Anchor Options for this setup


Original Post
ryancdcampbell · · Waverly, Ohio · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 5

Excuse the poor drawing.

 What do you guys think of this anchor? The static line was way too long to tie around both trees and pull the middle down to a master point. 

So I started on the right tree with an overhand on a bight then pulled the rest of the rope through it around the tree. 

Then, I put the master point were it should be on the edge and made an overhand on a bight there. 

After that, I tied two more overhand on bights and binered them together around the other tree so that my master point stayed where I needed it. There was a lot of excess rope tail on this end.

What other ways could I have set up and anchor with just the static line without having to cut the line? Anyone ever do it like this? The line was around 30 meters and the trees were only about 20ft to the edge of the rock. I normally use webbing for my anchors but I didn't have any with me at the time

Tim McGivern · · Medford, ma · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 7,901

A couple a problems I noticed:

girth hitches like the one on the right could be avoided by slinging the tree with the cord and using 3 fig 8's and a crab.

the way the force pulls on the lower knot on the left tree is bad. That side could also be done with 3 fig 8's and a crab.

fig 8's on a bite may be more appropriate for this loading, however any knot loaded like the lower one on the left is not ideal. Knots work better loaded parallel not cross loaded.

in general, slinging trees and features is stronger than a girth hitch. A loaded girth puts most of the stress at the girth contact on the cord. 

Im sure there is more coming

Brian L. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 90

Looks fine to me, from a safety stand point. But overly complicated.

You can simplify it several ways.

1) Draws are unnecessary. Just use two locking biners. Preferably round stock. 

2) Eliminate the overhand on a bight in the middle, and just connect the end bight to the rope with the lockers. You could do away with the lockers here also, but that probably depends on how much tail you need to pull through the knot, or how good you are at estimating the length you need (start with the "shortened" end of the rope)

3) Figure of 8's will be easier to untie instead of overhands.

4) If you do put a knot in the middle of the rope, use a figure of 8 or alpine butterfly. Again easier to untie. The alpine butterfly is probably the ideal knot to use in this loading.

Derek Doucet · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 53
ryancdcampbell wrote:

Excuse the poor drawing.

 What do you guys think of this anchor? The static line was way too long to tie around both trees and pull the middle down to a master point. 

So I started on the right tree with an overhand on a bight then pulled the rest of the rope through it around the tree. 

Then, I put the master point were it should be on the edge and made an overhand on a bight there. 

After that, I tied two more overhand on bights and binered them together around the other tree so that my master point stayed where I needed it. There was a lot of excess rope tail on this end.

What other ways could I have set up and anchor with just the static line without having to cut the line? Anyone ever do it like this? The line was around 30 meters and the trees were only about 20ft to the edge of the rock. I normally use webbing for my anchors but I didn't have any with me at the time

Single bowline or retraced 8 on first tree, bowline on a bight on the other. Done. 

Bryce Adamson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 53

You should read John Long or another similar book on anchors and seek qualified instruction. 

There is nothing about this anchor that is going to kill you, but there is a lot that can be done better, more simply, with less materials (carabiners) and with a greater margin of safety. Having too much rope to build an anchor is never a problem, besides the weight you have to carry to the crag.

Bryce Adamson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 53
Derek Doucet wrote:

Single bowline or retraced 8 on first tree, bowline on a bight on the other. Done. 

Also, tie a BHK to achieve a doubled up master point.

wivanoff · · Northeast, USA · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 472

Bowline or retraced eight on first tree.

No need for the draws. Tie your masterpoint and hang your climbing rope for weight.  I use two regular carabiners O&O or one locker and one regular if the MP is hanging in space and 3 carabiners if MP is laying against the rock. (Not for redundancy, but because three seem to sit better and not pinch the climbing rope)

Run the static line back to the second tree and use a tensionless anchor or bowline on a bight to secure it. The fact that your climbing rope is weighting the MP will make it easier to equalize.

Pad the edges, if necessary. Slipping a length or two of 1"tubular webbing over the static line seems to work well and can be left on your static line.

ryancdcampbell · · Waverly, Ohio · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 5
Tim McGivern wrote:

A couple a problems I noticed:

girth hitches like the one on the right could be avoided by slinging the tree with the cord and using 3 fig 8's and a crab.

the way the force pulls on the lower knot on the left tree is bad. That side could also be done with 3 fig 8's and a crab.

fig 8's on a bite may be more appropriate for this loading, however any knot loaded like the lower one on the left is not ideal. Knots work better loaded parallel not cross loaded.

in general, slinging trees and features is stronger than a girth hitch. A loaded girth puts most of the stress at the girth contact on the cord. 

