Good thread. Lots of food for thought being provided by everyone.
> Are you safer rapping or lowering if you get hit by rockfall?
Are you safer rapping or lowering if YOUR PARTNER gets hit by rockfall? The rockfall that I’ve witnessed in 19 yrs of climbing has almost always been initiated by the feet or hands of the climber/rappeler. Who is more likely to get hit by rockfall, those below or you?
> Lowering is NOT THE PROBLEM with anchor wear - Top roping through the
> anchor gear is what really wears it out.
I’ll agree that one climber top roping directly from the anchors results in much more wear on the anchors than one climber simply lowering directly from the anchors, but to suggest that lowering does not contribute substantially to anchor wear is not realistic.
> It would be ridiculous to take the time to rappel if you're leaving your draws
> up and someone is going to either TR the route or lead on your gear.
It would be equally ridiculous to lower directly from the anchors (rather from your own draws) if you left the route equipped for someone else to pinkpoint.
> [Lowering seems quicker than rapping.] That way, I can quickly get on
> another route.
If it seems quicker, consider that rapping can free your partner to start getting stuff ready to move on to the next route.
> the point … is that you can always stay on belay.
Daisy chains to the anchor aside, I don’t consider myself to be “on belay” if I’m looking at groundfall regardless of whether or not a belay device is on the other end of my rope. I do think that Aenima’s tip of threading a BIGHT (not bite) and clipping a figure eight on a bight to your harness has value, but clipping the rope to you rather than tying in directly to your harness introduces additional risks (be careful not to allow the ‘biners to become side-loaded). Most risks can be mitigated as long as you are aware of the risk, have a good base of knowledge and experience, and reason through the possibilities. Experience comes through carefully exposing yourself to new situations.
> I feel more comfortable / safer lowering
I feel more comfortable laying on the floor in front of the boob tube, but that doesn’t keep me from climbing.
> I'm lazy [and selfish?]..lower away mate.
That seems to sum it up in most cases.
Regarding the neat trick that marathonmedic sites from a recent issue of Climbing magazine, it sounds good in theory, but anything that changes the direction of the loading on the bolts or anything that puts torque on hardware makes me very leery. Think this through.