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Perthian


Feb 21, 2012, 7:07 AM
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Critique top rope anchor
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We were at Stone Door in TN a while ago. Ran across these photos today... any feedback on this top rope anchor? Somewhat new to building anchors and would appreciate any advice for next time.

Thanks!








marc801


Feb 21, 2012, 7:11 AM
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Re: [Perthian] Critique top rope anchor [In reply to]
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Perthian wrote:
We were at Stone Door in TN a while ago. Ran across these photos today... any feedback on this top rope anchor? Somewhat new to building anchors and would appreciate any advice for next time.
No. There are far too many of these pointless threads already. We do not need another. Look them up.


njrox


Feb 21, 2012, 7:11 AM
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Re: [Perthian] Critique top rope anchor [In reply to]
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From 3rd picture

Master Point Biners look like they'll be stressed against the rock when weighted by rope.

Biner Opening (from static to cord) should face up. It looks like it's pressed against that stone.

Clove Hitch one of the ends to equalize static rope.


(This post was edited by njrox on Feb 21, 2012, 7:16 AM)


Perthian


Feb 21, 2012, 7:17 AM
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Re: [njrox] Critique top rope anchor [In reply to]
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Both good points -- thanks!


shockabuku


Feb 21, 2012, 7:39 AM
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Re: [njrox] Critique top rope anchor [In reply to]
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njrox wrote:
Clove Hitch one of the ends to equalize static rope.

I don't understand this^^ comment.


My only suggestion would be to lower the masterpoint over the visible edge (but I don't know what's below) so that it's not on the edge and maybe allows the rope to run more freely.


chilli


Feb 21, 2012, 8:55 AM
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Re: [shockabuku] Critique top rope anchor [In reply to]
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shockabuku wrote:
njrox wrote:
Clove Hitch one of the ends to equalize static rope.

I don't understand this^^ comment.


My only suggestion would be to lower the masterpoint over the visible edge (but I don't know what's below) so that it's not on the edge and maybe allows the rope to run more freely.

i think the suggestion is to clove hitch one end of the static line simply for the purpose of making it easy to adjust.

To the OP:
- If you're happy with equalization, there's no need for clove hitch, but it's handy when tweaking is involved (i.e. easy adjustment).
- The comments above regarding masterpoint and flipping biners are right on.
- In my personal opinion, I'd rather add something in another feature in the rock than sling a little tree at the edge (or otherwise) when possible; both for protection of vegetation and b/c i'm not terribly excited slinging little trees at the edge of the rock for anchors (though this one looks fairly sturdy as far as that sort of thing goes). It looks like there's another horizontal down lower that you could use instead of the tree, which is also good because you want to plug anchor pro into different features whenever remotely possible (i.e. 3 cams in 3 different cracks is MUCH better than 3 lined up in one contiguous seam).


USnavy


Feb 21, 2012, 9:20 AM
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Re: [Perthian] Critique top rope anchor [In reply to]
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The rightmost cam in the second picture looks like a bad placement. It looks like it is on top of a separated flake but its hard to tell if the blackness under the flake is just a shadow and its actually contiguous rock, but just be aware that its important to avoid placing cams on separated flakes. The rock on the top of the left and right cams also looks discontiguous in part. Its attached to the body of the cliff, however you have to be careful with stuff like that, although its physically attached to the main body, its still a flake. I have had crap like that come off just by pulling on it. Now I dont know how strong the rock is in your area, its very possible the cams would hold a reasonable amount of force, however just keep in mind that its best to look for contiguous rock when you can. The top lobes on that .75 also look like they are close to being tipped out. They only look ~25% camed. Maybe a #1 would be a bit better, or scoot the cam further back or to the side where the crack is narrower. But the left cam does look like its close to the best you could do in the rock in that photo (aside from being somewhat undercamed).


(This post was edited by USnavy on Feb 21, 2012, 9:37 AM)


njrox


Feb 21, 2012, 10:16 AM
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Re: [shockabuku] Critique top rope anchor [In reply to]
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The million dollar questions is, "did you climb on it"?

@ USNavy, good points about the rock quality and surface contact of cams.

And yes, I meant equalizing the static line by clove-hitching one of the strands.


Partner j_ung


Feb 21, 2012, 10:52 AM
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Re: [USnavy] Critique top rope anchor [In reply to]
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Offhand, I see several errors, which alone might not be big deals, but add up to a shoddy anchor.

