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Personal Anchor / Belay Off The Shelf?
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Poll: Personal Anchor / Belay Off The Shelf?
Never - always use the power point. 5 / 25%
Okay as a personal attachment 10 / 50%
Belaying second from above is okay 3 / 15%
Belaying leader from below is okay 2 / 10%
20 total votes
 

billl7


Dec 6, 2011, 6:56 AM
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Personal Anchor / Belay Off The Shelf?
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Other than Option 1, consider latter options as including earlier options. For example, selecting Option 3 means you also are okay with Option 2 but not Option 4.

Some orientation to be clear about the question (but jump right to the question if the situation seems obvious based on the title and options - it probably is) ...

This concerns a belay anchor rigged together with a standard knotted cordelette.

There is the power point which is the multi-stranded loop that becomes isolated by tying the knot. Also, there are no other knots or hitches other than this main knot plus the one that joins the cord ends - usually a double fishermans.

And then there is the shelf which, for this thread, concerns the pairs of strands that extend between the biner at every piece and the knot. In other words, the shelf is on the "other side" of the knot with respect to the power point.

Clipping the shelf in this thread means clipping one strand of every pair of strands with a locker for the purpose of personal attachment. Hopefully this is the common understanding - not certain.

Assume that all belays are off the harness. Also assume this is a ~typical route where the anchor is vertically aligned with the last pitch below and the next pitch above.

The question: What is acceptable or not acceptable with regard to personal anchor attachment? Pros? Cons? What's the best practice?

Bill L

P.S. An option's existence does not mean I personally accept it.

Edit: the anchor includes at least two pieces of protection.


(This post was edited by billl7 on Dec 6, 2011, 7:05 AM)


shockabuku


Dec 6, 2011, 7:13 AM
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Re: [billl7] Personal Anchor / Belay Off The Shelf? [In reply to]
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I think the 3rd and 4th choices need more illumination.

Does belaying the follower from above mean the belayer/belay device is above the power-point so that the weight of a hanging second is directly on the belayer?

Does belaying the leader from below mean the belayer/belay device is below the power-point and there's no upward directional so that the anchor doesn't take any of the fall force?


billl7


Dec 6, 2011, 7:16 AM
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shockabuku wrote:
Does belaying the leader from below mean the belayer/belay device is below the power-point and there's no upward directional so that the anchor doesn't take any of the fall force?

Thanks for asking. That is not what I intended.

Belaying the leader from below simply means the belayer is anchored below the leader. It doesn't mean anything with respect to how the belayer is attached to the anchor.

Same for belaying a second from above. It just means the belayer is above the second.

Bill L

Edit: As for an upward pull piece, assume there is one there if it is needed. Also, the lead rope goes from the belay device up to the first piece placed on lead.


(This post was edited by billl7 on Dec 6, 2011, 7:20 AM)


northfacejmb


Dec 6, 2011, 8:02 AM
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Re: [billl7] Personal Anchor / Belay Off The Shelf? [In reply to]
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I've seen it both ways i.e. belaying or being anchored on the shelf.

I usually end up belaying a second off the shelf because I use an auto bloc belay device directly off the anchor and it makes it slightly easier to pull slack when the device is higher.

http://books.google.com/...ge&q&f=false


(This post was edited by northfacejmb on Dec 6, 2011, 8:02 AM)


shockabuku


Dec 6, 2011, 8:18 AM
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billl7 wrote:
shockabuku wrote:
Does belaying the leader from below mean the belayer/belay device is below the power-point and there's no upward directional so that the anchor doesn't take any of the fall force?

Thanks for asking. That is not what I intended.

Belaying the leader from below simply means the belayer is anchored below the leader. It doesn't mean anything with respect to how the belayer is attached to the anchor.

Same for belaying a second from above. It just means the belayer is above the second.

Bill L

Edit: As for an upward pull piece, assume there is one there if it is needed. Also, the lead rope goes from the belay device up to the first piece placed on lead.

I still feel like I'm missing something. How else would you belay the leader other than from below them?


billl7


Dec 6, 2011, 8:22 AM
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shockabuku wrote:
I still feel like I'm missing something. How else would you belay the leader other than from below them?
Imagine a traversing pitch. Or even a pitch that initially involves some climbing downward (rare I know).


shockabuku


Dec 6, 2011, 8:38 AM
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billl7 wrote:
shockabuku wrote:
I still feel like I'm missing something. How else would you belay the leader other than from below them?
Imagine a traversing pitch. Or even a pitch that initially involves some climbing downward (rare I know).

