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Clove Hitch Climbing Anchor

Original Post
Snah Ntrm · · Seattle · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UyInC0SkGo

What does MP think of this?

Seems fast and light.

Craig Childre · · Lubbock, Texas · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 4,885

At a bomber 2 bolt anchor.  I prefer to just set up with the basic sliding X.

That said, I really do dig how that point comes together and would be easy to untie after it has been loaded.  Looks like once set, the anchor wouldn't extend if one leg failed.  This method doesn't take as much rope as a figure 8.  I'm considering it ... and don't seen any flaws ... The community might see otherwise?  Thanks for the post...  I do love clove hitches, and never considered this sort of application.  COOL

· · Unknown Hometown · Joined unknown · Points: 0

The only problem I see is clove hitch tends to move around if not weighted and if you are belaying someone up from the master point it normally isn't always weighted. Probably not a issue but it couple maybe cause it to slide to one side and end up weighting a single bolt instead of both.

Chris Walden · · Soldotna, Alaska · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 630

Perfectly legit.  I wouldn't go as far as saying it's the only setup in a high fall factor that won't break because in a FF1.7+ all bets are off.  But it's totally fine and has it's advantages.

  1. It's fast to setup
  2. It's really fast to clean
  3. A clove on the 'master point' tied loosely as shown here provides some additional give in the case of a fall.  This can be especially important with static dyneema slings -- think of it as a micro screamer which DMM testing shows it works.    

NOTE:  DMM tested a simple overhand with a carabiner clipped to either side along with the clove configuration shown here.  Both the loose overhand and clove hitch held up much better than other configurations tied really tight.  

Maybe the only disadvantage is a less clear master point if you need to be clipping multiple biners in.  

Mathias · · Loveland, CO · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 306

If one anchor point were to fail, is a clove hitch like that with overlaying strands more likely to slip?

Craig Childre · · Lubbock, Texas · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 4,885

NOTE:  DMM tested a simple overhand with a carabiner clipped to either side along with the clove configuration shown here.  Both the loose overhand and clove hitch held up much better than other configurations tied really tight.

Excellent points.  Any chance you have a link to a story or the data and results?  I'm interested in learning more.  Knowing, it lends more credit when I can honestly say I read this article/test ... vs... I read a post from some guy on MP...   If that makes sense... :)   Appreciate the input.

Chris Walden · · Soldotna, Alaska · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 630
Craig Childre wrote:

Excellent points.  Any chance you have a link to a story or the data and results?  I'm interested in learning more.  Knowing, it lends more credit when I can honestly say I read this article/test ... vs... I read a post from some guy on MP...   If that makes sense... :)   Appreciate the input.

Pretty sure this is it...  

http://dmmclimbing.com/knowledge/slings-at-anchors/

Also it might be here...

http://dmmclimbing.com/knowledge/how-to-break-nylon-dyneema-slings/

Either way both are eye opening videos and have lots of great info.  

David Coley · · UK · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 70

I used to use a clove for a long time, and it was recommended in Petzl's pdf on multi pitch climbing. However it has one serious issue. If the shelf is used and the locker through the clove removed, whoever is hanging on the shelf may well die. Whether the shelf collapses depends on just how the clove was tied, but is in essence random. Now, you might be thinking, just don't remove the locker, but as many accidents come about from the unexpected, "oh, I'll just take that", or systems others might not know the rules of, I'd stay clear of it.

Daniel T · · Riverside, Ca · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 35
Chris Walden wrote:

Maybe the only disadvantage is a less clear master point if you need to be clipping multiple biners in.  

THIS ^^^^

The main issue I see in one MUST keep a biner at the master point.  If you are going to using the shelf and the masterpoint biner is accidentally removed you will fall.

Peter Carlson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 0
Daniel T wrote:

THIS ^^^^

The main issue I see in one MUST keep a biner at the master point.  If you are going to using the shelf and the masterpoint biner is accidentally removed you will fall.

What would you all think about using a strong rap ring as a master point, a la an ACR anchor setup? As I see it, from my armchair vantage point:

Possible drawbacks:
You either need to pre-rig your anchor, or you lose a fair bit of time futzing with and potentially dropping the rap ring while tying the clove.

If you decide you need to use a longer or shorter sling than you have rigger, you have to tie a new clove hitch using a much clumsier method than you would with a carabiner.

Possible benefits:
An inexperienced can't steal your masterpoint, causing your shelf to disappear.

What am I missing here?

Z Winters · · Mazama, WA · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 276
Peter Carlson wrote:

What would you all think about using a strong rap ring as a master point, a la an ACR anchor setup? As I see it, from my armchair vantage point:

Possible drawbacks:
You either need to pre-rig your anchor, or you lose a fair bit of time futzing with and potentially dropping the rap ring while tying the clove.

If you decide you need to use a longer or shorter sling than you have rigger, you have to tie a new clove hitch using a much clumsier method than you would with a carabiner.

Possible benefits:
An inexperienced can't steal your masterpoint, causing your shelf to disappear.

