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Using long webbing to reach anchors for toprope setup
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By Keyan P
From Burlington, VT
Dec 10, 2010
View from top of Standard Route on Whitehorse, NH

Hi, suppose I am setting up a toprope over a cliff but the anchor points (large trees) are ~20 ft back. Is it safe to sling the trees, clip a long length of webbing into the lockers, tie a figure-eight and extend the webbing over the cliff edge? I am hesitant to have the whole setup rely on a single water knot, what is the best thing to do?


Thank you


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By Woodchuck ATC
Dec 10, 2010
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008

Easy. double it up and use 2 identical length slings for the anchor to tree, and at least 2 carabiners over the edge, one at least a locking biner. Done endlessly in midwest at Devils Lake.


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By DFrench
From The Shrew, MA
Dec 10, 2010
Vervet Monkeys know which site is best.

Something to be aware of when using webbing is that there may be splices where two different pieces are joined together when they are packaged onto the large spools that you see in the climbing shops. They should be fairly obvious if you inspect your length of webbing and are often covered in masking tape.

This is believed to have caused a fatality in Boulder Canyon back on 4/20/2000 and if you are just getting into setting up topropes then I would HIGHLY recommend reading the Rocky Mountain Rescue Accident Report , It is an eye-opening reminder to make redundant and safe anchors.


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By cheifitj
From Boulder, Colorado
Dec 10, 2010
Casual Route Pitch 3  <br />Photo by Mark Cushman

Keyan,

Just something to think about as well. I used to set up monster TR's with super long lengths of webbing. I would always use at least two separate pieces of webbing when doing this. Eventually I was carrying around massive amounts of webbing.
I finally switched over to a 100 foot section of static line, which when doubled up gave me plenty of line to work with. It was logistically easier to deal with. Just something to think about if you plan to do to a bunch of TR stuff.

-Jon


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By Cory
From Boise, ID
Dec 10, 2010
Relaxing in the Tuttle Creek Campground after a fun day in the Hills

If it were me, I would not be betting all my marbles on one water knot. Even though it probably won't come undone . . . it's so easy to make it redundant!

cheifitj wrote:
I finally switched over to a 100 foot section of static line,


+1 on the static rope. It makes setting up TR anchors so much simpler. Easy to set up and extend the anchors. Have two legs coming up from your masterpoint each going to a separate part of your anchor. Tie a double eight for your master point and use 3 ovals opposite and opposed (this creates a large radius for the roped to run over helping it to feed smoothly). 2 lockers can work too.

If you insist on using one long tied loop of webbing to extend your anchor, at least tie double figure eights at each end to gain some amount of redundancy in case an evil gnome comes along and cuts one of your strands :). Two separate slings as noted above works too.

Have fun!


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By Kevin McLaughlin
From Colorado Springs
Dec 10, 2010
Thunder Ridge- Storm, 5.12, Wasp Canyon

Whatever you use to rig with- set up at least TWO INDEPENDENT SYSTEMS. If one or the other was to possibly fail you would still have a completely separate one to rely on. NEVER EVER rig with a single sling /rope as your anchor point to toprope with.


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By Woodchuck ATC
Dec 10, 2010
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008

This is a point I often get criticism about. I often choose one TOTALLY immovable anchor object, like a 2 ft thick tree or a 10 ft. boulder. I set two independent systems to this ONE large, massive and often isolated object. Critics tell me to look for even some tiny crack and place an itty bitty nut, set it all up, thus calling it 2 independent anchors. That makes them happy, as if this small nut is an equal anchor. I'm not one to fish around with 3 separate nuts in tiny cracks when I have a house size boulder to wrap with long slings. Seems solid enough to me. If that boulder would ever start to creep, slide, I think my belayer could lower me off long before it dragged over the edge.


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By Dan G0D5H411
From Colorado Springs, CO
Dec 10, 2010
Dan on Hurricane

Kevin is absolutely right! Ideally you want two stout trees at the top with independent lenghts of webbing extending over the edge of the cliff. Clip your two toprope carabiners (opposite and opposing) into both of the pieces of webbing and you should be good. Another thing to consider is the actual edge the webbing is extending over. Rounded edges are generally ok, but if it is a sharp angle or the rock itself is sharp (the top of limestone cliffs can be like needles!) consider placing something underneath the webbing like a sweatshirt, a small piece of carpet, etc to reduce the contact the webbing has with the sharp edge. Even better, use static cords instead of webbing and you can slide the tubular webbing OVER the cord where it comes into contact with any sharp edges. It will prevent your static line from being sawn in half and extend its lifetime! The *sheath* of webbing will be much cheaper to replace in the future.


