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Toprope Master Point Question
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By jonathan.lipkin
From Brooklyn, NY
Aug 13, 2013

Question about two situations building a toprope anchor.

Situation one: two trees, using a single rope. One end of the rope is attached to tree number one, second end of the rope is attached to the second tree. Master point is tied using a figure eight on a bight as in pictures one and two (not sure this is technically on a bight but couldn't describe properly). Note: in case the photo is not clear, the knot results in three loops - one above the knot, two below the knot. All three are joined by the niners.

What do you think of this?

Situation two: two trees, using two ropes. Ends of each ropes are tied in figure eight, attached to cordelette, which is tied in figure eight as in pictures three and four.

I've omitted the climbing rope for clarity, but it would run through the two oval biners (opposed, locking).

Also, looking at the photos, I realize the figure eight in the cordelette isn't dressed properly.


Photo one
Photo one


Photo two
Photo two

Three
Three


Four
Four


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By cjon3s
From Sterling, VA
Aug 13, 2013
Hanging at Seneca

I'd be comfortable climbing on both. I'd prefer a nylon sling or cordelette just because the beefiness makes me feel better, but otherwise good to go!


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By Matt N
From Santa Barbara, CA
Aug 13, 2013
OTL

Offhand - you shouldn't tie knots in spectra/dynex/dyneema, plus it [the knot] adds nothing to the anchor.


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By NC Rock Climber
From The Oven, AKA Phoenix
Aug 13, 2013
tanuki

I mean this in the nicest way possible... If you have to ask, then you should take a class or hire a guide. Even hooking up with a more experienced climber for a few pitches would be good a better option than trusting the advice you get from random strangers on the internet.


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By jonathan.lipkin
From Brooklyn, NY
Aug 13, 2013

Thanks, all.

NC - no offense taken at all. In fact, option #1 was from a class I took at the Gunks a few weeks ago. Just wanted to double-check that I had gotten everything right.


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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Aug 14, 2013

Matt N wrote:
Offhand - you shouldn't tie knots in spectra/dynex/dyneema, plus it [the knot] adds nothing to the anchor.


you shouldn't tie friction knots with dyneema/spectra. regular knots are totally fine.

cant quite figure out why you have a tail bight coming out of the top of the fig 8 (the third loop) in the one picture- maybe i just dont understand the setup you're describing, but i've never encountered a situation where i would have that kind of a knot.


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By bearbreeder
Aug 14, 2013

both are fine

one thing to keep in mind is any "swing" if one anchor leg fails ... if there is sharp edge of the lip the swing can damage and cut the rope ... so watch the angles and pad any edges

the doubled strand figure 8 in the first/second pic is pretty normal when you want to double up the masterpoint ... it is good practice to clip the loose strand as you have done

youll live ... probably

;)


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By Gary N
From Durango, CO
Aug 14, 2013
Profile pic taken at Muir Beach.

Option #1 is the best of the two for sure. The knot you tied is called a BHK (Big Honkin' Knot). Most of the time they are tied just using an overhand knot, but Figure 8's work just as well if you've got the extra rope.


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By RockinOut
From NY, NY
Aug 14, 2013
Gear

Why not use the 3rd pic by bringing the orange cord and blue cord together and clipping into both? Unless you need that extension of the sling to get over the edge I would just bring the 2 cords together and eliminate the sling and the 2 extra biners.


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By wivanoff
Aug 14, 2013
High Exposure

John Wilder wrote:
cant quite figure out why you have a tail bight coming out of the top of the fig 8 (the third loop) in the one picture- maybe i just dont understand the setup you're describing, but i've never encountered a situation where i would have that kind of a knot.


Look at photo 1 and tie a figure eight using the bottom loops. The bight comes from that top loop. Google "BHK knot" or "BFK knot"


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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Aug 14, 2013

wivanoff wrote:
Look at photo 1 and tie a figure eight using the bottom loops. The bight comes from that top loop. Google "BHK knot" or "BFK knot"


i get that- i just thought the other loop was meant to be around a tree. but then, i never set up TR's and I never use trees (desert dweller) much for anchoring unless they're big enough to do it by themselves.

also, if that is indeed what is pictured- why on earth would you do that? seems like a waste of rope and energy- a regular 8 is fine. if you really want to get crazy with is, a Super 8 would serve better, since it doubles the rope where the carabiners are instead of just leaving a big ass tail of rope that serves no purpose.


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By Dustin Drake
Aug 14, 2013

Seems like you are making things way to complicated.


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By cjon3s
From Sterling, VA
Aug 14, 2013
Hanging at Seneca

John Wilder wrote:
i get that- i just thought the other loop was meant to be around a tree. but then, i never set up TR's and I never use trees (desert dweller) much for anchoring unless they're big enough to do it by themselves. also, if that is indeed what is pictured- why on earth would you do that? seems like a waste of rope and energy- a regular 8 is fine. if you really want to get crazy with is, a Super 8 would serve better, since it doubles the rope where the carabiners are instead of just leaving a big ass tail of rope that serves no purpose.


The reason you do it is so you can adjust the height of the master point over your edge. It also provides the redundancy you mention from the super 8.


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By trundlebum
From Las Vegas NV
Sep 5, 2013
Somewhere in Tuolumne, sometime early 80's

Dustin said it ^

Way, way over thinking this guys !


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By rogerbenton
Sep 5, 2013
Whoever this guy is, he's just plain irresponsible.

Matt N wrote:
Offhand - you shouldn't tie knots in spectra/dynex/dyneema, plus it [the knot] adds nothing to the anchor.


i disagree- definitely tie a knot. that fig 8 in the spectra runner adds redundency and limits extension. if a strand of the runner were to fail, anchor will still hold. without the knot, the whole anchor fails.

but, the knot does need to be dressed and tight to limit the amount it will move in the event of being suddenly weighted, and a nylon runner or cord (as mentioned above) is a better option for that component of the anchor.


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By Mark Pilate
Sep 7, 2013

Option 1 is standard and OK except you can tie your 8 on a bight cleaner with just the two loops, but your "BHK" is fine, if not elegant.

Option 2 depends...as RockinOut said, why are you even using the extra biners and webbing? Just clip the two rope biners to the blue and red lines. Simpler is better and easier to see if something is amiss.

In general though, to put it in perspective, If you don't wear a nomex suit, helmet, gloves, and a 5 point restraint with a roll cage in your car on the way to the crag, overthinking /worrying about top-rope setups (assuming you don't violate a few basic principles) is not really increasing your overall life safety odds. (example: dude arguing finer points of knots,rigging, etc at top of crag, then texting on drive home)


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