What am I missing here?

Seems fine, but clumsy. One main advantage to this clove anchor is not needing any extra gear, and employing a 120cm runner that will be useful in other ways throughout the day. With a ring on the runner, you won't reach for it to extend pro or a quick personal tether (leave it alone - it happens), etc. If you do, you'll have to rethread the ring (slow).

Instead, I would rather just consider this anchor to have no shelf. Sure, it's there, but if you don't use it - as a rule - there's no risk of it failing if the clove biner is removed. I would personally rather clip a biner directly to the cloved masterpoint biner (only ok for lockers) and clip non critical things to a single bolt hanger (ie pack) to keep the clutter down.

I've used this anchor on multipitch routes a bit lately. It's very efficient with gear and build time, and I think it's a much better alternative to the "SWAMP" for a single runner anchor because the only knot is so much easier to untie.

That said, I still prefer pre-tied quads for bolted anchors because of the much more convenient masterpoint and speedy one handed set-up. Plus, it's easy to burn your last 120cm runner on the lead, but that's not going to happen with a pre-tied quad.

Craig Childre · · Lubbock, Texas · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 4,885
Z Winters wrote:

Instead, I would rather just consider this anchor to have no shelf. Sure, it's there, but if you don't use it - as a rule - there's no risk of it failing if the clove biner is removed. I would personally rather clip a biner directly to the cloved masterpoint biner (only ok for lockers) and clip non critical things to a single bolt hanger (ie pack) to keep the clutter down.

That's the approach I would use.  As a 2nd, I've always arrived, cloved into the most convenient bolt with my locker, racked gear while my partner turns over the belay over for my lead.  Clove off, and lead onward.  On really long routes I am always struck by how I'm climbing an entire day with my partner who I'll only see for less than an hour over a 9 hour climb.  An awkward sense of isolation that builds as the day passes.  Might be why topping out those days seem to carry more significance.

Z Winters · · Mazama, WA · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 276

Yep I agree Craig. Just a few moments to keep each other stoked, so gotta exchange gear with enthusiasm!

here's a picture of what I was talking about above, found in a shoe review... No chance of unclipping that master biner.

http://www.thealpinestart.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/IMG_4462edit.jpg

rgold · · Poughkeepsie, NY · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 526
Blake Bennett · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2011 · Points: 16

I like this setup.  Can anyone think of a reason why I couldn't do this with the rope instead of a sling?  Thanks.

King Tut · · Citrus Heights · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 430
BlakeBennett wrote:

I like this setup.  Can anyone think of a reason why I couldn't do this with the rope instead of a sling?  Thanks.

Nope. No reason at all. In fact. There is no reason to use a sling to do this. Use the rope it is better (more dynamic sparing the anchor some load) and is stronger.

Clove into first piece.

Clove into second piece with a generous loop between the two.

Put fat locker on a Clove in the loop between them.

Adjust Cloves until you are happy.

He's a guide, so he likes to show how guides will do it with a master point as it IS more convenient for doing all the leading and using "guide mode" because that's what guides do. :P

No need for all this master point macrame if you are swapping leads.

Get strong anchors.

Tie into them.

Bring up the second.

FosterK · · Edmonton, AB · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 67
King Tut wrote:

No need for all this master point macrame if you are swapping leads.

A sling on two bolts hardly macrame.

King Tut · · Citrus Heights · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 430
FosterK wrote:

A sling on two bolts hardly macrame.

Anything is macrame if it isn't needed. And don't trust your life to one sling.

Harumpf. :P

Andrew Krajnik · · Plainfield, IL · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 1,729

My new favorite climbing quote:

"Harumpf!"

- Hermann Buhl

- John Long

- King Tut

- Aleks Zebastian

Blake Bennett · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2011 · Points: 16
King Tut wrote:

Nope. No reason at all. In fact. There is no reason to use a sling to do this. Use the rope it is better (more dynamic sparing the anchor some load) and is stronger.

Clove into first piece.

Clove into second piece with a generous loop between the two.

Put fat locker on a Clove in the loop between them.

Adjust Cloves until you are happy.

He's a guide, so he likes to show how guides will do it with a master point as it IS more convenient for doing all the leading and using "guide mode" because that's what guides do. :P

No need for all this master point macrame if you are swapping leads.

Get strong anchors.

Tie into them.

Bring up the second.

Thanks! That is what I was thinking, it's just nice to hear someone else say the same.  Seems like almost all of the guide videos use cords or slings and it makes sense that it's because they don't swap leads.

King Tut · · Citrus Heights · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 430
BlakeBennett wrote:

Thanks! That is what I was thinking, it's just nice to hear someone else say the same.  Seems like almost all of the guide videos use cords or slings and it makes sense that it's because they don't swap leads.

Don't underestimate the desire to promote as much gear as they can get away with to promote their sponsors in such videos.

This does not mean it is not safe practice, but their job in not minimalism per se, partly due to their thinking as guides first (and their unique concerns) but as a commercial promoter for their suppliers too.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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