Leaning Peak fixed rope

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Leaning Peak fixed rope

Postby gbagua » Wed 09 Mar, 2022 5:17 pm

Hello guys,

Should it have a fixed rope to bypass the abseil?

Just taking a look at the Lion Ridge on the Matterhorn, I was thinking we should also have on Leaning Peak as a valid option for those who prefer not to rap off the summit. It would allow for a light and quick ascent (and descent) of the mountain.

What do you think?

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Lion Ridge (Matterhorn)
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Re: Leaning Peak fixed rope

Postby CBee » Thu 10 Mar, 2022 7:39 am

I'm personally against this idea. This terrain IMO is not suitable to have a fixed rope due frequent bush fires, strong heat and UV exposure and crumbly/unstable nature of rock. Also NP would never allow this sort of practice. If the idea is to spare hikers carrying a rope up the ridge, then I can tell you, on Barney I use a half twin 50 that is 2.3Kg and can be used for that abseil or any other emergency retreats/traverses with few slings and no drama. I'll add: would you trust a fixed rope up there? In the event the rope is damaged, how would you retreat with no rope? The downclimb from leaning peak is not an easy task I would assume. To me this would add an hazard to a place that has already plenty of tricky sections to negotiate and is not for everyone. On the Matterhorn, due high traffic and the severity of the terrain at that altitude, where rescues are sometimes impossible, fixed hardware and ropes are handy to aid more difficult sections and mitigate the risk of a number of people getting stuck. IMO the two situations cannot be compared.
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Re: Leaning Peak fixed rope

Postby gbagua » Mon 21 Mar, 2022 8:59 pm

...alternatively downclimb the damn thing! :) Need to pay a visit to Mt Coolum. :mrgreen:

I see your point but I thought since the face is permanently in the shade (and cool for that reason) a rope would survive in that environment for at least two years and then replaced again. But as you said NP wouldn't permit this practice. We are in remote QLD not the crowded and touristy Swiss/Italian Alps.
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Re: Leaning Peak fixed rope

Postby CBee » Tue 22 Mar, 2022 7:21 am

Downclimbing where the chains are, is a task for capable rock climbers with a taste for danger. Downclimbing on the ridge, I have only done a portion of it, but again, you are asking for troubles. My question is, would you get all the way to the summit of leaning peak and then blindly trust a fixed rope to abseil 50m of vertical terrain? I only trust my rope.
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Re: Leaning Peak fixed rope

Postby sandym » Tue 22 Mar, 2022 3:41 pm

gbagua wrote:...alternatively downclimb the damn thing! :) Need to pay a visit to Mt Coolum. :mrgreen:

I see your point but I thought since the face is permanently in the shade (and cool for that reason) a rope would survive in that environment for at least two years and then replaced again. But as you said NP wouldn't permit this practice. We are in remote QLD not the crowded and touristy Swiss/Italian Alps.


Jeez, I'd like to see the tests that show that.

One little critter nibbling on the rope and it's gone.
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Re: Leaning Peak fixed rope

Postby tomh » Wed 23 Mar, 2022 9:31 am

just a suggestion......
Tararua_steel_ladder.jpg
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Being steel it would get rusty of course....and I checked, Bunnings don't stock them...
More detail at
https://www.wildernessmag.co.nz/see-more-backcountry-ladders/
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Re: Leaning Peak fixed rope

Postby gbagua » Thu 24 Mar, 2022 12:29 pm

Nice! Let's put one of those ones on the West face of Leaning. :)

I wouldn't worry too much about the ropes used in the European Alps.They are like steel.

I was really worried about what hikers used in the past prior the proper anchor that was installed by "Safer Cliffs QLD." The mess was begging for some abseiling-related death to happen sooner or later.
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Re: Leaning Peak fixed rope

Postby CBee » Thu 24 Mar, 2022 7:09 pm

Just because people carry ropes, it doesn't mean they understand how to use them properly. For the amount of traffic on Leaning Peak (almost none), the shrubs are plentiful and strong enough for the odd abseil, if only people would be considerate and caring when setting up. The chains are not 100% guarantee to be safe. Do you know who is the person that installed them? Do you know his/her experience? What material did he/she used? How the holes were drilled? Is the rock bomber? Glue or bolts? I personally can inspect a tree and judge if safe enough to put my life on it (or a collection of trees), with decent accuracy. The hardware not, I have to trust blindly the person who mysteriously installed it.
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Re: Leaning Peak fixed rope

