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Critique this TRS anchor

Original Post
Matt Clay · · Estill County, KY · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 1,081

What's wrong with this anchor for top rope solo? I've used the usual, recommended anchor set ups and I sort of stumbled upon this one when I improvised after forgetting extra lockers before running up a new route. My biggest concern is I've never seen anyone else do this and I don' find it in one of the anchor books or on one of the AAC or AMGA videos. Bur for simplicity and redundancy it works well for what I use it for - TRS on short sport lines. I can see the anchors clearly from the ground and having two separate cloves helps to see if anything has gotten funky. The fixed rope is dynamic so if one side were to fail, there would be some give in the fall on to the other clove.

Another upside for TRS is there is more space/less confusion when completing a lap and transitioning to rappel down the other side of the fixed line. I've run 20-40 laps on this set up with no issues and it's just that little bit smoother and cleaner. Also the progress capture side doesn't get twisted up with the rap side nearly as often as with a traditional anchor.

How am I going to die?

Oh, and just to head the "don't leave a fixed line up" crowd off at the pass, I haven't seen another climber in the broader climbing area, let alone at this crag for the past 5 months.
FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

Is it your rope that is "fixed"? Why wouldn't you want the assurance of using your own rope? (maybe getting to the anchor is difficult?)

I think that setup is fine for toprope soloing, although I would use figure eights instead of clove hitches.

I F · · Pennsylvania · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 1,987

My only real problem with that setup is it looks like the biner on the left bolt is being leveraged over a small bulge.

Max Rausch · · Portland, OR · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 200

It’s fine. I’ve done this. But i don’t use cloves. Figure 8’s are the way to go. 

Dan Gozdz · · Louisville, CO · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 0

Figure 8s instead of cloves. I just do a locker to each bolt with figure 8s for TR solo if there's nothing that makes it a bad idea (loading over an edge, where the rope runs, etc). Less stuff to go wrong.

HBTHREE · · ma · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 30

yeah fig 8's and why not throw a locker in there? anybody else scene a drop in blow :( 

Carl Schneider · · Adelaide, South Australia · Joined Dec 2017 · Points: 0

I think it's fine, but like others have said, use figure eights.  There's no real advantage here of the clove hitches as you're not wanting to adjust it (which is the great advantage of clove hitches).

F loyd · · Kennewick, WA · Joined Mar 2018 · Points: 486

Why have so much slack between cloves?

Suburban Roadside · · Abovetraffic on Hudson · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 2,184

What's wrong with using the Clove hitch ?
certainly, 8s  are easier to untie after loading . . . .

`
(maybe add an Op&oposed or Locking 'biner)  the Clove hitches are no problem.  &  there's nothing wrong with short slack between them

Max Rausch · · Portland, OR · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 200
F loyd wrote: Why have so much slack between cloves?

Why would that matter?

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,931
Suburban Roadside wrote: What's wrong with using the Clove hitch ?
certainly, 8s  are easier to untie after loading 

That's debatable.

F loyd · · Kennewick, WA · Joined Mar 2018 · Points: 486
Max Rausch wrote:

Why would that matter?

Just curious. It looks intentionally done, so I wish to know the reasoning. 

chris magness · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 590

You won't see this in any manuals because it's an inferior rig.

Just tie an overhand bight-on-a-bight and clip the loops directly to the bolts.  Eliminate the draws.  The bolts are now equalized, you have a redundant master point with way fewer parts and zero biners as you're using the drop-ins. This is, in fact, the only rig I'd use here- and my preferred method for fixing ropes period.  No need for lockers in this case as you have two isolated anchor points (redundancy).  Your rig would require lockers.

Another way to do this is with a double-eared figure-8.  The OBOB is superior to the double-eared figure-8 as its loops are isolated.  That's another discussion.

Another benefit: the OBOB is very easy to untie.  Happy soloing!

Matt Clay · · Estill County, KY · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 1,081

Thanks for all the responses.

Quick responses somewhat in the order of questions posed:

  • It's my retired lead rope - no issues there
  • Left biner isn't over a bulge, although picture makes it look like that a bit. It's a slightly overhanging route and my weight is on the rope on that side pulling the biner out.
  • Cloves vs Fig 8 - I've used the 8 a lot, but in this set up (draw and not lockers) the clove hitch cinched tight seemed preferable as there is almost no wiggle and it is very unlikely to come unclipped (it's highly unlikely with the other recommended knots, but the clove grabs the biner tighter). Also, I'm leaving a rope up for days/weeks at a time just for endurance laps, so ease of undoing the knot is negligible.
  • I tried the lockers direct to the hanger and that is probably preferable in most situations, but the time I improvised this setup I left my preferred lockers up on another route and only had a massive steel locker from the ancient past. It didn't fit through the hanger and I didn't want to block the quicklink or permadraw on the off chance that someone else tried to lead the route. Probably overthinking it, but at the time I didn't realize the area was getting almost zero traffic.
Matt Clay · · Estill County, KY · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 1,081
F loyd wrote:

Just curious. It looks intentionally done, so I wish to know the reasoning. 

It was just the amount of rope that happened to be between the two draws. I guess in the case of one bolt failing I could have limited potential extension by a few inches? I don't think it would make that much difference, but I've never been through a bolt failure.

chris magness · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 590

Matt- We all appreciate creativity, part of the fun in rope work.  But.. learn an overhand bight on a bight, you'll never go back!  Faster, simpler, and way more bomber.  Versatile in other applications too, you'll be psyched to have it in your bag of tricks.

Here you go:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SGOBPDz-fA

The original bight can also be clipped rather than passed through.

Long Ranger · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 331
chris magness wrote: Just tie an overhand bight-on-a-bight 

Can anyone illustrate that? Is it this? 



chris magness · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 590
Long Ranger wrote:

Can anyone illustrate that? Is it this? 





You beat me to it!  See above post, it's the overhand bight on a bight, the knot to which I've been referring.  


Matt Clay · · Estill County, KY · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 1,081
chris magness wrote: Matt- We all appreciate creativity, part of the fun in rope work.  But.. learn an overhand bight on a bight, you'll never go back!  Faster, simpler, and way more bomber.  Versatile in other applications too, you'll be psyched to have it in your bag of tricks.

Here you go:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SGOBPDz-fA

The original bight can also be clipped rather than passed through.

Sweet, thanks!

Long Ranger · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 331

Naw Chris, you beat ME to it!

To confirm (Because my life and all), the orphaned loop doesn't need to be clipped, it's just a leftover (a tail, that's now looped). That video shows them passing that loop through, which I'm going to guess is so that in the infinitesimal chance that it somehow slips, it just acts like a hitch.

BHK is just a little more convenient/simple than making a double figure 8?

I'm getting into TRS myself, and am pretty nervous about this new  found interest. The BHK I guess isn't something I've come across in my previous life of sailing.

F loyd · · Kennewick, WA · Joined Mar 2018 · Points: 486
Matt Clay wrote:

It was just the amount of rope that happened to be between the two draws. I guess in the case of one bolt failing I could have limited potential extension by a few inches? I don't think it would make that much difference, but I've never been through a bolt failure.

No worries, I saw two cloves (which are easy to adjust and could quickly reduce the slack) and thought you had a purpose for it. I will have a bit of rope like that if it's a shitty belay station so I can grab it and adjust myself instead of grabbing the lockers on the bolts.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Fixed Hardware: Bolts & Anchors
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