/ PRODUCT NEWS: Metolius Personal Anchor System (PAS)

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Metolius innovative safer and stronger personal anchor system (PAS) #1, 2 kbMetolius' innovative safer and stronger personal anchor system (PAS).

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/news.php?id=4179
Mots d'Invers on 18 Nov 2011 - 212.183.128.15 whois?
In reply to UKC Gear:

Solution to a non-existent problem? I'd like to know how many daisy chains have failed whilst bring used in this way...

Duncan Campbell - on 18 Nov 2011
In reply to UKC Gear: I don't get why you don't just clove hitch in with the rope... loads easier, simpler and safer surely?? That's what I did in Squamish, whilst my partner had one of these, just seemed like a faff tbh...

Dunc
mkean - on 18 Nov 2011
In reply to Mots d'Invers:
Metolius PAS £35 (Comes with karabiner)
Grivel Daisy £35
Wild Country Daisy £22

So in reality you aren't paying much more for it (although I suspect there may be extra wear from the sections moving against each other), what you do save is money on trousers: I'm very reliably informed that when the bar tacks on the daisy chain loops pull apart it is essential to throw away your trousers afterwards. Standard daisy chain loops are only good for 2kn and accidents have happend as a result of people clipping through two loops!
mkean - on 18 Nov 2011
In reply to Duncan Campbell:
I can't see the point of using a daisy for "normal" use but they certainly have their place (aid etc).
Luke90 on 18 Nov 2011
In reply to Duncan Campbell:
I think the main benefit would be in multi-pitching if you weren't swinging leads.
mike kann - on 18 Nov 2011
In reply to Luke90: How is there an advantage? Just use slings or a cordlette like you would need to when using a PAS, and clove hitch to karabiner on the strongpoint of the belay...
Scarab9 - on 18 Nov 2011
In reply to mike kann:

although I don't use one, I'd imagine (especially if you're using a cowtail) when you get to an anchor with no easy stance exhausted and gripped, it's quite nice to clip in to the daisy chain in 2 seconds than start faffing with a clove hitch and reaching the crab.

Especially if you've got 3 of you in which case it can become a squueze
mike kann - on 18 Nov 2011
In reply to Scarab9: Not really - you still need to build your belay and you can tie a clove hitch with one hand, faster than you can reach a daisy, unwrap it from your waist and then clip into the right loop. And then you can adjust it easily afterwards...
Duncan Campbell - on 18 Nov 2011
In reply to Scarab9: Rubbish, if you are that exhausted and gripped just clip the anchor, clip the screwy and ask to be taken. Unwrapping the daisy chain from around your waist and stretching to clip the anchor is harder for sure, I used it once or twice.

I'll concede for aid it might be useful, though aren't the old daisy's better for that?? *I have no aid experience but just going on what I have heard off friends...*

Dunc
mike kann - on 18 Nov 2011
In reply to Duncan Campbell: No, for aid adjustable daisies are about 1000% better than old style daisies which I imagine are about 100% better than the PAS for aid. But then a PAS is not a daisy, it's an anchor system. IMHO, the PAS is typical american overkill - why do with what you've got when you could carry even more gear with you?
Scarab9 - on 18 Nov 2011
In reply to UKC Gear:

I was meaning for the second coming up, not for the person setting up the anchor.

also could give you somewhere to hang gear from while switching over (and yes, again I know you can do this on a normal anchor but could smooth it out)

remember it's about preference as well. Just because you or I do things one way doesn't make the other wrong.
mike kann - on 18 Nov 2011
In reply to Scarab9: I'm not saying what you're doing is wrong. I'm saying in my experience having used just about every system there is, daisies on belays are pap. As for somewhere to hang your gear, why waste time clipping it to something, why not just hand it to your leader? It saves time and faff... And tieing in your second is exactly the same as on lead. Admitedly if you don't know how to tie a clovehitch single handed it might not be as quick, but its not exactly a hard skill to learn...
Toerag - on 18 Nov 2011
In reply to UKC Gear: It's all about eliminating the risk of death due to clipping across two pockets in a standard daisy. Go read some big wall & multipitch trip reports on supertopo - there's a shedload of people being too tired to think straight on those - the PAS will save lives for sure.
Denni on 18 Nov 2011
In reply to Toerag:
> (In reply to UKC Gear) It's all about eliminating the risk of death due to clipping across two pockets in a standard daisy. Go read some big wall & multipitch trip reports on supertopo - there's a shedload of people being too tired to think straight on those - the PAS will save lives for sure.