Postby gbagua » Tue 29 Mar, 2022 9:06 am

The bolted belay at the top of Leaning is fine, actually one of the best I have come across in my climbing journey (started as a teen in 1986. I have rapped off a single dodgy 8mm bolt with a cord attached to it). I don't trust the shrub on Leaning subject to heat, rain, erosion, etc. Plus it's a pain in the bum having to setup an abseil every time you get there because obviously you aren't going to use what has been left behind.
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Re: Leaning Peak fixed rope

Postby CBee » Tue 29 Mar, 2022 1:45 pm

It's a matter of taking with you the old tat for later disposal and slinging a tree with the new one that you should carry to protect the trees. But, to be able to recognise and trust bomber hardware is a good skill. That I don't have.
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Re: Leaning Peak fixed rope

Postby Iamspartacus » Sun 01 May, 2022 3:40 pm

I think that a fixed rope on leaning is a bad idea. As a once upon a time trad climber, I feel that all unnecessary fixed gear is... well it's just unnecessary.

That said, I was pleased to find the rap station when I was there earlier this year. Rapping of that bunch of tat around the bush was just a disaster waiting to happen.

Also does anyone know what the story is with the bolted pitch? Saw that on the way up and wondered why?
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Re: Leaning Peak fixed rope

Postby CBee » Sun 01 May, 2022 4:27 pm

Iamspartacus wrote:
Also does anyone know what the story is with the bolted pitch? Saw that on the way up and wondered why?


What exactly do you mean by bolted pitch?
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Re: Leaning Peak fixed rope

Postby Iamspartacus » Sun 01 May, 2022 6:43 pm

There was a bolted pitch, maybe 100m from the top. Two or three bolts, each with a rap ring.
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Re: Leaning Peak fixed rope

Postby CBee » Sun 01 May, 2022 7:34 pm

Is this pitch along the normal route of SLP?
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Re: Leaning Peak fixed rope

Postby Iamspartacus » Tue 03 May, 2022 1:42 pm

Hi,

Not 100% sure. I have only done long leaning peak once, and short twice, and am not sure what the regular/standard route is. The bolts seemed to me to be on the route. I probably go a bit further left if they weren't there, but didn't feel the bolts we needed.
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Re: Leaning Peak fixed rope

Postby CBee » Tue 03 May, 2022 3:55 pm

The two routes join together after the notch. The hardware in the photo is definitely an abseiling ring, not a belay station. So with this setting, now there is the "option" of descent via the ridge itself, instead of rapping off the summit and making your way out via the usual North Ridge or Eagles Slabs, whatever you want to trust abseiling from a single bolt. But then abseiling was already possible by people knowing how to use ropes, gear and setting up natural anchors. I can't see the whole wall from the photo and the position of the bolts, but me, personally, I'm against this practice. It is both dangerous and a polluter. Not to mention, the more adventurous hikers have been climbing this difficult and exposed ridge for decades, using only their grippy shoes as aid, why someone thinks is fair game to change the style?
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Re: Leaning Peak fixed rope

Postby gbagua » Tue 03 May, 2022 7:16 pm

Hello,

By the looks of it and bearing in mind that SES has been particularly busy in the past two years, it's was probably bolted by then to aid the emergency staff helping stranded hikers on SLR. Two years ago a young lad from Boonah, who was also a climber fell off SLR and died.

That bolt is identical to the ones they also set up in The Caves route at Tibro, which is where they get most of the rescue calls from.

I also saw SES tape attached to a tree when I hiked early this year Montserrat Lookout starting from the Lower Portals. It was on the way up facing Barrabool Pk up on the track leading to Clear Ridge lookout. Someone probably rolled their ankle bad (or even fractured it) and was unable to keep walking.


Iamspartacus, where exactly on the ridge did you see that bolt?


