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top rope anchor setup with webbing instead of static rope


Original Post
Noah Brenowitz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 5

This top rope setup seems to be the most often recommended setup:

screen shot of top rope anchor setup from "Rock Climbing, 2nd edition". I think this qualifies as fair use.

However, I don't have a long stretch of static rope, and I would like to use a single long (50ft) strand of 1" tubular wedding instead. Can a similar setup be achieved with webbing?

Instead of the bowline on the left boulder/tree, I would probably use a water knot. I would replace the clove hitch on the right with an overhand on a bight, and I would use a BHK to get a redundant master point, rather than the two separate figure 8 knots shown. I would make sure to protect the webbing on the cliff edge since it is less burly than static rope.

Does that seem safe? Apart from safety, does this seem like a convenient anchor setup? Will the knots be a PITA to untie?
Brady3 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 15

I can't tell you how many times I did the exact set up that you described, except I wouldn't bother with the separate sling around the tree on the right just do both sides the same with the water knot. Make sure your tails are long enough on the water knots and that the trees/boulders are stable and strong enough and you'll be fine.

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,745

You're going to be fine with what you suggest, Noah. The CH is only used on the tree to facilitate adjusting the length of the leg to better achieve a semi-equalized anchor. Some (most) will see the dangling end of that CH in the diagram as a problem, but I've posted before about why "closing the system" is not a concern there. Not that it causes any real harm to do so.

The two F8s (vs a BFK) as the masterpoint is fine as long as the included angle isn't too big. More importantly, it's the way to go if you're working with two shorter pieces of rope/webbing as opposed to one huge piece.

wivanoff · · Northeast, USA · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 472
Noah Brenowitz wrote:I would replace the clove hitch on the right with an overhand on a bight
You can use a clove hitch with webbing to adjust and equalize that anchor. I think 20KN had tested a CH with webbing.

I don't think it's necessary, but if you're worried about cyclic loading and loosening, after making your adjustment close the system with an overhand loop.
Noah Brenowitz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 5

thanks for the replies everyone!
okay. i haven't used a clove in webbing in this fashion, so I just wanted to check.

What is the best way to attach the webbing to the boulder/tree on the left of the picture? I have seen the tensionless hitch mentioned a bunch of times, but a rethread overhand seems pretty easy.

Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,470

With webbing, do three wraps and then tie your water knot. Now pull two of the wraps and put your lockers on those.

Noah Brenowitz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 5

Stich. I'm not sure that method would work for me since I would like to use a single piece of webbing for the whole system.

303scott · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 180

Can someone explain what's going on with the double bowline in the image? Did they bring the tail back up through the loop?

Comanche · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 10

Jesus what is this east coast BS? It would take half a day to build that. Why dont you just put some bolts up there?

Add this to the Devils lake top rope cluster f^%$ thread

wivanoff · · Northeast, USA · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 472
303scott wrote:Can someone explain what's going on with the double bowline in the image? Did they bring the tail back up through the loop?
It's this: chockstone.org/techtips/Bow…
Northeast Alpine Start · · Conway, New Hampshire · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 126

Kinda old thread but not mentioned yet and SUPER important... tubular nylon webbing stretches... sometimes significantly depending on the length of the various "legs". This stretch can lead to significant abrasion, and in some cases failure, when the material is repeatedly stretched and released over the cliff edge.

Static rope is much more durable and safer for the type of setup pictured. If you find yourself having to set up anchors like this occasionally invest in 50' of static rope. Webbing may be cheaper but is not ideal for this application. Buy some static line by the foot based on how far back you think your anchors will be.

Noah Brenowitz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 5

Yah...it seems like static is less of a hassle overall. Other issues aside, the 50' of tubular webbing just isn't long enough for most of the anchors I would want to build.

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 190

Hmm...old thread but it seems we're reviving it, so...

I say cut the webbing in half. Two (or three) shorter pieces of webbing is much more useful than 1 long one. This approach works much better with static rope/cord IMO. As mentioned, the clove hitch is for adjusting equalization.

