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A Guide to Creating Anchors for Rock Climbing

Building good anchors for rock climbing is fundamental to keeping you and your team safe. Follow these steps and you can't go far wrong.

abseiling while climbing
Abseiling from the top of a crag

Rock climbing is an exhilarating and challenging sport that requires not only physical strength and technique but also proper knowledge and skills in setting up anchors. Anchors are critical for safely securing a climber to the rock face and preventing falls. In this blog, we'll explore the essential steps and techniques for building strong and reliable anchors for rock climbing.

1. Choose the Right Anchor Point:

The first step in building an anchor is to identify a solid and secure anchor point on the rock face. This could be a sturdy tree, a rock horn, a bolted anchor, or a natural feature like a crack or a boulder. Make sure the anchor point is free from loose or unstable rock and can support the weight of the climber.

Placing anchors for climbing
Placing the first runner for protection

2. Use Redundant Systems:

When setting up an anchor, it's important to use redundant systems to ensure maximum safety. This means having multiple points of attachment to distribute the load and minimize the risk of failure. For example, you can use two pieces of gear (such as cams, nuts, or slings) placed in separate cracks or features to create a strong anchor.

3. Equalize the Anchor:

To distribute the load evenly across the anchor points, it's essential to equalize the anchor. This can be done by using a cordelette or a sling to connect the individual anchor points and adjust the length of the loops to create equal tension. This helps prevent one anchor point from taking on more weight than the others.

Building climbing anchors
Using a karabiner to equalise the anchors

4. Use Strong and Reliable Gear:

When building anchors for rock climbing, it's crucial to use high-quality and reliable gear that is designed for the specific purpose. This includes cams, nuts, slings, carabiners, and quickdraws. Make sure to inspect your gear regularly for signs of wear and tear and replace any damaged or worn-out equipment.

5. Set Up a Master Point:

The master point is the central attachment point where the climbing rope will be secured. It's important to create a strong and secure master point that can withstand the weight and force of a falling climber. This can be done by tying a figure-eight knot or using a dedicated anchor point like a rappel ring or a quicklink.

Building strong and reliable anchors is a crucial skill for rock climbers of all levels. By following these essential steps and techniques, you can create safe and secure anchors that will provide the stability and protection needed for a successful climb. Remember to always prioritize safety and double-check


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