I'm wondering if there's an established etiquette in Squamish around lowering off chains and rappel rings. I'm heading up in a few days with a recently converted gym climber who isn't super confident about setting up a rappel, but who could secure himself, clean the anchor, thread the rope through the chains, and retie into his harness without any trouble.
Thats because rapping off something overhung is a dumb idea.bearbreeder wrote:J Mace wrote:General rule of thumb is to always rap, regardless of how easy
i can guarantee you that almost no one raps from the most of the overhung climbs in chek
I will concede that it is almost always more logical to lower off overhanging routes. However, on less steep routes, the choice to rap may sometimes be better due to bolt placements in relation to edges. Although it is more time consuming, it will save wear and tear on your rope too.
On the other hand, the incidence of accidents occurring because of confusion over rap vs lowering decisions is meaningfully high. The classic situation being that the belayer stops belaying because they expect their leader to rappel, then the leader takes a ground-fall when they try to lower.
I wouldn't be bothered about that risk if I were climbing with, say, an ACMG guide, but much of the time I am not. In the past I have done lots of short visits to sport areas in different countries and climbed with whoever I can find. In that situation, as I wrote above, a fixation with rapping sport routes scares me and makes me acutely alert to the risk of being dropped. For some reason, it seems to be a uniquely north american thing. If you hook up with a euro to sport climb, they will always expect to lower and everyone is safer because of that.
Is that some kind of "sport-climbing-is-neither" type humour, Bruce? I thought that had died out everywhere except SuperTopo about 10 years ago ...BK wrote:Ithink it should be mandatory rapping. Clean up the gene pool a bit, by the sounds of it.
Climbing has changed a lot over the past years thanks to the influence of gyms. There are a lot of climbers at the crag now who are athletically very strong and talented, but whose ropework is not at the same level. Climbing is more than a grade and BK has a point in saying that if someone gets confused by what to do with a couple of rings at the top of a route, they might want to hold off on calling themselves a climber.
Obviously, there are routes, particularly overhanging ones, which are easier and safer to clean by lowering. However, even in a place like the Red, where there are a lot of such routes, the majority of climbers are still climbing routes which aren't much beyond vertical and which could easily be cleaned on rappel. I'll rappel whenever possible out of respect for the person who spent the time and money to place the fixed gear. And when climbing with someone new, you really don't have to think too many steps ahead to ask them before they leave the ground whether they are going to rappel or be lowered.
Well that's a nice sentiment, but have you actually asked the new route developers what their expectation was when they placed the fixed gear? Personally-speaking, when I invest in fixed steel biners for the anchors on new routes I bolt here, it is for people to lower. And judging from his own behaviour when I climb with him, at least one of the area's most prolific sport route developers has the same opinion. If you want to save some wear, leave your own quickdraws on the anchors until the last person in your group is done with the route.davidbr wrote:I'll rappel whenever possible out of respect for the person who spent the time and money to place the fixed gear.
Once again, the problem with encouraging arbitrary rather then standardised decision-making in repetitive risk situations like sport climbing is that eventually there is miscommunication that leads to deaths. Rock and Ice magazine did an analysis of all the accident data they had accrued over many years: rap-vs-lowering confusion was one of the most common causes. And not just between newbies ... good example here: http://enormocast.com/episode-11-what-h ... demartino/
tobyfk wrote:davidbr wrote:
Well that's a nice sentiment, but have you actually asked the new route developers what their expectation was when they placed the fixed gear? Personally-speaking, when I invest in fixed steel biners for the anchors on new routes I bolt here, it is for people to lower.
I agree with you that a lot of developers expect people to lower through the rings they place, but that doesn't make it necessary.
Clearly, if you put 'biners at the top of a route, then you intend for people to lower, and you ought to be commended for going to the extra expense. When I put anchors on a route, I consider that I've donated the hardware to the community and don't have any illusions about how the community is likely to use it. I do, however, appreciate it whenever I see someone taking the time to rap' and make the community's gear last a bit longer.
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