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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 5:31 pm 
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Hi

I was up at the kalk bay crags on the weekend checking out the routes.


I noticed that at the top of one of the routes there was a chain connecting the two top bolts together.

Why is that chain there and how do you connect to it?

Thanks

Earthman


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:51 pm 
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Hiya,
Just to confirm:
2x bolts
1x piece of chain
& both ends of the chain are connected to a bolt ?? (please let us know)

There are no recommended ways of lowering off such a setup - sounds like someone screwed up / ran out gear and has not fixed it yet!?

Ideally there should be two separate pieces of chain (at the least) with a Mailon or something similar (see image below). The point of the two bolts is for backup in case of a failure... the setup you describe does not allow for that.

People are going to have a few opinions on what is the best system - there is an existing thread on belay stances (which I will try and locate tomorrow)

The pic below shows a good lower off (Pic taken on Another Day in Paradise)

Image

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 11:18 pm 
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Hi Justin thanks for the reply.

It looked like one piece of chain but I will check again when I am up there next. All the other bolts at the top of the other routes had no chain.

if you could find the thread on the correct set up that would be great thanks.

One more question

I was watching a video and the guy attached his gear to the two bolts at the top of the climb then attached one more line that he called redundancy. Is this third line a must have? If so what if there is no where to tie it to?

also do you have to use three carabiners and two slings for the top--Can you just use two quick draws???? or is that not safe?

Thanks for the help

earthman


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:09 am 
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Earthman

Quick draws work fine. if you think about it its simply a premade sling and benner. I've only ever once used a sling and carabenner combonation as a top bolt when the bolts where to far from the edge at peers cave. Gave the rope serious drag till we lengthend the clips.

you'll also find quite a few routes have the chain connecting the 2 bolts. the picture that justin put up is a good one showing how it shoud be done.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:10 am 
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Hi Earthman, it's important to use your own gear on the chains so as to prevent the chains from wearing down. This is especially critical when top roping on routes. Ideally, one would lead the climb, then place 2 quickdraws with LOCKING 'biners on BOTH ends. This is preferable. The last climber up should then use one of the several methods to attach one's self to the anchors, and should then abseil down, cleaning the route. Most climbers don't do this however, and some of the popular routes at the crags get their chains replaced every few years because of this.

Often, the chains are out of view, thus making sure that nothing is going to open the quickdraws up is essential. That said, often 2 normal quickdraws will work fine. Be sure that they are placed in opposite directions so that the gates are facing away from one another. This ensures that if the 'draws get rubbed on the rock and made to open, that only one will open, thus stopping the rope from slipping out. This is why it makes sense to have a set of 'top anchor quickdraws' with locking 'biners.

The idea of redundancy is that if one anchor point fails, there will be another to take it's place. Be sure that both points are equalized to avoid the shock loading of the anchor if one is to fail. Equalizing also distributes the load correctly. It's not really necessary in most cases to add a third anchor. By having two bolts in the anchor system there is already a degree of redundancy thus it would be overkill to add more. That said, go with your gut feel. If the anchors feel unsafe, then back them up further. I always go out climbing with a few nuts and cams in my bag for this very purpose.

Justin said:
Quote:
Just to confirm:
2x bolts
1x piece of chain
& both ends of the chain are connected to a bolt ?? (please let us know)

There are no recommended ways of lowering off such a setup - sounds like someone screwed up / ran out gear and has not fixed it yet!?


I agree, this setup is actually VERY dangerous. It's fine for clipping 2 draws in, but for lowering off, one would need to put the rope through one link which would in effect then be cross-loaded. Unless the chain is hand welded, this cross loaded chain is very weak. Machine welded chain is designed to be laterally strong, but, as soon as the load is twisted it's very easy to open the link up. The only safe way to use this anchor would be to thread the rope through two links close to the bolts and to abseil down. This anchor should be replaced though, and BEFORE someone hurts themself. I have always been against bolting routes with consumer grade chain anchors. The only chain that should be used is stainless steel hand welded type between 10mm and 14mm dia.

Lastly, @ neadek: Have you tried to use spellcheck before? It's F7. There's really NO excuse for bad spelling these days and it really helps in getting an educated response across.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:52 am 
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Here is a link to the link a previous topic I referred to: Bolts at Strubens valley
Its quite involved and being a rather old post, some of the hyperlinked pictures no longer work.
Still makes for interesting reading.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 11:01 am 
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Re the pic above of the chains: (yes Justin is completely correct, everyone will have a different opinion on this but I just wanna throw in my 2c worth... :wink: )

I do not believe the arrangement on this pic or the one you often see with a ring instead of a mailon is the safest option. The reason is simply that you're still running the rope through ONLY the mailon/ring. If one of the bolts should fail, you'd be OK, but if the mailon or ring fails, well, you won't be OK. Two COMPLETELY INDEPENDANT anchors is the safer option, IMO the above arrangement would be made safer if the mailon was removed and the rope run through the bottom links of the two pieces of chain, thus providing to independant points of protection.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 11:36 am 
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I agree that in principal that the belay stance in the pic below is not 100% proof... however I trust that mailon the same as I trust the locking carabiner that I am using to abseil with.
There is more chance of the mailon becoming unlocked/unscrewed than it breaking!? When you see a mailon/equivalant, always check that it is secured.

