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What knots to use to set up a 2-tree TR anchor with 150' static line?


Original Post
Edek Falkowski · · Buffalo, NY · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 100

So I have 150' of static line for building long TR anchors, but I probably won't need to use the full 150'. Using 2 trees (assuming they are about as thick as my calf) for the TR anchor, what knots would I use to set up an anchor?

For one end I can definitely do a retraced figure 8 around the first tree, but then I would have a ton of rope left for the other tree. What knot should I use for the other tree? 

Alternatively I could just sling the trees and then do 2 figure 8s on bights and use a locking biner to connect the slings and the static, right?

Ben Harris · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 0

You can do a bowline on a bight around the second tree so you don't have to pull all the extra slack through the knot. 

JSchloem · · Homer, AK · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 265

yah i'd second the bowline on a bight - yosemite finish w/ backup fisherman or something like that

Ken Graf · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

I usually sling the two trees and add a biner to each sling. I tie a retraced figure 8 to my bomber piece and walk to cliff edge to find approximate place to hang anchor. I tie two 8's on bights side by side and put a biner through each. I then go to the second tree and clove hitch the biner on that one. Adjust clove as necessary.

Ross Ayer · · Southington, CT · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 60

I must recommend some professional education, but for your own growth: I tie one in with a figure eight, the other in with a cordellette wrapped around the tree with a locker to a figure eight on the static.  Then the two come down to a BFK (BHK) at the edge.  Most anchors near me use most of the rope anyways...

Chris Blatchley · · Somerville, MA · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 0
Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 195

I like to have my second leg adjustable so that I can fine tune the equalization and get the masterpoint exactly where I want it.  After fixing the first tree with a bowline, I tie a BFK masterpoint and weight it, then take the rest of the rope and connect it to my second piece (if it’s another tree, I’ll sling it and add a biner) with a clove hitch.

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,795
Ted Pinson wrote:

I like to have my second leg adjustable so that I can fine tune the equalization and get the masterpoint exactly where I want it.  After fixing the first tree with a bowline, I tie a BFK masterpoint and weight it, then take the rest of the rope and connect it to my second piece (if it’s another tree, I’ll sling it and add a biner) with a clove hitch.

+1 for this ^^  Doing so also eliminates the need to work at the edge of the cliff.  (Use some of that 150' to tether yourself if the clifftop is at all slick or dangerous)

Serge Smirnov · · Seattle, WA · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 241

Assuming the goal is to save carabiners, the idea I find most natural is retraced figure 8 on a bight.  I.e. what you did at the first tree, but using a bight instead of an end.  I've played with this but haven't heard of others using it.  I'm guessing the reason most people use a bowline in this situation is that the large number of strands (4) makes a retrace-fig-8-on-a-bight a little confusing to tie and harder to inspect.

If an extra carabiner is available, then a normal figure 8 on a bight wrapped around the tree and clipped back to the line.

Spencer Ringwood · · Somerville, MA · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

Using a static rope greatly simplifies creating TR anchors at the cost of weight; they're heavy but allow you to leave all the extra biners and slings at the base of the crag or, even better, back at home.

Bowline the first tree. Create your master point and drop rope to give it some tension. Take in the slack on the second leg and create a friction wrap around the other tree. Don't spend too much time equalizing the legs. I feel confident in each knot as they are but will usually tie a barrel knot on the slack end of the friction wrap to keep it in place.

If the friction wrap wigs you out, sling the tree, clip a large HMS biner to the sling and clove hitch the second leg to the biner. 




Wes C · · Cleveland, oh · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 65
Spencer Ringwood wrote:

Using a static rope greatly simplifies creating TR anchors at the cost of weight; they're heavy but allow you to leave all the extra biners and slings at the base of the crag or, even better, back at home.

Bowline the first tree. Create your master point and drop rope to give it some tension. Take in the slack on the second leg and create a friction wrap around the other tree. Don't spend too much time equalizing the legs. I feel confident in each knot as they are but will usually tie a barrel knot on the slack end of the friction wrap to keep it in place.

