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Outdoor top rope anchor set up

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 Flinticus 24 Jun 2020

Largely new to outdoor climbing ...

Looking at top rope anchors others set up using a tree and / or belay stake, they do not directly secure the main anchor cord / rope but use a small sling around tree / stake and connect using a locking carabiner.

Why not simply directly secure the main anchor rope to tree etc. using a bowline or figure 8 follow through? Why add more gear into the mix?

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 Jezz0r 24 Jun 2020
In reply to Flinticus:

I have certainly tied directly around trees with static rigging rope with a rethreaded figure of eight. It uses a lot of rope though, especially with a large tree, so if there's not enough left to extend the carabiner over the edge or equalise other points or whatever, I would use a sling.

Edit: with belay stakes maybe you should be a bit more careful, I think the preferred method is a clove hitch with a sling on to the stake, with the clove hitch facing the opposite way from normal. This ensures it stays right at the bottom and doesn't put any torque on the stake.

Post edited at 19:37
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 Flinticus 24 Jun 2020
In reply to Jezz0r:

Thanks for replying.

Yes. I've used a clove hitched sling myself. Wondering why, when there's loads of excess rope, not secure directly. Could use a hitch or, on a stake with an eye hole, threaf the hole or use a carabiner through the hole to block rope riding up?

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In reply to Jezz0r:

Not sure what you mean by "facing the opposite way from normal". As to putting torque on the stake, the way to deal with that (I'm assuming you're using an angle-iron stake) is to make sure the "V" of the angle is pointing in the direction of pull. That way it's less likely to lever out as it's self stabilising, though it's seems to be counter-intuitive for many people.

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 cpowell 24 Jun 2020
In reply to Flinticus:

Nowt wrong with it, only thing I can think of is if equalising its eaiser to adjust rope length when the rope is moving through a krab compared to around a rough tree or rusty stake.

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 jkarran 24 Jun 2020
In reply to Flinticus:

Either option works and is fine.

Jk

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 Jezz0r 25 Jun 2020
 Flinticus 25 Jun 2020
In reply to Flinticus:

Thanks all.

Say I had an anchor set up, one end around a tree, the other to a stake. On the stake I used a clove hitch, either direct or via a sling and carabiner.

Should I back up the clove hitch or is it secure enough by itself? Assume a long tail. Stopper knot? Butterfly clipped into carabiner?

Post edited at 08:22
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 maxsmith 25 Jun 2020
In reply to Flinticus:

When I use a clove hitch (or alpine butterfly) on a stake I usually leave a tie a figure eight on a bight in the dead rope and throw that over the stake as well.  The two knots are separated by a tiny bit of slack.  I'm sure it's completely unnecessary if you have left an adequate tail behind your hitch but it only takes a second.

Edit: thinking about this more...I only 'backup' a clove hitch in this way if I'm anchoring to a single point. In the scenario you describe (two anchors) I would just tie the clove and call it good.

Regarding your broader question: cpowell has hit the nail on the head.  It can be fiddly pulling rope around a tree and rethreading the figure eight, much quicker using sling.  Also you'll find clove hitches or alpine butterflies easier to undo at the end of your session.

Post edited at 09:50
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 Flinticus 25 Jun 2020
In reply to Andy Long:

> . As to putting torque on the stake, the way to deal with that (I'm assuming you're using an angle-iron stake) is to make sure the "V" of the angle is pointing in the direction of pull. That way it's less likely to lever out as it's self stabilising, though it's seems to be counter-intuitive for many people.

In the BMC stake usage link, then the V is not optimal? The stakes at the location I'm using (which looks a lot like the location in the BMC vid  - grassy top, little in the way of natural anchors) are seet up as per the video: 'edge of crag' > (stake orientation)

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 deepsoup 25 Jun 2020
In reply to maxsmith:

> It can be fiddly pulling rope around a tree and rethreading the figure eight

That's a problem that can also be solved by using a bowline instead of a figure of eight.

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In reply to Flinticus:

Correct, the V is not optimal. If the V is pointing away from the direction of loading then any pull which is not truly bisecting the angle will cause an edge to bite into the ground. As the stake levers forward the resistance on the other side increases and the stake will rotate, cutting out a half cone and leaving it leaning towards the edge. 

It doesn't matter which way round a clove-hitch goes, it still tightens up around the stake or whatever. Placed as shown, any inequality in loading of the two arms will cause it to rotate around until that end comes out on the loaded side. That's how the stake can be torqued. 

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 Flinticus 25 Jun 2020
In reply to Andy Long:

Thanks. Good to know.

Wish I knew a few days ago as I met the guy who installed the original (and still present) stakes in situ and we chatted (2m apart...) and he said he'd put some more in and, good as his word, I visited the quarry yesterday (too hot, too midgy, horsefly bit!) and there's two new stakes but with the > pointing away.

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In reply to Flinticus:

Perhaps I should point out that in practice, a well driven stake in decent ground would likely be sound even if the "wrong" way round. The phenomenon I've described was witnessed years ago when we were experimenting with snow stakes. The difference was quite dramatic, enhanced, of course, by the lower frictional properties of snow.

Likewise the "uphill clove-hitch" effect was apparent when playing about with buried ice-axe belays. The hitch is actually unstable in this position, though not insecure, it'll just slide around to its stable position. Again, not likely in practice but I'm surprised that this old chestnut is still doing the rounds.

And if you're putting out videos purporting to show the optimal arrangement, well...

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