1. It's way too complicated. You can build this anchor with the cams, the biners and the static rope, eliminating the relative low abrasion resistance of the cordalette and the girth-hitched sling around the tree.

2. Given that the static rope arm of the anchor will stretch far more than the tree side, the tree held virtually 100% of your load. This is common when one anchor arm is significantly longer than the other, regardless of the materials you use.

3. Neither cam looks all that great. You might have a rock quality issue on the right one, and the left one is looks tipped out.

4. The biners aren't past the edge, and it's not clear to me that they ever ended up stretching past it.

5. Even if the biners did stretch past the edge, you left that poor cordalette to deal with the abrasion.

6. Your master-point biners are not reversed and opposed. They're opposed, but not reversed, which is could be even more problematic considering number 4, above.

Of lesser importance...

7. Spectra slings aren't as forgiving of girth hitches as some other materials. This problem is made worse by number 2 above, which places virtually all of the load on that one arm.

8. Your knots are not dressed.

Obviously, you're alive, so the anchor didn't fail. But for god's sake, don't keep building them like this.


(This post was edited by j_ung on Feb 21, 2012, 10:52 AM)


bearbreeder


Feb 21, 2012, 11:02 AM
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Re: [Perthian] Critique top rope anchor [In reply to]
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was this yr anchor? ... i hope yr not running around taking pics of people's anchors without permission

as to the anchor, it isnt perfect, but its very unlikely to fail for TRing purposes

i bet some people here would freak out at what were sometimes forced to use for anchors up here ... the guidebooks have phrases like "bonzai tree belay" Tongue


jt512


Feb 21, 2012, 11:29 AM
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bearbreeder wrote:
was this yr anchor? ... i hope yr not running around taking pics of people's anchors without permission

Without permission? Is this some inside joke I missed, or are you serous?

Jay


bearbreeder


Feb 21, 2012, 11:35 AM
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Re: [jt512] Critique top rope anchor [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
bearbreeder wrote:
was this yr anchor? ... i hope yr not running around taking pics of people's anchors without permission

Without permission? Is this some inside joke I missed, or are you serous?

Jay

totally serious ...

i dont run around taking photos of peoples anchors without at the very least informing them ...

most of the time i find people who run around doing so are just looking to armchair quarterback the photos on some web forum ...

what i will do if i find something unsafe is have a quiet word at first ... and only go "public" if it affects me

i consider it basic courtesy ... not something thats an RC specialty Wink


(This post was edited by bearbreeder on Feb 21, 2012, 11:37 AM)


jt512


Feb 21, 2012, 12:38 PM
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bearbreeder wrote:
jt512 wrote:
bearbreeder wrote:
was this yr anchor? ... i hope yr not running around taking pics of people's anchors without permission

Without permission? Is this some inside joke I missed, or are you serous?

Jay

totally serious ...

i dont run around taking photos of peoples anchors without at the very least informing them ...

most of the time i find people who run around doing so are just looking to armchair quarterback the photos on some web forum ...

what i will do if i find something unsafe is have a quiet word at first ... and only go "public" if it affects me

i consider it basic courtesy ... not something thats an RC specialty Wink

I agree that if you see something unsafe you should say something. However, I see no reason not to take a picture of someone's anchor, safe or unsafe, and to use it as an example online.

Jay


bearbreeder


Feb 21, 2012, 12:54 PM
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Re: [jt512] Critique top rope anchor [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
I agree that if you see something unsafe you should say something. However, I see no reason not to take a picture of someone's anchor, safe or unsafe, and to use it as an example online.

Jay

im simply making the point that the best thing to do is to talk to the person who built the anchor first

thats much more productive and who knows maybe yr wrong in yr assumptions ...

i remember years ago when some people in a course told a guide that they saw an "unsafe" TR anchor and proceeded to tell everyone around about how "unsafe" it was ... when they described it the guide said "thats safe, id climb on it" ... they felt like idiots

almost every "anchor" post ive seen has been some newbie posting up TR anchors he/she thinks unsafe ... no one i know who is experienced will post up "unsafe" anchor photos of others or scream about how "unsafe" other peoples anchors are ... unless there is a serious threat of failure ... theyll usually have a quiet word with the person first Tongue


(This post was edited by bearbreeder on Feb 21, 2012, 12:55 PM)


Partner drector


Feb 21, 2012, 3:50 PM
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bearbreeder wrote:
was this yr anchor? ... i hope yr not running around taking pics of people's anchors without permission

as to the anchor, it isnt perfect, but its very unlikely to fail for TRing purposes

i bet some people here would freak out at what were sometimes forced to use for anchors up here ... the guidebooks have phrases like "bonzai tree belay" Tongue

Since it is totally legal to take a picture of a person in a public place doing public stuff, I would assume that its fine to take a picture of their stuff in that same public place doing public stuff.