If the friction wrap wigs you out, sling the tree, clip a large HMS biner to the sling and clove hitch the second leg to the biner. 


This is exactly how I do it at my local climbing spot that offers plenty of trees.  Fast, safe, and simple.  

Peter Rakowitz · · Portland, OR · Joined May 2010 · Points: 405
Chris Blatchley wrote:


would this be an appropriate knot for going into a two bolt anchor to bring up a second on multi pitch climbs?  


ubu · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2009 · Points: 0

Bowline on tree 1, and a bowline threaded with a bight on tree 2 (not a bowline on a bight as noted earlier), end of story.  There is no need to play games with adjustable hitches if you make your master point and drop your rope to tension the first leg before tying your second knot, and certainly no need to add extra carabiners or slings to the mix which just complicates the anchor and adds potential failure points.

Daniel Hamilton · · Iron Range, MN · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 0

Bowline on a bight for the master point, yosemite finish bowline with a bight for the tree connections. You could do the whole shooting match in under 5 minutes...

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,795
Daniel Hamilton wrote:

Bowline on a bight for the master point, yosemite finish bowline with a bight for the tree connections. You could do the whole shooting match in under 5 minutes...

OP has a 150' static rope. That second bowline could be a marathon of rope pulling-through if the anchor only needs, say, 30' of that rope.

Daniel Hamilton · · Iron Range, MN · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 0
Gunkiemike wrote:

OP has a 150' static rope. That second bowline could be a marathon of rope pulling-through if the anchor only needs, say, 30' of that rope.


Better brush up on your knot craft there brohan. Bowline WITH a bight. No marathon-rope-pull through-goatfuk required.



The way I first stated it he would set the master point and then run back to each tree with a bowline on a bight. He would end up with a pile of rope at each tree.


Run with your train of thought, he could start with a standard bowline at tree 1, run the rope out to the master point and throw his bowline on a bight, go to tree 2 and throw his bowline with a bight, leaving the extra rope there or continuing the process to rig a second top rope near by.


Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,795
Daniel Hamilton wrote:


Better brush up on your knot craft there brohan. Bowline WITH a bight. No marathon-rope-pull through-goatfuk required.



The way I first stated it he would set the master point and then run back to each tree with a bowline on a bight. He would end up with a pile of rope at each tree.


Run with your train of thought, he could start with a standard bowline at tree 1, run the rope out to the master point and throw his bowline on a bight, go to tree 2 and throw his bowline with a bight, leaving the extra rope there or continuing the process to rig a second top rope near by.


Looks like it's my reading comprehension that needs a refresher!

chris magness · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 600

Standard SPI curriculum suggests that you fix one end of the rope -I prefer an overhand retrace around a tree- and drop a loop with ample slack to the location of your master point.  Then, use cord and a locker and an eight on a bight at the location of your second tree, or, a bowline on a bight.

This creates a working tail.  Use the working tail to reach the location of your master point and tie a BFK (overhand bight on a bight).

This is a slick, equalized system.  It's quick, easy to rig, and easy to break down.  Furthermore, you can top out, connect to the tail, untie the master point, move it to another location, retie the BFK, jump back on belay and lower.

The two key points here are the BFK and the working tail.  


Daniel Hamilton · · Iron Range, MN · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 0
Gunkiemike wrote:

Looks like it's my reading comprehension that needs a refresher!

Haha, no worries!

Mike Palasek · · Columbus, OH · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 0

Retrace figure-8 on 1st tree to BHK at edge. Weight it. Wrap 2nd tree 4x then tie a figure -8 and clip to the line coming from the BHK. Quick, and safe.

ubu · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2009 · Points: 0
chris magness wrote:

Standard SPI curriculum suggests that you fix one end of the rope -I prefer an overhand retrace around a tree- and drop a loop with ample slack to the location of your master point.  Then, use cord and a locker and an eight on a bight at the location of your second tree, or, a bowline on a bight.

I really don't mean to beat this issue to death, especially on such a trivial topic as toprope anchor setup, but...I think you mean "tie a bowline using a bight of rope" and not "bowline on a bight".

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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