Im sure there is more coming

Thanks for your input.

I'm not sure what you mean by 3 figure 8's and a crab?

ryancdcampbell · · Waverly, Ohio · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 5

Thanks everyone for the tips!

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 456

Bowline or fig 8 to the first tree and then tie masterpoint over the edge. For the second tree either sling it and use a clove or use tensionless hitch. For the tensionless hitch you just wrap the rope around the tree until the friction wraps are taking all of the weight. Then tie your choice of input in a bight and clip the bight back to the stand going to the masterpoint with a locker

Tim McGivern · · Medford, ma · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 7,901
ryancdcampbell wrote:

Thanks for your input.

I'm not sure what you mean by 3 figure 8's and a crab?

Ignore it. The advice of threading a fig 8 is better. Threaded fig 8 on tree 1, double lockers on strand, toss rope to weight, threaded fig 8 on tree 2.

I basically thought anything would be better than a girth. I avoid them unless convenience is important, which usually only happens within a pitch leading.

Joe Garibay · · Ventura, Ca · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 80

The two overhands on a bite binered together,

 figure 8 on the end and butterfly the lower one. Or do the bowline technique already mentioned. 

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

Having too long of a static line should never be the problem.  Did you tie it into a loop?

DrRockso · · Red River Gorge, KY · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 326

Bowline on first tree (backup with double fisherman), tie BHK for masterpoint over the edge, two locking carabiners no draws necessary. Bowline on a bight on second tree, back up with a double fisherman's. 

Wes C · · Cleveland, oh · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 5

My go to would be bowline with double fisherman's backup on first tree.  Two figure eights on a bight, each with opposite and opposed biners as master point, up to a tree wrap backed up with a double fisherman's on second tree.  There's really a bunch of ways to skin this cat.

AndrewArroz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10

How can the rope be "too long" to tie around something?

Morgan Patterson · · CT · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 8,712

The problem is you're tying off to trees and the continued use of them will ultimately compact the soil around their base, increase erosion, etc and can ultimately lead to degrading the natural cliff top environment. 

Make a gear anchor or put in bolted anchors is best solution. 

Jaren Watson · · Boise, Idaho · Joined May 2010 · Points: 1,205

Good advice above, but no one has addressed the obvious problem, which is, absent any leafy foliage, the trees are mere dead and hollow stumps and could, nay, will rip out at the slightest perturbation.

On the bright side, postmortem art commands a higher selling price.

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 456
Morgan Patterson wrote:

The problem is you're tying off to trees and the continued use of them will ultimately compact the soil around their base, increase erosion, etc and can ultimately lead to degrading the natural cliff top environment. 

Make a gear anchor or put in bolted anchors is best solution. 

And what if there aren't any features for gear and a bolt ban? I agree we should try to save the trees whenever possible but that isn't always an option everywhere. We don't know where the OP is climbing so we have no way of knowing if other options are available. To the OP, if trees are the only option, please pad the bark from your rope and tread as lightly as possible

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 456
Jaren Watson wrote:

Good advice above, but no one has addressed the obvious problem, which is, absent any leafy foliage, the trees are mere dead and hollow stumps and could, nay, will rip out at the slightest perturbation.

On the bright side, postmortem art commands a higher selling price.

There are dead trees I'd trust a lot more than some live trees I've rapped off. Which would you trust more, a dead tree that's 4ft in diameter or a live one that's 8 inches in diameter? 

As with most things in climbing, it's all situational so blindly following rules like "never use a dead tree" isn't always going to lead to the best decisions. Should I use this massive dead tree or those shrubs over there? 

ViperScale · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 230
eli poss wrote:

There are dead trees I'd trust a lot more than some live trees I've rapped off. Which would you trust more, a dead tree that's 4ft in diameter or a live one that's 8 inches in diameter? 

As with most things in climbing, it's all situational so blindly following rules like "never use a dead tree" isn't always going to lead to the best decisions. Should I use this massive dead tree or those shrubs over there? 

All depends but most trees 8 inches in diameter are completely fine and I would not think twice about using them. As long as the roots are solid it would have to be smaller than 4 inches before I would really start to have any worry and even that would be fine in most cases. (Given I have seen 1.5ft diameter trees I would not tie off of due to the fact they are about to fall over and the roots are not solid)

Have you ever tried to pull down a 4 inch diameter tree with your bare hands? In most cases you can find bigger trees so you don't normally need to use a small ones and it is better not to use a small one but I wouldn't worry to much about it. I did run across a guy who was trying to teach a group of people how to rappel and they setup on a 2 inch diameter tree and but the sling a good 4ft off the ground which was completely stupid, I tried to say something but ended up just saying your life your choice.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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