/ Choices at the multi-pitch sport belay

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russtyg - on 29 Nov 2012
Hi there,

I'm interested in hearing people's opinions and preferences with regards to conduct at a multi-pitch sport belay (say in this example, two staple bolts linked by a chain).

Forgive my lack of knowledge as I'm relatively new to this.

So, upon arrival at a bolted belay and after clipping the rope with a quickdraw to one of the bolts, should the leader then:

a) secure themselves further using the rope tied into the harness and a clove hitched HMS to the other bolt/chain
or
b) secure themselves further using a sling larks footed to their harness using a HMS to the other bolt/chain
or
c) another method
or
d) either, depends which is easier to reach etc

Thanks!

Russty
Oujmik - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to russtyg: I'm guessing, because I've never climbed MP sport, but I'd go for option d. The larksfoot is quicker and easier if you're pumped and just want something to hang off and there is no change of it taking a fall with any slack. The clove hitch is probably safer and more comfortable if you're not going to be hanging from it and has the bonus of being adjustable.

The larksfoort also has the advantage of being separate from the rope, but I guess this isn't really so important in MP as you'll need remain tied in for the next pitch anyway.
JamieSparkes - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to russtyg: I tend to do b) initially and then to clove hitch a bight of rope to the other bolt, gives a bit more redundancy and makes the belay more stable/less swingy.
Ciro - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to russtyg:

I was taught to do the following:

1) Screwgate on each bolt
2) Clove hitch my end of the rope to one screwgate
3) Clove hitch (or fig. 8) to second screwgate about a meter along the rope from the first knot
4) Tie an overhand knot in the middle of the bit of slack between the two bolts, and use this either as a direct belay point, or hang a draw off it for a semi-direct belay.
jkarran - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to russtyg:

So long as you're securely and inextensibly attached to both bolts (ideally with them sharing the load) the exact technique chosen doesn't matter, it could be via the chain, it could be rope only or rope plus slings/quickdraws. Generally you'll pick the one that puts you in the least uncomfortable position for minimal effort using what kit you have left. Habitually I avoid the sling larksfooted to harness approach.

jk
GrahamD - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to jkarran:

Another vote for take each situation as you find it and don't be too dogmatic in your approach.
russtyg - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to russtyg:

Thanks to all, some good advice and ideas here,

Also, I'm wondering about the effect each choice has on the subsequent choice of what to belay the second from, rope loop or belay loop...
Jordon Fleming - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to russtyg: if im ever on a multipitch sport route i use my guide plate to bring my second up. so i usally put a screw gate on both bolts and put a clove hitch on one and the take a bit of slack the clove hitch onto the other one, so their is a loop of slack between the 2 bolts tie a overhand in this and clip my guide plate to it. and with the tail coming off the second bolt i clove hitch this to my self.

but if i dont use a guide plate i equlise a sling between the 2 bolts and clip myself to it or use the chain and then clip a snap gate to one ancor and put the rope through it so when ur belaying and they fall it loads one ancor and dosnt pull u down
ti.williams - on 29 Nov 2012
Enty - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to russtyg:

With regards to option b. Lots of the locals here have a permanent cowstail on their harness instead of a larksfooted sling - basically a length of 8mm rope, tied directly into the harness and leg loops (just like tying in normally) with a fig 8 and a fig 8 on the other end with a screwgate. Whole thing including knots about 50-60cm long. Clipped to loop on back of harness when climbing.

E
Enty - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to russtyg:
> (In reply to russtyg)
>
> Thanks to all, some good advice and ideas here,
>
> Also, I'm wondering about the effect each choice has on the subsequent choice of what to belay the second from, rope loop or belay loop...

Guide plate direct to belay.

E

jkarran - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to russtyg:

> Also, I'm wondering about the effect each choice has on the subsequent choice of what to belay the second from, rope loop or belay loop...

It really doesn't matter, either will work, there are pros and cons to each.
jk
ti.williams - on 29 Nov 2012
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/xw5fp1xj0y06fzv/a50iqpLAHr

There's some photos of how I've set up two bolt belays in the past. I would still do the same, however I would add an overhand knot on each side of the sliding equalising sling, as even though both bolts are in a sense independent (if one was to give, the 'sliding x' would hold - unlike a 'triangle of death' style sling), the overhand would mean there was less of a slip if one bolt was to go.
Jonny2vests - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to russtyg:
> (In reply to russtyg)
>
> Thanks to all, some good advice and ideas here,
>
> Also, I'm wondering about the effect each choice has on the subsequent choice of what to belay the second from, rope loop or belay loop...

Actually, what it boils down to is whether there's a chain. You said there was, so life is in fact simpler than some have suggested. One screwgate, into the central ring, clove hitch to it (or use a sling if you're strange), done. Then belay either from the same ring with a guide plate, or (as I prefer), clip the guide plate screwgate into the screwgate you just placed, then the plate and your clove hitch won't rub against each other.

If there is no chain linking the bolts, then you'd have to do one of the above suggestions.
lmarenzi - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to russtyg:

Staple bolts, that are U shaped, are not generally connected by chains, in my experience.

If you have generic bolts and a chain in your example I think the best thing to do, within the limits of comfort and practicality, is to pick or make a powerpoint and then clip yourself and the plate into it.

