/ Ram's Head lower-offs

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Coel Hellier - on 17 Jul 2013
The discussion of sport-climbing accidents has got me thinking about the Ram's Head lower-offs installed at Horseshoe and elsewhere. Generally I like them (much easier then re-threading) and happily lower off them.

Are they safe for top-roping? I'd have thought not (the difference being that when top-roping the rope is slacker), and have always placed quickdraws if another member of the party wanted to top-rope the route. However consulting Google doesn't provide a definitive statement either way, and perhaps people might top-rope on them. Is that safe?
GeoffRadcliffe - on 17 Jul 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier: When top-roping (from the bottom) there will be quite a lot of rope to absorb the energy of a fall even if the rope has a little slack in it and so the impact force on the belay would not be that great.
jkarran - on 17 Jul 2013
In reply to GeoffRadcliffe:

I guess Coel's more concerned about a very curly rope accidentally freeing itself. Seems unlikely to me but unlikely things have happened before. If you're intent on toproping off the belay (causes wear so not advised) a backup quickdraw might not be a bad plan though I doubt you'd ever need it.

jk
GeoffRadcliffe - on 17 Jul 2013
In reply to jkarran:
> (In reply to GeoffRadcliffe)
>
> I guess Coel's more concerned about a very curly rope accidentally freeing itself.
Good point. It can be a bit unsettling having a rope that's excessively curling going through the belay even when using a quickdraw. To be safe you could use a screwgate.

ex0 - on 17 Jul 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:

I've TR'd from the ones at Frogsmouth, usually by clipping bolts/rings with screwgates and ignoring the lower off.
jimtitt - on 17 Jul 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:
They are Rams Horns (or Pigtails in more modern parlance though this is technically incorrect) and the ones you have used are made by myself. They are lower-offs NOT top rope anchors and I don´t recommend their use for top roping.
Fat Tim - on 17 Jul 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier: Quote from the BMC in relation to the Rams heads they fitted at horse shoe.

If you are top-roping on routes equipped with the new lower-offs, please clip either the bolts or the ‘rams head’ with your own krabs/extenders - its good practice and definitely makes a big contribution towards the lifespan of the lower-off.

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/horseshoe-quarry-gets-rebolt
winhill - on 17 Jul 2013
In reply to Fat Tim:
> (In reply to Coel Hellier) Quote from the BMC in relation to the Rams heads they fitted at horse shoe.
>
> If you are top-roping on routes equipped with the new lower-offs, please clip either the bolts or the ‘rams head’ with your own krabs/extenders - its good practice and definitely makes a big contribution towards the lifespan of the lower-off.
>
> https://www.thebmc.co.uk/horseshoe-quarry-gets-rebolt

That makes it sound safe, just not good practice, I think the OP is asking if the rope could twist/bounce off the ram's head.
Skyfall - on 17 Jul 2013
In reply to jimtitt:

Jim, I and others I know have found it close to impossible to work out how to thread some of the rams horns in Sicily (San Vito area) which seem quite peculiar. Some are fine, others not. Are they mostly all your's? Rather than spending half an hour working it out, we had to revert to untying and threading them as with ring bolts, which seems to defeat the point. And, yes, I've used more standard rams horns with no problem.
jimtitt - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to Skyfall:

There are two different pigtail designs in Sicily, some are mine and some from Joseph Gstoettenmayr. Mine are the ones which are harder to work out! There are also some around in the UK but not many.
They are easy to use once you work it out but some have more difficulty than others and I´ve stopped producing them for this reason. The rams horn and a bolt are cheaper, easier to replace and certainly much more user-friendly.
ads.ukclimbing.com
cyberpunk - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier: As the previous post said, please do not top rope on the Rams head as it wears them out. Use 2 quickdraws instead please.

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