Supertopo review:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsiArSZzOJ4
mike kann - on 18 Nov 2011
In reply to Toerag: Although strictly speaking you should not be on daisies in a situation in which crossclipping would be critical. Daisies never were designed or meant to be used as a belay system. They were mean't for aid. It's just us climbers have gone - hmm that's handy, I'll use that for belaying.
Russ Walling - on 18 Nov 2011
In reply to mike kann:
> (In reply to Duncan Campbell) No, for aid adjustable daisies are about 1000% better than old style daisies

That would be "in your opinion" I would think. In my opinion adjustable daisy chains are wank, besides being weaker and slower than a standard daisy chain. The POS (as it is known around here) is just a super strong piece of wankery for people who are afraid of the afterlife. There are lots of ways to get around using the POS utilizing the gear you are already carrying. On long routes with blocks of leads or numerous changeovers and rappels, I like to use a standard daisy chain or sometimes just a full length runner for clipping the anchors and such.
Russ Walling - on 18 Nov 2011
mike kann - on 18 Nov 2011
In reply to Russ Walling: Haha. Isn't thatg what internet spray forums are for though? Expressing not so humble opinions? So we're agreed on the main theme though that PAS is a pile of wank?
Scarab9 - on 18 Nov 2011
In reply to mike kann:
> (In reply to Scarab9) I'm not saying what you're doing is wrong. I'm saying in my experience having used just about every system there is, daisies on belays are pap. As for somewhere to hang your gear, why waste time clipping it to something, why not just hand it to your leader? It saves time and faff... And tieing in your second is exactly the same as on lead. Admitedly if you don't know how to tie a clovehitch single handed it might not be as quick, but its not exactly a hard skill to learn...

I don't actually use them.

When climbing with one of main main partners we speed things up by sharing tasks. If the 2nd hangs the gear on something quickly they can then start faffing with the ropes while the leader arranges the gear as wanted (or similar depending on the situation)

And yeah you can tie a clovehitch but I'm sure I'm not the only one that has got to a belay stance that's very uncomfortable and not particularly secure to be stood on, gripped, exhausted, and desperate to clip in to something quick. I would say at that point a daisy chain (particularly if you're the 3rd one up) might be very welcome rather than going "ooh I'll just climb past you to that crab so I can get a clovehitch in and then faff around to get the right tension while moving to the other side down there..." etc.

and again, I don't use them, but can see their use.
mike kann - on 18 Nov 2011
In reply to Scarab9: Ah you see, the difference in the way I do it is that the leader just grabs gear straight off the seconds harness, whilst the second starts sorting ropes... means you have to be a bit more touchy feely with your partner but I'm ok with that :)

I guess we're talking semantics here. Personally I no longer use daisies as I don't trust myself when I'm tired not to double clip. And yes that's the point of the PAS, but then I just don't ever feel the need to carry a piece of kit to address that problem. A sling would do. Or being tied off by the belayer. Or a cows tail made of dynamic rope which is full strength (either hand tied or factory made). Just don't see daisies as a piece of kit that should ever be used in a belay situation... but maybe that's just me...
rgold - on 18 Nov 2011
In reply to mike kann:

I use a PAS (not the Metolius one though---the nylon one made by Sterling is cheaper and stronger) and think they have some advantages. None of them are decisive; you can always improvise something to work in an analogous fashion, but the instant availability of a an anchoring tether, whether you are roped up or not, seems to me to lead to more efficient procedures.

Leading sequence: When the leader reaches a stance an places the first anchor piece, he or she clips to that with the PAS and calls off belay (no need to haul up a big loop of rope for clipping). The second can then start getting ready to climb---readying the pack, tightening shoes, taking apart all but one piece of the anchor, and completely detaching the rope from the anchor. This can happen while the leader builds the rest of the anchor and arranges the tie-in. The leader's PAS is left clipped in for use in dismantling the anchor later as described for the second.

When the leader gets on belay, the second just has unclip their tether and remove the last anchor piece. When the second arrives at the belay, they clip in the PAS and are immediately off belay.

This is the technique recommended by that famous wanker Mark Twight in his book, Extreme Alpinism.

It was mentioned that the leader can just clove off to the first piece, which is true, but often the nature of the completed anchor will require that the leader undo that original connection and redo the rigging. This issue is avoided when the initial attachment is via the PAS. There is an analogous advantage for the second: no matter how the anchor was rigged with the rope and/or slings, it can be dismantled down to one piece while keeping the second always clipped in.

