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Creative anchor solutions

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by Deagol, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. Deagol

    Deagol too many hobbies

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    I have always been interested in Creative anchor solutions since people I know who don't do this sport ask me "how do you get your rope back". It's what I also used to wonder before learning about these techniques. The environmental damage I've seen in my few years of canyoneering falls into 3 main categorizes: (1) footprints that stomp cryptobiotic crust, (2) bad/messy anchors including bolt holes and various other scars, and (3) rope groves in the lip of a cliff due to rappelling. I believe/hope that some Creative anchor solutions can at least help address #3 above.

    Some of the Creative anchor solutions I am aware of, but have not tried are:
    Some of the ones I have tried:
    Methods I am working on:
    • Smooth Operator hybrid with equalizing on 2 bolts (directional figure 8 or butterfly knot with rapide)* -this could work with a Fiddlestick also
    * a method developed by others with a variation I added for a specific reason, to be explained as time allows
    ** I have not seen anything written about this technique, but someone probably thought of it before I did?

    Some of the methods above result in more wear & tear on the rock itself, and also your equipment. Some are ghosting methods that may have an added environmental, aesthetic, and financial benefits. Some methods are chosen based on the situation at the top of the rappel, where one or more methods could work equally well.
    I figured this thread could be a repository for creative anchor solutions if people feel like describing these or other solutions that they may be familiar with. In many cases, the people who invented these techniques may have documented them very well in other sources. So this thread can serve as a table of contents that directs one to the source for these solutions. These were the best links I found, but better links may exist.
    Please feel free to add information or make corrections.
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  2. gajslk

    gajslk

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    I usually hike barefoot in the red rock desert. It's incredible how much less impact a bare foot print has compared to a shoe print when walking on the cryptogams is unavoidable. The print is much smaller and it's not flat. It's not really a creative solution so much as it's old school ...

    If this blows your hair back, be warned that it's not safe on steep or wet slickrock. Sticky rubber has it's uses ...

    Gordon
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  3. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Is that an X slot?

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    I'm interested in what you've tried. Please post up.


    You may be thinking of a similar washer type method. That is, you have a knot that pulls through a larger device (carabiner) to release one side of the anchor webbing, but then catches on a smaller device (rapid) that in turn pulls the entire setup down.

    Some disadvantages over the fiddlestick: more complex, and more stuff to snag on.
  4. Deagol

    Deagol too many hobbies

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    I need to take a picture of this setup. I used a similar setup in Dragonfly a few years back, but the tail of the rope was secured with the Klemheist and my new idea uses a Smooth Operator to secure it instead. I've done it from the garage ceiling but not "in the field" yet. I'll try to get a picture.

    Yes, I do remember that washer setup I saw people use on (I think) the arch rap in Granary ??
    I thought using a large biner to allow a knot to pass through and a small rapid to catch that knot could replace the washer and simplify the whole system. The washer seemed like a pain to me, especially pulling the rope through the washer hole for that long distance.

    You are right, too, about the increased likelihood of something catching on the pull-down. As far as "my" variation, I've never seen anyone else use this. It seemed so obvious, though, that no one thought of this prior?
  5. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Is that an X slot?

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    Agree, the washer concept was abandoned with what you suggest. There is some historical discussion on it on the other forum over there...

    I bought a couple of perfect washers and tested it out quite awhile back and liked the system. Then, of course, others came up with the more simple approach of a small rapid.
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  6. Deagol

    Deagol too many hobbies

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    Ok, cool. I knew it was too obvious to miss. It works "OK" but what I don't like is having a nice new, expensive, carabiner falling down the rock and getting beat up, and possibly stuck.

    Back to the Fiddlestick/Smooth Operator hybrid with equalizing on 2 bolts using a directional figure 8 or butterfly knot with rapide (there has got to be an easier name for this concept..o_O )*

    It is done to equalize the weight on two bolts without forming an "American Death Triangle". It uses the bolts that you can thread rope through (not sharp-edged bolt-hangers). I guess you could also substitute smaller trees for bolts if the situation warranted. It would still have a small chance of getting stuck since the tail of rope would have a tied loop (directional fig-8 or butterfly) with a small rapide on it, but way less change of sticking than the Klemheist version of the webbing loop anchors. I may be able to upload a picture tonight.
  7. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    That washer setup thingy and the whole concept of the two-ring-slung has been employed by arborists for years. You need one large ring, one small ring, and some webbing. Don't over complicate it with washers, biners, quick links, etc... Big ring, small ring, that's it. In fact, you can buy them pre-made from many online arborist supply stores, although not the cheapest way to do it.

    http://www.wesspur.com/Carabiners/climbing-rings.html
  8. Deagol

    Deagol too many hobbies

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    Thanks, that makes sense. I don't actually use this system.
    The link is a good source if you wanna use that type of system. I can see why it may be good for trees since presumably, pulling stuff down will have it land on softer ground and not get banged up against rocks.
  9. Deagol

    Deagol too many hobbies

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    Ok, here is a pic of the "Fiddlestick/Smooth Operator hybrid with equalizing on 2 bolts using a directional figure 8 or butterfly knot with rapide" anchor rigging.

