on this side of the country, so I did not know about it, until I heard locals talking at the gym, people around the campfire at Miguels, and some local partners talk about "never lowering." I dunno, thats just what I have heard. I could be wrong, I am still a RRG newb.

We must be climbing at the different Reds. I'm climbing the same one as John...

In Muir Valley, I believe the Webers would like people to rappel on vertical/slabby routes, to save the wear on the anchors, and lower on steep climbs where cleaning on rappel is not optimal and could result in bad swing/hitting something/broken limbs.


karmiclimber


May 3, 2010, 1:06 PM
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Re: [lena_chita] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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Look Lena...I flat out said I was repeating what I had heard and that I am a RRG newb. I am not the only one in the thread who has heard the same thing:

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.

I just want to abide by the local ethics, thats all. I already agreed with what J_ung posted. And I don't know why you always get all b1tchy on my ass...


lena_chita
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May 3, 2010, 1:31 PM
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Re: [karmiclimber] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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karmiclimber wrote:
Look Lena...I flat out said I was repeating what I had heard and that I am a RRG newb. I am not the only one in the thread who has heard the same thing:

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.

I just want to abide by the local ethics, thats all. I already agreed with what J_ung posted. And I don't know why you always get all b1tchy on my ass...

Sorry?

Did I attack you or bitch at you in any way? Were you responding to my post?

I thought my post said that in Muir Valley the owners prefer people to rap off the anchors on vertical climbs and lower on big overhangs. And you rap --presumably on vertical routes -- so how is that an attack on you?


Gmburns2000


May 3, 2010, 1:40 PM
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Re: [jakedatc] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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jakedatc wrote:
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.

I've given a climber a fireman's while they were cleaning a somewhat steep sport route. They decided to rap because lowering meant the rope could run over a sharp edge. They did swing out a bit when they unclipped their gear, but I was able to keep them from swinging too far simply by holding the rope.

Maybe I'm misinterpreting what you're saying, but I don't think it would be that difficult to avoid a swing on rappel if someone is there for a fireman's.


Gmburns2000


May 3, 2010, 1:49 PM
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Re: [cjon3s] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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cjon3s wrote:

When lowering, you never have to untie from the rope.

depends on if there are quick clips at the top or on the size of the quicklink. If you can't just clip in or pass a bight, then you've got to untie.


cjon3s


May 3, 2010, 1:53 PM
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Re: [Gmburns2000] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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That's true, but you can easily pull up some rope and clip in with a figure eight on a bight. Then you can rely on the bolts from the entire climb to protect your ass. When rapping, you must completely untie from rope.


jakedatc


May 3, 2010, 2:01 PM
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
jakedatc wrote:
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.

I've given a climber a fireman's while they were cleaning a somewhat steep sport route. They decided to rap because lowering meant the rope could run over a sharp edge. They did swing out a bit when they unclipped their gear, but I was able to keep them from swinging too far simply by holding the rope.

Maybe I'm misinterpreting what you're saying, but I don't think it would be that difficult to avoid a swing on rappel if someone is there for a fireman's.

If you are swinging around on rappel i'm going to guess that the benefits of it not running over an edge are going to be diminished since you're not going to be able to keep the rope in one spot.

I agree with Lena and John about RRG.. We would rap if the last person was TRing it and cleaning the draws/gear on the way up but other was it was lower off and clean. It is way faster to lower also.. which at a busy crag is useful. if someone is rapping down a steep route and taking forever i'm going to get pretty annoyed waiting when they couuld have just lowered off quicker.


ClimbClimb


May 3, 2010, 7:06 PM
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johnwesely wrote:
ClimbClimb wrote:
...I think the most important thing is not lowering through bolts.
Who is lowering directly through the bolts? That sounds like a pretty bad idea.

I don't think anyone is, I was actually just saying the same thing you -- it's the one thing about the lowering vs. rapping where everyone will probably agree.

I actually wonder if the whole "rap instead of lower" ethic was really meant to apply to lowering through bolts, but got misinterpreted to rings on chains, quicklinks, and other "disposables".


johnwesely


May 3, 2010, 8:13 PM
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ClimbClimb wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
ClimbClimb wrote:
...I think the most important thing is not lowering through bolts.
Who is lowering directly through the bolts? That sounds like a pretty bad idea.

I don't think anyone is, I was actually just saying the same thing you -- it's the one thing about the lowering vs. rapping where everyone will probably agree.

I actually wonder if the whole "rap instead of lower" ethic was really meant to apply to lowering through bolts, but got misinterpreted to rings on chains, quicklinks, and other "disposables".

Thanks for clarifying.


jmeizis


May 4, 2010, 4:57 PM
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A few things:

If you lower through the anchors, impressionable climbers may not realize that you are only lowering and might think you were toproping through the anchors (hence the reason it happens so often, at least here).

Toproping through the anchors is most damaging during the lowering part of the cycle, when the rope is weighted.

Climbing areas near population centers with abrasive rock will wear out anchor equipment faster than places with less climber traffic. Especially if those areas feature large groups and lots of gumbies who toprope through the anchors. Local equippers here have chopped rings and removed quicklinks to force climbers to rappel and keep them from toproping through the anchors.

Sometimes it may be more beneficial to lower to avoid damaging your rope such as if it's loaded over a sharp edge because of distributing the wear to different parts of the rope or it may cause more damage by causing lots of rope abrasion where it wasn't necessary. Overall it sounds like it's situational but it also sounds like most of the time it's not a huge inconvenience or much of a risk (any more so than is ever present with climbing) to just rappel.

The rope wear is negligible for one person but adds up and it seems like a major inconvenience for route equippers to have to go back and repair other climbs when they could be having fun climbing or scoping out new climbs.


shu2kill


May 5, 2010, 7:02 AM
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on the gym where i climb, we teach everybody to rappel and clean the route while rappelling. this is because it seems every route here has different anchors, some allow you to be lowered, some dont. so if everybody knows how to rappel and is used to it, it doesnt matters what anchor they encounter at the top, they will know what to do.....

we have had people get to the top and then do not know how to rappel, so they cannot clean the anchor and one of us has to go up to clean. also sometimes we have had to lower someone on routes that create excesive rope drag that could be avoided if the climber knew how to setup a rappel and get himself down.... so now, everybody has to know how to clean the anchor and rappel down, even if they dont lead....


ClimbClimb


May 5, 2010, 2:37 PM
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Re: [shu2kill] Rappelling or Lowering Through Bolted Anchors [In reply to]
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Wait, your *gym* requires people to rappell b.c. you don't have anchors that can take the horrible abuse of top-roping?


jt512


May 5, 2010, 2:41 PM
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shu2kill wrote:
on the gym where i climb, we teach everybody to rappel and clean the route while rappelling. this is because it seems every route here has different anchors, some allow you to be lowered, some dont.

What kind of anchors do you have that you can't lower off of?

Jay


shu2kill


May 5, 2010, 2:43 PM
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ClimbClimb wrote:
Wait, your *gym* requires people to rappell b.c. you don't have anchors that can take the horrible abuse of top-roping?

sorry if its confusing, i didnt explain well. our gym teaches everyone to know how to rappel, and thats what we do OUTDOORS. in the gym we have some anchors set at 10 feet to teach the techniques and for the new people to practice, but opf course the gym has top roping anchors, and 4 leading lines... but we teach people to rappel for when we go out...

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