Following. Sometimes, the second will need both hands free to get out stuck gear. With todays thinner ropes and longer leads, trying to hang on tension from the belay can be a pain---rope stretch can put you way below where you need to be. Occasionally, because the route diagonals or goes over a ceiling, hanging on tension is not an option. Most of the time, the best approach is to place another piece and hang from it. Having a PAS ready to go for this purpose saves a lot of fiddling time.

Improvised aid. Sometimes, things don't go according to plan. The party is facing benightment, the crux pitch is soaking wet or maybe be too hard or the leader too tired, or a storm is approaching or has arrived. Aid climbing is called for, but the party is only carrying free-climbing gear. One improvised foot sling and a daisy or PAS makes it fairly routine to do this kind of impromptu aiding. All these things can be rigged without a PAS, but the party will have to have enough full-length runners and will be less efficient. If the situation breaks during a lead, it is not at all uncommon for the second without a PAS to be ill-equipped for such improvisations.

Prussiking. If prussiking is called for, either because the second has fallen and is hanging in space or because rappel ropes won't budge, the PAS is already installed, ready to form the harness connection, and adjustable enough to make the process efficient.

Multiple rappels. Both climbers will have to fashion some kind of tether for this situation, with the PAS it is already installed and ready to go. Plus, the PAS can be used to extend the rap device away from the belay loop. This is standard practice for those who install a back-up autoblock below the rappel device, but even if you don't use such a knot, extending the rappel device gives you a little more friction and allows you to employ both hands as braking hands, and this can help with rappels on modern thin ropes when it turns out that the braking device doesn't supply quite enough friction.

Mixed ground. When the climb has sections that are climbed unroped, an installed tether simplifies the transition back to roped climbing. In some cases, a pack or a second rope may have been put on in such a way that pins down all the runners carried, in which case the installed tether makes it faster and safer to get anchored.

Self-rescue. This isn't even remotely as much of a concern as the purveyors of self-rescue technique books would like everyone to believe, but in the very rare case when one has to do such things, having an installed adjustable tether will make many procedures easier.

Wankery. Ok, you aren't supposed to do this, but sometimes it is convenient to be able to untie and retie.

What I think many of the arguments miss is the full range of things made more efficient by an installed adjustable tether. Sure, you can improvise solutions to any one of the applications, but on long routes the team is going to be faster and more efficient it such improvisations are eliminated.

PS: Don't wrap the PAS around your waist, it get tangled in everything and takes a long time to deploy. Instead, gather the loops into the locker and clip to a harness loop. Deploying involves grabbing the locker, shaking the loops out, and clipping.
Scarab9 - on 18 Nov 2011
In reply to mike kann:
> (In reply to Scarab9) Ah you see, the difference in the way I do it is that the leader just grabs gear straight off the seconds harness, whilst the second starts sorting ropes... means you have to be a bit more touchy feely with your partner but I'm ok with that :)
>
> I guess we're talking semantics here. Personally I no longer use daisies as I don't trust myself when I'm tired not to double clip. And yes that's the point of the PAS, but then I just don't ever feel the need to carry a piece of kit to address that problem. A sling would do. Or being tied off by the belayer. Or a cows tail made of dynamic rope which is full strength (either hand tied or factory made). Just don't see daisies as a piece of kit that should ever be used in a belay situation... but maybe that's just me...

I can't ever see me getting one either. Cow tail is I feel like it or just do it the normal way. :-)
flaneur - on 18 Nov 2011
In reply to Russ Walling:

> That would be "in your opinion"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWdd6_ZxX8c

Russ Walling - on 18 Nov 2011
In reply to mike kann:
> (In reply to Russ Walling) Haha. Isn't thatg what internet spray forums are for though? Expressing not so humble opinions? So we're agreed on the main theme though that PAS is a pile of wank?

