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tequilaboom


Jul 7, 2011, 11:19 AM
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Trad Belay Anchor
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Hey everyone,

I've read a few books about trad climbing/anchors and I have a question. When you are building a trad belay anchor, you set up at least 3 or 4 trad protection placements for a downward pull, right? (<--for when bringing up the follower) Also I read that it is a good idea to set another piece for an upward pull (<--for when belaying leader, if in case he falls, the belayer won't be pulled up a lot).

My question is, shouldn't there be much more than 1 upward directed anchor placement since there will be more force generated by a falling leader, than the force generated by a top belayed fallen second? To me, it seems like there should be as much emphasis on downward pull as on upward pull.

Is it because people conserve gear and can't afford to place more than 3 or 4 placements?

I'm totally new to trad, and haven't really tried any top belay situations, so maybe the answer will be more apparent once I do it.


Thanks everyone,


P.S. I did have a guide showing me the ropes, but unfortunately I forgot to ask him this question.


sbaclimber


Jul 7, 2011, 11:45 AM
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Re: [tequilaboom] Trad Belay Anchor [In reply to]
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tequilaboom wrote:
Also I read that it is a good idea to set another piece for an upward pull (<--for when belaying leader, if in case he falls, the belayer won't be pulled up a lot).

My question is, shouldn't there be much more than 1 upward directed anchor placement since there will be more force generated by a falling leader, than the force generated by a top belayed fallen second?
There *sort of* is.... The belayer.
You actually answered your own quesion in the first sentence above.Wink


tequilaboom


Jul 7, 2011, 12:07 PM
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oh damn, [sbaclimber], that's deep. I can't believe I didn't think of that...


Partner cracklover


Jul 7, 2011, 12:52 PM
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Re: [tequilaboom] Trad Belay Anchor [In reply to]
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SBA is right, but I'll go one step further. I pretty much never place an upward piece. If possible, I'll include in the anchor a cam placement that should work for an upward pull.

More important than an upward pull piece is having your anchor high. If your gear is 5 feet above your hips, then you have to be scraped ten feet up the wall before your rope will start to pull on the anchor.

Edited to add a link - See page 15: http://www.chauvinguides.com/Anchoring.PDF

GO


(This post was edited by cracklover on Jul 7, 2011, 12:56 PM)


sbaclimber


Jul 7, 2011, 1:10 PM
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cracklover wrote:
I pretty much never place an upward piece.
Ditto here. Only if I am looking at having to catch a factor >1 fall and/or if the leader is a real fat-ass. Angelic
Realistically, it is rare to be pulled up more than a foot or two, when not giving a dynamic belay and the climber/belayer are of similar weight, when catching any "normal" fall.
Although most of the info seems to be good (I didn't read all of it), the "Bad Angle" shown in Pic 19 (page 16) of the ^^ that PDF is a bit far fetched...
In order for it to be a true "bad angle", the force of catching the fall would have to pull the belayer directly out away from the vertical wall. I can only see this happening directly under a roof, and where the first pro is somewhere in or beyond the roof.


tequilaboom


Jul 7, 2011, 2:15 PM
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Yeah I read, the article - it was really interesting - for some reason I thought that having an upward pull anchor is a must...so in other words, it all depends on the situation.

Thanks for the help people!


notapplicable


Jul 7, 2011, 3:13 PM
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While I agree that upward directional pieces are generally not necessary and I rarely place them (perhaps two in the last year), I am going to advise a bit more caution on your part. At least for now.

I would encourage you to add a piece designed to take an upward pull if your anchor isn't multidirectional by design. Meaning it's not a slung tree or boulder or natural thread. A little extra caution will not hurt and after you have caught a few lead falls and seen for yourself what type of loads are exerted on the anchor, you can make an informed decision on how and when you will protect against unconventional anchor loading.

It's better to be cautious and humble at the start, than it is to make assumptions about how something as critical as your anchor will react when loaded in funny ways. Especially when you are still learning and your placements might not be 100% ideal.