    My wife says I should call it the "Y-Knot".

    Here it is with a Butterfly Knot
    (substitute the carabiners in the pic for rounded bolts, or small trees, or ???)

    IMG_5163.JPG


    Here is what the rope looks like when It's pulled down
    IMG_5160.JPG
  10. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Is that an X slot?

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    The Y knot - love it! Thanks for taking the time and posting this up. Great method to equalize on two anchor points.
    Deagol likes this.
  11. Blake Merrell

    Blake Merrell Lovin' Utah's Backcountry

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    Love it! Thanks for sharing :)
  12. Pikan

    Pikan

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    Very cool! :cool:

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
  13. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    Too complicated. Get rid of the quick link.

    Do a normal stone knot by running a single strand around both anchors. [​IMG]

    Pull the line between them and incorporate the bight into the stone/fiddle stick

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Pull as usual. No knot, no quick link
  14. Deagol

    Deagol too many hobbies

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    Awesome, I need to try this.

    Have you ever used this in the field before?
  15. Pikan

    Pikan

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    While I like your solution a lot as well, Bootboy, I think it has one disadvantage that the knot and link one doesn't. It puts more stress on the actual fiddlestick.
    I did some experimentation in my garage after acquiring my fiddlestick and found that the traditional stone knot/fiddlestick configuration puts relatively low force on the fiddlestick. A friend of mine dropped by while I was practicing with it, and he theorized that the replacing it with a pencil would still hold a person's static weight. We tried it out and he was half right. It held his 150lb weight just fine...but when I put my 230lb weight on it, it held a little, but quickly broke. While I would never advocate using anything like a pencil to rappel on, it set my mind at ease for my 3/8" lexan fiddlestick!
    I'm also curious of what this added stress does with the force need to pull it after being weighted.
    Is this a huge problem? Probably not, (I plan to try it out as well) but it's something to keep in mind when choosing materials and pull configurations, especially with larger canyoneers like me. ;)

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
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  16. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Is that an X slot?

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    Valid point, but one to keep in mind for any equalization. I would guess the same issue would be close to the same in the original Y knot example.

    I don't see a concern unless our angle gets more than 60 degrees or so. At 60 degrees, there is about a 58% load to each anchor point.
  17. Pikan

    Pikan

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    My point wasn't about the stress on the anchor points, (angles and such) those principles should always be followed. I was talking more of the added stress ON the fiddlestick, the stone knot does a pretty good job of taking the forces away from the fiddlestick, adding the loop from the anchor points onto the fiddlestick adds forces on the fiddle-material.
    Keep in mind this is just an off the cuff look at the system, I haven't done any free-body analysis on either system BUT just looking at it, I'm pretty sure that the pencil scenario I described above wouldn't hold as much weight in Bootboy's config as opposed to a traditional, OR the knot and ring one.

    Like I said before, I don't think this is a problem with sufficiently strong materials, just something to keep in mind for those that are building their own fiddlesticks. ;)

    Still curious about the pull forces...
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  18. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    I can see that. It may be a concern with 1/4" polycarbonate, but certainly not with 3/8" or 1/2".
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  19. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Is that an X slot?

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    Right, so at 60 degrees maybe another 20% stress on the pencil? Would be interesting to measure that pencil stress using the Y knot method you did, or the loop method directly into the knot as Bootboy did. I would guess the stress would be the same.

    Agree that in this config there will be more stress on the pencil...um, fiddlestick.:)

    Great creativity and ideas. Love these kind of threads.
    Blake Merrell likes this.
  20. Deagol

    Deagol too many hobbies

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    Thanks to everyone for their contributions!

    I have a Fiddlestick and a Smooth Operator and the Smooth Operator is made from 3/8" Lexan. The Fiddlestick is thinner by a good amount. Without any gauges to test the actual forces, I don't have the ability to make quantitative measurements, but the ideas about more stress on the "stick" due to the inclusion of the loop in the stone knot at least makes sense.

    Bootboy, Have you tried this in the field yet?
    For the record, I have NOT tried the "Y-knot" in the field as shown, but have used the knot-loop and rapid "portion" of the system with the tail secured by the Klemheist method described in the first post and it worked well.

    One thing I've found is that trying stuff in the field can sometimes illuminate an issue that isn't apparent when testing at home.
    I really like Bootboy's method and am just curious if anyone has used this in practice. I also wish I had more opportunity to practice in the field, as well...
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