Below is a reminder of the anchors that we typically learn in the Level I Climbing Anchors and Rescue Course. 

It's important that you practice these anchors often so that when you're at the crag you are familiar and not stressed about building them. Practice them with your friends so that you can talk it through with them, explaining the ins and outs of each. Remember the types of knots that we use if tying a knot in nylon or dyneema (figure 8's or figure 9's). 



ANCHORS USING SLINGS
(NYLON OR DYNEEMA)

Single/Fixed Position (Two Bolt) Anchor

Fixed Position Anchor - Using Dyneema or Nylon Slings

A fast and simple anchor that is equalized and redundant. 

  1. Clip the sling into two bolts.
  2. Pull the two loops downward between the bolts and in the intended direction of pull (direction of the climber). Be sure to keep the bar tack out of the way, high up near the bolt/carabiner.
  3. Tie a figure 8 or figure 9 in the sling to create the Master Point.

Self Equalizing (Two Piece/Bolt) Anchor

Self Equalizing (Two Piece/Bolt) Anchor - Using Dyneema or Nylon

When you need an anchor that allows for a change of direction in the climb, while remaining equalized. This anchor utilizes the "Sliding X" and knots on either side to eliminate extensions.

  1. Clip the sling into two bolts.
  2. Pull the two loops downward between the bolts and in the intended direction of pull (direction of the climber). Be sure to keep the bar tack out of the way, high up near the bolt/carabiner.
  3. Put a 180 degree twist in one of the strands (creating the "Sliding X")
  4. Clip your carabiner through both loops.
  5. Tie a Figure 8 or Figure 9 knot close to the carabiner to limit the amount of extension allowed in case one piece of the anchor blows out.

Self Equalizing (Three Piece/Bolt) Anchor

Self Equalizing (Three Piece/Bolt) Anchor - Using Dyneema or Nylon

When you need an anchor that allows for a change of direction in the climb, while remaining equalized, utilizing more than two pieces. This anchor utilizes the "Sliding X" and knots on either side to eliminate extensions.

  1. Clip the sling into two bolts.
  2. Pull the two loops downward between the bolts and in the intended direction of pull (direction of the climber). Be sure to keep the bar tack out of the way, high up near the bolt/carabiner.
  3. Put a 180 degree twist in one of the strands (creating the "Sliding X")
  4. Clip your carabiner through both loops.
  5. Tie a Figure 8 or Figure 9 knot close to the carabiner to limit the amount of extension allowed in case one piece of the anchor blows out.
  6. Repeat these same steps to create an identical anchor below this anchor, connecting the third bolt/piece to the final carabiner of the first anchor. 


ANCHORS USING CORDELLETTE (7MM)

Single/Fixed Position (Two Bolt) Anchor

Single/Fixed Position Anchor - Utilizing Two Bolts

A fast and simple anchor that is equalized and redundant. 

  1. Using a double-fisherman's knot, tie the two ends of cordellette together to create a loop.
  2. Clip the cordellette into two bolts.
  3. Pull the two loops downward between the bolts and in the intended direction of pull (direction of the climber). Be sure to keep the double-fisherman's knot out of the way, high up near the bolt/carabiner.
  4. Tie a figure 8 or figure 9 in the cordellette to create the Master Point.

Single/Fixed Position (Two Bolt) Anchor - Shortened

Single/Fixed Position Anchor - Utilizing Two Bolts - Shortened

A fast and simple anchor that is equalized and redundant, but shortened to elevate the master point. 

  1. Using a double-fisherman's knot, tie the two ends of cordellette together to create a loop.
  2. Clip the cordellette into one bolt.
  3. Put a bite in the other end of the cordellette and feed that bite through the other bolt (carabiner attached to 2nd bolt).
  4. Pull the loops downward between the bolts and in the intended direction of pull (direction of the climber). Be sure to keep the double-fisherman's knot out of the way, high up near the bolt/carabiner.
  5. Tie a figure 8 or figure 9 in the cordellette to create the Master Point.
  6. This anchor allows for three redundancy loops out of the master point while raising the master point at the same time.

Single/Fixed Position (Three or More Pieces/Bolts) Anchor

  Single/Fixed Position Anchor - Utilizing Three or More Pieces/Bolts

Single/Fixed Position Anchor - Utilizing Three or More Pieces/Bolts

A multi-piece anchor that is equalized and redundant. 

  1. Tie a Figure 8 (or overhand/figure 9) on a bite into each end of the cordellette.
  2. Clip each bite into the outer most pieces/bolts.
  3. Clip the center sections of the rope through the remaining pieces/bolts.
  4. Pull the loops downward between the bolts and in the intended direction of pull (direction of the climber).
  5. Tie a figure 8 or figure 9 in the cordellette to create the Master Point.

