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New Water Anchor Prototype: The Water Pocket

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by Bootboy, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    Let me start by saying that I will not be posting any detailed pictures. I don't want to spoil any surprises.;) I have the first field ready prototype of this design completed and awaiting use. Thus far, I've completed scale tests and full scale proof-of-concept tests.

    Anywho... I thought I'd letch'all know what was cookin' in the kitchen.

    From a recent trip I took to a canyon with decidedly superfluous bolts, I was inspired, as others before me have been, to create an anchor that could be used when only water is present as an anchoring material. I knew that Tom and Jenny had been working on one but Im the type who wants to build one for myself regardless of what is available, maybe improving upon existing concepts or rethinking it completely. My latest project has been the latter. I came up with a different approach before I had even seen Tom and Jenny's idea. I talked to Tom and he mentioned some of the short comings of the current design. Wracking my brain I tried to think of all the possible scenarios in which this anchor might be used and any unforeseeable complications. I tried several ideas with scale testing, went back to the drawing board, and tested again. I finally settled on a concept that I felt was as simple as it could be, while also being more functional than any of my previous designs. It was so obvious that this was a much more effective and simpler design that I was a bit frustrated that I didn't see it sooner. I did some calculations to determine the dimensions I would need for it to hold ample water, and create enough surface area o provide the necessary friction.

    What I will say is that while modularity has a place in this type of engineering, there also comes a point when a purpose built unit is necessary to achieve a more satisfactory result. What that means is that this anchor works only for one thing: water anchoring. I thought about creating something that would act as an insert to a sand trap, but I was unable to achieve the levels of simplicity and functionality I desired.

    The whole unit rolls down to the size of a 1.5 liter Nalgene and weighs less than 2.5 pounds. When deployed in either of 2 configurations, low angle or high angle, (it can also be used on flat ground) it is capable of holding upwards of 200lbs of water. Once the pull cord is tugged and the mechanism released, all of my initial tests consistently achieved complete emptying of the unit in a matter of seconds, leaving only the weight of the empty anchor to be pulled down.

    Look for the Water Pocket to be making a splash in a canyon near you over the coming season.

    Taylor

    BTW Im rather proud of the name, a reference to a geological feature that most of you are familiar with.
  2. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    Rolled size. Somewhat loose.

    [​IMG]
    dakotabelliston likes this.
  3. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    Picture! Why you no work?
  4. Deagol

    Deagol too many hobbies

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    hope you get the picture figured out...
  5. Ram

    Ram

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    Thanks for trying to get a picture up. Kudos for your efforts and may the new design be a resounding success. Jenny spent a lot of time and money producing 6 prototype aguanchors. I believe (?) she used various materials. She distributed 5 to various folks. Some of the thinner material traps didn't seem to hold water as well. The aguanchor that Jenny kept and the one given to me have been successfully deployed and quite often over the last several years. Enough so that my trap has had to be patched twice (once due to carelessness while transporting it) and needed to be sprayed to get waterproof again. It has been a successful as a valuable ghosting tool.

    We have learned a ton along the way. It fills an important niche, especially after storms. In conjunction with the capture techniques, sandtrap and fiddlestick (after so many applications of this anchor and seeing so many different skilled anchor people lauding its use, I feel its use and the ability to apply it safely is being proved in the field), there always seems to be one, but often more than one anchor solution that works at essentially every drop. In fact, the process of deciding which method to use at a drop has become a fascinating part of the process. Speed and warmth, often being the deciding factor.

