Friday, March 18, 2016

What if you use 8mm for your anchor?

Really small tree.

Empty the linen closet to pad your skinny anchor.


  1. As someone just learning the basics of anchor building this is an example of an anchor that doesn't look that bad at first glance. How would you recommend building an anchor in this area? I've seen several anchor use both these trees, would it be better to attach both ends of the static rope to the larger tree? Also what do you recommend for padding ropes that's run over rock is nylon tubing a good solution? It looks like this anchor has potential to move on the tree damaging both the rope and the tree what is best practice for safety and preserving the limited anchors available in this area? This blog is a good source of what not to do but it would be nice if there was more emphasis on advice for safer anchors and stewardship.

    1. First, 8mm stretches too much, and this leaves it vulnerable to cutting, in addition to letting the climber hit the ground when low on the route. Second, Carderock climbers came up with using 1" tubular webbing slid over 3/8" static to pad against friction on the rock. Cut pieces about a foot long and leave them on your static rope, move them around when you rig. Easy, cheap, light, last just about forever. Third, is you anchor actually static rope? Most retailers are now selling stuff that doesn't meet UIAA static standard ,less than 5% stretch under body weight. If a store ( or gym) can't tell you what the rope is, don't buy it and don't buy anything from boneheads. Fourth, any rope around the tree goes right at the bottom, period, no exceptions, otherwise you are creating a lever on the root system. Last, there are a couple of blocks of bedrock that would be a lot more secure than that tree. Use that tree if there are a whole bunch of other anchors in use, and you have to. Leaving it a bit slack, so you know you aren't going to weight it in regular use, is something to consider, we're talking a couple of inches, no more. Don't use it and try to "equalize" with the other tree which is farther way. Farther means more stretch, the little tree ends up taking more force.