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Extending Top Rope anchors
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Dec 21, 2015
So I was wondering about extending my top rope master point with something like a 20ft piece of webbing or 7mm cord. So for example, if I have a cordolette anchor and I need to get another 4 or 5 feet extension to be over the lip of the rock, can I just basically use a big piece of webbing tied in a water knot and clipped onto my master point like I would a sling? Can I use cord in the same way? Nick0001
From Tucson, Az
Joined Dec 21, 2015
0 points
Dec 21, 2015
You can use either webbing or cord (7mm being on the small end of what most folks would use). If you do that as one long loop, however, realize there is not redundancy at that point i.e. cut the loop at any point and BING - no anchor. There are ways to make two redundant strands going over the edge, but that's not the sort of thing I describe online. "Seek qualified instruction". Gunkiemike
Joined Jul 29, 2009
2,678 points
Dec 21, 2015
Hey thanks for the reply, yea I would not use it as one single loop. From what I understand I would need at least two locking biners on my master point and I would clip my webbing or cord into those, then basically make a long version of what you would do on a bolted top rope setup with a sling or cord, tying into an overhand or sliding X. Does that sound right or should I just get off the internet. Nick0001
From Tucson, Az
Joined Dec 21, 2015
0 points
Dec 21, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: le Toit de Cul de Chien, Font
There would still be no redundancy in what you describe for the cord or webbing itself. You would need two independent loops in your extension. I'd also recommend padding the edge to protect the webbing or cord from abrading or being cut.

Alex
Alex CV
From Greater NYC area
Joined Jun 17, 2011
209 points
Dec 21, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: Yours truly on Treiber's Deception.
This is an excellent book that would answer all of your questions and more. I highly recommend it.

amazon.com/Toproping-How-To-Cl...
DesertRat
Joined Jul 26, 2010
193 points
Dec 21, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: en route to wham ridge  Photo by Carl Schnitker
Get one big loop of webbing or cord and loop it through the original master point. Pull both loops until they are even and tie an overhand/fig 8 to create a new master point.

Edit: Here are some pictures

Step 1

Rock Climbing Photo: Extending Master point over an edge 1
Extending Master point over an edge 1


Step 2

Rock Climbing Photo: Extending Master point over an edge 2
Extending Master point over an edge 2
eli poss
From Durango, Co
Joined May 9, 2014
472 points
Dec 21, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: Eli on the FA of Grizzly (M9) at the Den.
turd furgeson wrote:
eli knows his shit. while i am a big fan of the sliding x, its really pretty irrelevant if you have two bolts clipped. always remember, redundancy is what keeps us climbers alive.

Sorry, different Eli here and redundancy isn't always key (1 rope/belayer/harness/belay device/locker) but in this instance of TR anchoring I absolutely agree! Cheers.
Eli Helmuth
From Estes Park, CO
Joined Aug 12, 2001
1,207 points
Dec 21, 2015
eli poss wrote:
Get one big loop of webbing or cord and loop it through the original master point. Pull both loops until they are even and tie an overhand/fig 8 to create a new master point. Edit: Here are some pictures Step 1 Step 2

Bad idea here. Not as bad as rapping with the rope going through a sling and then pulling it, but if you must use a second sling to extend a top rope anchor, use a girth hitch or 2 biners, preferably locking.

The problem with eli's set up is that with an extended piece of webbing run through a loop can create a sawing effect, especially when TRing, hanging, and lowering. Knotting them together will stop the sawing motion.
Pete Spri
Joined Jun 1, 2009
217 points
Dec 21, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: en route to wham ridge  Photo by Carl Schnitker
Pete Spri wrote:
Bad idea here. Not as bad as rapping with the rope going through a sling and then pulling it, but if you must use a second sling to extend a top rope anchor, use a girth hitch or 2 biners, preferably locking. The problem with eli's set up is that with an extended piece of webbing run through a loop can create a sawing effect, especially when TRing, hanging, and lowering. Knotting them together will stop the sawing motion.

see the 2nd picture. With the knotted final product no sawing action will occur and you will have fewer links in the chain that could fail and you don't have to worry about lockers being loaded over a protrusion if the terrain isn't perfectly flat.
eli poss
From Durango, Co
Joined May 9, 2014
472 points
Dec 21, 2015
eli poss wrote:
see the 2nd picture. With the knotted final product no sawing action will occur and you will have fewer links in the chain that could fail and you don't have to worry about lockers being loaded over a protrusion if the terrain isn't perfectly flat.

