Been lead climbing indoors for a while and hoping to get outside soon, just wondering what's peoples thoughts on the best way to attach yourself to the anchor at the top of a sport climb whilst you sort the lower off?
I've seen some people attach themselves with quickdraws, some with slings and some with lanyards, so just wondering what is the best practice here?
Use a QD to sit on the belay (or a chain of 2 if the height is more comfortable)
Pull up 2 metres of slack, tie an overhand knot and clip it to your belay loop. You are now safely connected to all the lower bolts and still belayed.
Untie, thread the belay and retie to your harness.
Check everything, communicate with belayer if possible. Remove overhand knot and lower off.
Fine for leads, less so for threading after seconding a route because there likely won't be any quickdraws left clipped below. Many will still be happy clipping directly into a quickdraw, but a newbie would be well advised to use a locking lanyard.
> I've seen some people attach themselves with quickdraws, some with slings and some with lanyards, so just wondering what is the best practice here?
They all work. Generally I just used a quickdraw, taking care where necessary to make sure I remained backed up by the rope (as a bonus you can't drop it) while re-threading. The key is understanding *why* you're doing something safely (or not) rather than knowing 'best practice', it gives you the flexibility you'll need to deal with unusual problems with limited means.
I'm inexperienced at outdoor sport climbing but had been doing a lot of research and settled on a Petzl Connect Adjust. I've only managed to get out once with it but it's been brilliant so far.
People will point out that there are cheaper options but I think I bought the 'best' option. By 'best', I mean easiest to use and safest. Price was not a consideration.
I did see that and thought it looked a good choice for a beginner, seemed popular in the reviews to, so I might pull the trigger on that.
> I'm inexperienced at outdoor sport climbing but had been doing a lot of research and settled on a Petzl Connect Adjust. I've only managed to get out once with it but it's been brilliant so far.
I've seen a couple of people using these and they look really good. Both owners of said equipment were also very quick to recommend them, both were experienced climbers.
What you suggest is fine. An alternative, somewhat quicker method - if the rings at the top are big enough - is
* clip in to the chains with whatever you use (QD, daisy etc)
* clip a screwgate krab to your belay loop
* pull a loop of the rope through the rings
* make a figure of eight knot on the end of the loop, clip it to the screwgate krab and do up the screwgate
* lower away
I use one of those Beal Dyna clip things as I was bought it as a gift, but no problem to use slings or QDs it's all about personal preference.
Personally I like to use screwgates when I'm anchoring, just feels like I'm less likely to accidentally remove it if it's got a screwgate on it.
What's probably more important than the gear you use to attach yourself is the what you do once you get there. You get all sorts of different configurations of chains/rings/staples/mallions/biners at the top of a sport route, so there's no one easy answer for what to do when you get there. The key is to make sure that at all times, even when lowering, you are on two points of protection.
Ask yourself what happens if one of the bolts pops, if at any point the answer is you'd fall to the ground then you modify your method.
For example imagine you've seconded a route, unclipped but not removed the QD's and you're now at the top with your Petzl anchor and find that the belay is made of 2 x glued in staples, each with a QD in it with the rope going through, but no chains or rings or anything like that to connect them. You need to clean the route and lower off. Would you know what to do in that situation?
+1 for a Petzel Adjust Connect, especially if you're new to outdoor sport. Having this should hopefully reduce the amount of things you're thinking about on your ascent. They're very fast to make you safe, and adjusting them so you can sit at a comfortable height whilst you get your head into threading the anchor is simple. If you can, practice adjusting one before you set off on your climbs, so that you can get used to un-weighting it a little to allow you to easily add some slack to it if you're sitting too high.
I know that many see the Adjust as an expensive solution, but for the money, they really do give the head game an advantage when you're learning, and also if you've just had a really rotten, pumped up climb.
I sometimes leave the last quick draw before the anchors in place (and clipped) and strip the rest if I know my partner is going to top rope the route. Adds a bit of margin if something goes wrong with the rethreading. Doesn't guard against all errors though! Not sure if you would class this as best practice though or something to recommend to a newbie. I just know you can sometimes feel quite exposed just attached to 2 bolts with the rope looping below not clipped to anything else!