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By Woodchuck ATC
Dec 10, 2010
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008

Dan, a sliced open chunk of old garden hose works fine for protecting the rope line over the edge too. Been using that trick since the mid 70's.


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By Keyan P
From Burlington, VT
Dec 10, 2010
View from top of Standard Route on Whitehorse, NH

Kevin McLaughlin wrote:
Whatever you use to rig with- set up at least TWO INDEPENDENT SYSTEMS. If one or the other was to possibly fail you would still have a completely separate one to rely on. NEVER EVER rig with a single sling /rope as your anchor point to toprope with.


By using cordelette to equalize an anchor setup aren't you relying on only a single length of rope? Is that not acceptable either?


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By Keyan P
From Burlington, VT
Dec 10, 2010
View from top of Standard Route on Whitehorse, NH

Cory wrote:
If it were me, I would not be betting all my marbles on one water knot. Even though it probably won't come undone . . . it's so easy to make it redundant! +1 on the static rope. It makes setting up TR anchors so much simpler. Easy to set up and extend the anchors. Have two legs coming up from your masterpoint each going to a separate part of your anchor. Tie a double eight for your master point and use 3 ovals opposite and opposed (this creates a large radius for the roped to run over helping it to feed smoothly). 2 lockers can work too. If you insist on using one long tied loop of webbing to extend your anchor, at least tie double figure eights at each end to gain some amount of redundancy in case an evil gnome comes along and cuts one of your strands :). Two separate slings as noted above works too. Have fun!


What is the benefit of a double eight master point vs. a single eight?


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By PRRose
From Boulder
Dec 10, 2010

Woodchuck ATC wrote:
This is a point I often get criticism about. I often choose one TOTALLY immovable anchor object, like a 2 ft thick tree or a 10 ft. boulder. I set two independent systems to this ONE large, massive and often isolated object. Critics tell me to look for even some tiny crack and place an itty bitty nut, set it all up, thus calling it 2 independent anchors. That makes them happy, as if this small nut is an equal anchor. I'm not one to fish around with 3 separate nuts in tiny cracks when I have a house size boulder to wrap with long slings. Seems solid enough to me. If that boulder would ever start to creep, slide, I think my belayer could lower me off long before it dragged over the edge.


Even big boulders can move unexpectedly. Paul Piana and Todd Skinner nearly died when the boulder that Paul was using as an anchor after topping out on El Cap slid.


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By mongoose
Dec 11, 2010

Keyan P wrote:
By using cordelette to equalize an anchor setup aren't you relying on only a single length of rope? Is that not acceptable either?


no because each of the legs of the cordelette is independent from each other. if one leg fails there is at least one more leg if not 2 or 3.


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By Woodchuck ATC
Dec 11, 2010
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008

PRRose wrote:
Even big boulders can move unexpectedly. Paul Piana and Todd Skinner nearly died when the boulder that Paul was using as an anchor after topping out on El Cap slid.

I have no idea how big those were; I'm talking huge imbedded into the ground ones, not those sitting loose on top of a steep slab.


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By Timothy Mark
Dec 11, 2010

I can't believe no one has given the Official Standard Internet Response To Top Rope Anchor Questions:
Get instructions in person, from someone with experience.

Seriously, if you're asking these types of questions, you shouldn't be setting up top rope systems. If you really can't get instructions, at least buy a book. This one is pretty good.


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By Keyan P
From Burlington, VT
Dec 12, 2010
View from top of Standard Route on Whitehorse, NH

Thanks everyone :)


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By RockinOut
From NY, NY
Dec 12, 2010
Gear

100ft of static cord will make your job much easier than carrying around multiple pieces of webbing. Just remember when it comes to TR anchors K.I.S.S and E.R.N.E.S.T


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By J.Roatch
From Twisp, WA
Feb 29, 2012
In my hammock camping in Washington in the Okinawa county region

Timothy Mark wrote:
I can't believe no one has given the Official Standard Internet Response To Top Rope Anchor Questions: Get instructions in person, from someone with experience. Seriously, if you're asking these types of questions, you shouldn't be setting up top rope systems. If you really can't get instructions, at least buy a book. This one is pretty good.



+10


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