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3. Anchor Considerations

Anchor Considerations

There are many factors that need to be considered when choosing an anchor.  The placement of the anchor is one factor that can make the difference between a system that works and one that does not.  If the anchor is not in-line with the load, or if the anchor is too close to the edge, a change -of-direction may be necessary.

The anchor should be built to hold the anticipated loads that will be placed on the system.  If the Main Line runs through a change-of-direction pulley, the force on the pulley’s anchor will be greater than the system load (more on this in another lesson).  The location of the Main Line anchor is also a factor in the efficiency of the haul team.

Main Lines and Belay Lines are required for many of our rope systems.


The anchor of a Belay Line must be able to handle the dynamic load caused by a Main Line failure.  Location of the Belay Line anchor is also important because:

  •    Less rope in the belay system minimizes the distance the load will drop.
  •    Minimum offset will prevent the load from swinging sideways in a pendulum.
  •    The belay system and operator should be a safe distance from the Main Line.

What we tie onto can also make a difference.  What if there are sharp edges on the anchor that can cut through the straps?  What about chemicals or heat near the nylon?  Some of these problems can be addressed.  Padding the anchor to protect the straps can take care of sharp edges and maybe even the heat.