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If you could pinpoint roughly the location, it would be great. :D
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Re: Leaning Peak fixed rope

Postby Iamspartacus » Tue 03 May, 2022 8:04 pm

This is a best guess.
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Re: Leaning Peak fixed rope

Postby CBee » Wed 04 May, 2022 7:31 am

Ok it's above the notch, past the two routes conjunction. Where the terrain is steeper.
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Re: Leaning Peak fixed rope

Postby sandym » Wed 04 May, 2022 7:37 am

CBee wrote:The two routes join together after the notch. The hardware in the photo is definitely an abseiling ring, not a belay station. So with this setting, now there is the "option" of descent via the ridge itself, instead of rapping off the summit and making your way out via the usual North Ridge or Eagles Slabs, whatever you want to trust abseiling from a single bolt. But then abseiling was already possible by people knowing how to use ropes, gear and setting up natural anchors. I can't see the whole wall from the photo and the position of the bolts, but me, personally, I'm against this practice. It is both dangerous and a polluter. Not to mention, the more adventurous hikers have been climbing this difficult and exposed ridge for decades, using only their grippy shoes as aid, why someone thinks is fair game to change the style?


The hardware is the same, two of these and you would call it a "belay station". There are a ton of rock climbs in Australia with a single belay bolt for the top station. An abseil anchor is only required to hold body weight. A person would have to try really hard and not be abseiling to put factor 2 force onto an abseil anchor. Correctly placed a single bolt is more than adequate, although that may not be standard convention. If you followed the same logic, that is, the principal of redundancy, people should sling two trees to abseil off and that would leave even more tape, cord etc. behind. Hard to see how a small discrete bolt is more of a polluter than tape left around trees etc.
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Re: Leaning Peak fixed rope

Postby CBee » Wed 04 May, 2022 8:48 am

Disagree. One bolt is not redundant, either for abseiling or belaying, no matter who installed it and how good. One bolt for abseiling can be used in situations where you need to add few metres of extension to an abseil to reach a ledge or ground or as belay on deep ledges or where a fall can't happen, but not in a case like this, with hundreds of metres of void below you. I have seen bolts apparently safe, coming out together with a chunk of rock. One tree anchor can be redundant. A single bolt belay station that comes to mind is Trojan on Tibrogargan, inside the cave. But originally that was a trad station, the bolt is only extra safety. Never seen "hanging belays" with a single bolt.

Adding tape to trees that have already old tat, is a bad practice and rockclimbers generally know that. Bushwalkers apparently don't. This can be avoided by removing the old one before leaving yours. It depends also from traffic numbers: some routes cannot sustain high traffic without some form of hardware. Usually hardware is a magnet for more traffic. More traffic means more rescues. When I write pollution, I don't mean the visual pollution, but the pollution of the character of the route. But let's make an extreme example: install a chain from base to summit on leaning peak, with poles every 2 metres and resting platforms with water fountains, and the route would be far safer for all.
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Re: Leaning Peak fixed rope

Postby sandym » Wed 04 May, 2022 7:31 pm

I have no idea what "add few metres of extension to an abseil to reach a ledge" even means; unless you mean abseiling a short distance from one bolt. In which case, seems a bit like solo climbing, once you are a certain distance off the ground (50 metres or 500 metres) if you fall the result is the same.

I don't think I can necessarily agree that more hardware is a magnet for more traffic. That seems like an assertion people enjoy making but is almost impossible to prove.
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Re: Leaning Peak fixed rope

Postby tomh » Wed 04 May, 2022 7:37 pm

Website 'the Crag' has a description of the short leaning ridge route:
https://www.thecrag.com/en/climbing/australia/mt-barney/route/12192433
The two photos including a climber in
https://www.thecrag.com/en/climbing/australia/mt-barney/route/12192433/photos
from memory looks like the most difficult part of the ascending route we took and is located approx. where Iamspartacus' arrow points
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Re: Leaning Peak fixed rope

Postby CBee » Wed 04 May, 2022 9:29 pm

sandym wrote:I have no idea what "add few metres of extension to an abseil to reach a ledge" even means; unless you mean abseiling a short distance from one bolt. In which case, seems a bit like solo climbing, once you are a certain distance off the ground (50 metres or 500 metres) if you fall the result is the same.

I don't think I can necessarily agree that more hardware is a magnet for more traffic. That seems like an assertion people enjoy making but is almost impossible to prove.


