Saturday, July 22, 2006

Top Anchor

I have bee meaning to post something on my top anchor for a while. I use a long length of 11mm static line (80 feet). A 10 foot length of 1 inch tubular webbing is over the 11mm line and placed in the center. A figure 8 on a bight creates the power point for the top anchor.

Each 'leg' of the 11mm line is attached to a single bomb proof anchor such as a bolt, large tree or a unified pro anchor. The webbing sheath protects the rope as it runs over a ledge, protects the knot from abrasion and provides redundancy at the power point.

This is my most frequently used piece of equipment outdoors. The static line is much tougher and resistant to abrasion than a dynamic rope. I find it faster and safer to set up top anchors. Most important...It is damn strong.

The original article suggested using a 50 foot length of line and 4 feet of webbing. I thought this may not be long enough for some of the anchor placements at Blood Bath and Prossers Rock. I was also concerned that less than 2 feet webbing to protect the rope over an edge might not be enough so I went with the lengths described above. 50 feet probably would have been fine. I have more than enough length for the anchors and I end up hauling around excessive rope.

The webbing could also be a bit shorter. The webbing sheath sides on the rope (above the figure 8) when you pull on it as in when your are lowering onto rappel or topping out.

This anchor system is excellent and is relatively easy to use. Remember, personal instruction is always better than something you have read off "the net". Ask people what they use and why.

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