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First Pieces of Pro to buy, specifically for building TR anchors


Original Post
Tim Lau · · Hendersonville, NC · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 20

I am looking to buy a reasonable amount of gear specifically for building TR anchors. I won't be doing any lead climbing for quite a while, but I'd like to expand my gear selection so I can build TR anchors where bolts don't exist.

I have:

- webbing 3 x 30'
- 7mm accessory cord 1 x 30'
- static rope 1 x ~50'
- several draws
- locking 'biners
- a couple full length runners
- John Long's Climbing Anchors
- several sessions with an AMGA guide

I'm thinking that a full length static rope (likely a Blue Water Assault line) is an obvious thing to add.

What should I be looking to add in terms of hexes, nuts, SLCD, etc. for a decent starting kit?

Tylerpratt · · Litchfield, Connecticut · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 35

I use BD nuts. I like them. I would recommend a full rack of nuts first since they are the most affordable. From there I would start working on getting cams that are used the most for the climbs you want to TR.

ARonchetti · · Mundelein, IL · Joined May 2011 · Points: 15

I second the set of nuts. Past that it'll kind of depend on the rock formation and quality at your local crag.

I set anchors a lot at devil's lake in WI and there BD Hexes and tricams are pretty useful. Plus I have a fair amount of webbing since there's usually the big ass boulder or tree to sling.

jdereks · · Minnesota · Joined Dec 2015 · Points: 70

A set of nuts in addition to what you already have should be sufficient for any tr anchor.

mark felber · · Wheat Ridge, CO · Joined Jul 2005 · Points: 28

A set of Black diamond (4-11) hexes and a set of BD stoppers (4-13) would get you a wide range of placement options for about the price of 3 camming devices.

Oval carabiners are cheaper than wire gates, and plenty strong for top roping applications. They're also not affected as much as wire gates or D-shaped carabiners by cross loading or triaxial loading situations.

Instead of draws, maybe just some shoulder length (24") nylon runners, then make your own draws as needed with the ovals.

Get a nut tool in case a piece gets wedged in tight by someone working a climb and taking repeated falls.

Mark Berenblum · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 105

I'd agree that the set of nuts is an obvious addition. I'm not sure you need another static rope... the 50' static is probably enough to set up most top ropes in the Joshua tree style, especially with all that webbing. If you're thinking that you'd want a static rope as your climbing rope, if disagree. Get a fat dynamic rope that you can use once you start leading...

Tim Lau · · Hendersonville, NC · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 20
Mark Berenblum wrote:I'd agree that the set of nuts is an obvious addition. I'm not sure you need another static rope... the 50' static is probably enough to set up most top ropes in the Joshua tree style, especially with all that webbing. If you're thinking that you'd want a static rope as your climbing rope, if disagree. Get a fat dynamic rope that you can use once you start leading...
I didn't add to my gear list the 60m climbing rope. That list is my anchor building material only.

Thanks to all for the quick and helpful responses!
Kent Richards · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2009 · Points: 83

It also depends largely on where you'll be climbing.

For example, at Joshua Tree I often use cams for TR anchors. I don't think nuts alone would take you very far at JT. Maybe hexes would work -- can't say. Edit: Maybe with your 50' static rope and 30' of cord, you could reach placements that I can't and nuts & hexes would work just fine at JT.

Colonel Mustard · · Sacramento, CA · Joined Sep 2005 · Points: 1,180
ARonchetti wrote:...and tricams are pretty useful.
Like others said, it depends on where you climb. If trees are the anchors, then, yeah, a butt ton of webbing, cord, and line is great. If it's largely gear anchors and you just want TR anchors, I'd say tricams are probably the most useful gear you could buy.

They have a great range, can be used in an active or passive mode, are kN rich, and are much cheaper than a cam. You have the time at an anchor to fiddle with them.

That said, I've sold all my tricams since I largely lead (i.e. don't want to futz with placements and followers cleaning them) and have way too many cams. But for anchor pieces, they really are a great addition to a rack, sometimes I regret 86'ing mine.
Jay Morse · · Hooksett, New Hampshire · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 30

Ask people that climb at the places you expect to be climbing. What people scattered across the world find useful at their home crags is not going to be useful information to you, because it can be very different from crag to crag

Michael C · · New Jersey · Joined Jun 2011 · Points: 340

Buy a whole set of stoppers. Might as well, they're not too expensive.

Since cams runs around $30 each (last I checked) I would try to find out what sizes you need for TR anchors ahead of time where you'll be climbing. For example, no need for having larger cams if you really only going need smaller cams.

Tricams and hexes are a great and cheaper alternative to cams. When leading though, cams are much easier to place.