Mostly I would expect the easiest and most reliable powerpoint to be the hanger of one of the bolts or a locking carabiner you have put through it. Maybe you will back it up to the other bolt so that a failure of the chain becomes redundant. I like the idea of making a powerpoint with the rope too, might soften a factor 2 fall a bit.

I'm sure Jim T. will be along soon to sort things out ...
ti.williams - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to jonny2vests:

The problem is not really whether it has a chain, but whether or not it has a central ring, as many belays have two bolts connected by a chain, but without a central ring.
Jonny2vests - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to ti.williams:
> (In reply to jonny2vests)
>
> The problem is not really whether it has a chain, but whether or not it has a central ring, as many belays have two bolts connected by a chain, but without a central ring.

If there's a chain, there's usually a ring, and if not, there's nothing wrong with clipping a link.
ti.williams - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to russtyg:

I'm not saying you're incorrect, but personally I have to disagree. However I do agree with you in that if the chain is in good condition there is nothing wrong with clipping a link (if it's big enough).
Jonny2vests - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to lmarenzi:
> (In reply to russtyg)

>
> I'm sure Jim T. will be along soon to sort things out ...

That's definitely over cooking it.
Jonny2vests - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to ti.williams:

You disagree, but you would clip a link? Ummm...

Modern screwgates pass through the vast majority of chain links. Obviously if its old and rotten, then judgement is required.,
GridNorth - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to russtyg: I tend to clip in initially with a cows tail, shout safe then tie on with a clove hitch to a centralised point if possible. Depending on the circumstances I may keep the cows tail in place for one point and clove hitch to another.
GrahamD - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to russtyg:

> Also, I'm wondering about the effect each choice has on the subsequent choice of what to belay the second from, rope loop or belay loop...

People do it both ways and both ways are basically safe so it comes down to whichever you are most comfortable with.
ablackett - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to russtyg:

By far the fastest and easiest way I have ever found hasn't yet been mentioned on here.

Screw gate to the belay loop with a long sling in a self equalising x in the middle of the sling.

Screw gate at each end of the sling.

Fix the two end screw gates behind your back while climbing then when you get to the belay you just unclip them from behind your back and clip one into each bolt, job done in 5 seconds. They self equalise on the crab on your belay loop.

You can put a limiting knot in each end of the sling so you don't fall the full length if one of the bolts fails, but this can have problems if one bolt is above the other.

Jonny2vests - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to ablackett:

Actually, somebody did mention sliding X. And I reckon a clove hitched screwgate to the chain is quicker.
jimtitt - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to jonny2vests:
> (In reply to lmarenzi)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> That's definitely over cooking it.

Probably, I make the stuff, not teach basic ropework. As long as one is actually clipped in all the methods end up about the same.
Jonny2vests - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to jimtitt:

... which is why you might as well go with whatever is quickest.
russtyg - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to russtyg:

Awesome debate, many thanks to all who contributed. I have some worthwhile ideas to try out and some which I will research and practice further.
ti.williams - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to jonny2vests:
> (In reply to ti.williams)
>
> You disagree, but you would clip a link? Ummm...

Sorry, I just meant I didn't agree that the majority of belays with chains have a central ring.
Jonny2vests - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to ti.williams:
> (In reply to jonny2vests)
> [...]
>
> Sorry, I just meant I didn't agree that the majority of belays with chains have a central ring.

Oh. Perhaps in the UK, where all manor of ironmongery exists, but were talking multi pitch sport here, so not UK, in which case chains without rings are rare in Europe and N America.
needvert on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to ablackett:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDXvI18p140

Mike mentions it here. Seems a good idea.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Jonny2vests - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to needvert:

Hmmm. I really don't see the point of the sliding X. Having a system that can correct for miniscule changes in equalisation to me implies that you're concerned about the anchors. And if you're concerned about the anchors, the last thing you want is a sliding X, because if one of them fails, you shock load the other big time. The guy in the vid also seems to think using the rope for anchors is a bad idea!
David Coley - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to jonny2vests:
> (In reply to needvert)
>
> Hmmm. I really don't see the point of the sliding X. Having a system that can correct for miniscule changes in equalisation to me implies that you're concerned about the anchors. And if you're concerned about the anchors, the last thing you want is a sliding X, because if one of them fails, you shock load the other big time. The guy in the vid also seems to think using the rope for anchors is a bad idea!


There is very little point in them most of the time. As Jim Titt once pointed out to me, the failure with a sliding X is a failure of logic. If you think about it for a while it only make sense if the strong arm is weak enough to fail if not load shared with the weak arm, YET the weak arm has at least 1/2 the strength of the strong arm. If this very unlikely situation is not met you might as well just use an overhand and reduce the drop should one arm fail.

If that isn't obvious, have a play with some maths :)
Mark / Alps - on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to russtyg:

There are other factors to take into account which can have a bearing. Are the bolts / chain in reach from where you need to belay from? Are you swapping the lead or will you block lead? Is speed important because you are on a long multipitch climb? Is the chain totally trustworthy? Are ropes / slings used to connect the two points instead of a chain? Are the ropes / slings in good condition or do they need cutting and replacing / backing up. Are you bringing up one or two seconds? Are the seconds novices or experienced and competent? Remember to double check the bolts too. As mentioned by other posts there are a variety of ways, it is worth practising different ways so you are ready for different scenarios.
Jonny2vests - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to David Coley:

Makes sense. I'll try and remember that.

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