In your picture, you have two knotted loops, both of which are fixed loops through each other and free to rotate.
Pete Spri
Joined Jun 1, 2009
217 points
Dec 21, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: BD Fuel
Pete Spri wrote:
In your picture, you have two knotted loops, both of which are fixed loops through each other and free to rotate.


They aren't free to rotate once load is applied to the system.
rocknice2
From Montreal, Quebec
Joined Nov 27, 2006
3,024 points
Dec 21, 2015
rocknice2 wrote:
They aren't free to rotate once load is applied to the system.

They absolutely are and will with the climbers motion(no, not a full 90 degrees, but plenty to rub and cut each other), especially when TRing, and especially since that set up has no equalizing in it.

In fact, it would be better to simply extend both of those dbl length slings one through each anchor and clip the TR through the other biners. You have only unnecessarily complicated and weakened the system with this set up.
Pete Spri
Joined Jun 1, 2009
217 points
Dec 21, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: BD Fuel
Pete Spri wrote:
They absolutely are and will with the climbers motion(no, not a full 90 degrees, but plenty to rub and cut each other), especially when TRing, and especially since that set up has no equalizing in it. In fact, it would be better to simply extend both of those dbl length slings one through each anchor and clip the TR through the other biners. You have only unnecessarily complicated and weakened the system with this set up.


So you think that equalizing it with a sliding-x would help?

Your right that 2 long independent slings would be ideal.
rocknice2
From Montreal, Quebec
Joined Nov 27, 2006
3,024 points
Dec 21, 2015
rocknice2 wrote:
So you think that equalizing it with a sliding-x would help? Your right that 2 long independent slings would be ideal.

I don't know how you would set up an equalizing system in pic 2 without intermediate biners.

I really try to avoid anchors I series like that, parallel is the way to go except with some weird terrain.

Not trying to be a jerk, its just that webbing on webbing especially in loading scenarios is not a good idea. And top roping beginners will have lots of that.

I think of rapping through webbing and pulling the rope.

I think of belay loops that go unchecked too long (RIP Todd Skinner). It's just better for the health of your slings in general.

And though I don't like biner chains either, I would take two lockers between those slings I pic 2 over the webbing on webbing any day.
Pete Spri
Joined Jun 1, 2009
217 points
Dec 21, 2015
Dbl post Pete Spri
Joined Jun 1, 2009
217 points
Dec 21, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: en route to wham ridge  Photo by Carl Schnitker
rocknice2 wrote:
They aren't free to rotate once load is applied to the system.

This. Even if the load is applied off-axis the sling will not move because, as you mentioned the loops are fixed.
eli poss
From Durango, Co
Joined May 9, 2014
472 points
Dec 21, 2015
get a longer cordelette. don't add complication. alpinejason
From Minneapolis
Joined Apr 25, 2010
149 points
Dec 22, 2015
eli poss wrote:
This. Even if the load is applied off-axis the sling will not move because, as you mentioned the loops are fixed.

The loops are fixed loops, but not fixed to each other. You are missing how little motion you need between two pieces of webbing to get them rubbing. If you had girth hitched them or even square knotted them in your pic it would eliminate that, but you didn't and have loops that rotate on each other. It's not a refined set up and there are better ways to teach a beginner.
Pete Spri
Joined Jun 1, 2009
217 points
Dec 22, 2015
alpinejason wrote:
get a longer cordelette. don't add complication.

This is probably the best answer.

One other thing that I would recommend as a beginner is if you have a group bigger than 2, sit up at the top by your anchor and watch them as someone climbs the full route and then lowers. Try this with a couple of anchor set ups to understand their strengths and weaknesses. You will learn a lot just by observing.
Pete Spri
Joined Jun 1, 2009
217 points
Dec 22, 2015
eli poss wrote:
Get one big loop of webbing or cord and loop it through the original master point. Pull both loops until they are even and tie an overhand/fig 8 to create a new master point. Edit: Here are some pictures Step 1 Step 2


You should avoid connecting slings directly to other slings or cord. If you want to join two slings together, use a carabiner to connect the two slings as it's stronger. Mammut has reported that slings that are girth hitched together have been reported to have a decrease in strength by as much as 50 percent.