When the percentage is over, say 800%, I just like to see the IMO tag from the poster ;)

Agreed on the wankery of the POS, 799%
David Coley - on 18 Nov 2011
In reply to mike kann:
Almost the only time I take one (or a daisy) is when climbing in a three when it is planned that we will be swapping leads. This means we will be untying and retying the rope at each swap as this is quicker than pulling the ropes trough if they are stacked in slings. This means you have to use something other than the rope to attach yourself to the anchor.

coldwill - on 18 Nov 2011
In reply to UKC Gear: I thought these were primarily for routes with bolted belays like you get every where in NA. Get to belay, clip in your PAS, loosen over tightened sports shoes, pull up slack, bring second up on guide plate direct from off anchor. Simples.
Dr Toph on 21 Nov 2011
In reply to coldwill:

Agreed, I bought one of these a couple of years ago in Yosemite (which makes for an unusually tardy 'new gear' announcement) where they were ideal for long multipitch routes with bolted belay anchors. Saved loads of time overall compared to rope-faff.
Really not that relevant when in an environment of pure trad belays though, as they are not nearly as good as a cordalette or rope system for equalising anchor points. Never found a use for one in the UK. Hence many previous posters perplexed lack of enthusiasm methinks.
Really cant fathom why Metolius are trying to market it here, apart from as a solution to what to buy a climber for their christmas.
mlmatt - on 21 Nov 2011
In reply to UKC Gear:

I just don't get it. With a normal climbing rack, double ropes (or a single rope) and a normal array of slings and karabiners, why then, when you are out trad climbing do you need one of these fancy systems?

I own 2 daisy chains, which I've toyed about with for trad climbing. I don't use them anymore because I just use to rope and a clove hitch (or tie it back into my harness). I found that relying on a single piece of gear all the time (be it a PAS or daisy chain) became annoying and stupid. If I forgot it at the crag one day, then I'd be a little lost without it, so why bother getting used to it in the first place.
Mark Sweatmasn - on 21 Nov 2011
Agree with Coldwill - more common in North America with bolted belay stations (even on sometimes otherwise traditional routes). Limited use where you have to build your anchor and not a new thing by any means either.
rgold - on 22 Nov 2011
In reply to Mark Sweatmasn: You guys have it all backwards. The main advantages of the PAS occur, in the context of long multipitch climbs, when you have to build your own anchors---see my previous post, which is, apparently, too long for anyone to bother reading.

Many of the negative comments begin with something you don't (or shouldn't) use a PAS for and then conclude, to no one's surprise, that they aren't useful. More comments just reject the PAS without giving any reason at all.

For the generally short routes in the UK, there isn't much use for a PAS, which probably explains the unanimity of opinion here.
needvert on 22 Nov 2011
I have one. A speedily adjustable length tether seems handy to me.

Given it's so cheap and light, I'm surprised people feel so strongly about it.
Scarab - on 22 Nov 2011
In reply to UKC Gear:

Theyre great, I use a similar one from Grivel, theyre great for multipitches as posted before and setting up anchors where you are not switching leads...
mike kann - on 22 Nov 2011
In reply to rgold: You make a lot of points. None of them can be ruffuted as being incorrect. However there are a lot of what if situations involved with what your saying - I'll work in reverse order:

Self rescue - as you say - hardly ever happens. As it hardly ever happens, what is wrong with girth hitching a sling and using that as your connector - you just don't need a dedicated system. And furthermore the number of times in those self rescue situations in which you need to completely escape the system and are anchorless and require a tether are even fewer. In nearly 20 years of climbing I have escaped the system once. In a situation in which I was at the top of a route and did not need to be tethered. Add to this the static nature of the system, and actually you have a system which is going to break your back if you fall... no different to a sling I know, but for example a beal dynaclip would be preferable.

Mixed ground - you've trapped your runners - I don't know about others but I always stow my long runners so I can release them without removing my pack. Usually by clipping them with a biner rather than just looping them over me. I can argue that just being able to clip an anchor isn't quicker. Again, Beal dynaclip is preferable because of static nature of slings.

Multiple abseils - again - beal dynaclip is preferable, especially to a knotted dynemma sling. Just use a sling to extend the device and clip the anchor with the dynaclip.

Prusiking - how often do you prusik? I again have only ever needed to prusik once when I screwed up an abalakov thread. Other than that I've never needed to other than to show people how it's done.

Improvised aid - again I've only ever needed to aid of one or two moveas at a time - if you can't hack standing in a sling for a couple of minutes I think you've got bigger worries. I mean hell if you need to clip in for a moment or two, just clip an extender...

Extracting gear - comeon man - how lame are you - really? Again if you need to hang on a piece just clip an extender - it's just not that hard.

All the above problems occur once in a blue moon and the amount of faff required to get around them is just not that great. Yes a PAS might save you a few seconds but I very much doubt it'll be more than that.

