Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Red Rocks Trip

I think everything is in place for our upcoming trip – we have a car rented, a house rented, airline tickets, and, oh, yeah, climbing gear.

further up pitch one. Both pitches take gear and have bolts. Watch your ropes when pulling. Nice short corner on pitch two.I heard the anchoring and multi-pitch clinic on Sunday was well attended and was very educational. A few weeks ago, I was sure the weather would permit us to practice some multi-pitch climbing at Taylors Falls. But then I heard the long range forecast for next week and I think it’ll be too cold.

If people in the group want to practice out in Red Rocks, we can certainly take part of a day and have our own clinic on anchors, multi-pitch, etc. Like the route here and pictured on the left. Which is close to the road – thank goodness! – and looks pretty good for learning.

Then you guys can teach me what you learned. So I will know what to do. Because this stuff is all new to me. (In fact, I am bringing a battery powered winch so you can attach it to my harness and pull me up the rocks.)

There is lots of information in books on setting up anchors. I probably have every one. But it you want to study this online, this is the best description I’ve seen on the' ‘net about setting up and evaluating anchors. He uses a different - and more complete - acronym  than the SRENE. It’s called the “NERDSS:”

“No Extension; if one of the pieces where to fail the anchor does not extend
thereby keeping the belayer stationary. The movement of the belayer particularly
if they are pulled off the belay ledge can severely compromise their ability to hold
a factor 2 leader fall or a second fall depending on the belay method used.
2. Redundancy; is defined as, more than one thing would have to fail before the
whole anchor can fail.
3. Distributed: if there is to be more than one piece then we want the force generated
by a fall to be distributed amongst the pieces so we use the combined strength of
those pieces rather than having one backing up the other. Another consideration
with distribution is we do not want to somehow increase the overall force by
having to large an angle within our anchor system.
4. Simplicity: This looks at how quick the anchor is to build and breakdown and how
uncomplicated it is so the climbers can quickly check key points.
5. Strength: The system, placements and materials that we use need to be of
appropriate strength.
We call this the NERDSS analysis.”

He has a table comparing different types of systems and he makes good points about the tradeoff between simplicity and more time-consuming, stronger anchors.

BTW, I did subscribe to Mountain Project’s iPhone app so we can download all of the routes for Red Rocks onto my iPad.

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