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Clipping the chains

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:24 pm
by jgb
Regarding the strubens post and clipping into chains. I always clip into the last two chain rings, then thread the rope thru the first set of chain rings (ie above the ones I'm clipped into, there are usually three). That way once I have tied in again my belayer can take up the slack thus unwieghting myself from my draws allowing me to clip out easily. Doing it the other way around means my belayer cannot 'unweight' me to unclip, meaning I must now unwieght myself with one hand and feet to unclip with only one hand and then lower my weight back down onto the roap, (making life very difficult if you are hanging). No matter what system is being used I always approach it like that: clip in to low point thread thru high point?

From an 'american angle' point of view the lower down everything is the better (less strain on anchors). I imagine that hanging on anchors with draws directly in your harness places more strain on them than being roped in (rope is more dynamic than draw?), which in my mind is an even better reason to clip into the chains.

Unless you are setting up a toprope in which case just clip draws into the chains and clip into them.

I think anyway, been doing it like that for a long time now and am still here.

ps might seem trivial at strubens but get a few small thing like 'weighting' a rope wronge on a big trad climb and you can waste tons of time at best

Re: Clipping the chains

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:22 pm
by Warren G
I have never understdood the paranoia associated with the chains: climbers are happy to make 5m leadouts on one bolt, but will attach themselves to two bolts- with even weight distribution- before gentally sitting down on the two, and follow this up with much debate on the best, safest etc etc way of doing it. To top it off they have added two slings and two screwgates to their harness which they climb with everywhere and even when they aren't cleaning. Anyway I digress...

It makes sense to thread the rope throught the bottom pair of links rather than the pair above them simply because they are parallel, rather than inline, meaning no twisting. Never mind the obvious rope damage advantages etc.

A more interesting- but still old - question is why Western Cape routes have the chains at deliberately different heights. This results on more wear on the gear/ropes etc. As implied above I am less concerned about the safety aspect but rather the inconvenience for people that prefir to use the above mentioned 2 sling strategy. if there has been safety issues due to even heights of the chains I would love to read up on them, please attach links to articles regarding the topic.

Re: Clipping the chains

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:29 pm
by brianweaver
The rope is supposed to run through the lowest chain ring as it causes the least resistance on the system and also offers the least chance of the rope getting stuck when pulling it through the chains. Anyone who has had any instruction in climbing should know this and use this technique.

As for clipping the anchors, you're supposed to put your draws through the hangers (if there are hangers) or through the high links of chain (if there are no hangers).

I don't know where you've come up with your logic but no one should teach that to a beginner, nor use it him/herself.

To be honest, I'm hoping you're a troll and just trying to push people's buttons...

Warren, I've heard something about the top anchor being supposed to take all the load with the bottom anchor acting as a back up in the system. I don't know if it's wrong or right. The theory I heard was that only on anchor wears out and needs to be replaced?

Re: Clipping the chains

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:43 pm
by joshpickering
Just typed a long response and then saw Brian said everything that needs to be said!

By the way, you never did explain what you meant in the other thread about the woman clipping into the chains. Hard for us to comment if we're not sure what you meant

Re: Clipping the chains

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:01 pm
by DavidWade
Warren G wrote:To top it off they have added two slings and two screwgates to their harness which they climb with everywhere and even when they aren't cleaning
The two slings and two screwgates is not too bad, but some sport climbers add a lot more baggage than just that to their harnesses: Belay devices, bail biners, prussic cords, and who knows what else.

I want as little clutter attached to my harness as possible when climbing sport routes.

Re: Clipping the chains

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:12 pm
by brianweaver
I see no reason not to use the two quickdraws that are already on the anchors. If it's a funny position I retrieve a lower draw to extend the anchors. Why carry the extra crap when you're sport climbing?

I don't know why I'm even bothering to comment on this. I must be really bored :shock:

Re: Clipping the chains

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:51 pm
by Franz
I clean with my slings clipped in on the hanger / right on top, and the rope in the lowest link of the chains.
Warren G wrote:climbers are happy to make 5m leadouts on one bolt, but will attach themselves to two bolts- with even weight distribution... .......the inconvenience for people that prefir to use the above mentioned 2 sling strategy.
I've tought a couple of beginners, and will continue to teach the principles below until someone gives me a good reason not to.
i. Redundancy: When taking that 5m fall, you are protected by more than one bolt - that is if you clipped everything and did not become stupid skipping bolts, so strictly you are not falling on one bolt only and will not deck because the next bolt will stop your fall.
ii. Redundancy: When at the top, and you hang in your slings, its good practice to have your only protection backed up (remember the recent post on bolts pulling out in China?).
iii. Double up on safety. Use screwgates on the slings, and close them. Just less chance of anything going wrong.

iv. Legal liability: I dont want to be sued for using creative techniques while teaching on safety.
v. Get begginers down to the ground alive and psyched to climb again.

