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OT: why are canyoneers more risk-tolerant than trad climbers?

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  • OT: why are canyoneers more risk-tolerant than trad climbers?

    I know very little about canyoneering or trad climbing, but enough to know that the rappel situation pictured in the latest blog post with the caption, "Tip- Don’t pull on the green rope until AFTER you’re done rappelling" would send many trad climbers into a tizzy about how dangerous that anchor situation is.  Of course, many ski-mountaineers would wonder why you carry so much gear and couldn't it be made simpler  :lol:  or couldn't you just jump  :P .
    So, WCI does that linchpin anchor have a name?  And, how did you learn it? And, do you think it's actually any riskier than some more permanent 3-way equalized anchor?

  • #2
    That, my friend, is a fiddlestick, a beautiful idea but certainly more risky than rappelling off a three bolt and chain anchor found on many a trad climb. The concept is that the anchor is fully-retrievable. So you leave no trace and can "ghost" the canyon. Pull the fiddlestick out of the stone knot, the knot falls apart, and you pull the last few feet of rope around the natural anchor and nothing is left behind. The canyon looks precisely like it did upon your arrival. No bolts, no chains, no sling, nothing.

    Canyoneers are definitely more willing to rappel on crap than climbers. Part of it is the recognition that not all rappel failures have the same consequences, part is the fact that you put much less weight on an anchor rappelling than taking a factor 2 leader fall, and part is simply that's where canyoneers take their risks (that and free-solo high stemming) instead of desperate 80 foot slab runouts.
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    • #3
      I understood about 3% of what I just read.  Take-home message for me: Stick to hiking  


      • #4
        Cool!  This is not the place I thought I would learn about new (to me) rope techniques, but googling "fiddlestick" brought up a bunch of cool stuff that I have never heard of before.  I really dislike how willing most ski-mountaineers are to leave webbing behind, and the "normal" 2-ring retrievable sling seems guaranteed to snag to me, or bring metal hardware down on my head!  A fiddlestick and an organic-matter deadman could be a good way to leave-no-trace while skiing.