That's my 2 cents anyway.


tequilaboom


Jul 7, 2011, 3:15 PM
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Great point - it doesn't take long to place an anchor, so why not, right?


notapplicable


Jul 7, 2011, 3:28 PM
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sbaclimber wrote:
Although most of the info seems to be good (I didn't read all of it), the "Bad Angle" shown in Pic 19 (page 16) of the ^^ that PDF is a bit far fetched...
In order for it to be a true "bad angle", the force of catching the fall would have to pull the belayer directly out away from the vertical wall. I can only see this happening directly under a roof, and where the first pro is somewhere in or beyond the roof.

I agree, there is nothing wrong with the way the anchor was arranged in that picture.

One alternative, and something I occasionally do, is to just pick the "best" piece in the anchor and place an opposing piece for it alone. Just like if you wanted to protect a critical pieces from lifting during a lead. Usually I try to use the lowest piece on the anchor because it will get loaded first if the belayer does get yanked up and can basically protect the higher placements from being loaded.


jacques


Jul 7, 2011, 7:46 PM
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tequilaboom wrote:
When you are building a trad belay anchor, you set up at least 3 or 4 trad protection placements for a downward pull, right? (<--for when bringing up the follower) Also I read that it is a good idea to set another piece for an upward pull (<--for when belaying leader, if in case he falls, the belayer won't be pulled up a lot).

the 3 or 4 pro is not only for when you bring up the follower. when you belay a leader, if you loose your stance you can pull the rope and your leader will fall.

When I do a belay, I try to have two ancor of 12KN, like two bolt. I want it multidirectionnel, but it is not always feasible. so, I protect in the direction of a fall. Some time, I can have more than a protection for an upward pull in one ancor.

I think that there is no exact rules to make a belay, except fighting gravity.


Partner cracklover


Jul 8, 2011, 9:28 AM
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Re: [notapplicable] Trad Belay Anchor [In reply to]
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notapplicable wrote:
sbaclimber wrote:
Although most of the info seems to be good (I didn't read all of it), the "Bad Angle" shown in Pic 19 (page 16) of the ^^ that PDF is a bit far fetched...
In order for it to be a true "bad angle", the force of catching the fall would have to pull the belayer directly out away from the vertical wall. I can only see this happening directly under a roof, and where the first pro is somewhere in or beyond the roof.

I agree, there is nothing wrong with the way the anchor was arranged in that picture.

Hmm... consider the situation if you're standing on a two foot wide belay ledge and the leader FF2s onto your harness. I think this could put tremendous force onto the anchor:



GO


sbaclimber


Jul 8, 2011, 10:26 AM
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Re: [cracklover] Trad Belay Anchor [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
sbaclimber wrote:
Although most of the info seems to be good (I didn't read all of it), the "Bad Angle" shown in Pic 19 (page 16) of the ^^ that PDF is a bit far fetched...
In order for it to be a true "bad angle", the force of catching the fall would have to pull the belayer directly out away from the vertical wall. I can only see this happening directly under a roof, and where the first pro is somewhere in or beyond the roof.

I agree, there is nothing wrong with the way the anchor was arranged in that picture.

Hmm... consider the situation if you're standing on a two foot wide belay ledge and the leader FF2s onto your harness. I think this could put tremendous force onto the anchor
Of course. That is essentially my roof example in reverse (or, turned on its head?).
In this case, notapplicable's technique of opposing only one piece in the anchor, or simply giving the "upward pull" piece a bit more slack, might be possible solutions...

On another note...
I don't know about you, but I personally try like the devil to avoid taking any FF2s directly onto my harness!Shocked
Having caught a rather hard fall while belaying my second off my harness from above, which due to an inadequately tightened anchor (total brainfart on my part Blush) pulled me headfirst off the ledge I was belaying from (which SUUUUUUUUUCKED!), I am constantly reminded to:
a) when belaying up a second off my harness (which I try to avoid, if possible), make sure the anchor is short and tight enough to keep me where I am, in case of a fall!
...and...
b) avoid at all costs catching a leader fall off my harness! Until the leader has clipped his/her first *good* pro, I generally have them redirected through the powerpoint. (obviously, there are occasional exceptions)


(This post was edited by sbaclimber on Jul 8, 2011, 10:41 AM)


johnwesely


Jul 8, 2011, 10:44 AM
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tequilaboom wrote:
Great point - it doesn't take long to place an anchor, so why not, right?

