/ Harrisons fixed bolt rigging advice

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matt fletcher - on 09 Jan 2013
Hi, I have not climbed much on routes with fixed bolts. When at Harrison's a while a go i was baffled at what to do with the fixed bolts so i ended up using 3 pairs of them to rig off.

So most routes have two bolts, one about 10cm behind the other with a cable between them.

How do I use them both but avoid putting all of the load on one of them?

I was always taught to use at least two anchors with the appropriate angles between them. I struggled to understand how i was supposed to do this with the bolt placement at Harrisons

Some advice would be appreciated as i'm heading back there soon and I do not want to damage the crag or die.

Cheers
Matt
teh_mark - on 09 Jan 2013
In reply to matt fletcher:

Normal practice is to use the one bolt - it is backed up by the cable to the second bolt and exceedingly unlikely to fail.
Sandstone Stickman - on 09 Jan 2013
In reply to matt fletcher:

Personally I use a short length of static ab rope, tie a figure of eight in the middle (Which will give two tails) then a bowline with stopper knots onto each bolt.

The most important factors are that you must use static rope or slings for the belay and that the krab (and therefore moving climbing rope) is over the edge and not in contact with the rock.

If you want to you can slide a old plastic coke bottle (With the bottom cut off) over the fig 8 to protect it from wear... up to you.

If new to the sandstone you might not be aware of the massive benefit of starting the climb with clean feet... take a small section on old carpet to stand on and a rag to clean your shoes.

Enjoy it (When it drys out)
jimtitt - on 09 Jan 2013
In reply to matt fletcher:
Were you always taught to use two anchors or were you taught always to use two anchors? In the first case your teacher wasnŽt giving you complete advice and should have expanded the theme to cover single and multiple anchors and in the second they were giving wrong advice. There are plenty of places in the world where one anchor is standard and youŽll need to get used to it.
matt fletcher - on 09 Jan 2013
In reply to Sandstone Stickman: Thanks Mate, I';m glad that i had not misunderstood something, i'm not really happy with just using the one bolt, even if it is backed up with a another via a cable.

I'll use your method which is not a million miled away from what i did last time.

I use a closed cell foam sleeping mat that rolls up around the rope and knots but the coke bottle is a great idea.

Are you local? What are the conditions like at the moment?, I was thinking about heading over towards to end of next week. Hoping that the recent dryish weather and the cold spell coming up will give me a window to climb it.
The Ex-Engineer - on 09 Jan 2013
In reply to matt fletcher: If the route is directly in line with a pair of bolts, you can just rig off the front bolt with either an appropriate length sling or a length of rigging rope.

But, if the route is not in line then you should rig off the closest two anchors to provide a stable top-rope as you would do in other climbing situations.

However, in either case, you should ensure the top-rope connection is extended sufficiently far over the cliff edge and use rope protectors and/or a piece of carpet to provide additional erosion protection for the cliff top.
matt fletcher - on 09 Jan 2013
In reply to jimtitt: No, I'm SPA qualified and as such have been properly trained and assessed and have done a lot of multi pitch climbing, just not much on sand stone and not much with fixed bolts.

Without wanting to sound like a prat, i know what i'm doing. I had no trouble rigging up safely last time but i could see from the bolt placement that it was intended for me to do something different, I just did not understand that i was being encouraged to use a single anchor.

Thought it a good idea to ask as i was unsure.
matt fletcher - on 09 Jan 2013
In reply to matt fletcher: Thanks for the advice everyone, I'm happy now.
Sandstone Stickman - on 09 Jan 2013
In reply to matt fletcher:

Re: Conditions, New years day did see ascents on the isolated buttress and unclimbed wall area but it was far from ideal. Its been wet again since then. The rock is a lot more fragile when wet so take it easy...

matt fletcher - on 09 Jan 2013
In reply to Sandstone Stickman

Thanks for the info, will be careful not to damage it, If it's too wet or too fragile then I'm happy enough doing some bushcraft stuff in the woods, maybe clearing away all crap that people have been leaving there, tents, pot's and pans and old fires.
In reply to matt fletcher:
> i'm not really happy with just using the one bolt, even if it is backed up with a another via a cable.
>
>

That's using two bolts of course.


Chris
LukeyG - on 09 Jan 2013
In reply to matt fletcher:
> (In reply to jimtitt) I just did not understand that i was being encouraged to use a single anchor.
>

2 bolts linked together dosent sound like a single anchor..

Pekkie - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to matt fletcher:
> (In reply to Sandstone Stickman) 'i'm not really happy with just using the one bolt, even if it is backed up with a another via a cable.'
>
>Providing you do a quick check to confirm that the bolts are in solid, don't worry! The sort of loads you will put on them from top roping, especially after you subtract the friction of your sling on the ground, are very small in climbing terms. And if it is backed up by a cable to another bolt? Why, you could throw Jeremy Clarkson off - sitting in his 4X4 - and he would survive. A shame, but there it is.

Seriously though, check out Jim Titt's website at Bolt Products for some great advice on bolts and belays.
Irk the Purist - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to matt fletcher:

You're right to be cautious (I've found loose bolts before) but as others have said, one bolt is the normal. All I have to add is that if there isn't something obvious, look in the trees as there are sometimes wire loops available. Also, the less popular crags aren't bolted at all and you'll still need to build anchors there.

I haven't been over to TW for a while but the Stone Farm End is still wetter than an otter's pocket. More rain last night.



3 Names - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to matt fletcher:
> (In reply to jimtitt) No, I'm SPA qualified and as such have been properly trained and assessed.


Hmmmm........
Brown - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to matt fletcher:

I remember being quite amused by people backing up a 30 m high pine tree at High Rocks with a second tree to make sure they had their regulation 2 point anchor belay.
Offwidth - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to Vince McNally:

Thank goodness...I thought is was just me.
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jimtitt - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to Vince McNally)
>
> Thank goodness...I thought is was just me.

Possibly let down by his trainers or assessor since the OP came away with the "always two points equalised" message but he should have been taught:-

"Single and Multiple Anchors
In different situations it may be appropriate to construct a belay from either single or multiple anchors points. A supervisor should have the ability to do either as appropriate, and not always have to rely on the same system. Although candidates may always prefer to adopt their favoured system, trainers should make every effort to illustrate the fact that the
climbing medium is not uniform and that different crags and circumstances may well require different techniques and approaches. Trainers should encourage debate regarding the advantages and disadvantages of a range of belay/anchor systems, including the environmental impact and safety issues involved."

And the assessor should have checked this was covered.

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