Then, when they are competent and brave they can take all the shortcuts they want and be accountable for their own creativity.
Personally, the added weight of 1 one more sling and carabiner really is worth it compared to the added safety. Maybe this changes when projecting 30's but I would not know.

I love these 'safety' posts. Awareness is good, and prevents complacency. Complacency kills, and there are many statistics to prove that.

Spend some time researching industrial accidents, and you will see how creative seemingly intelligent people can become while killing themselves.

Re: Clipping the chains

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:22 pm
by Warren G
@ Franz: however if you think about it your belay is still holding on to the other end of the rope and you clip that into the bottom biner of the "Y", remaining safe should there be some miraculous double-bolt-failure that is so popular at our South African crags. Who trusts bolters anyway? OK I digress, if you want to add one component for safety reasons it would be a screwgate so that you can clip the rope into you securely while threading.

I agree with Brian though: I shouldn't be telling people not to buy slings and s/g biners as I sell them for a living. Scratch everything I said above: bolts aren't safe, rather climb trad, and your gear mustn't ever have been weighted- even placing pro damages it beyond use. Rather replace all used gear after every use after all your life must be worth more than R20k a month? :bom:

P.S never take off your helmet for any aspect of life, even sleeping is dangerous!

Re: Clipping the chains

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:46 pm
by brianweaver
I know something about not taking off my helmet... :oops:

Re: Clipping the chains

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:59 pm
by Warren G
Once bitten twice shy hey Brian?

On a sad note I actually leave a spare helmet in my car now, and another in the trad bag. Thanks Brian

Re: Clipping the chains

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:35 pm
by Franz
I guess its about risk, how much we are willing to take, and how much effort we are willing to put into reducing it.
I dont think one sling is necessarily bad, but personally I just like reducing risk wherever I can, and I teach that to others too. Must say I like your perception regards trad, Warren. That way if I want to know if the pro is good, I can just ask myself.

The main thing I think we should all agree on is that we should all be accountable to ourselves and those around us regards safety.


Re: Clipping the chains

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:39 pm
by jgb
Many years ago while on a long weekend trip too boven I clipped into the chains, threaded the ubolts and came down. This after struggling (alot) to unclip myself from my two (very) short quickdraws weighted by myself on the previous climb. This led to an almighty beer feuled debate on the pro's and cons of this around a camp fire. OK so this is what we came up with and is my point really, it can be a pain to get your draws out after you have tyed back in if they are weighted and your belayer cannot take some slack. The best way to do this is by making sure you are hanging below where you thread your rope and the best way you can do that is not to clip into the chains but to make sure you carry a few slings with you (you win Franz :) )

Amost trolling but not quite, the paranoia about the chains may have something to do with the fact that its the most dangerous aspect of sport climbing,where the most fatalities occur.

Re: Clipping the chains

Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:16 am
by Not
I know Warren is taking a dig at me for my use of slings and lockers. Bite me Warren. I feel a nice fuzzy feeling when I sling into the anchors. I have more room to move about and find it easier to unweight when I want to come back on belay. I still tie the rope back to myself. I notice that most belayers don't bother keeping the belay on once the climber has pulled up slack to thread the anchors - it always concerns me.

On many routes with chains the rope will only fit through the bottom link. The higher links do not have enough space because two other links connect to them. Putting your 'draws through the links makes it just about impossible to thread properly. This is a mega concern if a beginner is following and cleaning because they are then tempted to thread the hangers (yikes!). As mentioned above I really think you should be clipping the hangers although I have seen instances where it is just about impossible to do so because of the orientation of the hanger relative to the ring through the anchor and the bolt.

On this matter I think this is a great way to set up top ropes for people who really are not ready to clean for themselves. Whoever is top roping just has to unclip the draws to lower off, all this while saving the chains :)