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Discussion: ONE anchor for TWO top rope ?

  • Started: 3 months ago on Mon 24th Feb 2020

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T Kevin started this discussion 3 months ago.

ONE anchor for TWO top rope ?

How to set TWO Top rope with one anchor ?

I often go to monkey buttress , and it has been more and more busy recently. Climbing routes often share the same anchor , so I was wondering ( can't find much on Google) is there an anchor system I can place on two bolts , and set up two top ropes. ?

replied 3 months ago.

Hi there, from the get go it seems difficult to do so safely and i would not recommand it, especially if the aim is to use both at the same time.

  • 1 anchor is supposed to be safe for 1 climber, not necessarily for 2 (even if top rope put typically less strain on anchor than a lead fall would)

  • you would want to keep the ropes from chafing on each other, which will be fairly difficult. Possibly if the last bolt of each climb is distinct, and each rope uses one of them to be "redirected" additionally from the anchor system.

  • you would want to prevent 1 climber swinging into the other in case of fall, possibly feasible with the redirection above, but very situational.

Now, for the fun of the problem, if i really wanted to try, and the specific routes were fairly separated, and the bolted anchor had both points separated horizontally (not vertically) i would probably try the following:

  • putting 1 locking binner on each anchor point and 2 cordelettes each using both the 2 binners, but adjusting their distinct BFK master knots so each top rope lies separately fairly below 1 bolt (not both rubbing in the middle). This is bad practice since it put most load on 1 point and if it fails, it would shockload the other a bit. A single quad would not work as both ropes would gravitate to the middle and rub. 2 quads could maybe work.

  • Setting each top rope with 2 locking binners on their dedicated cordelette

  • putting a draws on the last bolt before the anchor on each route, and directing the climber strand through it

  • so it would take in total 6 biners, 2 cordelettes and 2 draws.

  • really look at it critically and decide it is probably still a fairly bad idea and not let both ropes be used at the same time by 2 climbers, and maybe not even for one climber at a time.

PS: i would not use slings instead of cordelette since the setup requires knots to be loaded, which would really be hard to undo. Also, there is still chances that both cordelettes/slings would chafe against each other, and thats a really terrible idea with slings, and barely less bad with cordelette.

Really, don't do it (at least not this way).

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T Kevin
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