Black Diamond also posted a QC lab demonstrating the problems with girth hitching slings.
wing thing
Joined Jun 18, 2013
83 points
Dec 22, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: Next steps...
"get a longer cordelette. don't add complication."

X 2
Jonathan Cunha
From Bolinas, CA
Joined May 25, 2014
70 points
Dec 22, 2015
A single static rope/cordelette and a few carabiners will get the job done. I personally use a 9mm x whatever length will get me there (Mammut 30m x 9mm static rope comes in very handy for extended top rope anchor building). Extend it to where you need it. Pad the edges of where the rope/cordelette will be running, if needed, and/or possible. Double and triple check everything!

Rock Climbing Photo: BFK  Advantages: Fat knot helps keep the carabiner...
BFK

Advantages: Fat knot helps keep the carabiners off the rock, and you have two independent/redundant loops at the master point.

Something more simple...

Rock Climbing Photo: Figure eight
Figure eight

As was stated earlier, you should read up on the subject and become more knowledgeable - finding a mentor would be a good idea. Practice what you have learned before you put someone's life in your hands. They may trust in your knowledge more than you do.
BigFeet
From Texas
Joined May 5, 2014
367 points
Dec 22, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: Mt Minsi, PA
eli poss wrote:
Get one big loop of webbing or cord and loop it through the original master point. Pull both loops until they are even and tie an overhand/fig 8 to create a new master point. Edit: Here are some pictures Step 1 Step 2


Put a locking biner in that system between the two peices of webbing. No manufacturer recommends material on material contact. And there will be some movement and friction. All it takes is a biner to make it safe. All it takes is no biner for a very dumb, very needless accident to happen because someone says "oh, it will be fine".
Michael C
From New Jersey
Joined Jun 9, 2011
374 points
Dec 22, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: The traverse out to the Yellow Ridge on the Dogsti...
Personally, I'm not a fan of any kind of webbing hanging over a lip and loaded unless the edge is very rounded, and especially if the climbing route moves from side to side and so might produce pendulum falls. Over the years I've seen some surprising dings in webbing in those situations, and the fact that the anchor strands are typically going to be out of sight suggests an abundance of caution.

So I'd nix Eli's rig (unless the top of the cliff is a nice bed as in the illustration) because of the materials used rather than their configuration. Cord is more robust, and the ideal rigging for situations that need extension is with a dedicated length of static cord and not various cobbled-together pieces all of which are too short by themselves. Static cord is better than dynamic cord over an edge because the stretching and relaxing in the dynamic cord produces its own abrading action.

As for the rope-on-rope motions at the power point, I think folks who say they can't happen are mistaken; a pendulum fall to the side will pivot at the power point and there will be some rubbing. However, I think it is equally mistaken to object on those grounds. The very small amount of rubbing can't possibly amount to anything worth worrying about. I'd actually be more worried about things that can go wrong if a single locking carabiner were used there; I'd at least use two.

Although not always possible, and dependent on skills a top-roper may not have, the best solution to the need for an over-the-lip power point is to create that point by placing gear in position over the lip and then linking that gear to the anchor at the top in a way that doesn't load the top rigging at all unless the over-the-lip gear fails. One case in which this can be quite easy to do occurs if the pitch is lead and then subsequently top-roped. The leader can set up the top-roping power point on the way up and then link it to the top anchor.

BigFeet wrote:
Practice what you have learned before you put someone's life in your hands. They may trust in your knowledge more than you do.

This can't be emphasized too much. Top-rope setups are often rigged for people with no ability to judge them, people who are obliged to blindly trust the rigger. We had a terrible tragedy in the Gunks a few years ago in which a young woman on her first time out was killed when the entire top-rope rigging failed, so do not take these warnings as hypothetical.
rgold
From Poughkeepsie, NY
Joined Feb 15, 2008
544 points
Dec 22, 2015
extend the pieces not the master point
and dont forget to K.I.S.S.
TLyons
From Lynbrook, NY
Joined Aug 3, 2015
110 points
Dec 22, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: Expatriot
It's amazing how complicated the simplest things are on MP. Had I read about the risk of death by Gris Gris and toproping before I started climbing, I probably would have taken up bowling. frank minunni
From Las Vegas, NV
Joined May 26, 2011
129 points


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