Three of the most scary questions we have ever been asked on Gear Geek
Ok, so maybe that response is a little strong. Everyone one has to learn somewhere and it’s almost certainly better to find out what is good practice on our forum, rather than simply trying it out at the crag and hoping for the best. However, when we read the following three questions, the alarm bells really started ringing. A good rule of thumb; if you have to ask, the answer is probably no.
You know what; there actually are harnesses with full strength gear loops. However, If you’re not sure whether your harness has them or not, then it probably doesn’t. If it does have them, then by all means tie into one, but don’t expect anything other than a spine wrenching sideways yank when you fall.
So this second question isn’t actually so bad, although the idea is probably terrifying to your average gritstone climber. Unfortunately though, not everyone can simply make a 20 second walk around the side of the crag to safely retrieve their gear. There are plenty of scenarios, particularly on alpine routes, where rapping off a single nut may be the best option available to you. I'm not suggesting you set up a 50m freehanging abseil with nothing but a lowley wire teathering you to the land of the living, but a single nut can, for example, be a reasonable way to secure an assisted downclimb. As with all times in life where you are presented with a potentially deadly fall, a little common sense will go a long way.
Really?! I’ve tried very hard to envision the course of events which would lead me to this. Perhaps this is just a limit of my imagination, and I’ll think back to this moment one day with embarressment while stuck down a crevasse with a well anchored rope dangling down to my feet and nothing but my shoelaces to help me climb it. When this does happen however, I’m fairly certain that any mental insecurity I was feeling before I took off my shoes would be just as immobilising afterwards.
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