Okay, got it. Just to point out however, that is contra-indicated by this statement "Also assume this is a ~typical route where the anchor is vertically aligned with the last pitch below and the next pitch above. "

I guess that changes my answer relative to the last two options.

Edit: No, I guess it doesn't change my answer but it may require some adjustments to the protection scheme.


(This post was edited by shockabuku on Dec 6, 2011, 8:39 AM)


moose_droppings


Dec 6, 2011, 8:40 AM
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Most of the time I'll use the master point. There are times when I get to the belay and my partner may have more than himself clipped to the MP, then I might use the shelf. This also goes for when there is more than one person also attached to the MP. I don't like it when people are clipping or unclipping themselves or something else from the MP when I'm attached to the MP. I've been unclipped accidently by someone thinking they were unclipping themselves or something else attached to the MP. Clipping myself into the shelf helps a bit in preventing my being accidentally unclipped.

grammer edit


(This post was edited by moose_droppings on Dec 6, 2011, 8:42 AM)


billl7


Dec 6, 2011, 8:42 AM
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shockabuku wrote:
billl7 wrote:
shockabuku wrote:
I still feel like I'm missing something. How else would you belay the leader other than from below them?
Imagine a traversing pitch. Or even a pitch that initially involves some climbing downward (rare I know).

Okay, got it. Just to point out however, that is contra-indicated by this statement "Also assume this is a ~typical route where the anchor is vertically aligned with the last pitch below and the next pitch above. "

I thought you were just generally asking how a belay for a leader could be anything but from below. My answer was an example of how it could; at the same time, that example is not within the context of this poll.


bearbreeder


Dec 6, 2011, 10:20 AM
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i use whatever is available ... often it means the masterpoint for the lead belays, and the shelf for either clipping in or belaying a second (if i want the autoblock to be a bit higher) or redirect

ive always been told and taught that the shelf is basically a strong as the masterpoint for all practical purposes ... so for me it doesnt matter

on muti these days though i usually use a big honking biner for everything as the master ... makes it easier


billl7


Dec 7, 2011, 6:17 AM
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A sort of summary of comments so far ...

Current voting stands at
1: 4
2: 4
3: 1
4: 2

One reason given for personally anchoring into the shelf is to avoid someone else accidently unclipping your locker - the idea is it better separates and distinguishes your personal attachment from someone else's at the master point.

Another couple comments mention attaching the belay device to shelf for belaying a second - the added height can make belaying easier (probably for when using an ATC Guide directly off the anchor unless I misunderstood).

Craig Luebben considers a redirect of the belay via the shelf acceptable as noted in his "Rock Climbing: Mastering Basic Skills", so long as there is a carabiner clipped into the master point. (information courtesy of northfacejmb).

And my personal opinions ...

Regarding belaying a second from the shelf, I'm uncomfortable with loading a knot non-optimally to catch fall forces from a second. Same for using the shelf as a personal attachment since a slip at the anchor can generate forces higher than most falls by a second. In other rigging situations, I've been on the opposite side of the fence about non-optimal loading so can't say I'm consistent in this regard.

I'll add that I don't belay with an ATC Guide out of personal preference.

Lead belaying directly off the shelf (or a harness belay while personally anchored to the shelf) seems ill-advised since an upward pull could have odd effects on the anchor rigging due to the locker sliding upward. ... not that anyone specifically suggested this arrangement.

Thanks for all the comments! Anymore out there?

Bill L


ianwatson


Dec 12, 2011, 9:37 AM
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I like attaching my PAS to the top, then belay with a guide from the master point in guide mode makes for a cleaner option (also have the master point higher then me a tad. I have recently just been cliping my pas to the master at desired length and then belaying off my harness ( i think this way is the fastest). If the rock is steep and the rope can run smooth i prefer the 1st option, all else i will go with the second. I picked option 2.


blueeyedclimber


Dec 23, 2011, 4:50 AM
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I don't understand your poll.

It seems to me you are asking 3 separate questions. How do people attach themselves to the anchor, how do people belay a second, and how do people belay a leader?

My answers are clove hitch with rope, it depends, and off my harness.

