Archives for October 2019

The Guide's Blog

October 2019

Climbing Anchors by the Numbers

October 1, 2019 fmg-adminAlpine & Ice Climbing Guides' Tech Tips Rock Climbing

“Are three pieces necessary in all climbing anchors ? I only have two. What about that bomber bolt? Shouldn’t it be redundant?” 

Chances are you have come across a situation in your experiences building climbing anchors where some of these questions have come up. I know I have had a lot of questions on my instagram feed about when is it okay to have two pieces in an anchor. The answer as usual is, “It depends!” So let's analyze some of the variables involved and see if we can come up with some guidelines for creating anchors that are sufficiently strong. 

One consideration is how the anchor is going to take force. For instance, are we belaying someone up third class or super slabby terrain where most of the weight of a fall would be on the climber’s feet? Or is it higher angle with no friction created by rope running over terrain resulting in the entire amount of force being applied directly to the belay.

Force/Use of Anchor

Intended use can also determine the amount of force on a climbing anchor. If the anchor is for multi-pitch climbing and will be the attachment for the team before a lead piece of protection is place