Friday, October 25, 2013

How to Practice Anchors at home.

Nothing eats up time like building anchors. There are several pieces to the anchor building puzzle so it's not something you can learn all at once. There are many ways to  practice but I've found that with so many popular climbs being bolted it's hard to gain experience building complicated traditional anchors.

I have found that practicing systems at home has been very valuable for me. I like to use chairs, sometimes you need to add weight so they don't tip over but you can place them wherever you like and attach carabiners in different configurations and practice building different systems. In the following video you can see I have three carabiners on a step stool and then I have a fourth on another chair. The anchor that I demonstrate is a pre-equalized anchor in a series.

Keep in mind the sole purpose of this is to demonstrate how you can practice at home. The video doesn't show angles properly so it may look like the fourth piece comes in at a 90 degree angle. This is not the case. Further, we'll assume that in the field I would lock all the carabiners and use the appropriate carabiners at the master point, etc.

I've found the primary benefit of practicing systems at home like this is efficiency. Once you've placed your protection it should be pretty intuitive to rig up your system. If you been practicing lots of different options at home it can really speed things up when you take it to the field. I do not recommend practicing at home and skipping practicing in the field. You should still be practicing placements and building systems with a mentor who can give you feedback on things you may have overlooked.

--Tim Page, Program Coordinator and AMGA Single Pitch Instructor

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