Tag Archives: ouray ice park

This is a Weird Anchor

Weird Anchor

Weird Anchor

Look at this anchor. I can’t quite get my head around it. I don’t think it’s particularly dangerous or anything. In fact, it looks pretty bomber. It’s just…well…weird. It’s a textbook case of the over-engineered climbing anchor. The methods employed are ‘unconventional’ in the world of climbing anchors.

There is a piece of what looks like 6mm perlon cord quadrupled around the tree–wrapped so many times that it can’t reach around the tree. It seems that a double wrap would have made it around the tree and still provided redundancy. And then–this is where it gets really strange–there appear to be two spectra/nylon blend double runners, doubled over (to shorten them) and then tied directly to the 6mm cord.  And to provide redundancy, there is a sliding ‘x’ style loop at the power point–lest the whole works fail should one tied end of those slings fail. I say sliding ‘x’ style because there’s no way that bulky wad of spectra and nylon is going to ‘slide’. It’s essentially a case of using a dynamic equalization technique to end up with an effectively statically equalized anchor, leading us to ask why?

Two locking ‘biners opposite and opposed. Bomber.

This anchor isn’t going anywhere. It’s a top rope anchor attached to super stout natural pro. It’s just weird.

Location: Ouray Ice Park, Ouray, Colorado, USA


Jive-ass Sliding ‘X’

Sliding x with jive-ass extension limit.

Sliding x with jive-ass extension limit.

Here’s another item from a recent trip to the Ouray Ice Park. The green webbing is configured into a large ‘sliding x’ anchor, but with no limiter knots to limit extension or offer redundancy. There is, however, a second loop of webbing added (the purple bit), perhaps to provide the sliding x’s missing redundancy, or perhaps to limit potential extension.  It’s not necessarily dangerous, I suppose. It’s just a little ‘busy’ and, well, kind of jive-ass.

In case you questioned the anchor builder’s status as Jedi master of busy anchors, notice the overhand back up knots on the water knot. Nice attention to unnecessary detail.

Location: Ouray Ice Park, Ouray, Colorado

Is it Redundant?



The single loop of one inch webbing is backed up with a carabiner clipped to the chain. Does that make this anchor redundant? I suppose if the steel chain or the forged aluminum carabiner failed, then that back up ‘biner would secure that ‘ultra bomber’ bit of nylon, right?

Discuss amongst yourselves…

Location: Ouray Ice Park, Ouray, Colorado

Girth Hitch Death Wish

Girth hitched soft goods

Girth hitch nightmare

Non-redundant anchor consisting of soft goods (webbing) girth hitched to soft goods. Is it an “EARNEST” anchor? Yeah, right. Maybe “_ _ _ _ _ ST” For a more detalied analysis of girth hitching soft goods to soft goods, see Hot Spectra-on-Spectra Action!).

Location: Ouray Ice Park, Ouray, Colorado

Close up of soft goods girth hitched

Close Up