Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Equalized Anchors

I guess I'm turning into an arm-chair mountaineer.  I've been doing some research to re-evaluate my normal method for setting up belays.  (I figure I better do this now before all local multi-pitch belays get bolted /grin)

Here's a nice image of a rope only equalization from rgold at


At 11/09/2011 09:57:00 PM , Anonymous Brad said...


Interesting idea. I'm sure you've heard of it before, but I've been playing with the ACR lately, and am quite happy with it. I actually find it faster and easier than a cordelette, but I had to mail order a few rap rings that I felt were strong enough (e.g.,

Here's the link that does a nice explanation of the ACR:

p.s. Mark and I are off to try the climb up in the Buchanan bowl on Saturday...we'll let you know how it goes (let us know if you can join us at the last minute)


At 11/10/2011 08:43:00 AM , Blogger sigob said...

Thanks Brad. I've been trying to find simple ways to eliminate static slings in my belays. There is a good discussion at supertopo

talking about how equalization doesn't live up to theoretical expectations and is mostly suitable for instances where solid pieces are not possible.

With our rock I suspect many gear placements are not perfect, so I'm still trying to figure out if equalization or arranging marginal pieces as backups - equalized or sequential is better.

I've also not formed any strong opinions yet about optimizing anchors for upward or downward pulls. Seems like most fall factor 2 scenarios around here are unlikely.

I'm leaning to the easy sequential clove with perhaps a simple sliding x for the secondary 2 pieces.

Right now I usually clove to the most solid piece, add another biner as a redirect and then put another clove into a sliding x. If the ledge is great and the gear challenging, I'll belay from a stance with 2 pieces done via a sliding x if they are equivalently reliable, or sequentially cloved if they have unequal reliability.


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