    There are many areas I would love to discuss, such as methods/dangers for backing up of the system, ease/difficulty in getting water into the system, surfaces and angles that work and why, maintenance and much much more, but that will have to wait until such a time as your idea is revealed for all to see. You do give a few hints....Waterpocket holds 200 lb's? Is that 25 gallons? Probably the difference in weight of 2.5 LB to the 1 LB 6 oz of the aguanchor (Note that it fits in a sandtrap, but we always take a sandtrap now and note too that we store both inside a potshot, which we also always seem to find useful and protects the aguanchor from punctures and abrassion). Another hint you have given is different systems for low and high angles. I have no idea if anything we have learned will offer anything of value here. Very interesting. Good luck and I look forward to the waterpocket's "coming out party. (one word or two? The feature in Cap Reef is one word ;-). Love the name either way)

    Ram
    aguanchor on a 90 foot rap
    [​IMG]
  6. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    Other details I feel safe alluding too are the facts that this unit has a cordura outer shell, and then a removable lightweight, waterproof liner. The two are joined with Velcro and can be separated for maintenance/ replacement. The difference between the two configurations for low/flat angle and high/vertical is simply the position of the retrieval line. One side of the shell has a piece of rubberized fabric on it to improve the coefficient of friction against the rock. I need to add a few more bells and whistles and weigh it again to determine it's carrying weight.

    The dimensions of the fabric give me roughly 3.25 cubic feet (~180lbs) Once filled it will distort to accommodate a greater volume. That's where my estimation of 200lbs comes from.
    ratagonia, Mountaineer and Ram like this.
  7. Christian Lupercio

    Christian Lupercio

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    [​IMG]

    Might just be a typo on the tag, should be:

    [IMG]http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/10/31/egu8y3u5.jpg[/IMG]

    EDIT: Not so much. My initial reply didn't work, I had to edit it and use the code editor to see the problem. Seems like the IMG and URL tags were conflicting with each other.

    If you paste a link and use the [IMG] tag it won't work because it automatically parses links with the [URL] tag. So effectively it does this:

    [IMG][URL]http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/10/31/egu8y3u5.jpg[/URL][/IMG]

    That freaks out Xenforo and you get what you got. Seems to be selective as to when it happens though, @Ram's post was fine. idk.
    Deagol likes this.
  8. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    I've always posted from mobile and have never had issues before.
  9. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    Thanks Ram for the spelling correction.

    Waterpocket it is ;)

    Btw, what canyon is that test shot in?
  10. Jenny

    Jenny

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    Taylor,
    I am very excited that you are working on a water anchor. Like others, I love your name, Waterpocket.

    In case there may be anything of value in seeing more about my process in building and using my version (Aguanchor), I share this set of photos with you. (Previously posted on the Yahoo Canyon forum.)
    E-mail me on the side if there is anything I can do to support your success in this. Though others have filled in most of the potential gaps, I believe.

    I appreciate your creative spirit and I am enjoying the anticipation of your Great Reveal.:D

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/carverat297/sets/72157628062414488/

    Cheers,
    Jenny
    Steve Woodford, Ram, Bootboy and 2 others like this.
  11. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    Thanks jenny.

    I bought heat sealable fabric for the liner and I'm putting it together as we speak. I need a good proving ground for it. Seeing as there are no suitable potholes in my yard...If anyone has suggestions on easily accessed potholes, pm me. I'd love to spend a weekend doing my first round of field testing.
    ratagonia and Ram like this.
  12. Ram

    Ram

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    Sir Boot
    Congrats
    May the Pocket be "the answer.'
    Lower Inferno has many angled pots to test and gets a nice canyon in on the way
    Thoughts??? You didn't ask. but...You likely thought of this...but just in case
    *Back ups need to be further back and VERY secure because it is not just the weight of the rapper and his/her pack, but he weight of the water going over lips, in failures. Additional back up human support is wise.
    * failures are OK as long as the back up is serious...except the last person, of course. Next to last failures are bad too.
    *Canyons flowing, even a dribble, have not been safe for our water anchors yet
    * Wet Moss, on the slope up and over drops require much steeper angles and deeper holes than dry, clean surfaces, to be safe
    *Full water bags in near or full holes? Opinions differ. Approach with caution and share observations please
    * Totally full traps, immersed in water, with big lips are fine. Smaller lips? We have observed some "walking" of the traps when full. They become too round. Less may be more? Here opinions vary too. Again, share what you learn please

    Kudos to you
    Kudos to Jenny
    May the R & D continue...safely
  13. Jenny

    Jenny

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  14. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Ram had an unfortunate incident where the backup of the Aguanchor was inattentive and the Aguanchor itself went over the lip. Thus the backup now had to hold both the rappeller and the weight of the water.

