If You Can’t Tie a Knot, Tie a Lot


 

Here is a classic macrame project top rope rock climbing anchor.

Here’s an interesting jive-ass anchor submission from Remillard Park in Berkeley, California sent to me by Alex Duncan and Chris St. Amant. This one’s subtle. It’s one of those instances where there’s enough redundancy going on that it’s probably not going to kill anyone. Besides, it’s for top roping. It’s not going to generate big fall forces. However, there’s enough weird shit going on that it’s pretty clear that the anchor builder is sort of just making it up as he goes.

As Alex himself put it, “We decided that this man had adopted the ‘If you can’t tie a knot, tie a lot’ policy.” And you know what? If you don’t exactly know what you’re doing that’s probably a better policy than going minimalist. If your knots suck there may be safety in numbers.

So we’re starting from the power point and going back to the anchor points on this one. Looks like someone’s climbing without a personal protection leash on this excursion, because it’s being used as part of the power point. No big deal I suppose. Let’s move back a bit.

Someone actually backed up an anchor bolt with a daisy chain girth hitched around a bit of pipe in the rock.

It’s always good to back up a bolt with a daisy chain girth hitched around a piece of pipe, said no one ever.

One leg of the anchor is attached to a proper rock climbing anchor bolt with a locking carabiner. Bomber! I feel really good about that.

There’s some other shit going on here too involving a piece of aid climbing gear. I don’t really understand that part.

This top rope rock climbing anchor knot is sort of like a Bowline Knot

Classic Mystery Knot.

The other leg of this two point natural pro/bolted pro combo is tied to a rock with a…knot. At least I think it’s a knot. It could be a random tangle in the rope. Alex writes that neither he nor Chris could identify it, nor could two other people they asked.

See, now this bit is pretty jive-ass. And there’s really no good excuse for it. You can teach yourself how to tie a freakin’ bowline right here on the internet. Here’s a how to tie a bowline tutorial. And here is another. And here is another. And here is yet another. There are many more. Yeesh.

Location:  Remillard Park in Berkeley, California, USA

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5 thoughts on “If You Can’t Tie a Knot, Tie a Lot

  1. Viktor

    oh i love knot detecting! thats a running bowline (bowline around standing end) tied with the bight (probably because the rope was too long and threading the end through would be too annoying) and then the working end (the bight) is tied to the standing end with a kind of barrel knot to secure it. I don’t know if using a noose around a boulder is appropriate but apart from that this knot is bomber (if a bit overengineered) 😉

    Reply
  2. fbr

    oh i love knot detecting! thats a running bowline (bowline around standing end) tied with the bight (probably because the rope was too long and threading the end through would be too annoying) and then the working end (the bight) is tied to the standing end with a kind of barrel knot to secure it. I don’t know if using a noose around a boulder is appropriate but apart from that this knot is bomber (if a bit overengineered) 😉

    Reply
  3. Jason

    A big problem at Remillard is that there is only one bolt that services ~6 top rope climbs, and then that pole sticking up in the middle of the rock. No one ever brings enough rope or webbing to build a proper anchor there, so there is always some jive-ass nonsense going on at the top.

    Reply
  4. Jason

    Meh I would take the pipe, equalised would be nice, However push come to shove… I’d take the pipe. Like using “permanent” pro, that was never intended to be permanent.

    Reply
  5. Chris

    Ive lead many trips at remillard and will attest that the usgs pipe is in fact a bomber anchor point when used properly (which it isnt). And that Slung natural pro is also bomber when tied off properly. They had the right idea, just the wrong execution.

    Reply

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