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Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by ratagonia, Apr 11, 2018.
What's wrong with this picture? (I mean, besides the 15 extra pounds on my tummy!)
Well assuming the webbing is properly tied around the base rock in the cairn anchor (since I can’t inspect It through the picture) the problem is that the webbing doesn’t go all the way over the edge, thus creating rope grooves when pulling the rope. Also it isn’t set up to provide a courtesy anchor for all but lapar
A good start.
Hard to see from this angle but you'd think it might be better to have the rocks stacked toward the front and top of the base rock. From this angle, it seems the anchor might be collecting rocks toward the back, which really doesn't do anything.
Again, not sure on angle but it seems a little sloped. Spot of sand to the left could be a flatter surface or even deep enough to partially bury or entrench the main rock.
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Hard to tell by the photo, but it doesn't look like an overhand knot.
The huge pile of rocks inspires confidence, but is harder to inspect.
Also, it looks like there might be good places to attach webbing in the background which would save making a huge pile of rocks.
Unless, as seems likely, they were short on webbing.
It would be easier to fiddlestick something in the background with that bit of plastic hanging on your harness...
Could also add another 10 feet of webbing and a couple overhands to gain a little redundancy at the points the webbing runs over the sandstone.
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"LAPAR"? I hope you do not build your cairn anchors in such a way that the last person has substantially more risk. There is no LAPAR in this scenario, there is only a Last Person.
Where is the webbing going to wear first?
Under that rock, where it won't be visible ...
I guess it probably could be moved from underneath the jagged edge of that guillotine rock in front.
First rap in Morocco (N Wash)
Here is what I left it as... Comments good and bad???
err - if we have to have fabric " runners " to the edge - then expense and ammount of tape used be dammmed - extend them back to the 2 humoungous boulders behind you [ i realise perspective makes it hard to guage distance - how far is it ? ]
but with solid bedrock literally at your feet - i would put inox studs or staples into the floor with chemical grout [ length and diameter determined by rock quality ]
I think I was happier with the larger pile of rocks. I like that your changes allow for easy inspection and doesn't have the rock setting on the webbing. But I would have moved the new pile back a few feet so it rested in what looks like a small depression. I'd also stack another row of big rocks in the front of the pile.
You should probably be clipped into that anchor and have on your helmet.
You definitely look slimmer in that second photo!
The first cairn was overkill and impossible to inspect-
would take forever to disassemble/reassemble...
What was the rappel like? (length, angle, etc)
Heaviest person soft rappels first, while keeping webbing on the sandstone as much as possible, with another person backing up with meat anchor. If anchor solid, then everyone else soft rappels like the first.
"Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent". Isaac Asimov
All that hard work moving those boulders...
Building a HUUUUUUGE pile of boulders makes the rappel less safe. It discourages inspection.
This is a short rappel (20 feet?) with a nice rollover start. Vertical for 8 feet at the bottom.
The new cairn is set in a very slight depression.
The new cairn is built in what might be called the modern Death Valley Style - the webbing is visible and inspectable along its full length, other than under the bottom rock. If your group consists of drunk dudes in the 250 lb plus range, then this anchor might not work for you. Otherwise, it is plenty solid. It is probably possible for a 200 lb.er to MAKE it fail. Those boulders are denser than sandstone.
The webbing is long enough to get into the watercourse groove, rather than ending on the middle of a face just anywhere. The marks the rapide makes will likely be buffed out by waterflow. The rope is in a place where it is unlikely to make rope grooves.
You can see a jumper knot on the webbing, made to expedite backing up and courtesy anchor setup.
This is the first rappel in Morocco, a beginner canyon. I think it is a good thing for us more-experienced canyoneers to leave "good" anchors in canyons, so that the beginners get to see what a good anchor looks like. If you don't recognize this as a good anchor, perhaps you should work on your anchor skills. Certainly drilling holes in the rock is totally unnecessary.
If you think I am being arrogant here, you are correct. However, that is not an interpretation that will improve your canyoneering skill set. A better interpretation would be that Tom has a concern for your safety, and is concerned that you think a 1000 lb stack of rocks is required to hold the 110 lbs you will generate on this rappel, and perhaps your cairn skills could be refined, which will be useful to you in less-advantageous conditions.
Of course, if the "Tom is arrogant" interpretation makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, have at it.
What I like: the webbing color is nice.
What I don't like:
1. The anchor is a huge pile of rocks. Waaay overbuilt, and this makes it a chore to inspect, which means very few people will inspect it. Dangerous.
2. The anchor is much further from the edge of the drop than it needs to be. The problem with this is that even using a lot of webbing, the ring does not make it over the edge = could be hard to pull (a short rappel, so probably not), will likely leave rope grooves, the steel rapid link will scar up the rock where it lies.
3. The anchor is off to the side of the watercourse. Helpful in a way as it will be less effected by water flow, but harmful as it necessarily leads to rope grooves.