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Topic - Building an anchor - Improvising

sianabanana - on 21 Jun 2012
Last week when I got to the top of a route I was faced with two obvious pieces of protection to build a belay. The top was flat rock with cracks/features in it - so flat on the floor not in a wall in front of me.

The first was an obvious v shaped crack facing in the direction of the climb that fitted a nut nicely.

The second a parallel crack that open on one end and slightly flared at the end so that you could slide a nut in to it.

When trying to find the right nut to fit in to this parallel crack firstly I found that I had used the size I needed on the route and therefore had nothing that fitted. I tried all the nuts i had in every which direction and nothing would go. If the crack was a bit bigger maybe my smallest hex would have fitted but it was just too small.

The only thing I had left on my rack that would fit was my smallest cam.
I placed it in from the top trying to face the stem towards the direction of pull but couldn't really as the crack was laying flat rather than in a vertical wall.

It felt strong and the other nut was bomber so went with it and belayed my second.

Once the second came up, I had a look through the other nuts to see what would have fitted better. The only one fitting was my no 7 dmm wall nut which I then proceeded to get stuck in this crack and is now ruined!! lol But thats another story.

Reading a different thread on the forum they mentioned the video below where they only use knots in slings/rope to protect instead of nuts.

It made me think - maybe I could have tied a knot in a sling and used that as protection?

I suppose I could have walked a few meters back and found some trees/bushes to belay but nothing stood out other than these two placements for obvious protection in the direction of the climb.

Anyone have any tactics/secrets for situations like this when you cant find the right bit of kit?
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