/ PRESS RELEASE: Ortovox Safety Academy Part 2: Rappelling, Using Bolted Anchors and Building Bela

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Belaying In the second part of the safety academy Ortovox show you how to safely build belays and use bolted anchors whilst climbing.

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In reply to UKC Gear:

The video showing "Belaying on several removable anchors: Load distribution" (3rd video) has an interesting method of bringing together the sling to the master-point (larks foot but with about 6 strands). looks like it could be useful in some scenarios. I might have a play with it in a safe place and see what its like, try out some modes of failure etc

has anyone here ever used this method? any obvious limitations/benefits?

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Andypeak 06 Sep 2019
In reply to paul_the_northerner:

Is there not a possibility that it one piece to fail the girth hitch could slip and cause the whole system to fail. I use a similar method but with an overhand knot to prevent this from happening. 

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Ben Snook 06 Sep 2019
In reply to Andypeak:

I was wondering exactly the same thing - the girth hitch looks extremely elegant and fast and was immediately appealing, but if for example a stand was cut would it not just pull through the girth hitch, making everything unravel? An overhand knot isn't much more tricky to tie, and is more robust against failure in my mind. BUT, requires a great big knot, which has been playing on my mind recently (having found the DMM videos) when tied in Dyneema.

I'm more and more inclined to carry a long 7 mm cordelette for such uses these days, rather than knotting long slings, especially when cams are in the belay.

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In reply to Andypeak:

This was my first thought, along with what happens if a single piece fails. with an overhand all should be fine but a girth hitch...well I'll have a play with it one evening and see what happens.

I can see the advantages of it but it certainly isn't anything I've ever seen before so I have a gut feeling that there is a reason its not a commonly documented method of anchor building. 

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Chuckbhoy 13 Sep 2019
In reply to paul_the_northerner:

I echo the concerns of the others who have posted.  This seems very unconventional from both UK and North American norms.  The terminology does not translate well.  I do not understand why cord is being passed directly through the eye of a piton which is not cord or tape compatible. pitons tend to be in situ fixed gear and not assessable for strength and security unless placed oneself.  The large larks foot on crab approach as well as being potentially extendable can capsize over the gate and produce a pinch opening pressure on the krab.  The 2 point anchors shown have a very high inner anchor angle which greatly increases the load on each point.  (look up wikipedia on anchors for basic physics-120° max!) If one reads definitive texts such as John Longs book on anchors or similar UK texts (Rockfax Trad) the techniques shown are not seen.  If one watches the excellent and free BMC, Glenmore Lodge, American Alpine Club and SIET You Tube videos no such language or techniques are used.  This is not what is taught nor done usually and I dont see how it is quicker. If the aim here is to initiate the inexperienced then it is highly unconventional, loses meaning in translation and a few established standard simple techniques are better for introductory skill teaching. 

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Planeandsimple 15 Sep 2019
In reply to UKC Gear:

I fail to see the need to larks foot around a tree. It's outdated practice. All knots weaken slings and although the practice is preferable on a wide tree, which may cause the carabiner to take a wide load this case is the exception rather than the norm, wrapping the sling round normally will be stronger in most circumstances.

I find the odd larksfoot overhand cross onto the krab in the same vein, simpler to use a clove hitch, which also uses less sling therefore lowers the angle of loading between the anchors.

Personally for equalising I go for the centrally clipped overhand in most circumstances as it doesn't weaken the sling as much, and again uses less sling than an overhand on bight, again decreasing loading angle while also being easier to untie after loading.

Saying that all the methods shown are valid and useful but I wouldn't say they are the simplest, efficient, bombproof solution.

I am slightly skeptical about the readiness of European climbers to knot slings. I generally think that UK climbers are slightly more conscious of best practice as the clip and go attitude that bolts breed isn't really an option if you're trad climbing. 

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