Chockstones

A chockstone is a rock that is wedged in a crack because the crack narrows downward (Figure 5-3). Chockstones should be checked for strength, security, and crumbling and should always be tested before use. All chockstones must be solid and strong enough to support the load. They must have maximum surface contact and be well tapered with the surrounding rock to remain in position.

a. Chockstones are often directional—they are secure when pulled in one direction but may pop out if pulled in another direction.

b. A creative climber can often make his own chockstone by wedging a rock into position, tying a rope to it, and clipping on a carabiner.

c. Slings should not be wedged between the chockstone and the rock wall since a fall could cut the webbing runner.

Figure 5-2. Boulders used as anchors.

Figure 5-3. Chockstones. 5-4. ROCK PROJECTIONS

Rock projections (sometimes called nubbins) often provide suitable protection (Figure 5-4). These include blocks, flakes, horns, and spikes. If rock projections are used, their firmness is important. They should be checked for cracks or weathering that may impair their firmness. If any of these signs exist, the projection should be avoided.

Figure 5-3. Chockstones. 5-4. ROCK PROJECTIONS

Rock projections (sometimes called nubbins) often provide suitable protection (Figure 5-4). These include blocks, flakes, horns, and spikes. If rock projections are used, their firmness is important. They should be checked for cracks or weathering that may impair their firmness. If any of these signs exist, the projection should be avoided.

Figure 5-4. Rock projections.

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