> ... but a newbie would be well advised to use a locking lanyard.
I'm not completely convinced about the logic of this.
I personally think as a climbing instructor or coach it is rather condescending for someone to do one thing themselves but then recommend something else to other climbers, especially novices.
My view is that what I do and what I teach should be identical. If they aren't, then I will generally change one or other. Over twenty years, in some cases I've changed what I do, in others what I teach.
I have considered this particular issue in some detail recently and I am personally not going to change to using a lanyard for single pitch sport - a quickdraw works absolutely fine. I have therefore made a decision to refrain from recommending that anyone else SHOULD (or shouldn't) use a lanyard, and try to adopt a neutral position discussing pros and cons of different options.
Hope this makes some sense.
> I sometimes leave the last quick draw before the anchors in place ...
> Not sure if you would class this as best practice though or something to recommend to a newbie.
Yes and yes.
I always ensure that I have the last draw in place and swapped over so it's clipped to the belayer's rope as a backup, prior to rethreading if I've ended up top-roping or seconding a pitch rather than leading it.
I specifically teach this.
That all makes sense and is reasonable, but in my experience newbies have significantly different needs to experienced climbers. Newbies will often be a lot less aware of their movements and maybe also clumsier due to lack of familiarity with their hanging predicament. That makes for greater potential for accidental krab opening, which is why I would normally suggest lockers until they have enough experience and familiarity to be confident in relying on snaplinks and not being at risk of doing anything that might open them accidentally.
I actually think the idea of doing something different to what you require of clients conveys the message that personal behaviour is very much dependent on experience and a one-size-fits-all approach to safely practices isn't always appropriate. Each to their own though.
My advice is to always clip the anchor with a quickdraw first, that way you are always on a dynamic belay. If you only clip with a static lanyard, or even with a rope lanyard, and then slip, you can generate fairly high impact forces - or worse if you have to faff with your lanyard because it's the wrong length and then fall that's a serious whipper.
It all depends what you have at the top but what I usually do:
Single master point anchor (alpine style chains, with a master ring connecting both bolts) -
Two naked bolts -
These methods are more faff than many would bother with, but I like redundancy. Obviously you can deviate if needed, but safety is default.
This is what I do assuming the lower-off is big enough to thread with a loop of rope - usual caveats apply: https://www.vimeo.com/340412797
Note 1 - if the pitch is very long remember you have already used 2m of rope up
Note 2 - if the lower-off is too tight to get a loop of rope through you need to untie before you thread it. In that case I use the same system but use the rope to tie an overhang knot to a krab on my belay loop, then undo, thread, clip and lower.
PS sorry about the background noise from the river.
> They all work. Generally I just used The key is understanding *why* you're doing something safely (or not) rather than knowing 'best practice', it gives you the flexibility you'll need to deal with unusual problems with limited means.
This. It’s only a hop and a skip away when redpointing or onsighting that you forget to take a larks foot sling or your mate who was dead keen decides he doesn’t want to try the route after you get to the top and that it now needs stripping ! Or does that only happen to me ?
I keep a 60cm nylon sling attached to my harness (girth hitch) with a screwgate on the other end (cows tails). I clip the screwgate a small elastic loop on the harness, then at the top just attach it to the bolt and screw up.
It's better to use a nylon sling as it doesn't get tangled as much or stick to velcro and also it has slightly more impact resistance should you fall on it.
After attaching your cows tail, pull up a loop of the rope, thread through the rings, tie a fig 8 on a bight on the end and screwgate it to your belay loop (spare screwgate on your harness). Then untie, have the belayer pull tight so you can remove the cows tails and lower off.
This system means you are always on belay and never depend totally on the top bolt.
Very good Chris. And full marks for using a proper knot!
French climber Seb Bouin has made the first ascent of a new 9b/+ at Pic Saint-Loup, France. The route is 50m in total and breaks down into a 9a+, followed by a Font 8A+ boulder problem. He has named the route Beyond Integral.