Some routes are meant to be climbed not abseiled, therefore the spacing between stations are based on typical rope length. The route could not be of a perfect length for equal position of belay station to be used for rapping. But this is technicality that I won't discuss on a bushwalking forum. But I encourage you to support your claim that "There are a ton of rock climbs in Australia with a single belay bolt for the top station" or "Correctly placed a single bolt is more than adequate (for abseiling?)". Single bolt or single anchor, unless bomber tree, is not redundant therefore cannot be trusted to put your life on it. Not on a wall of that height.
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Re: Leaning Peak fixed rope

Postby sandym » Thu 05 May, 2022 5:02 pm

Oh, I see what you mean, someone who did not think the whole thing through was trying to abseil a multi-pitch route where the anchors were a “typical rope length” – whatever that is anymore - apart and they either did not bring a tag line or have two ropes and were forced to abseil off one of the protection bolts mid-pitch to reach the next station. Not you I hope?

I can’t give you route names but I have climbed routes at Tinbeerwah, Kissing Point and Mount Keira which, at the time, had one bolt anchors.

If you assume that, as in your picture, a Fixe or Raumer hangar and ring for a fixed station is correctly installed in solid hard rock (not soft sandstone), loose boulders or any other crap you see. The anchor is rated to 25 kN. Standard abseiler with pack can’t weigh more than 100 kg, and an abseil is only body weight (plus pack weight and clothing). You can’t directly convert to kilograms because a kN is actually a unit of force not weight, but a rough conversion would be 2550 kilograms. The anchor is over-engineered, as is most climbing gear.

Tubular webbing is rated to about 17 to 18 kN, but if you put in knots you reduce the rating by about 30% so tape wrapped around a tree technically holds less force. Gosh, I haven’t even mentioned what a climbing rope is rated to, which is maybe 8ish kN depending on diameter and whether half, single or double.

A single tree is not however, redundant unless you back it up with a cam, nut, horn, flake, other tree, etc, equalised into the system. Simply putting more wraps of tape around a tree does not make the anchor redundant.

Apparently, you are a climber so you know all this anyway.

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Re: Leaning Peak fixed rope

Postby CBee » Thu 05 May, 2022 6:54 pm

sandym wrote:Oh, I see what you mean, someone who did not think the whole thing through was trying to abseil a multi-pitch route where the anchors were a “typical rope length” – whatever that is anymore - apart and they either did not bring a tag line or have two ropes and were forced to abseil off one of the protection bolts mid-pitch to reach the next station. Not you I hope?

Not sure why you are expressing yourself in this way, but I don't abseil multipitches. Not my thing. Unless I have to. But this sentence of yours make me believe you are going off-topic.


sandym wrote:I can’t give you route names but I have climbed routes at Tinbeerwah, Kissing Point and Mount Keira which, at the time, had one bolt anchors.

Don't know Keira or Kissing Point. But I know Tinbeerwah. The "single bolt" at the top, is a series of giant ring bolts installed by the army for training purposes. You can safely (I assume) belay or rap from one of them, but you can also equalize from a collection of them. "Almost all bolts at Mt Tinbeerwah are carrot bolts (BRs in the descriptions) so bring plenty of bolt plates. A few climbs have fixed hangers (FHs) or u-bolts. There are large numbered rings along the top of the 'Main Wall' as well as double bolt belays (DBBs) for rapping and belaying." This is from the guide.

sandym wrote: If you assume that, as in your picture, a Fixe or Raumer hangar and ring for a fixed station is correctly installed in solid hard rock (not soft sandstone), loose boulders or any other crap you see. The anchor is rated to 25 kN. Standard abseiler with pack can’t weigh more than 100 kg, and an abseil is only body weight (plus pack weight and clothing). You can’t directly convert to kilograms because a kN is actually a unit of force not weight, but a rough conversion would be 2550 kilograms. The anchor is over-engineered, as is most climbing gear.

Tubular webbing is rated to about 17 to 18 kN, but if you put in knots you reduce the rating by about 30% so tape wrapped around a tree technically holds less force. Gosh, I haven’t even mentioned what a climbing rope is rated to, which is maybe 8ish kN depending on diameter and whether half, single or double.