Am I missing something?

Josh


billl7


Dec 23, 2011, 5:21 AM
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blueeyedclimber wrote:
I don't understand your poll.

It seems to me you are asking 3 separate questions. How do people attach themselves to the anchor, how do people belay a second, and how do people belay a leader?

My answers are clove hitch with rope, it depends, and off my harness.

Am I missing something?

Josh
I suspect what you missed was this?

"Other than Option 1, consider latter options as including earlier options. For example, selecting Option 3 means you also are okay with Option 2 but not Option 4. "


blueeyedclimber


Dec 23, 2011, 6:20 AM
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billl7 wrote:
blueeyedclimber wrote:
I don't understand your poll.

It seems to me you are asking 3 separate questions. How do people attach themselves to the anchor, how do people belay a second, and how do people belay a leader?

My answers are clove hitch with rope, it depends, and off my harness.

Am I missing something?

Josh
I suspect what you missed was this?

"Other than Option 1, consider latter options as including earlier options. For example, selecting Option 3 means you also are okay with Option 2 but not Option 4. "

I read it. It doesn't make any sense.


blueeyedclimber


Dec 23, 2011, 6:26 AM
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blueeyedclimber wrote:
billl7 wrote:
blueeyedclimber wrote:
I don't understand your poll.

It seems to me you are asking 3 separate questions. How do people attach themselves to the anchor, how do people belay a second, and how do people belay a leader?

My answers are clove hitch with rope, it depends, and off my harness.

Am I missing something?

Josh
I suspect what you missed was this?

"Other than Option 1, consider latter options as including earlier options. For example, selecting Option 3 means you also are okay with Option 2 but not Option 4. "

I read it. It doesn't make any sense.

Actually, I think I get what you're asking now, but the above doesn't make it clearer, it makes it more confusing. Option 3 and 4 are separate things so why would choosing one eliminate the other?

Josh


billl7


Dec 23, 2011, 6:43 AM
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blueeyedclimber wrote:
Option 3 and 4 are separate things so why would choosing one eliminate the other?

If one is comfortable with a lead belay off of the shelf (whether device is on the shelf or via personal attachment to harness belay), one ought also to be comfortable belaying a second off the shelf where the potential forces are much lower. So choosing Option 4 assumes Option 3 is a given.

Maybe I should have labeled them "Levels" instead of "Options".

On the other hand, because a lead belay can see much higher forces, some here would be less comfortable with that on the shelf but still are okay with belaying a second off the shelf. So choosing Option 3 excludes Option 4.

At least that was my original thinking. Perhaps not the best way to do the poll.

Bill L


blueeyedclimber


Dec 23, 2011, 6:50 AM
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billl7 wrote:
blueeyedclimber wrote:
Option 3 and 4 are separate things so why would choosing one eliminate the other?

If one is comfortable with a lead belay off of the shelf (whether device is on the shelf or via personal attachment to harness belay), one ought also to be comfortable belaying a second off the shelf where the potential forces are much lower. So choosing Option 4 assumes Option 3 is a given.

Maybe I should have labeled them "Levels" instead of "Options".

On the other hand, because a lead belay can see much higher forces, some here would be less comfortable with that on the shelf but still are okay with belaying a second off the shelf. So choosing Option 3 excludes Option 4.

At least that was my original thinking. Perhaps not the best way to do the poll.

Bill L

It was a confusing poll, at best. But I am starting to get where you are coming from. Since you brought it up, however, I know in Europe, they sometimes belay a leader off the anchor, but I think it is a dangerous practice. For one, it is much harder to contol the direction of pull. That might not matter with 2 beefy bolts, but with your "standard" gear anchor it could dangerously compromise it.

Josh


ianwatson


Dec 23, 2011, 7:39 AM
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blueeyedclimber wrote:
billl7 wrote:
blueeyedclimber wrote:
Option 3 and 4 are separate things so why would choosing one eliminate the other?

If one is comfortable with a lead belay off of the shelf (whether device is on the shelf or via personal attachment to harness belay), one ought also to be comfortable belaying a second off the shelf where the potential forces are much lower. So choosing Option 4 assumes Option 3 is a given.

Maybe I should have labeled them "Levels" instead of "Options".

On the other hand, because a lead belay can see much higher forces, some here would be less comfortable with that on the shelf but still are okay with belaying a second off the shelf. So choosing Option 3 excludes Option 4.