When I started traditional climbing, I would usually make overkill five piece anchors.


rescueman


Jul 8, 2011, 11:46 AM
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cracklover wrote:
Hmm... consider the situation if you're standing on a two foot wide belay ledge and the leader FF2s onto your harness. I think this could put tremendous force onto the anchor

Exactly what I was going to say. The vector forces on a tight high-low anchor like that can be enormous (like on a highline).

Of course the simplest way to avoid having to catch FF2 (or any) falls on your harness is to belay off the anchor, which makes partner rescue in the event of an accident much quicker and easier. Unless you know how to do a belay escape with a loaded belay, you shouldn't be belaying off your harness. And belaying a leader off the anchor requires upward-force resistance.

But, then again, unless you know how to do self-rescue and partner-rescue, you shouldn't be climbing.Wink


JimTitt


Jul 8, 2011, 12:41 PM
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cracklover wrote:

Hmm... consider the situation if you're standing on a two foot wide belay ledge and the leader FF2s onto your harness. I think this could put tremendous force onto the anchor:

[IMG]http://i53.tinypic.com/2r7vp1s.jpg[/IMG]

GO

Well, only such a tremendous force you can achieve with your chosen belay device so for most about 4 or 5kN. Re-direct and you be in the 10 region.
One has the choice!

Jim


sbaclimber


Jul 8, 2011, 1:00 PM
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JimTitt wrote:
cracklover wrote:

Hmm... consider the situation if you're standing on a two foot wide belay ledge and the leader FF2s onto your harness. I think this could put tremendous force onto the anchor:

[IMG]http://i53.tinypic.com/2r7vp1s.jpg[/IMG]

GO

Well, only such a tremendous force you can achieve with your chosen belay device so for most about 4 or 5kN. Re-direct and you be in the 10 region.
One has the choice!

Jim
As an admitted user of the redirect myself (my choice based on choosing a practical solution vs the tested-in-the-lab "safest" solution), I am curious as to what you and cracklover generally do.
Care to share?


Partner cracklover


Jul 8, 2011, 1:19 PM
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JimTitt wrote:
cracklover wrote:

Hmm... consider the situation if you're standing on a two foot wide belay ledge and the leader FF2s onto your harness. I think this could put tremendous force onto the anchor:



GO

Well, only such a tremendous force you can achieve with your chosen belay device so for most about 4 or 5kN. Re-direct and you be in the 10 region.
One has the choice!

Jim

Jim, I am not arguing for or against belaying on the harness. I am simply pointing out a potentially catastrophic problem with the upward pull piece integrated in the anchor.

GO


Partner cracklover


Jul 8, 2011, 1:21 PM
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sbaclimber wrote:
JimTitt wrote:
cracklover wrote:

Hmm... consider the situation if you're standing on a two foot wide belay ledge and the leader FF2s onto your harness. I think this could put tremendous force onto the anchor:

[IMG]http://i53.tinypic.com/2r7vp1s.jpg[/IMG]

GO

Well, only such a tremendous force you can achieve with your chosen belay device so for most about 4 or 5kN. Re-direct and you be in the 10 region.
One has the choice!

Jim
As an admitted user of the redirect myself (my choice based on choosing a practical solution vs the tested-in-the-lab "safest" solution), I am curious as to what you and cracklover generally do.
Care to share?

Sorry, what we do vis-a-vis what, exactly? Are we still talking about upward pull pieces, or whether to redirect off the anchor, or... what?

GO


sbaclimber


Jul 8, 2011, 1:34 PM
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cracklover wrote:
sbaclimber wrote:
JimTitt wrote:
cracklover wrote:

Hmm... consider the situation if you're standing on a two foot wide belay ledge and the leader FF2s onto your harness. I think this could put tremendous force onto the anchor:

[IMG]http://i53.tinypic.com/2r7vp1s.jpg[/IMG]

GO

Well, only such a tremendous force you can achieve with your chosen belay device so for most about 4 or 5kN. Re-direct and you be in the 10 region.
One has the choice!