    I keep trying to tell him it has not much to do with using the Aguanchor, and more with inattention, but he focuses on the hard fact that it was the Aguanchor that failed in this way.

    The same could happen with a SandTrap, though we might expect some amount of the sand to escape the system if the Trap went over the edge. My takeaway is that when using any of these kinds of anchors, the backup needs to be attentive, and apply a controlling force when failure is imminent, but before failure occurs. I also vastly prefer placements (for both) that are a considerable distance back from the edge of the drop. This is not always possible with a water anchor, as often the only available placement is AT the edge of the drop. With a water anchor, a two-person-meat-anchor backup is a good idea in many circumstances.

    Tom
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  15. Ram

    Ram

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    First off, I was only one of two people. I was out of sight of my partner for critical parts of the experience. Second off, as is evident, people can and do come to different conclusions from observing the same event. Third off, I am, wise enough to know that I am not an expert on any of this, thus my conclusions are opinion and that everyone has one. I ASS-U-ME that I will be in error on some things and may come to wrong conclusions in other areas. My use of the word "we" in my descriptions, reflects that there were two of us, NOT that my partner shares my opinions. The "we" reflects "me" only and is to open to change, with new information.

    I incident I refer to may have been a different one than Tom is aware of. In this case, we were testing with only two people. Something we learned was unwise. I weighed twice the amount of the person doing the back up. Add my pack weight. Add that I was wet. Add the water weight of the trap (40+ LB that time?). Add that the rap went free which I argue creates additional forces. Add that it was late in the day, others were ahead and we WANTED to learn more at a less than ideal time. Add that it was not an easy spot to get leverage for the back up and we didn't know how important that was yet and...... it adds up to some important lessons. One of them was NOT guarding against inattention. We knew that one already

    Here is some more lessons. Back up should be on belay, not tied into the system. The ability to release rope when the system is under stress can be a life saver. It mattered this day I believe. Same for almost ALL meat anchoring. That was a lesson learned from Tom. A good one.

    This is the spot that led to MY believing that wet, mossy, low angle, down canyon lips are suspect. YMMV. Something I saw that i can't believe? That a 40 pound bag of water, with a little air in it, can fall 15 feet and sink right to the bottom. When pulled up, from 20 feet of water, it was structurally sound.

    Alright, there it is. The water anchor's most dangerous moment. Its most important teaching moment too. careful out there!:eek:
    Does it sound like we are having fun?;)
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  16. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    Notes taken on all of the above.

    So I'm looking for easily accessible potholes with low consequence drops below them. It doesn't even have to be in a proper canyon, just a lonely pothole. Any suggestions? Is there something near the road on the east side of Zion? Something near HITRR? N. wash?
    I'm open to suggestions because my finished prototype is ready to roll. The boulders in my yard are only good to a point.
  17. PG Rob

    PG Rob

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    Try Woody which is 12 or so miles south of HWY 95 off of HWY 276 near North Wash. It is not far from the road, there are plenty of low consequence potholes and it should have water in it.
  18. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    I'm racking my brain, but not coming up with anything useful. Best I get is:

    Close to the top of No Kidding, between NK and the Kelsey exit, is a series of potholes heading downward (but the first few can be hiked next to). There was some water in them yesterday, but not a lot.

    Fairly dry out North Wash way, this last weekend.

    Tom
  19. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    How convenient. There's a good chance I will rendezvous with some friends near N wash this weekend.
  20. Moab Mark

    Moab Mark

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    What about dragon fly in moab?

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
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