THE QUAD
Self Equalizing (Two Bolt) Anchor

The Quad - Self Equalizing Anchor - Utilizing Two Bolts

A wonderfully simple two bolt anchor system that is great for sport/trad climbs that require self equalization. 

  1. Using a double-fisherman's knot, tie the two ends of cordellette together to create a loop.
  2. Then create a second/mirrored loop by holding the first loop with two hands and folding the right side/hand behind the left. With thumbs inside the loops, extend you hands apart to equalize your double loop.
  3. Tie a figure 8 about 1/4 of the way down from each end of the double loop.
  4. Clip the ends of the loops into each bolt.
  5. This will allow four strands of cord to be used as your master point. However, Clip only three of the four strands in order to protect against a bolt failure (the figure 8 knots will act as limiters in case of failure/extension).

Self Equalizing (Three Piece/Bolt) Anchor

Self Equalizing Anchor - Utilizing Three Pieces/Bolts

A fast and simple anchor that is equalized and redundant. 

  1. Using a double-fisherman's knot, tie the two ends of cordellette together to create a loop.
  2. Clip the cordellette into all three bolts.
  3. Pull the two loops downward between the bolts and in the intended direction of pull (direction of the climber). Be sure to keep the double-fisherman's knot out of the way, high up near the bolt/carabiner.
  4. Pulling the loops downward will create three loops, one of which will connect directly to the outer most bolts. Using this loop, make a 180 degree twist to create the "Sliding X" in this loop alone.
  5. Clip the carabiner through all three loops (Including the "Sliding X").
  6. Tie a limiting knot (overhand, figure 8 or figure 9) on the outer most strands of cordellette, close to the master point.


NATURAL ANCHORS USING STATIC ROPE (11MM)

Natural Anchor - Using Trees/Boulders with static anchor line

MACRO VIEW - Two trees are used as anchor pieces 1 and 2. A safety line is created by using a bowline on a bite on the right side of our anchor. The safety line gives the person setting up the anchor something to attach themselves to when nearing the edge of the cliff. 

MICRO VIEW - Anchor piece 1 is built using a bowline on a bite. This allows for two strands of rope to come out of the master point of the bowline. One strand for the anchor builder to attach themselves to as a safety line, and the other to use as one side of the anchor. 
The bowline is finished with an overhand or double fisherman's knot.

MICRO VIEW - Anchor piece 2 is built using a piece of 1" tape wrapped three times around a tree. A water knot is used to attach the ends of tape together, with overhand finishing knots. Pulling on two of the three strands wrapping the tree (leaving the strand with the knots) gives us a very strong attachment point while the friction of the tape wrapping the tree will allow us to easily untie our water knot at the end of the day (water knot's can be extremely difficult to untie when fully weighted). 
An overhand on a bite is used to attach the very end of the static rope to the tape using a locking carabiner. 
The slack is taken out of the system using a clove hitch on a large pear-shaped carabiner. A finishing over-hand or double-fisherman's knot is used to clean up the excess rope along the main line after taking out all slack and equalizing the main master point of the anchor.

An excellent option for building an anchor off of trees or boulders (natural anchor pieces). 

  1. This particular anchor used 60' of 11mm static rope, two trees, four locking carabiners and 30' of 1" tape.
  2. A bowline on a bite is built around the tree on the right. This allows for two strands of rope to feed out of the master point of the bowline. One strand will be used to attach to the person building the anchor as they near the edge of the cliff. The second strand (the much longer strand) will be used to build the anchor's master point, then will re-direct to connect to the second part of our anchor (tree 2).
  3. The anchor builder attaches themselves to the safety line they can belay themselves to the cliff edge.
  4. Then, measure out the appropriate length of rope to build a master point that hangs over the cliff edge.
  5. Using an overhand knot on a double-bite (BHK), build the master point. Clip two large, locking carabiners of equal size and opposing gates through the master point. 
  6. At this point I usually flake the climbing rope and clip it through our two carabiners at the master point. Then I drop one side of rope at a time to the base of the climb (don't forget to yell "ROPE!" to warm any unsuspecting climbers at the base). *Hanging the rope at this point weights the master point allowing you to more easily equalize the anchor from the safety of the trees.
  7. Take the remainder of the anchor line (coming out of the master point) and walk it back to the second tree. 
  8. Using 1" tape (webbing) use the wrap three pull two method and a water knot to secure the tape around the tree.
  9. Tie an overhand knot at the very end of your anchor line and attach it to two strands of the 1" tape using a locking carabiner.
  10. There should be a bit of slack remaining in this side of the anchor line. Clip a second locking carabiner (large, pear shaped) to the two strands of 1" tape and take out the slack using a clove hitch on this carabiner. 
  11. Using the clove hitch here allows us to equalize the anchor from the safety of the trees (away from the cliff edge). Any excess after taking out the slack can be secured using an overhand or double fisherman's knot along the anchor line (this also cleans up the anchor and eliminate trip hazards).