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anchor setup help
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By Jeron Miller
From Draper, Utah
Oct 10, 2011

Hey guys i was just curious... but in the pic below i roughly tried to describe what i'm saying

How is the best way to tie into a anchor for setting up a rap or TR... i have a bunch of slings and stuff but i didn't know what was the strongest method of going around an anchor point such as a tree... A girth hitch or just going around and then attaching both sides of the sling to the biner...

any help would be awesome thanks...


Anchor pic
Anchor pic


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By Woodchuck ATC
Oct 10, 2011
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008

I like your 'D and oval biners/;-)

Either works well, the loop as a girth hitch is common and saves you the tie in and untie of the water knot when it's weighted. Both only have one knot thus are very similar in any knot 'weakness' point. Something to avoid which you did, is to use a single unlooped length with an overhand knot at each end, and clipping both ends to some part of the system. That use of more weaker knots does weaken the system. Many places with alot of use will ask that you pad the tree from the slings if possible.

The 'V' shape of the diagram on right is also good, with the required much less than 90 degree angle. Double up and use both of these for the same tope rope. Double up your protection with 2 systems when you can, or if that tree or boulder is totally impossible to move, use 2 matching length slings on that boulder and 2 carabiners over the edge for the top rope set up.


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By Rocky_Mtn_High
From Arvada, CO
Oct 10, 2011
Lamb's Slide

Yes, either will work. I prefer to wrap a longer sling around the tree a couple of times, with the knot behind the tree to isolate the knot via friction, then join the loops with a couple of locker biners (assuming low angle so you don't triaxially load the biner). Even better, tie the sling off with an overhead or figure eight to create two independent wraps for redundancy

If you must use a girth hitch (because you don't have a sling that is long enough), move the catch loop to the side so that the clipping loop runs straight -- it will be stronger, and you won't choke the tree. Best to make sure your anchor is fully redundant.

Buy a book on anchor construction by Long or Leubben (my preference is Leubben's "Rock Climbing Anchors: A Comprehensive Guide"); it's one of the best climbing equipment investments you can make! Read it and then go practice somewhere safe so that you will have no doubts when rapping or TRing and risking yours or a friend's life.


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By smassey
From CO
Oct 10, 2011

Good questions. The girth hitch is ok, but follow the directions pointed out above. The diagram on the right is triaxially loading the carabiner. Is it going to break on a TR anchor? Probably not, but there are several ways you can make it better. If your sling comes around the whole tree, and you have enough room to tie it off with an overhand or a figure 8, do so. You now have a fully redundant anchor. If you don't have enough room to tie it off, just do a loop like you're starting to tie your shoes. Just a simple bow, then clip both sides - that eliminates the triaxial loaing.


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By Topher42
Oct 17, 2011

Well the above advice is good. But setting up rappel and top rope are two different things. If you want to rap and recover your rope you can just throw the rope around the tree. It could get stuck depending on the smoothness of the pull and everything. you slings and leave behind a rap ring or biner to make is smoother. Girth hitching uses a hitch so unless you haft to do this to avoid 90 angles the right side is better. anchors are complex and their no simple solution that applies to every scenario, so read, read, and get advice from solid people. Both Craig Leubens, books and John longs anchors books are great. Also here is a nice site that helps. Be safe and enjoy. oh and back up your raps. climbinglife.com/tech-tips/sling-on-sling-connections.html


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