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The Climbing Club • View topic - Great Northern Slab 10/27/07

The Climbing Club

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 11:34 am 
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A Sophomore
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Frank picked up Rok and i at 11 for a leisurely afternoon of climbing on the Great Northern Slab at Index. Frank played rope-gun all afternoon, which offered Rok and i a low-stress opportunity to practice crack climbing. We started on a 5.8 fist crack (The Lizard), which led to easy climbing to our second belay. From there we followed a 5.6 hand crack (Pisces) to an arrete up to a solid bolted anchor. We checked out some of the climbs higher up (they were wet) then rappelled down a pitch and set up a top-rope on a 5.10a thin-hand crack (Libra). It was dark by the time we'd all safely reached solid ground. I dragged my camera up the cliff to record the action: http://www.astro.washington.edu/cowan/t ... dex_oct_27


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 11:48 am 
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Cap'n Wingspan
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It's a little hard to see in the photo exactly how you've set up the anchor in this picture (http://www.astro.washington.edu/cowan/t ... 0.JPG.html), but I'm slightly concerned with the way it appears to be set up. It looks like the yellow sling is receiving the great majority of the downward force, and you've set up the blue sling and biner in an attempt to equalize and distribute the force. Problem is, if the blue sling fails (say, if the bolt holds but the sling breaks), it will simply slide right through the blue biner and you'll deck. Also, the angles of the two slings is important, since it seems like the the blue sling/biner is putting a sideways force on the yellow sling. When you've got a large angle (say, over 90 degrees) between the two anchors (I'm not sure this really applies in this case, since the anchor isn't actually equalized), the force of the downward pull is actually magnified exponentially. At some point, if the angle is great enough, the force on each individual anchor will accede the entire force on the anchor if you only had one anchor point, despite the fact that you're seemingly distributing the force between two points of contact.

All that said, I'm not trying to be an asshole, and I'm also not entirely sure that the things I've said necessarily apply to your particular anchor, but I'd rather call your attention to these issues and be wrong than not say anything and have you climb on what you think are solid anchors when maybe they aren't.

The cracks look awesome though, and it looks like you got some really solid climbing in.


Last edited by Evan Jewett on Sun Oct 28, 2007 12:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 12:22 pm 
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UW Climber
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Yep, looks like a crappy set up, if it was on gear, but I've put less on those anchors. I just want to say that I hate that 10a overhanding handcrack of death.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 12:50 pm 
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A Sophomore
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Thanks for the concerned post, Evan. I'm totally new to trad climbing, crack climbing and multipitch climbing so any feedback is appreciated. Fortunately, that anchor was simply to keep the belayer from getting pulled sideways off a very comfy ledge. Since we were climbing on toprope, the belayer never budged (let alone put any force on the anchor). The toprope was anchored on four bolts: http://www.astro.washington.edu/cowan/t ... 9.JPG.html We did rappel off the comically large rings, hopefully that wasn't dangerous?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 2:32 pm 
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Cap'n Wingspan
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I'm glad to hear that :)


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 5:56 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 10:58 pm 
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experienced hiker of the climbing club
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 7:46 am 
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Der Savagehiker
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I think this handcrack at the UW Rock is good practice for Libra Crack:


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 8:28 am 
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 6:41 pm 
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I'll have to say something to that. First: This has not been set up to serve as a textbook example. Do not build anchors in this way! If you want to see how to properly equalize several bolts, look somewhere else! BTW, a good equalization can be seen on the picture before: "setting up a top rope" (a bit too small to see much, though).

Second: Yes, the way the blue sling is attached to the rest is crap. See it as a decorative element. One could have left it out. It could still provide some kind of backup in case the left bolt broke or pulled out. Which seems to be a very unlikely event, even more so with what we have been using them for. BTW, the shaft of these bolts has a diameter of about an inch (!), and people use it all the time. Of course, one could do it better.

But I can safely say that I did not put anyone at risk. One of these bolts alone is pretty decently oversized. If there was a danger of seriously loading them, I would still use both, but with what we have being doing there (sitting around and belaying a top rope on Libra crack), it was pretty much impossible to really load these anchors anyway. The ledge is big and flat enough for several people to comfortably stand or sit. For rappelling, the rope was directly threaded through both bolts.

@Evan: Just to make the geometry clear: the whole setup is located at a big, comfortable platform in a corner. The yellow sling is pointing away from the right wall and downward. The blue sling would only get any load if the left bolt failed. The setup can't be pulled very much to the left - there is a granite wall in your way (as I said, the whole thing sits in a corner). If you worry about a sewn sling breaking, you'd consequently have to use two independent equalizing slings or cordelettes at every belay. But a sewn sling has a breaking strength of 22kN, well above the maximum force for a lead fall directly into the belay.

I'd much rather worry about the quarter-inch crap still to be found in places around here and badly placed bolts - I have seen a few here.


Last edited by Svenja Fleischer on Mon Oct 29, 2007 8:05 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 6:48 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:09 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:37 pm 
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 Post subject: evil blue sling
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 3:39 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2005 11:59 pm
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Image

The blue sling is not decorative.
It is superfluous.
It does nothing. Yet, it serves as an example of what not to do.
The blue sling is Goofus to the yellow sling's Gallant.
It is aesthetically displeasing.
It makes me nervous.

IT HURTS MY EYES!!!

AAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGH!!!

Thank you for your attention in this matter.


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