UKC

Belay Stakes @ Stanage

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 Graeme Hammond 31 May 2022

Am interested to know why two belay stakes have been placed at the top of Paradise Wall (HS 4b).

I can't think of any other reason they are there other than for belaying. I am struggling to understand the reasoning for placing belay stakes and anyone else using and relying on unknow fixed gear when there is an abundance of excellent easy to place (and remove) gear in the vicinity makes this even more bizarre.

Both are very short in length and one was dangerously loose pulling out with very little effort. The prevailing ethic is that fixed gear on Stanage is unacceptable. For these reasons and the abundance of alternative gear they have been removed.

Photo of stakes in place: see below or https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Ww2vW9h3v658quILLNmUVEqQ4XXhi-IO/view?usp=sharing

the follow photo (or photo below) https://drive.google.com/file/d/1N8FZP_Fk6bU1Xf2gwxJUF7rkFYIepZve/view?usp=sharing  shows how short length these stakes are with a HMS karabiner for scale. Note the corrosion of the stake. Not sure how long have they been in place, I haven't led a route on this buttress since 2019 when I didn't notice them but I was in a bit of a rush. Anyone else recall them being there before?

For reference for the person who placed these stakes unnecessarily the following photo links demonstrate one of the many options for placing gear to make a safe belay without using the unnecessary stakes:

Excellent alternative gear on the right, a variety of nut sizes will fit in here safely: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MWHhYamzkj-RjkU-zaErnl6P2bUhs5bP/view?usp=sharing There are further options using the perfect crack foreground of the following photo and in the trench visible to the right. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1N8JdANMiEvwvfcsajlOofnHuAMD-135x/view?usp=sharing

Excellent alternative gear on the left, a variety of nut sizes will fit in here safely: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MT8t8arG8G8D_kN3zkKV1wrK0lEJuBPA/view?usp=sharing There are further options shown using the perfect crack visible in the the foreground of this photo: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MT8dkQzq7MP4mN1rlhMcBm4Ut-TtaIgz/view?usp=sharing

Finally an equalised belay I was happy to abseil off: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Mn6uQExagYviL0m6S63fUDGl0W3BPDZX/view?usp=sharing

I am happy to show you how to build safe belay anchors as we don't need any more unnecessary or dangerous stakes at Stanage.

Thanks, let's keep Stanage free of fixed gear.

Post edited at 16:50

4
 Cake 31 May 2022
In reply to Graeme Hammond:

I can't think of another reason for them, but they are so short that I wonder if there was another reason.

To whoever placed them: if you place other stakes where it is acceptable, if you value your life, make them longer and bury them further.

4
 libertine 01 Jun 2022
In reply to Graeme Hammond:

Not sure if it's just the photo, but how far away were the pieces in that final photo for the abseil anchor? 

In reply to libertine:

Not sure exactly, but I'd estimate less than 10m so not uncommon but I think the wide angle camera makes it look massive. There are options closer to the edge if required, however I was trying to reduce the angle of equalisation of my anchors as I was abseiling to retrieve gear. This was reduced as the master point was slightly back from the edge. If I ever have to belay on the edge with anchors I always make sure I attach myself well back from the edge then move forward to remove as much stretch from the system so in the event of a 2nd falling this does not pull me forward. It was perfectly possible to make a safe anchors above thus buttress before these stakes were in place and it still is now they have been removed.

Post edited at 17:32

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