Jim
As an admitted user of the redirect myself (my choice based on choosing a practical solution vs the tested-in-the-lab "safest" solution), I am curious as to what you and cracklover generally do.
Care to share?

Sorry, what we do vis-a-vis what, exactly? Are we still talking about upward pull pieces, or whether to redirect off the anchor, or... what?

GO
sorry, guess I wasn't clear.
Do you redirect off the anchor?


JimTitt


Jul 8, 2011, 2:10 PM
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Jeez, now Im confused!

I always belay off the harness, never redirect and dont bother with the upward pull bit. Im big and heavy.


Partner cracklover


Jul 8, 2011, 2:10 PM
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sbaclimber wrote:
cracklover wrote:
sbaclimber wrote:
JimTitt wrote:
cracklover wrote:

Hmm... consider the situation if you're standing on a two foot wide belay ledge and the leader FF2s onto your harness. I think this could put tremendous force onto the anchor:

[IMG]http://i53.tinypic.com/2r7vp1s.jpg[/IMG]

GO

Well, only such a tremendous force you can achieve with your chosen belay device so for most about 4 or 5kN. Re-direct and you be in the 10 region.
One has the choice!

Jim
As an admitted user of the redirect myself (my choice based on choosing a practical solution vs the tested-in-the-lab "safest" solution), I am curious as to what you and cracklover generally do.
Care to share?

Sorry, what we do vis-a-vis what, exactly? Are we still talking about upward pull pieces, or whether to redirect off the anchor, or... what?

GO
sorry, guess I wasn't clear.
Do you redirect off the anchor?

For belaying the leader, yes, usually.

I also belay with a TRE which is supposed to slip to maintain around 4kN IIRC.

GO


JimTitt


Jul 8, 2011, 2:16 PM
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cracklover wrote:

Jim, I am not arguing for or against belaying on the harness. I am simply pointing out a potentially catastrophic problem with the upward pull piece integrated in the anchor.

GO

Right, Im with you now. You are right if you tighten the lower piece up too much, luckily it seems Ive avoided this problem all my life by intrinsic laziness!

Jim


sbaclimber


Jul 8, 2011, 2:35 PM
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Thank you both for your answers. Satisfied my curiosity...Cool

I am starting to suspect just about no-one, even here in Germany, actually uses the technique recommended by the DAV (german alpine club)


Source: DAV Panoram 2009 vol 3

I know I don't, because feeding slack with an HMS or belay device at chest height or higher is an absolute PITA. And feeding a lot fast (more of a sport climbing issue) is pretty much impossible.


(This post was edited by sbaclimber on Jul 9, 2011, 2:28 AM)
Attachments: dav-belay.JPG (11.2 KB)


jacques


Jul 8, 2011, 5:08 PM
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sbaclimber wrote:
Having caught a rather hard fall while belaying my second off my harness from above, which due to an inadequately tightened anchor (total brainfart on my part Blush) pulled me headfirst off the ledge I was belaying from (which SUUUUUUUUUCKED!), I am constantly reminded to:
a) when belaying up a second off my harness (which I try to avoid, if possible), make sure the anchor is short and tight enough to keep me where I am, in case of a fall!
...and...
b) avoid at all costs catching a leader fall off my harness! Until the leader has clipped his/her first *good* pro, I generally have them redirected through the powerpoint. (obviously, there are occasional exceptions)

long time ago, they talk to be in abc and to avoid to make a triangle between the belay, the first pro and you.

when I belay or set the belay for a partner, I can place the pro above me instead of on the belay.


rescueman


Jul 8, 2011, 5:33 PM
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sbaclimber wrote:
I am starting to suspect just about no-one, even here in Germany, actually uses the technique recommended by the DAV (german alpine club)...I know I don't, because feeding slack with an HMS or belay device at chest height or higher is an absolute PITA.

You can use that same anchor system (three high and one low) with the belay off the anchor, with any kind of belay device. Don't have to use a Munter unless you're Italian (though Werner Munter was from Switzerland).


(This post was edited by rescueman on Jul 8, 2011, 7:38 PM)

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