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rigging an anchor and trolleying anchor on steel cable
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By Quinnja
Aug 29, 2012
Hello. First time poster.

I work at a farm used for corporate retreats and am trying to decide the best way to rig an anchor to a suspended steel cable. I have found a way to make a self equalizing 3 point anchor with redundency and backups using 2 prussiks, a coordilette, 3 draws and a large locker.

My questions are:

A: how tight must the steel cable be to support the force of weight?
B: how thick must the cable be to sustain this tension without risk of fail?
C: is it possible?

The reason for this is to balay people climbing a 50 ft rope, laddder, webbing, etc.
If it can be done, id eventually like to set up a trolleying anchor for tightrope training.

Id love to hear thoughts or ideas. Thanks.

By JoeR
From Eugene, OR
Aug 29, 2012
John M. has it right. Standards for climbing and challenge courses are in whole different worlds. If your corporate retreat farm wants a challenge course element, get it professionally built. Getting some training on how to properly run a high element should be a priority as well.

Read this if you still think that putting this together with no training is a good idea.


I realize this thread smells like a troll, but in the off chance this dude is serious.

If not, good troll.

By Cor
Aug 29, 2012
black nasty
better use a steel biner on that steel cable tyrol.

By Peter Franzen
From Phoenix, AZ
Sep 9, 2012
That's an interesting study. Only 5 traumatic deaths, and all were due to not following proper safety procedures.

Definitely know WTF you're doing. I've snapped a couple of improperly loaded aluminum carabiners doing this sort of thing, and when you are working with steel it is easy to surpass the loads intended for normal climbing gear.

By EvanH
From Boone, NC
Sep 17, 2012
Background: I build courses and zip line tours, all of which require rigging cable in life-safety applications.


DO NOT try to rig this kind of thing yourself without input from a knowledgeable source in the challenge course construction industry. You will most likely kill someone.


We rigged a low-hanging, ~75' zip line with cable this summer. It was tensioned lightly, just enough to keep kidds a few feet off the ground when loaded. We then attached a tensiometer to the cable and read the tensions produced under basic loading.

With a 165lb person hanging in the center of the cable, the meter recorded a 2500lb (~11kN) tension acting on the anchor. That's just one person, and he was exerting a static hanging force. Under a belay situation or (God forbid) a lead-stye dynamic fall, the tensions produced would be dramatically higher.


Call a licensed provider of challenge course construction, preferably one that has attained ACCT Preferred Vendor Member status.


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