Do many people use girth hitch anchors? Seems much easier than fighting with knots.
I use them a lot, as you say much easier than fighting with knots. I also find them easier to adjust laterally than an overhand, they use less material so can get away with a 60cm sling where you may need a 120cm with a knotted anchor, especially useful in winter whilst wearing gloves as they are easier to undo, also nice and obvious where to attach everything to in adverse conditions or with a beginner.
However they aren't as easy to adjust so they are just the right height, with a knot anchor you change the overhand to a fig 8 to use more material if the master point is too low, not so with the girth hitch. Also you may need an extra HMS for the master point, however if you are swinging leads you can clove yourself to the spine side of the master point HMS to negate that. There is no shelf so if you like having a guide plate and your cloves a bit more seperate then it may not work for you.
Overall I use it more often than any other type of sling anchor, but much like anything it's not perfect.
Using a girth hitch on slings can reduce their strength up to 50% and more if a dynamic load is taken. I think DMM have some videos showing breaking strengths etc. We visited DMM years ago whilst at uni and witnessed how easily some different types broke so I personally don't use them.
All knots/hitches weaken slings to some extent. But are you sure it was a 50% strength reduction for a girth hitch as being discussed here (i.e. to a krab) rather than for girth hitching one sling to another sling? 50% seems a bit pessimistic for girth hitching to a krab but strikes me as quite plausible for sling to sling.
Edit: Googled and found the 50% figure in a BD lab test of sling to sling connections...
I only discovered the idea a year or two ago. On Instagram, of all places (https://www.instagram.com/daleremsberg is great).
It hasn't become something I use all the time but it's come in really handy on quite a few occasions when the sling I'm trying to use is just a little too short to make a nice angle with a knot in it.
From a previous UKC thread on this subject, watch the videos, very interesting. Especially as I'm on old school avoid larks footed slings at all costs climber.
If you manage to create a load large enough to snap your slings on a belay because you used a larks foot, even with a 50% reduction and a further reduction due to the age of the sling, you're doing something seriously wrong.
So what we are saying is, the knot reduces the tape strength by a nominal 50%, and the sling is old 8mm dyneema which could see lets say up to a 50% reduction in strength due to wear, so you have an overall reduction of 75%. On a two stranded set up that's down to 6kN. And the FF2 test performed here produced impacts of 7kN. But an overall 75% reduction is massively over egging it, and a FF2 fall is also massive and easily avoidable... Furthermore if for example you constructed it with 3 legs, you would have more strands in the knot and it would be stronger...
Dyneema slings on belay can easily snap if you move up say to place another piece of gear and fall onto the sling from just a foot to 18 inches it can snap very easily. Its also a a lot weaker if its girth hitched.
I'm sure these have their uses, and I'm grateful for thos who test it. Note slow pull tests by "How not to" and "Jann Camus Bliss Climbing" (on youtube) comparing girth versus clove in this case, but isn't this a more obscure use-case in UK?
Wouldn't this only be if there was no rope in the system, as the dynamic properties of the rope would help soften the load onto the sling?
I agree you shouldnt be connecting any type of sling directly to your haness then climbing above it, as it would have a chance of breaking even at small falls.
Not if you are separated from the sling with rope. Which most people would be on a belay system like this. If you level that thought at any belay system with a knot in, you would have to belay solely using your rope.
I assume you are referring to the dmm video which documents slings breaking. Simple fact is that that is just about the harshest test you can perform. A factor 1 using a solid body onto a knotted static sling with zero shock absorption. It's not real world usage unless you misuse your equipment.
> Its also a a lot weaker if its girth hitched.
Do you have a source for that? As I posted above, girth hitching is a particularly weak way to connect two slings together but I've not seen any evidence that it's any weaker than a knot for creating a master point. I'd be surprised if it was.
I'm also a little sceptical of the idea that small falls onto dyneema slings would break them. It's certainly to be avoided. But as far as I'm aware, the test falls that broke the slings were using solid blocks of metal. In a real fall, I suspect the bigger problem would be that a human body is more dynamic than a metal block, which would be good news for the sling but not necessarily for the body! That's just speculation though.
I quite like the clove hitch method. I get that a girth hitch is amply strong enough, but i just like the (perceived?) extra security of the clove hitch.
This the method i use: - https://www.alpinesavvy.com/blog/try-a-clove-hitch-at-the-master-point
I use the method a lot. It also means going metal to metal with the guide mode krab, so a great way to upset even more people.
I think in the above what a lot of people might be forgetting is that FF2 is not the world most of us live in. It means all the distance travelled by the falling climber above and below the anchor was overhanging. For most of us, especially in alpine territory the fall will be a limb scraping role of low speed.
If FF2 is a real possibility, other measures might be sensible.
I often larks foot/girth hitch spikes as runners when the wind is likely to blow a sling off, which is nearly always in winter, the weight of the crab and rope tightens the sling onto the spike. It would be rare that I would use them for any other reason!