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#45179 - 06/02/09 12:25 AM belay anchors
J@son Offline
member

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 101
Loc: New Jersey
I was kinda waiting for someone else to bring this one up. It was so crowded Sunday I figured I couldn't have been the only one to see this guy fall on Retribution.
He fell from about 25 feet on double ropes after hang dogging for a while. His upper most piece popped and he pulled his belayer about three feet off the ground. Only avoiding a terrible injury or death by a few inches.
I regularly anchor in as the belayer and I hope more folks will start to.
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#45180 - 06/02/09 12:49 AM Re: belay anchors [Re: J@son]
Coppertone Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/17/00
Posts: 1055
Loc: Newtown, CT
Anchoring in while belaying is not necessarily something that is always good. Obviously once off of the first pitch on a multipitch the belayer should be anchored in. However when belaying on the ground on a first pitch there are many instances where being anchored is actually a detriment. Mobility on the ground can be an assest in spotting, shortening a fall, changing belay positions when the leader has changed postitions on the rock. If the leader out weighs the belayer by 50 pounds by all means anchor in, but beyond that it is pretty climb and climber specific whether or not the belayer should be anchored.

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#45184 - 06/02/09 01:03 AM Re: belay anchors [Re: Coppertone]
dalguard Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1515
Loc: CT
Did he pull the piece protecting the roof and land on the pin or was he higher than that?

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#45185 - 06/02/09 01:55 AM Re: belay anchors [Re: dalguard]
TerrieM Offline
addict

Registered: 05/14/09
Posts: 425
Loc: Gunks in Summer, Southwest in ...
Do you mind advising what time of day this was? Just because as we were going past at one point, someone was on the route and a person I was with made some comments about their (lack of) gear and level of sketch. Just wondering if it was the same person.

Glad nobody was injured.

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#45188 - 06/02/09 11:39 AM Re: belay anchors [Re: TerrieM]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2676
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
Sounds like he was at the roof, in which case there were at least 3 different pro options. The problem wasn't that the belayer was lifted, but rather that the pro wasn't good. As long as the belayer is close to the wall and getting pulled straight up this is usually a good thing as it lessens the pull on the top piece and reduces energy to the climbers body. Jason's point that it would have reduced the length of the fall if anchored is true and needs to be evaluated in each situation against the disadvantages of increased force to pro and climber as well as not being able to spot the opening moves. The whole thing is thrown out the window if you can't get good pro. In this situation I would place more than one piece.

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#45189 - 06/02/09 12:42 PM Re: belay anchors [Re: chip]
Smike Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/01/01
Posts: 3143
Loc: in your backyard
How the hell do you have gear rip on Retro? I think there in lies you prob, not the belayer. You can toss in a Red C3 at the crux and then toss your mom off it.

anchoring in the belayer is not a concrete rule (as mentioned above)

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#45190 - 06/02/09 02:00 PM Re: belay anchors [Re: Smike]
Julie Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/16/00
Posts: 2090
Loc: SoCal
Sunday I saw three guys sieging Maria Direct, as I was rapping after climbing Maria.

First guy starts up. Looking totally sketch. His belayer? Very well anchored .... to a tree 20' back from the cliff!

They didn't speak English, so at some point I gestured/pointed to the belayer to move UNDER the (sketched-out) climber to spot him. He did, thank god. The climber ended up taking several falls on the pin (not backed up, of course). Those would have been groundfalls, if the belayer was still back in the trees. The whole thing was a circus, another guy from the trio ended up soloing it to finish it.

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#45205 - 06/02/09 07:14 PM Re: belay anchors [Re: dalguard]
J@son Offline
member

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 101
Loc: New Jersey
was above the roof. I think the time was around 10:30ish.
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Labor Omnia Vincit

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#45216 - 06/02/09 11:00 PM Re: belay anchors [Re: J@son]
pazreal Offline
journeyman

Registered: 04/01/05
Posts: 85
Loc: Salt Lake City, UT
We almost never anchor in here at my local crags because the fractured basalt we climb is unstable and we have had to engage in evasive maneuvers on many an occasion. Situational awareness should be the hallmark of your decisions.

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#45220 - 06/03/09 12:13 AM Re: belay anchors [Re: pazreal]
MarcC Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/10/00
Posts: 3532
Originally Posted By: pazreal
Situational awareness should be the hallmark of your decisions.

What he said.
Rules like "the belayer is always anchored to the ground" leads to goofy decisions like the belayer on Laurel tied off to and standing by either the Rhododendron tree, or, more comically, a tree on the other side of the carriage road. Alas, I've seen both more than just a few times. In one of the latter occurrences, the leader also put a full length runner on the first pin. This was one of those times when Ravitch, Liff and I quietly went to the rescue box, brought the stokes litter over, and placed it near the base of the climb. smirk
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