Asking permission would be a courtesy, not something mandatory so it's fine if they are "running around taking pics of people's anchors without permission" since they don't need permission.

I would agree that they should not be a jerk about it if someone doesn't like it although the only people who would not like it probably have crappy anchors or are ignorant of the law and like to hassle people about these things.

Yep, that left cam looks open too far and the rock on the right is not the best rock in that area to place a cam. I would have anchored with three good cams in that crack. If it were a long day of top roping, I'd place a loop around the tree for the odd case where the cams wiggle lose or someone walks by and pulls one out for fun. I certanly would have extended that power point over the edge.

Dave


Partner j_ung


Feb 21, 2012, 4:56 PM
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bearbreeder wrote:
was this yr anchor? ... i hope yr not running around taking pics of people's anchors without permission

as to the anchor, it isnt perfect, but its very unlikely to fail for TRing purposes

i bet some people here would freak out at what were sometimes forced to use for anchors up here ... the guidebooks have phrases like "bonzai tree belay" Tongue

I've also seen a share of crappy belay anchors, but I consider them don't-fall situations, not toprope-all-day situations.


Perthian


Feb 21, 2012, 6:21 PM
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Thanks all for the great analysis + solid suggestions... To answer the most recent comments, this is an anchor I built (for better or worse). We only climbed for ~45mins on it, but it seemed to hold OK (although, we didn't heavily load it).

A few follow-ups:

a) I started building it by slinging the (bomber?) tree and looking for cracks closer to the ledge to avoid having to build something so extended. Tried a few sketchy small cams, and ended up feeling safer with the larger crack as shown (pretty far back). In retrospect, if I had started with that crack, probably would've ignored the tree. So, there's some "path dependency" here.

b) Not sure why the master point is laying on the rock -- think I extended it past the edge, but maybe it was lying angled in these photos. If it wasn't, out of all the areas for improvement, that one definitely seems like the most critical problem with this anchor. (Do you all agree?)

c) Looks like I need to work on my cam placements... :)

d) From my reading of John Long's book, the blue cord is my attempt to build an "equallete" (which it sounded like he recommended as a go-to rigging). Is the general consensus that this kind of complexity isn't really needed for a top-rope anchor?

Thanks again for all the time / thoughts -- while it's one thing to read about all this stuff in the abstract, it's helpful to have you all directly comment on one of my setups.


guangzhou


Feb 21, 2012, 6:30 PM
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Re: [marc801] Critique top rope anchor [In reply to]
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marc801 wrote:
Perthian wrote:
We were at Stone Door in TN a while ago. Ran across these photos today... any feedback on this top rope anchor? Somewhat new to building anchors and would appreciate any advice for next time.
No. There are far too many of these pointless threads already. We do not need another. Look them up.

yes yes yes
Smile


shockabuku


Feb 21, 2012, 6:33 PM
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njrox wrote:
And yes, I meant equalizing the static line by clove-hitching one of the strands.

Okay; it seems counterproductive in this case.


shockabuku


Feb 21, 2012, 6:36 PM
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guangzhou wrote:
marc801 wrote:
Perthian wrote:
We were at Stone Door in TN a while ago. Ran across these photos today... any feedback on this top rope anchor? Somewhat new to building anchors and would appreciate any advice for next time.
No. There are far too many of these pointless threads already. We do not need another. Look them up.

yes yes yes
Smile

That's really kind of unfair. Dialogue is part of the learning process. To say "You came late so you don't get to play" is not very encouraging.


Partner j_ung


Feb 22, 2012, 5:11 AM
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Perthian wrote:
d) From my reading of John Long's book, the blue cord is my attempt to build an "equallete" (which it sounded like he recommended as a go-to rigging). Is the general consensus that this kind of complexity isn't really needed for a top-rope anchor?

Everything is situational. If you'd had two bolts below the lip, and equalette might have fine. In this situation, wouldn't have been my choice.

