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Leave maillons on anchors without chains (Rumdoodle)?

Posted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 6:49 pm
by grae22
Impossible Slab (12) in the ravine is bolted and has anchors, but no chains/rings/etc. Being an easy route I think it sees a fair amount of top-roping noobs (like myself).

I picked up some maillons to take the wear when my girlfriend and I rig a top-rope off chains - I'd be happy to leave some (probably glued shut) up there... if it'd be a good idea?

- g

Edit: Couple of other routes are the same - Honkies Can't Climb (15) and Pigs in Space (17, nice route!). Also, if I'm going to leave maillons... I may as well put up some chains at the same time, any tips on where to get stainless chain (ideally around Durban)?

Re: Leave maillons on anchors without chains (Rumdoodle)?

Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:07 pm
by Joshiva
Hey Grae22,

Top dropping should always be done on personal gear, not through in-situ lower-offs. Either set up opposing quickdraws or an equalised master point this will take the wear and tear off the gear meant to be used to lowering off and rappeling. Putting the maillons on as you suggested, whilst being generous of you will only encourage noobs and seasoned climbers alike to TR on perma-gear, which is a bad habit one sees almost every visit to a crag. Spread the word, top rope through your OWN gear.

Re: Leave maillons on anchors without chains (Rumdoodle)?

Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:26 pm
by Ghaznavid
I also noticed that the anchors were gone when I was there a few weeks ago. Luckily Grasshopper Variation 2 still had anchors, so we top roped that. I took a bunch of newbies there, hence sticking with a nice easy route.

Fun day - they challenged me to top rope the route 5 times in 10 minutes, just managed it in 9m48. If I was faster on the crux, I imagine I could have done it at least 7 times in 10 minutes - but I was too slow through that section. That route always feels really short to me, can't be more than 8m high.

Re: Leave maillons on anchors without chains (Rumdoodle)?

Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:50 pm
by grae22
Thanks for the reply @Joshiva.

100% on the use of personal gear for top-roping. What about when lowering-off? If I was planning on lowering-off a route a bunch of times (e.g. climbing with a group) I'd probably put some maillons up and clean them off once done.

For some of these routes you can't see the anchors from the bottom - so even if sport climbing you're kinda 'forced' to lower-off the anchor bolts (they're 'u' bolts) if you haven't brought an ab device up with you. So, I was thinking it'd be nice to at least have some maillons up there that'd be easier to replace.

Now I'm thinking I may as well just put up chains off the existing anchors, again only if the community agrees that'd be a good idea. Seems like a bit of a complex issue (from what I've read on these forums so far)... I don't want to accelerate corrosion of the anchors by putting up new chains, so are 'sacrificial' pieces (zinc washers?) ever used? Or best just to leave the anchors as is and replace them entirely when the time comes?

Hey @Ghaznavid, interestingly - after lowering off Honkies Can't Climb (15, far left if facing the island) I noticed we'd used about half our 60m rope, maybe with slack and all the route is around 15-20m? Honkies starts a few metres lower than Grasshopper, so maybe Grasshopper is around 12-15m? Nice, I'd be stoked with 5 ascents in 10 mins!

Re: Leave maillons on anchors without chains (Rumdoodle)?

Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:12 pm
by Ghaznavid
grae22 wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:50 pm
Hey @Ghaznavid, interestingly - after lowering off Honkies Can't Climb (15, far left if facing the island) I noticed we'd used about half our 60m rope, maybe with slack and all the route is around 15-20m? Honkies starts a few metres lower than Grasshopper, so maybe Grasshopper is around 12-15m? Nice, I'd be stoked with 5 ascents in 10 mins!
Interesting - maybe I'm just badly underestimating the length of the route. It feels like a really short route to me.

Are the bolts and top anchors on Honkies in good shape? I haven't climbed that route before. I should try it some time. I know a lot of routes at Rumdoodle need rebolting.

The not overly flattering video of my 5th time up the route is at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YbGpiaypbw

The video calls it Sans Gans - which is the name I was given for it when I first climbed it years ago. Not sure if it has multiple names, or if I have two routes confused. But Grasshopper Variation 2 is the name as per the RD on the MCSA website.

Re: Leave maillons on anchors without chains (Rumdoodle)?

Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:26 pm
by grae22
Heh... I just realised my logic is boned haha - we'd used ~30m of rope, so Honkies must be ~15m, so your estimate sounds pretty good - maybe ~10m (I'd guess Honkies starts around 3 or 4m lower than Grasshopper).

All the bolts on Honkies are U bolts, they seem solid... I *think* the anhors showed some wear from lower-offs / top-roping. I might be thinking of Pigs In Space (17) tho (I really liked this one!).

Ah rad, ya I think RN's guidebook has that route as Sans Gans.

Re: Leave maillons on anchors without chains (Rumdoodle)?

Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:32 pm
by mokganjetsi
make sure you do not inadvertently cause galvanic corrosion by using steel of different nobility. see the thread below for some discussion on the subject:
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=14402&p=66265&hili ... ire#p66265

Re: Leave maillons on anchors without chains (Rumdoodle)?

Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:42 pm
by grae22
Thanks Mokganjetsi, ya that's exactly the kind of thing I'm trying to avoid.

I think I'll try track down and chat to one of the local bolting guys before doing anything, happy to send some bucks or lend a hand if there's any existing efforts on the go.

Re: Leave maillons on anchors without chains (Rumdoodle)?

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:14 am
by Nic Le Maitre
grae22 wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:50 pm
100% on the use of personal gear for top-roping. What about when lowering-off? If I was planning on lowering-off a route a bunch of times (e.g. climbing with a group) I'd probably put some maillons up and clean them off once done.
Just leave the draws up until you're all done. Last person cleans.

Re: Leave maillons on anchors without chains (Rumdoodle)?

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:45 am
by RyanKarate
When planning to top rope the same route multiple times I would would suggest having 2 locking draws on top. Just swop out the bottom clip gates for screw gates.

Hasn’t happened to me personally, but lots of pig tails or twists in the rope can lead to a draw being accidentally unclipped on top.

And I try clip in the last bolt below chains to the belayers side of the top rope as well with a draw. Doesn’t cost anything extra to be extra safe.

Re: Leave maillons on anchors without chains (Rumdoodle)?

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:04 am
by grae22
:thumleft: Nic & RyanKarate

Re: Leave maillons on anchors without chains (Rumdoodle)?

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:31 pm
by Old Smelly
Hi

Let me say that I think some of the advice you have been given is TOTALLY misguided. It will always be better to have two or three links attached to a "hanger / U bolt" at the top of a climb because it facilitates not having to replace the U bolt itself and it helps when it comes to good SAFE cleaning.

So what was correct?

1. If your RATED Maillon is a more Noble material that the bolt itself it will sacrifice the bolt in the form of galvanic corrosion. That is a bad idea. Ideally the bolt/ hanger/ Maillon combo should be the same material (and should be stainless steel). As you cannot control that and the U bolt may not be stainless, then, ironically, you should use something like a plated Maillon, as opposed to a stainless one so that it rusts rather than the bolt.

2. You should always use quickdraws where you can for your Top Roping buddies so as to prevent wear from their rope running through the U bolts. Having extension chains or Maillons will not make people more dependant on running their top ropes through the chains but will mean that if people run the ropes through the lower rings that it will not affect the permanent fixtures, so there is no truth that the Maillons/ Chains will result in more wear.

What is clear is that if you have some Maillons/ Chain Rings that are glued in place hanging from the U bolt then cleaning is safer and all wear (such as you lowering off) takes place on items that can be replaced, which is definitely better.

So other than the galvanic corrosion thing - which must be looked at- there is considerable advantage to equipping Top Anchors with a few maillons or chain links, with no real down side. In fact it is safer and better in terms of wear on parts that are hard to replace.

Re: Leave maillons on anchors without chains (Rumdoodle)?

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:17 am
by grae22
Thanks @Old Smelly - ya the choice seems to be either to put up gear of lower nobility (which - judging by my car - may not last all that long in a somewhat coastal setting) OR to simply leave the existing U-bolt anchors as they are. Apparently they've been up ~15 years, they show little wear and still seem pretty bomber.

After chatting to one of the local bolters it turns out the situation is being monitored - the concensus seems to be to favour the latter in this particular case, monitor the anchors and replace when necessary. Not that having chains and rings wouldn't be nice, but it seems a good call to me in this case.