Again, I do agree with you that if there were a mailon (or similar piece of equipment) on each end of the chain resulting in...
The Jimmy said:
Quote:
Two COMPLETELY INDEPENDANT anchors
The system would be 100% safe.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 11:50 am 
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Hey Earthman,

it seems that you have a lot of questions that could easily be answered and safely practised in a gym environment. it is always a good idea to practise the cleaning of a route in the gym, where you will be safely guided by the instructor.

so, my suggestion: go to CityROCK (Cape Town), Perfect Wall (Stellenbosch), or WonderWall (Kya Sands) and ask them for more advice.

Good luck, and safe climbing! :wink:


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:08 pm 
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:roll: God wot a lot of waffle about something so simple. The anchors I placed are the type with one lower off ring one one of the hangers (the big round ring on one side) and a chain conecting the ring to the backup bolt. Toprope off two draws placed directly into the hangers underneath the chains (avoids weird loads on the biners ). This prevents premature wear of the lower off ring. Lower off with your thing threaded thru the ring (draws removed).

Got it? If youre still confused you should take a climbing course with a properly qualified instructor, at the moment it sounds like youre a danger to yourself and your partners! :shock:


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 10:36 am 
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Thanks Xmod, things have been going in the waffle direction - The Americans seem to be doing it right, below are some pics from the American Anchor Replacement Initiative

For those who don't know, the Western Cape have ARF (Anchor Replacement Fund) *Some wanted to call it BARF (Bolt and Anchor Replacement Fund) but thats another story :)
Please have a look at the ARF page, the sponsors (corporate and individual) - These people are keeping Sport climbing in the Western Cape safe for everyone!

And below is the way top anchors should look:

Below: Not toproping directly off the chains
Image

Below: The chains can be removed when the rings are worn
Image

Below: The chains can be removed when the rings are worn
Image

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 2:11 pm 
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I have 2 questions about the above setup:

1. Where do you get those rings from?

2. Are the "Quick links" available from hardware outlets considered acceptable replacements for Mailons? There is a link (http://www.climbing.co.za/article.asp?id=1) that shows an article on the strength testing of quick links and snap links, but it doesn't really give a conclusion about using them.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:10 am 
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Can anybody help with these questions????


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:56 am 
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You can buy hangers with chains/rings attached from larger climbing retailers, they will also be able to sell you RATED maillon/quicklinks.

HARDWARE STORE VERSIONS ARE NOT SUITABLE. DO NOT USE THEM IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCES

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:22 am 
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Thanks for the reply Nic

I was hoping to find the rings seperately, as the whole system with the the bolt etc. Is quite expensive.

I am also surprised that there is a link on this website leading to an article about the strength of "Hardware store" quick links.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:03 pm 
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Expense doesn't come into it. You are placeing equipment that other people besides yourself will use (mostly) without even thinking twice. Therefore the bolts/rings/chains you place HAVE to be bomber.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:36 am 
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Umm, you could order hilti bolts at most hardware stores. So they are hardware store variety bolts, but we use them.

Hardware stores dont generaly carry stainless shackles & mallions, but if they did, what would be wrong with using them? Obviously use big ones. There are 2, so there is back up. Try the industrial rigging stores.

I'm not sure made up stainless rings would be avalible off the shelf in SA. You could have them made & they would need anealing. Places that harden tools/steel, might be able provide this service. Make sure they know what they are doing? Pickeling past can be bought at welding supply stores.

You could use 10mm SS chain links. But remember when costing that to get 1 link you need to cut 1 link. & chain links don't naturaly turn spreading the wear.

"You can buy hangers with chains/rings attached from larger climbing retailers" true, but I'm not sure anyone has stock of top anchors at the moment. If some one has any I'm keen.

"Expense doesn't come into it." It does unfortunatly. We need a viable/sustainable option for SA. To expensive & folks will make their own plan.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:42 am 
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What I had been thinking about was that several of the climbs at Strubens just have the two U bults as a top anchor, no chain or rings attached, which are getting quite worn and will need to be cut and replaced at some stage. If the SS rings were available seperately, then hanging a ring on a Mailon would be the simplest way to extend the life of these bolts. (IMHO)

What I didn't want to do was endanger anybody.

The current system on some of the top anchors is two mailons, but they can't rotate, so the bottom mailon does wear a bit, but can be at least be replaced easily.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:04 am 
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Marshall1 wrote:
Umm, you could order hilti bolts at most hardware stores. So they are hardware store variety bolts, but we use them.

Hardware stores dont generaly carry stainless shackles & mallions, but if they did, what would be wrong with using them? Obviously use big ones. There are 2, so there is back up. Try the industrial rigging stores.


Basically I'm trying to avoid people using unsuitable equipment, if you buy shackles/rings/chains/u-bolts from a climbing store you will be getting properly rated and tested equipment designed and built to an international standard. I'm sure you wouldn't climb using a 'biner you bought from Midas in your quickdraw...