Hey, make sure you protect yourself when you're working at the edge.


njrox


Feb 22, 2012, 6:03 AM
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Perthian wrote:
Thanks all for the great analysis + solid suggestions... To answer the most recent comments, this is an anchor I built (for better or worse). We only climbed for ~45mins on it, but it seemed to hold OK (although, we didn't heavily load it).

A few follow-ups:

a) I started building it by slinging the (bomber?) tree and looking for cracks closer to the ledge to avoid having to build something so extended. Tried a few sketchy small cams, and ended up feeling safer with the larger crack as shown (pretty far back). In retrospect, if I had started with that crack, probably would've ignored the tree. So, there's some "path dependency" here.

b) Not sure why the master point is laying on the rock -- think I extended it past the edge, but maybe it was lying angled in these photos. If it wasn't, out of all the areas for improvement, that one definitely seems like the most critical problem with this anchor. (Do you all agree?)

c) Looks like I need to work on my cam placements... :)

d) From my reading of John Long's book, the blue cord is my attempt to build an "equallete" (which it sounded like he recommended as a go-to rigging). Is the general consensus that this kind of complexity isn't really needed for a top-rope anchor?

Thanks again for all the time / thoughts -- while it's one thing to read about all this stuff in the abstract, it's helpful to have you all directly comment on one of my setups.

Another thing, and I think it was already mentioned but is probably worth bringing up again, is that the entire anchor could have been built with just the static rope. If anything use the cord to equalize the two cam placements, and then clip to an extenstion of the static rope.

And there's nothing wrong with posting yet another one of these threads. It's a climbing forum.


bill413


Feb 22, 2012, 6:28 AM
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I think it's good that you're posting a specific anchor that you have a question about.

Some of the things I thought about when looking at this, that haven't already been said:
You have the equallette attached to the static line with only one biner, yet it will be rubbing the ground and so might unscrew. I would use two for this connection.
I'm worried about the tree (I'm glad you looked for another point after grabbing it) because it looks as though it's root system could be very shallow. If the soil there is more or less a packed accumulation on a ledge the tree could tip out, roots, soil, and all.
I did like the fact that you protected the tree from the abrasion of the sling. (Although a better use of the pad might have been to protect the ropes.)


Perthian


Feb 22, 2012, 7:32 AM
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Thanks again all for your thoughts -- even if there have been a lot of threads like this, it's still very helpful when based on a more personal experience. (It also doesn't seem like this forum is so overwhelmed with traffic to make a new thread obnoxious, but suppose norms differ by forum...)

Think you all have collectively caught every possible opportunity for improvement here, but thought I'd share this, too. Here's a quick video I took that day as well:

http://vimeo.com/37246089

Please excuse the sound (very windy + a low quality camera).


(This post was edited by Perthian on Feb 22, 2012, 7:33 AM)


Rmsyll2


Feb 25, 2012, 2:13 PM
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What I see is an attempt to make a 3-point Trad anchor. Two are cams, one is from a tree. If the flakes are solid where the cams are placed, they are probably sound placements. The tree is minimal for diameter, though again probably good enough in that case. None of the knots seem to be dressed, which arguably does further reduce strength, but mostly makes it difficult to see to check for being correctly tied. A sling has been used with a Girth Hitch around the tree, and positioned in a way to show why AMGA does not recommend that method: the end bight is taking a lot of force, rather than friction of many strands around the tree. An Equalette has been attached to the tree sling and to the Cordelette knot from the cams, and that is taking the rope. The belay carabiners are presently perched on the edge, poor itself, with probably rope rub under them. If the rope is pulled under load over the notch in the rim, that problem will be lessened.

A comment has said it is all too complicated, that there is enough of the white static rope to have done the whole thing. A standard 3-point anchor uses a single long sling passing through all three points, with the two crossing strands pulled down to match the outer strands, in a manner called V to W. All three resulting ends are gathered to make a single big knot making an end loop for the belay carabiners. See for instance http://www.chockstone.org/TechTips/Cordelette.htm. For that, the Equalette would not be used. What you have is two equalization situations, the static loop being a set Cordelette-type knot, the other being a dynamic or sliding equalization. You are chaining loops with only three points, and not having a single set location for the belay carabiners.

Making a 3-point Cordelette rig takes six strand lengths, two for each point. I see only three strand lengths with that rope. A simpler arrangement using what you had would be to have extended the static rope from the cams over the rim to be a 2-point Cordelette anchor, with a simple line from the tree added independently to the rope as back-up.

.

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