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Tech Tip: Question Canyoneering 107 - anchor critique

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by ratagonia, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    What's wrong with this picture? (I mean, besides the 15 extra pounds on my tummy!)

    Quiz01.
  2. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

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    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
  3. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    A good start.
  4. Jason Linder

    Jason Linder

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    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.

    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
  5. sail2fast

    sail2fast

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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...
  6. Jason Linder

    Jason Linder

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    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.

    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk
  7. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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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.

    Tom
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  8. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Where is the webbing going to wear first?
  9. gajslk

    gajslk

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    Under that rock, where it won't be visible ...
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  10. Jason Linder

    Jason Linder

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    I guess it probably could be moved from underneath the jagged edge of that guillotine rock in front.
  11. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    First rap in Morocco (N Wash)

    Here is what I left it as... Comments good and bad???

    Quiz02.
  12. Andrew J Farrow

    Andrew J Farrow

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    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 ]
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  13. Craig

    Craig Feeling My Way

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    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.
  14. Rapterman

    Rapterman

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    You definitely look slimmer in that second photo!
    :twothumbs:
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  15. Rapterman

    Rapterman

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    The first cairn was overkill and impossible to inspect-
    would take forever to disassemble/reassemble...
    What was the rappel like? (length, angle, etc)
    :)
  16. Sandstone Addiction

    Sandstone Addiction Headed South

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    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.
  17. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent". Isaac Asimov
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  18. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    All that hard work moving those boulders...
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  19. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Exactly -

    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.

    Tom
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  20. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Original Anchor

    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.

    Tom
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