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 3:31 pm 
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Speaking of Midas...I removed an old top anchor at Cleo (PE). It comprised an old A1 Citi Golf seat belt attachment bracket & a D shackle...nasty!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 1:10 pm 
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Larry you can get the rings seperately from climbing equipment manufacturers such as Raumer. These are fully rated and tested. When compiling your own anchore setups you need to be absolutely certain that the alloys in the various components are compatible, DO NOT MIX YOUR METALS! Ie 316 components need to be matched to 316 or compatible steels. If you mix the alloys in a non compatible combination they will corrode alarmingly quickly even inland. This is yet another reason that we urge people to simply buy the premade setups, at least then we can be sure that all the components are rated and all alloys are of a compatible variety.

Justin some of the anchors you show pictures of are not suitable or acceptable by local standards. I also feel that putting up pictures like those are encouraging people to experiment and invent their own systems, this something we want too strongly discourage!! Eg: Scott Miller has placed anchors at the mine and elsewhere that feature an aluminium biner attached by a mild steel mailon to a stainless steel hanger, these things are death traps!! The aluminium is corroding through extremely fast due to electrolytic reactions between the different alloys.

PLEASE! Everyone just stick to the specifically designed and manufactured equipment, peoples lives are at stake here!! Im sure none of you want to face manslaughter charges because you were too cheap to fork out for decent equipment!!
PS: Although you can get the appropriate Hilti or Fischer bolts through a hardware store please buy them only from the official Hilti or Upat outlets, this ensures that you are getting the right thing and that the bolts have not been mishandled. There is no margin for error here people! Get it right!


Last edited by XMod on Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:16 pm 
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Here are some examples of what a proper anchor should be taken from the Raumer site. Note the first three anchors shown must be placed in pairs.
Below is an anchor suited to high chloride environments such as near the sea.
Image

The next two are also stainless steel but because they need mechanical anchors to fasten to the rock they are more suited inland application.
Image

Image

Below are the rings Larry was after.
Image

Now you are probably all wondering WTF? Ive never seen these before! Thats because they cost! Most local anchors feature only a ring, not biners. These however are not strictly top anchors they are designed as abseil anchors only. The problem with rings is that you need to untie to thread the ring thus exposing yourself to risk unecessarily with every route you clean. I feel that high usage crags should be equipped with the above anchors thus greatly reducing the risks involved in cleaning a route and speeding up your turnover of routes during a session by a wide margin. Even highly experienced climbers like Lynn Hill have been severely injured by a moments inattention during the cleaning procedure. On Kalymnos only clip-in anchors are allowed and these are sponsored by the local council. If a tiny community like that can get a good system like this implemented there is no reason we cant do the same here.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:42 pm 
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Another excellent sport anchor this time from Fixe

Image


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:48 pm 
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Those are truly awesome anchors. I see the prices were not included. Probrably shocking. Any stock in SA? Is anyone still importing Raumer? Its a pity that our authorities are not sponsoring.

I really need tA. Anyone got any stock?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:55 pm 
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Hi Marshall, they are awesome but yes very costly. The Fixe goes for $33 a pop! Raumer havent put prices on their site but are generally a bit less expensive than Fixe. Try Mountain Mail Order for TA's Ive been on at them to get more stock so maybe? - Just called them they have the single ring and two hangers conected by chain combos, give them a shout! 021 6836026


Last edited by XMod on Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:01 pm 
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hey XMod! Interesting stuff!
Just a note. Lynn Hill's accident was not due to inattention during the cleaning procedure, but due to inattention during the tying the knot procedure while she was still on the ground.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:05 pm 
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OK right! I thought she'd fluffed during the cleaning procedure - oops my bad! There are other examples of accidents happening with untying. Anyway with the cost of these units we would need some serious sponsorship to put them up. Hopefully one day.....sigh!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:09 pm 
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These all look great, but I am not looking at bolting anything, the bolts are there already.

They are U bolts and some of them have nothing attached, just the bolt, so the bolt itself is getting worn. I would love to be able to add a few of the rings, as shown in the above pic, but have yet to find out where to get just the ring from.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:24 pm 
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Hmm

$33 x R10.10 X 2 = R666.60 + Postage + Vat + 2 X R21(bolts)

Is that more than R710 for a set of top anchor? You see, its not really happening. There is no authority picking up the tab in my case.

pictures of awsome top anchors are nice But not very useful. I prefer some sort of reality.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:24 pm 
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@ Larry: Hi check out these links:
http://www.raumerclimbing.com/eng/prodo ... &qi=4-11-0

http://www.raumerclimbing.com/eng/prodo ... s&qi=4-9-0

Im not sure if Raumer do direct retail sales so you may need to order them especially through your local retailer. What you would want to do is attach the rings to the existing bolts with a mailon. Again just make sure the mailon is properly rated and that the alloys in your setup are compatible with one another. All the best, let us know how it went, how to order etc.

Marshall check your PM inbox.


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