At least that was my original thinking. Perhaps not the best way to do the poll.

Bill L

It was a confusing poll, at best. But I am starting to get where you are coming from. Since you brought it up, however, I know in Europe, they sometimes belay a leader off the anchor, but I think it is a dangerous practice. For one, it is much harder to contol the direction of pull. That might not matter with 2 beefy bolts, but with your "standard" gear anchor it could dangerously compromise it.

Josh


I got confused I believe, I responded as if i was belaying a 2nd up to me not one climbing above me. if one was climbing above me then I would not choose the top shelf i would be into the master point belaying off my harness. If someone is seconding me then I am not worried as much on the direction of pull due to it basically being a toprope and if my anchor cant hold a slight fall/pendulum then it sucks anyways.


Partner j_ung


Dec 23, 2011, 9:08 AM
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billl7 wrote:
Other than Option 1, consider latter options as including earlier options. For example, selecting Option 3 means you also are okay with Option 2 but not Option 4.

Some orientation to be clear about the question (but jump right to the question if the situation seems obvious based on the title and options - it probably is) ...

This concerns a belay anchor rigged together with a standard knotted cordelette.

There is the power point which is the multi-stranded loop that becomes isolated by tying the knot. Also, there are no other knots or hitches other than this main knot plus the one that joins the cord ends - usually a double fishermans.

And then there is the shelf which, for this thread, concerns the pairs of strands that extend between the biner at every piece and the knot. In other words, the shelf is on the "other side" of the knot with respect to the power point.

Clipping the shelf in this thread means clipping one strand of every pair of strands with a locker for the purpose of personal attachment. Hopefully this is the common understanding - not certain.

Assume that all belays are off the harness. Also assume this is a ~typical route where the anchor is vertically aligned with the last pitch below and the next pitch above.

The question: What is acceptable or not acceptable with regard to personal anchor attachment? Pros? Cons? What's the best practice?

Bill L

P.S. An option's existence does not mean I personally accept it.

Edit: the anchor includes at least two pieces of protection.

All things being perfect, I prefer to anchor all party members to the master point and belay all seconds from the shelf. I do use an autoblocker, and that configuration keeps other biners out of the way of the belay device, so they can't interfere with its functioning.

I've caught countless falls of seconds on the shelf and have never had a problem with a funny load on the knot, especially if I've already got some of my own weight on the master point. It's just not an issue.

I lead belay off my harness exclusively. I don't really have a bottom-line safety concern there. It just feels comfy and right.


marc801


Dec 23, 2011, 10:03 AM
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Shelf, masturbation point, above, below, pas, yadda, yadda.....why all the complexity and angst? Clip to anchor with knot in rope, belay off harness, done. Simple. Fast.


billl7


Dec 23, 2011, 10:27 AM
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marc801 wrote:
Shelf, masturbation point, above, below, pas, yadda, yadda.....why all the complexity and angst? Clip to anchor with knot in rope, belay off harness, done. Simple. Fast.
I and my partners have been clipping to the master point and belaying off the harness for the past 7 years. Just a few months ago I heard of folks attaching themselvs to the shelf - got my curiosity going as to the practice in the wider community. Thank god for RC.com, eh?Pirate

Bill


marc801


Dec 23, 2011, 10:50 AM
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billl7 wrote:
marc801 wrote:
Shelf, masturbation point, above, below, pas, yadda, yadda.....why all the complexity and angst? Clip to anchor with knot in rope, belay off harness, done. Simple. Fast.
I and my partners have been clipping to the master point and belaying off the harness for the past 7 years. Just a few months ago I heard of folks attaching themselvs to the shelf - got my curiosity going as to the practice in the wider community. Thank god for RC.com, eh?Pirate

I'm convinced there are people on this site who would overthink a wet dream.


rangerrob


Dec 24, 2011, 6:08 AM
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Does there actually have to be spooge in your underwear for it to be a wet dream? What if you just spurt in your dream?


billl7


Dec 24, 2011, 6:57 AM
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rangerrob wrote:
Does there actually have to be spooge in your underwear for it to be a wet dream? What if you just spurt in your dream?
All that matters in the end is your virtual partner is not pissed and you both are uninjured.


(This post was edited by billl7 on Dec 24, 2011, 6:57 AM)

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