Re: Leave maillons on anchors without chains (Rumdoodle)?

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:28 am
by Ghaznavid
What bugs me at Rumdoodle is that there are very few routes with top anchors at the moment. I am happy to do the routes on trad - there is more than enough gear on most of them - but unless you are planning on leaving some tat on the island, getting back down is tricky. Unless I'm missing something.

Perhaps a single set of bolted anchors on top of the island could be a plan - that way you could get your team up to the top, and then ab back in without having to litter (i.e. leave tat) on top of the island.

Re: Leave maillons on anchors without chains (Rumdoodle)?

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:04 am
by grae22
Said anchors could possibly be placed on the Kloof Gorge side if they would be unsightly from the headland?

Re: Leave maillons on anchors without chains (Rumdoodle)?

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:42 pm
by Ghaznavid
grae22 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:04 am
Said anchors could possibly be placed on the Kloof Gorge side if they would be unsightly from the headland?
I like that idea. Presumably just around the corner from Honkies, or just past Blockhead. Plenty to anchor a belay stance from on top of the island.

I guess you could always ab off a boulder or tree using a sling, and have some access chord attached to the sling to retrieve it one you are down. So I guess there are already options for a clean descent without bolting.

Re: Leave maillons on anchors without chains (Rumdoodle)?

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:49 pm
by Hallam
Ghaznavid wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:28 am
What bugs me at Rumdoodle is that there are very few routes with top anchors at the moment. I am happy to do the routes on trad - there is more than enough gear on most of them - but unless you are planning on leaving some tat on the island, getting back down is tricky. Unless I'm missing something.

Perhaps a single set of bolted anchors on top of the island could be a plan - that way you could get your team up to the top, and then ab back in without having to litter (i.e. leave tat) on top of the island.
I think you are indeed missing something. All the routes in the Ravine at Rumdoodle have top anchors. One (or at most, a couple) of the routes on the steep side has/have only got a pair of bolts with hangers, but most of the rest have a pair of U-bolts. Admittedly they're grey and harder to see from the opposite side than the empty hole of the bolts that they replaced, but they are very much present. There is definitely no need to place more anchors, just to (eventually) replace the U-bolts when they wear.

Now, if only we could train people not to toprope through them ...

Re: Leave maillons on anchors without chains (Rumdoodle)?

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:29 pm
by Ghaznavid
Hallam wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:49 pm
I think you are indeed missing something. All the routes in the Ravine at Rumdoodle have top anchors.
I'll need to visit Rumdoodle again soon and have a look, but when I was last there, I didn't notice the U-bolts on most of the routes. I think I saw them on one route. That's why we stuck with Grasshopper Variation 2 with its chains.

Re: Leave maillons on anchors without chains (Rumdoodle)?

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:15 pm
by grae22
Ah sorry @Ghaznavid - for some reason I took your suggestion to mean "easily accessible", dedicated abseil bolts. As @Hallam says, all the routes on the island side face do have two U-bolt anchors at the top.

Re: Leave maillons on anchors without chains (Rumdoodle)?

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:20 pm
by Ghaznavid
I probably need to get my eyes tested :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Re: Leave maillons on anchors without chains (Rumdoodle)?

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:22 pm
by grae22
Heh heh I'd be lying if I said I wasn't surprised to find some of them on topping out :wink:

Re: Leave maillons on anchors without chains (Rumdoodle)?

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:52 pm
by Ghaznavid
On a similar topic - bail out biners. I know maillons are often used for this purpose, but I see those heavy steel rescue biners are about the same price.

Obviously leaving either behind isn't ideal - mostly because the next person to climb the route now needs to remove it. But how will these impact on corrosion and galvanization of the anchors? And which is better to leave behind, from a point of view of not destroying the bolts?

I am aware that ideally you should ab in and clean up properly, or find a stronger climber to who is willing to do some gear rescue for you. But this isn't always an option.

Re: Leave maillons on anchors without chains (Rumdoodle)?

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:54 pm
by grae22
I wonder if anyone carrying dedicated bail biners/maillons wraps them in tape in an effort to safeguard against preferentially corroding the bolts?

If you're feeling generous aluminium biners might be a good call - I believe they'd corrode preferentially to steel bolts?