So now onto your main (less spurious) point of belay set up sequence. I can see what you are getting at. I still take issue that it is quicker to release, adjust and clip your PAS rather than clipping a locker into your first anchor and then pull the rope up and clove hitch it - it takes seconds to tie a clove hitch onehanded. You can still call off belay and then sort the rest of the gear - so put in your other gear, take the rope from your clove hitched krab, clove the next one and then back to your harness. You can still remove all the gear to second in the same way. Or with a dynaclip/cowstail you do exactly the same as you're proposing.

Again, this saves you maybe a few seconds overall, rather than putting in two pieces, clipping a sling with a sliding x and tieing in to it. Yes I know every second counts, but over the course of 20 belays, if you managed to save 30 seconds, you'll save a massive 10 minutes. Which I would say you could save by being efficient in other areas.

I know Mark Twight said it so therefore it is gospel, but fer feck sake you don't HAVE to do what MT says and even he would admit that sometimes he's a wanker ;)



coldwill - on 22 Nov 2011
In reply to mike kann: Hi Mike, Can I just add that I use one all the time made of 8mm dynamic rope especially if I'm leading blocks of pitches on trad and ice, it’s fractionally quicker imo. It also makes things safer if you’re untying from the rope to absail as stated above somewhere.

Rgold, but never like this;
Leading sequence: When the leader reaches a stance an places the first anchor piece, he or she clips to that with the PAS and calls off belay (no need to haul up a big loop of rope for clipping). The second can then start getting ready to climb---readying the pack, tightening shoes, taking apart all but one piece of the anchor, and completely detaching the rope from the anchor. This can happen while the leader builds the rest of the anchor and arranges the tie-in. The leader's PAS is left clipped in for use in dismantling the anchor later as described for the second.

Clipping one piece of gear with a static sling then going off belay and looking for more pro is obviously not best practice. Build your full strength anchor first (imo).
iksander on 22 Nov 2011
In reply to Scarab: I use one but won't admit to it
Mark Morris - on 22 Nov 2011
In reply to UKC Gear: I've used cord tied to my harness loop with a screwgate at the other end for a few years. I developed it during a sport climbing trip so that at the belay I could rest! I generally clip one of the belay bolts with a quickdraw, clip the rope, move up, clip my homemade PAS into the other bolt. I have the cord tied at "nose" length - if I'm level to the bolt, I can clip it!

My feeling is, I'm already clipped into the lower bolt as a running belay and this is the last to be removed before threading the bolts or biners and lowering off.

I've also found it useful on trad routes where I second and can arrive at the belay, use it to clip into the existing belay then sort everything out, safe in the knowledge that my partner still has me on belay anyway.

There is room for something like this, but that seems overdesigned.
Stuart trautS on 23 Nov 2011
In reply to UKC Gear: I use one all the time went cleaning routes. Especially in aus where the anchors are rarely linked up by a chain. With 2 screw gates you have a instant anchor for multi's. Saves time and effort. They also help when cleaning super steep stuff.
rgold - on 23 Nov 2011
In reply to mike kann: Well Mike, at least there is now a discussion rather derisive comments with no reasoning behind them.

Just as you say my points are not strictly refutable, it is equally true that yours are not either. Everyone will draw their own conclusions in the end. I won't go back over your excellent point-by-point refutation, because at a certain point it will sound like one of those Byzantine arguments about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

So I'll just say this. I've already stipulated that everything you can do with a PAS can be improvised without it. I have certainly done so myself over the course of a climbing career that now spans 54 years. (I've done a significant amount of climbing without nuts, cams, harnesses, belay devices, mechanical ascenders, chalk, and sticky rubber, and consequently yield to no one when it comes to improvisation.) Separating each item and separately describing how to improvise solutions misses the point that the PAS is a single piece of gear that contributes to efficiency in a large spectrum of applications, some common and some rare, and is ready for immediate deployment, regardless of how many slings you do or do not have on you. Either that advantage speaks to you or it does not, but I think that there is at least something to think about there.

mike kann - on 24 Nov 2011
In reply to rgold: Well, I guess each to their own. As you say, I don't really see the value in them much at all... As I say - I've tried using daisies as part of a system, and just thought they were a waste of time. PAS just seems as much of a faff and being a simpleton, I like my systems basic, so that there's less to cock up... seems to work for me...
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jkarran - on 25 Nov 2011
In reply to mike kann:

> PAS just seems as much of a faff and being a simpleton, I like my systems basic, so that there's less to cock up... seems to work for me...

Being a cheap simpleton I'm with you on that. It's a solution looking for a problem which of course was also said of the laser so I'll reserve judgement (and my cash).

jk

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