I've seen a lot of old school anchor builders do a simple setup with webbing that would work for this scenario: each strand is independently attached to the anchor biners via an overhand on a bight. Just tie the knot in each strand of webbing wherever you need it to achieve equalization. No masterpoint. While it's a little weird to have two pieces of webbing connected to the same biners, it's fine and shouldn't result in triaxle loading as long as the angles are mild enough. Simple, quick, and solid if your protection is. Alternatively, if you like having a masterpoint (I do), use the webbing to get your pieces where you want and equalize with a cordellette.

Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,470
Noah Brenowitz wrote:Stich. I'm not sure that method would work for me since I would like to use a single piece of webbing for the whole system.
You use one long piece of webbing. Sorry if I was being unclear. It's called a Wrap-3-Pull-2 anchor. A 25 to 30 ft. single piece of webbing works nicely. Here's a picture:



In rescue literature you'll see it abbreviated W3P2. Now of course you have to choose a BFT(Big Fuckin' Tree) or a PBFT(Pretty Big Fuckin' Tree) to wrap it on. Otherwise, you're SOL.

Lately the trees I have been doing webbing anchors on have been so big, that I can only wrap it twice, so I just clip both wraps. But we are just using the anchor to rap down to place bolted anchors, so no shock loading. Also, if your massive tree has massive, healthy branches, you can wrap around the saddle between the trunk and branch to keep your anchor elevated. This makes the angle that the rope goes over the edge of the cliff less severe.
ubu · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2009 · Points: 0
Stich wrote: You use one long piece of webbing. Sorry if I was being unclear. It's called a Wrap-3-Pull-2 anchor. A 25 to 30 ft. single piece of webbing works nicely.
When not limited by rope length, an easier, faster, and more robust solution is to get rid of the webbing entirely and just put the static rope around the tree / rock / whatever, tied off with a bowline. The bowline is easily adjusted to equalize the anchor, less prone to slipping than a clove hitch, and eliminates two potential failure points in the system (the carabiner and webbing). When there is excess rope involved, wrap the tree and pull a bight of the tail to form the bowline (treating the bight as you would the end of the rope in a typical knot, with a long tail and stopper knot).
Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,470

Webbing is typically chosen as it can be daisy chained into a small, light package.



But a nice piece of static rope is better for extending an anchor over a sharp edge as it is a lot tougher.

T Roper · · DC,VA,NM,UT,CT,MA · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 860
Stich wrote: But a nice piece of static rope is better for extending an anchor over a sharp edge as it is a lot tougher.
I believe the exact opposite, the webbing conforms to the sharp rock and doesnt roll all over it. I've been using the same 100' piece for many years and have seen many partners static lines get partially cut/retired in that same time.

Of course living in the TR capitol of the NE , I see folks use static that has been threaded through webbing for a double whammy of safety!
Northeast Alpine Start · · Conway, New Hampshire · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 126
T Roper wrote: I believe the exact opposite, the webbing conforms to the sharp rock and doesnt roll all over it. I've been using the same 100' piece for many years and have seen many partners static lines get partially cut/retired in that same time. Of course living in the TR capitol of the NE , I see folks use static that has been threaded through webbing for a double whammy of safety!
Where is the TR capitol of the NE by chance?

And I'll have to say a properly set up extended TR setup will always be safer, more durable, and longer lasting than a webbing equivalent. It is industry standard in the guiding industry for good reason.
T Roper · · DC,VA,NM,UT,CT,MA · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 860
NEAlpineStart wrote: Where is the TR capitol of the NE by chance? And I'll have to say a properly set up extended TR setup will always be safer, more durable, and longer lasting than a webbing equivalent. It is industry standard in the guiding industry for good reason.
If guides really wanted the most bomber TR anchor they would haul around 3/8" chain for TR anchors.

I do agree, a properly set up anchor is the best.
wivanoff · · Northeast, USA · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 472

Thought this was already beaten to death by Joey from NEGuiding...

rockclimbing.com/cgi-bin/fo…;post=2581632;page=1;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC;mh=25;

T Roper · · DC,VA,NM,UT,CT,MA · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 860
wivanoff wrote:Thought this was already beaten to death by Joey from NEGuiding... rockclimbing.com/cgi-bin/fo…;post=2581632;page=1;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC;mh=25;
wow, that site still exists! I wonder who pays for it?
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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