I don't assume anything and the photo is not mine. Please keep posting info about kN and gear, someone could be interested, but my original post was about redundancy of a single bolt, not gear strength. If I have to rap from the single ring bolt at Mt. Ngungun main cliff, on a 45 degree angle slab, for 7 metres, I have no problem with redundancy (not that I need to set up an abseil for 7m low angle slab), but if I have to use the single ring bolt on Leaning Ridge, with 400m of void below be, then no thanks.

sandym wrote:A single tree is not however, redundant unless you back it up with a cam, nut, horn, flake, other tree, etc, equalised into the system. Simply putting more wraps of tape around a tree does not make the anchor redundant.

With ACIA (Australian Climbing Instructors Association), I set up single tree anchors for training in commercial climbing and abseiling (according to their protocols of anchor assessing). If the tree is big enough I need to add. You may be referring to shrubs, hence saying about backing up a tree with a nut.

sandym wrote:Apparently, you are a climber so you know all this anyway.


Please don't tell people that one single bolt is redundant. As I said, I have already experienced two bolts popping out on me, in either occasion there was no injury and no drama because it happened mid-route. Just because there is a bolt, it doesn't mean is 100% safe (we don't know the hardware, the rock around it and inside, the shock that the drill made on the rock, the installer and his/her experience, etc). And if is not 100% safe then is not good enough, that is the prime principle of setting up or assessing anchors. This is not my personal opinion and believe only, but I'm passing what I have been taught by professional climbing instructors. I suggest you, if you allow me, to speak to someone else to get a second opinion on this matter.

Also, for gbagua, I would be surprised if parks or rescue have installed the bolt and create liability. I know that in many other places of high traffic and big rescue numbers, they have drilled the rock but they are using removable anchors. You can see these holes on Beerwah and Tibrogargan in several places.
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Re: Leaning Peak fixed rope

Postby sandym » Fri 06 May, 2022 7:06 am

The entire thread after a certain point is off-topic, but that is what makes forums interesting IMHO.

Please reread my posts if you need to: I have NEVER claimed a single bolt is redundant. Nor a single tree.

Cheers.
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Re: Leaning Peak fixed rope

Postby gbagua » Mon 09 May, 2022 5:03 pm

Image

A relic from the past not to be trusted. Love the rusty bit. :mrgreen:

BTW, trees are redundant as long as they fulfil certain requirements;

1. Width of the trunk (minimum of an adult male's upper thigh)
2. Youth
3. How solid the roots are

BUT trees are known to fail when rapping off them. I read a couple of stories in an American canyoning forum a while ago about fatal accidents and incidents where the whole tree collapsed during an abseil causing very serious injuries. Maybe canyons due to their specific nature are different than trees located on rock faces on a mountain formation. So at your own risk.

I personally wouldn't rap off the tree located past the crux of Short Leaning Ridge and I'm very wary of giving a belay to hikers who panic climbing/scrambling the 20-25 m of that section of the ridge. Last time I used a couple of stoppers to back up the tree belay just in case. There is crack next to the platform from which the belay is located on the right-hand side.

But personally I prefer not to offer any belays so best idea us only hiking SLR with experienced people.
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Re: Leaning Peak fixed rope

Postby sandym » Mon 09 May, 2022 7:17 pm

BTW, trees are redundant as long as they fulfil certain requirements;

1. Width of the trunk (minimum of an adult male's upper thigh)
2. Youth
3. How solid the roots are


Is this an Australian thing?

In 30+ years of climbing across multiple countries, I have never heard any climber call a single tree redundant (good enough, for sure). Generally, the idea of redundancy is that if one component of the anchor breaks/fails, redundancy means there is something else backing it up.

But, if this is taught in Australia as redundant, many things in this thread now make some sort of sense.
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Re: Leaning Peak fixed rope

Postby CBee » Mon 09 May, 2022 8:27 pm

A big tree, with a large trunk, cannot be backed up by a rope attached to another anchor (such cam or hex in a crack or similar), because if this big tree falls, it would rip the rope and all the other anchors. So to apply the concept of redundancy to a large trunk, we should find a link and another trunk or anchor of equal strength. I still hope we are not talking about shrubs or small trees, but big trees. So yes, nothing is redundant, not even a submarine.
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