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Guides’ Tech Tips

Climbing Anchors by the Numbers

October 1, 2019 fmg-adminAlpine & Ice Climbing Guides' Tech Tips Rock Climbing

“Are three pieces necessary in all climbing anchors ? I only have two. What about that bomber bolt? Shouldn’t it be redundant?” 

Chances are you have come across a situation in your experiences building climbing anchors where some of these questions have come up. I know I have had a lot of questions on my instagram feed about when is it okay to have two pieces in an anchor. The answer as usual is, “It depends!” So let's analyze some of the variables involved and see if we can come up with some guidelines for creating anchors that are sufficiently strong. 

One consideration is how the anchor is going to take force. For instance, are we belaying someone up third class or super slabby terrain where most of the weight of a fall would be on the climber’s feet? Or is it higher angle with no friction created by rope running over terrain resulting in the entire amount of force being applied directly to the belay.

Force/Use of Anchor

Intended use can also determine the amount of force on a climbing anchor. If the anchor is for multi-pitch climbing and will be the attachment for the team before a lead piece of protection is place




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MOFT Knot Pass

September 25, 2018 fmg-adminGuides' Tech Tips Guiding Rock Climbing

If you find yourself needing to lower a climber more than one rope length, the MOFT knot pass is a fast, easy way to pass the knot created by joining two ropes together.  MOFT stands for munter overhand feed-through and is one of the easiest ways to get someone down quickly when time is of the essence.

AMGA Rock and Alpine Guide, Karsten Delap, demonstrates the technique in this video:

[embed]http://https://www.youtube.com/embed/ojJq-brkMZ8[/embed]

 

 




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LSD: It’s Not Just a Drug

August 6, 2018 fmg-adminGuides' Tech Tips Rock Climbing

The LSD (Load Strand Direct) lower is a safe and efficient way to lower an ambulant climber when using a plaquette or guide-plate style belay device.

When you clip the climber’s strand of rope you are defeating the plaquette device's braking properties. So now with no assisted braking feature, you have a normal style plate belay device. This type of lowering is similar to the redirected plate without having to change the system.

Remember when performing this technique a backup is recommended on the brake strand. You might also find the orientation of the loop on the plaquette to change the efficiency of this lowering method.

[embed]https://youtu.be/7vB7tMKLh-g[/embed]
Video: Austin Schmitz




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The Well-Dressed Figure Eight Knot: Start Hard, Finish Easy

July 17, 2018 fmg-adminAlpine & Ice Climbing Guides' Tech Tips Rock Climbing

Why is a well-dressed figure eight knot even important? A messy eight will hold just as well as a neat one, so what's the big deal?  In climbing, the main reason most people tie in with a figure eight (and why the vast majority of climbing gyms require it) is because it is easy to recognize and therefore verify that it is tied correctly and will perform as expected. So dressing the figure eight is an important step in tying it as it will make it even easier to identify.

To properly dress the knot we can use a technique called start hard, finish easy. We start by pushing the standing part of the rope over while poking the working end through the hole this forms.

 

 

 

Once this step is complete, the working end only passes through the knot two more times. Both of these passes should be "easy." The video below illustrates this simple process: 

[embed]https://youtu.be/D_Fmb8C_gqo[/embed]

Karsten Delap, AMGA Certified Rock and Alpine Guide

 




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