Just ensure with rock pro you're placing it properly and, while running laps on Top Rope check to make sure pieces aren't walking out. Loading and unloading can cause this to happen.

I carry 100 feet of 11mm static. Some may say that's too much, but I think it's perfect. It's not as heavy or burdensome as you would think when properly coiled. Plenty of applications for a static rope.

I would prefer nylon cord (at least 7mm) over webbing. And 7mm is usually the best thickness to use. Compare strength of 7mm to 6mm and you'll see the difference.

Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 290

Tim, if the guide sessions are up ahead, go to your local area, have them bring gear, and "test drive" it, seeing what works at your area, and works for you. At a class I attended, I discovered grigri's and I are not compatible, and will look elsewhere (carefully!) if I ever want other than a ATC guide. If you get the hang of something quickly and easily with the guide, both placing and cleaning, that's what you'll go to, and should purchase first.

If you will ever be concerned with needing to anchor a belayer, do the same walk around at the base. If you are fortunate enough to have bomber trees and boulders, you're set. If not, you'll want advice from the guide.

Fortunately, if you learn from someone who knows their stuff, this knowledge will carry through forever!

Hope you are having a great time. Hit us up if you guys ever come through Idaho!

Best, Helen

FYI, the anchor book comes in a pocket version too, if you want something to bookmark and pack around while you practice.

Seth Jones · · New Lenox, IL · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 25
mark felber wrote:A set of Black diamond (4-11) hexes and a set of BD stoppers (4-13) would get you a wide range of placement options for about the price of 3 camming devices.
This. I very rarely use cams in my TR setups anyway. I got a set of omega pacific huevos 1-13 for around $60 and #4-11 BD Hexes for around $85 and it's been more than enough for any TR setup I have come across.
Matt Himmelstein · · Orange, California · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 125
Tim Lau wrote:I am looking to buy a reasonable amount of gear specifically for building TR anchors. I won't be doing any lead climbing for quite a while, but I'd like to expand my gear selection so I can build TR anchors where bolts don't exist. I have: - webbing 3 x 30' - 7mm accessory cord 1 x 30' - static rope 1 x ~50' - several draws - locking 'biners - a couple full length runners - John Long's Climbing Anchors - several sessions with an AMGA guide I'm thinking that a full length static rope (likely a Blue Water Assault line) is an obvious thing to add. What should I be looking to add in terms of hexes, nuts, SLCD, etc. for a decent starting kit?
Do you have a dynamic rope? Get yourself a real climbing rope, not static line. Even with top roping, it is common to fall a couple of feet. The belayer may not be paying attention, there could be drag in the line so the belayer does not realize there is slack, or the climber could be climbing faster than the belayer can take in slack.

A fall of a couple of feet on a non-dynamic rope can generate forces that can rip our anchors, break gear and just plain hurt.
Adam Stackhouse · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 13,105

Drill, bit, expansion bolts and hangers. Perfect gear for setting up TRs

Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 290

You also might get a couple steel lockers for the climbing rope to run through, plus a bit of cord to make a prussik to use on some rope for a tether, at the top, or if you need that belay anchored. Tie the cord in a loop with a double fisherman's. Prussik knots are super easy to learn and use, and are very useful.

H.

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

To echo the choir: nuts. This will give you a wide range of placement opportunities for the price of 1 cam. Since you won't be on the sharp end, you'll have plenty of time to fiddle with your placements and learn how to place nuts effectively, which will be important for leading.

Tim Lau · · Hendersonville, NC · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 20

To answer a couple questions...

- I have a 60m Dynamic climbing rope
- I've tied a prussic and have used it. It has a permanent home on my harness
- I also have a Metolius PAS for working at the top of the ledge - though I've learned that if belaying from the anchor, it's best to tie into the dynamic rope directly.

Thanks again y'all.

Tim Lau · · Hendersonville, NC · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 20
Adam Stackhouse wrote:Drill, bit, expansion bolts and hangers. Perfect gear for setting up TRs
I figured I'd save the drill and bolts for when I start lead climbing, no? Help out those who come after by making those old lines safer and easier to get up?

;)
wivanoff · · Northeast, USA · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 472
Tim Lau wrote:Ihat should I be looking to add in terms of hexes, nuts, SLCD, etc. for a decent starting kit?
I'd ditch the full length static rope. The rest of the list looks OK.

I prefer building gear anchors out of mostly passive gear, so: Stoppers and TriCams.
Caleb Mallory · · Seattle, N.Carolina, &Hong… · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 425

Are you climbing here in NC? If so I could add some advice based on several locations.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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